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The designation of T was used interchangeably by Gravely. On the 8xx-T or 8xxx-T tractors it was the designation for the tractor being equipped with an Onan engine. When T was used in conjunction with a K before it, such as on the 8xxx-KT tractors, it then designated a twin cylinder engine.
This is interesting. I am pretty sure that most 816 tractors had Onan twin cylinder engines, but without the T designation (like the one pictured above). The 816T is a bit of a rarity. The 817 was also an Onan twin, without a T.
I thought the KT was specifically for a "Kohler twin"... hence KT.

**EDIT** I think I just misunderstood you. You are saying that Gravely was not consistent, but when they did use the T, it was for an Onan twin. And the KT was a non-Onan twin (in other words, a Kohler twin).
 

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This is interesting. I am pretty sure that most 816 tractors had Onan twin cylinder engines, but without the T designation (like the one pictured above). The 816T is a bit of a rarity. The 817 was also an Onan twin, without a T.
I thought the KT was specifically for a "Kohler twin"... hence KT.

**EDIT** I think I just misunderstood you. You are saying that Gravely was not consistent, but when they did use the T, it was for an Onan twin. And the KT was a non-Onan twin (in other words, a Kohler twin).
Yes, they were not consistent with having used it on the KT series tractors too. The T was only added to Onan powered tractors that used the BxxM series Onan engines. The 816T used the B43M and the 818T used the B48M. For the CCKA powered tractors they did not have any designation, it was just 816 or 817, for example. The 816S used the S designation for Briggs single, and the T was the designation for Onan, but why they only did that for BxxM series engines is beyond me. For the 8179 and 8199 that had Onan engines they were just the 8179 Commercial or 8199 Commercial. The 8179 used the CCKA, and the 8199 used the B48G. But yes, the the 816T and 818T, along with the 8179 Commercial and 8199 Commercial are not as common, though I wouldn't say rare. The 8xxT series tractors were only a 1 year run in 1978. The 817 was also a 1 year run in 1977. The 8179 Commercial and 8199 Commercial were only around for about a year in 1979. Out of those 5 tractors the 8199 Commercial is probably the most uncommon of the bunch.

Rick
 

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I would not buy a 12G that was either manual lift or had its engine replaced. The original M12 is a terrific engine. I suspect it wasn't pulled due to failure.

For brush hog duty, I'd definitely get a 2 wheeler.

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Although I'm a 400 series fan (I've had the '68 430 in my avatar since 1975), they use the same 4 speed (2 hi/2 low) swiftamatic transmissions that the 2 wheelers used. The clutch cones are wet type, and are inside the transmission. The 816, and G series tractors use the newer 8 speed transmission (4 hi/ 4 low), which allows them to travel at a higher ground speed, if desired. The clutches on both the 816, and the G series tractor are external, making them easier to replace.

I may be biased ( I have 2 816s, 1972, and '75), but given a choice between the 816, and this G series tractor, I would choose the 816. The 16.5 hp Onan CCKA twin, hydraulic lift, and the rear liftable hitch (all 816s came with hydraulic lift, and a liftable rear hitch), plus their ruggedness, and versatility have made them very reliable for me over the years.

You would have to check the 816's serial number to figure out it's year of manufacture, but if it was built in 1972, and it has it's original transmission, it would also have a limited slip differential. My 1972 816, and 814 tractors do. They were included on 1972 tractors as standard equipment.

Now if this "G" series tractor had a big Kohler twin like some "G"s did...
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I went and looked at the Gravely 816 tonight. It was dark, so I couldn’t take it for a spin. However, it looked clean and the hydraulics appeared to work as they should. I like how high the deck can be lifted, and there were no visible signs of rust. The motor didn’t smoke and there were no visible oil leaks. It sounded good. Seller seems pretty set on the price ($700). I may go back on Saturday so we can run it in his backyard.
 

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FWIW I paid $700 for my '75 816 and 50" deck when I bought it a number of years ago. While it ran well, and everything worked, it didn't look as nice as the one you're looking at (which is why I painted it). Reading your post, it sounds like it is a nice tractor, and has been well cared for, so $700 doesn't sound like an out of the ball park price to pay to me. To me, the year they were built doesn't matter as much as the condition they are in. If it's in good condition like it sounds it is, it is a tractor that, taken care of, will give you many years of service.

There are many attachments for these tractors from various mower decks to plows, snow blowers, and even trenchers. You can also use attachments originally designed for 2 wheeler tractors (walk behinds) including brush hog mowers, sickle bars, rotary plows, etc.) using a front adaptor kit. Since you mentioned brush, there are even McKissick shredder/chippers that were built that attach(ed) to Gravelys. They were designed for 2 wheelers, but again, they can be used with riders using a front adaptor kit.

OT, my personal favorite attachment is the Gravely ice cream maker.:tango_face_smile:

The PTO (shifter) is under substantial spring tension when the PTO is disengaged, so when you test the PTO (engage the mower deck), move the PTO shifter slowly (you will have to hold it back as you allow it to travel) until the mower begins spinning up. Then you can drop the shifter the rest of the way. The mower deck should begin turning (pto engaging) around, or slightly past the half way point of the pto shifter's travel.

