This is my first GT
that I got for free around 1989. The engine was kaput, but I was given an Onan B43 and incorporated into it. Along with the tractor, I also got the 917.252390 sleeve hitch blade. Within a few weeks, I had it running. At that time, I had no manual for the tractor. So it was by trial and error getting the variable speed system tweaked to work correctly. I put it to use mainly to pull around the engine hoist that I adapted air tires to. At the time, I had a 3-car garage, but no concrete outside, so I needed something that would allow me to move heavy things around on the gravel.
When I moved back to Tulsa, this tractor was left in Wichita along with the hoist for duties up there. Not being used very often, it became just a yard ornament. So, last summer I brought it home and got it running again. After looking a the tractor for a few months, I decided it should have a new paint job to get rid of it’s nickname of ‘Ol Ugly. The hood was cracked, no head lights, grille shell was bent and missing the center section. Thanks to a couple of great members here, I got a very nice hood, complete grille, and headlights to put on it. That set the ball in motion.
I decided I wanted to add a 3-point on it, so with with the help of another great member here, I was able to adapt a power steering pump to the front of the Onan and add hydraulics. Another member contributed a valve and I found another valve and cylinder on e-bay to add to the mix. After much head scratching and more parts obtained from members, I was able to get a Cat 0 3-point set up on the tractor. I still need to plumb the hydraulics. That will come before long.
I took the tractor apart for just a repaint, but went a bit further and fixed a few issues while I had things apart. Another member had contributed a pair of 26X12 tires and I needed more fender clearance. So the fender pan was raised 1”, which allowed the installation of the valve under the pan. I had to add 2.5" to the rear wheel width for the bigger tires, also.
The paint is spray can, not perfect, but much better than it looked before. I chose Charcoal Gray, w/ Red highlights, and a black frame for the colors. Another member here made up the decals for me. So, thanks to this great site, I am very happy with the outcome of my labor. There are a few more things to be added, but ‘Big Bertha’ is a much better name for this tractor now. My thanks to everyone here who has helped make this possible.
First is a couple before pics:
Now, the finished product:
The decals are in the mail!Update!
Decals are installed: