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Just Got Back From Another Bolens Buying Road Trip.

bolens ek-7 estate keeper

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#1 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted May 06, 2013 - 12:32 AM

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I posted an ad on Craigslist a couple of weeks ago, after missing out on a deal to buy a nice EK-10 down in the Reading, PA area, looking for another Estate Keeper parts tractor to buy so hopefully I can get mine finished soon.  Well, I got a call from this guy out in Massachusetts who said he has an Estate Keeper just like my tractor that he'd be willing to sell.  He didn't have any pictures of it though (which should always send up a red flag, FYI...) but said it was pretty complete and had a deck for it and everything.  I asked him what he was looking to get for it, but he wouldn't give me an answer over the phone and he said I'd have to come check it out first to see what I thought of it.  I hated to drive that far though for an unknown commodity if I didn't even have any idea what we was looking to get for it. 

 

Still, I reluctantly set off today to head out there to check it out and see if I could use it at all.  He was located in Haverhill, MA though, which is way up by the North Shore almost to New Hampshire.  So, it was a long drive to get out there (3+ hours).  I get there and he starts showing me around and pointing out all the old tractors he has.  His primary weapon of choice was Case and he had tons of Case tractors of all shapes and sizes there.  He told me that he has every model of Case tractor that they ever made.  I also saw that he had a couple of Pennsylvania Panzer tractor frames there without engines.  I had never seen one of them before I had joined this forum and this was the first time I ever saw one in person.  They are a pretty neat little tractor.  If he had one that was a bit more complete, I might have tried to make a deal to take one of them home with me too.  He also had some Cub Cadets and Simplicity's and some other tractors.  He also had about a dozen Bolens tractors there, mostly tube frames, but he did have an Estate Keeper there. 

 

Unfortunately, the Estate Keeper he had was NOT the EK-10 that I was looking for, but rather it was an older EK-7.  It was white with red wheels and was in pretty rough shape.  It was just about solid rust and there was hardly any paint left on the thing.  It had been sitting out in about waist high grass, weeds, thorn bushes, and other assorted brush for over a decade at least, I would say from the looks of it.  It also wasn't as "complete" as he told me it was over the phone.  The engine cover was absolutely destroyed and the engine was missing the exhaust as well as the carburetor.  I tried turning over the engine but couldn't.  I can't tell if the engine is seized though or if it is just the Starter/Generator is seized.  There were no belts on it and the shifter wouldn't move, although you could turn the transaxle input pulley with no problem.  The wheels were flat, but it did roll pretty easily at least. 

 

He kept the deck for it separately in a dilapidated old enclosed wooden trailer though, so the deck was in a bit better shape at least.  He had a 38" mower deck for the EK-7 that looked mostly complete, except it was mysteriously missing the left side extension arm to mount it to the front axle.  It had a good gearbox in it though that spun freely and even had the PTO shaft for it.  This deck actually looked in better shape than the 42" deck that came with my EK-10 when I bought it.

 

I told him I at least wanted the deck for mine since it looked to have a good gearbox on it.  I asked him how much he wanted for just the mower deck since the EK-7 was very rough and it wasn't an EK-10 which is what I was really looking for.  He started out trying to tell me that the EK-7 is the same as the EK-10 except for the engine and that it has all the parts on it that I would need for my project.  I told him that they were different enough that I didn't really want to take a gamble on buying it if it wasn't going to work for me.  But I did at least want the deck for parts and especially having drove all that way to be disappointed in what he had, I didn't want to leave completely empty handed.  So, then he tells me that he doesn't want to separate the tractor from the mower deck since if someone else then wanted to buy the EK-7, what good is it without a mower deck?  So, he tells me that if I want the deck, I have to buy the tractor with it.  <<SIGH>> 

 

