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Bolens Estate Keeper Restoration

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

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#76 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2013 - 10:17 PM

The early style vents had a loose-fitting cap crimped over the piece that is still on your gearbox.    .....The vent would allow pressure in the gearbox to escape, but since the hole was covered, the only way water could get in was if the gearbox were submerged. ....If the gearbox was inverted, the lube could leak out.   ...The caps were frequently knocked off the bottom piece, so I suspect that is why Bolens went to the later style fitting.

 

The later-style vents (# 1721488 ? ) were made by Alemite, and were not a "breather" in the sense that the opening was normally closed.  ....A spring-loaded plunger would open and vent any built-up pressure inside the gearbox.  ....Calling it a pressure-relief is probably more accurate.  .....Lube did not leak out if the gearbox was inverted.

 

As for the gears, they look pretty chewed up.  .....Even if the burrs are removed, they will be noisy due to the rough surfaces and wear of the gear teeth.   ......I  suggest taking the gearbox apart completely for a thorough cleaning and evaluation.  .....All the debris from the chewed-up gears has probably gotten into the needle bearings.  .....Running without lube certainly did not do the bearings any good, either.  ....The thrust bearings & thrust washers may be chewed-up as well.  .....A good cleaning will allow you to see if the gearcase is cracked.

 

This is the best time to make the gearbox right!


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#77 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted April 09, 2013 - 10:20 PM

Another quick update on the Estate Keeper as I had some time to get some more work done on it today.  I figured I'd take it apart some more so that I could give the back half of it a good washing today at the car wash self-service booth.  So, I loaded up the ramps in the truck and headed over to get started.  First thing I did was take some photos of the wire routing on the EK-10 before taking it all apart so I'd hopefully remember where all the wires go.  (When in doubt, I can also refer to the Bolens wiring diagram...)

 

EK-10-04092013_02.jpg

 

EK-10-04092013_04.jpg

 

EK-10-04092013_05.jpg

 

 

Next step, I disconnected the Starter/Generator and set that aside and also unhooked the rest of the wiring harness from the solenoid and the voltage regulator to get that out of the way.  (It was pretty hacked up and cobbled together.  Many of the end terminals were falling apart and a wire just pulled out of terminal that connected to the coil.  :(   Thankfully I have a new (not OEM, but...) wiring harness that Bolens 1000 was nice enough to make up for me that I'm planning on substituting for the old harness that was on my EK-10.)  With that out of the way, I started unbolting the engine from the rear frame.  I had originally thought that the engine mounting brackets were broken on both sides as the whole engine rocked back and forth a lot, but it turns out the bracket was only broken on the left side and the right side bracket (that is hidden behind the transaxle case) was still intact.  The engine just happened to be rocking because it was only held in by TWO BOLTS!!!  :wallbanging:  :wallbanging:   I figure if I put it back together with a new left side bracket and all 4 mounting bolts, it should be fine!  :D

 

Before I get to that part though, I did notice something odd with the drive belts.  Now, I know the engine wasn't exactly mounted 100% properly, but why are the belts off like this?  They route crooked though the idler pulleys and the transaxle drive pulleys.  What would make them off like this?

 

EK-10-04092013_06.jpg

 

EK-10-04092013_07.jpg

 

EK-10-04092013_08.jpg

 

 

After wrestling with the belts for about 5 rounds or so (the belts were winning right up until the final pinfall where I finally beat them!) I took the engine off of the rear frame assembly and loaded everything into the back of the truck to take a trip down to the car wash.  You can see how filthy everything was:

 

EK-10-04092013_09.jpg

 

 

Here is the intact mounting barcket from the right side.  Can't really tell if it is 100% OEM or if it was fabricated by someone after they broke the original one?

