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mikeeyre74

520H equivalent in JD?

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 Just out of curiosity, for when I’m looking around on the webs and someone mentions a JD…  what is the equivalent in the John Deere to, say, a 520H? That’s the biggest classic that I have. I had a 522 and it was huge... is that like a 4 series JD? Which I’m only familiar with since that had a cool Yanmar Diesel in it which was similar to the 522Dxi, yes?

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Probably weight wise the JD would be an x500. I have a x324 and it is pretty much a mowing machine. Compared to the 520........no comparison. The 520 is much more robust.

 

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That’s a tough one @mikeeyre74 :confusion-scratchheadblue: A lot of it depends on the series of JD that you want to look at and compare against. Tractor Data has most all the “Green” GT’s listed and you could do a walk through it.  The 523Dxi compares pound for pound pretty well against the JD 455.  The :wh:Dxi is heavier but has many of the same features. It is lacking the Cat 0 three point option and diff lock which would have both been nice competitive options to offer.  HP/torque/and dual range hydro—all similar.  

 

The 520H is a unique beast though.  They were very svelte for a tractor that had such a heavy duty hydro unit and a 20hp Onan.  I would say that the JD 320 would be similar in size but is a more complex machine than the Horse. The 300/400/500 series Horses are very unique in that they “feel” smaller from the operators station than many comparable machines and yet they are more rugged and durable than most of their competitors.:twocents-mytwocents:

 

This is is just my take on it.  I’ll be interested in hearing what the other guys have to say...:popcorn:

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Maybe we can get @Goldann520 to help out here? I for one like learning about different makes and models.

 

Here’s a couple quotes from his thread...

Also I'm a first time wh buyer. JD man my whole life  (sorry) grew up with 'em on the farm in NORTHERN new york. Own a 212, 214, and a 317. Keeping the 520h cause it's equivalent of a 400 series JD and I've always liked wh.

 

This wheel horse is definitely simpler than the greens by far.get underneath one of those and it's like a nuclear engineer figured out how to stuff all that under there. But the one thing I will say is there is no comparison in frame strength.  You can hang whatever you want off the front and go. Snowblower, blade, etc on a green.

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2 hours ago, ACman said:

Keeping the 520h cause it's equivalent of a 400 series JD and I've always liked wh.

 

This wheel horse is definitely simpler than the greens by far... But the one thing I will say is there is no comparison in frame strength.  You can hang whatever you want off the front and go. Snowblower, blade, etc on a green...

I have had very little hands on time on a green machine throughout my life. It’s good to here from someone who has.  I helped a buddy refurbish his 420–boy that was a beast: diff lock, 20hp Onan, Cat O 3pt, power steering, multiple hydraulics, etc. The thing that impressed me most was the frame.  It was super heavy duty and bulky everywhere.  That is why I have a tough time comparing the 520H directly with that tractor-it was more comparable with a 520Lxi in my opinion.  I agree wholeheartedly with the above mentioned thoughts on the complexity of the JD though.  It is hard to find a simpler, easy to work on machine than a :wh:

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Thanks @ACmanfor the page time.to the topic a 520h in my opinion is equivalent to 400 series green. I say this mainly because of the 20hp onan (same engine 400,420 green) also 520 is top of the line wheelhorse of that era. (Remember era is very important) thanks for listening 

 Terry 

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Thanks Terry for weighing in, it is good to have someone’s perspective who has owned them and can honestly compare and contrast. I appreciate your viewpoint on this...:handgestures-thumbupright:

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 Any X3 series (I have one) in my opinion would be severely lacking when it comes to brute strength compared to any of the WH 300,400,500's.  An X5 series would likely be a better comparision for a 520H weight, transaxle strength, horsepower wise.  The 400 series JD is basically the foundation of the current X7 series machines, I would think a D series and the 5 XI, LXI, DXI would be competitors for this class machine. I own a 16 Auto and it is a great machine, if it wasn't there would be something else sitting in it's spot, however it's no 400, 420, 4x5, X4x5, or X7 in any stretch of the imagination and the 520H with just 4 more HP, similar weight, similar tranny strength to the 16 Auto is not likely to compare either.  My guess is the 520H competitor would have been the JD 318, and newer model comparatives being a 325 and an X580.

