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720 Pros/ Cons

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dertz19 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 1:56pm
I have a hobby farm (15 acres) in Western MN with a big lawn and some tillable land I use mostly AC equipment on. We've got one bastard green item- a 1999 4200 (28 hp diesel, no FWA) with mower and tiller, that I've always wanted to replace with something AC- a 720 seems most logical and attainable for my area. I like the hydrostatic drive, three point and (hopefully) availability of attachments. They come up for sale every once in awhile within 200 mi of me for $2500-$4000.

What are the pros and cons to the 720? I understand the Onan engine can be hard to find parts for. I'm wondering if the rear PTO arrangement and RPM of 2000 might be problematic? How tough is it to find tillers for these (most I see for sale are 36" for the smaller garden series). What about the vinyl cabs for these- tough to find? I like the idea of having that and using an AC blower on the front to complement my larger and smaller snowblowing options.

Of course, another option would be to paint the 4200 AC orange and pretend its a 5020 or something like that....j/k.  
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Steve in NJ View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steve in NJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 5:56pm
The 616-720 large Garden Tractors (and they're Simplicity cousins) are becoming a pretty hot commodity in the past 4-5 years or more. You're correct in your assumption of parts for the Onan engines and cost to rebuild them. If you find one where the machine along with the engine has been well taken care of, the Onan engine will probably last quite a while. Coarse the ones that were neglected, will cost some dough to get whipped back into shape. Some 616-720 owners move to a re-power unit like the Briggs VanGard or Honda repower kits if they aquire a machine with a sour engine. Less expensive in the long run, much easier on fuel, and more reliability with the newer designed engines.

Attachments are available for these machines although you do have to search around for them. My opinion with that is where you live has a lot to do with what's available in the attachment department. As far as the PTO is concerned, when you have hard core 720 guys like Mike Noonan and Mike Brown developing new PTO units for these machines, power steering etc. it makes it that more attractive. I offer a complete custom built wiring system for these machines, as well as a lot of electrical components to help the 616-720 owners get their machines whipped back into the tough machine that they are. Overall, they are a pretty stout machine, usually weighing in around 900+ lbs in stock trim. You'll never purchase a new machine that's even close or compares to one of these machines, even if the damn thing is worn out!  LOL!  There are front end loaders available, along with snowblowers, tillers and other attachments. There's a few fellers on here that even have a Backhoe attachment on their machines. Pretty cool stuff. Its really up to the individual whether he or she wants to get one of these machines.  I can tell you this, if you acquire one that you want to restore or get back into shape to do the chores you need done, my opinion is they are a great investment. They just don't build machines like these "brutes" anymore....
Steve@B&B
39'RC, 43'WC, 48'B, 49'IB, 49'G, 50'WF, 67'B-110, 75'716H, 2-620's, & a Motorhead wife
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mnoonan-NEWI View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mnoonan-NEWI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2019 at 11:22pm
Originally posted by Steve in NJ Steve in NJ wrote:

The 616-720 large Garden Tractors (and they're Simplicity cousins) are becoming a pretty hot commodity in the past 4-5 years or more. You're correct in your assumption of parts for the Onan engines and cost to rebuild them. If you find one where the machine along with the engine has been well taken care of, the Onan engine will probably last quite a while. Coarse the ones that were neglected, will cost some dough to get whipped back into shape. Some 616-720 owners move to a re-power unit like the Briggs VanGard or Honda repower kits if they aquire a machine with a sour engine. Less expensive in the long run, much easier on fuel, and more reliability with the newer designed engines.

Attachments are available for these machines although you do have to search around for them. My opinion with that is where you live has a lot to do with what's available in the attachment department. As far as the PTO is concerned, when you have hard core 720 guys like Mike Noonan and Mike Brown developing new PTO units for these machines, power steering etc. it makes it that more attractive. I offer a complete custom built wiring system for these machines, as well as a lot of electrical components to help the 616-720 owners get their machines whipped back into the tough machine that they are. Overall, they are a pretty stout machine, usually weighing in around 900+ lbs in stock trim. You'll never purchase a new machine that's even close or compares to one of these machines, even if the damn thing is worn out!  LOL!  There are front end loaders available, along with snowblowers, tillers and other attachments. There's a few fellers on here that even have a Backhoe attachment on their machines. Pretty cool stuff. Its really up to the individual whether he or she wants to get one of these machines.  I can tell you this, if you acquire one that you want to restore or get back into shape to do the chores you need done, my opinion is they are a great investment. They just don't build machines like these "brutes" anymore....
Steve@B&B


Thanks Steve, where do I send the commision check.
AC CA, Ferguson TO-20, Ford NAA, M-M BG, AC #3 Mower, SC Plow, PH Digger, AC 720's with Ark 700 loader & Brantly Backhoe, "Mini B" w/flathead Ford V8
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Steve in NJ View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steve in NJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 10:53am
LMAO!!  You're to much Mike!  LOL
39'RC, 43'WC, 48'B, 49'IB, 49'G, 50'WF, 67'B-110, 75'716H, 2-620's, & a Motorhead wife
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote talntedmrgreen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 11:14am
I agree with the comment on location, especially.  Here in MI, a nice condition, well running powermax with 3pt and rear PTO can be had for well under $2000.  They are a hot commodity, and so you will see much higher prices, but with time on your side, you can get into a fantastic package for the price range you are thinking for just a tractor.  

