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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i knew i'd get into tractors after getting onto some acreage, ...i just hadn't planned on doing it until i built me a shop.

i stumbled onto this KEEN KUTTER when i was buying the homemade snow plow attached to it. i gave $25 for the plow, and the tractor came with it. not bad, me thinks. unfortunately, it didn't come with the pto driven deck. i'm going to call him back, and see if he can find it, for a reward.

Keen Kutter changed hands a few times, since it's founding in 1866, and most would recognize one of it's former owners, Shapleigh's tools. it seems that they were a mix of Ace Hardware and Sears, with much of their sales being from a catalog. i think dealers would sell their products in either a large display, or as an outlet/franchise?? what i don't know, is how this tractor would have been sold, in 1972, under the ownership of Val-Test Tools.

anyone recognize the styling as a knockoff? curious if it was licensed by another manufacturer, or built in-house. kool, none the less.

kevin
 

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Welcome to MTF. What you have there is a MTD 760-960 garden tractor. The engine horse power will indicate the exact model. If it is a 10 horse engine it is the 760, the 12 horse engine is the 860 and the 16 horse engine is the 960. These are very good tractors. I have never heard of a Keen Kutter version of the MTD so I will have to add that name to my list of who sold what.

If you can get the engine code info off of the shroud I can look up the year and get you the online owners manual for the tractor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
actually, it's a 15hp briggs.
engine model/type/code: 325431-0149-01-7112171

according to what i could find, that briggs was built in december of '71, making this a 1972?
 

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actually, it's a 15hp briggs.
engine model/type/code: 325431-0149-01-7112171

according to what i could find, that briggs was built in december of '71, making this a 1972?
Ok you have a 960 then. Most likely your tractor is a 1972. I have a 990 which has a 1976 engine but the rest of the numbers on the tractor itself indicate that it is a 1977.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
motor is definitely compatible with the '72 model. looks like most everything else lines up, too.

however, i'm seeing in the manuals that the MTD 990 came with a hydrostatic tranny, and a 2 spd peerless rear, ...which i do not have. mine is a 4 spd rear, with reverse. anyone know of a manual source for that tranny?

this rear end has no 3 point tabs on it. instead, mine would attach to holes drilled in the axle shroud plate, just behind the axle (nearly the same, exact bolt location).

also, my parking brake is a 2" starburst shaped knob (twist) on the left, that has an arced sticker above it, and simply says (OFF or LOCKED).

hmmm, i like mysteries! :howdy:

:thanku:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
HA HA!! most excellent. it is, indeed, an MTD 960.

although i'm glad i don't have to mess with a hydro tranny, i'm jealous of the hydraulic lift. i do have a pto hydraulic pump, and i figured i'd use it for a splitter, etc.. i'm curious how the "armstrong" 3 point lift will work. i see a p.o. has already welded the lever back onto it's base.

i'll likely have an army of tractors, eventually:
MTD 960 for tilling, brush hog, log splitter, snow blower?
MTD 659 (1992?) for my boys to tear up, snow plowing, and lawn mowing
40's Gibson I for putting around and light chores (was the old family tractor)
4x4 50hp-ish, to be named later, for most of my ranch work
 

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HA HA!! most excellent. it is, indeed, an MTD 960.

although i'm glad i don't have to mess with a hydro tranny, i'm jealous of the hydraulic lift. i do have a pto hydraulic pump, and i figured i'd use it for a splitter, etc.. i'm curious how the "armstrong" 3 point lift will work. i see a p.o. has already welded the lever back onto it's base.

