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1977 Economy Tractor Project Thread


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#16 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2013 - 12:22 AM

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.

 

Thanks for your thoughts and info.

 

It doesn't appear to have ever been used and I don't see any telltale signs of a pump being mounted there either. Infact, the belt even has some original orange paint on it.

 

Austen,

 

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

 

 

Thanks Brian, that would be my little sister. We both enjoyed sharing that fun memory of bringing it home together.


Edited by Austen, May 13, 2013 - 12:22 AM.

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#17 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2013 - 05:56 AM

What a nice looking tractor ! That's one that doesn't come by often ,,glad you got it and thanks for all the pics


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#18 sep OFFLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2013 - 08:17 PM

Hey Austen,

 

The PK looks great. You forgot to mention in your story who helped you make the decision to go with this one! LOL. Just so you know, sep, s_plan97 and planchonse are all the same guy, me. HAHA!! Did you get the hydraulics from John Haines?

 

Between you and Ryan, we have some good stuff to look foward to.

 

Steve



#19 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2013 - 09:48 PM

Hey Austen,

 

The PK looks great. You forgot to mention in your story who helped you make the decision to go with this one! LOL. Just so you know, sep, s_plan97 and planchonse are all the same guy, me. HAHA!! Did you get the hydraulics from John Haines?

 

Between you and Ryan, we have some good stuff to look foward to.

 

Steve

 

Hi Steve,

 

Small world, glad to see you here as well!! :)

 

Regarding the hydraulics, I found the kit through an ad that Alc referred me to. It was a fellow who was parting out a '76 1614. The kit arrived last week, I am so stoked to have it! It is really the coolest thing in the world and I cannot wait to dig into the project some time in the future.



#20 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted May 27, 2013 - 11:07 PM

Memorial Day Weekend 2013 Update:

 

Seized Here, Seized There, Seized Everywhere!!

 

The title alone may give you a glimpse into what was one of the biggest things that I encountered along the way in this update, but there was quite a bit of success here too as you will find.

 

I spent quite a bit of time with the tractor over Memorial day weekend and got quite a bit done. The main objective in this update was to get the get the tractor running and operational again.

 

The weekend before last I wasn't able to do much to it as I was still waiting for some things to arrive but it was then that a minor setback took place due to something so innocent, changing the sparkplug. Boy did that turn out to be a bit of a surprise.

 

The first seizure:
You know that feeling when you apply pressure to a tight bolt and somehow automatically know it's going to turn into a small project to remove? I mean like for a really seized bolt? Anyway, when I put a socket onto the plug it immediately did not feel right, it was tight, but I had that sudden realization that this was not just going to be an average plug change. In fear of breaking it I didn't want to go any further so I sprayed penetrating fluid all around it a few times and let it sit. After giving it a second try I put a bit more pressure into it and the next thing I knew... CRATCH!! UN-B-E-L-I-ABLE. After having a mini heart attack and realizing that, yes, these things can happen and it could be fixed with some creativity and carefulness, I knew there could be some broken bits that may have found themselves in the combustion chamber so I pulled the head. I probably did near ten heat and penetrating fluid cycles but I simply could not get the darn broken sparkplug sleeve to even budge with the extractor. The next step was to drill it out but I didn't want to risk damaging the threads or even the head itself in the process so I took it to a shop to have it professionally done. Before they took a drill to it, they decided to give it a few heat and penetrating fluid cycles of there own but that method turned out unsuccessful for them as well so they had to resort to drilling it after all. My belief is that it was the original spark plug that had never been removed, and, you can darn well bet that I used anti-seize on the new sparkplug threads. I'm was just really happy that I did not wait to change it out as one of the very last minute steps attempting to start it or it would have been even more disappointing if you see what I mean!

 

5-25-2013EconomyUpdates004_zps2f9f962f.j

 

 

I'm always a firm believer in that when setbacks occur like this, you take advantage of the situation to improve upon other things that only can only be done at the given point. In this case it was to de-carbon the head, which there really wasn't that much of but good to do nonetheless. I thought about replacing the head gasket while I was at it, but it was in excellent shape and did not need it. Otherwise I definitely would have.

Below are some descriptions with photos of the latest :

 

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Perhaps the messiest oil change I've ever done! New oil drain pipe to the rescue:
There was no way on this planet that I was going to do another oil change without an actual oil drain pipe! The single recessed drain bolt and no place for the oil to go but everywhere imaginable and now way to catch it was not going to cut it. A catch can was pretty much useless. Never doing that again.

