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After viewing circa 1960s/1970s/early 1980s machines and reading posts of folks extolling the superior virtues of the older Deeres/Bolens/IHCubs/Cases/ACs/Wheel Horse/M.F. etc. - makes one wonder if the new sophisticated, lighter, quieter, bigger HP, less rugged machines designed for 10-15 years of moderate use are REALLY better than the older, heavy, loud, austere, unsophisticated, solid, smaller HP, all metal-thicker gauge, larger turning radius older machines designed for 25-35 years of usage. Are machines today at least a better value (more affordable)?

What do folks think and do Ingersoll owners have the best of both worlds?

Cannon
 

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That depends........on whether you think cast iron transmissions housings are better than cast aluminum....on whether hydros are an improvement over the autos of the past......on whether you like the smoothness of a V-twin over the single lungers....on whether you like the electonic ignition systems over the old points or mags of old......on whether you like electric clutches over the old lever type.......There has been a lot of improvements..some would say good, some would say bad....So it depends.
 

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I bought a new base model Ford F-150 in 1977 for $4700 +/- and in 1979 bought a new Deere 316 for $2850 plus around $400 for the dual hydraulic 54" front blade. I felt I got my money's worth on both deals and was very happy with the capabilities of both. If todays equally equiped Ford F-150 is worth $21,000 (I just priced it online), then keeping the ratio of truck vs. tractor the same, I would be buying a tractor for $12,700. It's would be a real nice machine, no matter what color it is. But it seems that folks still only want to pay around $3000 and still expect to get the machine I got in 1979. I hate to tell them, but they are not even getting one close to what I got back then in strength , durability or capability. The blade I bought back then for $400 is worth that today used. I didn't loose a dollar. The tractor is probably worth $1100, after 24 years and 9 months of use, 6 of those years commercially. I'm not just saying that the Deeres were the only great tractor. When I was looking back then, I had dealers offering me a Cub, Case, Snapper, Deere and Simplicity and all had the Kohler "K" series 16 hp motor. All had cat "0" capability. All had approx. 48" mowers and could run a big snowblower, hydraulic front blade, 40" or larger rear tiller. And except for the Simplicity they were within $70 of each other. The Simplicity was about $200 cheaper than the Deere. I remember the Cub Cadet being the most expensive. I bought the Deere over the others based on operator comfort. But the other tractors in that class were just as well built, same motor, same capabilities, and I have every confidence that had I bought one of the others, it would be parked where my green one is now.

Yes Ingersoll owners DO have the best of both worlds! Except that they don't use the old "K" series Kohlers any more. What an engine they were!

Are today's machines a good value? Yes, I think so. Using my truck vs. tractor ratio as a rough guide, a $3000 tractor today represents 1/4 of the money my 316 cost back in 1979, and you are getting a decent mower that will plow or blow snow. It can't run a front loader, or back hoe, and has a thinner frame, more plastic and is lighter construction overall, but will as you said hold up to homeowner use with care for 15 or more years. Today's machines are far superior to what 1/4 of my Deere's purchase price would buy back in 1979.
 

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Old days

We should feel cheated.Our forefathers were a lot stronger just from operating thier equipment.Hydraulics instead of manual lifts ,24" steering wheels cause you needed it,cranks instead of starters,and you never heard of anding weight to good old iron wheels.
 

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Well, If you see my list of tractors, you will kinda get the idea I am into the old iron. Oldest is a '44 Gravely L, the newest is my 87 Ingersoll. All in all, I have two tractors made in the '40's, one made in the 60's, kinda one in the 70's[my Moms], and two in the 80's. I don;t know what I would do with a new one. Plus IMHO, the motors were SO much stronger for there hp. The old 6.6hp gravelys[eaven my 44 5hp one] had REAL power down low. Drive one into a tree, or a wall, and it will dig itself into the ground, before it would stall. Then we have the K Kohlers. Is there realy a better L&G motor???

Now on the other hand, if you can't work on your own stuff, there is a lot to be said for the new iron.
 

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Old or new, it does not matter to me. If you have the technical Manual you work on anything. The old stuff you still needed a amp gauge, volt meter, ohm gauge. (multi-meter) and a timing light. The new stuff requires the same stuff.

