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  1. #1
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    Western Oregon
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    Ford/NH Model 1920, Allis Chalmers Model G

    Default Cub Cadet 1650 vs 2550? Which more durable?

    Hi, I've settled on buying a Cub Cadet for general mowing and spraying duties at a rental house that I have on some acreage (crazy, I know, but that's a topic for a different day...).

    Here's the situation: For mowing, there are some fencelines that I only get to a couple times a year, so when I go to mow them the grass is more than a foot tall. The main pasture I do with a tractor and rotary cutter, so I only need to line out the fences with a garden tractor. To get to the pasture I have to travel down and up a fairly steep slope - probably 4 to 5 per cent in places. Once out in the pasture it is quite bumpy and uneven - this ain't a golf course I'm running. In addition, there are couple of level yards around the house and an orchard to mow regularly. Mowed on a regular basis, there's probably an acre; mowed infrequently, a couple acres, mostly done with tractor, though I'd use the garden tractor on the slope of the hill where the big tractor makes me nervous if I could (right now I do the hill with a BCS sickle bar).

    Then spraying... same pasture, only now I would be dragging a 25 gallon sprayer on a trailer over the ground. This pasture has been tilled in recent years, so it's not full of potholes, but it is wavy and bumpy in places.

    I started out looking for an older 3 speed manual transmission Cub, but recently there have been some other interesting CC's on craigslist. One is an older 1650, which is hydrostatic. It has been gone through, with rebuilt engine, new spindles, new fluids and mowing belt. Guy is asking $1800, which is not bad for a tractor that is probably miles better than what I could get at Sears. Comes with a tiller and the IH badge for that price, too.

    The other tractor is a 2550, bought in 2006, has only 91 hours on it, for only $1250. Seems like a deal, but it is seven hours away . Obviously the 2550 should have better parts availability, more power (22 HP), more bells and whistles, the ever-popular cup holder, etc. But I read reviews on the internet about heat issues, and the current owner tells me that he has to clean the air filter after every use. At the end of the day, I really want a machine that will hold up. What do you suggest? Which is going to be more durable on rough ground?

    Thanks,

    Kurt

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Carl_NH's Avatar
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    Coastal NH
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    01 Kubota B21TLB, 2010 Ferris 52" ZTR, Cub Cadet 1811, Gravely Super8

    Default Re: Cub Cadet 1650 vs 2550? Which more durable?

    To start with I had a 1250 hydro (12 HP Kohler) and 44" deck from 87-89 and traded that for my current 1811 new. The 1250 was using a quart of oil every two hours BUT I reclaimed pasture land into grass with that machine, it is tough, basic and simple to fix.

    THe 1811 I have now has 745 hrs and is still an excellent machine. The 1650 is mid 80's and they are good machines but expect to do minor repairs to linkages from time to time, fuel pumps etc as they werent meant to run on 10% ethanol.

    The 2550 on the other hand has a lot of "comfort features" more bells and whistles with the hydrogear hydrostat. It's not as basic as the 1650 but not a bad machine, however is not as rugged IMO as the earlier models.

    For what you want to do the 1650 with the cast iron rear end, and if it is well done (rebuilt) it will give you plenty of years of service and most parts are still available.

    I would also suggest if you look for a 1872 or 2072 "super garden tractor" or 982 series (IH) from the late 80's early 90s these are great machines for what you want to do, Just check the aluminum transaxle on these machines.

    Personally between the 2550 and the 1650 I would opt for 1650 but @ $1500, then if you don't need the tiller you can sell that $200-300 range) and still have a nice 1650 with rear PTO and lift system that the 2550 doesnt have.

    Carl
    Kubota B21TLB, Ferris IS2000, Cub Cadet 1811

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Carl_NH's Avatar
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    01 Kubota B21TLB, 2010 Ferris 52" ZTR, Cub Cadet 1811, Gravely Super8

    Default Re: Cub Cadet 1650 vs 2550? Which more durable?

    then there's this 1863 with 245 hrs in Pullman area - which is western oregon? This is a nice machine witl low hours and hydraulc lift too.


    Cub Cadet 1863 garden tractor
    Kubota B21TLB, Ferris IS2000, Cub Cadet 1811

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Cub Cadet 1650 vs 2550? Which more durable?

    I had a 1450 with Hydrostatic and Kohler 14 hp single cylinder. Mine was built in 1978 and served well for 26 years and 1100 hours. The engine mounts were trouble on those units. The engine was mounted on 2 rails with rubber bushings. I couldn't get enough tension on the belt to the mower deck and found that all four engine mounting bolts into the cast aluminum oil pan had fallen out and the engine had dropped down between the rails. The sides of the pan were ground off at an angle requiring the engine to be hoisted, a new oil pan, new rails and mounts to be installed. The price seems a little high to me but maybe not. I got $400 trade-in on a new 2004-3235.

    Bob B.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member OhioGuy's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    587
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    Northeast Ohio
    Tractor
    Ford 1220, Case 245, Cub 1872, Cub 2284

    Default Re: Cub Cadet 1650 vs 2550? Which more durable?

    I'd go with Carl's 1863 as my first pick. It has the newer Kohler Command series engine. Very fuel efficient compared to the older Magnums.
    I had an 1862 that was an awfully good tractor.

    I had a Model 149 for years, it was a workhorse, single cylinder 14Hp. Based on that, the 1650 would be my second choice. These earlier tractors used a starter generator that was marginal in cold weather, but they were tanks!

    The 2550 with 91 hours is the only model I'm not that familiar with. The guys here that have owned them for the most part speak highly of them.