Okay...  So, I said that's fine, what do you want for both of them then?  First he tells me that the Estate Keepers are...  you guessed it...  RARE!  Bolens didn't make very many of them and you hardly ever see any of them around, so that means they are worth money since they are collector's items.  He said that I could make a lot of money from just parting them out and the mower deck spindles alone go for big money or some such garbage as that...  :(  :wallbanging:   (Where do these people get their information from anyways is what I'd like to know...?)  Anyways, so after his song-and-dance routine over it, he tells me he'd like to get $100 for the deck and $200 for the tractor.  :hitting_self_roller:   I told him no way, the tractor is just too rough and it's not worth it to me.  I said it's not even the right model that I was looking for, it had a hole in the engine cover, there's no carburetor on it, no muffler, the seat is wrecked, and all 4 tires are flat.  In what world is that worth $200?  I told him I just want the deck only and I'd be willing to do $50 on it.  I was about ready to jump in my truck and leave at that point since I was so disappointed in what he had there.  IDK what I was expecting while talking to him on the phone about it, but I was expecting more than this.  So he goes, "Well, I hate to see you come all this way to leave empty handed..."  I'm thinking the same thing, but I don't even really want this EK-7 that he had.  I felt like charging HIM to haul it away for him like one of those 1-800-Got-Junk trucks...  But, I told him what I was willing to pay for it all and after hemming and hawing over it for a while, he says, "So, do you want them both then or not?"  I said, "Yeah, I'll take them - will you take a fresh, crisp $100 bill in cash for it all?  Final offer."  So, he finally agrees and he grabs his truck to pull the EK-7 out of the brush and he helps me load it all up and I was finally on my way back home after spending almost 3 hours there talking with him about tractors.

 

It is late now and I didn't think to take any photos of the junk that he had there with my phone, so I'll have to wait until to-morrow to snap some photos of my latest Bolens acquisition.  I'm sure from reading what I wrote so far though that I set your expectations pretty low as far as what to expect from the pictures once I finally post them.  I just hope that there are some useable parts left on this thing and that they will fit on my EK-10 so I can get mine finished up and mowing here soon, now that it is May already.  Once I'm done pulling all the parts I need from it though, if anyone else wants what is left of the carcass to either further use as a parts tractor or as the basis of restoring it, let me know and I'd be more than happy to help you out.  There should be a good frame there to work with at least!  I'll probably post an ad in the For Sale section once I'm ready to get rid of what is left of it.  Just giving you all a heads up on it now though.

 

More to come, with pics soon!


Edited by MailmAn, May 06, 2013 - 12:38 AM.

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#2 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 06, 2013 - 06:10 AM

Sounds like you had quite the adventure!

Cant wait to see the pics.


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#3 1978murray OFFLINE  

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Posted May 06, 2013 - 07:33 AM

guy sounds like an idiot. 200 for rust no way


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#4 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted May 06, 2013 - 07:58 AM

I would of never left the house without a price. The way prices in this hobby are going, you're lucky he didn't start at $500.


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#5 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted May 06, 2013 - 09:24 AM

I would of never left the house without a price. The way prices in this hobby are going, you're lucky he didn't start at $500.

 

Yes, I was kind of very reluctant to go myself without a price to go off of, but I mean honestly he could have said $500 on the phone and I might have thought it to be in much better condition than it was so I would have been even more disappointed in it when I got there and saw what it was.  (I wasn't really interested in spending $500 on an Estate Keeper in any condition though, so yeah I guess that would have saved me a long trip at least, lol...)  The only reason I did go is because I listed in my wanted ad on Craigslist that I was hoping to find an EK-10 parts tractor for less than $200, so I was hoping he read that part and realized what I was willing to spend on a tractor.  Not crazy stupid money.

 

Heading out soon to take some pics of it before I unload it.



#6 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted May 06, 2013 - 11:31 AM

Okay, it is picture time now!!  :camera:

 

 

EK-7-05062013_01.jpg

 

EK-7-05062013_02.jpg

 

EK-7-05062013_03.jpg

 

EK-7-05062013_04.jpg

 

EK-7-05062013_05.jpg

 

 

Here are some better photos of it after I reinflated the tires and pushed it out of the bed of my truck.  Amazingly enough, it rolled pretty easily and straight down the ramps out of the truck without falling off the boards or hitting anything or any other kind of problems.  Gotta love it when things just work out like that.

 

EK-7-05062013_06.jpg

 

EK-7-05062013_07.jpg

 

EK-7-05062013_08.jpg

 

EK-7-05062013_09.jpg

 

EK-7-05062013_10.jpg

 

EK-7-05062013_11.jpg

 

EK-7-05062013_12.jpg

 

 

And here's pretty much the only reason I even bought this EK-7 since so far it doesn't look like much is actually interchangeable between the EK-7 and the EK-10...

