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  1. #1
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    Default "Be Careful, You'll Have More Into It Than It's Worth"

    I often see cautionary warnings similar to this when someone seeks advice about buying and/or repairing/restoring a tractor.
    I was wondering what the reasons might be that a person would get into a repair or restoration knowing full well beforehand that the cost of repairs will exceed the value of the machine?

    Let's disregard the case of sentimental value (like it was grandpa's Farmall H, or something like that).

    It seems to me it's pretty easy to throw serious money into an older worker tractor, especially if you don't perform all the work yourself, and you can end up investing more than it's worth in the end.

    I have some thoughts about this but I'd like to hear what others have to say.

  2. #2
    Elite Member DT86's Avatar
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    Default

    Well for me personally while I might have more money in a older machine than its worth, you could not replace said older machine for the money spent fixing it plus value prior to fixing it.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    SSTT (Sideways Snake Tain Tractor) and STB (sideways train box) tractor, dirt harvester

    Default Re: "Be Careful, You'll Have More Into It Than It's Worth"

    like everyone, we all have our "hobbies" or "projects", and we like doing this or that. regardless of money. some folks just like fixing things and restoring them. my cousin, as he has grown up over the years. as his knowledge becomes better and more cash becomes available. buys and restores go-carts, motorcycles, 4-wheelers. then run them down fix them and sale them, for his next interest of what ever that maybe.

    ya same things do not make sense, but as long as ya having fun, that is all there is to it.

    ===============
    on other hand, there is a different needs/wants. and needing an actual working tractor to deal with a hobby that does not revolve around tractors. and fixing up a old run down tractor, may not make much sense, in time and cash invested to get it back up and running compared to something else out there on the market.
    Ryan

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Lee, IL
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    John Deere 1070

    Default Re: "Be Careful, You'll Have More Into It Than It's Worth"

    Hobbies are hobbies, and are expensive. I don't bowhunt like I used to, but when I did I would frequently see people that would spend thousands and thousands on hunting equipment. Not too many hunters would bring in enough meat to offset those costs, it is really just for the sport. Most people were willing to put more money into the equipment than they were willing to put time into being a good hunter.

    There are few people that do restorations for profit, for most it it satisfaction of a before and after product. This is true whether it be tractors, cars, guns, or whatever.

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: "Be Careful, You'll Have More Into It Than It's Worth"

    alright, so I guess boggen had the same thoughts as me, just types faster!

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: "Be Careful, You'll Have More Into It Than It's Worth"

    Quote Originally Posted by downslope View Post
    I often see cautionary warnings similar to this when someone seeks advice about buying and/or repairing/restoring a tractor.
    I was wondering what the reasons might be that a person would get into a repair or restoration knowing full well beforehand that the cost of repairs will exceed the value of the machine?
    There are different ways to view value. You can look at what you can sell it for today. You can look at what it would cost you to replace it. You could look at how much use you could get out of it after fixing whats broke. Then also throw in sentimental value, hobby, known versus unknown (why replace something you know only has one problem with something that may have many more). People chiming in about exceeding value are probably thinking about todays sell value. You could go on to other personal choices, such as conservation, environment, etc. Why trash something when its still mostly good? Use it up until its falling apart. That mentality helps keep stuff out of the landfill and helps conserve natural resources. If more people did that, maybe we wouldn't live in such a disposable world.

    Another thing I've witnessed when I used to sell/upgrade computers, and I've certainly heard the same things about vehicles. Some guys want to upgrade but have to keep the external appearance the same, so that the expenditures are less likely to be noticed by the wife. One guy comes to mind - he did several upgrades of his old PC and spent more, each time, on the upgrade than a brand new computer (with warranty) of the same specs just so his wife wouldn't see a new computer under his desk.

    Keith

  7. #7
    Elite Member Baby Grand's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Be Careful, You'll Have More Into It Than It's Worth"

    My first car cost about what I had to pay for a year of insurance with no collision coverage. It was all I could afford. Little did I know I had enrolled in an installment plan by way of continual high cost repairs. But I loved that car.
    That's the problem with trouble.
    It always starts out as such fun."
    - Randall Brown

  8. #8
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    Default Re: "Be Careful, You'll Have More Into It Than It's Worth"

    I think KTurner said it best from a practical standpoint - the repair may end up costing more than a given tractor is worth, but the cost to replace the tractor could be greater still.

    If you have a tractor that is in good shape with the exception of a worn-out engine, then you could replace the engine with a rebuilt unit and have a pretty solid tractor taht you are aware of the history. If not, and you had to have a tractor, the option would probably be to either buy new (many $$$) or buy an older used unit, that might cost less than the cost of your repair, but it's also an unknown quantity.

    While various items may be valued at certain dollar amounts, in truth, they are really only worth what someone else will pay for them. An example of this is shows like the Anitques Roadshow (sp). Sure, they'll tell you this old steamer trunk is worth $5,000, but they can't necessarily hook you up with a buyer. The opposite is also sort of true - if you have no intention of selling, then the amount of money you sink into a piece of equipment isn't quite as relevant, because you're not necessarily doing it to make a profit, but rather investing in a tool that will be used for a number of years (possibly) in whatever endeavor you are pursuing.

    I have been guilty of this, but have been pleased with my results so far.

    Good luck and take care.

  9. #9
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Be Careful, You'll Have More Into It Than It's Worth"

    Yep, as others said, there is more to value than what one can sell it for.

    We have an 8n that we probabally have more in than we could sell it for. Complete restore and complete engine overhaul. If you factor in what was paid for it 20 years ago, plus all that we have done, probabally have north of 4k invested and would be lucky to sell for 3k.

    BUT...could we spend 4k elsewhere, and get a like new tractor that for all intents and purposes, has a new engine, and has a 25mph road gear?

    We spent about 2k total on the complete overhaul and rebuild. That included new engine parts (crank grind, sleeves, etc), fixing all the sloppy worn out bushings in the steering and front axle, new clutch and PP, new PTO shaft, new 3PH parts to tighten them up, lots of work on sheetmetal, tires and rims, etc.

    It is very self satisfying. We could have probabally sold it for 1500-2000 and then bought one that was already (rebuilt/restored) for 3k and been money ahead, but do you really know what you are getting? How much attention was paid to the motor? or did some hack job do it in his back yard that really didnt have a clue?

    Again, its all in how you define value. If you define it as the value it has to YOU as a reliable tractor OR as what it would cost to replace, then it is usually worth it to repair. BUT, if you are looking to just buy and flip old iron, and define value as only re-sell, then you will most likely lose money in the long run.
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
    "Ok, hold my beer and watch this.........."


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  10. #10
    Veteran Member RDrancher's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Be Careful, You'll Have More Into It Than It's Worth"

    I bought a 9N to restore with this great plan to use it for parade duty as advertisement for my company. Knowing my wife she'd use it to brush hog our property as well. I have more money invested in new parts then the entire tractor will be worth when its finished. The parts are all still sitting in my shop...right now the tractor is yard art.

    One would think that I'd know myself better by now.
    John

    My Work & Stuff Photo Thread: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/p...to-thread.html

    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

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