All things tractors thread


Well, the tractor ordeal of 2017 has been resolved! I put in about 5qt of coolant and 4qt of distilled water in the radiator, and cranked it up. To my delight, no horrific, untoward sounds @ startup.

After about 15 minutes to let it warm up, the coolant level dropped a bit, which meant the thermostat kicked in, so I topped it off. The temp gauge was running about midrange. I took a spotlight to check for leaks and everything looked good. I was worried about the water pump gasket, but it was fine.

So, I drove it over to the barn with no issues, and unhooked the disk that had been still attached since the shutdown. Tomorrow I’m hoping to get the bush hog hooked up and get in some much needed mowing. Hope it can handle that chore.

Don’t want to get too big-headed, but I’m happy I was able to pretty much do the work on my own, with a little bit of help from my brothers in law. Thanks also to this forum for your help and encouraging comments.


That’s most gratifying feeling, isn’t it. Congrats.


There is definitely something very gratifying about doing things yourself. I try to do my own work as often as possible. Glad you got it working properly.


@murky, and @speedster1, thanks. I should’ve got it done sooner, as it broke down in April, and I got the replacement parts the first of May. But, we really didn’t have a need for it, and there were other more pressing chores to tend to.

Our driveway got huge ruts from some flash flooding in late May and again in June, so there was an incentive to get the tractor fixed then to grade it. And like I said, the pasture has 3ft+ weeds in it and needs to be mowed desparately.

It took a while to get it started, not because of what happened with this issue. It seems to have a wonky neutral shifter interlock, and I have to manipulate the two shifters just right or it won’t start. But, it eventually cranked up. It was very cool to hear that old diesel turn over and see everything doing what it’s supposed to. I like to just sit there and listen to the thrumming of that 3 cylinder.


I think I saw your rig on another thread, but don’t you have a Kubota, with a front end loader? What kind of chores do you typically do with it?

My BIL has a larger version of my Deere (a 2355, I believe), and he’s been looking for a bucket for his rig. But, finding a used one on Craigslist or other site has been extremely difficult for him. Folks just don’t want to part with them once they get one.

A bucket would be nice to have, but for what we do, I think what he have is sufficient.


I have a small Kubota with a front loader, 55" tiller, back blade I never use, wood chipper, 48" rotary cutter, and subsoiler/middle buster.

Usually I have the rotary cutter on , and most frequent chores are cutting brush and tall grass and weeds, clearing blackberries elderberry and small trees. Also transporting and spreading wood chips.

I’ve used the front loader to level areas for a carport, a vegetable garden, and a kiwi arbor. I have piranha tooth bar for the front loader that makes it much better and scraping, uprooting, and tearing out blackberry canes. It also increases the mulch capacity of the loader by 50% or more.

After the loader and cutter there’s a big dropoff in usage to the tiller which is next, and then other stuff. I bought the subsoiler to run 300 feet or so of PEX to put 3 more hose faucets around the upper acre of our 2.5 acre place.


Ooh, a 55in tiller, those are nice. We just plow with a two bottom Dearborn, disk it, and then have to wrangle a huge Husqvarna front tine tiller. Wow, that thing is a beast.

That middle buster sounds neat, there’s some drainage ditches we need to dig, and that would be the ticket.


I thought I would submit some before and after pics of the repair.


Close up damage of the old radiator core. The fan tore an almost perfect circular gash in the rad before it totally impaled itself. The original cause of all this carnage was the bearing in the water pump was wonky, and went sideways, throwing the pulley and ergo the fan into the radiator.

The bent fan blade impaled into the rad. It would not budge until the rad was removed.

Top view of the damage.

Front view of the radiator, and air filter canister on left. Very tight fit.


Front view of new radiator, it is a pretty tight fit, with not a lot of wiggle room. Getting that lower rad hose attached between the rad and water pump was very difficult. The clear hose coming off the rad neck is the overflow tube. This tractor doesn’t have a coolant reservoir, so if there is a clog or if thermostat gets stuck closed, the coolant goes out this tube.

View of the new water pump, old pulley, and new fan. Getting the pulley off the old pump was difficult. It had to be popped off using a punch press.

View of the new fan, with new radiator behind. Some fins in the rad got bent while installing the lower hose, but no damage to the core.

Side view of the new lower radiator hose connecting to the new water pump.

The old fan, showing the bent blade. It’s amazing how much torque bent that blade. No wonder the radiator got shredded.


Hey gang, I am a tractor novice and am about to buy my first tractor and need some advice from you tractor guys. Mine will be a hobby, occasional use tractor that will be used mainly for land clearing and hauling dirt and logs, etc. around my 4 acre lot.

Here my questions, concerns:

I am considering a 25hp hydro loader tractor that has 17.1 PTO hp, 1,600 lb loader lift capacity and 1808 lb - 3 point lift capacity. Will 25hp provide enough power and is this enough lift capacity to move good size logs or a bucket full of clay soil without over taxing the tractor?

From my reading on tractor forums, the PTO hp is more important for pulling things like mower attachments. At the moment I do not envision pulling anything and the PTO would be used possibly to run a chipper or drill holes with around a 9" auger, will 17.1 PTO hp be enough?

