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When is enough..enough

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rpalmer

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Richard Palmer
When is enough..enough? I have a 129. Sold as needing a battery and a coil wire. Got it on that auction site. So I go to pick it up and all four tires are flat. Two had cuts in them one was good and the last leaked. But I buy it. Hey it's only tires.

I get it home, get it running, get the choke cable unfrozen ect.. Then I discover it won't charge. So I fix that with a good cleaning of the S/G (and broke the starter relay's plastic in doing so)and a voltage regulator. Feeling energized I put in a new ignition switch to replace the one that was screw drivered. And I installed a good used wiring harness to get rid of the automotive battery cables. But man the engine sure smokes. I finally get four tires for it. Great. I think I'm done with it but that smoke from the crankcase breather just won't do. So I pull the engine disassemble it to the front basket when the pto locking collar nut breaks with a quarter turn. So off to the machine shop. Turns out the engine is shot. $850.00 to rebuild. So I get a used engine to put in it and while I'm cleaning where the engine will go I see that the front axle bushing is about to fall off. This puts putting the engine in on hold till I get it taken care of. Then I remember seeing a post where someone had a picture of a worn drive cup that needed replaced. I though.. I thought it was suppose to be like that. So I start looking at the drive line. JUNK. The drive cup had a pretty gouge about the width of the pin. The fan had one blade that wasn't broke, the end of the drive shaft was everything but round and the rear coupler was egg shaped. Had I gotten this tractor for free, I could not complain. But I paid $500.00 for it and I got to tell you I think I've had enough. I'm waiting on a couple prises for the drive line parts but I just might be done.. again.

Anyone ever just quit a project?
 

lbuttke

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Lonny Buttke
Richard,

YES !

I have many a project laying out back, got started on them and gave up due to one thing or another.
Even gave away a few of my projects a year or so ago just ot get rid of them, only to start new unfinished projects.
 

fcurrier

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Frank A. Currier(Northern Maine)
Maybe enough is enough when it isn't fun any more.
Maybe it's when you have more tractors than room to store them.
Maybe it's when sites like this disappear and you're all alone with tons of metal and no one to share the ups and downs with.
The 123 that I got from New Hampshire last year and intended to restore has now become a parts donor for the one that came from New York this year. However, if I ever decide to build a 123 I'll have most of the parts to do it, so I guess I haven't had enough, there, yet.
In conclusion -- "ENOUGH" changes daily.
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rpalmer

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Richard Palmer
Frank A. Currier,

I have found that I have room for"one more" if I move my garden trailer. I guess I haven't had enough.
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lhinds

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Luther Ray Hinds
Richard; I have decided to not buy unless it is at my price and i see some very good potential. A lot of people in my area don't know a lot about cub cadets. I have 10 now and all but the 123 is running. Most of them only required steering, Regulator, Clutch, or Ignition repair. I have quit buying straight shift and quietline tractors. I have a 1250 that is a good tractor but i don't like the Hydro, or starter setup on it. So for me that is enough.
 

klejeune

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Keith LeJeune
Enough for me is when I run out of play money. When I come up with more money... I start looking for Cubs again. Problem with me is, I can't have a non-running Cub around. I just can't stand it, I have to get it running.
 

dfrisk

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Nov 12, 2001
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Dennis Frisk
The way I justify spending $$$ on these 30-40+ yr old tractors is comparing the work I get out of them verses spending several thousands of Dollars at a Big Box store or CC dealer for a new or newer tractor. Once the CFO sees what "NEW" costs I normally get approval for enough budget to complete the project on My old iron.

A lot of these old tractors have been "Rode Hard and put away Wet" with just enough cheap "Patch-it-up" repairs to keep them running for a while longer, then parked, normally outside in the weather. I can't think of a harder life than most of these tractors have had. The fact that as many of them are left running is a testiment to how well they were engineered & built!
 

wheinsohn

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Wes Heinsohn
Richard, I agree with Dennis. When I bought my 129, I was told it needed an overhaul and it was faded to a nice shade of pink. I did not pay as much as you did though. I got it home, tore it down, rebuilt the engine, and painted it. As I was putting it together, a member on here had a hydraulic lift out of a 1650 for sale along with some nice ag tires on rims with solution in them. Since I wanted to go to a plow day in the future, I bought them. The drive shaft replacement is a normal thing on any 1X9 that I buy. So to put it in numbers, I started out with a $100 tractor and after all the repairs, I have almost $1300 in it. And since I did some of the "killer kohler" upgrades in the engine when I rebuilt it, I then bought a 50" deck to use the power I now had. And of course a 50" deck does not do a nice job without having the front gauge wheels and of course some new paint. The wife asked me how come I spent so much money on an old tractor. I showed her what a new one costs and what the payments would be over so many years. She really did not complain after that nor has she complained when I have to buy a bearing or belt once in a while. A few years later she claimed the 109 as hers since I had my 129. Of course the next questions was if I could make "her" tractor look nice like mine.
 

rpalmer

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Richard Palmer
Thanks Guys for the support and email! I'm feeling a bit renewed. I don't have a tractor just to say I have a tractor. They must be in good working order. And that's what I have.

But this one particular tractor seems to be the bane of my wrenching. I hit it with something good or better, it hits back with more broken or worn out parts. John Henry beat the machine but in the end it killed him.

I'm pretty sure that I have developed a compulsive obsession with these Cubs. I can't quit looking for them or working to get another. And then there are the parts that I can rebuild. Oh look out.

The 129 was my first and is the worst. I am hopefully wiser now and it is reassuring to know that I am in good company. Thanks again for the support.

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klejeune

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Keith LeJeune
If you feel discouraged about working on a Cub Cadet, just offer to your neighbor to mow his lawn with his 3 or 4 year old box store mower and you'll realize what your working for. Not only quality of tractor but comfortable ride and use.

