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My Ford Lgt165 Odyssey

ford lgt165 k341 rebuild

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#1 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 01:19 AM

I've read a number of posts here on GTT regarding the Ford LGT-series tractors. My first exposure was the thread from Keith where he put a diesel into an LGT 165. After reading that, I was hooked. I stayed hooked reading the comments from other enthusiasts like Kenny, etc.

I have several running and non-ruinning GTs, and need to thin them out. However, I still wanted one that could be the answer for my all GT needs (and wants)--plowing, pushing snow, snowblowing, mowing, tilling (if possible), and... the Holy Grail--a front end loader. Although a Case 600 series was my first choice, the Ford LGTs were my second. However, I wanted a running tractor so I didn't have to sink a lot of time into getting one going... I had plenty of projects like that already.

We have a good local online classified ad site that serves three states... I search for GT-related items every day on it...

Anyway, last Monday I was checking it out, and found a guy selling a Ford LGT165 with a 2-stage snow-blower, tiller, 2 plows, discs, 42" mower and a garden cart. The ad said it ran, but would need some engine work-- he was asking $500 for it.

FORD LGT165 KSL Ad 08 6 2012 CROPPED.jpg

I was very excited... only problem was, it was in a little town far off the beaten track in another state (Driggs, Idaho)--over 250 miles from my home.

Kaysville to Driggs map 2.JPG

Also, the guy had to sell it by Wednesday as he was moving and couldn't take it with him. He said his wife was staying behind to sell the house, so we talked about the possibility of me sending payment for it and picking it up later. He made it harder when he told me he'd sell it for $400 if I could pick it up by Wednesday.

I was already at work (an hour the wrong direction from home) and I wouldn't be able to take off Tuesday or Wednesday since we had a mobilization exercise going on and no leave was authorized.

What to do, what to do????

Of course, the first thing to do is talk with the better half and get their (hopefully willing) approval. The wife reminded me that we needed a new fridge, the car registration was due, etc... but, hey, we gotta keep our priorities straight, right????

She didn't require too much convincing as she knows I'm hopelessly addicted to things mechanical, and, though an expensive hobby, it does keep me out of the pool halls.

So, I figured if I could leave work a couple hours early, I'd get home by 4:00; hitch up the trailer and leave by 4:30, and be in Driggs by 8:30...The tractor was running, and if the seller would hook the tiller up to it, I could just drive it up the ramp to my trailer, throw the other things in the trailer and truck, and leave by 9:15 at the latest. I'd get home about midnight, and, if the wife drove part of the way I could catch a few winks of sleep and 3 hours or so before the rooster crowed...

My boss was good enough to let me go early, so I got in the car and headed home. Had a few delays but finally managed to leave the house at 5:00.

Google Maps said 264 miles and 4 hours to get there, but, even with a fuel stop, we pulled in at 8:40. It was dusk, but the tractor looked to be in fairly good shape--all the tinwork was straight, albeit a bit rusty.

FORD LGT 165 Ad 1.jpg


It had a 3 point hitch, but I couldn't make out the details in the fading light. It seemed complete, though I'd never seen a Ford 3 point so I wasn't sure...

The tiller was a self-powered unit, but the Briggs flathead engine turned over and had compression...so far so good.

The 2-stage Snowblower seemed complete--no major defects noted-- FORD 2 Stage Snowblower.jpg

Then the trouble began...

We tried to start the tractor, only to hear the dreaded <CLICK> <CLICK> of the solenoid.

We tried jumping the battery, but no luck...

We turned on the key and hooked the jumper directly to the starter... same thing... I did notice that the engine was trying to turn over, and the cables were warm,

The owner assured me he'd started it and driven it from his back yard the week before, although he did admit to using ether to start...

Hmmm.... the seeds of doubt were starting to sprout in my mind...

"Was the engine froze up, or was there something locked up in the drive train that kept the engine from turning?"

I'd just driven 265 miles and I didn't want to go home empty handed... I also had to leave for work at 4:45 the next morning and had a 4 hour drive ahead of me...

So... instead of trying to research the problem more...we rolled the tractor into my trailer and piled the attachments in.

I paid the (ex-) owner, tied down the tractor and left.

Getting home was an adventure. I drove til we hit the interstate and then the wife took over so I could try to get some sleep...

