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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,
I'm a long itme lurker now in need of some help. I can't bring myself to pay a few grand for something that simply mows my lawn so I'm looking to pick up an older machine that may be able to move some snow too if need be.

http://akroncanton.craigslist.org/grd/1856831587.html

I saw this ad on craigslist today but I don't know much about Bolens. I need to know if this machine is worth the price (the add ons seem to be close to it), and will it continue to last (can I still find parts for it and the engine, is it sturdy, etc.) I have a flat yard but some areas are pretty rough with small holes due to over anxious dogs and other animals (minor scraps to 4' deep holes). I have a 19 year old YardMan that just died but I always was able to avoid most holes for the front tires anyways. :)

I really can't afford anything over what this mower costs, but I hate to buy another MTD product that is super hit or miss, or that parts cannot be found for. Any help and knowledge sharing would be greatly appreciated. :)
 

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Go get that thing now. That will be the last mower you will ever need to buy. These tractors are bullet proof and are way over built. Parts can be had from Sams Bolens and Sonny's Bolens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am actually on my way to take a look at it now. It is about an hour away from me and I am tired of missing out on each mower I have been interested in. I've missed about 4 tractors by an hour or less in the last couple weeks. I bought a Kubota t1400 (I think) last month and though it felt like a good machine, something about it didn't feel right. I found out parts were obnoxious to find as well so I resold it. Now I'm tired of cutting an acre by push mower :)

I greatly appreciate your response Kingwood. Is there anythign specific I should take a look at while I'm there?
 

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Make sure there is not alot of play in the u-joints on the pto drive shaft and main drive shaft from the engine to the axle. Check the steering for excessive play and make sure every thing is greased good. Check the belts on the mower and the pto belts from the engine to the pto where the drive shaft from the deck hooks up to. And make sure the differential lock works (the black knob on the left side hub).
 

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I forgot to add:wwp:
 

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Better opinions are given with pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I really hope it pans out. My wife is so tired of me looking at mowers and I don't make decisions quickly when money is involved. I was about ready to buy some $300 mower and hope for another six years. But this seemed like a good deal with the thrower. I know new machines high hp doesn't mean much but will this lil 10 hp Tecumseh have the muscle for tht thrower or blade? And if I wanted to upgrade the engine what kind if options/cost am I looking at?

There should be a couple pics on the ad I linked to in the original post. Still on my way there.
 

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That 14horse Tec will have plenty of power for the blower and blade. I don't think you will need to upgrade the engine the price depends on what engine you chose.
 

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Those are great machines, and it looks like that one is in great shape. They are good solid machines, and that one will last for many years.

Jason
 

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That machine AND accessories are in astonishingly good shape. That is well worth the money. I hope you can get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Well as I was pulling in (over an hour drive due to traffic), and someone else was in the drive looking it over. Luckily the guy selling had some class and told him that I had called first and he had to wait on my decision. I spent about an hour with it. I will post some pics tomorrow after I pick it up.

Unfortunately my truck cap was about an inch too short to fit it and I didn't feel like taking the steering wheel off. I doubt I would have fit everything in their nicely anyways since I have a yuppie/camping truck. Everything seems pretty solid and clean with minor cosmetic wear in a few places. the guy had bought it at an auction so he knew nothing about it. I took it up and down hills and put it through the paces and I am pretty impressed.

I found the manual and parts list for the tractor and the parts list for both attachments. I haven't found the user manuals yet for the attachments, though. Is there anywhere I can check to get an age on the attachments with their serial #'s?
The blade is a model 18532 and the thrower is a model 18538. I don't suppose they made a hydro assist for the blower by chance? Most of my driveway is gravel and that's not a problem for my Ariens self propelled thrower, but that doesn't have nearly the weight this one will.
There are no wheel weights but it did have chains, and felt like calcium in the rear tires. I'm sure I should have some briefcase weights or something on the farm I can make work though too. He also had about 4 sets of blades in varying conditions. Though I may see if I can get some Gators for it if possible.

Everything was recently overgreased at all the fittings and moving well where it should and solid where it should be solid.
I was curious about the deck though. 1st, it has a cleanout port? 2nd, the deck itself didn't use all of the available adjustment slots. there was a lot of play in the setup that the first 3 settings were just open sway with no raising. At it's highest, the blades were about 3 1/2 to 4 inches off the ground. Is this normal in the linkage or is there a way to tighten it up?
Now I just need a dump cart for it and I should be good to go.

Oh, The belt guide for the PTO belt was missing, so I'll need another of those, but it is not imperative.
 

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very nice you will not be buying a mower for a very long time.
 

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Excellent purchase!:congrats::congrats:

Check the sticky thread for manuals for tractors and attachments.
If you can't find the manual there, check Sonny's Bolens site
http://sonnys_bolens.tripod.com/diagrams.htm

You might have to replace belts just to be safe. check if they are cracked. Interesting things happen when they fly apart at operating rpms. I would dump and change all fluids and filters as soon as I got it home.

After I started it up and drove it around the back yard, of course [grin]

The PTO belt guide at the bottom causes drag on the belt and stops it from spinning when the PTO is not engaged. You are right, it iis not imperative but you want the attachment to stop spinning when you disengage the PTO
 

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You did well congrats on a GREAT tractor!
 
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