Jump to content

Nominations for Tractor of the Month
Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay



Photo
- - - - -

I Too Just Got Back From A Road Trip!


  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#16 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 292 Thanks
  • 723 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted September 09, 2012 - 12:55 PM

Well......we're waiting!


I know, I know!! I had to run off to work immediately after dropping off the trailer the other day, so I had no time to update this. I was going to "yell" at Bolens 1000 for spoiling the fun, since he got it immediately: "Did you talk to Bruce already and he told you what I picked up before you posted your guess???" lol...

Of course, you TECHNICALLY didn't guess it correctly either, Bolens 1000, since you guessed that it was an EZ-Vac system and it is ACTUALLY a Trac-Vac system! :D

Posted Image


If I had the time and no one guessed it yet, I was going to post this as the final "clue":

Posted Image

But it was already guessed before then anyways! More to come, along with the whole story!!


I hate guessing.


But I thought you guys liked guessing!? :confuse: That's all you live for on this forum - guessing what new additions people bought and pictures, pictures, pictures!!!
:wewantpics:

Edited by MailmAn, September 09, 2012 - 01:01 PM.


#17 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 292 Thanks
  • 723 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted September 09, 2012 - 03:18 PM

.
.
So, here is the story behind this Trac-Vac:
.
.





A LONG TIME AGO, IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY...


(Just kidding!) Seriously though, back in August I was searching around for a Trac-Vac for my Bolens 850 and I was looking on Craigslist and eBay for something that would work that wasn't too expensive. I was looking at a unit like this on eBay (Photo is NOT of the unit I was looking at, but it is the same model):






SmallTracVac_01.jpg


However, the person selling it wanted $200 for it. I could tell it would probably need new hoses since there was duct tape around them, so I didn't want to spend that much on it. I ended up offering $150 for it, but she said she wouldn't let it go that cheap, so I let that one go instead. I think she ended up selling it for $175 and I was almost kicking myself for letting that one go, but I kept looking. I eventually found a bigger one on eBay from a guy in New Jersey who was moving and wanted to downsize. This was the full-size Trac-Vac though and while it probably would be more useful to me, I didn't have the room to haul that around without a trailer (won't fit in my truck with the 850...) When I saw it, the current bid was $100 and there was NO RESERVE, which was good since I've seen some of these listed for $1,000+ Buy-It-Now on eBay, which I thought was ridiculous. I bid up to $300, but I was out-bid at the end and someone else bought it for $350. Oh well, I thought... time to move on yet again! Plus, I had recently bought a Brinly sweeper, so I was using that to sweep up lawns for now.

About 2 weeks later, I got an E-mail from the guy selling the larger Trac-Vac asking if I still wanted to buy it. I said I was, but that I thought he already sold it to someone else. Evidently, the guy who out-bid me on it had an older Cub Cadet that he wanted to use it with. But, when he came to pick it up, he found that he would have to drill holes in his deck in order to mount the Trac-Vac chute, so he didn't want it! So, the seller offered it to me for $300. I told him I really wanted it, but with the hours I work at my job right now, picking it up might be tricky, but he said he would hold onto it for me if I really wanted it. So, he ended up holding it for me for about another week and a half before I could make arrangements to pick it up.

I was going to head out Friday to pick it up as I had the day off, but I was working Saturday and Sunday. I also contacted Bruce Dorsi to see what his schedule was like since he had offered to check out the engine on my 850 to see if he could tell why it was knocking and such. So, he agreed to meet me on Friday as well. It turns out the guy with the Trac-Vac lives about 30 minutes from Bruce in New Jersey, so that worked out well. I headed out Friday morning to U-Haul to pick up a 6'x12' trailer for the journey:

Posted Image
(With my brand-new tires I just had to buy at the end of August to pass stupid NYS inspection... So now I'm REALLY hurting for money!!)