My FIL has a 5 year old Crapsman. I left my 127 at his house to make room at home and he's been using it off and on on his fairly rough lawn. Lawn is a loose term at his house too. He has commented more than once at how nice it is compared to his Crapsman. Steers better, rides better and really cuts pretty good. He's sold on 'em now. I've been working on a 124 that we got a while back. There are a few things left to do on it, but we're getting there. When I'm done, I don't know if I want to trade him back or not though. I like the looks of the flat fender zig zags, but I'll want my hydro back for the snow thrower this winter.
 

lhinds

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Luther Ray Hinds
Cub cadets is really a therapy, For me anyway. When my wife and I are traveling she says i can spot a cub cadet sitting behind a house covered with trees. She never complains about how much i spend on them. I am like Keith. Acub cadet not running bugs me until i get it running.
 

kredlinger

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Oct 21, 2008
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Kyle Redlinger
My shop is my stress relief from the everday. The satisfaction of repairing or improving something with my own hands well justifies some of the aggrivation during the process.
Richard, you're not alone in thinking "When Do I Throw In the Towel?!" I have a 100 with bad motor, bad tires, cut frame, mouse gnawed wires, dented up hood but man can I picture what she'll look like when done!!!
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kmcconaughey

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Kraig McConaughey
Keith, "I like the looks of the flat fender zig zags, but I'll want my hydro back for the snow thrower this winter." Hmmm, sooo, you're coming around to my way of thinking.
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Richard, hang in there. You're still money ahead over buying a new tractor, and when you're done with the restoration/refurb you'll know your Cub inside and out and you'll have pride in having saved it.
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I've been working on my Original since 2004 and it's not quite done yet, I'm almost afraid to finish it.
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BEFORE

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PROGRESS SO FAR, but not quite AFTER.
 

rpalmer

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Richard Palmer
Kraig McConaughey,

That's really a rebirth of that tractor. I keep telling myself that when I get them in perfect running order I'll paint them. Or more correctly get them painted. For me it's almost imposable not to paint while repairing. I can get rattle can paint about a half hour away. But it's just as hard to wait for paint to dry as anything. Not that I have "the sickness" but I have even though of selling my HD to build a garage so that I have a place to do my Cub work.
 

klejeune

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Keith LeJeune
Kraig,
I'm getting there. I actually have a 125 roller now. Most everything is there but a motor, dash tower and hydro controls. I don't think I'll try putting it together though. This is just too far gone. I've been using parts off of it to get the 124 up to snuff.

I just don't see how you can resist from finishing that O' and driving it around the yard with a grin a mile wide. I sure would!
<font size="+2">Gotta love those O's!</font>
 

kmcconaughey

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Kraig McConaughey
Keith, when I finish it I'm going to want to use it and when I use it I know I'm going to end up scratching it, even if it is a 10 foot rattle can paint job.
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The engine I bought as a rebuilt engine and it had been repainted, when it was shipped it ended up getting scuffed up, if you look close in the photo below at the S/G you can see one of the big scuff marks.

I think I have enough spare parts to assemble one maybe two more 125s.
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klejeune

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Keith LeJeune
I've got nothing against a 10 foot rattle can paint job. My CCO/loader is just that, if at least a 10 footer ;) Remember, most factory paints weren't much better than that.

Just like, "When is enough, enough" I could have just kept going and spent way more money and taken much longer, but I wanted to finish in time for a show. So, I just did rattle cans and am happy with the paint. The thing I wish I had taken more time on is prep. I wish I had smoothed out some more areas on the hood and I wish I had welded up some extra holes in the loader frame that shouldn't be there. Other than that, I'm okay with it. Looks great in pics! And works good enough for me too.
 

kmcconaughey

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Kraig McConaughey
Keith, yeah it doesn't take much to do a better paint job then the factory did, however I'm not happy with the durability of the rattle can paint, it seems to scratch and chip too easily, which I found out during assembly.
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Now I'm hesitant to use rattle can paint on my #1 125. Speaking of the quality or lack thereof of factory paint jobs, check out the factory paint runs that were on the skid plate off of my #1 125.
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jmburge

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Jul 6, 2008
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jason m burge
I guess I've been lucky, I found my "O", the only cub I can aford to own, do to money issues, at an auction about 7 years ago. It had formerly been used as a garden stock puller, I was very lucky to win it for only $65. The K161s motor sat next to it on the ground and the hood had a big chunk cut out of the side to make room for a V-twin motor, the steering was slopy and the only electricial componets that were with it was the s/g and the spark plug. At that time I just wanted a project to keep me busy while I was laid off from work. Well after about $200 invested to get it running and a few more $s for a snow plow I found at auction, I ran it like that for 6 years until last year I finaly found a new hood, and a timed mower deck. We have 3 other big box store mowers, but the only one I use is the "O". Don't get me wrong, it's had it's good days and bad days, but when I add it up, I have about $500 total invested in 7 years of almost nonstop use. this little tractor mows my lawn, plows and grades my driveway, plows my garden and hauls my firewood, it does twice the work of any other garden/lawn tractor I've owned or used, and it's almost 50 years old! So for me and my little "O" enough still isn't enough, I told my Girlfriend when I die dig a big hole, because I'm taking it with me. just my 2c.
 

kide

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Gerry Ide
Kraiq (
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Some of the best paints I've found as far as durability are the tractor paints that I bought at Farm and Fleet before they went belly up in Michigan.. Like engine paints, they're oil based and do seem more wear resistant.. Not sure if the TSC paints are as tough.... If you can find a good guy at an automotive paint store, they can tint these paints (if they're so inclined to.....)
 
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