 

Love the WH's though, just plain flat out simple and easier to work on, made with the best components in the day, and no unnecessary "fluff" to complicate things.  Next machine here will be a JD,,,,,,, naw I think it will be a WH 416H, 520H or I might take it up a notch with a 5 XI, LXI, just depends on what I can find.  I've sipped the green kool-aide and have nothing bad to say about the machine or its performance, I can just do a WH for a lot less coin and have a much heavier machine, only drawback I see would be product support (parts) and depending on model some difficulty finding attachments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I just sold my XI because it was like pulling teeth to find attachments for it. It was a great tractor, and well thought out, but if I can't make it do work for me for lack of things to bolt on to it, it's worthless. 

 

The xi was much nicer to tinker on that.this 520H is tho.... 

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Sorry guys, got to step in again here. Era is very important.520 ended in 97, so how can we compare to xi or jd x series? NEWER, 400 series same era. I own a 317 which is the 17 horse Koehler instead of the 18 horse onan. Both are twin cylinder. Frame, split brakes, and hydraulic outlets are what I see over my 520. Now I haven't worked the dickens out of my 520 yet, but what I've seen so far and that onan snarl, I'm willing to bet it will give the 317 all it can handle,or maybe out work it. Thanks for listening guys. ERA IS IMPORTANT. By the way, 300 series JD is 80's. 400 90'S

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On 12/26/2017 at 6:33 AM, PeacemakerJack said:

That’s a tough one @mikeeyre74 :confusion-scratchheadblue: A lot of it depends on the series of JD that you want to look at and compare against. Tractor Data has most all the “Green” GT’s listed and you could do a walk through it.  The 523Dxi compares pound for pound pretty well against the JD 455.  The :wh:Dxi is heavier but has many of the same features. It is lacking the Cat 0 three point option and diff lock which would have both been nice competitive options to offer.  HP/torque/and dual range hydro—all similar.  

 

The 520H is a unique beast though.  They were very svelte for a tractor that had such a heavy duty hydro unit and a 20hp Onan.  I would say that the JD 320 would be similar in size but is a more complex machine than the Horse. The 300/400/500 series Horses are very unique in that they “feel” smaller from the operators station than many comparable machines and yet they are more rugged and durable than most of their competitors.:twocents-mytwocents:

 

This is is just my take on it.  I’ll be interested in hearing what the other guys have to say...:popcorn:

Tractor data isn't the best option for tractors, especially L&G tractors. Too many mistakes in the data they provide.  Ask this question on WFM, and you will get more accurate answers.  The 520-H was Wheel Horse best tractor in the day, but to be honest, it was a step or two behind the capabilities of Deere's comparative options, like the 318, 322, and 332, which would be closest to size and weight (though Deere's models were heavier) and capability.  I would say, from 1993 on, the 3X5 series were probably closest to the 520-H in size, weight, and capability, with Deere's 4X5 series a step or two more capable than anything Wheel Horse had, except the 5Xi series.  Current models, would be Deere's X500 series, but they're pricey, though the 520-H wasn't cheap in that era.

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5 hours ago, Goldann520 said:

Sorry guys, got to step in again here. Era is very important.520 ended in 97, so how can we compare to xi or jd x series? NEWER, 400 series same era. I own a 317 which is the 17 horse Koehler instead of the 18 horse onan. Both are twin cylinder. Frame, split brakes, and hydraulic outlets are what I see over my 520. Now I haven't worked the dickens out of my 520 yet, but what I've seen so far and that onan snarl, I'm willing to bet it will give the 317 all it can handle,or maybe out work it. Thanks for listening guys. ERA IS IMPORTANT. By the way, 300 series JD is 80's. 400 90'S

Check the spec number of the Kohler in your 317.  Most were Series 1 and had problems throwing rods.  It was apparently so bad that JD stopped using kohlers for several years.  ..That said one of my C-175's is running a KT-17 series one from  a JD 317.   Well over 2000 ours.  smokes on start up but still get the job done.  Keep her topped up on oil (maybe a bit overfull) and avoid steep grades and you will be fine..... Have to use an Electric PTO as JD was to cheap to spring for thrust bearings on the crankshaft :P

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Hi @pfrederi, thanks for the  mention.😀  my 317 is an '83 and guess what? Bought with a broken rod for $450. Got lucky and found a transplant for $225. Both are series 2. Jd changed in '83 both serial #'s series 2. So rods not exclusive to series 1. The 1's would not pump oil properly on a SIDE SLOPE. Was so bad series 2 Kohler twin (same in wh 417) couldn't save the 317 number. Jd dropped 317 name to save face. (Only produced 79-84) 5 years short run back then. Went to onan's exclusively in the premier series. (300 and 400)  Anyway watch the series 2 and maintenance often. Thanks for listening to my ramble on JD history.

