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Bolens Estate Keeper Restoration

bolens ek-10 estate keeper 1969 tra-10d restoration 931-02

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#16 1967bolens collector OFFLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2012 - 09:02 PM

The style of battery you have in there is what they used when they came out of the factory. If your going to be using this only in the summer months you can get away with the 350CCA but if you are going to use this in colder conditions you will want to get one with more cranking amps.

 

 

as long as you got a good starter generator



#17 Chucknbob OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2012 - 08:17 AM

If you don't want to get a power washer, just load it into the back of a pickup and take it to a car wash (not automatic, of course). I've cleaned engine blocks, tranny cases, ATV frames, all kinds of stuff that way. Just go on a slow day, you don't want to back up the line loading and unloading.

#18 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2012 - 09:56 AM

If you don't want to get a power washer, just load it into the back of a pickup and take it to a car wash.  Just go on a slow day, you don't want to back up the line loading and unloading.

 
Good point, although you could just wash it off in the bed of your truck too so you don't have to unload it at the car wash.  In my case, I could load it up on the trailer and take it down to the car wash and just wash it on the trailer bed without having to take it off.  I could also spray off the bed of the trailer to clean off any grease and oil that is on it.  I'm just not quite sure how to load an Estate Keeper without any wheels on it onto the trailer... ???
 
Actually, another good thought while I'm at it with this.  I was thinking of trying to separate the two halves of the Estate Keeper for the time being so that I could prep and either paint or powdercoat the front part (where you ride) yellow before I start reassembling it.  The only problem is, I'm not quite sure how it comes apart where it pivots or how easily in will separate.  Has anyone had any experience taking one of these completely apart like that and if so how difficult is it?  I figure if I had it in two parts I might be able to wheel them around with a dolly or something to work on them or clean them up.  Just a thought...
 
 
(Oh, and BTW I like the avatar of your Beagle, Chucknbob!  Looks like a nice dog you got there, if he's not stealing your chair!)


Edited by MailmAn, December 29, 2012 - 10:01 AM.


#19 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2012 - 10:13 AM

Taking the two halves apart is fairly easy. You just need to remove the nut and cotter pin in the piviot assembly, Take off the PTO housing & Control Cables.

The tricky part is putting it together when you have to put the steering linkage back in place and align the PTO housing and shaft.

 

Here's a couple sample pics:

 

 

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#20 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2012 - 10:37 AM

From your photos, that's not exactly where I thought it separated, I guess.  I didn't know there was a threaded rod that the front part of the EK body bolts onto there.  I thought that big bolt that goes through vertically just behind there is where it came apart, but it looks like it might come apart a lot easier the way you did it than the way I was thinking...

 

I see you pulled the engine out of your EK too in the photos you posted.  I'm assuming that's not too hard to do either?  Just 4 bolts on each corner hold it on?  I just ask since I'll probably have to at least loosen up the mounting bolts a bit to lift the engine up enough to pull that points cover to have a gander under there...


Edited by MailmAn, December 29, 2012 - 10:38 AM.


#21 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2012 - 10:59 AM

The engine is only held in by 4 mounting bolts. Just be sure to have a work mat/ cardboard sheet under the engine so you don't lose the engine spacers .

 

A couple of those bolts are a real PITA to get at so you may have to configure some creative angled socket drivers to get at them :D

 

With the engine out its alot easier to replace the points/ condensor and while you got everything apart you can replace any worn bearings/ bushings/ seals in the drive pulleys or transaxle.



#22 1967bolens collector OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2012 - 11:44 AM

Taking the two halves apart is fairly easy. You just need to remove the nut and cotter pin in the piviot assembly, Take off the PTO housing & Control Cables.

The tricky part is putting it together when you have to put the steering linkage back in place and align the PTO housing and shaft.

 

Here's a couple sample pics:

 

 

its a PITA to get back together without scraching anything it took me a year to redo mine it was sitting in the corner of my garage with the frame painted then i gave up for a year then finished it!

 
 
 
 
bolens ek and reel mower 015.jpg
bolens ek and reel mower 012.jpg

Edited by 1967bolens collector, December 29, 2012 - 12:09 PM.

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#23 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted January 05, 2013 - 11:37 AM

UPDATE - While I was out in Rochester for Christmas, I picked up the old EK wheels that I dropped off a couple weeks ago to have re-done.  But, with winter weather in the way, I haven't had a chance to pick up my new tires for it yet!  Hopefully a full update to come soon with pictures...  I have to say, I was impressed with the job they did on them considering how rusty and nasty they looked!

