Jump to content

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



Photo
- - - - -

1977 Economy Tractor Project Thread


  • Please log in to reply
59 replies to this topic

#1 Austen OFFLINE  

Austen
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 33768
  • 855 Thanks
  • 567 posts
  • Location: Kirkland, WA

Posted May 12, 2013 - 02:51 PM

gallery_10765_21_37788_zps1200a450.jpg

 

This thread is dedicated to the resurrection, preservation and continuous enhancements of my newly acquired 1977 Economy Tractor. In it you will find in chronological order the beginning of when I first got it to other miscellaneous projects and updates that I will be doing, or, have already done to it. A lot of times you might find my writing style a bit long-winded but I like to document what I'm thinking as I'm going through each project to look back upon to remember each step of the way. Feel free to skim, or, follow along if you enjoy all the details.

 

My Previous Background With This Tractor:

 

I bought this tractor in May of 2013 from the family who bought it new. Growing up as a young kid, I used to watch across the chain link fence as they would mow and always thought that it was one of the coolest looking tractors. It was the loudest machine with the mowing deck on, as soon as I'd hear it fire up, I'd go running out to go watch it creep around in 1st gear. It has had an easy life of strictly mowing a 1/4" lot and was used on and off for that job until about 5-6 years ago where it hasn't been ran since. In fact, it was always stored inside their garage until it lost its space to a supercar of all things! I had always figured that if I had asked them about selling it I would get rejected but I realized that if I didn't, I would always wonder. My initial hesitations were turned around as in fact they were, possibly even going to sell it this summer and seemed happy to have the interest! 

 

Inspection Time:

 

Dillons053_zps4dab8788.jpg

 

When I went to go inspect its condition, it was really neat seeing it up close again and remembering back. I was happy to find there were no dings or major rust and even all of the decals were still present. What I do remember though was the paint being shinier than it is now, more red in color... we're going to have to do something about that eventually. I was a little bummed however to find this machine is not equipped with a hydraulic lift, I would say the majority of 1614's that I've seen have this setup so I was going into it expecting that it would. At first it didn't bother me, and I will quote myself from another thread: "The bummer is that it does not have the second transmission, or, hydraulics- which in particular was really hoping that it had. Is this a deal breaker? Not even a slim chance!". BUT, after thinking it over more and what my intentions were going to be for it, it did. So much so that I actually took a few days to research my options before I committed to it. I knew above anything else I wanted an Economy Power King after seeing this one in person again, but I knew that I needed that hydraulic setup for a future blade attachment. I asked around on a few forums that have very knowledgeable members on these particular machines regarding the logistics of a conversion, and my concerns of finding the parts and being over my head were immediately put to rest. I learned there aren't a million and half little intricate pieces that make up the hydraulic system and for the most part, they are fairly easy to locate and some can even be bought new as well. The more I thought about it, the more it became obvious and clear that I should choose this particular machine over finding one that I had no history with. What was I thinking finding a whole different machine when I could have this one that I have had a past with? Isn't that alone worth it I asked myself? When I attempted to bring it home, something was seized as both rear wheels would not turn. It took starting it and putting it in to gear momentarily to break whatever was lose, free.

 

Here is a video bringing it home. FYI, we are tractor friendly of all colors so please refrain from negative comments about the John Deere pulling it if you feel the need to do so. I really don't think that will be a problem here but it sure was at some other places I posted the photos.

 

EconomyTractorIsHome5_6_2013005_zpsaba73

 

 

Back to Hydraulics

 

While I was doing research on conversions, a member here referred me to someone who was parting out a 1976 1614, all of which had hydraulics. Just for fun to get an idea of what I'd be paying for a whole setup for reference purposes, I sent an email to him to see what he'd have to have for the complete system. After pricing some of the individual parts such as on Ebay that make up the system, I was shocked when he offered me what he did. He was super knowledgeable about these tractors and we talked close to 1/2" on the phone about them and how to do a conversion. So the big surprise here is that I bought a complete, functioning, hydraulic system for my machine and will eventually be doing a conversion! I am pretty darn stoked. What's funny is that even though this machine is a manual lift setup, the belt for a hydraulic pump is already stored in the machine where pump gets mounted! 

