185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

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185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby SCcub2011 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:02 pm

I have a 2 part question of sorts. First off I purchased 15 acres a couple years ago; it is mostly slight hillside down to a nice creek on 2 sides. I have a fairly level 40' x 80' garden area and a 1/4 mile gravel drive to maintain; my woods are also full of junk pines and downed trees that I'd love to clear. It is all mostly woods with very little grass. I know I probably need a 4x4 compact at least but until the finances will allow...probably a couple years I'd like to get someone I could afford to go ahead and get started.

I need a tractor to maintain the drive, scrape etc; some light plowing of the garden area and pull some tree lengths out of the woods; this would be the initial purpose. Will a Lo Boy Cub 185 do this for me? I like the idea that it is fairly low to the ground since i'm a little hilly.

I found a local 185 for $1200 with 3 pt hitch and international belly mower. It was used primarily for mowing the owners property and they've owned it for years. A few years ago they went through the engine but wasn't sure about all that was done to it. It needs tires, a battery, a paint and not sure about the carb as it hasn't been run in over a year. Is this a good deal number one and number 2 do you think it will suffice until I can afford something a little bigger? Thanks for the opinions...figured you guys would know best! :)
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Re: 185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby Gary Dotson » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:56 am

That should be a decent deal, if it's in pretty fair condition. New tires are going to be pricey, though. The weak areas, on a 185 are the PTO clutch and the main drive clutch, so make sure those are ok. It should do what you want, as long as you don't hook onto very big trees.
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Re: 185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby SCcub2011 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:40 am

Thanks Gary! Its going to need a paint job for sure but paint is fairly cheap. Any ideas on how much Ag tires would be for this machine? I guess if the PTO engages and disengages then it should be fine? Not sure quite how to check that; and if the clutch permits it to change gears then the main drive clutch should be fine too? I take it these machines still have parts available or parts that a descent welder could manufacture. Going to talk again to the owner this afternoon and maybe do the deal on it. I think I may want to rig a descent winch to it; anybody do that to theirs? I've never owned a piece of equipment like this so thanks again for the help!
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Re: 185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby outdoors4evr » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:35 am

You probably need to get it running before purchasing. Probably want to change the oil and the gas before starting. The price is in the range of an ugly 185 that runs ok. Most new parts are available from dealers and used parts are available from e-bay or other salvage suppliers.
You mentioned plowing a garden and clearing a driveway. A 3-point rear blade is not great to use on these tractors. You are backing up and pushing backwards a lot. A front-mounted blade was available for this tractor and you are going to probably want chains (and wheel spacers) and weights for pushing snow of any quantity.
AG tires do help with the snow, but are difficult with chains. I would suggest looking at a used set of AG tires. Check out some of the site sponsors as they often have them available.

To turn over a garden, find a 1-point 12" plow and a small 3-point disk. Other options are a rototiller (must be an international model 15) as the PTO turns at engine speed & backwards. In order to use the rototiller, you would also need a creeper option to slow down the ground speed of the tractor. This would be a knob by your left calf if sitting on the seat.
The 3-point hitch and creeper option are coveted options and do push the price of a tractor higher.
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Re: 185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby SCcub2011 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:08 am

Cool and thanks, very helpful! I knew from the sounds of a lot of the posts that you guys know your stuff on these machines! The oil did look pretty clean as you could see thru it. The looks of it is pretty ugly, kind of rusted since it sat out and didn't have the front grill/lights so that is a negative. I didn't realize you could get a used set of Ag tires but that's a great idea! We don't really have a 'lot' of snow here in SC except we did get 8" last month so go figure! I think I will need some type of box blade, something to scrape the gravel with to manicure it a little to make it smoother...any ideas there? I will look for that plow; are you talking a 4' disk as in small? Are the tillers findable? I will check on the creeper option and see if it has it. It does have the 2 brake pedal option on it though I noticed. Thanks again!
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Re: 185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby Landreo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:32 pm

Looks rough, the price seems high for the SC area, non-runner, no covers on the PTO and hydraulic sides, no cover over the driveshaft tunnel. The IHC is a minus for me, the woods mower is still made and bearings/seals are at NAPA. The balloon tires are nice but to put Ag tires you would need to spend alot of money for the balloon Ag tires or will need new rims for regular sized Ag tires. Check the radiator, there is a reason the grill is missing. Looks like the mower belt is missing, looks like a rope is holding up one of the lift arms for some reason. It does have the dual brake pedals.

