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I have been searching for a good garden tractor (14-20hp) to pull with for this upcoming season and I'm not sure what to buy. I am wondering if anyone knows of any specific models that are good for pulling. Also, should I avoid buying a hydro, or are they just as good and are direct drives any better?

:dunno:Thanks, Mr.C
 

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I think you would want to find a tractor you like and would want to keep. Lots of guys here are running 60's - 70's, and some newer, respectably. Sears and IH Cub Cadets, and I've seen a few JD 214's seem to be a popular choice. What does everyone else run? From my parts of the country, the IH Cub Cadet model 100 is a favored choice, as in most all the NF gear tractors. Some of the WheelHorse B-series tractors run well too.
 

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Run what everyone else is running...I hate to say it but Cubs are the way to go....Sears, wheel horse deere are just starters....I started with the sears and got to a point they wouldnt take the abuse I wanted to throw at them...had to move to a cub...
 

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Mr.C , I dont pull, but when I do, its for fun and hanging out. I believe the direct-drive set-ups are stronger than the belt drives. Not that I ever proven that, but just have a "hunch" . The IH Cub Cadet gear trans. is very good, from what I'am told.
 

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Well when i pulled the sears suburbans, i NEVER had a problem with belts or engines..I was bustin the trannys to peices....ive seen a few WH tractors at the local club have problems with belts....but the drive shaft in a cub is MUCH stronger, and u can call and order EVERYTHING for them...u can order a complete tractor from the ground up....Im a die hard sears guy but for pullin a cub is the way...them old 3spd cubs can be built to handle more then 100hp! but they cost a pretty penny or 2 to build i hate to say!
 

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I agree with Sears but the stock Cub rears can handle a pretty good amount of engine mods before you have to go in and start to modify the actual rear internals or swap them out for a narrowed dodge dart or ford rear. The driveshaft would probably need to be beefed up or swapped before the rear needed to be upgraded.

I would recommend spending your initial cash on getting the power to the ground, i.e. tires, weights, and on the safety equpiment required by your local pulling circuit.
 

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I also pull sears tractors, but it is budget reasons. I only pull for fun and to spend time with my son. We definantly have a lot of fun testing the old belt drives, If you want to pull and stay competitive then a cub is the best way to go. If funds are limited you could still buy a cub and pull in the stock class. The biggest expense then would be tires and wheels. The stock classes can still be very competitive if you don't mind going slow. There are many tricks to learn that can keep it fresh and challenging for a long time. Your tractor purchase should be done with long term thinking and that will prevent under buying which is really expensive. Good luck and happy pulling.
 

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I recommend the older sears/ suburban units. Most were equiped with cast iron transmissions. This helps in 2 ways, it is a little tougher than the aluminum units and it adds weigh to the rear of the tractor. Be sure all pulleys abd idler springs are in good shape or replaced before pulling this will increase belt life and reduce slippage. The next thing is do you want a 2 cylinder or single?. Both are good choices for pulling it depends on personal preference and price. If you purchase one with a Kohler or Briggs single many parts are available. The Onan twins are a monster engine but parts are getting pricey these days. Some units had Tecumseh engines and while the engine its self is good the carbs can be a real headache. If you start to have carb problems on a Tecumseh just replace it with a carb from a simular size Kohler. You might also consider a Roper tractor they were the builders for all the suburbans. They are less known and may be cheaper,( I have seen some of these with good engines for less than $100) but I am not sure about parts.
 

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I pull with a Sears, and my buddy pulled with a Cub Cadet 102 and at our last pull he was pulling 2200 plus pounds and busted 2 of the teeth off of his ring and pinion gear in the tranny, strong little 10hp tho
 

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First I would go with the 82 series cub You can fit any engine in it from single cyclinder up to the v twins without modifications and you will also have the engine enclosed. Next I run the 102 cubs I prefer the narrow frames for some reason.I do have to cut the frame side to install Kohler engines with the big flywheel.
I have belt pullers also and They do pull good once you figure out how to keep belt tension .
I have one cub that started out a 102 and Ive streched it and added additional engine with both being 12 hp and it does extremely well
Every pull that ive been too and some one has tried a hydro--it just doesnt work with alot of weight Fluid gets too hot and will cause damage.
Just my 2 cents worth
 

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The old suburbans from 65-79 are the ones u want..u want the 6spd version(they are a high and low model)...Down fall to them is the trans is cast aluminum...it also has a pot metal/cast gears....works fine but eventually you WILL break it....Cub is the way to go...Old cubs, with the cast iron 3spd is what u want....
 

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Does anyone know if a Cub Cadet 1605 is any good for pulling? 5 speed transmission, 16hp Briggs and Stratton twin, belt drive.
NO. It is a lawn tractor and does not have the Cub cast iron rear or the MTD fine spline aluminum rear or a Kohler engine. Keep searching for a Cub gear drive, which will generally have a model number that ends in an even number. Don't think about a hydrostatic anything; find a Cub gear drive and be competitive.

My apologies guys. I love many other brands, some of which do other things better than a Cub, but experience has proven to me that they are the most reliably consistent pullers
 

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my friend is selling his cub 102 with a new rear end in it, if your interested PM me and i can get you into contact with him
 

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I got this 122 for $300 at an auction last month. Sold the rear PTO reducer at the auction for $200. Engine has good compression but I think the flywheel key has sheared. Had new tires all the way around and new clutch parts.
Would have made a cheap puller but I'm just not into that and parted it out.
Still, keep an eye out. If you can be at the right place at the right time, cubs can still be had cheap. You might even find some weathered old project like this that someone quit on.
I passed on a rough 124 at an auction 2 years ago that sold for $75. The happy new owner started it up and went joyriding all over the grounds.
 

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I bought 108 for $25 once and all it needed was the points and plugs cleaned and a shot of fresh gas with a jump. I could have been pulling the same day if I could have found a pulling hitch and kill switch. Deals can be found, they are very simple machines.
 

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Must just be me, In stock form I've found the Cubs to be lacking in durability. Sure there are upgrades for the rear and clutch, but in stock form their weak.
We used to pull a cub 70 and 100 when we started. We broke carriers and axles when they hooked too good. Bent the input shaft in one.

If you are starting out going into a stock class run what you like.

We used to run Wheel Horses with good results. Yes we broke rears just like the cubs (not as often but anything breaks if used right) Never had problems with belts though. We still run a 20+hp in stock And our club is mainly WH and Cub with some allis's and JD's

Duane
 

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My Sears has been able to keep up with Cubs that have outweighed it by a lot.

What you need is a 73-79 Suburban with an Onan Twin Engine. Throw some big tires on it and youre good to go!
 
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