Refurbishing Used Power Gardening Equipment

Refurbishing used power gardening equipment, includes information on engine repair, minor repair fix-ups, greasing the garden machine, replacing tines and replacing an engine.


| February/March 1997



160-70-i8

Unlike rotary mowers, few serious gardening machines have been criminally neglected or worked to death. Few single-function gardening machines get more than a few hours of use per season.


PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

Tips on evaluating, buying, and refurbishing used power gardening equipment. (See the image gallery for garden equipment photos.)

You say you don't fancy the idea of spending as much for a new gardening machine as you'd pay for a barn roof or a good used truck? Well, scout around for a good used garden tractor, tiller, or shredder. Your selection may be limited to older models, but you'll save at least half the new price and may get a real bargain. Even rebuilding the engine in an older model will work out to be significantly less expensive than buying new. Learn about refurbishing used power gardening equipment. Here's how to find an older gem and make it shine again.

Unlike rotary mowers, few serious gardening machines have been criminally neglected or worked to death. Few single-function gardening machines get more than a few hours of use per season. Multiple-use models such as garden tractor/tillers with snowblower, shredder, and mower attachments can work happily year-round. But hardly any in non-commercial use will see service more than three or four times per month—and they are made with big truck-tough running gear and industrial/commercial engines designed to go 5,000 hours before needing a rebuild. Small wonder that 50-year-old lawn tractors are still working faithfully (for owners who maintain them conscientiously).

And don't evaluate the cost of a used power gardening machine by comparing it with alternative uses for the cash—or even for a loan. Price out the hours and hours and hours of sweat-labor it will spare you (and maybe your heirs) every year for the next half-century.

MOTHER's Choice

Last fall (the best season to get a good price on gardening equipment), MOTHER went looking for a machine to establish and maintain our new country gardens. We settled on a '60s-era Gravely "L" with 12 volt battery electric start, a big rotary mower/brush-hog, a sickle bar, riding sulky, dozer-blade for snow or gravel, and extra wheels with snow chains. Prices for similar packages ranged from $1,500 to our cost, $350. A like-new rotary plow costs another $150 (we could have dickered it down some), and we are still looking for a tiller and cultivator frame and spades.

Beauty Is Tin Deep

First impressions of used garden gear can be misleading. A gardener often fails to realize that Old Faithful isn't needed any longer till it's been sitting idle for months or years. So many perfectly good old tillers, tractors, and shredders have an accumulation of dried mud, dings, cobwebs, and surface rust that may signify little.

rodger_2
4/12/2007 8:10:29 AM

I OWN A OLD JOHN DEERE TILLER AND NEED TO REPLACE THE TINE AND HUB ASSEMBLY,JOHN DEERE DON`T MAKE THESE ANY MORE AND WILL NOT HELP WITH REPLACMENT,ANY IDEA HOW I WOULD FIND REPLACEMENT PARTS? RODGER






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