 

I do have some other ideas drummed up that I have in mind as well. Some of them you may not like, understand or agree with some of them but the fun is to personalize your machines to your own liking. I partly bought this tractor as a means of a continuous project to tinker on, on the weekends. This means that not everything will be happening all at once so as I go along everything will get covered as the time comes.

 

In a mostly sequential order that is more than likely subject to change, here is what I have planned to do so far:

 

1. Clean up/degrease entire machine

2. Clean fuel system

3. Replace sparkplug, air filter

4. Install a battery box and new battery

5. Change out all of the fluids; Engine oil, transmission, differential, gear cases, steering box. Grease zerks.

6. Replace front tires with next taller size

7. Space out front and rear wheels 1-1/2"-2"

8. Sharpen blades

9. Repaint front steel lower grill guard

10. Buff out paint- It was shiny!

11. Install rear LED spotlight won from a contest on a forum

12. Hydraulic conversion

13. Locate and install a rear grader blade on the 3 PT.

14. Have seat recovered

15. Locate and install the optional second transmission feature

 

The photos seen below were just as I got it, original dirt and everything.

 

EconomyTractorIsHome5_6_2013023_zps4bb02

 

EconomyTractorIsHome5_6_2013021_zps679a5

 

EconomyTractorIsHome5_6_2013011_zpsea452

 

EconomyTractorIsHome5_6_2013019_zps9db92

 

EconomyTractorIsHome5_6_2013018_zps1bd8e

 

EconomyTractorIsHome5_6_2013017_zpsc3225

 

EconomyTractorIsHome5_6_2013016_zpse95a1

 

EconomyTractorIsHome5_6_2013020_zps6a301


Edited by Austen, May 12, 2013 - 02:57 PM.

  • daytime dave, hamman and twostep have said thanks

#2 Austen OFFLINE  

Austen
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 33768
  • 855 Thanks
  • 567 posts
  • Location: Kirkland, WA

Posted May 12, 2013 - 02:53 PM

Saturday was the start of working on it, the object was to get it all cleaned up and degreased.

I used a full can of degreaser on it and the majority of it is done including cleaning the deck, however below the tractor around the gear cases specifically will need more degreasing. I scrubbed the whole top side down. It's now ready for a polish.

 

I pulled the fuel line off of the inlet of the fuel pump as I wanted to see if fuel was even flowing from the tank. As soon as I began to pull the hose, it crumbled and broke a part in my hand. At this point I knew I had to replace the hoses so I removed the gas tank and pulled off the second fuel line that goes from the fuel pump to the carb. They are hard as a rock and the one leading from the tank to the pump is all broken down inside. I attached a straw to the fuel pump blew it out and quite a bit of yellow varnish gas squirted out.

 

While I had the tank off, I took the liberty to polish it as it had lost its shine. I flushed out the inside of it too and also cleaned the fuel screen on the shot off valve, but they both didn't even really even in need. The tank is super clean inside. I ordered a sparkplug, air filter & pre filter. I've got a battery box on the way and once that comes I'll purchase a battery, fuel line, engine oil, carb cleaner, more degreaser and lots of gear oil. I'm not sure why those metal strap plates where mounted on top of the engine cover as you saw in the first photos of it above, but they're not going back on. I'm guess that it possibly vibrated and they put those on there to cure the noise. If that's case, I'll figure out a way to absorb it.

 

5-11-2013EconomyTractorUpdates004_zps4fe

 

5-11-2013EconomyTractorUpdates001_zps768

 

5-11-2013EconomyTractorUpdates010_zps617


Edited by Austen, May 12, 2013 - 03:52 PM.