So, I ran that back home to load up the Bolens 850 to take with me to New Jersey to visit Bruce:

Posted Image

Posted Image
.
I drove down I-87 (Thruway) as quickly as I could with a trailer in tow to go meet Bruce. He checked out the Bolens and thought that it was actually running pretty well and that the knocking was probably just some carbon build-up on the piston and/or valves. He also found the throttle plate shaft was loose and worn out, so it was probably leaking air there which made it idle rough and a bit hard to control the throttle. He was curious why the deck hanger seemed loose and thought some of the deck mounting wasn't right somehow or maybe was worn. He also helped me with a couple other things and had some very helpful insight into my tractor. He showed me his 1050 buried in his garage too. He's a really great guy and very knowledgeable and I was happy I had the chance to meet him. He even offered to ride with me to pick-up the Trac-Vac in case I needed help loading it. I said it wasn't necessary, but if he didn't mind the ride then he was more than welcome to come!

So, we headed over to pick up the Trac-Vac and found the guy mowing his lawn with a new Cub Cadet Zero-Turn mower! I joked with him asking why he wasn't using the Trac-Vac with his new Cub? I thought they had a bagger setup for those Zero-Turns anyways? He said that it used to take him 3 hours to mow his lawn with his old Cub Cadet tractor, but with this new one it only took about 45 minutes. Wow!! :o He said he was probably going to sell his old Cub Cadet soon as well, but hadn't had a chance to list it yet. Then he showed me the Trac-Vac and started it up and ran it for a minute or so. It ran well and you could really tell it had great suction. It had a brand-new hose on it too. He said he didn't have the extra chute for it to pick up leaves by hand as he melted it on the hot exhaust of the Trac-Vac while using it, lol! :wallbanging: He did have the original manual for it though and the mounting bracket that goes on the deck.

While we were there, Bruce also noticed that he had an old Snapper self-propelled push mower in his garage, so Bruce asked him about it. He said it was the one with the blade clutch so you could stop the blade from spinning while leaving the engine running. Bruce asked if he wanted to sell it and he said he'd take $50 for it, so Bruce happily paid him and took home a new toy as well! So, it worked out well for everyone involved! Is that like 2 birds with one stone, or more like 3 birds...? :smilewink: Nothing wrong with that though!!

After loading everything into the trailer, we headed back to Bruce's to unload his newly acquired Snapper. Then I took off for home and got back around 12:45am or so. It was dark, so I had to leave the pics and unloading for the next morning. After I snapped some pics, it all came off the trailer and then I went back to U-Haul to drop the trailer off. It was a really good day, but a bit exhausting with all of the running around! The guy I bought the Trac-Vac from was really cool though too and it turns out he's a big F1 fan and was excited to hear that they're planning a F1 race in Secaucus, NJ in 2013!! That does sound pretty cool! :thumbs:

So, in any event, here are the much awaited pics of my new acquisition!

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


Here's some close-ups of the engine and vac setup:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


Here's the engine model number printed on the cover. I think it is a 1985. It is in really nice shape!

Posted Image



While I was at Bruce's house, he had a little shredder that was sitting outside that he bought for parts since it had a taller hopper on it that he used on his other shredder. He offered it to me if I wanted it, so I came home with a free BONUS as well! The engine is seized up though, so IDK if I can fix it or if I will end up putting a new engine on it. Still, at least the shredder part of it looks like it works! So, I also brought home a MacKissic Mighty-Mac shredder along with my Trac-Vac!!

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image



So, all in all it was a pretty good trip, I would say! The only problem I really encountered was that the sharp edge of the Trac-Vac trailer ripped through one of my tie-down straps from bouncing around on the back of the trailer! :( Man down!!! Now I gotta go buy a new one. Does anyone know if the straps at Harbor Freight have a lifetime guarantee and if so does that include them ripping on a sharp corner? lol...

Posted Image

.
.
.

Edited by MailmAn, September 09, 2012 - 03:50 PM.