I like the numbered series but in this case you may be better off with a offset cub. They are higher (taller) but the numbered series is narrower so the end result may be the same. Lots of the F cubs for sale in that area, implements will be easier to find, not all that great for mowing but it sounds like that is not what you are after.

I recently bought a 154, 42 inch mower, 3 point, non-runner, good fiberglass and sheet metal for $800 and I thought I overpaid. I wanted the mower and I thought I would get a parts tractor along with it. The tractor needed only a bearing in the starter and runs great, 120 plus dry compression on all cylinders. But you take a chance with it not running. I would offer $600 or better yet just get an F cub.
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Re: 185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby Eugene » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:54 pm

Not sure of tractor prices in your area. But, the 185 sounds over priced. Specially when you don't know how much it will take to put into working condtion. Let's just say, I wouldn't buy it.

For logging - moving downed trees - thinking a bigger tractor. In central Missouri you can get an Farmall H in good working condition for under or around $1000- or a WD Allis Chalmers with after market 3 point for a bit more. You can also obtain one of the Ford N series, smaller Farmall or Allis Chalmers with mower for $1200- to $1500-, also in work ready condtion.
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Re: 185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby SCcub2011 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:54 pm

Landreo wrote:Looks rough, the price seems high for the SC area, non-runner, no covers on the PTO and hydraulic sides, no cover over the driveshaft tunnel. The IHC is a minus for me, the woods mower is still made and bearings/seals are at NAPA. The balloon tires are nice but to put Ag tires you would need to spend alot of money for the balloon Ag tires or will need new rims for regular sized Ag tires. Check the radiator, there is a reason the grill is missing. Looks like the mower belt is missing, looks like a rope is holding up one of the lift arms for some reason. It does have the dual brake pedals.

I like the numbered series but in this case you may be better off with a offset cub. They are higher (taller) but the numbered series is narrower so the end result may be the same. Lots of the F cubs for sale in that area, implements will be easier to find, not all that great for mowing but it sounds like that is not what you are after.

I recently bought a 154, 42 inch mower, 3 point, non-runner, good fiberglass and sheet metal for $800 and I thought I overpaid. I wanted the mower and I thought I would get a parts tractor along with it. The tractor needed only a bearing in the starter and runs great, 120 plus dry compression on all cylinders. But you take a chance with it not running. I would offer $600 or better yet just get an F cub.



Ah! Looks like you found it ...lol on craigslist! ;) Your right it is missing those covers which is not good; the radiator looked fine to me and it does have the mower belt on it guess it was just hard to see in the picture. Oh and the lift arms are not held up with string it has 2 additional arms of sort on it; not really sure what they do and the tractor was owned by his father who is deceased so he really doesn't know much about it. I figured the lower stance would help with stability around my properties slopes. I won't be using the finish mower part; figured I'd put it back in case I sold it later. Would it be worth an $800 offer?
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Re: 185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby SCcub2011 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:57 pm

Eugene wrote:Not sure of tractor prices in your area. But, the 185 sounds over priced. Specially when you don't know how much it will take to put into working condtion. Let's just say, I wouldn't buy it.

For logging - moving downed trees - thinking a bigger tractor. In central Missouri you can get an Farmall H in good working condition for under or around $1000- or a WD Allis Chalmers with after market 3 point for a bit more. You can also obtain one of the Ford N series, smaller Farmall or Allis Chalmers with mower for $1200- to $1500-, also in work ready condtion.


Thanks Eugene; I've looked at the Ford N's and they are going for anywhere from $2k to $3k around here in descent shape; not sure who is propping up this market here. My step father says in Md. where he is from the N's there can be had for around $1k. He also says the PTO is not live or independent; he says that is not good. The $1k to $1500 is really my price point until I can afford something else.
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Re: 185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby Eugene » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:13 pm

SCcub2011 wrote:My step father says in Md. where he is from the N's there can be had for around $1k. He also says the PTO is not live or independent; he says that is not good.
Non live PTOs were common on tractors up until around 1950. They are not a problem is you understand how to operate the tractor. But they sure can surprise you the first time you use the tractor powering a pto driven mower.

