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Bolens 850 Is Down!


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#16 jim knutson OFFLINE  

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Posted January 11, 2013 - 10:43 PM

sounds like you could possibly have overheated it, and broke a ring or burned a hole in the piston causing excess crankcase pressure.



#17 1967bolens collector OFFLINE  

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Posted January 11, 2013 - 11:40 PM

yea a air cooled engine cant be ran hours on end with no break blowing snow or anything that make the engine strain.. hope you get it back soon

#18 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted January 14, 2013 - 01:50 PM

Well, I just stopped over at the guy's shop today since I was in the neighborhood and chatted with him for a few minutes about the tractor.  He said he got the head pulled off of it and checked it out and saw one of the valves was definitely sticking and the spring is probably bad in it.  He also checked for compression and said it didn't have any compression really.  I told him those old Wisconsins have a compression release (ACR) built into them, so it won't make a lot of compression until it is running, but he still said it was way too low even with the ACR on it.  He said that I probably wiped out the rings on it too and it really should have a complete rebuild done on it if I want it to run like new again.  (He also asked me if the engine had backfired on me, which it had done a bit when trying to run it at full throttle before it had fully warmed up...  Not sure what difference that makes though?)  He called his parts distributor this morning and he said he can get the parts for it still, but they are special order and may take 3-4 days to up to a week to get them in.  He said just the parts alone on it would cost $300-$350 and his labor to rebuild it would be another $250 or so, so it would cost around $500-$600 to get the engine in tip-top shape again, depending on what it needs internally.  That price includes new oil pump, new piston rings, honing the cylinder, new valves, springs, and seats, new main bearings, new connecting rod, complete carb rebuild, etc...  Basically it would be a whole brand-new engine when he's done.

 

I'm contemplating what I want to do with it right now though.  That is definitely not a bad price to totally rebuild even a small engine.  If it does need to be fully rebuilt, I can't really do it myself since I have no place to work on it (even though all the snow has melted pretty much) and I don't have all the tools to completely rebuild an engine anyways.  Plus, if I do it myself and I screw something up and blow up the engine, that's money invested that I just lost.  If he does it and something blows up, I can at least bring it back to him and say he screwed up and he has to fix it and/or replace it with a new engine.

 

The other thought I had was to call up the guy in New Jersey that I bought the snowcaster from as he said he has a spare engine there that would fit my 850.  IDK what kind of shape it is in though or if that one could potentially blow up on me once I install it and then I'm back to square one.  If I can get a good price on it though, it might be worth it to swap engines on it to save me a bit of money.  But at least if I completely rebuild the engine I've got in there now, it should be good to go for at least another 10-15 years I should think? 

 

The ONLY thing that really bothers me about the engine in there now is that I can tell someone already rebuilt it at least once because of the oversized piston in it. How long ago was it rebuilt? Did they do a lousy job rebuilding it and that's why it is all messed up now?  Did they just bore it out and throw a bigger piston in it and not check or replace the valves or any of the underside of the engine?  If the bearings are bad in it or it is not getting the proper oil circulation, that could be a big problem.  I don't know anything about the history of that engine or how hard it was worked or if it was abused or if the person that rebuilt it cut corners on it and didn't do a good job rebuilding it, etc...  I just don't know what I should do about it and which is the best avenue to go down fixing it.


Edited by MailmAn, January 14, 2013 - 01:54 PM.


#19 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted January 14, 2013 - 03:25 PM

Also maybe take to your mechanic again. Your engine doesn't have an oil pump like some of the older and larger Wisconsin engines. Instead it is just a regular splash lube system.

 

Well, that's my bad then if it doesn't have an oil pump.  Did Wisconsin only use them on their diesels or like 2-cylinder engines or what?  I thought maybe they had a bit more than just an oil slinger in even the smaller engines.  Can you replace them even or they don't really go bad since it's just a piece of metal that flaps about in the crankcase oil?



#20 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted January 14, 2013 - 05:35 PM

Well, if he's going to do a complete rebuild including Turning down the Crank and boring out the cylinder and adding all new parts I'd say it would be well worth it. Since yours is already at .010+ oversize You will have to either go .020+ or .030+ on the piston

 

I think the parts would cost a bit more than $300 IMO.... A new Undersize Rod generally retails around $100- $180

 

Keep us updated


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#21 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted January 14, 2013 - 11:39 PM

No, my piston was marked with +.020, so it already WAS bored out .020" over already.  He was just going to hone the cylinder walls (not bore them out any more). But yes, he would completely rebuild it including turning the crankshaft and new bearings and parts.  I certainly HOPE the new parts won't cost more than $300, lol...  Of course these are wholesale parts costs, not retail.

