Wheel Horse 418-A vs. Wheel Horse 520H

16 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted

Hi,

The other day I found 2 very nice Wheel Horses for sale not more than 30 minutes away from me. I called the gentleman today and he said that he is retired and said that he fixes up garden tractors and then sells them as a hobby. He said that he repainted them etc etc. Both look to be very nice. The hour meter does NOT work on either of them. Both come with 48" decks. The 520H does have the gear reduction steering.

Anyways, I am trying to decide between the 2 as I can only buy one of them and I need some input from you guys which is the better tractor.

I have always wanted a 520H, but am a little hesitant of the Onan motor, especially with the hour meter not working. Other than a compression check, is there any other way that I can check the condition of the Onan motor? Is the Onan a better motor than the 18hp Kohler or are they pretty much equal?

Also, which tractor has the best transmission etc.?

I am just trying to get the most bang for my buck as they say.

Thanks,

Taylor

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ID: 2   Posted

I have had both. They have the same Eaton 11 rear end. As regarding the engines. The onan has a little more power and torque but you really won't notice it unless you are using a two stage. The Kohler is easier and cheaper to maintain. I have a 418A myself, though I would like to sell it as I don't use it.

Here are the pictures of the 520H I had and the 418A I currently have.

The 520H

IMG_0836.jpg

The 418A

5ece31ce.jpg

f82238b4.jpg

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ID: 3   Posted

i have several onans and really like them, but the 18 hp kohler mag would have to be a good 2nd choice so it depends on what your plans are for the tractor. do you need the gear reduction steering or the forward swept axle then do a compression test and good through exam of both tractors and make a decision base on the outcome of these answers. the gear reduction steering is nice with the 2 stage snow blower on the front, i can tell you from experience. just my 2 cents worth

eric j

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ID: 4   Posted

The gear reduction steering is more than just nice. I have a 1991 520H and have owned three without the gear reduction steering. I really didn't think it would make much difference but that was wrong. I have a suicide knob on it and use my left hand, never have to use both hands to steer it with the 60" deck. The one in your picture does have a 60" deck and looks to be a 1991 model. Once you have used a 520 with the Onan there is nothing like it.

Make sure the rear of the engine is clean of dirt and grass. If the previous owner kept it clean it should be fine. Ask if the hour meter ever worked since he has owned it. If it hasn't it would be hard to estimate how many hours are on it. You may still be able to get some idea though from the hours it shows and how long the owner has had it. 2000 hours on a well maintained one is not unusual.

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ID: 5   Posted

Thanks for all the great input guys! I am really leaning towards the 520, but I will have to look at them both before I can make a decision. I am going to go see the tractors at 10 this morning and will let you guys know how it turns out.

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ID: 6   Posted

The 418A may have a higher top speed (7 vs 5) if you have a lot of lawn to mow and top speed is important to you.

I prefer the single stick hydro lever of the 418A over the column mounted forward reverse mechanism of the 520H for mowing in tight places.

You can't beat the sound of the ONANs.

If you can swing it and get a good deal, buy both and then sell the one you like the least.

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ID: 7   Posted

I saw those tractors and both look like some really nice tractors! Hope you find one of them you like! ~Jake

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ID: 8   Posted

Well, I went and looked at the tractors today and I have to say, I was very disappointed. Both the tractors had cheap cover up spray paint jobs of them. Not at all what I was expecting.

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ID: 9   Posted

I most times I like to see a tractor in the orig. paint, unless real cheap, you never know what they are hiding, unless it looks like a nice job, then they took time to do it.

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ID: 10   Posted

Sounds like you got a first-hand look at "fixes up garden tractors.....as a hobby" compared to the rebuilds and restorations we see around here most of the time. Sorry the machines weren't up to standards. By any chance was the price on either of them such that it would be worth buying it and going through it yourself?

Duff :thumbs:

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ID: 11   Posted

Sounds like you got a first-hand look at "fixes up garden tractors.....as a hobby" compared to the rebuilds and restorations we see around here most of the time. Sorry the machines weren't up to standards. By any chance was the price on either of them such that it would be worth buying it and going through it yourself?

Duff :thumbs:

I don't think so. He wanted $900 for the 418 and $1,100 for the 520.

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ID: 12   Posted

I most times I like to see a tractor in the orig. paint, unless real cheap, you never know what they are hiding, unless it looks like a nice job, then they took time to do it.

I like them to be as original as possible too. He for sure did not spend much time on it.

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ID: 13   Posted

Ill sell you my 418A with a year 2000 42" SD for less than that, and it has a working hour meter!

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ID: 14   Posted

I have a very clean 1995 520 with 400 hours on it that I just went trough last winter (no paint), it is very nice lots of new little stuff, synthetic trans oil, new 9 pin connector, new fues box, batt. seat, drive belt and more I'd sell for $1250, or a clean 97 520 with 700 hours not as nice but still nice for $1000, no decks but I have a nice 42" SD that if you buy a tractor I will sell for a good price, and snow blowers.

And both hour meters work.

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ID: 15   Posted

Kelly PM sent :thumbs2:

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ID: 16   Posted (edited)

I most times I like to see a tractor in the orig. paint, unless real cheap, you never know what they are hiding, unless it looks like a nice job, then they took time to do it.

Correct on original paint ' but old post here so I'll ramble,  mowers are no different than cars, any "good" body man can hide anything he pleases. My bro n law had a 79 dodge van he wanted to fix up to sell with holes 6in tall the whole length of the wheel base {between fr/rr wheels} looked like the body would come off anytime. It was beat to he!! on top of it all. Our cousins one of the best custom Harley painters in the state with easy rider & American Iron magizine center folds/articles to prove it. He put about 2 gallons of bondo in that van and within a week it looked like brand new. Perfectly straight just like new again. So much so my idiot Bro n law decided to keep it..lol  We told him within a couple yrs it will look worse than ever but he kept it long enough it got totaled out and got top dollar from ins. yuup! lol

   Anything can be hidden with the right man doing it but a rattle can paint jobs not near as easy to hide things. Mowers may not of been as bad as you thought, may only look bad needing painted? Sand paper,time & paint is an easy fix really. Just say'n beware of shiny paint guys and I look harder at them than unrestored..lol  Paint meter scanners matched today will fool you matching rest of original too done right. Sold cars for a living, seen some very shiney junk in my days.. Some with original paint too. Look,look & look again..lol

Edited by 123GO

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