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My Bolens Project - 850

bolens 850 191-02 tube frame wisconsin s8d tractor restoration 1969

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95 replies to this topic

#16 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted June 27, 2012 - 06:04 AM

Welcome to GTtalk , I agree that you pulley could be repaired if not just filing the sharpe edges and seeing if it vibrates for the piece missing or damage the belt . On shafts , bolts , spark plug threads , anything that I might have problems removing , I use a proudut call anti- sieze ,you can get that at auto parts store , good luck , Al

#17 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted June 27, 2012 - 09:46 AM

Whenever a key is banged up like that along its sides, it is because the pulley was loose on the shaft. ...The back & forth movement of the pulley "hammers" the key, and upsets (raises) the metal on the crankshaft at the keyway.

Do NOT file the entire crankshaft !!!! .....You only need to file the very end (if it is mushroomed), or along both edges of the keyway. ....If there are burrs where the setscrews from the pulley scored the crankshaft, you can file those spots as well.

You should not be trying to make the crankshaft smaller, or the bore of the pulley larger. ....Cleaning rust is advisable, but filing of the crankshaft should only be done to remove "high spots" which are preventing the pulley from sliding onto the crankshaft.

As others have said, the pulley should slip onto the crankshaft (leave the key out), without having to drive it on with a hammer. ....It should not be loose or wobble on the crankshaft.

I have learned that it is often easier to insert the key after the pulley is installed on the crankshaft. ....Using anti-seize on the shaft & pulley bore is a good recommendation. .....Once the pulley is slid onto the shaft, rotate the pulley to line up the keyways, then insert the key. .....The key may have to be tapped in with a hammer, but at least you are not hammering on the pulley. ......Filing the lead end of the key (4 sides) slightly will allow it to start into the keyways much easier.

Your old key is too worn to consider re-using. .....A new key, or 1/4" keystock, should be available at any equipment dealer, most auto parts stores, or a bearing supply house.

Now, about your mower deck --- When you try to reinstall the pulleys onto the spindle shafts, the same techniques apply, except half-moon (woodruff) keys can not be installed after the pulley. ...File any burrs (high spots) from the shaft, but do not create any flat spots or depressions in the shafts. ....Make sure the keys are not banged up. ....If you have to hammer the pulleys on, put a block of wood under the opposite end of the shaft to support the shaft, or you can break the spindle bearing housing while driving the pulley on.

If you have the broken piece of the pulley, it can be welded or brazed back onto the pulley. .....Do not throw away the pulley.

Edited by Bruce Dorsi, June 27, 2012 - 09:48 AM.

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#18 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 02, 2012 - 11:32 AM


Time for some updates! I haven't had the best of luck with the hood and fenders so far. I sanded and wire wheeled some of the paint and rust off of them to try and prep it for paint. I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, so I decided to try some primer on it to see if it would cover the old cracked paint, but it wasn't looking good...

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So, I looked around for same places that do sandblasting to try and strip down the hood to the bare metal. However, prices were kind of expensive ($75-$100/hr for sandblasting, with 2 hour minimum...)
One guy even suggested that I may end up with holes in the hood or the metal could warp sandblasting it because the metal is thin. He suggested that I just use some paint stripper on it to get it to the bare metal and save money on the sandblasting. So, I bought this for $12:

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to try out on the hood and fender. I figured, what have I got to lose? Unfortunately, I already wasted another $6 in primer on the hood that would have to be stripped off.
I pulled the fender off as well and tried stripping that too before I did anything else to it. Here is the fender as I took off of the tractor:

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Here are the results of the paint stripper so far:

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...and the fender:

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Unfortunately, it didn't seem that the paint stripper did all THAT great of a job, but it did take a lot off I have to say. I'll bet the sandblasting would have yielded better results, but then again I would expect it to if I'm paying $200+ just to remove old paint... I'm going to look today for a good wire wheel or some type of grinding attachment to use on my drill to get the last of the paint and rust off.

In the meantime, I got the new brake pads installed on the tractor with some new Grade 8 bolts. The stupid roll pin that holds on the small rear brake pad with the aluminum mount refused to come out, so I ended up having to take it to a machine shop to have them remove it for me. Fortunately, I ended up getting that little task done for gratis! Thanks, Wolf Road Napa Machine Shop!!!

The adjustment bolt was missing on the brake/clutch pedal linkage as well, so I replaced that with a fresh bolt and lockwasher as well:

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I also got the new PTO pulley on and greased up the front PTO shaft mount:

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So, I'm getting there, slowly but surely.... Still waiting on the rear wheel bushing so I can put the wheel back on...

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(and the garage is looking pretty cluttered and messy right now...)


I'm getting really antsy about getting this back together and running soon!!! Can't wait to take it for the first mow and see how it works!!!


(More to come soon....)


