Antique tillers

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by mousecat33, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. mousecat33

    mousecat33 Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    Anybody here use any antique tillers/walk-behind tractors? Please, no poppin'john posts. Walk behind only.

    My TBilt tiller is ancient, but I can still order parts for it. Everytime my Dad is over and sees it he sounds off about some "RotoTill" or something that his dad had back in the 1940s. Apparently pretty fancy and futuristic looking.

    I've been keeping an eye out for walk-behinds to fix up and keep/sell.

  2. MamaWolfInWV

    MamaWolfInWV Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    Exactly what is a poppin John? Sorry I am a little ignorant of the term. Anyway I hope what I am about to post isn't a "poppin john post" lol.We have a Rotohoe rear tine that looks like it is at least 35 years old (looks that way anyway I really have no idea actually how old it is). We bought it used so I actually know very little about it other than it runs good. We also have two walk behind Gravley's one was made in the 1940s and the other was made in 1950 something both are excellent machines. Takes a little work to run them because our ground is so hard and has never been worked before but I wouldn't part with them. If not for the fact that you are so far away I would give you three front tine tillers that I have and don't use (they are front tine and too light to be of any use to me because our ground is so hard they just dance on top of it).

  3. scorpian5

    scorpian5 Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2004
    Southwest Wisconsin
    We have an old rotohoe tiller also but last spring i broke the belt and i am having a hard time finding a new one. It runs great
  4. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    The only thing I have heard of as referred to as "poppin john" are old 2 cyl John Deere farm tractors. They had long stroke 2 cyl engine and huge flywheel which let them run at very low rpm. Very distinctive sound.

    Gravelys are one of best engineered pieces of garden equipment ever. Nothing like Gravely with rotary plow attachment. My first Gravely was a 1954. Took me a while after I got it home to figure out that the engine governor was external and an extra cost "OPTION" that previous owner hadnt chosen. I had lot of unkind thoughts about guy who sold it to me until I found that out. Who knew Gravely didnt build a governor into their engines like everybody else. Believe me you dont want one of these without a governor and the optional governor is cheap looking little potmetal piece of crap that is very expensive to add/replace. The '54 after many years of service is now setting waiting for me to replace engine with a used 11hp Honda that I bought for it. Lot of adapting involved and I procrastinate. Right now am using a 1978 Gravely that came from factory with a 8hp Kohler engine. After struggling with old style engine, this Kohler version is a dream come true. Wish it had little more horsepower. These machines really need around 10-12hp engine. although the 8hp will get you by.

    I think front end tillers are misunderstood. Doesnt help that lot of cheap crappy underpowered ones were sold over the years. You need sharp hardened tines and engine that can pull thing at slower speed. Tines wont dig in if rpms are too high, it will just skitter across harder ground. You also need to use that adjustable bar on rear of tiller. It acts as an anchor to keep tiller from running off. The two best front tine tillers I ran into was a HOnda that I rented for a weekend one year in early 90's (I abused it greatly and it held up, made me gain lot respect for Honda small engines) and a friends old MerryTiller. Its ancient but most rugged front tine tiller I've ever run across. Even that Honda tiller I rented, I took off outside tines to relieve stress on engine. I was abusing it by tilling unbefore tilled ground with it. It wasnt designed for that.
  5. tiller in tx

    tiller in tx Guest

    I have a 1965 Montgomery Ward Tiller that is in excellent shape, w/ 4 hp briggs and stratton engine. I think it is a Yardman brand?? from that year, MW started using MTD after 70s. MTD purchased.