  • Bruce Dorsi said thank you

#18 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

Bolens 1000

    DR. Bolens

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 7
  • 12,673 Thanks
  • 17,198 posts
  • Location: Western NY

Posted September 10, 2012 - 05:33 AM

Thanks for the Pictures
Congrats on the new aquisitions, now you need to get something to haul the Trac-Vac around with you.
  • MailmAn said thank you

#19 mjodrey OFFLINE  

mjodrey

    Accumulator

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 92
  • 2,343 Thanks
  • 13,481 posts
  • Location: Upper Granville, Nova Scotia, Canada

Posted September 10, 2012 - 05:42 AM

Congrats,and thanks for the photos.

#20 pharmer OFFLINE  

pharmer

    Member

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 4250
  • 686 Thanks
  • 677 posts
  • Location: Southwick MA-just west of Springfield

Posted September 10, 2012 - 06:09 AM

Nice....and thanks for the brief description. Usually you get into a long fully detailed account of all the events about your new purchase................................................LOL

#21 Newpaws493 OFFLINE  

Newpaws493
  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 9454
  • 1,150 Thanks
  • 1,691 posts
  • Location: Boston,Massachusetts

Posted September 10, 2012 - 06:32 AM

Seems like you're in there now! Congrats on the successful roadtrip haul and visit with The specialist :thumbs: . Nice pics
  • MailmAn said thank you

#22 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 292 Thanks
  • 723 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted September 10, 2012 - 08:50 AM

Congrats on the new aquisitions, now you need to get something to haul the Trac-Vac around with you.


You mean besides my 850?? :smilewink:

Nice....and thanks for the brief description. Usually you get into a long fully detailed account of all the events about your new purchase................................................LOL


Gee, thanks... I think? <_<

(Just when you think you've got it all right, someone tells you you've got it all wrong...)

#23 daytime dave ONLINE  

daytime dave

    Live long and prosper

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 531
  • 4,485 Thanks
  • 6,353 posts
  • Location: Upstate NY

Posted September 10, 2012 - 09:00 AM

Congratulations on the Trac Vac. Great story too. Sounds like you had a great experience.

What a nice guy Bruce Dorsi is to help you and send you home with a bonus.

Here's to you Bruce. :thumbs:
  • Bruce Dorsi and MailmAn have said thanks

#24 OldBuzzard OFFLINE  

OldBuzzard

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 805
  • 6,481 Thanks
  • 4,633 posts
  • Location: Oberlin, OH

Posted September 10, 2012 - 09:50 AM

Nice haul :thumbs:

Gotta love them road trips.

I have two more that will be happening in the semi-near future. Details to be released later :D :D :D
  • MailmAn said thank you

#25 1967bolens collector OFFLINE  

1967bolens collector

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 1920
  • 648 Thanks
  • 1,437 posts
  • Location: carney's point new jersey

Posted September 12, 2012 - 11:17 AM

.
.
So, here is the story behind this Trac-Vac:
.
.






A LONG TIME AGO, IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY...


(Just kidding!) Seriously though, back in August I was searching around for a Trac-Vac for my Bolens 850 and I was looking on Craigslist and eBay for something that would work that wasn't too expensive. I was looking at a unit like this on eBay (Photo is NOT of the unit I was looking at, but it is the same model):







SmallTracVac_01.jpg


However, the person selling it wanted $200 for it. I could tell it would probably need new hoses since there was duct tape around them, so I didn't want to spend that much on it. I ended up offering $150 for it, but she said she wouldn't let it go that cheap, so I let that one go instead. I think she ended up selling it for $175 and I was almost kicking myself for letting that one go, but I kept looking. I eventually found a bigger one on eBay from a guy in New Jersey who was moving and wanted to downsize. This was the full-size Trac-Vac though and while it probably would be more useful to me, I didn't have the room to haul that around without a trailer (won't fit in my truck with the 850...) When I saw it, the current bid was $100 and there was NO RESERVE, which was good since I've seen some of these listed for $1,000+ Buy-It-Now on eBay, which I thought was ridiculous. I bid up to $300, but I was out-bid at the end and someone else bought it for $350. Oh well, I thought... time to move on yet again! Plus, I had recently bought a Brinly sweeper, so I was using that to sweep up lawns for now.

