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Got Some Free Bolens Items Last Week At Our County Fair!


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#16 fonz3482 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 25, 2012 - 11:46 AM

Cool, I gotta hang out with you more often!! Maybe then I can come across some cool items. Great find, and great deal!!
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#17 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted August 25, 2012 - 12:35 PM

That's cool! Looks like something between the head and tin there. Might want to check that out before your start it. LOL
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#18 redcarkids OFFLINE  

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Posted August 25, 2012 - 07:00 PM

Great find. those free be's make the restoration a hold lot more easier since you can put some money into it with out feeling guilty.
how many dump carts do you have now?

#19 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 25, 2012 - 07:03 PM

Great find. those free be's make the restoration a hold lot more easier since you can put some money into it with out feeling guilty.
how many dump carts do you have now?


I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this one yet.... If I cant get the engine to run I'll make it a parts tractor for the other walkbehinds I have. I already see its going to take at least $150-$200 to get it running right and back to original specs.

I have 3 dump carts now :D

#20 IamSherwood OFFLINE  

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Posted August 25, 2012 - 08:05 PM

Nice treasures. Hopefully you can get it running, without too much $$.

#21 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted August 25, 2012 - 08:36 PM

Another gen in your collection Doc! I know that you'll give it your best shot before relegating it to the parts bins! Very nice haul Brian! You're one of the luckiest guys that I know!

#22 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted August 26, 2012 - 12:40 AM

Oh, no! ...Another recoil starter removed.

Congrats for this acquisition!

What Model, Spec, Serial numbers, Brian?

Did you take any group pics of your display at the fair?

#23 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted August 26, 2012 - 05:04 AM

Nice looking stuff,Brian. :thumbs:

#24 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 26, 2012 - 06:49 AM

Oh, no! ...Another recoil starter removed.

Congrats for this acquisition!

What Model, Spec, Serial numbers, Brian?

Did you take any group pics of your display at the fair?


Not sure on numbers yet, need to remove the old paint someone covered the tags with :(
I only took a couple pics

Attached Thumbnails

  • Versa-Matic 004.JPG
  • Versa-Matic 005.JPG
  • Versa-Matic 006.JPG

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#25 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 26, 2012 - 10:21 AM

The number on the Versa-Matic is a 154-03
The engine ID plate is missing :wallbanging:

#26 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted August 27, 2012 - 06:47 AM

The number on the Versa-Matic is a 154-03
The engine ID plate is missing :wallbanging:


My Bolens paperwork says model 154-03 was made 1959-1961, and the engine was a Kohler K91T-31268A.

I'm not sure the paperwork is accurate though, as your K90T-2739B does not show up in the paperwork, but we know your engine was original to the tractor.
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#27 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted September 02, 2012 - 09:56 AM

I only took a couple pics


Wow, Brian! Your stuff looks so nice! I wish my Bolens looked even HALF as nice as all of yours!! I really love the Estate Keeper. Is that the one you just finished painting the deck on? It does look factory fresh, along with that Green Brier. You did such a nice job on them, I really hope everyone at the show appreciated your hard work!

I feel horrible that I put all this work into my Bolens 850 so far and it's not even done yet and the paint on the mower deck is already starting to flake off and such, especially underneath the deck where all the action is... Of course I've already been using it quite a bit and I try to wash it off after each mow (ar at least once a week). Last time I washed it this Friday, I was hosing off the underside of the deck and a few big chunks of paint came off with the grass! :mecry: :( I was HOPING the rust converter and prime and paint would protect the deck and it would stay good for a while at least. Why is it falling apart already?!?! It has not even been 2 months since I put it back together, I don't think?

Oops, I just realized... :hijacked:

Sorry! Sometimes I start typing/talking and I just get on a roll and next thing I know I'm somewhere else!

Edited by MailmAn, September 02, 2012 - 10:00 AM.


#28 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 02, 2012 - 02:22 PM

Wow, Brian! Your stuff looks so nice! I wish my Bolens looked even HALF as nice as all of yours!! I really love the Estate Keeper. Is that the one you just finished painting the deck on? It does look factory fresh, along with that Green Brier. You did such a nice job on them, I really hope everyone at the show appreciated your hard work!

Thanks for the compliments! I did have quite a few people come up and ask me about them.

I feel horrible that I put all this work into my Bolens 850 so far and it's not even done yet and the paint on the mower deck is already starting to flake off and such, especially underneath the deck where all the action is... Of course I've already been using it quite a bit and I try to wash it off after each mow (ar at least once a week). Last time I washed it this Friday, I was hosing off the underside of the deck and a few big chunks of paint came off with the grass! :mecry: :( I was HOPING the rust converter and prime and paint would protect the deck and it would stay good for a while at least. Why is it falling apart already?!?! It has not even been 2 months since I put it back together, I don't think?

Did you go right down to bare metal when you sanded the deck or did you leave some old paint still on? The only thing It can be is the paint didnt adhere to the metal due to not removing all the old paint/rust that was on the deck.
I have a newer red deck I restored a few years ago that I used on my 1050 for 1 whole mowing season a year or so ago and the paint is still intact underneath. (see pics)



Oops, I just realized... :hijacked:

Sorry! Sometimes I start typing/talking and I just get on a roll and next thing I know I'm somewhere else!

Attached Thumbnails

  • Bolens deck cleanup 003.JPG
  • Bolens deck cleanup 008.JPG


#29 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted September 06, 2012 - 09:59 AM

Did you go right down to bare metal when you sanded the deck or did you leave some old paint still on? The only thing It can be is the paint didnt adhere to the metal due to not removing all the old paint/rust that was on the deck.
I have a newer red deck I restored a few years ago that I used on my 1050 for 1 whole mowing season a year or so ago and the paint is still intact underneath. (see pics)


I did go to bare metal underneath and used the rust converter on it before I painted it. I suppose there were a few spots that were rusty that I thought just looked like surface rust and I figured the rust converter would have "fixed". Maybe a small piece of rusted metal finally came loose and came off with the paint? IDK. I did shortcut and not remove all the paint on TOP of the deck since most of it seemed in decent shape once I cleaned it off, so I just painted over it. I didn't get that in-depth with the painting until I got to the hood and finally stripped it down to bare metal.

I do see on the pics of your red deck that some of the paint is coming off though too, so I guess I don't feel TOO bad, but it still sucks putting a lot of work into something to have the paint fall off so quickly. I wonder if the decks were powder coated from the factory rather than painted? Maybe they used a more durable lead based paint that lasted longer? The paint didn't scuff off of the original tractors so easily, did it?

The biggest area I see with yours as well as on mine are the deck runners, where the paint rubbed right off from using it. I also see around the blade drive hub assembly that some of the red paint has started coming off as well. But most of it does still look intact. I'd have to take a photo of the underside of mine to show you what I'm talking about with my paint. I'm sure to some they might say it's no big deal and not even see the problem. However, to me I see every little flaw in it and see all my hard work for naught as the paint is starting to degrade already after only a few months of use!

Edited by MailmAn, September 06, 2012 - 10:02 AM.


#30 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 06, 2012 - 01:24 PM



I do see on the pics of your red deck that some of the paint is coming off though too, so I guess I don't feel TOO bad, but it still sucks putting a lot of work into something to have the paint fall off so quickly.


The only places the paint is missing on my red deck is the runners. That white spot near one of the spindle housings was moldy grass still stuck on. There's really nothing you can do to keep the runners in perfect condition if you plan on using your deck.


I wonder if the decks were powder coated from the factory rather than painted? Maybe they used a more durable lead based paint that lasted longer?



Bolens didn't Start powder coating until around 73'-74'
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