 

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Also, something I want to upgrade in the future is to install a pull style dipstick like the one pictured below. The stock dipstick on it now has a nut on which requires you to put a wrench on the box nut every time you want to check the oil. Too inconvenient, sorry.

T2eC16d0E9s37HlbOBRgyyZRY960_14_zpsdc664

Battery Box:
I like the idea of having the battery covered so I purchased a marine style battery box. My hope was that I could still run a regular 24 series car battery on it but that size battery box was simply too tall to fit underneath the seat, I even bought it since it was cheap enough just to confirm it. Because it would not fit, it meant locating the most powerful lawn and garden battery that I could find. This brings up another issue however. Because this tractor has automotive style round clamp on style terminals, it prevented them from not being able to attach to a L&G battery because of the slot style terminals. After some thinking, I realized that I could fit round side mount terminals in the slots as you see below through the holes with a nut on the back. It required opening up the terminal holes a bit to fit the larger studs on the side mount terminals. I did not drill the holes but used a file instead to not potentially break the lead studs. I was happy to find this setup works like a champ!

 

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There was some surface rust on the battery platform and rather than painting it which I had considered, I clear coated over it instead in an effort to keep the original appearance and remaining paint alone. I also hard mounted the battery box with screws vs. using the strap as the primary source for hold down. Photos of it mounted to the machine will come soon as explained later.

 

Fuel System:

I went through the entire fuel system and cleaned out the carburetor, fuel pump, flushed the tank and replaced the fuel lines. Being that I'm a slow worker with this type of thing took some time and honestly was a nice step to check off the list. A good amount of yellowy varnish fuel was in both and the main jet was partially clogged.

 

Ignition System:
Also went through the ignition system. The points checked out good, but I cleaned up the surfaces. I also installed a new condenser that I had a spare of in the garage. The coil is good and produces a hot spark.

 

The moment of truth!
Starting her for the first time required me to prime the system. After doing so, it started right up and ran incredibly smooth at a very low idle that it was set at when it first lit off. I can't stress on the smoothness enough as it was almost like starting a brand new engine out of the box or something, not even a slight miss here or there and just purred like an antique car. I am LOVING this big bore engine the more and more that I run it. It has the coolest deep burble from the exhaust when you decelerate, I remember that unique trait when I was kid. It almost sounds like a 1960's muscle car on decel. To help clean out the engine I will be performing another upcoming oil change very soon.


Driving it for the first time!
This was really exciting, I'll describe the feeling of driving it the best that I can. The clutch pedal is somewhat heavy and has an early release to it. Let it out with an easy foot the tractor begins moving in such a subtle respect in first gear that you almost don't even realize you've began moving until after the fact. The ride is surprisingly very smooth as the front end articulates a lot more than you'd expect but when you're on a hard surface you feel the subtle bumpty bump of the AG's going around. The biggest thing is how completely SOLID and heavy everything feels. It literally feels as though you're operating a small vintage farm tractor in every respect. You sit up high and very straight, the steering does not have any play but is easy to turn. The brake pedals take a fair amount of force to push, it may be that the linkages need to be lubricated or simply how they are. In third gear the tractor really flies, it almost feels like you're a car cruising down the road with the rpm's up.

 

I can see why the family installed the metal straps over the engine cover, there are various rattles that come and go from various places in the low rpm's. I installed some additional washers for the engine cover as it was suggested to me by another owner before I reinstalled it, but I think most of the rattles comes from the hood. It doesn't really bother me as it kind of goes along with the character of the whole machine only really happens when the engine is down near an idle any way.

 

Seizure # 2:
Before I had any thoughts of engaging the belly mower, I made sure to spray down all of the pulleys on the mowing deck etc. I should have taken this next observation as a sign that something was wrong here, but didn't. When I tried to spin the deck pulleys by hand I couldn't and figured that it probably just required a lot more force than I could exert. When I engaged the front PTO the rpm's fell and I could start to smell burnt rubber, nothing was turning. I realized the problem and it was that the spindles were indeed frozen. I got them freed up but the two idler pulleys are completely seized, in bad shape and have to be replaced. After I had broken the main deck spindle pulleys free, the deck now engages as it should through the PTO. I located a set of OEM idlers that I have already ordered from one of the Economy/PK parts sites. Apparently these idlers were superseded by an upgraded to a more durable version so maybe these originals were not the best.

 

5-25-2013EconomyUpdates026_zpsfbbffdaf.j

 

Seized idler pulleys.