$600- or $800- for a non running tractor, limited finances, and needing a work tractor. My opinion. Purchase a tractor in working condition and with the options you want: 3-point, live pto. You will be better off and it will be much cheaper to wait, look around, read the free fliers from the gas stations, visit the local tractor dealerships.
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Re: 185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby John(videodoc) » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:49 pm

Having had 2-154's and a 184, $1200 is too much. I wouldnt pay $12 for one. Course that is just me. Some people love them to death. The 184 i had, i did acutally like and may get another one one day. But the two 154's were as eugene pointed out had pto and main clutch problems. One of which is still in a many pieces at tractor jockey i traded it in on a different tractor. (AFter a complete drive train replacement didnt fix the problem) The other i spent a lot of money on and got the clutch problems fixed and sold it quickly before any more problems developed. The 184 i didnt have any problems with it, but the clutch went out about a month after i sold it.

So a non running number cub, is VERY SCARY idea for me. and i would let it pass. or use it for parts on a regular cub and only then if it was given to me.
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Re: 185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby SCcub2011 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:05 pm

WOW! Nice info and advice!!! I do appreciate it and I think I will pass on it! Sounds like it could be more of a headache than I really need anyway! Ok then please can anyone tell me what $1k to $2k will buy me in general that will meet my above stated needs? Thanks again!
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Re: 185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby Eugene » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:34 pm

SCcub2011 wrote:Please can anyone tell me what $1k to $2k will buy me in general that will meet my above stated needs?
Can't because prices vary by area. Also makes of tractors were popular in one area and almost unheard of a short distance away. It's easier to tell you what not to buy than to buy.

Suggest making a list of the functions and tasks you want the tractor to perform and the options you want. My list would include live pto, standard pto, and 3-point hitch. Horse power on the drawbar and tractor weight are a consideration as well as local parts and service.

Research your local area. There are two tractor consignment auctions a year in my immediate area. Consignment auctions are a good place to look over a number of different tractor makes, models, and their options. Some times exceptional tractors sell cheap and some times not so cheap.
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Re: 185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby Rick Spivey » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:10 pm

Hello in Easley, SC

I am in Simpsonville. I only mess with F-Cubs so far, but it sounds like the guys have given you some good points to ponder. As far as what you could afford to do the work you describe, an F-Cub fits most of the bill. But I see small Fords and others (Yanmar for instance) available from time to time in that range. And there's probably a few Masseys out there as well.

Let me know if you want any help, second opinions, etc.
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Re: 185 for Sale..Would you for $1200?

Postby BigBill » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:11 pm

I love my int154's but i also like my fcub's and my cub cadets too. The int154 is tops when it comes to mowing, its a mowing machine. I still wouldn't hesitate to buy another one too. Heck i like all the tractors anyhoo. I like my jeep tractor but its no challenge to operate because it does anything i apply it at. Its a bull for sure.

Here's my price limits so far;

Non running but complete tractor (with or without attachments) $400 to $600

Running but needing some TLC (with mower ect) $800 to $1,200

A better looker/runner (with attachment/or attachment's, meaning snowplow/dirt blade, tire chains/creeper ect) $1,200 to $2,000

Now a completely restored 154/184/185 a frame up restoration looking purdy and running great turn key tractor needing nothing with mower or more attachments can run between $2,500 to $3,500 +++

Now this is my average prices and thoughts, and now i'll give some facts/experiences. I paid $400 for a non running (#2) int154 for a project, I also purchased a running (#1) 154 but needing TLC with a recent rebuilt engine, one owner who passed away, with a 3260 mower deck for $800. Then he also had another running int154 (#3) with creeper, new seat, new goodyear ag's, all wheel weights, tire chains, IH 54" snowplow/dirt blade For $1,700. I never paid this much for a tractor yet but it spoke to me and its been running flawless for 3 years now. What more can i say I did ok so far, but the parts are on ebay if we need them too. I've seen high prices and low prices besides steals and deals. But with my #1 154 i couldn't get it on the trailer fast enough and get out of there. Deals do comeby if were willing to wait. My local tractor dealer sells the 154's at higher prices and gets them too. If we buy low we always can and will get our $$ back anyway. Bill
I'm technically misunderstood at times i guess its been this way my whole life so why should it change now.
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