 

Well, I finally had a chance to take some pictures of the wheels and tires today and get them uploaded, despite my computer acting like a pile of $4!& lately!  (See my post about not being able to edit and upload my video of snowblowing:  http://gardentractor...g-pic/?p=256343)  The tires are still not mounted yet, but I dropped them off at another shop to have mounted.  I'm hoping they will be done by Monday.  I also ordered an Interstate battery for my Estate Keeper while I was at the shop yesterday and they said it should be delivered by Monday, so I said I'll just pick up everything then. 

 

I bought the new tires from GCR Tire in Menands, NY on Broadway.  I have to say that I was disappointed with them though as I was hoping they would mount the tires for me free of charge since I bought them there.  But when I went there to pick them up, I asked if they would mount the tires on my newly coated rims and they said that they would charge me an extra $15 PER TIRE just to mount them!!!  :wallbanging:   I'm like WTF, really?  That's almost half of what I paid for each tire just to mount them!  At least I got a fairly decent deal on just the tires, sans mounting them of course.  I paid $153 for all 4 tires and they are the good 4-ply ones, not the 2-ply tires.  They were good to deal with, found me just what I wanted, and were decent on price, so long as you don't have the tires mounted there at least!  As it was, I got screwed by them and/or stupid NY State on the new tires since they charged me a $10 waste disposal fee when I didn't even have old tires that they disposed of!  I had the old tires taken off of the rims before they sandblasted and powdercoated them, so they got rid of them instead.  Unless NY State now charges you coming AND going and they make you pay $2.50 per tire when you buy them and when you get rid of them as well?  Stupid Vampire State!!

 

In any event, I had dropped off the rims to be blasted and powdercoated back in December about 2 weeks before Christmas.  I had a buddy of mine from when I used to live out there do them up for me.  He still works for Modern Coating in Palmyra (which I had worked there for a couple of summers back when I was going to college) and gave me a pretty good deal on them.  He only charged me $80 total to redo all 4 wheels!  The cheapest price I could find out in Albany at any powdercoating place was going to charge me about $40-$50 per wheel!  He did a real bang-up job on them too and I liked how they came out in the end.  I wish I had pictures of the rims with the wheels off of them before he powdercoated them since they were a disaster.  You can still see all the pitting on them in the pictures since you can't really cover that up with powdercoating.  But, not like you'll see any of that anyways with the tires on them.  They looked pretty rotted and rusty and I was worried if they would even still hold air after they were sandblasted.  For some odd reason, there were also about 8-10 broken and cut-off valve stems and caps in each of the two front tires along with a lot of water...  :wtf:

 

Well, without further ado, here are the pics of the wheels and tires.  I'll post more once I get them back from being mounted so you can see them all together.  But first, here are some pics of what the wheels looked like on the Estate Keeper when I first bought it to show how bad they were:

 

EK-10-12032012_17.jpg

 

EK-10-12032012_18.jpg

 

EK-10-12032012_05.jpg

 

 

And now, here are the rims after they came back from being freshly powdercoated. First, here they are in my buddy's garage when I went to pick them up:

 

EK-10Wheels_01.jpg

 

 

Now, here they are at home:

 

EK-10Wheels_02.jpg

 

 

You can still see all the pitting on the inside through the powdercoating:

 

EK-10Wheels_03.jpg

(Also, for some reason, it looks like one of the rear rims is a different style?  Look at how different the inside of the rim looks on that one wheel in the back there...)

 

 

EK-10Wheels_04.jpg

 

 

Close-up shots of the rims to show details:

 

EK-10Wheels_05.jpg

 

EK-10Wheels_06.jpg

 

 

Now, here are the new tires I bought from GCR. They are Carlisle Turf-Saver 4-ply 16X6.50-8NHS tires:

 

EK-10Wheels_07.jpg

 

EK-10Wheels_08.jpg

 

EK-10Wheels_09.jpg

 

EK-10Wheels_10.jpg

 

 

The tread still looks pretty nice and deep on them, for Turf-Saver tires I guess.  I had originally wanted the Carlisle Turf-Master tires for it which look like this:

 

51B-oSZ2szL._SS500_.jpg

 

However, they wanted like $65 per tire for those compared with only $32 per tire for the Turf-Saver's that I bought.  I couldn't see spending TWICE as much money for pretty similar tires, so I went with the cheaper ones instead.  Yeah, I like the more agressive look and meatier tread of the Turf-Master, but for what I spent the tires I got still look pretty nice and should work well for quite a few years at least.

 

Now to just get them mounted and on the Estate Keeper so I can wheel it around again, lol.  Of course I'll want to thoroughly wash off the EK before I put my nice new shiny wheels on it...


Edited by MailmAn, January 05, 2013 - 11:46 AM.

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#24 wilberj ONLINE  

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Posted January 05, 2013 - 11:44 AM

I think you can still buy them size rims now a day also they do make filler for powder coat but its a little late now.


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#25 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted January 05, 2013 - 12:01 PM

Looks alot better than before!

 

The EK's used 2 different style rims. Looks like one of them was replaced at some point.



