Anyone got this tractor? How has your luck been? Can I expect good luck?

Long story short I bought an Agway 11/38 off craigslist close to two years ago to use to blow around leaves in late fall as opposed to using my newer Craftsman for which I had intended to get a snowblower. My stepson took to using it the following summer to line up lawnmowing jobs with two of the neighbors and it logged who knows how many hours (probably well more than 100 and more than I'd have expected the thing to last), on top of him using it to cut our back lawn another hour in and of itself. So of course the neighbors come asking this spring. Well the Agway is pretty long in the tooth by now, belts look questionable, deck is rusted, axle is bent, you have to start it by jumpering the solenoid with a screwdriver, and now the battery doesn't hold a charge so I have to jump start it. Granted it still runs and mows but a summer of mowing is qustionable at least to that level. When all is said and done I'll probably remove the Briggs IC which still doesn't burn oil and has awesome compression considering the age, at the oil check it was remarkably clean.

So I stopped at a Lowes I don't normally visit they're selling last year's Horse XP display as a refurb because they had to replace the battery the asking price $900. Of course this only buys me 90 days of warranty from Lowes since the thing has never been registered I can probably get the rest out of Troy Bilt if needed. If I'll buy some old Agway off craigslist and fix the carb, service problems aren't my main worry. $500 off is a substantial discount considering it has never left the store (I'm not just going by their word, you can tell by looking it was never used). A never used 22hp hydrostatic for that price is unheard of around here. They had other "refurbs" but most had work done to them such as a new carb, next best deal was probably a Pony for $600 that said "fine, meets factory specs" on the refurb tag and didn't appear to have been used more than once. New battery and never having left the store was the best combination of least severe repair and least use. I pulled the trigger as used stuff is in the $500 range around here (and not good stuff either), heck I could flip the Agway for double what I paid but in the end the engine will be worth more. I could bring it home and sell it for $300 more but thats not why I bought it in the first place.

I'm just wondering if it is at least as good a deal as it seemed or if there are any major problem areas with this thing. I'm gonna go pick it up tomorrow or Tuesday. My stepson will make $800 over the course of the the mowing season so I'll still be $100 in the hole at the end of the year, maybe a bit less if I save more on gas if he can still use the old one. But if it lasts two its well worth it, and he's good on the better paying bigger yard for another year (guy isn't retiring for a year and half and doesn't have the time to mow), and possibly the smaller one indefinitely as the kids won't mow and the guy works odd long hours during the summer and is laid off during winter, he was flagging him over as soon as the grass got long. I told him to use the Agway for the smaller lawn so long as it continues to run as it is to spread things out.

If I stretch it out by spreading the mowing jobs it might see 50 hours this summer (the big lawn takes a while but maybe a $600 profit over the course of a season). The Agway will get maybe 35 (at the moment I see nothing that will prevent it from making it through the immediate season, in fact it'll do the big lawn tomorrow as I won't have the new tractor yet). I'll put another 10 on my Craftsman that I've been saving since it accepts the snowblower.

I guess my question is is it reasonable to expect 300 hours out of it without substantial problems? Blade sharpening, oil changes, fuel, oil and sparkplugs excluded. I'm always good about maintaining things.

It'll mow mostly flat lawns. The total between the 3 yards is maybe 5 acres, rarely done at the same time. My yard I sometimes mow the front with a power reel lawnmower for appearance, and mow the back with the Crafstsman every other time. That said it might hit 3 acres every week for 5 months.

If it can do two years of that I'll be happy any more is great.

Is it reasonable to expect maybe 250-300 trouble free hours out of a non commerical residential lawn tractor such as this? It would need a year and a few weeks to pay for what I paid into it.