About 2 weeks later, I got an E-mail from the guy selling the larger Trac-Vac asking if I still wanted to buy it. I said I was, but that I thought he already sold it to someone else. Evidently, the guy who out-bid me on it had an older Cub Cadet that he wanted to use it with. But, when he came to pick it up, he found that he would have to drill holes in his deck in order to mount the Trac-Vac chute, so he didn't want it! So, the seller offered it to me for $300. I told him I really wanted it, but with the hours I work at my job right now, picking it up might be tricky, but he said he would hold onto it for me if I really wanted it. So, he ended up holding it for me for about another week and a half before I could make arrangements to pick it up.

I was going to head out Friday to pick it up as I had the day off, but I was working Saturday and Sunday. I also contacted Bruce Dorsi to see what his schedule was like since he had offered to check out the engine on my 850 to see if he could tell why it was knocking and such. So, he agreed to meet me on Friday as well. It turns out the guy with the Trac-Vac lives about 30 minutes from Bruce in New Jersey, so that worked out well. I headed out Friday morning to U-Haul to pick up a 6'x12' trailer for the journey:

Posted Image
(With my brand-new tires I just had to buy at the end of August to pass stupid NYS inspection... So now I'm REALLY hurting for money!!)

So, I ran that back home to load up the Bolens 850 to take with me to New Jersey to visit Bruce:

Posted Image

Posted Image
.
I drove down I-87 (Thruway) as quickly as I could with a trailer in tow to go meet Bruce. He checked out the Bolens and thought that it was actually running pretty well and that the knocking was probably just some carbon build-up on the piston and/or valves. He also found the throttle plate shaft was loose and worn out, so it was probably leaking air there which made it idle rough and a bit hard to control the throttle. He was curious why the deck hanger seemed loose and thought some of the deck mounting wasn't right somehow or maybe was worn. He also helped me with a couple other things and had some very helpful insight into my tractor. He showed me his 1050 buried in his garage too. He's a really great guy and very knowledgeable and I was happy I had the chance to meet him. He even offered to ride with me to pick-up the Trac-Vac in case I needed help loading it. I said it wasn't necessary, but if he didn't mind the ride then he was more than welcome to come!

So, we headed over to pick up the Trac-Vac and found the guy mowing his lawn with a new Cub Cadet Zero-Turn mower! I joked with him asking why he wasn't using the Trac-Vac with his new Cub? I thought they had a bagger setup for those Zero-Turns anyways? He said that it used to take him 3 hours to mow his lawn with his old Cub Cadet tractor, but with this new one it only took about 45 minutes. Wow!! :o He said he was probably going to sell his old Cub Cadet soon as well, but hadn't had a chance to list it yet. Then he showed me the Trac-Vac and started it up and ran it for a minute or so. It ran well and you could really tell it had great suction. It had a brand-new hose on it too. He said he didn't have the extra chute for it to pick up leaves by hand as he melted it on the hot exhaust of the Trac-Vac while using it, lol! :wallbanging: He did have the original manual for it though and the mounting bracket that goes on the deck.

While we were there, Bruce also noticed that he had an old Snapper self-propelled push mower in his garage, so Bruce asked him about it. He said it was the one with the blade clutch so you could stop the blade from spinning while leaving the engine running. Bruce asked if he wanted to sell it and he said he'd take $50 for it, so Bruce happily paid him and took home a new toy as well! So, it worked out well for everyone involved! Is that like 2 birds with one stone, or more like 3 birds...? :smilewink: Nothing wrong with that though!!

