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  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    267
    Location
    Western, NY
    Tractor
    Kubota B3200

    Default Troy Bilt Horse Tiller

    I came across an AD on craigslist selling a Troy Bilt Horse Tiller. The tiller happens to be in my town and was actually at a local small engine repair shop were it was serviced in december. The owner, who is selling it, doesn't know the exact year of the tiller. He bought it second hand. He was told by the mechanic it is around 15 yrs old. He's basing this on the 8HP Kolher engine that was on it. I did look at it and it has the cast iron trans and engine. I wasn't able to start it because of the weather (20 degrees). As a matter of fact, we didn't even try to start it because it was out in the yard buried in snow (somewhat). It was covered with plastic to protect it but surrounded by a foot of snow. The owner of the shop said it ran in december and worked fine other than a flat tire that he fixed. Overall, the condition visually looks good. The tines are in great shape. The shop owner isn't getting any commision for it so I trust he's telling me the truth about it running and working. He really doesn't know much about the owner of the tiller other than occasionally seeing him when the tiller needs work which hasn't been very often (minor stuff). The owner of the tiller is an older gentleman that is moving to Florida in 5 weeks and that's the reason for him selling it. My question is, would you hestitate buying without hearing it run and making sure it functions? He's asking $500 but I think he'll take $400 if pressed. Does the year sound about right? I know I would like to hear it run but the timing might not allow. The shop owner wasn't too keen about spending any time getting it running because he isn't making any money on the sale. BTW - he was a nice guy but I would agree with him on this issue. Plus he was surprised when I showed up because he didn't know about the owner selling it.

  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    3,304

    Default Re: Troy Bilt Horse Tiller

    These units came with 7 hp cast iron Kohlers in the early 1980's--the "K" series engines. Later, I think they switched to Kohler magnums and Briggs. I have a 7 hp kohler I bought in the early 1980's and still use it.

    I would want to know if the engine ran like it was supposed to or if it ran with issues. You might need to put a tube in the tire or if you have to replace a tire, then that's not terribly expensive.

    If it is in good running condition and if the tines are still good on it, then I think this is a better machine at $400-$500 than what you could buy new.


    If there are issues with the motor, transmission or tines, you could end up spending more than you want. You would be taking a chance not seeing it running, but this is also an excuse to bargain on the price. Not many tillers are going to sell buried in the snow unless the person is familar with the tiller and isn't scared of it.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    267
    Location
    Western, NY
    Tractor
    Kubota B3200

    Default Re: Troy Bilt Horse Tiller

    Thanks - The shop did fix the tire by putting a tube in it. That's why it was there to begin with. The shop owner was expecting the owner to pick-up the tiller a few weeks ago so he pull it out from his shop in the back. Needless to say, the owner hasn't picked it up so instead of him dragging it back to the shop he left it there and placed a tarp over it. Since he did that it snowed. I have a couple of choices. 1. take a risk and trust the shop owner that it ran fine without issues and neg. a better price due to it not running. 2. tell the owner to get it running. 3. don't buy it

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    3,304

    Default Re: Troy Bilt Horse Tiller

    Mine is a pull start, and I wouldn't want to try to start mine in the dead of winter.

    Unless the shop guy is acting in concert with the seller or for some reason can't be trusted, at least you have some indication that it works. But you need to pull that tarp off and look at the tines on it anyway because a new set would be expensive.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member bontai_Joe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    834
    Location
    northeast PA
    Tractor
    Deere 316 (Kohler) Deere 316 (Onan) Deere 210

    Default Re: Troy Bilt Horse Tiller

    With e Kohler 8 HP, could be as old as 25 years. For $500, I'd DEFINITELY want to hear it run and see it move forwards and backwards. Not hearing it run, maybe $250 or a little more. Two months sitting out in the winter can possibly do bad things to any machine.
    If it's free, it's for me!!!!!

  6. #6
    Gold Member skidoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    318
    Location
    Montana - Growing Zone 5
    Tractor
    JD 2520, JD X749, JD110TLB

    Default Re: Troy Bilt Horse Tiller

    I was wonder what this was. Is a Horse Tiller some sort of Meat Grinder?

  7. #7
    Gold Member Shmudda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    299
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota BX24

    Default Re: Troy Bilt Horse Tiller

    Actually....its a GLUE making machine!