 

EK-10-04092013_10.jpg

 

 

Here is the rest of the frame ready to be cleaned up:

 

EK-10-04092013_11.jpg


EK-10-04092013_13.jpg

 

 

After unloading everything at the car wash and soaking it with some engine degreaser, I inserted about $7 in quarters and here were the results:

 

EK-10-04092013_14.jpg

 

EK-10-04092013_16.jpg

 

EK-10-04092013_18.jpg

 

 

Underneath:

 

EK-10-04092013_19.jpg

 

 

Close up of the pulleys and mechanisms:

 

EK-10-04092013_20.jpg

 

 

So, now that it is all nice and clean, I can start getting to the bottom of some of the oddities of this thing.  Like, why does it seem like the clutch idler pulleys don't line up right and neither does the brake shoe?  I know it is missing the brake pad on it, but it is also like a mile away from the transaxle input shaft that it is supposed to brake onto.  Also, the transaxle input shaft (that has the Hi and Lo speed pulleys on it) is VERY wobbly and has a lot of play in and out of the transaxle housing.  No idea if it is supposed to be this way or if something is broken inside the transaxle or not.  It still seems to spin the output shaft and the wheels if I shift it into gear and rotate the input pulley, but it still has me worried.  Also, while checking out the engine, I noticed a lack of an easily accessible oil drain plug.  How in the heck are you supposed to drain the oil on this thing?  Just a few of the MYSTERIES of the Estate Keeper...


Edited by MailmAn, April 09, 2013 - 10:22 PM.

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#78 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2013 - 08:31 AM

Looks like it cleaned up quite nicely.

 

Couple things:

 

1) I think your engine pulley needs to go further onto the shaft....

 

2) Looks like your missing the choke control bracket

 

3) Oil Is drained from the plug at the bottom of the engine (Right under the crankcase cover) I believe the manual shows a picture.


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#79 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2013 - 09:06 AM

1) I think your engine pulley needs to go further onto the shaft....

 

2) Looks like your missing the choke control bracket

 

I've actually been wondering about that myself...  Do you think this is not the original engine for this Estate Keeper?  Maybe someone swapped engines and they didn't reinstall the engine pulley all the way?  I mean, I guess it could have worked its way off the driveshaft a bit over the years too.  But I thought you told me once that the engines on the Estate Keepers were black and mine is a reddish brown kind of color.  Makes me think it was pulled from something else to be thrown on this EK.  That also brings me to your second point about missing a choke control bracket.  The controls were also cobbled together and there was no choke cable hooked up and the choke cable was attached to the throttle instead.  There is a cable mount on the tractor frame that the cable was attached to that ran to the throttle control on the engine.  Is there supposed to be another one like that for the choke cable as well?



#80 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2013 - 09:15 AM

I've actually been wondering about that myself...  Do you think this is not the original engine for this Estate Keeper?  Maybe someone swapped engines and they didn't reinstall the engine pulley all the way?  I mean, I guess it could have worked its way off the driveshaft a bit over the years too.  But I thought you told me once that the engines on the Estate Keepers were black and mine is a reddish brown kind of color.  Makes me think it was pulled from something else to be thrown on this EK.  That also brings me to your second point about missing a choke control bracket.  The controls were also cobbled together and there was no choke cable hooked up and the choke cable was attached to the throttle instead.  There is a cable mount on the tractor frame that the cable was attached to that ran to the throttle control on the engine.  Is there supposed to be another one like that for the choke cable as well?

 

All the Wisconsin have that orange color on the blocks if you strip the paint down enough....

Its probably the original engine but after years of someone cobbling stuff together and not using the right parts stuff probably got tossed or misplaced when the "fix" was made (Such as the choke control)

 

If you go to about the 1:00 mark in the video and stop the video you can see the bracket I'm talking about.


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#81 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2013 - 10:23 AM

If you go to about the 1:00 mark in the video and stop the video you can see the bracket I'm talking about.

 

Yeah, uh...  What is that thing?  It is hard to see in that shaky video and it didn't look like his choke was hooked up to anything either as I didn't see any cable there.  The choke mechanism seems to be there on mine, there is just nothing to hold the cable really so it will actually move the choke when you move the control handle.  Not quite sure what that spring and whatever all that was is supposed to accomplish.  Maybe if I had a better picture of everything.  Does the EK manual even cover that stuff or would that be in the engine manual, if they even get into specifics like that?