These things are really simple and easy to work on as long as you can bend over. My old beat to crap Murray garden tractor and my new Deere are basically the same except the Murray has a stronger transmission and the Deere is a heck of lot safer then the Murray.
 

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Originally posted by Argee
That depends........on whether you think cast iron transmissions housings are better than cast aluminum....on whether hydros are an improvement over the autos of the past......on whether you like the smoothness of a V-twin over the single lungers....on whether you like the electonic ignition systems over the old points or mags of old......on whether you like electric clutches over the old lever type.......
Cast iron VS aluminum.... I think it runs deeper than just the housing. Look at the input shaft size. My old 1967 has a 3/4'' input shaft and only 12 HP, and in the mid 80's went to 1/2'' input shaft with a 16HP twin.
How long before an aluminum trans housing cracks from adding weight above the axle centers.

Hydros have been around sinse the early 60's.

Smoothness.... My 1967 12HP is syncro balanced with crank shaft counter weights. Runs and idles very smooth.

Electronic ignition.... Can be added for $40 to any old engine.

Electric clutch.... Can also be added to remove the manual cluch levers, but are not cheap.

The older tractors can be adapted to the newer features. Most of the features are old, the advertising try's to make them new.

IMO.... Older is much better they were built with iron, not plastic and aluminum, and most of them were built with over kill. Larger shafts, cast iron pullies that last forever, not the cheap stamped tin we get now. Just a couple examples.
 

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Prime Example

Good old iron,take a look at how the Farmall Cub is made .Heaviest built 10 h.p. tractor there is.Will outwork most any 20 some horse L+G made now.
 

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Re: Re: Are Today’s Yard & Garden Tractors Better?

Originally posted by Rusty_Nuts

IMO.... Older is much better they were built with iron, not plastic and aluminum, and most of them were built with over kill. Larger shafts, cast iron pullies that last forever, not the cheap stamped tin we get now. Just a couple examples.
True about the iron. But when does it become overkill? Was the cast iron really necessary where aluminum would have been adequate? Were 3/4" shafts needed if 1/2" would have done the same job?

Case in point, the geared transmission in the AYP tractors. Aluminum housing and an almost legendary reputation.

I started as a mechanic in the material handling industry in 1968. I watched as that industry evolved from the old cast iron tanks into what it is today. The equipment is lighter weight and lasts as long if not longer than it's predecessors. My point is even though it was heavier and more costly to manufacture, it didn't make it better. The economy and the changing market made the equipment manufacturers take a hard look at the way they were making their equipment. Toyota & Nissan led the charge that caused the change. They were importing equipment that we laughed at and said it wouldn't last. Well guess what? It has lasted and stood the test of time. Bigger and heavier does not equate into being superior.
 

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Re: Re: Re: Are Today’s Yard & Garden Tractors Better?

Originally posted by Argee
True about the iron. But when does it become overkill? Was the cast iron really necessary where aluminum would have been adequate? Were 3/4" shafts needed if 1/2" would have done the same job?
IMO, Yes over kill. That is what I ment. The newer went to 1/2'' shafts seeing they didn't need the 3/4'' and even increasing the HP and cylinders.
I have seen these tin pullies on decks wear out in a matter of 8 to 10 years, and I have cast iron pullies that are at least 40 years old with tons of meet left on them.
If bigger and heavier don't equate into being superior, then you can have that tin pulley and I will always take the cast iron one.

My point being.......... The question being..... do you think the newer is better than old, or at least more affordable.
the only thing that was accurate was the iron and aluminum. The rest has been here for many many years, or can be fitted to the older "tractors"

Ans I say "tractors" lightly, as to be a true lawn and garden "tractor" IMO you need a REAR PTO.

And sinse when do you need 16, 18, or 20 HP to mow your lawn. That is rediculos. Is peoples lawns that high?? NO
People THINK BIGGER IS BETTER, so they buy 20 HP "lawn mowers."
It's crazy to me.
 