  • daytime dave, hamman, Titus and 1 other said thanks

#3 hamman ONLINE  

hamman

    Homelite Owner Extraordinaire

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1733
  • 5,627 Thanks
  • 2,582 posts
  • Location: Michigan

Posted May 12, 2013 - 03:20 PM

Great find and story to go along with the tractor. Going to enjoy watching the rest of your quest to get it running and mowing again.


  • Austen said thank you

#4 olcowhand ONLINE  

olcowhand

    Red Tractor Nut & Diesel Addict

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Sponsor
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 20
  • 35,612 Thanks
  • 29,834 posts
  • Location: South Central Kentucky

Posted May 12, 2013 - 03:50 PM

Hey guys, I have known Austen from years back from my days at LMC (lawn mower central).  Very happy to see you join us Austen!  :thumbs:

  Austen, that tractor is in amazing original condition!  You can always add factory options to make it suit you, but you can never replace the "one you remembered" as a young little kid.  This tractor can become your family heirloom to pass down some day.


  • Austen said thank you

#5 KC9KAS OFFLINE  

KC9KAS
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10038
  • 4,783 Thanks
  • 4,303 posts
  • Location: Holland, IN

Posted May 12, 2013 - 03:51 PM

:welcometogttalk:  Thanks for the photos and the information on your work.


  • Austen said thank you

#6 Austen OFFLINE  

Austen
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 33768
  • 855 Thanks
  • 567 posts
  • Location: Kirkland, WA

Posted May 12, 2013 - 04:05 PM

Thanks guys, and for the warm welcome! :)

 

I'm really excited to own my first GT and keeping it as a project to enhance. A GT has been something that I've wanted to own for a long time and like Dan mentioned, this particular one is even more special that will be able to be handed down in my family.


Edited by Austen, May 12, 2013 - 04:06 PM.


#7 glgrumpy ONLINE  

glgrumpy

    Getting Out!

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Member No: 8360
  • 6,659 Thanks
  • 6,470 posts
  • Location: Huntington, IN 46750 North East in State

Posted May 12, 2013 - 04:27 PM

Wow! Wish I could write a book like this!   Wish I had a pretty Helper to "train" too!  My Wife could care less about my tractors.

One thing can't be done in future.......Pulling with a "Green" machine!  Least keep it out of the picture, ha! :(   (I have one too) I've pulled many other stuck tractors for my neighbor, who sticks in mud each spring with my PK's when I had one. I'm working on my new to me 2412 now too. We'll both have posts to share, not as neat as yours, but still sharing anyway! :smilewink:


  • Austen said thank you

#8 daytime dave OFFLINE  

daytime dave

    Live long and prosper

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 531
  • 4,485 Thanks
  • 6,353 posts
  • Location: Upstate NY

Posted May 12, 2013 - 04:31 PM

Welcome Austen.  So far, thanks for the great video and photographs.  It sure looks great for a used buy.  It is nice to know the history.  Glad you joined here.  Any ribbing about tractor color is all in GOOD fun here.


  • Austen said thank you

#9 superaben OFFLINE  

superaben
  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 11204
  • 7,664 Thanks
  • 5,677 posts
  • Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA

Posted May 12, 2013 - 06:19 PM

Welcome to the forum.  Thanks for sharing the story with us.  I really enjoyed getting to read it!

 

Ben W.


  • Austen said thank you

#10 pigsitter OFFLINE  

pigsitter

    enjoyin the livin part of life!

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10704
  • 1,227 Thanks
  • 1,083 posts
  • Location: southern Illinois

Posted May 12, 2013 - 07:06 PM

Welcome to the forum! Looks like you've found a great starting point for a resto project,can't wait to read more. :thumbs: 

 

That tractor is what I would refer to as an import model.........imported from the neighbors yard to yours! :bigrofl:


  • Austen said thank you

#11 Bmerf OFFLINE  

Bmerf

    Patina Farmer / Rust Collector

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 9846
  • 1,708 Thanks
  • 1,445 posts
  • Location: benton harbor, mi

Posted May 12, 2013 - 07:48 PM

:welcometogttalk:  Good read, Austen, like the tractor as well! Can't wait for more editorial and the enhancements. Always wanted a PK, Maybe some day.


