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I Was A Little Late This Year, But Finally Got The 850 Ready For The Snow!

bolens 850 snowcaster snow caster blower

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#1 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2012 - 05:54 PM

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Well, I was a bit late getting my tractor ready for winter this year.  Of course, this is also my first winter with my Bolens 850 tractor!  I had kept the mower deck on it well into December in the hopes of getting a few last minute lawn and leaf cleanups since we had such a mild start to winter this year.  It was in the 40's for most of November and early December!  But, I went home to Rochester for Christmas and left the mower deck on my Bolens.  Of course, the day after Christmas, the weatherman was calling for Winter Storm Euclid to dump tons of snow on us!  So, I had to leave Rochester early Wednesday morning to head back to Albany to get geared up for the white stuff!

 

Here is a photo of how my tractor was when I left for Christmas:

 

Bolens850_10.jpg

 

 

So, first things first, I had to swap out the "summer tires" on my tractor with the winter tires I bought for it, complete with wheel weights and chains!  So, I got out the ratchet and sockets and the jack and got to work pulling the rear wheels:

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_01.jpg

(Yeah, I know...  Wonderful paint job on my axle locking hub, right?)

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_02.jpg

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_03.jpg

 

 

Yeah, it is sitting pretty low right now since the tires had almost no air in them when I put them on.  I'm actually kinda surprised at how "not flat" the tires look for only having 1-2 PSI of air pressure in them.  They must have a pretty sturdy sidewall to those tires.

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_04.jpg

 

 

With about 20 PSI of air in them, they look a lot more inflated now!  Of course, it took forever to put air in the tires with a hand pump!  I wish I had an air compressor right about now!  Now it's just time to put the wheel weights back on.  I took them off of the wheels to make them easier to mount and now I think I'm glad I did! lol...

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_05.jpg


Bolens850SnowBlower_06.jpg

 

 

Now it's time to hook up the "new-to-me" snowcaster I bought back in early November.  I wanted to grease it up before I used it, but I didn't really see anywhere to grease.  Still, I threw some grease on the drive chain and sprockets and rolled it around by hand and sprayed strategic areas down with some PB Blaster to try and lube it up.  It was also more of a pain to try and hook up the snowcaster than I thought.  I had to disassemble the chute crank to get it through the hole in the support bracket.  It was also hard to line up the lift arm with where it attaches to the lift lever while also trying to pull the unit close to the tractor to line up the mounting holes and also lining up the PTO shaft to slide into the universal joint.  There is a lot going on all at once!  I was also pissed because I didn't have any clevis pins long enough to mount the snowcaster!  It didn't come with any and I tried using the pins from the snow blade I also bought, but they were too short!  Evidently the snowcaster hitch bracket is a tad wider than the one on the plow blade.  What a PITA!!!  So, I had to buy temporary clevis pins at Home Depot to get me by until I can find the right ones.  All they had were 3" long clevis pins though, which barely fit without hitting anything important (like the spinning PTO shaft!)  Here is the snowcaster mounted to my 850:

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_07.jpg

 

 

Here are some action shots of the snowcaster running.  I was hoping for a better motion-blur effect, but hey...  I guess it just doesn't go around fast enough!  Can I swap out the gearing in it for something more "high-performance"?  lol...

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_08.jpg

 

 

(Another attempt, but this time the picture really darkened a lot, even with the flash. I think I turned up the f-stop on it too high to try and compensate for the longer exposure so it wouldn't get over-developed...)

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_08b.jpg

 

 

At first, I was kind of upset with this shot because the whole tractor isn't in focus and it only focused on the snowcaster when I took the picture.  But the more I look at it, it is starting to grow on me and I think it actually looks kinda cool only emphasizing the snowcaster part and it makes it look mean!

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_09.jpg

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_10.jpg

 

 

A few nice shots of the tractor with the newly installed headlights on!

