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Repair or Replace

rs_petty's Avatar
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12-18-01, 06:46 AM   #1  
Repair or Replace

I have a John Deere riding mower 160. It is about 15 years old and has given faithful service. It is in need of some overhaul. Basically, just replacement of worn out parts. Two areas of adjustment that I'm not sure of are carb and neutral safety switch. However, my general question is whether it is cost effective to overhaul these mowers or just dump them and buy a new one?

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12-18-01, 11:46 AM   #2  
Compare parts prices (assuming you are doing the work yourself?) to new ones.

Factor in your time if you value it as far as opportunity cost agains doing something else. I don't factor my time in much. The learning and satisfaction are worth more.

So, say a new one that is comparable costs 1000 bucks.

If parts cost 500 and you're willing to invest the time, you might make a good mower for half of a new one and pocket the 500 bucks. If the mower is rough otherwise, you still have a 15 year old machine when you are done.

Typically, I FIND equipment like that which has been discarded. Acquisition cost=zero and it's my time and whatever I put into it, which is usually some cleaning and adjusting.

In my case, it is worth it .

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12-18-01, 01:02 PM   #3  
Hello rs_petty

The advice offered by Joe is sound. The mower could also become an excellent opportunity to lean more about small engines and riding lawn mowers.

I would suggest you purchase any generic repair manual for the type of machine or even the exact repair manual as a starting point, prior to attempting any repairs.

After you have done the homeowrk of reading the manual, figured in the costs for parts and factored in your labor hours, if the numbers do not suite your tastes, DO NOT dump the machine.....GIVE IT TO JOE!.....

HI JOE....

Regards and Good Luck.
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12-19-01, 02:29 AM   #4  

You guys are no help. Your suppose to give me a good reason to dump it and get a small diesel with hydralics and all the attachments! Looks like tires, belts, and tune-up project for this winter.

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12-19-01, 05:06 AM   #5  
Lol. Hi Tom.

Joe has "recycled":

1) A 1988 Craftsman lawn mower from a neighbor. Fixing the jammed starter cord got it working. I use it every week at my grandparents.

2) A 1981 Toro snowblower/power shovel discarded by the same neighbor. Fixed the trigger and greased the gear case. Will try it this winter if we get snow.

3) A 1968 Craftsman 6 drawer mechanic's tool box that someone tossed. Cleaned, restored and painted like new. I also restored a 1960 Craftsman set that I got for 50 bucks at an estate sale...in fact look for me in a future Craftsman Club mailing....I won a project contest with Sears and will be featured with it.

Joe's rule: If he can't restore it or improve it, it IS junk .

In all reality, they are excellent learning tools at no cost but your time. More often than not, a little TLC and some help can get them going again.

The toolboxes came out great .

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