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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm trying to determine if I should purchase a Simplicty Sunstar with a 20hp Kohler engine, snowblower, 48" deck and tiller. I don't need it for mowing and am primarily interested in the tiller and ability to pull a spreader, cart etc. The snow blower would be nice if it can handle our 450' long paved driveway? The lady selling the tractor is an elderly widow and doesn't know much about it. It has around 1400 hours, is hydrostatic and has a converted JD cab on it. She said it doesn't have a 3 pt. hitch, so how do you operate/pull the tiller?
I don't know much about tractors either and I've been told I shouldn't buy a tractor with belt driven attachments, is that what a Sunstar has?? Also, is it possible to put a loader on this tractor? Are all Sunstars 4wd? And would it be gas or diesel?
I've read some things saying that the Kohler Magnum engine isn't made anymore so repairs can be a problem, is this accurate?
She's asking 2750.00 but said she'd take 2500.00. Is this a fair price?
Lots of questions, sorry so ignorant, we all have to start somewhere. :) Any advice appreciated.
Thanks,
Confusedmomma
 

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How old is the unit and how good of shape is it in? I kind of feel that price might be a little high. I don't know much about the sunstar but to help out with you price question I purchased a 5 year old legacy 2wd 23 hp 54" deck and a 60" plow for $2k last year. It only had 425 hours on it. Hopes that helps you a little. I'm sure someone will be around to tell you about the attachments.
 

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The Magnificent
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20,952 Posts
Welcome to the forum! Here's a link with some info on this tractor.

http://www.simpletractors.com/Main/history.htm

Can you put a loader on it? This one is custom:
http://www.simpletractors.com/do_it/sunstar_loader.htm

You can get either the JohnnyBucket Sr. or Jr. so while you do not have the lift height, you do have a very functional accessory.
http://www.johnnyproducts.com/J_Bucket_HTMs/JBpage_Jr_Simplicity_Sunstar.htm

The tiller had a unique lift system. Like my JD 318, the rear PTO RPM is non-standard. Here's a pic of the tiller with lift system.
http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/grd/1171864945.html

I'd ask the lady if she has someone who can provide you a little OJT on setup and operation.

No idea on market value, but to get a similar new setup, you're talking $10K of more. $2500 sounds good to me for the functionality you would be getting, but I'll let the Simplicity experts chime in with real market values.

I think this rig would compare to a John Deere 420, and you would be hard pressed to find a 420 with just a deck for $2500.
 

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Senior Tinkerer
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Hi,

I just joined this forum though I've been following it for some time. Lots of good info here. Maybe I can shed some light on your Sunstar questions. My first Sunstar was a '87 model which I bought in '89 with 65 hours on it. I am still happily using that tractor today. Along the way I have accumulated two more Sunstars (they grow on you!). The only serious problem I had was the engine (M20S) needed new rings and a valve job after about 2000 hours. (It was at that time that I acquired the others; one was to use until I could repair the old one and the other was for parts...I ended up restoring it.)
To your questions:
- Both the hydrostatic transmission and the mower are shaft-driven. There are two belts (double pulley) which drive the mid/front PTO. There is also a belt within the mower deck.
- The hitch for the 'tiller is a 3 point arrangement, but not a normal 3PT. In my opinion, installing and removing the 'tiller is more difficult than it should be. The 'tiller is very heavy and unless you have it perfectly level with the tractor, it will fight your every move.
- The rear PTO runs at engine speed (~3600 RPM) making it and the 'tiller to not be very 'universal'.
- The 'tiller does a good job, but will complain (loudly) if you forget to turn off the PTO when you raise it up. (Mine is a 1690989, maybe there are other models that do not have this problem.)
- In spite of the above nuisance points, I have gotten very good usage out of the 'tiller; large garden every year from '90 to last week with nothing ever breaking!
- The snowblower should handle your 450' driveway with no problem. I did not nave a blower on my Sunstar; I had a 36" single-stage blower on another tractor with a 16HP engine which worked great; the 20HP Sunstar should work even better. You didn't say what size the blower was or if it was single or two-stage. My preference would be a single stage from a maintenance viewpoint, but if you need distance, a two stage would be better.
- Sunstars never had 4WD.
- Front end loaders are available for Sunstars; in my opinion the tractor is just not large enough to utilize a FEL for anything but very limited tasks.
- The 20HP Magnum engine is gas and no longer manufactured, but there is no problem that I know of in getting parts for it. Also, if needed there are several choices for replacing the engine with something other than the Magnum.
- With 1400 hrs. and being no newer than a '91 (I think they switched to the CH20 Kohler Command in '92) the $2500. price is in the ballpark if the condition of the tractor and attachments is quite good. I think I would do a close inspection and do a compression test on the engine (very easy to do and worth it even if you need to buy a compression tester...under $20. at Walmart. With an engine with 1400 hrs., that is a tool you need to have anyway!)

OK, That's my two cents! By the way, your questions were very good ones!




Hi,

I'm trying to determine if I should purchase a Simplicty Sunstar with a 20hp Kohler engine, snowblower, 48" deck and tiller. I don't need it for mowing and am primarily interested in the tiller and ability to pull a spreader, cart etc. The snow blower would be nice if it can handle our 450' long paved driveway? The lady selling the tractor is an elderly widow and doesn't know much about it. It has around 1400 hours, is hydrostatic and has a converted JD cab on it. She said it doesn't have a 3 pt. hitch, so how do you operate/pull the tiller?
I don't know much about tractors either and I've been told I shouldn't buy a tractor with belt driven attachments, is that what a Sunstar has?? Also, is it possible to put a loader on this tractor? Are all Sunstars 4wd? And would it be gas or diesel?
I've read some things saying that the Kohler Magnum engine isn't made anymore so repairs can be a problem, is this accurate?
She's asking 2750.00 but said she'd take 2500.00. Is this a fair price?
Lots of questions, sorry so ignorant, we all have to start somewhere. :) Any advice appreciated.
Thanks,
Confusedmomma
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #5
Hi,
Thanks firefighter5143, D-Dogg and glterpening, (I hope it isn't a forum faux pas to respond to you as a group) for the wealth of information. I can't believe how much I learned form your responses and the links provided!:thThumbsU I have asked my brother-in-law, (who is an auto mechanic) to go with me to look at it. I'm very excited and hope it is in good working condition, because I really think it's just what I need! I know the hours are high, but since I won't be using it that often, maybe it will hold up without any major issues. I have a Cub Cadet 1812, that for the last couple of years every time I want to use it, I have to call the repairman to get it running.:( Frustrating!
Once Again, Thank You.
 

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Anything With Wheels
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9,834 Posts
Welcome confusedmomma! Glad you found us and I hope we can make your transformation into tractor ownership an enjoyable one!
 
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