We stopped for fuel, but the pump only put about 10 gallons in for some reason... We decided to push on, figuring we had enough to get us home...

We figured wrong...

About 5 miles from home, at 2:30 in the morning, the truck started bucking and snorting... I told the wife to keep her running and take the next exit and get to a gas station... even though the exit was a mile away, we made it and started down hill to a station a couple blocks away... my wife wanted to stop at the red light, but I told her to keep going--no way we could push the loaded truck and trailer.. we had enough momentum to pull into the station, but when my wife saw that it appeared closed, she pulled over on the side of the street instead...

Now we were in a fix... we could pump gas with our credit card, but needed a 75 foot hose to do so... no gas can... sleep deprivation was taking it's toll, and I was beside myself... I did throw a few words skyward, hoping the Almighty would help us out...

Suddenly I saw a "Super Size" plastic drink cup on the side of the road... I grabbed it, emptied it, and ran to the pump and filled it up... .8 gallons--better than nothing. I walked gingerly back to the truck, poured it in the tank...and went back for another "fillup". I saw a couple empty water bottles and an oil bottle in the trash and grabbed them... the drink bottles held 24 oz each, and the oil bottle become a rudimentary funnel. I poured the fuel in, put the cap on and jumped into the truck.

With a prayer in my heart I turned the key... she started right up, and we did a U-turn in the middle of the deserted street and pulled into the station to finish filling it up... <WHEW>

At any rate, I got home an hour before the alarm rang... I only dozed off 3 times driving the 65 miles to work...Though I worked hard, I found my progress impeded by unannounced moments of slumber--waking to find 3 rows of b's on my computer screen...

Somehow I made it through the day... I stayed at work for the next two nights so I couldn't inspect my "clean, one owner" until Thursday... here's what I found...

FORD LGT 165 LH FRT.jpg Ford LGT 165 RH ENG COMPT.jpg FORD LGT 165 Hourmeter 2.jpg Ford 3-point 1.jpg
Ford LGT 165 3-point 2.jpg SEARS TILLER LH 2.jpg Sears Tiller RH RR.jpg
FORD DISCS & SLEEVE HITCH PLOW.jpg FORD SNOWBLOWER 09JC9895 SN 1791.jpg SEARS 3 PT PLOW.jpg

I'm now convinced the engine is froze up. I can turn the engine by hand a little each way--maybe 1/8 inch or so... this tells me the piston is seized and the worn rod was allowing the crank to turn slightly...

A closer inspection of the 3 point hitch showed it to be a Sears setup on a home made baseplate. There appears to be a place for the electrical power unit, but nothing is hooked up to any levers or rods.

So, it looks like I have an engine rebuild at hand, and need to find a cylinder, or install one of Keith's custom 3 point hitches to use the tractor like I want, not to mention checking out the engine on the tiller, and the chains and gearboxes on the snowblower....

Any advice, short of pouring a gallon of gas over it and lighting a match would be appreciated.

Regards,
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#2 jd.rasentrac OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 02:19 AM

Very interesting story that shows, what a real fan will do to bring it to a good end :thumbs: And now, let the work begin...

EDIT: and it shows, that a "Super Size" plastic drink cup belongs to every car :laughingteeth:

Edited by jd.rasentrac, August 11, 2012 - 02:37 AM.

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#3 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 05:15 AM

US, that was quite the trip. Sorry it won't turn over for you. Try pulling the plug and putting a little ATF or MMO down in there, let it sit for a day or so. I also don't see a ground from the engine to frame. Mine is at the right front engine mount. Were you trying to turn it over by hand at the PTO? Those pulleys are very rusty and the belt may be 'stuck', I'd take that off for now.
I would also check wire connections, make sure you are getting good contact. If you can get it to turn over by hand, it might start.
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#4 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 05:53 AM

That's quite a story US! I'm afraid that I don't know much about the Ford tractors (except that they were made by Jacobson). I'm sure that you wound up with $400 worth of goodies from what I can see. I would do as Kenny suggested and pour a little MMO or penetrating oil down the spark plug hole and work it back and forth a little. Did you get a decent read on the PO while you were there? If the engine has only been stuck for a week and a half, it shouldn't be seized up too tight and a little elbow grease and some good lubricant may be all that is required to get it going again. (Let's hope so anyhow!) Best of luck with it and keep us posted on what you find!

