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  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    428
    Location
    West TN
    Tractor
    JD 3520 eHydro

    Default "Best" older Deere garden tractor w/ diesel

    Thinking of selling my Woods RM550 RFM and getting a used riding mower. I liked mowing the yard better with my rider than I do with the 3520.

    I dont know much about the older JD garden tractors and am wanting opinions on good used diesel models in the $3-4k range.
    2006 JD 3520
    300CX, Frontier BB2060
    1977 JD 214, 47 deck, 23" ags

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor RoyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    20,567
    Location
    Bethel, Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 4520 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements

    Default Re: "Best" older Deere garden tractor w/ diesel

    Quote Originally Posted by jmt1271
    Thinking of selling my Woods RM550 RFM and getting a used riding mower. I liked mowing the yard better with my rider than I do with the 3520.

    I don't know much about the older JD garden tractors and am wanting opinions on good used diesel models in the $3-4k range.

    Just curious...do you think the 3520 with RFM is too big or cumbersome for mowing?
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    428
    Location
    West TN
    Tractor
    JD 3520 eHydro

    Default Re: "Best" older Deere garden tractor w/ diesel

    My soil seems to be compacting from the tractor. It mows great, but I would prefer mowing with a GT. Just so easy. In doing a little research, I may go with an old gas burner. Seen several late 70s early 80s JDs for under a grand. Any suggestions or leads?
    2006 JD 3520
    300CX, Frontier BB2060
    1977 JD 214, 47 deck, 23" ags

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    65
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Tractor
    JD110, 318 and 955

    Default Re: "Best" older Deere garden tractor w/ diesel

    IMHO, two of the best diesel garden tractors JD ever made were the 332 and the 430. Here is a link you may find helpful.

    Weekend Freedom Machines

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    161
    Location
    Near Rochester NY
    Tractor
    JD2520 and JD455

    Default Re: "Best" older Deere garden tractor w/ diesel

    Yes, that is definitely THE place to learn about Deere L&G tractors(including these diesels). The 16hp 332 and 20hp 430 are both excellent mowing tractors made in the 80's/early 90's. Good ones should be around in your price range. They both have hand controlled hydro. I'm more used to foot controlled hydro and so found a 2001 455 diesel for $3450. It was owned by a hospital and has 650hrs. It's pretty beat up cosmetically but runs and operates well. Really nice 455's are going for $4-6k. The newer Xseries diesels are going $6k and up. If you'd go for a gasser and a 50" deck is big enough the 318 (same as 332 w/18hp 2cyl gas) is considered one of the best L&G tractors ever. I think nice ones are going for around $2500. Happy hunting.
    Hemiguy

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    416
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Have a few of this and that...but I bleed green!

    Default Re: "Best" older Deere garden tractor w/ diesel

    I would look into the 430 as mentioned before, those were real workhorses. Also consider an older JD front mount mower (JD 935 and a few others were diesel). I have a JD 910 (gas) with 3500+ hours on it (I'm the 3rd owner and rebuilt the engine 2X) and it cut fine back in its day, but the JD "Z"'s run circles around it in so many ways. But if the GC is what your after a 332, I think was a diesel, is another thought.

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    428
    Location
    West TN
    Tractor
    JD 3520 eHydro

    Default Re: "Best" older Deere garden tractor w/ diesel

    After spending some time on WFM, I am kind of interested in even older gas burning machines. The restored ones are priced much cheaper than I thought they would be. I mow around 1.25 acres now. Of the 70s and 80s models which ones would be well suited for this task. Across the front of my property I have a pretty steep slope. It is only about 50 ft across the steep part now(thanks to my 3520 and boxblade). Are these older Deeres heavy enough to handle a fairly steep slope?(I am not good at estimating degree of slope, but it seems to be right about where my "pucker factor" gets alarmed)

    When did JD start using hydrostats. I think I would like an early hydrostat mower if you guys could recommend some of the better models to me. I found a guy not too far away who has a restored 110(not hydro) for not much more than I could get for my Woods RM550. This may be too small, but hopefully you guys can point out some that would fit the bill in the $1k to $1.5k range. I think it would be neat to mow with a classic JD. Any opinions on this?
    2006 JD 3520
    300CX, Frontier BB2060
    1977 JD 214, 47 deck, 23" ags

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    947
    Location
    central Illinois near Lake Shelbyville
    Tractor
    Case 2090 Massey Ferguson 4233 John Deere 4700

    Default Re: "Best" older Deere garden tractor w/ diesel

    Hands down the 332 was a sweet machine. Second choice would be a 322 gas. One problem would be that a lot of the 332's were used by lawn services and drove hard. If you look hard though you can still find a good one out there.

  9. #9
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    428
    Location
    West TN
    Tractor
    JD 3520 eHydro

    Default Re: "Best" older Deere garden tractor w/ diesel

    Just listed the Woods RFM on Ebay. There are a couple of older JD gas burners around that I know of. I am going to check them out and start really looking for some of the models you guys have mentioned. I think I will go with a gasser to keep costs down, unless I run up on a real good deal. Let me know if any of you know of one I should look at. I am in west TN. Thanks for the help guys.
    2006 JD 3520
    300CX, Frontier BB2060
    1977 JD 214, 47 deck, 23" ags

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    45
    Location
    Saskatchewan, CANADA
    Tractor
    Task Master 438

    Default Re: "Best" older Deere garden tractor w/ diesel

    I have a JD 110 and 214 both from the 70's. They are good machines but at their age they need constant work, I guess things are just getting worn aren't we all.

    I quit using the 110 for mowing as it was just too slow with the smaller deck. The 214 worked better with the larger deck but still had to get a Swisher tow behind mower to get all the mowing done in a day.

    Another problem with these older machines is that all parts are not available any more. There are a few things I would like to fix but can't get the parts anymore. Keep a set of belts on hand, I usally end up replacing 1 or 2 belts per season.

    Good luck.
    Double G Ranch"

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