Jump to content

Nominations for Tractor of the Month
Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay



Photo
- - - - -

May Be Heading Out On Another Bbrt Today...

bolens road trip

  • Please log in to reply
42 replies to this topic

#1 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 292 Thanks
  • 723 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted May 11, 2013 - 09:43 AM

.

.

I may be heading out today on another Bolens Buying Road Trip (or BBRT for short...) 

 

........................................................... free-character-smileys-218.gif

 

More details to come and hopefully with pictures if I end up coming home with something...


Edited by MailmAn, May 11, 2013 - 09:44 AM.

  • Texas Deere and Horse and hamman have said thanks

#2 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

Texas Deere and Horse

    RED Wild Hogs, Horses & Deeres

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1435
  • 14,464 Thanks
  • 15,392 posts
  • Location: East of San Antonio Texas

Posted May 11, 2013 - 10:49 AM

Where, when, what, how much? We need more info.

 

You can't post something like this and leave us in the wind !!

 

 

Good Luck !!


  • MailmAn said thank you

#3 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 292 Thanks
  • 723 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted May 11, 2013 - 11:48 AM

Geez, well I'm not OLD and I'm no BUZZARD but it has been raining off and on here all morning while I'm getting ready to head out on the road.  I think the weather must be confusing me with someone else!!  :smilewink:  

 

Well, unfortunately since MY trailer is indisposed at the moment (the rear spring shackle rusted off over the winter...  :mad2: :wallbanging: :wallbanging: :mad2: ) I just got back from U-Haul with a 6'x12' utility trailer for my trip.  I hope I end up getting to use it!  :D   Otherwise that's a lot of wasted trailer.  Wish me luck that I get what I want for the right price (Read: Not too much!)

 

I'll give you a couple clues, Texas Deere and Horse, I'm heading to roughly the center of PA to pick up something Bolens-related, hopefully.  Beyond that remains to be seen.  I hope it's not a wasted trip like the last one was to MA...


  • MH81 said thank you

#4 OldBuzzard ONLINE  

OldBuzzard

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 805
  • 6,481 Thanks
  • 4,633 posts
  • Location: Oberlin, OH

Posted May 11, 2013 - 12:45 PM

HHhhhmmmmm...looking in my Chrystal ball, I see the faint image of an HT23  :D :D :D :D



#5 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 292 Thanks
  • 723 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted May 12, 2013 - 09:32 AM

Sorry OB, but your Chrystal ball might need to be polished up a bit so you can get a better image in it.  It's no Large Frame Bolens...

 

I had a REALLY late night driving and didn't get back until 4:30-5am from straight driving all day!  So, as you can imagine I'm pretty tired out.  The only reason I'm even up right now is because I went right to bed once I got home and took a nap for a bit to get some rest.  But I set my alarm for 10am so I could get up and try to unload the trailer and drop it off at U-Haul before noon so I don't get charged an extra day.  Then it's probably straight back to bed again after that!  So, unfortunately pictures will have to wait until I got some decent rest! 

 

But I can tell you all very happily that every bit of the U-haul trailer did indeed get used on the trip!  :D :D :D   I just hope I won't make some people TOO jealous with what I got...   :poke: 

 

 

(Oh, who am I kidding, after seeing some of the stuff ya'll end up finding and buying and posting about, I'd love to make someone else jealous for once!!  :smilewink:   lol...)



#6 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 292 Thanks
  • 723 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted May 12, 2013 - 06:39 PM

Well, I'm beat after running around and unloading my recent purchases and returning the U-Haul trailer and then I had to drop off my friend's mower that I borrowed so he could mow his lawn today, etc, etc...  I did take some pictures before I unloaded the trailer, but I don't feel like going through them right now so that will have to wait for later.  For the time being though, just to give you a "taste", I uploaded the pictures I took on my cell phone from last night when we were loading up the trailer after cash exchanged hands:

 

 

EK-10_05112013_01.jpg

 

Sorry this one is a bit blurry, but it was dark out by the time we started loading everything...

He had a lot to show me and we talked for quite a while, of course!

EK-10_05112013_02.jpg

 

EK-10_05112013_03.jpg

 

Plus, he had some mystery boxes as well...

EK-10_05112013_04.jpg

 

 

More to come later!  For now, SLEEP!!  :smilewink:


Edited by MailmAn, May 12, 2013 - 06:43 PM.

