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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
Finally had my account approved today! So I am about ready to scrap an older Murray tractor (it came with the house we bought...now I know why) and have been researching JD's. I have two that I have been looking at but wanted to get some feedback from you guys. I have already been browsing this forum and thank you all for the info you have posted which was helpful.

So to the point.

I looked at an '85 212, solid tractor well cared for being sold by someone I know who is active in trailer pulling. He got the 212 from a relative to sell. The good: solid tractor in good condition, new head put on two years due to the plug being stripped. It wasn't running right so he found the fuel pump was bad and replaced it with a new one. The bad: due to the bad fuel pump the previous owner was running it with the choke on all the time and enriched the carb. Now the tractor smokes, not bad but enough. So we both agree the cylinder walls are probably washed out, piston and rings damaged. I have no issues replaced the piston and rings, done it before and I am quite handy. He is asking $600 with a yard trailer, I was thinking more like $500.

Tonight I am going to look at an '88 165 hydro with kawasaki engine. Needs paint from what I can tell in the pictures but is supposed to be sound mechanically. Asking on this is $650.

Looking for feedback...any. Is hydro better then gears? Are the kawasaki's any good? Which is more reliable? Easier to fix/work on? Right now I am kind of leaning towards the 212. Something about it is drawing me in that direction. I like the Kohlers, the looks and it is in better shape cosmetically. Granted I am planning to restore whatever I get over the winter including new paint. My uses are to cut the lawn, 1 acre yard, and for just working around the yard moving dirt, rocks etc. Maybe eventually find a snow blower to fit and sell my Ariens. Both come with 38" decks which perfect for my yard. Sorry to be long winded:)

Other models I have seen in my area are the SXT30's but I am not to keen on those.
 

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The Magnificent
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20,952 Posts
Welcome to the forum.
You might also want to consider 314s or 316s if your budget is around $500. If you can spare $1-2K, the 318 is hard to beat.

Worst thing you could do would be to either get in a hurry, or believe your choices are limited. I am aware of 3 very nice 318s that recently were had for less than $1K.
 

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Looking for feedback...any. Is hydro better then gears? Are the kawasaki's any good?QUOTE]

I can answer a couple bits of the puzzle. Had my STX38 5 speed for 15 summers, just bought a LX280. Never had a problem issue with the 5 speed but the new hydro is just great!!

My STX has the Kohler 12.5 and again no issues, but the 18 Kawi is much more powerfull and quieter!!

I looked for several months to find my LX and learned from this forum and visits to many dealers. One tip, don't rush!

:MTF_wel:
 

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The 165 are a good mower. My father had one and lasted almost 20 cutting 3 acres, and they still allowed him 600. to trade on his L135. It was twice the mower the 135 is. It must have had 1000 hours on it or better. Kawi engines are great.
 

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motorhead4,

Welcome to the forum.:MTF_wel:
I agree with all others, don't be in a rush and examine your current needs along with your future requirements. Trust me once you get your tractor your mind will go into overdrive and you will be thinking of a whole host of tasks you will want to accomplish, no matter the size of your property. I only have 1.5 acres of grass to cut but when I got my X500 I quickly found myself going off the beatin path reclaiming yard that had been neglected and overgrown with .5 - 1 inch saplings and pulling a moldboard, tiller, disc, through the garden, and I was so glad I got a tractor that could handle it. Now as capable as the X500 is, I found myself wanting a tractor with more grunt and a heavier frame with more capability which is why I bought my jd318. So definitely consider all your options and requirements and you won't go wrong.
 

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The 165 is a solid tractor, but at $650 may be high. The Kawasaki motor was and still is great motor if maintained.

I have a 160 same year and will be mowing with yet in another 10 years and beyond
 

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My 165 is a wonderful lawn tractor. It isnt heavy duty like a 318 but it does its job of cutting lawn wonderfully. This one wasnt used a real lot so it still has a lot of life left in it yet. The Kawasaki engine is wonderful. The hydro works like new. My Craftsman isnt as nice a tractor as the John Deere and the John Deere is 21 years older. I was lucky to inheret mine from my Grandparents.
 

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USMC
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:MTF_wel: and enjoy the hunt. As others have suggested take your time and don't rush. There are many good deals out there right now. slkpk
 

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Retired Aug.31 2007
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Welcome to MTF. Glad to have you. You have been given some pretty good advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the advice!!!! I am glad I found this forum. Needless to say I have caught the JD bug and spread it to my buddy who is now also looking to replace his old craftsman. After more searching I am leaning away from the 160, need more of a tractor then just a mower. I will keep searching the classifieds and take my time to find the right one. Going back to look at the 212 again this weekend. It is in really good shape and the price fits my budget, plus it come with the trailer which I also need. There are a few others around I am hoping to get to this weekend. Needless to say I don't think this will be my only Deere...My car and boat projects are done so I need something else new. Maybe restoring JD's will be my next project. My wallet will enjoy that too:) Car and boat restorations are not cheap, hence my low budget. Thanks again!!!!
 

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Citizen of Earth
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What kind of cart comes with the 212? If it's an old Deere model 80 cart, they alone can fetch $200 or more on Ebay. You will understand once you see one, they are built like a truck bocy.
 
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