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  1. #1
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    Default JD or Toro Wheel Horse

    Hi - new to the forum. I've just moved to a house that will require a lawn tractor. I am trying to decide between two used mowers.

    A mid nineties JD LX178 with the watercooled v-twin Kawasaki. Buying from original owner. Well maintained with a few minor issues. $1,000

    A mid to late nineties Toro Wheel Horse 416 with an Onan engine. Buying from a guy who fixes up old garden tractors and resells. He has put some money to into a tune up, new tires, new belts blades etc...Not sure how was treated in it's prior life, thought my guess is not so great, but he says it will be in good working order. $1,200.

    Primary use will be mowing and then aerating with a tow behind plug aerator.

    I know one is a lawn tractor and one is a garden tractor, so not necessarily apples to apples, but would like any thoughts on these two tractors.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: JD or Toro Wheel Horse


    Myself, I'd stay away from the Toro. They were good in their day, but that day was long ago. IMO. I also would put my money on the Kawasaki long before the Onan.
    But you need to go with your gut feeling.

  3. #3
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
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    Default Re: JD or Toro Wheel Horse

    I don't have any experience with Onans, but they have their critics.

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/g...ne-better.html

    Steve

  4. #4
    Veteran Member CHDinCT's Avatar
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    Default Re: JD or Toro Wheel Horse

    Beenthere makes a point but it's not correct with respect to that 416. That was a true Wheel Horse design carried into the Toro era. The basic WH designed garden tractors with the horizontal shaft engines and belt driven Eaton or Sunstrand unidrive gear or hydro transaxles were a proven winner and remained relatively unchanged for decades, including into the 1990s. I have gotten good service out of my 520 with the Onan P220 engine. Those Onan's are no longer made but parts are available, sometimes at a price. With careful shopping, the cost of parts is not too bad on the wallet. Toro outsourced their lawn and garden tractors to MTD sometime after 2000 for sale in big box stores. I would stay away from those machines unless they're all your budget allows for.

    Having said that, the one owner JD would make me more comfortable history wise than the WH offered by a guy who makes money trading them, and I do hear good things about the Kawi's. Just make sure it's not the model with the plastic cam. Can't recall what engine that was, but about all of those plastic cams needed replacing with metal versions.

    Here's a couple pic's of my 1993 520. That 416 should look very similar.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -download-2008-11-09-068-a   -wheel-horse-3-jpg  
    Chris

    2 acres and a mule, er, Kubota BX25, and too many other toys,er, tools to list.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: JD or Toro Wheel Horse

    Quote Originally Posted by rwrose View Post
    Hi - new to the forum. I've just moved to a house that will require a lawn tractor. I am trying to decide between two used mowers.

    A mid nineties JD LX178 with the watercooled v-twin Kawasaki. Buying from original owner. Well maintained with a few minor issues. $1,000

    A mid to late nineties Toro Wheel Horse 416 with an Onan engine. Buying from a guy who fixes up old garden tractors and resells. He has put some money to into a tune up, new tires, new belts blades etc...Not sure how was treated in it's prior life, thought my guess is not so great, but he says it will be in good working order. $1,200.

    Primary use will be mowing and then aerating with a tow behind plug aerator.

    I know one is a lawn tractor and one is a garden tractor, so not necessarily apples to apples, but would like any thoughts on these two tractors.

    Thanks
    The $1,200 price seems a little high for just a 416 with a mowing deck. Is the Wheel Horse a hydrostat? 520-H Wheel Horses have sold for $500.00 recently. Given your intended use of the unit I would consider the Wheel Horse after attempting a price reduction. If it does have an Onan engine and something happens and parts were not available you could install a Honda. The old Wheel Horses were very strong performers. For information on Wheel Horses visit: WheelHorse.org

  6. #6
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    Default Re: JD or Toro Wheel Horse

    CHDin CT
    Good point on the basic WH design. The best GT I had hands down was the '68 WH that I owned. But the Onan has been way too much trouble to wish on your worst enemy...IMO. And I was thinking of the MTD versions, and should have checked out the model 416 first.
    My old '68 WH is still mowing lawn and plowing snow. Have offered to buy it back, but the owner (a good friend) won't sell it.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member CHDinCT's Avatar
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    Default Re: JD or Toro Wheel Horse

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    CHDin CT
    Good point on the basic WH design. The best GT I had hands down was the '68 WH that I owned. But the Onan has been way too much trouble to wish on your worst enemy...IMO. And I was thinking of the MTD versions, and should have checked out the model 416 first.
    My old '68 WH is still mowing lawn and plowing snow. Have offered to buy it back, but the owner (a good friend) won't sell it.
    BT - I purchased a 1967 WH last spring that I'm slooooowly restoring as i get time. Cool old machine but as can be seen from this pic, the WH design carried on for years and years until Toro ran it under. I imagine your '68 looked very similar. I think they offered a short frame and a long frame with a few different hp options, and of course hydro or gear.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -1077-sale-1-jpg  
    Chris

    2 acres and a mule, er, Kubota BX25, and too many other toys,er, tools to list.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: JD or Toro Wheel Horse

    Similar, but was 8hp Kohler and gear. Had the mower deck that spit grass out between the rear wheels and was a joy to use.

    If memory serves me, it was model C58 (or something like that). I bought it used in '71 with the snow blade, rear cultivator, mower deck, a trailer to pull behind, and a trailer to haul the rig......all for $400.

    Good luck on the restore. Hope to see more pics.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: JD or Toro Wheel Horse

    Thanks for all the replies. The 416 is a hydro. He's got some money in it now and says he will not go below $1200. I guess I am leaning toward the JD. I went and drove it. The engine was strong and quiet, pretty darn nice.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member crbr's Avatar
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    Default Re: JD or Toro Wheel Horse

    Quote Originally Posted by rwrose View Post
    Hi - new to the forum. I've just moved to a house that will require a lawn tractor. I am trying to decide between two used mowers.

    A mid nineties JD LX178 with the watercooled v-twin Kawasaki. Buying from original owner. Well maintained with a few minor issues. $1,000

    A mid to late nineties Toro Wheel Horse 416 with an Onan engine. Buying from a guy who fixes up old garden tractors and resells. He has put some money to into a tune up, new tires, new belts blades etc...Not sure how was treated in it's prior life, thought my guess is not so great, but he says it will be in good working order. $1,200.

    Primary use will be mowing and then aerating with a tow behind plug aerator.

    I know one is a lawn tractor and one is a garden tractor, so not necessarily apples to apples, but would like any thoughts on these two tractors.

    Thanks
    Go with the Deere and the Kawasaki engine. Done deal.
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