  • Newpaws493 said thank you

#7 Newpaws493 OFFLINE  

Newpaws493
  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 9454
  • 1,150 Thanks
  • 1,691 posts
  • Location: Boston,Massachusetts

Posted May 12, 2013 - 08:59 PM

:beerchug:  Congrats to you! :thumbs: Who was it that said: 'If first you don't succeed, try and try again!'

and the mystery boxes.... :watch_over_fence: ???... What plans for your 4&3/4 EKs?


Edited by Newpaws493, May 12, 2013 - 08:59 PM.

  • MailmAn said thank you

#8 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

Bolens 1000

    DR. Bolens

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 7
  • 12,673 Thanks
  • 17,198 posts
  • Location: Western NY

Posted May 12, 2013 - 09:06 PM

Congrats on the EK's !

 

Looks like they are in good shape and one even has the rear weight!


  • MailmAn said thank you

#9 sacsr OFFLINE  

sacsr

    Bush Hog Addict

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 4776
  • 3,268 Thanks
  • 3,283 posts
  • Location: Eastern NC

Posted May 12, 2013 - 10:18 PM

Very nice! Looks like your trip was definitely a successful one! I am envious! Those EK's are pretty cool!
  • MailmAn said thank you

#10 wilberj ONLINE  

wilberj
  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 51
  • 4,183 Thanks
  • 5,209 posts
  • Location: Michigan

Posted May 12, 2013 - 10:24 PM

Congrats!


  • MailmAn said thank you

#11 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 292 Thanks
  • 723 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted May 13, 2013 - 09:00 AM

.

Okay, so it is finally story and more pictures time!!  :camera:

 

After originally striking out with buying a nice, running, all original EK-10 down in Reading, PA last month, I've been on the "war path" as it were searching high and low for another EK-10 to buy for parts that I can use to complete my project that I started.  The Estate Keeper that I bought at the end of last year ended up missing a lot of parts to complete it (including a good mower deck gearbox), so I figured that it would be easier (and cheaper) to find another parts tractor to buy than to try to buy all the NOS parts (if you can even find them anymore these days...) to get mine going.  I had posted an ad on my local Craigslist in the wanted section looking for EK-10 parts tractors to help facilitate my search.  That's how I was contacted by the guy out in MA who said that he had the "exact same" Estate Keeper as mine but that ended up being an EK-7, not an EK-10, that I stupidly bought and should have walked away from!

 

Well, after that questionable purchase, I was not deterred and kept on searching through various Craigslist cities for anyone selling anything Bolens.  (You never know, someone might have an Estate Keeper and not know what it is and just list it as a regular Bolens tractor...)  But I happened upon an ad in the Penn State College Craigslist for not one, but TWO Bolens Estate Keeper tractors!  The ad said he had one good EK-10 and a parts EK-10 for sale with attachments.  He said that he had one 32" mower deck and one 38" mower deck that was mounted on the good tractor.  The ad said he was asking $600 for both, which seemed kind of high to me.  I figured if I could get it for around $400 or so, it might not be too bad, especially depending on what shape the "parts tractor" was in.  He didn't have many pictures either and they were all blurry, so I was kind of leery of what he had at first.  But, I texted him all last week and had setup a time to meet with him on Friday.  But, Friday didn't end up working out for him, so he texted me back at 3:30pm on Friday to call it off and to reschedule for Saturday.  (Which ended up being a good thing for how far away he was!)

 

But, I started out at around 11:30-12:00 Saturday after picking up a 6'x12' U-haul trailer (seeing as how my 18' trailer is indisposed at the moment...) and started heading down I-88 through NY towards Binghamton, NY to pick up I-81 South towards Wilkes-Barre, PA.  I was making decent time but the one side note I will give here is that those U-Haul trailers absolutely SUCK!!!  I swear it is made out of lead instead of aluminum or else it was carved out of a solid block of aluminum alloy mixed with lead.  Even towing the trailer empty down through PA, I was using a TON of gas hauling this trailer behind my truck.  I had calculated my MPG before towing my 18' trailer and even with a car on it I averaged around 13-14 MPG.  Towing this U-Haul trailer empty, I was getting maybe 9-10 MPG!!  I couldn't believe how bad it was (nor understand it).  But I filled up with gas in Albany before I left and I had to stop again more than an hour away from this guy's house to fill up again since my tank was dry.  Thankfully gas was a bit cheaper in PA and I put 28 gallons in at $3.28/gal for 87 octane so I could continue on the rest of my journey.  (BTW - current gas prices where I am in NY are around $3.55-$3.60/gal for 87.)  But, other than the fuel guzzling U-Haul trailer (You'd swear I was running another V-8 engine on the trailer at the rate I was wasting gas...) the trip was going pretty well and was fairly uneventful.