After loading everything into the trailer, we headed back to Bruce's to unload his newly acquired Snapper. Then I took off for home and got back around 12:45am or so. It was dark, so I had to leave the pics and unloading for the next morning. After I snapped some pics, it all came off the trailer and then I went back to U-Haul to drop the trailer off. It was a really good day, but a bit exhausting with all of the running around! The guy I bought the Trac-Vac from was really cool though too and it turns out he's a big F1 fan and was excited to hear that they're planning a F1 race in Secaucus, NJ in 2013!! That does sound pretty cool! :thumbs:

So, in any event, here are the much awaited pics of my new acquisition!

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


Here's some close-ups of the engine and vac setup:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


Here's the engine model number printed on the cover. I think it is a 1985. It is in really nice shape!

Posted Image



While I was at Bruce's house, he had a little shredder that was sitting outside that he bought for parts since it had a taller hopper on it that he used on his other shredder. He offered it to me if I wanted it, so I came home with a free BONUS as well! The engine is seized up though, so IDK if I can fix it or if I will end up putting a new engine on it. Still, at least the shredder part of it looks like it works! So, I also brought home a MacKissic Mighty-Mac shredder along with my Trac-Vac!!

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image



So, all in all it was a pretty good trip, I would say! The only problem I really encountered was that the sharp edge of the Trac-Vac trailer ripped through one of my tie-down straps from bouncing around on the back of the trailer! :( Man down!!! Now I gotta go buy a new one. Does anyone know if the straps at Harbor Freight have a lifetime guarantee and if so does that include them ripping on a sharp corner? lol...

Posted Image

.
.
.


one of my straps broke to on the way home it happened right on the delaware bridge 5 minutes from home but i made it.. the 1050 with the loader wasent moveing to far anyway lol sounds like alot of us got some great stuff this past week.. good to know they went in good hands

#26 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 292 Thanks
  • 723 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted September 13, 2012 - 10:46 AM

Well, it just seems nothing can ever go right for me!! :( I broke my 850 trying to test out the Trac-Vac, but during my short test-drive I've already noticed some problems with my Trac-Vac as well. Grrrrr....

The first problem I noticed was that the engine doesn't seem to want to run properly. It turns over nice and easy and starts right up on the first pull when it is choked, but as soon as you move the lever off of choke, it speeds up to max RPM for about 10 seconds and then dies. :confuse: If I keep sliding the lever back to choke, it will stay running, but it runs really rough (since it's not getting enough air). But once I move the lever off choke to the run position, it revs right up and then shuts right down! (I should specify too that the only control on this engine is a single lever that has 3 or 4 positions. It says "STOP", "RUN", and "CHOKE" next to the control lever, but it does seem to have a couple of positions in the "RUN" range that will speed up or slow down the engine a little.)

At first, I thought maybe there wasn't enough gas in it or the gas was old, so I threw some fresh gas and some Startron fuel stabilizer in it and topped off the tank. Then I tried again and again and I just couldn't manage to keep the engine running! It looks in much too good of shape to be having these problems. The engine looks practically new on it. So, after fiddling with it and trying to adjust some of the linkages myself without using the lever (especially the choke) I did manage to get it to run for a little while on low throttle at like 1/4 choke, but it keeps dying if I try to run it at full throttle. So, I hitched it up to my 850 and started towing it around with the engine running at low throttle. It lasted for about 5 minutes and then the engine choked out and stalled on me again. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! :mad2:

The other problem I noticed was the smell. When I did manage to keep it running for a few minutes, I noticed it smelled like something burning. The engine seems lubricated, so I don't think it is the engine running without oil or anything. I'm wondering though if the big blower fan needs to be lubricated periodically somehow and it hasn't been done in a while? Does anyone know how you can oil or grease the fan shaft on a Trac-Vac? I didn't notice anything in the manual he gave me about it. It just has assembly and basic usage instructions in it. Unless it is just the smell of tiny bits of shredded leaves stuck in the blower housing getting ground against the wall or something and it makes an odd smell? I'm not quite sure myself, but it does have me worried. I'm always weary of odd smells, sounds, and sights when I'm using my equipment...

