Well, I got the wheels back today with the new tires mounted on them and they look great! It cost me another $32 to have them mounted, but oh well, what are you going to do? I also bought a new Interstate battery for the Estate Keeper. However, I am kind of worried about it and wondering if it was worth wasting the money on? Evidently the type of battery is just a "lawn and garden" battery and not a full-fledged car or truck battery, like what I put into the Bolens 850. As it is, Interstate says that they only warranty them for 6 months (one season, basically...) and they double-checked with me if I even wanted to order it now during the off-season because if anything happened to it (like it froze-over during the winter or something) and it doesn't work by the time summer comes, they won't be able to warranty it. I told them I needed it anyways, so they sent it. It cost me $85 for that stupid battery though... Which seems like a lot for a small battery that will only last a year or so at most and especially when the battery for my car only cost around the $100-$120 range. It would have been nice if I could have found a similar sized automotive battery to put in it, even if it meant having to change the terminals on the tractor.
In any event though, I brought the tires over to the garage tonight but I couldn't mount them because stupid me forgot to bring the jack along, so I will have to do that to-morrow. I did however manage to clean off the rear axles and get it ready to put the tires on it. I bought a bottle of that "AWESOME" spray cleaner at Dollar Tree and used that to clean up the EK a bit. It did wonders on the grease and grime that was caked onto that rear axle! I also checked out a few other things around the EK and found a few problems that I will highlight in the pictures below. But first, here are the new tires mounted on the wheels:
Ooooh! Nice, aren't they? They'll really look nice on this EK, once it is all finished!
Close-up picture to show texture:
Now, here are the photos highlighting some of the problems (potential or otherwise) I have found on this Estate Keeper so far. First up, after I removed the battery I could get a better look behind there at some of the clutch linkages, the transaxle drive pulley, and (hopefully) the brake lever. I highlighted some areas in the picture so hopefully you can see them better. The first is where I think the brake pad is supposed to be (but isn't) and the second is a part of the clutch arm (I think?) that looks like it was cut off for some reason. Is this supposed to look like that or did someone cob it up?
This next part shows that the voltage regulator rubber isolator mount is broken on one side. Is this a part of the voltage regulator that would come with a new one or do I have to replace the mount separately?
Here is a good look at the whole engine area. As you can see, I took the Starter/Generator off of it because it was only held on with ONE BOLT evidently!!
So, I will have to go to the hardware store to-morrow and buy new mounting bolts for the Starter/Generator. I also saw that the bracket that mounts on top of the engine that allows the S/G to slide out to tighten the belt seems wrong. I have a close-up of that coming later on to show that. You can also see how much cleaner the rear axle hub is now thanks to the cleaning power of "AWESOME"!! I have more close-ups of that coming as well.
Here is what the rear axle hub looked like before when it was all filthified:
...and now it looks nice and clean (by comparison at least):
Overall, the Estate Keeper could still use a good bath, but at least it is clean enough to put the wheel on for now to get if off the blocks so I can move it around...
Another thing you may have noticed in the prior pictures is that it seems like there is a broken engine mount. I have highlighted that in the following picture as well in case you missed it. Is this a potential problem and should I replace that piece of spring steel that supports the engine there?
Now, here are the front axles. This first picture is of the right hand side axle. This seems to only have one big hole drilled in it for the spring cotter that holds the wheel and/or deck extension arms onto the axle:
And here is the left side front axle. Notice how this axle seems to have TWO holes in it? The second, smaller hole is harder to see, but it is in front of the bigger hole. Did someone add this for something? Also, according to my Estate Keeper manual in the parts breakdown, it looks like there are supposed to be two sets of holes in the front axle, one to hold the front wheels on with a cotter key and the other to hold the deck extension arms onto the axle with the spring cotters. However, the axles on this don't look like they would be able to accommodate both. Which is right?
Here is a better pic showing the smaller hole, but the axle is out of focus in this shot, unfortunately. I drew an arrow showing the hole.
Well, what ELSE could possibly go wrong with this thing at this rate? Oh, how about I break off the bolt that mounts the Starter/Generator bracket and the front engine shroud? Evidently someone stripped the threads on the bolt as it started to come out really tough and then the head just snapped right off. I tried using a pair of pliers to twist the broken bolt out, but there's just not enough threads showing to get a good grip on it. IDK how I'm going to get that out of there now to replace it?!?!
I put the plate back on there to show where it goes. It was bent, so I bent it back to straighten it out a bit. However, is this the wrong S/G mount that is on this? It seems way off to align with the bolt hole in the S/G so that it can slide to tighten up the belt. Could someone have replaced the S/G on this with the wrong one somehow and the mounts are different on it? Or what am I missing here? I can't seem to figure out why this won't line up and mount properly...
Here is another shot of it with the S/G mounted the way it was showing how far off the bracket is to lining up with the bolt hole in the S/G:
Finally, here is a random shot of the controls area showing the throttle and choke levers (without the handles on them) and also showing that the rusted ignition switch and headlight switch have been removed. Not sure if I need to replace the headlight switch with a new one, but man was it a PITA to get out of there. You can see all the damage done to the cast aluminum plate there from the pliers trying to twist off the retaining ring that held the light switch in.
So, that is where I am at with it so far. I know, not too much progress as of yet and I seem to keep uncovering more problems the further I delve into this. IDK how much more I can bang my head against the wall over this thing before my head collapses in... I'm still also nowhere on finding a decent seat for this thing (which I know I need to get the engine running first before I will need that anyways, but still it would be nice to find one before I'm done with everything else and then I can't drive it because I have no place to sit down...). I'm also still looking for the PTO lever as mine is missing the extension for the top of it so you can easily reach it. I also haven't taken the deck apart yet to see what I will need for that (besides just an entire new deck...), but I'm assuming I will need at least new bearings and a belt for it. I need all new belts for the PTO and the Hi Range drive belts as well. Probably will need a new S/G belt too at some point, but the one that is on here actually doesn't look all too bad for now. More parts will probably also be needed as I get further into this project and discover what other hidden surprises await me.
Wish me luck and more updates to come as I make progress with this...
Edited by MailmAn, January 07, 2013 - 11:29 PM.