i'll likely have an army of tractors, eventually:
MTD 960 for tilling, brush hog, log splitter, snow blower?
MTD 659 (1992?) for my boys to tear up, snow plowing, and lawn mowing
40's Gibson I for putting around and light chores (was the old family tractor)
4x4 50hp-ish, to be named later, for most of my ranch work
The hydro trans on the 990 is indestructible. I have not been able to kill the trans on mine yet. Engines that is another story. Is the pump you are talking about right under the engine? And does it have two matched belts going to it off of the back of the crank shaft? If it is it, it is not a pump. It is the PTO for the mower and tiller. The hydraulics on the 990 are powered by the hydro trans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
no, no, i have a separate pto driven pump that i'm thinking of running off of the pto. i'd mount it at the rear hitch?, and run a drive shaft.

yeah, those 990s were thought out pretty well, using the pump to drive the machine, as well as the lift. i like it.

heck, maybe i'll run a power steering pump to power my lift!

...i gotta go get something done today.:Orange_tr
 

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no, no, i have a separate pto driven pump that i'm thinking of running off of the pto. i'd mount it at the rear hitch?, and run a drive shaft.

yeah, those 990s were thought out pretty well, using the pump to drive the machine, as well as the lift. i like it.

heck, maybe i'll run a power steering pump to power my lift!

...i gotta go get something done today.:Orange_tr
I see. A separate pump I like that. The tiller that was built for this tractor had a long drive shaft that went under the rear axle to the mid PTO. These tillers are hard to find though.

I like your idea of using a power steering pump for the lift. The manual lift on the 960 is well designed but it is a manual lift so using it gets old quick. There should be enough room on the tractor to put a tank and lines. There might be enough room under the seat for a tank.
 

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First off, solid looking 960. Does it run? IF so does it move? Reason I ask is because the clutch pedal doesn't look like it is useable in that position. Or does it just look that way because the foot rest is mia? Next, it looks like a good readable tractor model/serial number plate below the dash panel, just in front of the shifter. If it is sort of readable, be careful what you do to it. They are somewhat like a cheap piece of tinfoil and easily destroyed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i think it'll run with very little work (carb clean). it actually had a broken front axle when i bought it, so i think it was in service until that happened. i think i'm going to collect info/parts for a while, so i can paint in warmer weather.

i'm definitely going to add the left foot rest to my scavenger hunt when i return to where i got it. i already know i'm going to wind up with a garden tractor junkyard.:fing32:

the numbers on the plates are pretty faded, but i think i got 'em??

front: 8X 3419
@ back fender, under seat: 142-960-154

do these look legit? where is a breakdown sheet?:dunno:

thanks
 

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They seem ligit to me. I am pretty sure I can decipher the one you found on the fender pan. But I am going to butt out and let Kingwood or D-Dogg handle it. They are more read up on the serials than I am.
 

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They seem ligit to me. I am pretty sure I can decipher the one you found on the fender pan. But I am going to butt out and let Kingwood or D-Dogg handle it. They are more read up on the serials than I am.
Don't ever think you need to butt out Gene.

Nobody is an expert on these things. Every time we think we get some little fact in stone, we get a curve thrown. That's why it's great to have a community of enthusiasts to share.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
thanks, all. i love it when guys can come together for work/play, ...and this endeavor is a little of both! . i sure appreciate it.

so, 1972 is affirmed. pretty cool, that's the year i was made, too. i guess i'll have to keep this one.

i'm going to try and get a handle on what all i'll be doing with this one machine, so i can outfit it on the cheap over the next few months (read: craigslist). i definitely won't be cutting the lawn with it, but i am thinking:
LOG SPLITTER (not sure if front, back, hydraulics from tractor, or independent motor)
ROTOTILLER, pto
BRUSH HOG, pto
SNOW THROWER, front pto
WOOD CHIPPER, pto
HOLE AUGER, pto
TRENCHER, pto
and getting the mail.:greendr:

i'm going to put larger tires on it, so i can clear more obstacles, and clear the pto driveline better. i know i'll have to relocate the transaxle, to clear the fenders, but i'm only talking about adding 2-3" of radius. i'll open another thread about how to build duallies on the cheap.

by the way, my wife pointed this out about our vintage MTDs (pictures).
 

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