Edited by MailmAn, April 10, 2013 - 10:24 AM.


#82 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2013 - 10:35 AM

Yeah, uh...  What is that thing?  It is hard to see in that shaky video and it didn't look like his choke was hooked up to anything either as I didn't see any cable there.  The choke mechanism seems to be there on mine, there is just nothing to hold the cable really so it will actually move the choke when you move the control handle.  Not quite sure what that spring and whatever all that was is supposed to accomplish.  Maybe if I had a better picture of everything.  Does the EK manual even cover that stuff or would that be in the engine manual, if they even get into specifics like that?

 

The Wisconsin manual should have the parts list and diagram of that assembly.



#83 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2013 - 06:04 PM

Kevin:

 

According to my manuals the model 931 Estate Keepers had a Wisconsin TRA-10D with  spec # 286809.

 

1050's used TR-10D - spec # 241194 or a TRA-10D - spec # 285633.

 

What are your engine numbers?  .....A brown engine indicates the engine was probably changed at some point, as the EK's had a black engine, as previously mentioned.

 

As Brian said, that primer is on most  of the Wisconsin engines under the topcoat color.

 

I also believe the pulley needs to be installed all the way onto the crankshaft.


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#84 BigPat OFFLINE  

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Posted August 02, 2015 - 08:07 AM

I have an Estate Keeper and it won't roll. I'm pretty sure it's in nuetral, but when I try to drag it, both rear wheels just slide, and won't turn. Any ideas?

#85 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted August 02, 2015 - 08:29 AM

I have an Estate Keeper and it won't roll. I'm pretty sure it's in nuetral, but when I try to drag it, both rear wheels just slide, and won't turn. Any ideas?

 

Hello Welcome to GTT! :wave:

 

These have a free wheel pin just like the tubeframe's

 

When sitting on the tractor the handle is on the left rear wheel, push in the handle and twist , it will take the pin out of the hub and you'll be able to free wheel the machine.



#86 OldBuzzard OFFLINE  

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Posted August 02, 2015 - 12:38 PM

:ditto:

 

You can also download the EK owners manual that shows how to do that here:

 

http://gardentractor...-owners-manual/

 

 



#87 framesteer ONLINE  

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Posted August 02, 2015 - 02:21 PM

My Estate Keeper has an "extension" on the oil drain.  Likely one of the things that makes the Estate Keeper engine special is that it has a pipe plug in the bottom of the crankcase.  I believe it is in the bottom of the engine gear cover.  Finding and using this pipe plug to change the oil is not very handy.  On my machine, the pipe plug is replaced with a pipe nipple (about 4" long, as I recall), then a pipe couple, then the pipe plug.  At least you have half a chance of finding the plug n this lower position (you still have to stand on your head to see it).  I don't think this extension was stock, but it saves a lot of aggravation when changing oil.  If you have a replacement engine, It may not have this pipe plug in the bottom of the engine.  The "standard" position for the 1/4" pipe thread drain plug is on the carb side of the engine block, at the bottom.  On the Estate Keeper this is not accessible as the transmission obstructs access.

 

Sometimes the free wheel mechanism is pretty much rusted up/gunked up so it won't work by hand.  If that's the case, start by removing the left rear wheel, then the axle nut, then the wheel hub, then the free wheel hub, etc.  Clean and relub the parts with liberal coating of grease on sliding/contacting surfaces, and you should be able to engage/disengage with your hand.  Don't forget to grease the fitting in the wheel hub once in a while and the mechanism will stay lubed so that it can be activated by hand and the machine will freewheel.


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#88 BRIAN EK7&10 ONLINE  

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Posted August 02, 2015 - 02:44 PM

the biggest difference in the estate keeper tra10d engine is that it has an 1 1/4" output shaft, where a
standard tra10d only has a 1" output shaft





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: bolens, ek-10, estate keeper, 1969, tra-10d, restoration, 931-02

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