My New '75 Lo-Boy 185

Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:29 am

Admittedly I was tough on my Craftsman DYT 4000 yard tractor, with a homemade winch driven cat 0 three point I used it to grade my yard, rip trenches and routinely skid 10-12' logs for firewood. Knowing it wouldn't last much longer if I kept it up I decided it was time to start looking for a REAL tractor. Something with a big enough frame to support a shop made loader yet small enough to work my sub-acre yard.

When I found this 185 for $1800 I had a feeling she was coming home with me. It didn't smoke, started quicker than my new truck, wasn't soaked with oil or hydro fluid plus it came with the creeper gearset, dual brakes, new clutch and of course the 3 point. After some mild negotiation I got it for just under $1500 w/ delivery.

The three days it took them to drop it off felt like an eternity, but it gave me plenty of time to dig up all the manuals and come up with a hit-list of stuff to do when it arrived. The truck wasn't even out of the driveway and I had already started washing her down for an initial inspection. The first thing I noticed was someone had installed the left side brake lobe backwards so the brake rod was pushing instead of pulling, I corrected that quickly and the brakes worked like a charm. The next day I did a complete mechanical check and adjusted everything I could per the service manual. I also changed all the fluids and prepped it for paint.

It's by no means going to be a full restoration, but I can't have it looking like a piece of junk either :D. As I like to tell people; the paint isn't to make it look good,it's to preserve it for another 40 years.

Next will be to fix the busted up nose clip, paint the white parts and install the new radiator cap, plug wires, distributor cap and tune-up kit when they arrive later this week.
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Re: My New '75 Lo-Boy 185

Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:45 am

Looks like "you done good"! ...and wasting no time fixin' 'er up. Welcome to the best Cub site around. These machines can be very addicting. That creeper is a nice option to have. 3 point too! Those numbered Cubs are great mowing machines, I'm guessing you'll want a deck eventually. I notice a stack of vinyl siding, are you building a Cub shop too?

Re: My New '75 Lo-Boy 185

Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:58 am

I'll admit it was total luck that I had a chance to work on it. I'm normally swamped; I work 5-1:30 as a tool designer at a local wire profile drawing company, then work 1:45-5 in my own fab/machine shop and recently my father in law, wife & myself have taken on siding the house by ourselves. Whatever it's only work. Plus the sooner I get the tractor finished the sooner I can put it to work.

I'm not sure if I'll pursue a mower deck for it. I used to have an old 36" deck Lawn Chief with a 3' turning radius and it was a bear to mow the yard. There were so many nooks & crannies to get into I spent just as much time switching gears as I did mowing, heck it took just about as long to cut with the tractor as it did the 22" walk behind (about 90 min). It wasn't until I started cutting with the 48" deck Craftsman with a hydostatic tranny that I saw some improvement. Now I can cut the yard in about 45 min. I have a feeling using the Cub would be like the lawn chief even though 60" swath would make easy work of the flats.

There are quite few areas where I really see the tractor being used. First: as a loader / forklift because of the fab shop I frequently find myself having to drag out the engine crane to move around projects or unload materials. The engine crane is alright, but it's limited to the driveway and only works if you can get the legs under whatever your working on. Second: as a skidder, though I don't have a ton of land I do have friends and family who will happily let me cut all standing deadwood and blow-down I want. There's gotta be a lifetime of firewood there for the taking. Third: yard stuff, you know the small box blade earth moving projects the wife dreams up, hauling the firewood cart from splitting to stacking areas, moving the boat or buggy trailer around the yard, etc.

Re: My New '75 Lo-Boy 185

Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:14 am

What was the purpose of the front weight?

Re: My New '75 Lo-Boy 185

Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:15 am

Welcome to the group!

Very nice tractor, and nice work so-far! I love those number series tractors, but I'm yet to get my hands on a 185. I've had a bunch of 154s, and a couple of 184s.

Anyway, for the kind of lifting you're talking about, I would first invest in something like this for the 3-point:


and maybe a set of these:


The 3-point hitch will give you MUCH more lifting power than a front end loader, and you'll have the weight on the back axle where the tractor can handle it better. A front loader will typically only lift about 400-pounds, but the 3-point will easily lift 1000-pounds, mostly because the lifting point puts the weight really close to the tractor instead of a front loader where the weight is way out in front. Plus, a front loader will be quite $$$ and the hydraulics on the tractor are really not quite right for the front loader application, so you almost have to run a secondary hydraulic pump and the PTO. Anyway, you already have the 3-point hitch, and these attachments are really easy to put on/off, and will really do all the things you're talking about.

Anyway, you've got a great one to start with and I'm sure you'll be happy with it.


Re: My New '75 Lo-Boy 185

Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:35 am

WOW! You really got that tractor for a great price! The creeper and the 3-point hitch options themselves rival what you paid for the entire tractor!

Congratulations on the purchase. It's amazing the number of things you will find to have the tractor "help" you with.

Re: My New '75 Lo-Boy 185

Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:39 am

I do like the idea of using the 3 point. With some creative attachments it would easily do the jobs I need. The increase capacity and more simplistic design seem to be more beneficial then then extended reach of a loader.

As for the front weight, I have no idea. The seller never mentioned it other than to say he noticed an improvement in steering.

I finished painting last night though by the time the paint dried enough to start remounting panels it was too dark to take a picture.

Re: My New '75 Lo-Boy 185

Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:32 am

Well here she is. Tho not 100% finished I'm pleased with how it came out. I still need to pain the inside of the wheels, install my new cap, rotor & distributor parts, and pick up a new seat. I tried out the "miniature" setting on the camera, really does make it look like a toy.

I'm still working on a 3 point hitch design that will allow me to use insertable forks or a small boom crane.
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