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#4427089 - 06/09/17 07:06 PM Wheel Horse Tractors
Ausfahrt Offline


Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 1374
Loc: Fl & Vt
Wheel Horse tractors were supposedly top-of-the-line machines back in the day before they were bought out by Toro.

I have just arranged to buy what I believe to be a 1980's vintage tractor. The seller told me that it runs but smokes. I bought it based on the following pics, you guys know more than I do. What do you think?


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#4427102 - 06/09/17 07:15 PM Re: Wheel Horse Tractors [Re: Ausfahrt]
HM12460 Offline


Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 2072
Loc: West Michigan
Yes, they were/are a pretty good, solid machine. Like anything else used, it pays to buy one in top condition for a little more money. This one appears to be pretty rough. Nice 310/312/314 can be had for as little as $500 up to $1,000 in this area. Check craigslist, e-bay, and maybe Tractor House to see what is available in your area. The one pictured has the single cylinder Kohler Magnum engine in it. Does it have a working hour meter? How much does the seller want for it? I would hope no more than $300 if it runs well.
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#4427109 - 06/09/17 07:22 PM Re: Wheel Horse Tractors [Re: Ausfahrt]
Panzerman Offline


Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 4203
Loc: Port Orange, Florida
My dad got into Riding Tractor collecting and loved his Wheelhorses. I am not sure what year they were but they were earlier in that. He fully restored them. I know they were all Red even the Kohler motors with heavy rear ends.
He had a hydrostat transmission in one that was his favorite. He bought one and built a snowblower for the front and changed the pulleys so it ran at what I would consider a very unsafe speed but I am pretty sure nothing in the way of snow would ever stop it. It would sound like a airplane getting ready to take off when it was engaged and throw snow about 20'.
I sold them when he died because I had no use for them in Florida and people came from Ohio for the hydrostatic one. They have quite the cult following.
He restored them back before the internet so to track down original decals and parts was a chore back then.
I think you will have fun.
He said after Toro bought them they were junk and really cheapened up.
Heavy tractors, I know that.
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#4427169 - 06/09/17 08:26 PM Re: Wheel Horse Tractors [Re: Ausfahrt]
Lubener Offline


Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 2577
Loc: N.Ohio
Would make a nice restoration project.
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#4427171 - 06/09/17 08:27 PM Re: Wheel Horse Tractors [Re: Ausfahrt]
DemoFly Offline


Registered: 06/03/12
Posts: 994
Loc: Bremerton, WA
It's the wrong color :P
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#4427199 - 06/09/17 09:03 PM Re: Wheel Horse Tractors [Re: Ausfahrt]
joegreen Offline


Registered: 03/10/13
Posts: 761
Loc: NY
If it's cheap enough it looks ok. But a good JD 3xx or 4xx would be cool.
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#4427377 - 06/10/17 04:48 AM Re: Wheel Horse Tractors [Re: Ausfahrt]
AirgunSavant Offline


Registered: 07/22/15
Posts: 3772
Loc: MD
It have a 1971 12hp Kohler Wheel Horse I used growing up that my father purchased new.
Never had any engine work. And it was used hard. I still have it but if you really need a mower, I'd leave this to a collector.

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#4427481 - 06/10/17 08:04 AM Re: Wheel Horse Tractors [Re: Ausfahrt]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
That's a $300 tractor & deck in this part of Texas.

Older Cub Cadet and Deere (especially in the flavor of 316 and 318) bring much higher prices.
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#4427616 - 06/10/17 10:02 AM Re: Wheel Horse Tractors [Re: Ausfahrt]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10589
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Looks like a Kohler Magnum single as opposed to a K-series, so you're right in that it's probably a mid 1980's machine. Looks really rough, but these are tough and restorable. Terrible mowing machines compared to modern equipment, but that's the case for any vintage stuff.
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#4427657 - 06/10/17 10:48 AM Re: Wheel Horse Tractors [Re: Ausfahrt]
cronk Offline


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 1288
Loc: Watertown, New York
My grandparents had one similar to that when I was a kid, the tractors are built great, the engines are tough. The rear discharge decks were nothing great, my grandparents always said it left clumps of grass all over. They only kept it a few years and traded it in towards a side discharge MTD ;(
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#4427864 - 06/10/17 03:33 PM Re: Wheel Horse Tractors [Re: JTK]
Ausfahrt Offline


Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 1374
Loc: Fl & Vt
Originally Posted By: JTK
Looks like a Kohler Magnum single as opposed to a K-series, so you're right in that it's probably a mid 1980's machine. Looks really rough, but these are tough and restorable. Terrible mowing machines compared to modern equipment, but that's the case for any vintage stuff.


It would have been great if it had a K-series engine but I bought it for $50 and I already have the Deere for mowing so this will just be to play around with and maybe resell.

I will be picking it up when I get to Vermont in two weeks and I will update with new pics and info.
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#4428761 - 06/11/17 05:21 PM Re: Wheel Horse Tractors [Re: Ausfahrt]
Panzerman Offline


Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 4203
Loc: Port Orange, Florida
That's the truth on them for mowing. My dad had one with a mower and a cheap Craftsman tractor did a better job.
The decks with the rear discharge we're horrible.
Great for pulling and snowblowing. His one had chains on it and would move some snow.


Edited by Panzerman (06/11/17 05:23 PM)
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#4431797 - 06/14/17 09:24 PM Re: Wheel Horse Tractors [Re: Ausfahrt]
cronk Offline


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 1288
Loc: Watertown, New York
Originally Posted By: Ausfahrt
Originally Posted By: JTK
Looks like a Kohler Magnum single as opposed to a K-series, so you're right in that it's probably a mid 1980's machine. Looks really rough, but these are tough and restorable. Terrible mowing machines compared to modern equipment, but that's the case for any vintage stuff.


It would have been great if it had a K-series engine but I bought it for $50 and I already have the Deere for mowing so this will just be to play around with and maybe resell.

I will be picking it up when I get to Vermont in two weeks and I will update with new pics and info.


Many of the early Magnum engines were pretty much still a K series short block with electronic ignition and a heavy duty air cleaner.
I wouldnt be surprised if the block and internals were the same as a K181


Edited by cronk (06/14/17 09:25 PM)
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#4432240 - 06/15/17 11:34 AM Re: Wheel Horse Tractors [Re: joegreen]
AnthemBassMan Offline


Registered: 04/20/15
Posts: 217
Loc: T-County, Ohio
Originally Posted By: joegreen
If it's cheap enough it looks ok. But a good JD 3xx or 4xx would be cool.


I take care of the maintenance on my Mother-in-law's '04 JD X475. It's a solid beast of a garden tractor. 23hp Kawasaki commercial duty engine, locking cast iron rear end, and built solid. Hers has the carb/choke setup, but the higher models use fuel injection.

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#4439279 - 06/23/17 09:25 AM Re: Wheel Horse Tractors [Re: Ausfahrt]
123Saab Offline


Registered: 10/27/10
Posts: 1582
Loc: PA
I have a 310-8 with the 42" side discharge deck that is a beast and just keeps going.

That said, if you want a good looking cut on your lawn most modern mowers will do a far better job.

I don't keep a really nice lawn, more of a mowed meadow situation that besides cutting gets little maintenance so I'm ok.

For the nicer parts of the yard I use a walk behind Husqvarna.


Edited by 123Saab (06/23/17 09:26 AM)
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