 

Roughly 6 hours later, I arrived at the guy's house.  He informed me that he listed the ad for his grandfather who was the one who owned the tractors and was actually selling them, so we drove around the corner to his grandfather's house to meet up with him.  The grandfather, Bob, came out and greeted me and remarked that I came prepared with the trailer, so he asked me if I was ready to check out his collection of Estate Keepers.  I said I definitely was, so he took me to his very nice, big garage (had 4 garage doors and a woodworking shop on the side).  Inside, he had the two EK-10's there that he showed me.  The good one that he said should run with a new battery and some fresh gas had a 38" mower deck mounted on it.  It looked all 100% complete and in very good original shape despite some faded paint and just being dirty.  He showed me under the hood and said that he even had the engine completely rebuilt about 10 years ago.  The mechanic who did it told him that the Wisconsin TRA-10D engine probably has more like 11 or 12 HP now after the rebuild since he bored it out and did some valve and head work to it.  Bob said he did definitely notice that the engine had a lot more power after that and ran very well. 

 

He also showed me the "parts tractor" that also looked in pretty good condition and was still mostly complete.  He told me the engine didn't run on it right now though, which is why it was for parts.  He said the tractor was originally his brother-in-law's and he bought it around the same time that Bob bought his Estate Keeper back in the late 1960's.  But probably about 10 or 12 years ago, his brother-in-law's EK broke down and he couldn't get it running again.  He thought it was the points on the engine, but since they are so difficult to get to and you have to basically pull the engine to get the points cover off, he left it sit outside rather than fix it...  :(   So, he borrowed Bob's EK-10 for the time being to mow his lawn with.  He eventually bought a new mower and gave Bob his EK-10 back and when he did, Bob took his old EK-10 as well that was left sitting outside as a parts tractor.  He said the engine was "tight" from having sat outside for so long and it won't spin over by hand.  He thinks the rings may be rusted to the cylinder walls and it could maybe be broken loose.  He's tried dumping transmission fluid down the spark plug hole already to no avail.  But it does have a lot of good parts on it yet and if you could get the engine working on it, it still could be a decent tractor.

 

So, then he takes me out back to show me the implements he has.  He has a soft canvass barn behind his garage where he kept all the Estate Keeper implements when they were not in use.  Tuns out he had not only the 42" mower deck (not a 32" as it said in the Craigslist ad) but also a very nice condition 32" snow caster and an original plough blade!  They were a bit rusty, but very solid and the rust was just surface rust.  The paint was still pretty good on them.  The 42" mower deck he had repainted at some point with dark green spray paint (it looked pretty bad...) but it was all complete and in pretty good condition except for the bad spray job.  But it should have at least protected the deck a bit from rusting any further.

 

Then he takes me BACK in the garage to show me yet MORE stuff he has for it.  I'm thinking, "Wow, this is a treat! He's got even MORE stuff here to sell?"  So, he takes me over to the metal shelving in the back of his garage and starts pulling down big paper ream case boxes chock full of parts for the Estate Keepers.  He had a lot of NOS parts there as well as good used parts and parts that had previously broken on his tractor that he replaced with new parts but then he took the old parts to be repaired by a machine shop so he could keep them as spares in case it broke again!  This guy was quite resourceful over the years to keep these tractors running!  I didn't take the time to go through all the boxes completely, but just right off the top I could see that he had NOS Timkin bearings for the mower deck, he had the NOS PTO shaft bearings, tons of NOS bushings, retaining clips, NOS clevis pins to mount the attachments with, tons of spring clips, and he must have had about 3-4 complete sets of drive belts and PTO belts!  He also had a spare starter/generator, spare pulleys, spare attachment extension arms for all of the implements that he has, a spare carburetor and carb parts, linkages, cables, etc...  He had three boxes full of good parts that alone were probably worth hundreds of dollars right there!