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_11.jpg

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_12.jpg

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_13.jpg

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_14.jpg

 

 

 

By 6-7pm Wednesday night, the Bolens was finally all ready for the white stuff to start falling!  Which was just in time since it started snowing in Albany by about 7:30pm!  I was up at 6:00am Thursday morning to clear off the driveway so the girlfriend could get to work and so I could get started snowblowing the front lawn (...wait for it, all will be revealed soon...).  Why did I have to snowblow the front lawn, do you ask?  So, I could get to my trailer and hook it up to the truck so I could take my show on the road to make a few bucks!  Once I had our driveway snowblowed decently enough, I loaded it all up onto the trailer to head out...

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_15.jpg

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_16.jpg

 

 

I also have the trusty late 1960's to early 1970's Ariens Sno-Thro on there as a back-up and for snowblowing walkways and sidewalks...

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_17.jpg

 

Bolens850SnowBlower_18.jpg

 

 

It was definitely a rough day as I was working from 6:30am until about 9:00pm snowblowing driveways.  Thankfully I installed those headlights on my Bolens 850 as I was using them a lot while snowblowing!  I made about $150 or so in one day thanks to the snow.  So, I'm only about another $100 off from paying off the cost of buying all the snow-removal equipment for my tractor this year!  Not too bad, I'd say...  It still took a bit longer than I thought to clear driveways with my tractor, but it was also a pretty heavy, wet snow and my poor tractor was struggling to throw it at times.  I could have done more in a day if the snow was light and fluffy.  Maybe a few more snowfalls this year and I'll have it all paid off!


Edited by MailmAn, December 28, 2012 - 06:04 PM.

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#2 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2012 - 06:13 PM

Thanks for the update!

Sounds like you had some fun with the Bolens :D

 

The snow was fairly wet here as well which Is why I switched over and finished my driveway with the Versa-Matic with the 42'' Plow attached.

 

 

The Correct Clevis pins should be Part# 1713501 which are longer than ones used on the mower deck. The 1713501 was also used with the 42'' Blade.

With practice you should be able to switch the blower on and off within 2 minutes, Remember Bolens claimed you could switch them in under a minute  :poke:

 

 

How far did your blower throw the snow?


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#3 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2012 - 06:18 PM

Edit:

 

The newer blowers used Clevis# 1719367 which I am assuming are longer than the 1713501


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#4 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2012 - 06:28 PM

The Correct Clevis pins should be Part# 1713501 which are longer than ones used on the mower deck. The 1713501 was also used with the 42'' Blade.

 
I think I had the 1713501 pins as they were on the plow blade.  I wasn't using the same pins as the ones from the mower deck, I know they are WAY too short!  I put those back on the deck when I pulled it off to keep them together so I wouldn't lose them!  :smilewink:   But I had a set of clevis pins that were on the blade I bought, so I pulled them off to use on the snowcaster and they were too short!  IDK if the hitch assembly got bent somehow, but I doubt it as it seems pretty thick and heavy duty!  The pins were long enough to go through all the way to mount it, but short enough that I couldn't put the cotter pin into the hole in the pin to secure it!  It was the same on both sides.  So, I had to buy the stupid 3" long generic pins with 9 million holes in them to mount it for now...
 

With practice you should be able to switch the blower on and off within 2 minutes, Remember Bolens claimed you could switch them in under a minute  :poke:


Haha, yeah, right!  Maybe I could take it off in under a minute, but I certainly can't hook it all up in under a minute.  And what did they mean, "switch it"?  You mean take one attachment off and put another on in under a minute?  What NASCAR pit crew did they have changing Bolens implements for them? lol... 

 

 

Sounds like you had some fun with the Bolens :D

How far did your blower throw the snow?

 

Yeah, it did pretty well, despite the snow.  I was worried after I hooked up the snowcaster that they were calling for a wet snow and thought I should swap last minute, but I decided not to.  It still did alright even in the wet snow.  It seemed to throw it a decent amount, like say 8-10 feet or so at most.  I'm sure it would have gone much farther if the snow was lighter and fluffier. 



#5 JRJ OFFLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2012 - 06:31 PM

You have a nice looking 850 but I can't say that much for the blower or the wheels.

 

Dick



#6 goodnews OFFLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2012 - 06:46 PM

looks like you're good to go MailmAm  like doc said it'll get easier as time goes on and with persistence or as we call it down south grit you've gotta have grit and i'd say you're not lacking in that area lo but i'm glad ypur day was success may many more come your way.in Christ bobby


Edited by goodnews, December 28, 2012 - 06:47 PM.