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#19 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted July 02, 2012 - 11:37 AM

Looks like you made some good headway.
If you don't want to pay for sand blasting you may want to give Electrolysis rust removal a try....
If you dont get all the old rust and paint off the first time the paint job wont turn out too well.
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#20 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted July 02, 2012 - 11:46 AM

I missed this one but I wanted to say welcome MailmAn. I enjoyed reading all of this thread. I am glad you joined and shared your progress with us with so many photographs. Thanks.

#21 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 02, 2012 - 12:58 PM

If you dont get all the old rust and paint off the first time the paint job wont turn out too well.


Yeah, that's why I want to wire wheel it as best I can down to the bare metal. It does have me a tad worried though as I didn't remove all of the paint off of the deck before I painted it. The paint on the deck didn't look as bad as the hood and fenders and I did sand it with 60 grit sandpaper very well before I painted it. I think I almost put TOO MUCH paint on it though to try and get it as perfect as I could because when I went to put the spindles back on with new Grade 8 bolts, the paint started to crack and push out from around the bolts when I tightened them down. The paint has already started to peel off by the dischange chute as well because I laid the deck on this edge to put it against the wall temporarily while working on other parts of the tractor. It wasn't that the paint wasn't dry either before I moved it. So, now I'm already touching up the paint job on the deck... Don't want to make the same mistake on the hood! (It is a bit more noticeable...)

I'm also thinking of just leaving the brown parts alone for now, especially as it would take too much effort and too much time to disassemble the entire tractor to paint the frame. It honestly doesn't look too bad either - it held up a lot better than the deck, hood, and fenders. I'll just throw some Simple Green on the frame and hose it down to try and clean it up and see how it looks. Plus, might give it a unique look to have a "restored" looking hood and fenders and deck with the original old, worn looking frame? Have to see how it turns out.

I also need to get new decals for the hood and mower deck. Has anyone had any experiences with applying these vinyl decals? How hard are they to apply right and get them on perfectly straight? Should I take it to a professional to have them applied or is it pretty easy to do at home?

#22 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted July 02, 2012 - 07:52 PM

Try one of these:
http://www.amazon.co...Z4DV/alinks1-20
I've had fairly good luck, won't hurt the metal. But it could take a while and several of them. Be sure to have eye protection!

#23 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 03, 2012 - 07:21 AM

Well, after using the paint stripper and a 5-in-1 to scrape off as much of the old paint as possible, I went after it with a cupped wire wheel and this interesting drill attachment that I found that is supposed to be like a sandpaper wheel that is equivalent to 80 grit sandpaper. It looked better than it worked (I think) and the wire wheel did 98.9% of the work. But here is what I was left with on the hood:

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Not bad, eh? I'd say it came out almost as well as it would have if it was sandblasted. It just took a bit more work on my part (and numb hands from drill vibrations...).

The only problems I see now are:

1) Try to clean up wire wheel swirl marks as best I can before painting it. Maybe use the sandpaper wheel for that?
2) There is still some minor underlying rust issues, especially on the end of the hood, that won't came clean with the wire wheel.
3) I have noticed some metal damage after I cleaned the paint off - some dents and dings, nothing major (see below).

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See the dents in the left front corner of the hood? Should I try to have these repaired or just say the heck with it and paint it? I'm not making a museum piece and if I'm going to be using it to mow lawns, it might get dented and dinged up under normal use. If I did want to fix it though, what is the best way? Can this be hammered out or do I need to Bondo over it and smooth it out? I don't like Bondo really myself (I tried it on my first vehicle - a 1977 Jeep, and it turned out horrible and I vowed never to attempt Bondo body work again... lol). Here are some more close-up shots of the hood:

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Here is a good example of some rust showing through the cleaned up metal:

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And here's the top of the hood towards the back, also showing some rust. No wonder this part suffered the worst paint cracking and orange peeling...

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I do have to say though that after cleaning all the paint off and seeing the hood in bare metal, it looks pretty cool! I contemplated leaving it like this, although I know it won't last a day as bare metal before it will turn into instant rust. I could clear coat it though to preserve the shiny metal. Should I leave it like this or go ahead with painting it white? I mean, I do already have the paint that matches the deck...
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#24 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted July 03, 2012 - 07:30 AM

Looks like that cleaned up nicely!
I would probably just hammer the dents out. Usually the only time I use body filler is when there are spots rusted through.
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#25 Newpaws493 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 03, 2012 - 10:04 AM