 

EK-7-05062013_13.jpg

 

EK-7-05062013_14.jpg

 

EK-7-05062013_15.jpg

 

EK-7-05062013_16.jpg

 

 

So, that's the rusted up beast.  I'm really disappointed because it looks already like I can't use ANY of the pulleys from this on my EK-10.  It looks like the old setup they had on these EK-7's only used a single drive belt for the HI or LO ranges unlike the dual belt setup they used on the EK-10.  So, already I'm screwed there.  There MAY be some retaining clips I could use off of it if they are not too badly rusted or broken or missing.  But pretty much it doesn't look like I can use a whole lot off of this EK-7 for my EK-10.  So, despite wasting $100 buying this piece of crap, I'm still searching for another good parts EK-10.  I hope I can use this deck though for some parts.  So far the gearbox on it looks the same as the one on my EK-10 and it spins pretty freely.  It might not have any oil in it though from sitting outside for so long, but as long as the case isn't cracked and the bearings and gears are still good in it, I can clean it up and fill it with gear oil and it should be good to go!  I also have a nice second set of PTO shafts that should work on mine as well.  So, hopefully that stuff is worth $100 at least...

 

More updates to come once I get a chance to start stripping some of this stuff down to check it out more.


Edited by MailmAn, May 06, 2013 - 11:38 AM.


#7 John@Reliable OFFLINE  

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Posted May 06, 2013 - 12:34 PM

Gee, I through you said it was rough :bigrofl:

 

P.S. sounds like you met one of those massholes we have around here  :D 


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#8 Nato77 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 06, 2013 - 12:45 PM

I don't think it was a real bad deal. The deck looks in good shape and if the gearbox is good I'd say you did alright. 

You never know maybe you'll get a call from somone with another EK-7, then you atleast have a parts tractor  :smilewink:


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#9 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted May 06, 2013 - 01:49 PM

People will do anything to sell their junk.  Take for instance yesterday, this guy calls about a John Deere MT I'm trying to sell.  Leaves a message, says he is interested, call me back.  So I do, and he proceeds to explain that not only was he not interested, he wanted to sell me two tractors and a few old tires. 

 

You probably have an idea how long it took me to get off the phone with that guy.

 

I don't think it was a real bad deal. The deck looks in good shape and if the gearbox is good I'd say you did alright. 

You never know maybe you'll get a call from somone with another EK-7, then you atleast have a parts tractor  :smilewink:

 

Nate thinks like I do, never hurts to have a parts tractor on hand, "just in case." 

 

Ben W.


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#10 wilberj OFFLINE  

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Posted May 06, 2013 - 06:42 PM

You were nicer then I would of been.... :D


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#11 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 06, 2013 - 08:56 PM

Wow.... The old girl has seen better days but I still think you did OK if that deck is in decent shape.....


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#12 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted May 07, 2013 - 12:01 AM

You were nicer then I would of been.... :D

 

Yeah, like I said, I would have liked to have charged him $50 to remove the junk off of his property for him, but I knew that wasn't going to go over too well.  I was kinda surprised he would even go as low as he did on it and honestly I would have liked to not paid more than $50 for it, but...  It was a tough situation.  Had it been about 2 hours closer to home, I probably would have just walked away 2 hours earlier empty handed rather than dealt with him on it and ended up buying it for more than I really wanted to spend.  :smilewink:



#13 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted May 07, 2013 - 12:03 AM

Gee, I through you said it was rough :bigrofl:

 

 

What, you've seen people trying to sell tractors rougher than that? lol...  There aren't too many I'd imagine...



#14 OldBuzzard ONLINE  

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Posted May 07, 2013 - 05:55 AM

Dang, that thing is rougher than a night in jail!

 

Sure hope that the deck works out for you though.  At least you would get something out of the deal.


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#15 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted May 07, 2013 - 01:24 PM

So, I take it that you wouldn't want it as a parts tractor for your EK-7 then, OldBuzzard?  I know you recently bought an EK-7 not too long ago.  You were actually my first thought of who might want another EK-7 to play with in case I want to get rid of the tractor and just keep the deck...  Which it is looking more and more likely that's what I'll end up wanting to do with it. 

 

For a few seconds, I was thinking of trying to fix it up and maybe just use it as a beater tractor to run around with for fun, but I think it is just too far gone to even do that with it.  I actually just bought a spare Wisconsin S-7D engine as well before I bought this tractor (it's like something told me I was going to end up with this somehow, lol...) but that engine is missing part of the carburetor and intake as well.  It spins over freely though, so it could conceivably be a good replacement engine for this EK-7 if it turns out the one on it is indeed seized up.

 

I told Brian that I'd post pictures of the engine that I bought but never did.  Maybe I'll throw them up here so you can all take a look at it and tell me if it was a decent buy or not.


Edited by MailmAn, May 07, 2013 - 01:25 PM.






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