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John Deere 160, good deal?

4463 Views 27 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  littletractorguy
hey all, i've been looking into starting a little lawn care company and saw an old john deere 160 for sale in the classifieds, i paid 500 dollars (canadian) for it, it runs well and came with a bagger, although in retrospect i think i paid to much for it, (it looks like father time has taken a bat to it) im not really a great coinasseur of this kinda thing, what do you guys think?

Also is there anything important i should know about this old machine? or any tips?


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Missing something !!?? :dunno:
I've seen worse, somewhere here. :dunno:
JD recommends you take off the engine cover and clean under it. from the looks of yours it's been in a lot of dust and dirt. Also I'm sure you have replaced the air cleaner element too!!
i beleive i am missing the little black handle on the deck lift, and a john deere emblem.
How does it run ?? Got a pic of the lift handle( should be avail from JD
it runs fine, battery needs to be charged but it fires up fine and the blade works, couldn't really take it for a spin yet because the front left tire is flat
I can't tell from your pic does it have an oil filter? ( was optional 160)
i don't think it has, i haven't had a very good look through it yet. should i have one installed?
I paid 1500 for my JD 160, in the same neck of the woods as you.... I got a blower, a blade, mower deck and chains with mine. I paid probably an additional 200 bux overall for a bagger.... I'd say, for $500 including the bagger, you got a pretty good deal!

Things to know, oil change every 25 hours if you don't have an oil filter. The number 1 biggest source of poor running problems with ANY tractor is a dirty fuel system. If you haven't already, change out your fuel lines, your fuel filter, clean your fuel tank, check/clean your fuel shutoff, run some Seafoam into you carb.... Here's a link to the Kawasaki service manual for your engine.

Where abouts in SK are you? I'm in Toontown...
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You don't have to, ( LTG will know if you can ) just means you have to be more diligent on oil changes.
It would be on the left side of the engine.
thanks for the advice, how much longer could i go before changing oil if i had an oil filter? can you still buy one and have it installed?

i was looking at the paint, it's chipped everywhere, is there some kind of way i could touch it up without having the repaint the whole thing?

I sure hope it's nimble i plan on making this machine my work horse!
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The filter might look like this The filter is available from JD and NAPA etc. IF you have the framework.

One rule around here is, if it is new to you..... CHANGE THE OIL NOW.
How well an old JD can do is a good guess ( probably a 1986 -1988) Take it easy on it and keep it maintained ( I don't like pressure washing!!!!!!)
How many lawns do you have ??
JD has touch-up paint with a brush ( like car touch-up) green and yellow.
If you are going to mow lawns I wouldn't worry about it too much.
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i don't have any lawns... yet. in hindsight i should have waited till i had some places to mow first before buying a tractor.

if things go well im hoping to have 30, most of those will be residential so using a push mower. i decided to get a tractor for commercial lots and acreages.
thanks for the advice, how much longer could i go before changing oil if i had an oil filter? can you still buy one and have it installed?

i was looking at the paint, it's chipped everywhere, is there some kind of way i could touch it up without having the repaint the whole thing?

I sure hope it's nimble i plan on making this machine my work horse!
You'd have to check with a dealer to see if it was still available, it was a factory option, I believe. Mine doesn't have one. According to the owners manual, having the oil filter bumps your time between changes up to 50 hours... All these times decrease if you're working in dusty conditions, mind you....
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ah well 25 hours is long enough.

do you think there is any big quality difference between the 160 and say a newer john deere?
As long as it runs well, I think you got an OK deal. I have both a 160 and 180 and they are great engines and pretty easy to work on. For regular mowing, assuming your blades are OK and the deck is installed correctly, I doubt you'd see any difference between your 160 and a brand new tractor.

Good luck.
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I don't have much to compare the cut on mine to, having moved from a 15 year old, 20" Mastercrud push mower to the 160, but with the brand-new Gator blades on, the deck properly leveled and the tires inflated properly, I found the cut to be amazing! Those ARE, however, things to be aware of before going commercial with it....

You need to have all the tires inflated to spec (I have the numbers in my owners manual, once i can find it again), THEN you have to make sure the deck is level from side to side AND that it is set properly front to back (IIRC it's supposed to ride 1/4" lower in the front). All this has to be done on a solid, level surface before you go mowing... JD has a mower leveling gauge that helps you with getting the blade leveling right, I'm still going to go ask my dealer for one, its like, 10 bux or something like that....

The other things to be aware of, for bagging:

1. DEFINITELY need high lift blades. If it came with a bagger, it probably already has them, but you'll want to check. Without them, the bagger is useless. You can tell they're high lift by the angle of the "wing" on the back of the blade.

2. Grass conditions HAVE to be right for the bagger to work. Ie, your bagger chute will clog if you mow too soon after rain. How long you have to wait DOES depend on (IMHO) the ambient humidity level and the . Here in SK, I found I had to wait for a day and a half to 2 days after a good rain IF it was followed by hot, sunny weather.... Longer, sometimes, if it was cool. Otherwise, I had to pull the chute off quite a bit to unclog it. In cases like that, you sometimes need to mow without the bagger, then let it dry, then come back and suck it up with the bagger... This is why I put mulching blades on, too...

One last thing, if you're going commercial, for goodness sakes make sure you have that discharge chute on the mower!
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I've also got a 160. Mine has the oil filter. Based on the looks of the rest of the machine, I think the engine has been replaced-it looks new, everything else has wear marks. I think $500 is a fair deal here, probably pretty good for north of the border.

There was a huge pile of leaves and other crud under the instrument panel.

After removing that pile of leaves, I found more under the floor pan, removed the floor pan and found leaves between the fuel tank and transmission, then found even more leaves tucked into the frame rails.

The lift on mine had the right lift arm broken off. The handle/lift assembly shows as available, but was almost $300. I fabricated and welded up a new arm instead.

Here is a current photo of mine.

This image shows the oil filter.

I paid $100 for the tractor and mower deck. Bought the blade for another $60 and put about $300 in other parts on it, add labor for cleanup and paint. I plan to ask $1000 on CL once the mower deck is clean, but $800 is the asking price on here or to acquaintances.

I have two 12.5 HP tractors. The other is a Murray WideBody. The JD goes up for sale. Both are in good condition, both have available parts, either could power any of the attachments I've got. The reason for selling the JD is that it will sell for more money. It's a better tractor, but I can fix what breaks on either one of them.
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I have a recently acquired 160 and also a 165. The only difference is the transmission (manual on the 160 and hydrostatic on the 165). I have a Sabre to compare the cut to (my buddy's machine). In my humble opinion, the 160 cuts far better than the Sabre, whuch leaves the lawn kinda hacked looking like your hair if you gave yourself a haircut. The 160 cuts perfectly, and turns on a dime too. Great mower. I also have a snowthrower on my 165 and it does a fine job too.

I added the oil filter kit to my 165; the parts were available from the dealer for under $100. I did it for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is this engines reported weakness for clean oil. You can see an example of the correct filter kit in MriderLeon's post (bottom pic).

I bought my 160 for $100, but had to immediately put another $170 into her (so far) to get her up and running. It was an exceptional deal, needless to say. That's how I ended up with two nearly identical tractors. I have the 160 sold for $400 if I want to take it (I have it up for $500).

I have a spare hood and some other parts if you're interested.

Here's a pic...

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Just make sure that if you are going to start a business that you have everything working correctly. I had that problem and I had to have things fixed in the middle of the season which is a pain when you have lawns to mow.. :banghead3
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