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Lawn Keeper Restoration


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#1 framesteer ONLINE  

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Posted May 01, 2013 - 10:06 PM

Finally a nice enough day to open the garage door to my workshop and let my latest restoration project see the light of day.

 

This is a 915-02 Lawn Keeper.  It was in rough shape when I bought it in eastern Wisconsin last year.  Found most all the parts I needed and did a frame-up restoration.  I still need to repaint the wheels, but otherwise, she's good as new.

 

The first picture shows a factory Bolens cover made for the Lawn Keeper.  I found it when we were cleaning out my Dad's shop.  He was a Bolens dealer from the mid 60's until his death in 1983.  He sold quite a few Lawn Keepers.  I can still remember a customer paying in cash for one with six crisp new $100 bills.  I couldn't have been more that 12, and that was the first time I ever saw a $100 bill, much less six. Than was probably in the late 60's or early 70's, so $600 was a lot of money.  I don't recall seeing or hearing about Lawn Keepers being called the "Peace of Mind Mower."   Maybe that sales slogan was short-lived.

 

Hoping to show this Lawn Keeper, two  EK-10 Estate Keepers, and my Grounds Keeper at a local show this summer.

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#2 Newpaws493 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 01, 2013 - 10:19 PM

Thanks for sharing, never saw one of those covers. For those of us nonlocals., have you posted pics of the others here?



#3 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted May 01, 2013 - 10:31 PM

That is a very neat little mower and that cover is very cool. The story really adds to it for the keep sake value. Thanks for sharing.. :thumbs:



#4 KC9KAS OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 04:09 AM

Very nice looking mower!

I used one like that years ago, as my grandpaw had one and I helped him.

 

$600 is still a lot of $$ to me!!



#5 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 04:39 AM

That's great that you found the cover to go with it! Cool mowers!



#6 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 05:33 AM

Looks Good

Are you going to put an original seat on it eventually?

 

First time I have seen a factory cover for the Lawn Keepers!



#7 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 05:52 AM

Great machine and story about them ! 

 

 

$600 is still a lot of $$ to me!!

 

 

 

 

Quote from a married man , must have forgotten that when we were single we would keep a couple hundred in our wallet   " just in case"  lol


Edited by Alc, May 02, 2013 - 05:52 AM.


#8 1978murray OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 08:30 AM

thats a nice lawn keeper. its my first time seeing one. I bet the cover is worth some money



#9 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 09:37 AM

Did they make a factory cover like that for the Estate Keepers as well?  That would be a really cool find for the EK collectors...

 

A few questions come to mind though about them.  Were those the same decks that would fit on an Estate Keeper but they fitted a different mounting mechanism so they would fit on the front wheels of the Lawn Keeper?  It sure looks a lot like an EK deck to me anyways...  Also, what is the other foot pedal for?  I imagine one is for the brake/clutch, but what is the second pedal for?  Is there an attachment lift on these as well or you just set the height of the deck and that's it, you can't raise or lower it?



#10 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 10:43 AM

Looks just like the one my Dad had. I believe it was a 7hp engine, right?



#11 framesteer ONLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2013 - 04:22 PM

Did they make a factory cover like that for the Estate Keepers as well?  That would be a really cool find for the EK collectors...

 

A few questions come to mind though about them.  Were those the same decks that would fit on an Estate Keeper but they fitted a different mounting mechanism so they would fit on the front wheels of the Lawn Keeper?  It sure looks a lot like an EK deck to me anyways...  Also, what is the other foot pedal for?  I imagine one is for the brake/clutch, but what is the second pedal for?  Is there an attachment lift on these as well or you just set the height of the deck and that's it, you can't raise or lower it?

Like I mentioned, I didn't even know they made this cover for the LK's.  Never saw or heard of one for the EK's either.  The mowers on the LK's and EK's are the same basic design that Bolens used on the tube frame tractors.  The primary difference was size and the way the mowers were driven.  The LK's used 28" and 32" mowers.  The one pictured is a 32".  The LK's used a belt drive system to the mower.  One clutched belt from a pulley on the vertical shaft engine to a double idler pulley at the pivot point of the tractor.  Then another belt from the pivot idler to a drive pulley on the mower.   The EK's had mowers in 32", 38", and 42" sizes (same as tube frame tractors).  The EK mowers are driven from the tractor transmission with a u-joint drive shaft to the tractor pivot, then another u-joint drive shaft to the mower gearbox.  Then, second drive shaft works on splined shafts, which allows the u-joint shaft to operate through the pivoting action of the tractor and the up-an-down action of the mower.

 

The left hand pedal is for the clutch only - it declutches the belt from the engine to the propulsion transmission.  The right hand pedal is for the brakes (as well as the clutch) .  The LK's have a unique braking arrangement that uses small brake shoes to rub against the inside surface of the front wheel rims.  Simple and effective. 

 

There is a simple over-center attachment lift mechanism for transport that mounts on the tractor beside the steering column and has linkage to the attachments.  You can see the ear welded on the mower cross tube in the second picture.  I have been asking through this forum for someone to send me the dimensions of this lift mechanism so I can make one.  I have one drawn up, but it is from memory and I'd like to have the right dimensions before I spend the money to make it.  So, if anyone has a LK with this lift mechanism, PLEASE CONTACT ME.  Thanks.


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#12 grand OFFLINE  

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Posted May 03, 2013 - 09:18 PM

Thanks for sharing. Great looking restoration and great looking cover. Glad to hear about another Bolens dealer with family members keeping the machine alive.


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#13 bicyclemotocross OFFLINE  

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Posted May 04, 2013 - 12:52 AM

Thanks for sharing, never saw one of those covers. For those of us nonlocals., have you posted pics of the others here?

http://gardentractor...s-oddity/page-2


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#14 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted May 12, 2013 - 12:14 PM

That cover must have been made after the Lawn Keeper ceased production.... The Husky Dog logo didnt come out until 1971



#15 framesteer ONLINE  

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Posted May 12, 2013 - 07:40 PM

That seems logical, in that we found the cover still in its box, stored in the attic of the shop.  Likely he got it as a premium or just as a give-away from the Bolens territory guy - he was a really nice guy.  Unfortunately, I can't remember his name.






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