 

Other miscellaneous things I've discovered:

I've spent quite a bit of time with this tractor over the three day weekend and because of it have come across some other things that need attention and made some other observations.

 

The first thing being is that the part of the wiring going from the headlight switch to the headlights is not only gone but frayed and cut off in one location. It appears as though it may have even got wrapped up in the front PTO pulley at some point which was the cause for the fray. The fellow who I've been in touch with regarding the new idlers is researching to availability of a new wiring 'harness' that goes from the switch to the lights. If not, then I'll rewire it myself.

 

The drain and inspection plugs for the bull gear cases are seized. To reduce the risk of rounding them off with a box wrench, I ordered a special socket that is designed for these square drain plugs that should make them easier to remove. Before I drove it I did the steering box fluid, but still need to do the transmission and rear end fluid as well.

 

I have more degreasing and cleaning to do below the tractor. The next step of the project will be devoted to simply finishing the job of degreasing the entire machine.

The seat is getting more and more torn each time I sit on it. It looks like a seat recovering will need to happen sooner than expected.

There is one very small rust hole right in front of the brake pedals. In the future when I begin the hydraulic conversion, I'm going to remove the top trans tunnel/flooboard assembly and take it to a body shop to have them cut it out and re-weld new metal in this area. This will be the perfect time to do it because having it off will assist in the routing of the hydraulic lines.

 

Over all it was a very successful weekend. I feel like I got a ton done to it, learned quite a bit more about it and best of all was able to enjoy using it. I am very excited and thrilled to have it.

 

Next weekend I promise I will have more photos of the tractor itself of the new additions. It was getting pretty rainy near the end of the weekend and ended up getting busy with other things.

 

Thanks for reading.


Edited by Austen, May 27, 2013 - 11:11 PM.

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#21 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted June 02, 2013 - 10:49 PM

6/2/2013 Update:

 

6-1-2013EconomyTractorUpdates001_zpsa927

 

 

Not too much new since last week but the new idler pulleys for the deck came in. As nice as they are, I'm actually going to be exchanging one of them so that I can have a matching pair. The rivets are not facing the same direction and when it comes to somebody (me) who agonizes over small aesthetic details like this, it makes all the difference. Having said that, I was still able to cut the lawn a bit with it sans the idlers. The blades are actually not too dull and was impressed with the cut, it really does well for this job. I think you could hear it a mile away though with the deck on, lol.

 

I was also able to finish degreasing the rest of the top portion of the machine. I think that I'm going to finish doing the bottom side once I pull the trans tunnel/floorboards/seat assembly off when I do the hydraulic conversion later this year and have a small rust hole fixed.


Anyway, the short term is:

-Paint the front "bumper" (rusty piece in front of the grill)
-Fabrication of custom wheel adapters
-Install new, slightly taller, front tires: 4.80-12
-Rewire the headlights

 

Long term:
-Hydraulic conversion
-Make new hydraulic lines
-Repair rust hole on floorboard
-Install rear work light
-Breakerless ignition install
-Seat recover
-Powdercoat wheel rims & front bumper

 

Regarding the wheels adapters, the reason that I've chosen to go this route versus simply reversing the rim directions is because I don't want the wheels stuck out that far when they are installed in that manner. I spun all four around this weekend and while the front looks good, I don't like how the rears are not covered at all underneath the fenders, it just doesn't look right to me that way. I also prefer the look (...remember, this is Mr. Aesthetics) to have the insides of the rims facing out than vice versa. This option will allow for custom front and rear offsets to give the tractor a slightly more aggressive stance while still keeping the rears somewhat tucked under the fenders. Motorsport Tech who's a sponsor on one of the tractor forums is the company who will be doing the work.

 

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Edited by Austen, June 02, 2013 - 10:50 PM.

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#22 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted June 03, 2013 - 05:38 AM

It's coming along nice :thumbs:  Thanks for the update



#23 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted June 16, 2013 - 02:46 PM

6/15/2013

 

6-15-2013EconomyTractorUpdates016_zpsb4a

 

New Idler Pulleys:
As you may recall from my last update I returned one of the idler pulleys that I bought for the deck in exchange for a matching one. It came in this week so now the belts are a lot more happy having some actual tension on them.

 

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6-15-2013EconomyTractorUpdates015_zpse3e

 

Front Bumper Paint:
The front bumper, as it was called, had nothing in terms of paint aside from surface rust. I got it taken care of, repainted and clear coated. Someday it'll be powdercoated at the time that I have the rims done, but this'll work for now.