Welcome aboard and thanks for the pics ! :thumbs:
From what I've seen and read, I'm impressed with the amount of effort you've put in already and I know the feeling of wanting to get it back together and running. IMO 'you're already in the water and good and wet too'. Seeing how far you were willing to go with that hood, I'm not so sure you'll be alright with yourself if you don't give the body some love before total reassembly. this is the time to get as much up to your comfort level of par for an overall finish. I'm saying these things mainly because I did not go for bare metal and rushed a lot of steps that I probably shoudn't have.(which lead to adding more steps) My end product will be OK for me ; for now, it's my 1st, I plan on keeping her and it's a learning process. Bottom line, just give the process some thought while the patient is still on the table.
At the end of this season, I'll be able to say: I saved her from scrapper, neutralized most of the potential cancer (rust), and stabilized her from immediate decay and leaks. No where close to a restoration. Sorry if I got long winded guys, just food for thought. Goodluck MailmAn, let patience be a friend and I'll be lookin' in from time to time.
I'd probably spot prime those areas of minor rust( I've had some results w/ simple vinegar and some rubbin' w/ steel wool or balled up aluminum foil as a low budget option prior to priming)

Edited by Newpaws493, July 03, 2012 - 10:10 AM.

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#26 Bigdaddydon OFFLINE  

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Posted July 03, 2012 - 11:26 AM

Welcome aboard and thanks for the pics ! :thumbs:
From what I've seen and read, I'm impressed with the amount of effort you've put in already and I know the feeling of wanting to get it back together and running. IMO 'you're already in the water and good and wet too'. Seeing how far you were willing to go with that hood, I'm not so sure you'll be alright with yourself if you don't give the body some love before total reassembly. this is the time to get as much up to your comfort level of par for an overall finish. I'm saying these things mainly because I did not go for bare metal and rushed a lot of steps that I probably shoudn't have.(which lead to adding more steps) My end product will be OK for me ; for now, it's my 1st, I plan on keeping her and it's a learning process. Bottom line, just give the process some thought while the patient is still on the table.
At the end of this season, I'll be able to say: I saved her from scrapper, neutralized most of the potential cancer (rust), and stabilized her from immediate decay and leaks. No where close to a restoration. Sorry if I got long winded guys, just food for thought. Goodluck MailmAn, let patience be a friend and I'll be lookin' in from time to time.
I'd probably spot prime those areas of minor rust( I've had some results w/ simple vinegar and some rubbin' w/ steel wool or balled up aluminum foil as a low budget option prior to priming)

Newpaws, I may be the only one and I do appreciate your individualism but I find myself skipping your comments due to the font bring a little difficult to read. I believe you have valuable input and I would hate that you were being overlooked by more than just me.

Just a thought

Edited by Bigdaddydon, July 03, 2012 - 11:28 AM.


#27 Newpaws493 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 03, 2012 - 04:01 PM

Newpaws, I may be the only one and I do appreciate your individualism but I find myself skipping your comments due to the font bring a little difficult to read. I believe you have valuable input and I would hate that you were being overlooked by more than just me.

Just a thought

Perfect reflection for 'Independence day' don't you think...(off topic) Thanks Bigdaddy

Edited by Newpaws493, July 03, 2012 - 04:15 PM.


#28 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 04, 2012 - 08:39 AM

I would hate that you were being overlooked by more than just me.


IDK... I read it... But I agree it was a tad tough on the eyes. But I'm also "only" 32, so I hope my eyesight isn't all that bad yet either...

#29 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 10, 2012 - 11:39 AM

I had a very busy weekend, so didn't have much time to actually work on the Bolens. I did manage to get the fender stripped down to match the hood:

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Yes, the bare metal is very shiny in the sun!! Hard to get a good photo of it. There are still some bad wire wheel marks on the metal as well as some pesky areas of rust, especially on the top side of the fender. Still, it seems to have cleaned up very well and no rust holes either! Here is the underside:

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I know it is probably hard to tell from these pictures, but does the fender look completely straight? I can't tell for sure, but the bottom part in the last picture looks like the metal is bent near those holes where the rear reflector/light mounts. I'm not sure if it is supposed to be this way or if someone backed into something and it bent the fender. I wasn't sure if I should try to bang it out or just leave it as is.

I also did some minor bodywork to the hood with a small ball-peen hammer I bought at Harbor Freight for $5. I wanted to try and get those bad dents out. It's better now, but not perfect. It definitely will be less noticeable once there is paint on it, but I can still tell that they are there. I was also surprised at how hard I had to wail on it with the hammer to get the dents to push out. Somebody must have hit something really hard with the tractor to put a dent in the hood where it was because it didn't want to push back out!

Now, my next step today is to get some Rust Converter on the bare metal and rust to encapsulate it and hopefully prevent it from rusting any further after it is painted:

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Will post more photos soon after I make some more progress!

#30 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted July 10, 2012 - 11:48 AM

Looking good, Its hard to tell by the pictures if the fender is bent...
Looking forward to seeing it painted!
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: bolens, 850, 191-02, tube frame, wisconsin, s8d, tractor, restoration, 1969

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