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Posted: 4/27/2011 8:12:45 AM EDT
My neighbor is going to get rid of his 1980 JD 317 garden tractor.  Will it be worth the $300 to buy it, find a hitch, and get a few implements (plow/disc/cultivator/etc) to "work" the 1/8th acre area I'm going to make as my little garden? (The 317 runs like a champ, everything works, has hydraulic hook-ups front and rear, but no deck...but I have another JD to mow with, a D140)

As it stands, I currently borrow a buddy's ancient tiller thats as big as my riding mower to till up my 20'x40' plot...it kills me every year to run that thing!

Would I just be throwing money away or could this be a viable option (saving wear and tear on my back) using some of my stash cash on?
Link Posted: 4/27/2011 9:04:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DougL3NC:
My neighbor is going to get rid of his 1980 JD 317 garden tractor.  Will it be worth the $300 to buy it, find a hitch, and get a few implements (plow/disc/cultivator/etc) to "work" the 1/8th acre area I'm going to make as my little garden? (The 317 runs like a champ, everything works, has hydraulic hook-ups front and rear, but no deck...but I have another JD to mow with, a D140)

As it stands, I currently borrow a buddy's ancient tiller thats as big as my riding mower to till up my 20'x40' plot...it kills me every year to run that thing!

Would I just be throwing money away or could this be a viable option (saving wear and tear on my back) using some of my stash cash on?


Throwing money away....  A JD 317 isn't worth it.
Link Posted: 4/27/2011 10:14:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DougL3NC:
My neighbor is going to get rid of his 1980 JD 317 garden tractor.  Will it be worth the $300 to buy it, find a hitch, and get a few implements (plow/disc/cultivator/etc) to "work" the 1/8th acre area I'm going to make as my little garden? (The 317 runs like a champ, everything works, has hydraulic hook-ups front and rear, but no deck...but I have another JD to mow with, a D140)

As it stands, I currently borrow a buddy's ancient tiller thats as big as my riding mower to till up my 20'x40' plot...it kills me every year to run that thing!

Would I just be throwing money away or could this be a viable option (saving wear and tear on my back) using some of my stash cash on?


Heck yeah grab it!

Find yourself a rear mount tiller and go to town.   If you take care if it it will run another 30 years.

I have a 400 w/ a 4' tiller and I can chew up a 20-40 in about 30 min on my butt
Link Posted: 4/27/2011 10:26:57 AM EDT
I didnt think a 25 year old JD is worth 300 bucks. Then I looked for one online....

Click

For 300 bucks I think I would jump on it.
Link Posted: 4/27/2011 10:53:30 AM EDT
Video of a 214 w/ tiller

I believe the 317 uses the same tiller

Link Posted: 4/27/2011 11:14:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/27/2011 3:34:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Specop_007:
I didnt think a 25 year old JD is worth 300 bucks. Then I looked for one online....

Click

For 300 bucks I think I would jump on it.


Yeah, in a heartbeat.

You are getting it for 10-25% of its actual value.

Offer him 250, see if he has any attachments, tools, filters and be willing to offer 275.

TRG
Link Posted: 4/27/2011 6:03:23 PM EDT
I believe the 317 had oil pressure issues that would cause problems if you used it on uneven ground, ie ditch banks. there are motors that you can replace it with though.

jd 317
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 3:20:41 AM EDT
Spend some time at http://www.weekendfreedommachines.com/ You'll soon see that a good value 317 is a very good investment.

As an owner of two 318's I highly recommend grabbing the 317 and adding implements as you need/want them.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 10:58:17 AM EDT
You need to remember that the 140/214/318 series of tractors were the last "real" garden tractors - small sized but heavily built.  After the 300 series they either went larger and more heavy duty, or smaller "homeowner" grade.  

BTW, check and make sure the rear PTO is there.  It's a pulley on the end of a jackshaft that comes out the end of the transmission, and the tiller needs it.  They are unobtanium these days - last time I checked a dealer wanted $300 for NOS.  That's more than the tillers go for.  I understand that there was also an all-hydraulic tiller available, but I've never seen one.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:49:50 PM EDT
Well I wasn't fast enough, one of my local cop friends snagged before I got home from work the other day.

I think I'm going to hunt for a 214/216 now.  I don't need it to have a deck so I'm sure I will run up on a deal somewhere.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 9:45:13 AM EDT
Just keep in mind, that while you might be able to get one of these really cheap, Cat-0 implements are not easy to come by, and particularly implements designed for those mowers are expensive.  I checked everything I could find within 200 miles of here on Craigslist and various message boards, while I can get an old lawn tractor for under 2k if i drive a ways, i'll spend another 3-5k in implements.  Or, I can buy a rebuilt 24hp Yanmar tractor, 4x4, with a bucket, tiller and bush hog locally for 8.5k.  Kind of a no brainer for me.
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