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It has been fun to listen/read of your experiences with these tractors/engines.

 

 I still stand by my statement, after studying over the history of lots of various GT’s, that it is very hard to fit the 3/4/500 series WH tractors into a box. The 520’s were the best WH offered in the 90’s yet were a far cry overall size and beef wise from the D series tractors of the late 70’s and early 80’s especially the D-250 which was basically a compact tractor. That being said, the Eaton 1100 hydro, WH unidrive rear end, and the Onan 20hp motor, made for one beast of a tractor in a package nearly half the size of the 420 JD or the Super Cub 2072.  

 

All comparisons aside :wh:had such a great tractor with the afformentioned tractors that they didn’t feel they needed very many improvements to the design and it remained virtually unchanged for 2 decades!  Awesome! 

 

Ill get back on the couch and learn some more from those of you who have owned them...:popcorn:

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3 hours ago, Goldann520 said:

Hi @pfrederi, thanks for the  mention.😀  my 317 is an '83 and guess what? Bought with a broken rod for $450. Got lucky and found a transplant for $225. Both are series 2. Jd changed in '83 both serial #'s series 2. So rods not exclusive to series 1. The 1's would not pump oil properly on a SIDE SLOPE. Was so bad series 2 Kohler twin (same in wh 417) couldn't save the 317 number. Jd dropped 317 name to save face. (Only produced 79-84) 5 years short run back then. Went to onan's exclusively in the premier series. (300 and 400)  Anyway watch the series 2 and maintenance often. Thanks for listening to my ramble on JD history.

1983 was the last year for the 317.  1983 was also the first year for the 318, which replaced the 317.

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I've met my match! But I will check that again. Was sure 84 last year.Thanks @T-Mo.

By the way, not sure if JD ever put kohlers back in gt's after that?

X-series? Lot of Briggs and such.

I do stand corrected.  317 from 79 to 83. My engine is an 82. #199××× and tractor 83 235xxx. 82 when series 2 introduced. Excuse my ignorance.😑

Edited by Goldann520
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 What I find most interesting about this conversation so far is that, by me asking “what is the comparison to a wheel horse 520“, the answers have spanned decades of time, but there is no clear-cut answer.  The thing that sticks out is, it seems to be you can’t have an apples to apples comparison… If somebody wanted a large mower deck, a huge engine and a smaller sized tractor, the wheel horse 520 seemed to fit the bill,  and maybe they bought that. But if they needed something a little bigger, and maybe needed a three point hitch, then perhaps they would look at the John Deere, although it had about the same size engine is the 520.  Perhaps there was no such thing as “the right answer“ all manufacturers needed to make their color tractor in size X, Y and Z?

Edited by mikeeyre74
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Interesting chat.

No longer turning earth although Horses did well on my garden plots. I find my '90 520-8 does all I need; snow. mow, thatch, rollers, trailers.

1st Horse, 40+ years ago and zero regrets.

 

Prices for similar Deeres are outrageous.

 

 

Edited by Tankman
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9 hours ago, Goldann520 said:

I've met my match! But I will check that again. Was sure 84 last year.Thanks @T-Mo.

By the way, not sure if JD ever put kohlers back in gt's after that?

X-series? Lot of Briggs and such.

I do stand corrected.  317 from 79 to 83. My engine is an 82. #199××× and tractor 83 235xxx. 82 when series 2 introduced. Excuse my ignorance.😑

The KT17 in the 317 did seem to sour Deere from Kohler, at least for a few years.  The replacement tractors, the 316 Onan and the 318 had Onan engines in them, and the 330 and 332 used Yanmar diesels.  The 420, which replaced the 400, had a 20 hp Onan while the 430 used a Yanmar diesel.  The 322, which was a 318 with with a liquid cooled engine, used a Yanmar gas engine.  Deere started to used Kawasaki engines then in 1986 for the LTs and light duty GTs, and then went with them exclusively in 1993 with the 3X5 and 4X5 series.  Deere did put in the Kohler Commands starting in late 1980s with the STX lawn tractors and then with the LT and LX line in the late 90s.

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Ok, they put 'em in throw away,  lower end stuff. Must never have forgot the kt- 17. How did the wh 417 fare? Same engine, correct? Don't want to be 2 for 2 in wrong information days!😃

My dad looking at a wh 417 today for $500 w/deck. Decent shape. They good tractors? Haven't seen many myself.