#5 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 06:25 AM

Great story! I still think you got a good deal there Smitty. I wouldn't try to free up that engine without having a look inside first. I would pull the head on the engine and have a look at the top end and cylinder. Those engines can be rebuilt pretty reasonably if the block or crank are not shot. A complete rebuild kit is like 150 on ebay and say 150 at a machine shop and for 300$ or so you will have a fresh K341. The big bonus here is all the attachments with the tractor. To buy those separately would be hard to do and cost you way more than what you have invested. Too bad you had an exciting night on the trip to pick it up but you will be laughing thinking back about that trip in the future while you are enjoying that 165.
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#6 Alc OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 06:32 AM

That's a great story , glad your wife went with you ,you might have fallen asleep at the wheel . Doesn't look like a bad deal , got plenty of stuff to work with and maybe it won't be much getting the engine running . Good luck , Al

#7 skyrydr2 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 07:09 AM

Wow Steve ! That was an adventure for sure!
You got your money's worth there for sure! Now that 3 point on it is not tough enough, that tractor will tear it a new one easily!
The tractor has all the hydraulics needed , all you need are the bits to make it work. My newest version is a dream to install and works wonderful.
My father has been tilling non stop with my 125 since ! He loves that rig and I'm afraid of the tears from him when I go to bring it home lol.
I won't let him use my diesel165, he would hide it from me and never give it back.
Anyway yours needs to get running first! Sounds like poor connections , on that rig the engine is all rubber mounted so they must be good. Mine has the negative from the battery hooked to the engine and the frame so to eliminate any issues with a poor ground.
Get her going first, then we can get that hitch all going. Tty Keith.

Edited by skyrydr2, August 11, 2012 - 07:10 AM.

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#8 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 07:31 AM

Quite the adventure. Could have been worse, you could have brought some children along :bounce: . It's good to hear you got home safely, hopefully you can catch up on your sleep soon. I wouldn't write off that tractor yet. Start pulling it apart, see what you find. Some tractors just throw a hissy fit when they leave the only home they've ever known.

#9 jpackard56 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 07:52 AM

Well, I'm glad you and the wife are safely back and you made it thru work. The plows and disc alone would sell for more than your initial cost around here, so I'm sure as everybody else said you did o.k. on this even if it did give you some buyers remorse. I think it looks like a great project and you can sell off what ever you don't end up using. :itsok:

#10 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 08:06 AM

I went out and took a pic of where the engine ground is attached.
Image001.jpg
I wouldn't rely on the mounts to give a good ground.
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#11 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 11:45 AM

US, Congratulations on a great score, even if you have to rebuild the engine. As others have stated, I would check ALL of the electrical connections, both negative and positive. I would also add a ground to the engine from the battery to make sure you have a good ground to the starter. If you start adding up the going prices for all the attachment you got in the deal, you have a real money maker in your hands if you don't fix and sell off. Great deal and good luck, if you were closer, I would give you $100.00 more then you gave for the pile, no questions asked. :thumbs:
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#12 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 12:13 PM

Another good story. Thanks for taking the time to post it.
I can feel your frustration as I have walked in your shoes. Mine was an airplane and my wife could tell I was pretty sick. She came up with the few words that turned everything around for me. "If you bought lemons make lemon aid". So I made up my mind to do what what was necessary to make it right and it turned out great. I had more fun in that plane. Flew it for four years and more than got my moneys worth out of it in fun and pleasure. Hang in there and I'll bet your project will turns out the same way.
P.S.
Your buy is still a good one.

#13 Rock farmer OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 01:01 PM

Utah Smitty,
Thanks for the story! I'd say you got a hell of a deal! The more You get to know that tractor the more you'll like it!
Around here you'll pay about that much for each implement and twice that for the tractor.
I'd start by removing and bench testing that starter. A stuck starter can act the same as a stuck engine.

Joe
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#14 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 04:54 PM

I'd start by removing and bench testing that starter. A stuck starter can act the same as a stuck engine.

Good advise and highly likely. Especially if the guys was using starting fluid and it kicked back against the starter. :thumbs:
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#15 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 05:01 PM

Very interesting story that shows, what a real fan will do to bring it to a good end :thumbs: And now, let the work begin...

EDIT: and it shows, that a "Super Size" plastic drink cup belongs to every car :laughingteeth:


LOL!! Du hast richtig!!!!
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