#26 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted January 07, 2013 - 11:06 PM

.

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:

 

EK-10Wheels_11.jpg

 

Ooooh!  Nice, aren't they?  They'll really look nice on this EK, once it is all finished!

 

EK-10Wheels_12.jpg

 

Close-up picture to show texture:

 

EK-10Wheels_13.jpg

 

 

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?

 

EK-10-01072013_01.jpg

 

 

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?

 

EK-10-01072013_02.jpg

 

EK-10-01072013_03.jpg

 

 

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!!   :(   :wallbanging:

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.

 

EK-10-01072013_04.jpg

 

 

Here is what the rear axle hub looked like before when it was all filthified:

 

EK-10-12162012_09.jpg

 

...and now it looks nice and clean (by comparison at least):

 

EK-10-01072013_05.jpg

 

EK-10-01072013_06.jpg

 

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?

 

EK-10-01072013_07.jpg

 

 

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:

 

EK-10-01072013_08.jpg

 

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?

 

EK-10-01072013_09.jpg

 

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.

 

EK-10-01072013_10.jpg

 

 

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?!?!   :wallbanging:

 

EK-10-01072013_11.jpg

 

 

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...

 

EK-10-01072013_12.jpg

 

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:

 

EK-10-12162012_13.jpg

 

EK-10-12162012_12.jpg

 

 

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.   :wallbanging:

 

EK-10-01072013_13.jpg

 

 

 

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 :wallbanging:  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.


#27 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted January 07, 2013 - 11:44 PM

Oh, and BTW, Brian, here are the numbers off of the plate that you asked about a while ago:

Model Number: 931-02

Serial Number: 3760

 Sorry, I lied to you about that!!  Don't ever believe a word I say!!! :hitting_self_roller:
 
Evidently the actual Serial Number of my Estate Keeper is 5760, NOT 3760!!  I guess I can't tell the difference between a 5 and a 3 in a photo of the plate that has the numbers on it!!  smiley__roll_eyes.gif  I just noticed that today while I was working on the EK earlier.  I thought I should let you all know the brutal truth on that and come clean after all this time...


Edited by MailmAn, January 07, 2013 - 11:49 PM.

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#28 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2013 - 06:57 AM

It looks for every set-back that you came across you seem to overcome them . Keep up the good work , Al
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#29 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2013 - 10:00 AM

The engine mounting plate is broken but this seems to be a common problem with these as 2 of mine were broke as well. I just welded them back together but you could make some new plates if you wish.

 

The brake pad is indeed missing. These were sold as a complete assembly with the shoe glued on to the plate. Aftermarket pads can be purchased and riveted on to the existing holes in the assembly.

 

The axle should have 2 holes, the larger hole is for securing the front wheels with a cotter pin and the smaller outer hole is for securing the attachment brackets.

 

The voltage regulator is sold as a complete assembly with those mounting tabs. If it is still holding to the frame and your getting spark I would leave it for now.

 

I had some pictures taken for you but I must have deleted them! You can in this video the proper starter/generator mounting bracket. Looks like someone hacked yours up :(

 

 

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#30 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2013 - 10:31 AM

Well, obviously my next question then is where can I get the proper S/G bracket and brake pad (or whole brake arm assembly, depending)? I need a lot of other parts for it already, as you can see.  I guess just add these to the list, lol...  As far as the two holes in the front axles, would there be any reason for them NOT to be there?  Can you replace these axles with different ones for some reason or did Bolens by any chance change the design in mid-production run?  I can try to clean them off better in case they are just hiding under a lot of grease and grime (like the small hole on the left side, since you can barely see it in the pictures, but it is there...)  It just didn't look like there was a second hole anywhere in that right-hand side axle.  What do the pins look like anyways that hold the wheels on?  I'm assuming you have to hammer them in or something or are they more like a cotter pin that you put in there and then bend the ends out to hold it?  (Like what they use to hold the castle nut on the rear axle assembly.)

 

 

(EDIT:  Well, it looks like from the video you posted that I have the correct top bracket that mounts to the engine, but what I don't have is the proper bracket that the S/G slides on there.  Mine is straight (more or less...) and is probably from a S/G setup on like a 650/750/850/1050 series tractor, but the one for the Estate Keeper has that bend in it so it lines up properly.  So, I guess all I need is that bent bracket that bolts to the S/G and the top engine bracket should be fine.  I just need to get that broken bolt out of there...  :(

 

Oh! And one other thing as well...  Can you buy replacement spring engine mounts for that or am I stuck having to weld the one I have back together?  Is there anything wrong with just leaving it the way it is or will it wear out belts or other parts prematurely if the engine isn't mounted in there right?  I'd assume it is not good for it myself, but...)


Edited by MailmAn, January 08, 2013 - 10:42 AM.






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