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8 minutes ago, Goldann520 said:

Ok, they put 'em in throw away,  lower end stuff. Must never have forgot the kt- 17. How did the wh 417 fare? Same engine, correct? Don't want to be 2 for 2 in wrong information days!😃

My dad looking at a wh 417 today for $500 w/deck. Decent shape. They good tractors? Haven't seen many myself.

The 417 came later so it would have the series II KT17s in them.  The Deere LT and LX tractors weren't throw away tractors, but the LX was the top of the line lawn tractors in their day, and the LT line was certainly more than capable.  Most of the LXs and LTs are still going strong, as well as the entry level STX tractors.  The LX188 was like the Mercedes of the lawn tractors in the mid to late 90s, with it's liquid cooled engine, heavy duty lawn tractor transmission, and heavy duty frames.  Most people don't know is that Deere made spec LXs for Honda in the 90s.

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This is going to be slightly :text-offtopic:but it does tie into the conversation here of late...

 

Isn’t it interesting that the K-series Kohler’s are and were legendary for their build quality, functionality, and durability?

All of the power players in the GT market used them for their machines.  They were pound for pound know to be the best option in the 60’s and 70’s.  One could only imagine the buzz and excitement at the introduction of a new twin cylinder Kohler! I don’t know about wheel horse but JD (317) and CUB (682/782) both introduced new model lines based on the KT-17 engine.  Could you imagine the PR nightmare when these started failing because insufficient oil lubrication?  My dad worked as a service Technician at an IH dealership at that time.  

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He dealt primarily with the big tractors and machinery but Pat dealt with all the GT related stuff...

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(Pat, Dad, and Bob behind a survivor Cub that I own. It was sold new at the dealership when these guys worked there. Pat set it up, delivered it, and serviced it for a couple of years.  I have the privilege of knowing both previous owners and I’m the third).

Pat told me a story of a lawn care service that had been waiting for the new Cub 782 to come out so they could outfit their crew with them. Pat set one up and they came in and picked it up, anxious to see how it would do. The first job they had was for a commercial property with a 1/4 mile long driveway that had steeper ditches on each side. They made it down one side and half the way back before blowing a hole in the block.  They came back shocked and surprised. To save face, the service manager had Pat set up another 782 for them. That took that one out and made it just a little further than the first before the same thing happened! Upon coming back the second time, the manager said to set up the bigger brother Onan powered 982 Super.  That tractor was in service by the company for nearly a decade before they traded it in.  Pat said that they couldn’t believe the issues that they had as a result of poor oiling.  It was a warranty nightmare but since IH was selling the brand to MTD in 1980-81 they washed their hands of the whole deal.  

 

The Cubs of the 80’s struggled through until the introduction of the durable Magnum series engines and the pairing of the Kubota motors to their drive trains.   JD appeared to just move away from Kohler’s for good in their industrial line tractors after the 317 went away. Kohler meanwhile introduced the series II engine which had a much improved oiling system but their name would never again hold the place of prominence in the GT industry that it once did.  My question for those of you that may have owned or do own KT series one engine in a :wh: are they as susceptible to engine failure as are the above mentioned tractors? With the engine mounted transversely in a Horse, I’m curious if they had less issues with them failing. I now have one in my C195 that seems to work pretty well. I don’t know the history of it but it starts good and runs good without smoking.  My fingers are crossed...

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If I ever owned another green one - it would easily be a 455 diesel . A friend had one as well as the 425 w/Kawasaki gas engine - both were beasts but that diesel model was something to behold . It never blinked and got 500+hrs per year on it wide open doing work for his biz - but the 420 ate it's rings and I repaired it . The 420 still runs to this day but it was almost $1,000 in parts alone to fix that Kawasaki - just rings , gaskets and a new injection head that had caused the problem originally - ouch . The weight difference between those two models was amazing - that diesel was so planted in comparison , especially when we plowed parking lots and a few gas stations with it on a regular basis when I was helping him out . A friend of mine is still hunting one for his property to do all the odd jobs his big Kubota won't fit due to it's size - but prices on any used 455 in decent shape is staggering and pretty tough to swallow . He's trading into a smaller Kubota BX series and giving up finding a JD for now - they are just too expensive at by now getting a bit too old , even for a diesel .

 

As far as sizing - I know of no other models that fit the size ranges of the JD/WH in comparison directly . Maybe the D200 can be compared to the 455 or similar - but the hydro coupling in the D is such a weak point it pretty much loses the battle in work capability compared to the JD . The biggest single difference in when you have to work on them - even working on a D is a pleasure compared to nearly any of the Deere equipment .

 

Sarge

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