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Wheel Horse tractor #4701074
03/20/18 07:17 PM
03/20/18 07:17 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,140
West Michigan
HM12460 Offline OP
HM12460  Offline OP

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,140
West Michigan
So today I bought a 1997 Toro Wheel Horse 312-8 garden tractor with a 42" side discharge deck. Very nice, quiet running machine. Think I am going to like it. These tractor's have an excellent reputation too. The Kohler Magnum M12 engine has 1100 hours showing on the working hour meter. I doubt they are real accurate, but still, that is getting up there in the hours. My question is, how many hours should I expect this engine to last? Assuming proper maintenance of course.

Last edited by HM12460; 03/20/18 07:19 PM.


2018 Chevy Colorado
1995 Ford Thunderbird



Re: Wheel Horse tractor [Re: HM12460] #4701088
03/20/18 07:26 PM
03/20/18 07:26 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 7,134
Hudson, NH
LeakySeals Offline
LeakySeals  Offline

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 7,134
Hudson, NH
Indefinitely. I know someone with a 1980's wheel horse. Its rotting, but the engine is fine.


06 Escalade 6.0L LQ9 AWD 165k M1 0w40
03 Maxima 3.5L POS 162k ST HM 10w30
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Re: Wheel Horse tractor [Re: HM12460] #4701096
03/20/18 07:38 PM
03/20/18 07:38 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,420
OBX & Central FL
NormanBuntz Offline
NormanBuntz  Offline

Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,420
OBX & Central FL
I had a 1986 Wheel Horse (310-8 I think) that I worked hard for 20 years before I sold it. By then the Kohler engine had become tired and likely had some carbon build up and likely needed some valve work. It never used much oil if I stuck with 30w, and it never had any engine work. That Kohler motor is easy to work on if you need to.

I used it in PA for mowing .75 acres and plowing a 350 foot driveway. It could have used more power, but the gearing made it pretty stout.


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Re: Wheel Horse tractor [Re: HM12460] #4701117
03/20/18 07:57 PM
03/20/18 07:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,255
Prospect, KY
spk2000 Offline
spk2000  Offline

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,255
Prospect, KY
In an engine running 3600 rpms the piston will go up and down 435,000 times in one hour. In a car with an engine running 3600 rpms would have a ground speed of about 85 mph multiply this by 1100 hrs and you would have a car with 153,000 miles on it. What would you pay for a 2001 car with 93,500 miles on it? A commercial mower is not a car in many ways. Driven in much worse environments normally dustier so take that into account. However motors are fairly easily replaced and great deals can be found on used motors. Depends on how much you are willing to put up with to keep it going.


96 Grand Marquis
01 Sable LS
02 Montero
Re: Wheel Horse tractor [Re: HM12460] #4701121
03/20/18 07:59 PM
03/20/18 07:59 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,255
Prospect, KY
spk2000 Offline
spk2000  Offline

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,255
Prospect, KY
Typo above should have been 93,500 not 153,000.


96 Grand Marquis
01 Sable LS
02 Montero
Re: Wheel Horse tractor [Re: HM12460] #4701170
03/20/18 08:33 PM
03/20/18 08:33 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,406
Georgia
AVB Offline
AVB  Offline

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,406
Georgia
I wouldn't worry too much. If it wears out you can hot rod it.

Re: Wheel Horse tractor [Re: HM12460] #4701219
03/20/18 09:10 PM
03/20/18 09:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 11,240
Buffalo, NY
JTK Online content
JTK  Online Content

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 11,240
Buffalo, NY
I've seen them with over 2000hrs on them. 1997 had to be right near the end of production for the 312 classics. Or a flat-head Magnum for that matter. Cool find for sure.


2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)
Re: Wheel Horse tractor [Re: HM12460] #4701611
03/21/18 08:57 AM
03/21/18 08:57 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,118
Guilford, CT
exranger06 Offline
exranger06  Offline

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,118
Guilford, CT
Nice! I have a 1991 312-8 and I love it. Extremely well-made and tough machines. I have only about 930 hours on mine. I'm not sure how many hours it will last, but it sure doesn't show any signs of breaking anytime soon. It still runs like new.


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1992 Honda Accord EX
2013 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD
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