 

What exactly is an undersize rod anyways?  I heard someone mention it in your other post about your Versa-Matic as well.  I thought maybe it was something else, but now based on what you wrote here I'm thinking that it is a smaller diameter rod end that clamps over the crankshaft to make up the difference in material you would take off machining the crankshaft down to make it smooth and even?  It is similar to putting a bigger piston and/or rings in an engine to make up for boring out the cylinder, except that for machining a crank, you need a smaller diameter rod bearing end to tightly clamp over the smaller crank so it is not sloppy on there.  Is that more the idea with that?

 

So, in summary, Brian, are you saying that I should have him rebuild the engine I have then rather than trying to get a NOS (if I am lucky) S8D engine from the guy in NJ to put in it?


Edited by MailmAn, January 14, 2013 - 11:42 PM.


#22 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted January 14, 2013 - 11:50 PM

After he takes your engine apart you may want to have it measured to make sure everything is still the right size. Otherwise you mey spend alot of money and still have problems after it is rebuilt.

 

What do you mean by that?  Cylinder walls could be worn down beyond .020" and it needs to be bored over more and not simply honed?


Edited by MailmAn, January 14, 2013 - 11:50 PM.


#23 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted January 15, 2013 - 12:07 AM

Hmmm...  from what I can recall when I pulled the head off myself not all that long ago (which kinda has me worried that I messed something up in the engine when I did that?), the cylinder walls looked pretty good I thought?  I didn't see any gouges or scratches in it and it seemed pretty smooth.  However, as you were mentioning above, as I recall I do think the cylinder walls looked pretty smooth and shiny like polished metal that has been worn a lot.  I didn't see any cross-hatching on it that I can remember, which leads me to believe that either it was rebuilt a long time ago and the cylinder walls are very worn now or possibly it was bored over but not honed before the new piston was installed? Is that possible?

 

I had posted pictures of the engine with the head pulled off in another thread about putting my 850 back together after painting it.  They should be here:  http://www.gardentra...t-850/?p=248171



#24 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted January 15, 2013 - 07:53 AM

A lot has to do with how much you trust that mechanic, and how honest he is.

 

Without tearing down the engine, I don't know how he can tell just what it does, or doesn't, need.  

 

If your problem is loss of compression as he stated, the "sticking valve" and "probably bad spring" will cause a drastic loss of compression, so the internals of your engine may be just fine!  ....His diagnosis may be correct, so why then the additional work?

 

Valves, springs, & guides can be repaired/replaced without having to remove the engine.

 

If you don't need a new piston or connecting rod, why buy one?  ....If the rings are good, why change them? .....If the rod & crank were done at the last rebuild, they may still be good.

 

Crankshft bearings (tapered roller bearings) on these engines rarely wear to the point of needing replacement, unless the engine has been run low on oil.  .....Wear in the bearings is compensated for by adjusting the end-play of the crankshaft.

 

Wisconsin parts are not, and never have been, cheap!  ....I hate to see work done, or parts replaced, that isn't necessary.

 

Valve seats rarely need replacement -- they are re-ground in the block.  .....Valve guides do wear, and are replaceable.

 

Intake & exhaust valves sometimes wear or get burnt, but if they are still good, there is no reason to replace them (save $$$).

 

A complete carb rebuild will comprise of a new throttle shaft and bushings, not just cleaning. 

 

You may be able to find a good-running 1050 (which has a lot more features than your 850) for the amount of $$$ to rebuild your engine, which may or may not, be needed.

 

You may have guessed by now that I am skeptical of what you may be getting for your $$$$.


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#25 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted January 15, 2013 - 09:18 AM

A lot has to do with how much you trust that mechanic, and how honest he is.

 

Without tearing down the engine, I don't know how he can tell just what it does, or doesn't, need.  

 

If your problem is loss of compression as he stated, the "sticking valve" and "probably bad spring" will cause a drastic loss of compression, so the internals of your engine may be just fine!  ....His diagnosis may be correct, so why then the additional work?