    I have (2) of these machines and both need engines as they are plum wore out from both my father and grandfather. They used these machines just about every day in the summer for one thing or another. When they did run they ran and tilled very well. One has a 6hp Tecumseh and the other was a 8hp Cast Iron Sleeve Briggs. I will get engines for them someday and get them going again, but for now they are collecting dust.

    The price of 400-500 seems to be the going rate for one of these machines today. Back in the heyday, I believe they fetched 1200-1500.

    Craig
    Honda is truly the best on earth, but Kubota is coming a close second!
    Remember - you get the government you deserve and voted for!!
    OBAMA - One Big Ass Mistake America

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Troy Bilt Horse Tiller

    I got one with same motor and about same age,buy it.

    You should be able to get it started if motors alright that is,get you some new gas and some carberator cleaner,siphon old gas out or pump it out or something,fill it with new middle test gas,take air cleaner cover off the side[one wing nut],check the oil and have at it,spray a little carb cleaner into carberator with choke open,than put throttle to max,choke it and pull,as soon as it fires open choke,might have to do this many times if its been setting a year or so,that carb cleaner really helps.

    Mine will start on 4-5th pull every spring after setting all fall and winter. Its about 15 years old too,have used it every year since I bought it. There is a parts site where you can buy tires and tines and such,do a search,I need to order tires for mine,they are dry rotted bad,could use some tines too but the only thing I've done to it in those 15 years is replace fuel tank[screws were loose and it cracked] and drive belt once.

  9. #9
    Elite Member AKfish's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
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    4,993
    Location
    Kasilof, Alaska
    Tractor
    JD 5075M; JD 110 TLB; JD 4720; Ford 9N; JD X300R

    Default Re: Troy Bilt Horse Tiller

    They're a great machine!! Rock solid! Yes, the engines get tired and the tines break but the overall design and construction of those tillers is 1st rate! Back in the day - the larger ones were $1,500 - $1,800. The smaller, 5hp - Pony was around a $1,000.

    They are super comfortable to use as the vibration of the engine and the jerk of the tines is not as directly transferred to the operator. The long wheelbase and extended handles makes them better balanced (not as tippy) and less muscle needed to keep the machine oriented.

    The first tiller I bought was a Sears, front tine and it was a backbreaker and shoulder separator!! And while the longer, rear tine Sears is more comfortable and a better tiller - it's not as good a machine as the Troy-bilt: IMO.

    If the mechanic is straight-up; you won't get hurt even at $500.

    AKfish
    "Most people want to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."

  10. #10
    Elite Member KentT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    2,630
    Location
    Sevierville, TN
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT 425

    Default Re: Troy Bilt Horse Tiller

    Quote Originally Posted by AKfish View Post
    They're a great machine!! Rock solid! Yes, the engines get tired and the tines break but the overall design and construction of those tillers is 1st rate! Back in the day - the larger ones were $1,500 - $1,800. The smaller, 5hp - Pony was around a $1,000.

    They are super comfortable to use as the vibration of the engine and the jerk of the tines is not as directly transferred to the operator. The long wheelbase and extended handles makes them better balanced (not as tippy) and less muscle needed to keep the machine oriented.

    The first tiller I bought was a Sears, front tine and it was a backbreaker and shoulder separator!! And while the longer, rear tine Sears is more comfortable and a better tiller - it's not as good a machine as the Troy-bilt: IMO.

    If the mechanic is straight-up; you won't get hurt even at $500.

    AKfish
    LOL -- sounds very much like me. The first tiller I bought was the biggest Sears had at the time a 8HP, 24" front-tine. It almost killed me trying to fight it, since I only weigh about 175 lbs.

    Then in 1988, I bit the bullet and bought a Troy-bilt Pony, complete with optional bumper, hiller-furrower, and row-marker. Came to over $1000...

    I just replaced the tines for the first time last spring, replacing both axle and tineshaft seals at the same time. Added tubes to the tires since they're getting cracked and crazed. Touched up the paint (with a brush). Should be good for many more years.

    I've replaced the belts once. Other than engine maintenance, that's it in 20 years of use. After sitting all winter, it'll still start on no more than 3 pulls. Smokes a little at start-up, but stops in seconds, and doesn't use enough to warrant adding oil before the next season's oilchange...

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