    Good luck,
    Curt
    Ford 1220 FEL, Backhoe, Boosh hog, Core Aerator, Finish mower, Boxblade, 3 PT boom sprayer, Tiller, Case 245, Cubs 1872-2284.

  6. #6
    Member
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    Western Oregon
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    Ford/NH Model 1920, Allis Chalmers Model G

    Default Re: Cub Cadet 1650 vs 2550? Which more durable?

    According to wikipedia, the 1250/1450/1650's were the first to have alternators:

    Cub Cadet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Or is the author possibly mistaken?

    The 1863 looks interesting, but Pullman is adjacent to the Idaho state line in Washington!


    Kurt

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Cub Cadet 1650 vs 2550? Which more durable?

    I believe the models prior to the xx50 series used starter generators. The xx50 series have a starter on the side of the engine and a stator assembly that generates current.

    I have two 1650s and would hestitate to pull a 25 gallon sprayer on a rough hill with either of them if you're talking much of a hill. A cousin of mine was pulling a rear mounted 55 gallon drum sprayer on a hillside, a wheel broke, the sprayer turned, and it flipped his full size tractor. He ended up being lifeflighted and undergoing several surgeries.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Mickey_Fx's Avatar
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    Vancouver Wa.
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    Yanmar Fx24D, Cub 3204

    Default Re: Cub Cadet 1650 vs 2550? Which more durable?

    Can't offer any opinions on the older 1650 model. The 2xxx series machines are pretty decent and I expect not too different than the 3204 I currently have. It has served me well for about 8 yrs. The 2xxx series machines will have a horiz engine and the only problem I've had with my machine is last yr the starter solenoid gave up the ghost. The 2xxx will have shaft drive, a cast iron rear end and I suspect the same hydro as on mine. Its a good HD drive train in my opinion. If anything like mine there will be a lot of grease fittings to keep things free of binding. The mower deck will be belt drive unlike on the 3xxx series machines. Notice on the deck it uses the same HD tapered roller bearings on the spindles. Don't know about this deck but mine has a doz grease fittings.

    From my experience I couldn't fault anyone for going for the 2xxx models.
    Yanmar Fx24D,
    Koyker 155 loader,
    RSB-1300 tiller
    Cub 3204, 48" mower
    Bolen 1257 GT with tiller

  9. #9
    New Member jabel's Avatar
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    Default

    I really dont know how there is any question or debate! The question was which one of the two are more HEAVY DUTY, not which one gets better gas mileage or has more bells & whistles! I beleive w/o a doubt, that the older the better,at least up to a certain point w/the first wide frames being the best as far as combined qualities of heavy duty, ease of maint & the least amount of maint! I am talking about the 129,149,169 etc & I say this because they have starter-generators & mechanical pto's ! Elect pto's are prone to wear out,both the clutch & the switch, it's just a fact, they go out ev so often & if you look at parts bought & sold, how often do you really see mech pto's?! While they are not as fancy,they are more trouble free! The same is true of the starter-generators, they dont wear out like a geared-tooth starter does & when they do, its a simple carbon brush replacement & is very inexpensive, plus they are quiet! Geared-tooth starters are also much more expensive to replace & more to rebuild also bec there is the Bendix spring kit as well as the carbon brushes to replace & they dont have the rubber Iso-mounts to wear out either & the failure-prone (from vibration) muffler box shroud! That being said, the earlier 129,149&169's are nearly identical to the quiet line series 1250,1450& 1650's w/ those exceptions & prob some other minor diff's & the quiet lines also came w/larger diam frnt whl spindes making them a little more HD for front implements & are prob quite a bit quieter plus there is the added benifit of the optional upgraded hydraulics w/ the power angle plow option! The wide frames are easier to work on then narrow frames & so are the single cyl engs! My 129 has plenty of power & prob gets better gas mlg than some 20+ hp mtd or sears! Those old single cyl L-head config valves are a Ton more reliable than the OHV headed engs!One gentleman suggested the 82 series & I wld second that also, but stay away from the Kt 17 series 1 eng in 782 & I am old fashioned & think/believe that a "true Cub" comes w/ a Kohler & not a "briggs & stratton" eng! They just arent as desirable &/or Hd ! I have a super garden tractor 982 as well & its a tank & I love it ,but the starter is unaccessible dwn below the frame rails & I will prob have to lift the eng out to replace the starter or rebuild it or the defective bendix spring as mentioned earlier! A 1650 wld be in the same ballpark in big hp but still be rather easy to maintain, when I look at the newer cubs like 2000 & newer, I am not impressed! Mtd carried the torch for a while then they went ahead & fully integrated them to the rest of their line! Now they have vert shaft engs & did away w/ what made them the best & special in the 1st place, that is the "Steel Driveshaft" driven trans./axle/driveline! Plus they have "plastic hoods"! John deere has fbrgls hoods & are notorious for breaking/damage & are not cheap to replace! Why would anyone want a cheap, failure-prone, exp to replace item on a Heavy Duty Garden tractor?! My frnd has a J/D & leaves the Hood off & wont say why but he doesnt have to, we know why! Ha-ha ! Lol! Good luck w/your quest !

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Carl_NH's Avatar
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    01 Kubota B21TLB, 2010 Ferris 52" ZTR, Cub Cadet 1811, Gravely Super8

    Default Re: Cub Cadet 1650 vs 2550? Which more durable?

    Long Post Jabel - but to sum it up I concur.

    Also Rootytoot the OP hasn't returned - maybe he is fixing his 2550 :-)
    Kubota B21TLB, Ferris IS2000, Cub Cadet 1811

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