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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just had a look at the Cub Cadet 1512 Diesel that I mentioned in other threads. It's on http://baltimore.craigslist.org/grd/2836277538.html. He's asking $1600 but he would accept $1300 and include delivery ~30 miles to my house.



So, he had it outside (and it was getting dark), so I couldn't inspect everything (and I probably wouldn't know exactly what to look for). My only experience with tractors is my old Simplicity Broadmoor which I only got to run briefly about 8 years ago. So I had to learn how to operate the hydrostatic drive, which was OK once I got used to it. The only foot control was the brake on the left side, but I didn't need to use it and I don't know when it is needed since the hydrostastic holds it still.

But when I drove it, I thought the steering was "mushy". Not the usual free play in the wheel before feeling resistance, but more like pushing against something soft or bending before I saw any movement in the front wheels. And it took just about a half turn each way before it would actually steer. This was on wet asphalt. The guy "promised" that the steering was OK, and he said he had replaced the steering column (but with a used unit). I was still almost ready to close the deal, but he said he would only accept a check if he waited until it cleared before delivering the tractor.

So, I told him I'd be back in the area next week, and that I'd discuss it here. But I said I was still concerned about the steering and he said something like "every vehicle has play in the steering unless you get like a Porsche or Mercedes". Well, I don't know about that. My Saturn with manual steering has less that 1/4 turn free play, and even my antique Simp is probably tighter than that.

So, I stopped at Tractor Supply on the way home, and tried the steering on a new Cub Cadet: it had maybe 1/8 turn of "loose" free play before meeting resistance, and then the wheels turned smartly. I also stopped at Home Depot, and their Cub Cadets were about the same. And they had a new Ariens hydrostatic 20 HP tractor for $1300 brand new.

Also, the guy told me that John Deere had taken over sales and service on Cub Cadets. The TSC guy said that was false, and he thought the steering was shot on this 1512. So, maybe I should hobble away from this "deal", since my back and hip and knees are also shot, so I can't run.

Otherwise, the tractor seemed to run good, and was in decent shape. He had an owner's manual and some other documents, and a service manual on the 50" mower deck, but not a detailed manual on the tractor. I had wanted to look at the steering mechanism to see if it was a rack and pinion or worm drive or direct linkage or whatever.

So, although I basically liked the tractor, I think I'd need to figure on replacing the steering with new parts, and deduct that from the $1300. I have no idea what that might be, but I's guess $500. So this tractor might be a deal at $800, especially since the mower deck had been rebuilt, and it includes a dozer blade (with hydraulic lift and left-right control), and a tilt cart. It does have a comfy seat!

Any suggestions? :dunno: :thanku:
 

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If your hesitant because of the loose steering try to find someone that would be willing to go back and see if they can figure out why it's so loose and what it would need to tighten it up , I wouldnt think it would be $500. but I could be wrong . The other thing you could do is spend sometime researching this model tractor on the internet and look up the steering parts and the prices associated with the parts ......

Mike
 

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The diesels garner quite a price, even if they're beat. I doubt he'll be too negotiable, but here's hoping!

As for the steering, they do get sloppy, but it's not a cause for huge concern. The rest of the tractor is stout and will outlast just about anything out there. These tractors have a Ross steering column, and the column's free play is slightly adjustable. Strong setup, really, but with lack of lubrication and adjustment they do tend to get sloppy after a few decades. They are easy to rebuild as well, and pulling them out of the tractor isn't bad once you get past pulling the steering wheel.

Overall it looks to be in good shape, really. It probably needs some love, but if you enjoy tinkering at all, it won't be bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I found an exploded view of the steering section and a list of available parts and prices at: http://www.partstree.com/parts/?lc=cub_cadet&mn=1512&dn=0025600004

The more expensive parts I'd be concerned about are:

703-1805 Gear Assy, Steering $391
703-1085 Cam and tube ***'y $391

Those may actually be the same thing - part numbers are similar and price the same. It seems to be a worm gear and there is an adjustment cap (IH-394288-R1) which appears to be a way to add preload to the thrust bearing. But I think the guy said he had adjusted it as much as he could, so I suspect something is badly worn. The "lever and bolt" IH-385522-R1, which seems to be the mating gear to the worm, is listed as "not available".

I'm just getting a bad feeling about this deal. He's had it listed for about two weeks, and if it was a really good deal it would probably be gone.

I'm not in any hurry and I don't absolutely need a tractor, although it would come in handy. I've only been looking for a week or so, and there have been other tempting deals. I just don't know if I should go cheap and have a major project I might never finish, or go for a lightly used small machine with a mower deck and the ability to pull a small cart. My Broadmoor would do that if I could get it running. And I can probably get something that works OK for $300 or so, and then take my time looking for a great deal and also doing research and learning.
 

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Justin called it.