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Originally posted by Argee
That depends........on whether you think cast iron transmissions housings are better than cast aluminum....on whether hydros are an improvement over the autos of the past......on whether you like the smoothness of a V-twin over the single lungers....on whether you like the electonic ignition systems over the old points or mags of old......on whether you like electric clutches over the old lever type.......There has been a lot of improvements..some would say good, some would say bad....So it depends.
OK, Well, sence I am used to the Case's, and Ingersoll's, I well use them to compair.

Iron vs Aluminum. We spend all this money to add weight to our tractors. Wheel weights, loaded tires, etc. Why not build the mas in TO the tractor? In a tractor, give me iron anyday.

Hydros? Well, I am a gear fan myself, and the Ingersoll's, are kinda in a world by them self as far as there drive goes, so I can't realy commont on this one.

Single vs twin. Well, you realy can't beat the THUMP of a big single, but if they had a twin, with the low end power of the old K singles, ya I would go with that.

Points vs elect ing. You got me there. I HATE points.

Clutches. Well, lets put it this way. On the Ingersolls anyway, if one of the newer elect clutches goes, you replace the whole thing. Easy, but $$$$$$. About $300 if I remember right. The old lever type? Ya you have to spend a few mins adjusting it once in a wile, but if somethings goes bad, you replace just the bad part. MUCH cheaper.

So all in all, I like old.
 

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Re: Prime Example

Originally posted by slipshod
Good old iron,take a look at how the Farmall Cub is made .Heaviest built 10 h.p. tractor there is.Will outwork most any 20 some horse L+G made now.
Another example. The old N's. The Fords on a GOOD day put out about 25hp. Do they compair with a new 25hp sears, JD, MTD, etc? No way. There is no way, a newer GT can put that power to the ground. Granted the newer, smaller tractors will be easyer to mow with, but they don;t need anywere NEAR the 25hp. For some reason people think if the motor works, it is to small. "I hit thick grass, and the motor lugged a little" That means it is just putting it's back into it. Let it do it's job. OK, now if the motor STALLS, well, ya, then you deen more power.:)
 

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Did you ever hear the old saying (YOU CAN'T BEAT CUBIC INCHES !!) That and the torque is what makes the power. I"ve noticed that the new 25 HP engines are rated at 3600 rpm but the throttle is governed at 3200 so the advertised HP is not even accessable. Herb
 

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Yup, you got it right, HERBSGT.

I believe those ratings are captured at a very small, very optimized "peak" while on the testing bench. Torque is what is important, Torque is what you got on the old, long stroke, single cylinder motors with heavy flywheels.
 

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Re: Re: Are Today’s Yard & Garden Tractors Better?

Originally posted by Ingersoll444
OK, Well, sence I am used to the Case's, and Ingersoll's, I well use them to compair.
I've had the Case experience also, and Paul you know how that went. Replacing cast iron can be expensive too.

To put it in perspective, look at what a new Ingersoll runs dollar wise today verses what a new Case ran in lets say 1979. 4-5 times what I paid for my new GT5000 Craftsman. Now who is going to invest that kind of money to mow their lawn. I took that kind of money and put it in a FNH that puts all it's 27HP to the ground.

People talk of 25 HP lawn tractors to mow grass is overkill. Don't you think and old cast iron tank used for the same purpose is overkill also?
 

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Re: Re: Re: Are Today’s Yard & Garden Tractors Better?

Originally posted by Argee

People talk of 25 HP lawn tractors to mow grass is overkill. Don't you think and old cast iron tank used for the same purpose is overkill also?
Well you do make a point. And I would amit that my 444 would be REAL overkill for some one that had to mow an acre or less. BUT, I, and I am sure others use there tractors for other reasons. Pulling trailers, tilling, plowing, etc. Thats where the extra weight comes in.

And you are right that if you need more, go to a compact. Only problem with that, is first cost, second is the over kill factor. If you only have a few acres, and just need to mow, till, plow, a compact is a little much.

So mostly there realy IS no right tractor. Everything has it's good, and bad points.[Eaven the Case's. Huh, what rear axle:D :D ]
 

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Re: Re: Re: Are Today’s Yard & Garden Tractors Better?

Originally posted by Argee

People talk of 25 HP lawn tractors to mow grass is overkill. Don't you think and old cast iron tank used for the same purpose is overkill also?
Yep sure do. That is why they sold em with rear PTO's, Tillers and Sickle bars.
 
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