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Our Family Garden: The Garden Tractor

April 17th, 2009 · 7 Comments

By now, I had hoped to have our garden partially planted.  We got the garden plowed about a month ago and two weeks ago, we bought a used garden tractor.  It’s a cute little 70s Sears Suburban garden tractor.  It came with a tiller, a plow, a cultivator and a disc as well as a mower.  We had big plans for it.

Picture from Sears ad

Picture from Sears ad

We brought it home and went right to work cutting the grass.  The first thing we noticed was that it smoked a bit.  Ok, it smoked a LOT.    The smoke got less as it ran more.  It had a bit of a leak in the gas tank that we patched and it needed a new air filter.

Once these small things were fixed, it ran like a champ and we got the whole yard mowed for Easter.  It looked great!!

Now it was time to start on the garden.  We took the mower attachment off and started it up to drive it to the tiller to hook that up.  Was that a tapping in the motor?

Oh yes!  Definitely a tap!  By the time Randy had made it half way around the barn, he said it “sounded like two leprechauns with sledge hammers.”   He cut it off!

After some checking it out a bit, we determined that the engine was going to need to be rebuilt.  Normally on a lawn mower, it would not be worthwhile to spend money on a 30 year old machine but the Sears Suburban Garden tractor was actually a small tractor.  It has high and low which gives it about 8 different gears.

It has a cast iron engine and was built to last.  We have talked to several people who rebuild them and when it’s rebuilt, it should last another 30 years.  The fact is that they just don’t make them like this anymore.  Of course, finding parts is a challenge as they quit making the engine a few years ago.

In the meantime, a friend came over yesterday and disced the garden for us so we are one step closer to being able to plant!

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Tags: Gardening

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mike // Apr 17, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Awesome. I want one! So i guess it has a PTO to drive a tiller? Maybe you can post some photos of it in action… Good luck getting parts. I saw some pretty cheap on ebay, maybe you can cannibalize one of those for parts?

  • 2 Cindy // Apr 17, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Hi Mike, when we get it back together, I will post pictures. The tractor has a 3 point hitch but no PTO. The tiller has a separate motor on it. From what I understand, they do have Sears garden tractors with a PTO.

  • 3 The Garden Tractor Runs Again | Small Homestead // May 13, 2009 at 2:28 am

    […] a month ago, I wrote about our little garden tractor blowing up.  It took a couple of weeks to find all of the parts we needed.  We bought the connecting rod on […]

  • 4 Storm Cloud // Nov 6, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I came across your site looking to find a Sears lawn tractor like the one I have out in the shed
    it’s been there for 10 years or more, just never had any use for it, but thought about putting it together, would like to know if you were able to rebuild the motor, or if you just replaced it.
    Mine is simulair but I don’t have any of the attachments you mentioned. Would you know of any outlets for the attacments ??
    thank you
    Storm Cloud

  • 5 Cindy // Nov 7, 2009 at 8:03 am

    We did rebuild the engine in the tractor. We found most of the parts on ebay but our local carquest also had some parts that we needed. I would suggest searching ebay, craigslist, etc for parts and attachments or old tractors to use for parts.

  • 6 Baron // Dec 1, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    I need a complete three-point hitch (with side and top adjustable links) for a Sears Suburban Tractor. Do anyone have one, or know of a source?


  • 7 Randay // Apr 11, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    I have a complete frame, rear fenders, rear end,dash panel, grill,steering wheel and all components, and other parts if your interested? 150.00 Blanchester Ohio 45107

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