If you are capable of tinkering, then that's a heckuva buy for a diesel with wheel weights, chains and front blade. The steering would be the very last thing on my mind when making this decision. It's likely something easily remedied, and for far less than five hundred bucks.
 

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Parts Tree is a great resource for looking up parts and diagrams, but you should completely ignore the pricing. I found the first part number you listed widely available on the net for seven bucks. The second is available from ICCW used parts for one hundred bucks. Sounds like a Cub diesel is way too much tractor for you, keep an eye out for a little MTD hydrostatic lawn tractor, you should be able to easily find one for a few hundred.
 

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How do you tell if it smokes? I would like to know about the steering since it has alot to do with purchase of tractor. But no dout, the diesel from what I read is a way to go hands down. By todays standards of GT, I'd say your getting a better tractor.

What are your needs of a tractor of this caliber? Its a high one fore sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just heard back from the guy and he said he would take $1000 (and also he would trust me for the check). So, I accepted the offer and he will deliver it tomorrow. I did not notice any smoke or smell any heavy fumes, so I think the engine is good. It starts up immediately (when warm), and sounds like a small diesel should (IMHO). So I figure I can't go too far wrong. Just the accessories are probably worth $500, and as long as I can keep it running, I think worst case I'd be able to resell it with a loss of no more than a couple hundred. I'm a little curious about why he has not sold it already, but it may be that he never relisted it on Craigs List (Feb 5) and it's buried about 10 pages back.

So, I'll post again when I get the beast and play around with it a bit. Thanks for all the advice.
 

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You did very well at $1000, congrats. Do some research, the manuals are readily available on the cub cadet forums as well as a wealth of information. That steering is easy to work on, again, if you do a search you will find tons of information on not only how to repair but also upgrades. Get the manuals, go over it, change all the fluids (Hytran only for the rear end!) and get comfortable with it.
 

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You did very well at $1000, congrats. Do some research, the manuals are readily available on the cub cadet forums as well as a wealth of information. That steering is easy to work on, again, if you do a search you will find tons of information on not only how to repair but also upgrades. Get the manuals, go over it, change all the fluids (Hytran only for the rear end!) and get comfortable with it.
********

I have to agre w/ 70Chevelle..............I have had two Cubs with the identical Ross built steering box--one was o.k., and the other --I rebuilt w/ mostly new parts straight from Cub--all were still available.:fing32:

While in there--you can check the whole front end--tie rods and all--but certainly not $500---unless you buy all new...

Good luck--read the manuals first--they are your best friend --then just fix up one little section at a time--and keep many notes and pictures...
You will be amazed at what a compatant person can do with a little TLC.....

glenn
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
OK, I just took some video of the beast. I processed the last one first: it shows me taking it for a ride on my access road, up and down the steep grades where it had problems with slipping, but that was pulling the trailer loaded with the mower deck. This time there was not too much problem:

http://youtu.be/BgXon0J15as

Here's the start-up and first run:

http://youtu.be/t-j3O06ExVg

And this is the initial walk-around:

http://youtu.be/6KbZc0WLq4Q

This is my old Simplicity Broadmoor 707:

http://youtu.be/mF24Sict-MM

:fing32:
 

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You did very well, and your thinking is spot on about what the accessories alone are worth. Just for fun, ask around at local tractor dealers about what a new small diesel tractor goes for new. Then you'll feel really good about the deal you made! I don't know if any manufacturers are even putting diesels in garden tractors theses days. John Deere used to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes, I feel much better about it now. I'm almost sorry I talked the guy down so much. I did give him an extra $20 toward gas, that he asked for. He does have some speech impediments and ADD and other maladies, but he seems to be doing OK, although I think he mostly does landscaping and handyman plumbing, electrical, and carpentry. Maybe I'll send him a check for $50 or even $80 once I am really sure about my new toy. About 8 years ago I bought a 1998 Saturn from a guy who was selling it for his son, at the price he was asking, and he called and said I had paid too much, and he sent me a check for one or two hundred. That doesn't happen very often!:)

Actually, it has happened to me on another occasion. In 1973 I bought a 1961 Econoline van from a guy I worked for in Yellow Springs, OH, and I offered $50 but he said $40 was enough. I did some work on the motor and I drove it for another 2-3 years, when I bought a newer 1966 econoline for $600. But after a few weeks, the motor went bad, so a friend and I took the motor out of my $40 truck and put it in the new van, and I still sold the old rusty hulk for $50! Now that was a deal! :woohoo1:
 

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forkz
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in 97 i bought a 18 hp 38 in cut craftsman with bagger used for 600 sold the bagger for 100 used it 10 years n sold it for 300 that was deal too
 

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I sure miss Dale when I see your avatar, what a driver. Everyone hooped and hollered when he won Daytona, but the biggie for me is when he finally won a road course late in his career. He hopped out on the roof still holding the wheel!
 
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