  • Austen said thank you

#12 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

Ryan313

    PK Fanatic

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 7087
  • 3,239 Thanks
  • 5,159 posts
  • Location: Wallkill, NY

Posted May 12, 2013 - 08:29 PM

That had got to be one of the best looking original PKs I have seen! Congrats! I look forward to seeing this progress! Also, that belt in the bell housing already will save you a lot of work!
  • Austen said thank you

#13 Austen OFFLINE  

Austen
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 33768
  • 855 Thanks
  • 567 posts
  • Location: Kirkland, WA

Posted May 12, 2013 - 09:16 PM

I'm working on my new to me 2412 now too. We'll both have posts to share, not as neat as yours, but still sharing anyway! :smilewink:

 

Awesome, congrats on the new machine! That sounds like a fun project, I will definitely have to check it out. That's great how we both will be able to share the same type of project and exchange notes. :)

 

Welcome Austen.  So far, thanks for the great video and photographs.  It sure looks great for a used buy.  It is nice to know the history.  Glad you joined here.  Any ribbing about tractor color is all in GOOD fun here.

 

Thanks Dave, I enjoy it. I agree, the community here is wonderful.

 

Welcome to the forum.  Thanks for sharing the story with us.  I really enjoyed getting to read it!

 

Ben W.

 

 

Thanks!! :)

 

Welcome to the forum! Looks like you've found a great starting point for a resto project,can't wait to read more. :thumbs:

 

That tractor is what I would refer to as an import model.........imported from the neighbors yard to yours! :bigrofl:

 

 

Thank you and clever way of looking at it! Haha. :D

 

Good read, Austen, like the tractor as well! Can't wait for more editorial and the enhancements. Always wanted a PK, Maybe some day.

 

You won't be disspointed when you find one! :thumbs: Thanks!

 

That had got to be one of the best looking original PKs I have seen! Congrats! I look forward to seeing this progress! Also, that belt in the bell housing already will save you a lot of work!

 

Thanks! I've already read quite a few of your very informative posts regarding PK's. I agree, the pre-installed belt will make it a piece of cake! Any idea why that could be? Maybe a fluke thing that happend or changed down along the assembly line?

 

Thanks again guys for the very warm welcome! :-)


Edited by Austen, May 12, 2013 - 09:48 PM.


#14 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

Ryan313

    PK Fanatic

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 7087
  • 3,239 Thanks
  • 5,159 posts
  • Location: Wallkill, NY

Posted May 12, 2013 - 09:59 PM

Awesome, congrats on the new machine! That sounds like a fun project, I will definitely have to check it out. That's great how we both will be able to share the same type of project and exchange notes. :)


Thanks Dave, I enjoy it. I agree, the community here is wonderful.


Thanks!! :)


Thank you and clever way of looking at it! Haha. :D


You won't be disspointed when you find one! :thumbs: Thanks!


Thanks! I've already read quite a few of your very informative posts regarding PK's. I agree, the pre-installed belt will make it a piece of cake! Any idea why that could be? Maybe a fluke thing that happend or changed down along the assembly line?

Thanks again guys for the very warm welcome! :-)


A lot of people (myself included) would rather have manual lift then hydraulic lift on a mower, because the deck can be raised in a hurry if it needs to be... And not have to wait for hydraulics to lift it.

Does the belt look like it has ever been used? It might have had hydraulics originally, and changed to manual lift for the reason I stated above; or they might have bought it from the dealer and had them put a manual lift on. Then it would be cheaper for the dealer to let the belt go with that tractor, then to pay for the man hours it would take to remove the belt (unless they just cut it out).

Of course if it looks used, somebody put the manual lift on later. The way I see it they would do that for one of two reasons; the first being the one above, or that something on the hydraulics broke and they never took the belt out.

#15 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 12, 2013 - 11:39 PM

Austen,

 

Welcome to GTtalk. Great looking PK you have there, and it's nice to see your friend helping you get it home.






Top