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Nearly new very old equipment.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by sgbotsford, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford LawnSite Member
    Posts: 107

    What's your opinion on picking up equipment that has very low hours, but is positively ancient?

    I just picked up a 1995 Grasshopper 721 Diesel with 160 hours on it. I asked Gary what the story was. Guy bought it new, had a hired hand that used it part of one summer. Hand quit, and the owner hired a landscape contrator to do the work instead, so the mower has been used very very little since then.

    (Yeah, yeah, this car was only driven by a little old lady to church on Sunday.)

    What are your thoughts about very old equipment with very low hours.
  2. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,711

    Rubber parts and seals will crack if dried out due to age. Most power equip is better off if run on some kind of a regular basis. Not sure how often defines a regular basis though.
  3. Vecchio Lawn Care

    Vecchio Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 905

    Personally I would redo the fuel system and check the hydro lines. Outside of that it sounds like a good find
  4. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,001

    Diesel engines can sit for long periods of time, Ive let my old farm tractor sit for months on end and she alaways starts up.

    Id try the mower out and she how she does.
  5. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    I got a 36" wb a couple of years ago that still had the original oil in it and it was still clear. I rebuilt the carb and have been running it since. Still has the original belts too.
  6. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,332

    I've had bad luck with old low mile pickups. Pretty soon oil is leaking and bearings are going bad. Id rather have a nearly new 200 hour machine, or an old 2,000 hour machine.
  7. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    I have the same experience. As long as there is not a corrosion issue, just think rubber. Anywhere there is rubber, be prepared to replace it.

    If I could get that unit for cheap, I would be on it like a duck on a June bug.

    In fact today I discovered several 721D's behind a tractor dealer that used to be the Grasshopper dealer. I'm anxious to get by there and see what the story is on them. If I can get them cheap with a chance of making one good one out of the two, I'll be game. If one of hem has 180 hours ill have trouble keeping a poker face.
  8. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,001

    Worst case on a diesel is a injection pump. Id figure around 1200$ in total machine repairs and hope it doesn't need anything.

    If the machines have been stored out of the weather you will definitely have something
  9. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    Yes the injection pump would be an issue, but I've stored several diesels for long periods with no pump trouble when reviving them. If they are reasonable in pricing the stuff, I will have jumper cables at hand and see how many of the engines I can manage to start.
  10. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    I highly doubt your going to have any issues with the motor or fuel system. This is not a truck, it doesn't work the same or have the same issues. You only have 3 fuel line and 4 hydro lines, if they cracked so what. What I do see you having to replace is all the belts, and you might burn up a clutch. From the manual the clutches are not made to sit. so your looking at about $400 maybe in parts if it burns up. The bearings are all greaseable. I have 2000 hrs on my 94, I will say unless they were updated you will have wheel motor issues on it, and the pumps will become an issue. Also a 721's don't have that much for guts, but good gpm. They cut will, but hate moisture. They also are not as fast as new mowers, but they get the job done. I also figure every 800 hrs I end up putting $500 in parts into it. If your not your own mechanic stay away.

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