Mowers, blowers & snow blades are very common.  Again, with some patience, you have that trio for a grand.  But, this time of year, you will also see folks wanting hear that much for just a blower.

Tillers and cultivation attachments are not too terribly hard to find.  Again, you could likely have a nice tiller AND a cultivator/harrow for a grand or less.  Category 0 attachments are not as common as their larger kin, but they are plenty abundant in the midwest.  

Higher demand items like a loader, 3pt mowers, backhoes, etc will become pricier.  Loaders were fairly common for these, but also subject to abuse and wear and high collector demand.  A nice tractor with loader can still be had under $3000, however.  

I see more overpriced units than bargain buys, for sure, but there are a lot of underappreciated machines that pop up all over, that collectors and users are eager to buy up quickly.  I think one would be suitable for the size property you have, though I would cringe at the idea of depending on one for tillage use for more than a large garden.  If 5+ acres of your 15 are needing work from your future powermax, I'd reconsider.  You may find yourself wrenching more than farming.
Patterson B1*B1/B1Forklift*B10*BigTen/B1Loader*B110*B208*B206*616*Homelite T16H/T8/T7/RM7E*Landlord/Loader/Trencher*Broadmoor717*Serf525*2110*7790*Legacy XL*Twin 20*Squire9*Squire6*JCPenny 494
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dertz19 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dertz19 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 11:57am
Thanks for the input Steve!

And btw, I bought a wiring harness last spring from you to replace on my 716H- worked fabulous and I'm very pleased!

Follow up question- anyone know the rhyme or reason between mower decks being white or orange? Does it depend on the year they were made? Which came first- white or orange? My 716 has the cowl lights- so I believe they only made them two years. I have brochures from the year they first came out and the mowers are painted white. But when I bought mine, it was orange, and I believe that's original. The 720 I'm contemplating purchasing has an orange deck.
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AC720Man View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AC720Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 7:18pm
My deck was orange when i bought my 720, but when I restored the 720 and the mower deck I painted it cream to match the tractor wheels. Yes it was suppose to be white wheels but I liked the cream of the bigger tractors. Just personal preference. The attachments are getting harder to find. It took me 2 years to find a nice front snow thrower, 5 years to find a nice sickle mower and Danco brush hog. But it was worth it, each attachment does a good job and has made chores much easier.
1968 B-208, 1976 720 (2 of them)Danco brush hog, single bottom plow,52" snow thrower, belly mower,rear tine tiller, rear blade, front blade, 57"sickle bar,1983 917 hydro, 1968 7hp sno-bee, 1968 190XTD
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DougG View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DougG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 7:24pm
In my opinion, they are neat little tractors, but just not big enough to handle anything effiently, even with the factory equipment,
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Steve in NJ View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steve in NJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2019 at 8:25pm
Glad you liked the harness!  I can't answer your question, but probably Josh could, he up on all the GT stuff. Josh, where did you go?
39'RC, 43'WC, 48'B, 49'IB, 49'G, 50'WF, 67'B-110, 75'716H, 2-620's, & a Motorhead wife
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DSeries4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2019 at 9:50am
Originally posted by DougG DougG wrote:

In my opinion, they are neat little tractors, but just not big enough to handle anything effiently, even with the factory equipment,


Yes, the original Onan engine is pretty thirsty for the power it makes.  Also, if you need to rebuild it you will need a bank loan!  The steering boxes tend to get pretty sloppy on them - power steering was not an option either.  They are a good tractor, but I don't know if it will do everything that you want it to do.  The 2000 rpm PTO is a limiting factor as many aftermarket small implements were designed to run at 540.
'49 G, '54 WD45, '57 WD45, '58 D14, '59 D14, '61 D15D, '66 D15II, '66 D21II, '67 D17IV, '67 D17IVD, '67 190XTD, '73 620, '76 185, '77 175, '85 6080
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dusty MI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2019 at 11:17am
I have a 720 with a loader, it has a replacement engine, I have the original, the rear PTO is out of it.
The steering box can be replaced with one from a Chevy, forget what model, not hard to come by, it takes a slight mod. My steering quit and I replaced the gear box, then found the problem in the steering wheel, made me feel rather foolish. 

Dusty
917 H, '48 G, '65 D-10 series III "Allis Express"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldways Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2019 at 10:37pm
I'd love to have one. I think there one of the coolest AC out there. They are high around here if you even see one for sale.
1 Corinthians 1:18 1969-190xt-III 1948-G 1937-WC unstyled. 1950-B 1951-CA1966-D17-IV
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dertz19 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2019 at 9:42pm
Thanks all for the input. I wound up buying it. I've got numerous other tractor options so I don't need to rely on it. Thought the front-mounted snowblower would be a handy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote IBWD MIke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2019 at 9:02am
That's a good looking tractor!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AC720Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2019 at 9:20pm
Nice 720 and snow thrower, I have the same tire combo. A set of rear chains makes a world of difference as that much weight up front makes the rear a little lite. It moves snow very well. Looks like you found a nice one. Let’s hear some more about it.
1968 B-208, 1976 720 (2 of them)Danco brush hog, single bottom plow,52" snow thrower, belly mower,rear tine tiller, rear blade, front blade, 57"sickle bar,1983 917 hydro, 1968 7hp sno-bee, 1968 190XTD
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