 

Valves, springs, & guides can be repaired/replaced without having to remove the engine.

 

If you don't need a new piston or connecting rod, why buy one?  ....If the rings are good, why change them? .....If the rod & crank were done at the last rebuild, they may still be good.

 

 

:iagree:

 

Crankshft bearings (tapered roller bearings) on these engines rarely wear to the point of needing replacement, unless the engine has been run low on oil.  .....Wear in the bearings is compensated for by adjusting the end-play of the crankshaft.

 

Wisconsin parts are not, and never have been, cheap!  ....I hate to see work done, or parts replaced, that isn't necessary.

 

Valve seats rarely need replacement -- they are re-ground in the block.  .....Valve guides do wear, and are replaceable.

 

Intake & exhaust valves sometimes wear or get burnt, but if they are still good, there is no reason to replace them (save $$$).

 

A complete carb rebuild will comprise of a new throttle shaft and bushings, not just cleaning. 

 

You may be able to find a good-running 1050 (which has a lot more features than your 850) for the amount of $$$ to rebuild your engine, which may or may not, be needed.

 

You may have guessed by now that I am skeptical of what you may be getting for your $$$$.

 

 

I totally Agree with Bruce.....

How long has this guy been in business and is he familiar with Wisconsin and older engines?

I'm kind of skeptical with his pricing as well because like Bruce mentioned Wisconsin Stuff is not cheap even at the wholesale price! and I definitely see more than $300 for a "complete" rebuild that is done the right way. Most shops are charging $500 just to bore out a cylinder on an engine that you would already have to dismantle yourself.......


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#26 jim knutson OFFLINE  

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Posted January 15, 2013 - 10:49 AM

 Most shops are charging $500 just to bore out a cylinder on an engine that you would already have to dismantle yourself.......

wow, to get an engine bored around me, is $80 to $100 a hole....$500 seems WAY out of line.

or possibly it was bored over but not honed before the new piston was installed?

yes it is possible, only if the person, or shop, doing the work did not care, or know what they were doing. if you do not hone the cylinder after boring it, it will not hold oil, or seat the rings, and would cause high oil consumption, and poor compression.....same as a worn cylinder.



#27 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted January 15, 2013 - 10:52 AM

Well, that is true that a stuck valve would cause little or no compression.  Maybe he could tell from the looks of the cylinder walls that it needed rings at least and going by its age just assumed the best route was to rebuild the whole engine?  I don't know what his reasoning is not being a mind reader myself.  Yes, I suppose it could be he just wants to rebuild it for the money, but he doesn't strike me as that kind of guy.  He has enough work in there to keep him busy and I'd assume he wouldn't want to spend the time tearing apart the whole engine if it didn't need it (and having the rest of my tractor taking up space in his garage in the meantime) when he could do a simpler fix and get it done and out of his way faster.  I have had this guy do work for me in the past as well and he always seemed honest and fair.  I had him rebuild a carburetor for me and the price was very reasonable and he did an excellent job.  He even had to replace the whole throttle body on mine as the jets were plugged and junk on mine and they were stuck in the body and couldn't be removed without damaging it.  He has been in business for many years (over 30).  I will concede that he might not be as familiar with the Wisconsins anymore though since they are not as common of an engine these days.  He does work frequently on Briggs and Techumseh engines as well as the occasional Kohler that comes in.  I know each engine is different in their own ways, but they are all basically the same internally.  Granted, the newer solid-state ignition engines are a bit different from points ignition engines...

 

(Oh, and he also builds hot-rod engines in his spare time in the back of his shop...  He doesn't really do general automotive engine rebuilding though and just specializes in the old 1940's-1970's V8 engines mostly.  He does some flat-head Ford V8's from time to time, but not too many anymore.)


Edited by MailmAn, January 15, 2013 - 10:57 AM.


#28 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted January 15, 2013 - 10:59 AM

:iagree:

 

 

 

I totally Agree with Bruce.....

How long has this guy been in business and is he familiar with Wisconsin and older engines?

I'm kind of skeptical with his pricing as well because like Bruce mentioned Wisconsin Stuff is not cheap even at the wholesale price! and I definitely see more than $300 for a "complete" rebuild that is done the right way. Most shops are charging $500 just to bore out a cylinder on an engine that you would already have to dismantle yourself.......