I have a little paralysis of analysis going on, I have read it is almost always better to buy a bigger hp tractor than you need but I do not want to spend 2K-3K or so to step up to 32 to 35 hp tractor if not necessary. I am not a mechanical guy and have not found any good low hour tractors in my area for sale so am likely going to buy a new one, thanks everyone for their input.


I would always suggest buy as big as you can afford. Small may get some jobs done but you will almost always find you need more. Tractors, as i am sure you well know are rather expensive in comparison to time used. I speak from my own experience. Now if you have all the time in the world and don’t mind taking MUCH longer and not being able to do some of the things you need to do go small. I had a 32 horse Kubota, I REALLY wish i would have bought my 55 horse first. I had to keep the 32 horse 3 years to get the good trade money I needed and could have done the 3 years work in a year with the 55 horse. JMO…


Good, used, low hr tractors in 20-40 hp are an oxymoron, such things don’t exist. They will be as expensive as a new tractor! Dutch is right, buy the highest hp, 4wd tractor you can afford, You won"t regret it. 4wd for resale, 2wd tractors are no longer in style and lose value quickly plus with 4wd you will be able to drive out of most situations if you are paying attention.
A bucket of dirt won’t harm anything as long as you use a bucket sized to your tractor. Don’t pick up logs with your tractor! That’s a quick way to end up as pink mush on your tractor seat. Pull them with a log chain and roll them into where you want them. I had the unfortunate experience of knowing some one who had a log amputate his left arm by crushing it.
Instead of buying a $25000+ tractor, figure out how many hours you could rent a big bobcat (80hp) with that kind of money and how much faster that piece of equipment will do what you want to do instead of a tractor. Pushing trees down, stacking brush, and clearing ground is easily (10x) more efficient with a skid loader and much more fun!


Great advice Chickn…Now i’m not going to disagree with you but I have done a TON of moving logs. My entire property had been cut down at one point or another( Not Entire …Better said would be a lot). and i had many months of just cleaning up. I invested in one of these and it was the wisest equipment investment I ever made. I know…people have cost restraints…If you can afford it? WELL worth the money…


Nothing like the feeling of power pushing down a 10" tree with a big loader!:grin:


That advice has worked well for me. A good 4wd tractor will drive through just about anything. I’d also suggest getting a more named brand tractor, if you can afford it. They bring the highest resale. If you want maximum resale, buy John Deere.

I’ve not ever looked for 20-40 hp tractors, but if you go up in hp a little bit, you can find some good used low hr. tractors and save considerable money over new.

Websites like Fastline, Machinery Pete, ect. have a lot of tractors with low hours for sale. I don’t know if they have issues, but my guess is a lot of them are from folks who bought a tractor for a property under 10 acres and just didn’t get used much. At least check them out before you buy new.

I’ve bought farm equipment from Craigslist, Purplewave and consignment auctions. A lot of that stuff you really have to know what you are looking at (especially if it’s old) because people try to unload their problems. And many people (if not most) will lie to you. If you buy low hrs., you’re more apt to get a decent piece of equipment because at least if the equipment wasn’t maintained very well, the maintenance wasn’t neglected for as many hours.


Thanks for the replies, pretty much confirmed my thinking. A tractor newbee like myself who it not willing to take a chance an older rig pretty much has no choice but shell out the bucks since low hour tractors seem to have little depreciation. I am leaning now toward a 35HP.


When I was shopping for a tractor, I didn’t even think of getting a new one. My budget was about $10k max, but if I could a decent one for less than that, that’d be OK, of course.

When I found my John Deere, it was about 30 years old and had about 3600 hours on it. Folks around here, who know a whole lot more than me about such things, said that’s not really a lot of hours, if it’s well maintained. I didn’t want a loader or 4wd, so that prob helped keep the price down. I ended up getting it for about $7k.

I wanted something that could pull a double bottom plow, so its 40hp was plenty. It’s also used to pull a 5ft bush hog and a disk harrow. You don’t say you’d need any of those, so you’d prob be OK with a 35hp.

I second using Fastline, they have a very good search engine. My tractor was on it, but I had originally found it on the local farm equipment’s site.

As you can see further up this thread, I did have my water pump bearing go out, and in turn, caused the fan to careen into the radiator. So I had to repair all of that for about $400; thankfully I was able to do it myself. So, even tho you may save some $$ on an older tractor, things like that are bound to happen.

Kubota and JD would be my prefences. I would avoid Mahindra’s, partially based on the experience my neighbor has had with his new one needing work so soon, and generally less than glowing reviews of them. Ford/New Holland and Massey Ferguson are good old tractors as well.


Tractors above 40 hp have loads of depreciation. Check new prices against tractors with 700 hrs. They are about half. A tractor with 700 hrs. has barely worn any rubber down.

I’ll admit mechanical intuition helps a whole lot with used tractors ( I just got through reworking part of a design flaw on a piece of equipment). But most American tractors are well tested. I don’t know brand new tractors, but as a general rule, I love Massey and John Deere


I just looked at a $456,000 JD tractor, yikes…!! At that price it should plant and harvest without an operator.


It doesn’t!?


No it’s just a tractor that looks sorta like a tank.

And it’s used…!!