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Discussion Starter #1
I haved develped this fascination with the Wheelhorse garden tractors. I see a few used around my area. It seems to me they have a 200 and up series. Guessing the higher the series they stronger the mower? Well anyways, almost bought a 97 520-H a couple of years ago. It had a blade too and the heavy duty fabricated deck. Bought a 30 year old Deere instead. BIG mistake. Not that it was a Deere, just that it was 30 years old. Did end up selling it and getting a x320 though but I want another mower.

I found a 516-H with 431 hours on it not too far. It looks very clean. Seller wants 1800.00 for it but maybe he will take 1500.00. Personally, that doesn't seem bad for a heavy duty tractor with low hours. What can you get at Home Depot for $1500??? Throw away garbage.

My questions are these: In a nutshell, what is the low down on these machines? I know they aren't the same as the Toro's today but were they basically Toro's version of the garden tractor? Why don't they make them anymore? I know they are very well respected machines by many. I don't know why but I find them very interesting. Maybe it is the unique look with the absence of side panels. Maybe it is that they are red. Who knows? I am ate up. I used to be into Harleys but now mowers consume me. Am I getting old before my time? Anyways, any advice is appreciated.

http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/grd/1245518067.html
 

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My only concern would be the Onan engine as they're out of production and costly to repair. I'm working on an Onan 18 and if it needs a new fuel pump we're looking at close to $200!! If in good shape and cared for it should be fine for a long time and the Onans sound really nice! I think it's too much for a tractor that you may not be able to get parts for readily.

All my tractors have cast iron Kohlers except for the Charger 10 which has a Tecumseh. Now that Tecumseh has shut it's plant and gone the way of Onan everything will be going to Kohler and Briggs!

Good luck! You have my sympathy as I have the same affliction!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Stillbents, are you thinking it has an Onan. He doesn't specify in the ad. And if it does, I think I will pass. I do want the Kohler like most of them i have seen around here have. Thanks.
 

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Most or all of the 500 series WH's have the onan. Like Stillbents said, if the tractor was cared for then the Onan should last 2000 hours. Although I have heard that some have failed around 700-800 with a sticky or loose valve.
The onans are nice strong engines. Of course you can't beat the Kohlers, they are almost bullet proof.

If you are just looking for a mower might as look for a 300 series. They made them until 2007. A 315-8 has plenty of power and will serve you well. I have seen most of them go for around $1k give or take based on hours/condition.
Good Luck with your search.
Ps. I paid $1200 for my '97 416-8 w/48" deck and 234 hours.
 

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My only concern would be the Onan engine as they're out of production and costly to repair. I'm working on an Onan 18 and if it needs a new fuel pump we're looking at close to $200!! If in good shape and cared for it should be fine for a long time and the Onans sound really nice! I think it's too much for a tractor that you may not be able to get parts for readily.

Onan stopped manufacturing complete engines a few years ago. They never stopped making replacement parts. True the parts are not cheap but you get what you are willing to pay for. The Onan's were designed to be rebuilt over and over and 3000-5000 hours between rebuilds is typical for one that has been maintained properly.

A $200 fuel pump? Must be some huckster that quoted that price! The pumps for the Onan twin B & P series engines are between $40 and $50 or so.

Cummins bought out Onan over 20 years ago and has a huge distribution network making Onan parts readily available. I just picked up some +.020" pistons for a 1972 CCK iron block. Date code on the boxes? May of 2009.

Parts for a 37 year old Onan engine are easily available so parts for one that is only 15-20 years old is not going to be a problem.
 

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That is really good to know! Thanks! The cheapest I could find through online sites was $162. If I need a pump then I'll lock down the model/serial number and get with you. The engine I'm working on is a sweet runner but hasn't had more than a "cursory" tuneup over the last 10 years.

Thanks again!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wheelhorsin, your Wheelhorse looks NICE! That is exactly what I am looking for. One of the MTF members here has a low hour 300 series for sale but he is about a 10 round trip for me. If it was my first and only mower, then I could justify it, especially at a couple thousand less than I paid for my x320. Only if I had seen it first. Anyways, there is a Toro dealership that I pass here where I live and he always has used mowers on consignment sitting out. I will just keep looking, no rush. I think I will stick with a 200, 300,or 400 series though since they have the Kohler. I live in a rural area where many people have riders. Somewhere there is that little old lady or man who has that low hour machine that they feel it is time to get rid of for whatever reason. Thats my find.
 

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It all depends on how big your place is and what you want your
tractor to do.. I have 23 horses. Really enjoy them.
It would not be bad at all for you to get a 1970's C-160.
Very strong and versitile. Lots of impliment options.
 

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Keep looking then--Grasshopper....Ck. Craigslist and local estate sales--also all local dealers....You are in a band of states--Ind/Ohio/Penn. that seem to have the most abundance of the Red "Horse's...

BTW--usually --after a couple--people start finding you.....:hide:
 

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Wheel Horse Junkie!
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Grasshopper,

I am the member that the Bear is talking about. I just joined the forum and have posted the 520-H that he was mentioning. Take a look and let me know your thoughts. I can get the tractor down here at the end of the month if you are interested.

Scott
 

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Wheel Horse Junkie!
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Sorry about that Mike.....I appreciate your willingness to help me out. Commission......hmmm, I will have to come up with something good. So if he doesn't want it does that mean you are going to bail me out?????:thThumbsU
 

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Nothing wrong with a onan just like any other gas engine treat them right and they live forever I have two or three around here some were
 

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I really like my Onan in my 'horse. Nothing sounds like it, with that horizontally opposed twin. I've worked on it and surprising it was really easy to get into.

I learned it likes 30wt oil, 10w30 in winter and runs very well with 450 hours. Has gobs of power and is a perfect match to this heavy iron framed tractor.
 
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