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1979 Montgomery Ward Lt 16hp

big red montgomery ward

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#1 bigredward9 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 12, 2012 - 08:54 PM

Hi guys, i'm new here and seen this forum and figured i could share some info on the LT tractors after i went through mine. It has a cast iron 4 speed transaxle, It had a 16 HP opposed twin that caught on fire and completely died, carb somewhat melted to the intake, and parts are difficult to find. So i searched for 3 years and tested 4 different engines. all were free. The first replacement was a 12 HP, which lasted a month, then another 12, then another 16 opposed which refused to fire, everything was set right, i gave up and was given one of those red top hi performance briggs 17.5 engines.It has electronic ignition, and takes twice the load the old 16 had. after this i learned that pretty much any sing or oppsed twin briggs would fit, since i tried some common engines around here. the 17.5 is only 6 years old. The oild hill hold brake lever was modified by me to mimic an MTD's speed control setup i've seen so often. The original colors were restored and they are red fenders and hood, and black frame, dash transaxle, etc. It came new with the original Gilson rotary tiller. it was seized, and after pulling the side cover of, about a pint of crystal clear water poured out, then the sludgy oil came after it. I plan to rebuild it, and find a deck for it to beat my dad's Servistar 18hp. SO far this is my info, and i'll update and hopefully add pics too.

#2 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2012 - 04:50 AM

Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you have been through a lot with that tractor. Pics can always help, here's a video to help with them.

#3 bigredward9 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2012 - 09:48 AM

Thanks, i'll post pics in a bit, got to see the doc today, but i'll try to get some.
yeah, i spent about 3-4 years on it, and i hated to see it go, since in my area they are a rare tractor, everyone wants it, but i like it too much, it goes wherever i want it to go. Very loud as well. almost got a V twin for it until i found out the motor mounts are farter appart then the old opposed engines. also at low RPM they tend to rattle. opposed twins seem very well balanced and no rattling.
I have the old wheel weights somewhere, 75 lbs each. It is a real work horse, and after the work is done i take it through mud and whatnot, it doesn't quit, and it's very good on fuel. built like a tank, in a small package.

#4 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2012 - 10:33 AM

Nice to have you here. Really looking forward to seeing photos of your tractor. I used to have one of those Gilson tillers here. Used the tines but I think the gear box might still be here if you need parts.

#5 bigredward9 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2012 - 11:37 AM

Pics:
http://imageshack.us...1/sunp00012.png

I have no idea what image format is used here so this is a picture link

EDIT: I'm thinking of adding a hydro pump underneath on one of the belts, do i can eliminate the old manual lift and that stuff. also thinking about adding a 3 pt hitch on it too maybe.

Another edit: After tinkering, I compiled more info on these LT models. Upon observing the old transaxle next to an old MTD hydrostatic, i noticed how the pulley is in the exact position so it is very well possible to convert to hydrostatic. which eliminates the need for the pump idea.

BTW, i am very impressed by my 17.5. It seems to have endless power, it hasn't given up yet, so i might enter it in the local tractor pulls. I want to show what an old Gilson can do.

Edited by bigredward9, September 13, 2012 - 11:54 AM.


#6 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2012 - 02:51 PM

Image format here is .jpg. Don't know anything about a .png.

#7 bigredward9 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2012 - 04:45 PM

Ok, thanks.
I should have specified the hydro tranny i mentioned earlier.
It's one of the side pulley models, i just wanted to clarify that so i don't cause any confusion.
Top mounted pulleys won't fit due to the clutch being set the way it is.

I should also mention the transaxle I have if from a newer late 80's wheel horse.
So wheel horse tractors can have parts crossed over easily without mods, exept for reusing the Gilson axles because the wheel horse wasn't wide enough for the bolt holes to line up.

I hope this is helping others who want to get more from their old Gilson/ Ward LT.

As a side note, So far after running it enough, I learned what these tractors can handle. They seem rather flexible compared to most MTDs i've had. Of course that's like comparing apples to oranges. For an aging tractor it's holding it's own, has enormous power, and it seems to do circles around my bro's 16hp ingersoll 4020, and that's hydrostaic with the big tires.

I'm impressed, i didn't expect that 17 to do that good, especially for a 1 banger. I've gone all through it, so if anyone has a similar model and needs help, i think i can help.




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