 

 

Doc., You need to ship me your blocks. I can get them bored for 85.00 to 110.00 depending on the block and setup. You could ship it to me and back to you for a lot less then 500.00.


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#29 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted January 15, 2013 - 04:37 PM

Doc., You need to ship me your blocks. I can get them bored for 85.00 to 110.00 depending on the block and setup. You could ship it to me and back to you for a lot less then 500.00.

 

My uncle can bore them for free :D

I was just quoting a price from the local dealer...I think it also included turning down the crank....



#30 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted January 16, 2013 - 01:18 PM

Okay, so I got some sort-of bad news back yesterday.  I finally got ahold of the guy in New Jersey whom I bought the snowcaster from.  I talked to him about the Wisconsin S8D engine he had lying around there and he told me some more about it.  I must have mis-remembered or misheard him the first time when we were talking about it when I picked up the snowcaster because I thought he was saying it was a new engine.  Turns out it is just another used engine that was pulled from a machine and the guy he bought it from originally said it had just been rebuilt.  It has been sitting for 10-12 years on a shelf though as he was thinking of using it as a spare engine or to put it on something to use, but he never got around to it and he has kind of lost interest in Tube Frames now anyways and is now into Large Frames more.  So, he kind of downplayed the engine over the phone this time and said it *MIGHT* just bolt on and go, but he's representing it as only a decent engine to start with for a rebuild before you put it into service.  The price is definitely good on it though, but the only problem is travel costs to go down and pick it up...  I might as well just pay the money to have my engine rebuilt completely than to pick this engine up, swap it into my 850, and then just pray that it will work.  But still, it is a lot of money to rebuild it potentially...

 

While we were on the phone though too, he was definitely "used-car-salesman-ing" me into buying another tractor or two or three...  lol.  When I went to pick up the snowcaster last time, he had a G14 tractor sitting there that he was trying to sell me for $400.  Well, not ONLY does he still have that tractor, but now he also got a twin G14 tractor as well.  Both have 42" mower decks on them.  He kept asking me while we were talking over the phone if I wanted to buy them.  He said there was at least enough there to get one good working G14 out of the two of them and I could probably get both of them working with a bit more effort.  However, they are the 14HP Techumseh engines in them, which are less desireable than the Bolens tractors with Wisconsins in them.  Plus, I don't really have the room for TWO MORE whole tractors or the money to buy two more with when I'm having a hard enough time getting the two I have up and running!  He also mentioned he might have a 1050 tractor coming in soon if the current owner (CO) wants to give it up.  IDK much about that one, but if I did want to give up my 850, it would be for either a 1050 or a hydrostatic Bolens.  :smilewink:  The only problem would be selling my 850 for enough money, especially after having to sink MORE money into it now just to make it a good runner.  <<Sigh>>  :(

 

Finally, after turning him down about a dozen times for the G14's (even after he told me he would sell me both for $300, which was cheaper than he was going to sell me ONE G14 for previously...) I directed the conversation towards Estate Keepers to see if he had any parts for them lying around.  I figured if he had some parts for my EK-10, it might be more worth it to drive down there to pick them up as well along with the S8D engine and kill two birds with one stone.  He said he'd have to look and he MIGHT have some stuff for me, including a good seat, but he's not too sure right now.  He said the Estate Keeper stuff is hard to come by and not too many people are into them compared with the Tube Frames.  Plus, just about everything for them is specific and not interchangeable with any other Bolens tractors, so he didn't want to buy a lot of EK parts that came along over the years in case he had a hard time unloading them.  He also mentioned that he might have a couple of attachments for them, including a good snowcaster, but he couldn't remember if he kept any of them or if he eventually ended up dragging them down to the scrapyard to get rid of them since they only fit Estate Keepers and won't fit on other Bolens tractors...  :wallbanging:

 

I'll keep you all updated if I hear anything else back from him on the Bolens parts.  If he does have some good Estate Keeper stuff, I might make the road trip down there to pick them up with the spare engine.  If not, I might just pass up the engine for now and focus on getting the one in my 850 going for now.  I have to make a decision soon though as I'm sure the shop that has my 850 won't want to hold onto it forever while I'm trying to make up my mind what to do with it.  I'm sure he could use the space in his garage for other customers' snowblowers right now, especially as we just got some more snow here in NY today (after it warmed up and melted all of the snow we got previously, of course...)


Edited by MailmAn, January 16, 2013 - 01:25 PM.





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