I've been looking at garden tractor loaders off and on for a couple years now. I even bought plans to build my own which of course was relegated to the "round tuit" pile.
Today I picked up a 1977 Cub Cadet 1650 (16hp, hydrostatic drive) with a loader on it. I think the loader was homemade with some modifications after initial construction.
I paid $1200 which is about half what I would normally expect to pay for such a thing. The electric PTO clutch doesn't work so I can't engage the hydraulics to run the loader but it starts easily even in the teens and is able to slide the loader bucket along pretty well.
I've been researching the PTO clutch and as with most things I won't really know whats up until I dig into it, the clutch itself is pretty simple and only about $150 if I find it needs replacement. The previous owner said it worked and then started blowing fuses, the wiring is a little hacked but not too bad so I'll pull it apart and see whats going on.
The hydraulics look like they were rigged by a halfwit, I plan to replace some of the hoses with hard lines since they're too short to route better than they already are. I'd like to replace the single cylinder currently hooked up for the bucket with two cylinders on the lift arms. Getting that stupid looking big cylinder out of the way would allow the hood to open correctly.
Anyway its a fun new toy and as I told the neighbor it'll keep my out of the bars.