#7 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted December 28, 2012 - 06:49 PM

 

 


Haha, yeah, right!  Maybe I could take it off in under a minute, but I certainly can't hook it all up in under a minute.  And what did they mean, "switch it"?  You mean take one attachment off and put another on in under a minute?  What NASCAR pit crew did they have changing Bolens implements for them? lol... 

 

Supposedly you could either remove or install  an attachment  in a minute or less.

 

I've timed myself a couple times and I can get the plow on in about 1 min, Snow Caster and other "common" implememnts in about 1-2 minutes.

The tiller is the the hardest and that sometimes can take about 7-10 Minutes :wallbanging:



#8 Moosetales OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2012 - 12:03 AM

Thanks for the pics and description. Best to you on making your money back.



#9 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2012 - 09:40 AM

Of course now they're calling for another 4-6 inches of snow for tonight and unfortunately I don't have my Bolens right now as it is in the shop after being laid up from the last big snowstorm we just had.  (For more on that story, we go to Asian reporter Tricia Takanawa who is standing by:  http://gardentractor...ns-850-is-down/)



#10 1967bolens collector OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2012 - 11:32 AM

the fenders, hood and dasd look great. why didnt you finish the resto? and have fun in the snow looks like we arn't gettin it here :(



#11 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2012 - 11:44 AM

the fenders, hood and dasd look great. why didnt you finish the resto?

 

Well, what do you mean finish the resto?  And I really needed to use it, so I didn't want to pull it all apart to paint like the whole frame and the engine, etc...  So I only painted the hood and fenders (and the good rear wheels) and fixed up the deck to get it going again and looking halfway decent at least.  But I needed it to actually do some work this past summer, so I couldn't afford to strip it completely down to the bolts and redo the whole tractor.

 

But it looks alright for now, I'd say.  What is that horrible looking on it that is left?  Just the wheels do you mean?



#12 1967bolens collector OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2012 - 11:49 AM

im not saying it looks bad im just asking why you didnt paint the rest thats all.  it looks fine im]was just asking i didnt mean to make you mad if you are im sorry



#13 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2012 - 11:53 AM

No, I'm not mad.  I know I cut some corners with the 850 getting it ready and not doing a complete resto on it.  I was just curious what you thought needed more attention that looks bad on it especially compared with the rest of it that I did paint already.

 

(Plus, it's not just you, several others already posted picking on my poor 850 saying the rest of it looks bad compared with the newly painted hood and fenders.  So don't worry about it...)


Edited by MailmAn, December 29, 2012 - 11:55 AM.


#14 1967bolens collector OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2012 - 12:15 PM

hey its your tractor soif it makes you happy paint it pink " i hope some1 woundnt do that" but i was just asking that all. im doing my 850 right now its completely apart i dont know if you read my thread bolens 850 and danuser cd-1 resto. have fun with the white stuff wish i had some



#15 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2012 - 01:31 PM

Hey its your tractor soif it makes you happy paint it pink!

 

Gwah!!!  Hell no!!!  No pink tractors for me, thank you!  (Although I DID see a pink JD at the NY State Fair this year and took some pictures of it.  Of course, it was owned and restored by a girl, so that makes some sense at least.  She even painted pretty flowers on the rear wheels.  Awwww...  Bleah...  :-P  lol...)

 

 

I'm doing my 850 right now its completely apart i dont know if you read my thread bolens 850 and danuser cd-1 resto.

 

 

Yes, I have been watching your progress on that as well.  Looks like it is coming along pretty well so far!  I love that post hole digger attachment and it seems pretty rare; that's the first one I've ever seen!  I can't wait to see it restored and working and possibly in action???  :poke:   Good luck with your 850 and I'm sure yours will look *SO MUCH BETTER* than mine since you took the time to do it right!  Of course, it also helps having multiple backup tractors to do work while you are restoring another tractor.  I don't happen to have that luxury right now...  (Oh wait, but I kinda do since I have the 850 to use [hopefully, if I ever get it back this winter!!] while I'm working on my EK-10, so that kinda works then...)







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