And these are the beginning, and ending serial numbers for 1972 tractors (limited slip diffs.): 10878A-15044A. Rumor has it that a few early 1973 models may have also left the factory with LSD. Not that it's the end of the world by any means if it isn't. My non-LSD tractors do very well under all circumstances. Good luck this weekend!
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I really appreciate all the helpful responses, and the price isn’t sounding as bad.

I spoke to a place 2 hours from me that deals exclusively with Gravely’s to check on availability of parts, and the owner said he can get every part for it except for parts related to the Onan motor. He said he wouldn’t let that keep me from buying it. What do you all think about the Onan? Should it go a long time? What about changing the points/condenser?
 

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The Onan CCKA is a very good engine. In the number of years I've been using mine (mowing and snow blowing) I have only needed to do routine maintenance.

There are two MTF members who sell new, and good used Onan parts, so getting parts shouldn't be a problem. Their MTF sigs are "boomers influence", and "onanparts.com" I have bought parts from both (tune up parts, and a used CCKA starter from Boomer, and a new Onan CCKA muffler from onanparts). The only reason I needed a starter was that the '72 816 didn't have one when I bought it.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
That front adapter kit sounds like the way to go. Thanks for mentioning. The ice cream mixer definitely shows the versatility of these tractors!

Glad to hear parts are available. So I assume condensers and points would be among them?

I’m feeling more and more inclined to grab that Gravely. Let me throw one more thing out there though. Someone mentioned Power King tractors to me. A quick search shows they’re pretty readily available and have a 3 point hitch. Are these a contender worth looking into?
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I really appreciate everyone's thoughts on this Gravely and it sounds like I won't be going wrong if I buy it. The more I read about that Onan engine, the more I see that it sounds like a beast with tons of torque that should last a long time.

One problem I am having is that I keep seeing so many tractor deals pop up near me. For example, there's a Simplicity Sovereign 18H for only $300 more than the Gravely, and it comes with a 48" deck, plow, blade, wheel weights, chains, etc. It's been owned by an older gentleman for a long time and the motor sounds great and it appears to be in great shape. The only visible issue is a tear in the seat. That, and it comes with the TRIAD engine that Kohler experimented with for a couple years. He's had it forever though and it sounds like he's used it regularly for mowing and plowing, so maybe he got one of the good ones.

The Simplicity is a tempting purchase given it's only $300 more and comes with so much stuff. I started out just wanting something to maintain the grass, but having that plow and the blade should would be handy for driveway, moving dirt, etc... Somebody help me. What direction should I go?
 

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Dozer blades are readily available for the Gravely rider's and they work very well due to the fact that they mount at the rear axle and you have all the weight of a cast iron transmission and rear mounted engine working in your favor both from a winter traction standpoint and pushing capability. These plows angle 45 degrees left and right from the seat. I shouldn't need to mention the benefits of a gear drive transmission over a hydrostatic for pushing and pulling.

If you find a 1972 816 you will also have an LSD.

Some of us have been pushing significant snowfalls with gravely riders for decades. Without going to all wheel drive, it is about as good as it gets for winter snow duty.

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Discussion Starter #34
Well I got a the Gravely. I wasn’t able to talk him down much, but he did throw in a set of tire chains. He said some leave them on all the time. Good idea?

Thanks everyone for putting up with my indecisiveness. I’m happy with it and excited to begin using it.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
And these are the beginning, and ending serial numbers for 1972 tractors (limited slip diffs.): 10878A-15044A. Rumor has it that a few early 1973 models may have also left the factory with LSD. Not that it's the end of the world by any means if it isn't. My non-LSD tractors do very well under all circumstances. Good luck this weekend!
I see the serial number for the Onan. Where do I find the serial number for the Gravely itself?
 

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I'd probably source a factory grill, ditch the extra lights and pickup some rubber stool feet at the big box store for the fender support springs. Also, check the rear axle for snow plow latches and the axle stub shaft for the rear tiller setup.

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Good choice! Pickup some Black Magic griptape (skate board grip) for your foot rests... I've had good luck with it.

The first set of pictures appears to show the snow plow latches.

By the way - chains are a nice add-on. LSD or not, that tractor will be near unstoppable with chains.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Sorry to take so long to reply. I located the serial number below the air filter —15896A. Based on this, it appears it does not have the LSD? Does this make the tractor a 1973? I did find 11-18-72 stamped on the side though (pic attached).

I checked the front of the tractor and no spline. No spline on the right rear part of the axle...just a big hole.

I added rubber stool feet to the springs under the seat. Great idea!

I noticed a hose tucked under the air filter, which I pulled out for a pic (attached). The hose wasn’t connected to anything on one side. Should it be? What’s that part it’s attached to in the pic?

I also noticed the rear driver’s side (left) wheel has about 1/8” of play, whereas the other side does not. Is this ok? Pics are attached showing the difference.

Overall, the tractor seems great. There’s some minor stuff I noticed.... gas cap gasket seems old and brittle, some cotter pins are a bit worn and brittle, and rear tires look dry rotted. Nothing major that I can see and the tractor runs strong. Thanks again for all the help.
 

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