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Donated 1320 Hydro...worth restoring?

IH Cub Cadet Tractor Forum

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Jason Janahi

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Yesterday at 10:34 PM
Hello all, my name is Jason and I was donated a 1320 Cub Cadet Hydro with a double bagger. From around 1990.
The person who gave it to me I know maintained it well, but its been sitting for 3 yrs under cover..I'm in bad need of a hardworking riding mower this year and I'm wondering if this old grandma would be worth 300$ more or less to get her running tight

Or should I bite the bullet on something new?

Would finding any parts be a giant pain?? Is this model even worth it?

Any advice or experience would be helpful!! Thank you!
 

jkoenig

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Jim Koenig Halfway between Harvester, MO and Cadet, MO
From your intro thread:

Hello all, my name is Jason and I was donated a 1320 Cub Cadet Hydro with a double bagger. From around 1990.
The person who gave it to me I know maintained it well, but its been sitting for 3 yrs under cover..I'm in bad need of a riding mower this year and I'm wondering if this old grandma would be worth 300$ more or less to get her running tight

Or should I bite the bullet on something new?

Would finding any parts be a giant pain?? Is this model even worth it?

Any advice or experience would be helpful!! Thank you!

. .....


Welcome Jason! The 1320 is a “lawn tractor” and as such does not compare with the “garden tractors” also available that may appear similar to the uneducated onlooker.

What would you like the riding mower that you are in bad need of to do For you? Will it mow acres every week? Will it mow a small-medium yard once a week? I’m sure a 1320 in good condition could give a nice cut.

Do you have specific things in mind that would cost the $300 that you mentioned?

Make a list for yourself:
Does it crank? ... does it need a battery?
Does it run? ... will it need parts and troubleshooting?
Does it mow? ... will the mower hold up for a season or more?
Do the tires hold air long enough to finish the lawn?
Do you know of anything it will need?
Was the gifter a special person in your life? Keeping their mower operational may be more important than its cost or value.
 

jkoenig

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Jim Koenig Halfway between Harvester, MO and Cadet, MO
Oh yeah, and if you decide not to pursue this, would you sell me the hood ornament? I think it may be the same as the one I need For my 782.
:errrr:
 

Jason Janahi

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Well.... I'd need it to mow about an acre of grass, also till a large sized produce garden....which is an important point as I'm unsure if modern attachment rigs would work with the Brinks disc harrow.

My kid jammed an expertly meddlesome sized Pebble in the ignition key slot that I can't get out.

But it ran excellent 3 yrs. ago...it may just need a battery and a tire tube

I'm under pressure at this current minute because I have a guyoffering me an '02 John Deere LX266 for 900$

What do I dooo!?

Sure ill sell ya the hood orna. if I end up scrapping it...

Or let my son strap it to his back and run it down the driveway to getting ready for football😂
 

PACub100

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Woodbury, Pennsylvania
You're going to want something else. An acre of grass will take a good amount of time to mow with that thing. I don't think any tilling is feasible with it either. BUT....as my GF says, "if it's free, it's for me"...I'd be one to get it running and keep it around for a spare, or sell it for a couple hundred bucks to someone with a smaller yard and use the money towards something that will work for you.
As far as the JD, it's not a GT either and I don't think you'll be doing any tilling with that as well. Though you can get a snowblower attachment for it, so that's a plus...
 

gary noblit

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jASON, NOT ALL CUBS ARE CREATED EQUAL. opinion: I have had 1320/1420.They are as cheap as it gets and be called a rider... A battery 50,blades 50 and it's not running yet,tires? it's a 30 yr old machine that was made cheap to begin with...There's a reason it was parked...New it was a decent/cheap mower... The real problem with cheapies,the fixing never ends...
 

Jason Janahi

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Thanks all!! Glad I checked up on it.....I just thought...what if I scrap it and it turns out this model is one of the those magic quality moments in manufacturing for a company😊 Now at least I have a bit of guided direction✌
 

1811Cub

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Elkland, PA
So there are a few parts that will fit the 82 series garden tractors that should be kept in mind if it goes to Cub heaven...

The aforementioned hood ornament, the hydro shift knob, the ammeter, the seat, the rear fender reflectors(1050, 482, and others without factory lighting).
 

PACub100

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Thanks all!! Glad I checked up on it.....I just thought...what if I scrap it and it turns out this model is one of the those magic quality moments in manufacturing for a company😊 Now at least I have a bit of guided direction✌
Before you scrap it or part it out, if it runs and mows, you could freshen it up with some oil, plug and a good cleaning and get some $$$ out of it. Yes, it's a cheap MTD but it'll mow and would be decent for someone with about 1/2 acre of lawn...I'd say if it was well maintained and it runs good, $250-300ish? 🤔 Then put that towards something you can use.
That's if you don't have to replace tires or parts on it...
 
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I have had a few of these 90's LT tractors (1320/1420/1430/1720/1730) and was fond of them, but the real story now is that they all have the same fatal disease -- the plastic reservoir that sits over the hydro unit was made believe it or not, out of material that slowly dissolves in the hydraulic fluid. Everyone I have looked at, had this issue and what happens is that fluid gets contaminated and ruins the hydro unit which is a one-way ticket -- they aren't really serviceable even though MTD sold a rebuild kit -- which I tried to install once without success. You can get to the reservoir under the seat to look at it but you'll have to take the rear fender off. You might notice that the plastic cup and the lid (reservoir) have holes in them. But it is possible that they corrected it in later models.

So if it runs and mows enjoy it while you can. If yours has the hydro reservoir problem, I would not spend time restoring it.
 
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Floyd Hollister

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Kilmarnock, VA
Can you explain further how to see if the cup is dissolving? Can the fluid be drained and replaced with clean fluid to remove contamination? Can the plastic reservoir be replaced with something that is not attacked by the fluid? I love my 1430 and do not want to see it ruined by the problem you describe. Thanks! Floyd
 
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If your hydro is fine then your tractor may not have the problem. The symptoms are gradual loss of forward or reverse. If you take out the battery you can see the top of the reservior and the screw off lid. Look for decay in plastic and lid which also drys out and vibrates off which lets in dirt (alot of dirt swirling around back there during operation with the cooling fan) and this really puts a quick end to the hydro.

If fine then just top off the fluid, if not then you could suck the reservior out with a vacuum and replace with clean fluid and just hope there is not much crud down in the hydro. Not much else you can do. If you want to see what the hydro looks like inside you can go to parts tree. When I got a rebuild kit years ago to try and save one, it was a nightmare with no service procedure that I could find. And a local repair shop would not touch it. Kind of like taking apart a watch. The manual seemed to indicate it was not sevicible — wasted $100.

The reservoir part is not available and it would be hard to make one.

And there is no way I could see to flush the hydro unit out. Like was said above they were made cheap. Amazing they have lasted this long.
 
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1811Cub

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full
 
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Yep there’s the ugly little sucker, brings back memories. There are two splined shafts that fit into the trans — forward and reverse. Was a journey into the unknown. After opening the thing up I got that feeling “why did you think this was a good idea?”
 

gary noblit

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Floyd...personal experience....the outside axle bearings are not meant to be replaced...the alum housing is rolled over them to keep them in place ....these are cheapees...run it until it breaks ,then???others mentioned small splined connectors,they are very fine splines they wear out also...
 
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