Edited by MailmAn, September 13, 2012 - 10:49 AM.


#27 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

HowardsMF155

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 4243
  • 2,698 Thanks
  • 2,916 posts
  • Location: Central NC

Posted September 13, 2012 - 01:14 PM

As for the smell, from what others have said, you probably have one or more mouse nests tucked away in your blower housing. The carb sounds like it needs a good cleaning, then try again.

#28 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

Bolens 1000

    DR. Bolens

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 7
  • 12,673 Thanks
  • 17,198 posts
  • Location: Western NY

Posted September 13, 2012 - 01:37 PM

As for the smell, from what others have said, you probably have one or more mouse nests tucked away in your blower housing. The carb sounds like it needs a good cleaning, then try again.


:ditto:

The engine probably needs a good cleaning& degreasing and the carb taken apart and cleaned. With Ethanol fuel having a shelf life of only 30 days there's a good chance your ports/linkages in the carb may be gummed up.
  • MailmAn said thank you

#29 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

Bruce Dorsi

    Old, but not dead -- yet!

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1525
  • 3,166 Thanks
  • 2,142 posts
  • Location: New Jersey

Posted September 14, 2012 - 09:38 AM

NO lubrication is required on the fan side of the vacuum. ....The fan is mounted directly on the crankshaft of the engine.

There is a fuel-mixture adjusting screw on the side of the carburetor. ...This is the large-headed horizontal screw with a spring under its head. ....Turn that adjuster approx 1/2 turn counter-clockwise to richen the fuel mixture. ....Now try running the engine off the choke position. ....Did that help?

That engine started too easily to have major carb/linkage problems. .....Most people don't realize that most small engines are sensitive to brand of gas, and the carb may need minor adjustment to have the engine run at its best.
  • MailmAn said thank you

#30 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 292 Thanks
  • 723 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted September 19, 2012 - 04:08 PM

So, quick update on this. I decided to try and tackle the MacKissic shredder today. I took a bit of video of it too, but now IDK if I want to bother wasting the time to post it because it didn't work out... :(

I pulled the air cleaner off and freed up the choke and throttle linkages on it with some PB Blaster. Then, I pulled the flywheel cover and pull start off of the front of the engine and tried to spin the flywheel by hand. It finally broke free and I think it just rusted up a bit between the coil and the flywheel. Once it started spinning, it seemed to turn fairly freely, so I don't think the engine was seized up or anything. Still, I pulled the spark plug out, cleaned it up a bit, and sprayed some lubricant into the spark plug hole. I then took it outside and drained out the "oil" (it was mostly water) and flushed it out with some used oil and then finally filled it up with some fresh SAE30 weight oil. I also took the carb and gas tank off and drained the water and gas that was in it and used some carb cleaner on it to clean it out. I reassembled it all and put some fresh gas in it and.... NOTHING!!! :wallbanging:

I tried turning the engine over until my arm about fell off and it doesn't even sputter or act like it wants to start at all! :( Oh well, so is this brick of an engine not really worth anything at all then or is there any way to even attept to try and save it? I figured if I tried to clean it up real quick and it didn't give me anything at all, that is was probably shot and I should just look for a good used Briggs engine to swap onto it. It will cost me more time and money than it is worth to try and save this engine most likely... plus it doesn't really look in that good of shape in the first place to bother trying to save. (The metal air cleaner is all but rusted away as it is...)

Anyone have any ideas as to where I can get a good, cheap engine for this thing? It has to be a horizontal shaft engine. I really hope I can even get the centrifugal clutch off of the crankshaft to put onto a new engine... lol... What did these shredders originally come with anyways, just out of curiosity?




Top