Well I see the whole summer has passed since I did anything significant to this tractor. Now I'm trying to get ready for a plow day this weekend, so need to do more fine tuning. As a mower, this tractor really didn't need for the deck lift to work. Now that I want to plow with it, the thumb release needs to hold properly. Since MH81 had told me the thumb button screws on, I knew how to get it off. Using another tip from this site, I heated the thumb knob red hot a couple of times with my Oxy Acetylene torch. After that, it was fairly easy to twist the button off and remove the broken rusted original spring. After some searching in some different stores, I found one that would work, so everything went back together today.
I've also had several times when fluid spilled out of the hydro transmission breather tube. I first saw it last summer when I filled the transmission, then drove about a mile to take care of a church member's lawn so she didn't have to mow it. It would start overflowing and leave a trail behind me on the road. After the second time , I figured I must have been overfilling it and that seemed to be an end to it, until this summer. I was mowing another neighbor's yard, and it started spitting oil again. So I decided I wanted to add an overflow tank.
After stopping in a few auto parts places, I found a generic radiator overflow tank that looked like it would work, and it fit into the spot left vacant by the old fuel tank. My son and I ran tubing from the overflow tank down to the breather tube and connected it. I also wondered if part of the problem with the oil spitting and overflowing from time to time might be due to contaminants in the oil, so I drained the hydro reservoir and refilled it. I'll probably order a new filter and install that sometime over the winter, so that will be a second drain and fill, so it should get rid of any contaminants lurking in the system.
One of the last jobs to be done before plow day is adding some weight to this tractor. I salvaged some weights years ago that were left in an apartment after someone moved out. Turns out the 15 Kg weight plate is just the right size to sit in the rim. I was able to drill two mounting holes while I got the charcoal grill lit and before I had to put on the burgers. Hope to drill the second one and mount both tomorrow. That should leave just the need from front weights and I have an idea on how to get that done quickly.