 

Finally, after showing me everything he had, he asked me if I was interested or not.  I was almost speechless at this point, but managed to mutter something affirmatively that expressed that I was certainly interested in it all.  I told him I originally was just interested in the parts tractor alone to hopefully get my EK going and I showed him pictures of my Bolens tractors on my cell phone (including my 850).  But he said he didn't want to part it out or sell just one thing and he just wanted to sell it all at once to one person so it all had a good home.  So, I told him, no that's fine and actually after seeing everything he had there, I wanted it all anyways and not just the parts tractor.  It was too much to pass it all up.  So, then he goes, "I'm not looking to haggle or anything either here, I think I'm asking a fair price for it all and you're definitely getting a good deal here with everything I got."  I nodded my head in agreement.  "You can see there's hundreds of dollars in NOS parts alone in these boxes if you sold them all individually, so I think my price of $500 firm is a hell of a steal for everything you're getting here."  I couldn't argue with him, so I just asked, "Sure, so you take $100 bills, right?"  I puled out 5 crisp $100 bills I just got at the bank and paid the man and his grandsons helped me load my trailer all up with Bolens goodness!!!  I thanked them all and shook everyone's hands, told them all to check out www.GTtalk.com if they wanted to check out my progress on restoring the Estate Keepers, and we parted ways by around 8:30-9:00pm.

 

It was a heck of a long journey back home, but I barely managed to do it all non-stop round trip.  I got back around 5:30-6:00am after making a couple of stops for food, gas, power steering fluid (to top off my truck's power steering as it is leaking...) and the occasional bathroom break.  I passed out once I got home and set my alarm for 10:30am to give me enough time to unload the trailer and get it back to U-Haul so I didn't get charged for another day.  The trailer rental cost me about $35 for the day after tax and the only real bad part was having spent about $200-$225 in gas alone on the road trip.  I spent about half of what I paid for all the Bolens stuff in fuel just to pick it up, which is kind of depressing to think about...  After dropping off the trailer, I came back home and fell asleep again for another 3-4 hours, at which point I woke up again to go run over my buddy's Toro back to his house since I borrowed it to mow lawns with last weekend.  He had been calling me all day while I was sleeping and I felt bad to keep him waiting, but I was just so exhausted from my road trip as well, so it wasn't worth killing myself over.  When I dropped his push mower off to him, his yard didn't even look that long yet to even bother mowing yet, but I guess he likes to mow it down to the dirt on the mower's lowest setting so his grass will hopefully die so then he won't have to mow it as often, lol...  Some people...

 

Okay, so here are the pictures I took before I unloaded everything off of the trailer:

 

EK-10_05112013_05.jpg

 

 

You can see my broken-down and busted 18' Perone trailer in the background of this picture on jack stands in the driveway waiting to be fixed...

 

EK-10_05112013_06.jpg

 

 

The "parts tractor" is on the left and the good one is on the right with the deck mounted on it:

 

EK-10_05112013_07.jpg

 

EK-10_05112013_08.jpg

 

 

Here's the 42" mower deck that was painted hideous green, lol...

 

EK-10_05112013_09.jpg

 

 

Here you can see the snow caster and the plough.  It is weird because the snow caster for the Estate Keeper looks bigger (taller at least) than the snow caster for the tube frames, but the plough for it seems much smaller and shorter than the tube frame plough.  Weird...

 

EK-10_05112013_10.jpg

 

 

Plus, there are the "mystery boxes" of Estate Keeper parts that I have yet to completely go through to see what I've got...

(Gotta love how he spelled BOLENS too, right?  lol...  At least I don't THINK this guy's last name was Bolen...)

 

EK-10_05112013_11.jpg

 

 

I bungee corded the boxes all up tight to keep the lids from blowing off of them on the trip home...

 

EK-10_05112013_12.jpg

 

 

Well, that's it for now.  I'll probably post some more pictures of what's in the boxes once I start going through them all.  Just curious though, but does anyone know if there is a searchable database of Bolens part numbers or anything that will tell me what a part is and what model tractor it will fit from the Bolens part numbers?  Kind of like an online parts manual or something.  The PDF's are nice, but they aren't really searchable and it would take forever combing through manuals to look up part numbers to find what they go to, even though all of these parts are for the EK-10, so that narrows down the search at least.  I might make a spreadsheet or database of the parts that I have so I'll be able to keep track of what I have in the boxes, but I'd like it if there was a way to expedite the work of doing so and cross referencing the Bolens part numbers.