6-15-2013EconomyTractorUpdates021_zps947

6-15-2013EconomyTractorUpdates022_zps831


Implement Adjustment Lever Failure:
While mowing today, the nut that holds the spring on the adjustment lever vibrated off which resulted in a nice "zoing!" and a startling boom of the deck falling down suddenly. Nice. There's actually supposed to a knob button that sits on top of the spring assembly but its missing. I threw a lock nut on there to prevent that from happening again and called it a day. Pretty soon the manual lift setup is going to be replaced anyway.

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PTO Safety Chain Fix:

 

The PTO safety chain had always rubbed the steering arm and made an annoying screeching noise so I zip tied it out of the way for now. For a more permanent solution, I'll have to either shorten this one or buy a shorter chain.

 

New tires:
I ordered new front tires, 4.80 x 12's, and they came in this week as well. They ended up not turning out to be as tall as I had hoped. They were a good 1/2" shorter compared to the the stock 4.00's un-inflated, so inflated, they would have ended up being nearly the same size which would've defeated my intentions for taller tires. I sent them back in exchange for a set of 5.30 x 12's which are not only a good 1 1/2"-1 3/4" taller, but a bit wider as well. Check out the Photoshop illustration below of how they should look compared to the stock 4.00's. I think it's going to look awesome. I also held off on ordering the spacers yet as I need to see how these tires are going to fit to perfect those measurements. But the next time you see it, it'll have both on.

6-1-2013EconomyTractorUpdates001_zpsa927

CwXtecJ_zps8243b421.jpg

 

Belly Mower Mounts:
In order to run these taller tires, the deck is going to need to be spaced back a couple of inches.

What's interesting are the different ways the deck can actually be attached. Yes, I said ways. In fact, before I purchased the tires I wanted to make sure there was going to be a belt available in the size that I would need after I spaced it back so I asked the PK experts what length stock one was. They explained that it actually all depends upon the way the deck is setup and currently mounted and thus couldn't get an exact answer. I thought that was kind of interesting. Performing this job shouldn't be too hard as there are already mounting holes spaced a couple of inches back and the chain hanger has extra links in it to compensate. At this time I will also replace a lot of the deck hanger hardware on the mule drive. It has a lot of mismatched fasteners that are driving me nuts!

Here is a video of it action. Don't worry, I do get out of first gear, lol. Watching it in action shows me that from now it'll have to be in at least 2nd gear as watching it on the screen in 1st gear isn't the same effect as when you're driving it in that gear. As always, don't forget to hit the HD.


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#24 chaentjens OFFLINE  

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Posted June 16, 2013 - 02:53 PM

Very nice work!!!

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk 4 Beta


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#25 Username OFFLINE  

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Posted June 16, 2013 - 06:57 PM

That is one of the cleanest looking original tractors I have seen.These make a nice oil drain for these tractors.

 

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item3382d58a4a

 

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#26 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted June 16, 2013 - 07:18 PM

Very nice work!!!

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

 

Thanks!! :-)

 

That is one of the cleanest looking original tractors I have seen.These make a nice oil drain for these tractors.

 

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item3382d58a4a

 

Thanks, that sure means a lot! Thanks for the showing me the link, that would be convenient for a quick oil change and keep things a lot less messy too.



#27 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted June 16, 2013 - 07:27 PM

I forgot to click "follow this topic" so haven't been up to speed.  Following now!  Austen, this IS the best original I've seen also.  Very good work you're doing.  It's such a good thing you ended up with her! 


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#28 Username OFFLINE  

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Posted June 16, 2013 - 07:28 PM

I don't know where you are located but you might want to bring that tractor to the Portersville,Pa show this year if you are in the area as we have a nice gathering of Power King tractor enthusiasts.There was a post about the show put up just a while ago.


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#29 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted June 16, 2013 - 07:47 PM

I don't know where you are located but you might want to bring that tractor to the Portersville,Pa show this year if you are in the area as we have a nice gathering of Power King tractor enthusiasts.There was a post about the show put up just a while ago.

 

I don't think you'll see Austen there....he's on the extreme west end of things!



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Posted June 16, 2013 - 07:59 PM

I don't think you'll see Austen there....he's on the extreme west end of things!

I don't think Austen is the type of person who is going to let a little distance get in the way of showing off his tractor at the show,especially when he finds out they have home made ice cream at the show.






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