Thanks anyways for the offer, Framesteer, but I think I've got it all sorted now. Seems I DO have all of the proper holes in the front axles for all sorts of cotter pins and hitch pins (I guess that is the proper Hardware Store term for what I was calling "spring cotters", which I'm assuming might actually be something else entirely?). It seems that the smaller holes I was worried went missing (and how exactly do you end up losing something that is not even there, since a hole is actually the absense of anything being there in the first place? Try wrapping your head around that one...) are indeed there after all! It is just years of built-up old grease and dirt and grime had covered them all up. I tried to clean up all of the old grease off of the axles with some more "Awesome" cleaner and paper towels, but the holes still eluded me even after the axles looked all nice and clean and shiny. But, upon closer inspection and after poking around a bit with a small nail, I managed to find them after all and clean them out. I also went to the Hardware Store and on Bruce's advice, bought two 1/4" x 1 3/4" cotter pins to hold the front wheels on properly. They are rather BIG cotter pins and as such cost a pretty penny as well. (Actually, it was several HUNDRED pennies, but...) Each stupid cotter pin set me back $1.19... on top of the $1.35 or so each that I had to pay for two new flat washers as well to go behind the cotter pins. I thought I recalled at some point or another loose hardware being relatively inexpensive? Now it would cost you more just in the cost of the hardware alone to replace every nut, bolt, and screw holding a tractor together than it would be to just buy a new tractor already assembled, it's ridiculous!
In any event, I managed to remember to bring my jack over today and got the new tires mounted on the Estate Keeper this afternoon. I even managed to spin the free wheel hub without the handle so that I could push the Estate Keeper around once I had put the new shoes on her. It looks MUCH better now even with just the new wheels on it and nothing else really having been done to it yet! Plus, with the free wheel hub disengaged, it rolls soooo nicely now I can easily move it around the garage with no problems! I remember how hard I had to fight with it just to pull it off of the trailer with the hub locked and all the tires being flat. It is like night and day now moving it around; I can move it with one finger practically!
Here are the photos from putting the wheels on it today. First up though, the pictures of the front axles after cleaning them up and finding the holes:
The left rear hub in free wheel mode:
The new tires and wheels mounted on the EK-10:
Close-up of the mounting of the front wheels. This should be the correct way to hold them on:
I guess I will need a much smaller hitch pin to go in this hole than the one that was used to hold everything together by the previous owner (PO):
And now, a few random pictures I took of the underside of the Estate Keeper. It appears some cables and wiring look a bit off for my liking, but I could be wrong? Is that wire going through the two small pulleys there the brake/clutch cable? Is the wire going over the top of that the throttle cable? I notice that the ignition wires run awfully close to that PTO shaft, which I'd imagine isn't good when that thing is turning at a few thousand RPMs? I also see some of the wires at least have been replaced with "Submersible Pump Cable", which I'm assuming isn't stock... but may actually be better than stock wires as they are waterproof. hmmmm...
I just don't get why the underside of this EK-10 is so filthy! Did someone go mud-bogging with it or something? Is that just normal dirt and grime and grass clipping build-up from 40-some-odd years of use without ever being cleaned? Did a really big dog drag this thing into the backyard and bury it in a hole somewhere?
Well, I made another minor step forward today at least, but it is still an important one as now I can roll it around at least to work on it. Still need that Starter/Generator adjusting strap so I can get that mounted back on the engine so I can try turning it over to see how the engine is. One thing that does bother me about it is that I checked the dipstick on the engine and there is like NO oil in it at all. (Well, very, very little at least appears on the end of the dipstick...) That could mean that the engine has an oil leak in it or that it was burning oil badly the last time it was run and it had run low on oil... It also could just be that the PO drained the oil out of it for storage or something at the end of a season? Who knows... But I should definitely throw at least some 10W30 or something in it before I try to crank it at all to be safe.