 

Thanks for reading my mini-novel and checking out the pictures.  Stay tuned for more to come!!!  Regardless, I think I'm done buying Bolens tractors for quite a while now...  If I ever get all these Estate Keepers complete, then MAYBE my next task will be looking for a Hydrostatic Bolens tractor seeing as how all of my tractors are gear drive right now...


Edited by MailmAn, May 13, 2013 - 09:25 AM.

  • OldBuzzard, KennyP, Nato77 and 1 other said thanks

#12 Newpaws493 OFFLINE  

Newpaws493
  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 9454
  • 1,150 Thanks
  • 1,691 posts
  • Location: Boston,Massachusetts

Posted May 13, 2013 - 09:24 AM

 Well done!!! Despite the cost for the roadtrip, I think that's a  great one stop haul! with all the spare parts and implements, nice for the price! The time it takes to sort through and catalog your inventory should be well worth it, too.

Seems like it might get a bit crowded around there. :rolling: Thanks for sharing! :thumbs:


  • MailmAn said thank you

#13 MailmAn OFFLINE  

MailmAn
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10315
  • 292 Thanks
  • 723 posts
  • Location: Albany, NY

Posted May 13, 2013 - 09:32 AM

BTW - Oh, and after I bought the Estate Keepers, we got to talking and I told him that I'm into classic cars too and that I have a 1975 Plymouth Fury.  (It came up because he was talking about tractor shows and I told him I had never been to one before but I went to a lot of car shows including the Carlisle, PA shows.)  So, then he goes and takes me to ANOTHER garage to show me his mint condition 1969 Chrysler Newport 4 door sedan!  It has the original 389 cubic inch big block V-8 in it that he said has about 380 HP and looked beautiful!  It was dark brown with a brown/tan interior.  He said he had the car totally restored by a buddy of his about 10-12 years ago who was one of these "fussy guys" that nothing is ever right (I can relate to that...) so he said he knows the car was done right.  It took him like 2-3 years to complete the restoration, but it came out beautifully.  Even being about 10 years since it was restored, you wouldn't know it by looking at it.  It looked like it was just done last year still.  He said you can really feel the power of this thing when you stomp on it and open all 4-barrels up on the expressway and it just picks up the rear end and takes off!!  I can imagine...  :smilewink:



#14 OldBuzzard ONLINE  

OldBuzzard

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 805
  • 6,481 Thanks
  • 4,633 posts
  • Location: Oberlin, OH

Posted May 13, 2013 - 09:40 AM

Dang!  I do believe you hit the mother lode there :thumbs:  :thumbs:  :thumbs:

 

Looks like you got a great deal on it too.  Glad to see that happen after the EK 7 fiasco.

 

Couple of words of advice.  When you take that rear weight off, be danged careful as that rascal is HEAVY and awkward to handle.

 

Also, if/when you need to rent a trailer again, check to see it there is a Sunbelt Rentals in your area.  Nicer trailers than U-Haul and since they are closed on Sundays, if you rent one for 1 day on Sat, you get Sun, free  :D :D :D

 

As for looking up part numbers, I'm pretty sure that there is a way to make PDF files searchable.  I'll have to investigate that.

 

ETA:

 

I just checked, and found that at least the tractor manual/parts list is searchable.  That should at least help some in figuring out what that parts are.  It might be a bit unwieldy,  but if you combined all of the various EK manuals into one big PDF, you could search that one and then scroll a bit to find what tractor(s)/implement(s) each part goes to.


Edited by OldBuzzard, May 13, 2013 - 09:57 AM.

  • MailmAn said thank you

#15 Nato77 OFFLINE  

Nato77

    Old Iron Junky

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 9422
  • 1,635 Thanks
  • 1,325 posts
  • Location: Minnesota

Posted May 13, 2013 - 01:07 PM

I'm thinking your going to need a bigger garage! That's a nice haul with all the extra parts and attachments. :thumbs:

 

Not to step on your toes, but chrysler never made a 389. They made 383s in large numbers.  So why haven't you posted pics of you Fury? I myself have a 66 Fury that I'm getting tuned up to get back on the road (carb and rearend issues). Also have a 77 Monaco with 42,000 actual miles on it. I just wish it didn't have rust on the bottom of the quarters from sitting. Dang lean burn put a end to the car's life many years ago. Maybe I'll get it fired up this summer yet.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: bolens, road trip

Top