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1977 Economy Tractor Project Thread


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#31 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted June 16, 2013 - 08:51 PM

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!

 

 

Hey, thanks Dan, that means a lot coming from you! I sure am too, it was on its way down a road that shouldn't have been on.

 

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.

 

 

Thanks for the invite! I saw the thread and, boy, that would sure be a lot of fun. I'd love to attend but unfortunately like Dan mentioned, it's clear across the country.:( The home made ice cream makes it even harder to pass though!

 

Hopefully the folks that attend will share their experience with plenty of photos for us enthusiasts who couldn't attend.


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#32 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted July 01, 2013 - 06:59 PM

7-1-2013

 

Lasik Surgery & New Tires

 

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I'm glad to say I'm done with the tire swap.

What's so interesting about this whole thing is that the dimensions of these tires are not as advertised by the manufacture. You probably thought to yourself "can't this guy read descriptions?" when you read that I was returning the 4.80's in my last update because "they were smaller than I thought." Well, if they were actually true to their size as it's stated in the description, I would have kept them. Same deal with these 5.30's being advertised as 21.9" tall (which BTW are basically the same listed dimension for all the other tire manufactures who produce this same size) while in reality are 21" mounted up and inflated with full pressure on the rims. So as you can see, there was no way those 4.80's were going to be taller than the stock sizes, they'd have been shorter! My only guess is that they base these dimensions off trailer rims that have a slightly larger diameter but are still 12" rims??

Because of the estimation difference, they do not rub the deck at all unless the front end is at full droop on either side so the machine is completely usable as it sits with the current positioning of the deck. They do sit very close, I'm talking 2/8" close, to the king pins however because of the 1/2" wider width but don't rub.

 

 

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Over the weekend I really got the urge to get the headlights working again, I wanted to see those "eyes" come alive and somehow the idea of taking it out for a night spin just sounded appealing to me.

 

The original headlight wiring was frayed. It appeared that it got wrapped up in the PTO at one point. I ran new wiring and connector to the switch and as Murphy's law would have it, as soon as I hit the switch both lit up but then one went out... not more than a second after being on. Darn!! I couldn't get it light up again so it'll have to be replaced. The output  was a little more than I figured and now I see the reason for the heat shield above them and the tank, the single one that did work put out some heat! Why two new bulbs? Because #1, I want them both to match and two, it'll only be a matter of time before the other decides to quit leaving me with a bad wink on a dark night.

 

I ordered two new bulbs but since they're no longer made with the spade connectors, I ordered a couple of screw-to-spade style adapters versus splicing on new connectors.

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While I had the hood off I decided to give her a wax. The engine covers and fenders, especially, shined up really well (P.S., Enlarge the pics! :-)) I thought it was kind of neat to find remnants of old crusty wax in some nooks and crannies which oddly contradicts what you're about to see next.

 

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As I mentioned in a recent update a lot of, if not most, of the hardware fastening the deck to the mule drive and frame mounts is all mismatch and some is just a mess. Take a look at the example to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.

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Yeeeahh... not cool. Like I said, it negates the wax a little. Hmmm. Anyhow, this'll all get fixed and replaced with stainless hardware (...an ongoing project with this machine for the appropriate fasteners) once I figure out what needs to be what. 

 

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I placed an order today for the custom spacer adapters from Motorsport Tech who's a sponsor on some of the tractor forums. Lenny is hooking me up with a deal in exchange for a write up review on the products, so a separate feature will follow.

Once this stuff is done I'll have to decide if I want to continue using the machine through the rest of the summer or jump into the hydraulic conversion- something that is chomping me at the bit to be installed. If the latter, it'll be out of commission for at least a month or two as I'll also be pulling the trans tunnel off to repair a small rust hole and having new hydraulics lines will take a little time to have done.

 

Overall, the more that I work on it the move I love it! It's like working on a vintage car and is fun to give it the attention it deserves and watch it come further along.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#33 Username OFFLINE  

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Posted July 02, 2013 - 08:56 AM

You got cheated out of many quality hours of restoration work with that tractor.Hopefully you will consider another and it  will be in the typical shape that most of us have to contend with.



#34 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted August 27, 2013 - 09:41 PM

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This is a review of my experience ordering custom wheel spacers through Motorsport Tech for my vintage tractor.

 

Briefing:

After I installed larger front tires than what came from the factory, I ran into some rubbing and clearance issues; at near full lock the front left tire would rub the steering arm the tires now sat too close for my tastes to the front spindles.

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A lot of folks will wonder why I went through the effort and extra expense  to have custom spacers made when I could have simply just reversed the rims around and gained nearly 3" of extra space all four corners for free.

 

1. I am very picky about aesthetics, I prefer the look of the rims facing out as opposed to the super deep dished look with them facing in.

2. I did not want the wheels sticking out 3" further. The machine looked like it was some sort of creacher, it didn't look right to me.

3. The rear wheels stuck all the way out the past the fenders. Again, it didn't look right to me.

4. I wanted the front wheels to stick slightly further out (not all the way) then the rears because they were tucked in pretty far before, this could not be achieved without custom specs.

5. Most of all, I thought it would be neat to create my own personal backspacing that no other Economy tractor would have.  

 

When I began doing research, the first company that came up when Google searching along the lines of "custom wheel spacers" was Motorsport Tech located in Sparks Nevada. The first clue that made them shine vs. other companies was their listing for tractor spacers and their moto of' building anything you could dream up' made a vision in my head a reality. This is one of the key things that I found that separates them from other companies. It seemed a lot of the other businesses I found did not offer as many choices or free reign on your end so especially for something so one off in the case, I would have had to make some compromises in the specs. The key aspect though that made it clear Motorsport was my company was after learning they're a sponsor on some of the tractor forums.

 

I called Motorsport the next day and spoke with a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic individual named Lenny who I believe is the manager and or owners son. After mentioning how I learned they're on one of them, he graciously gave me a $100.00 off.

We discussed the specs over the phone and I also emailed him so up close photos for reference along with mailing in a sample of one of the lug nuts for the front and lug bolts for the rear.

 

The turn-around time I was told would be a few weeks. I think that because of this it gave my mind more time to consider it over so I ended up doing one of the most inconvenient things possible, changed the specs. Shamefully enough, this happened a couple of times but Lenny was very understanding. After deciding on the final specs (going bigger) than what he quoted me earlier, I told him to adjust the bill as needed. What blew me away though after I opened the box (which BTW arrived just two days after they were built) was that fact the bill remained the same as the original quote even though these spacers were quite a bit larger in spec! I couldn't believe this and what an awesome surprise, wow, thanks Lenny!!

 

The workmanship and quality as you can see is as good as it gets. Not that I doubted Motorsport, but because these are such a "one off" type of thing and I myself could have easily have screwed up a measurement,  prepared myself for the off chance they might need to be reworked. These literally fit the machine as if they were a factory part, there is absolutely zero slop or too tight of clearances of the sort. Absolutely perfect. These are bolt on spacers so he supplied 24 new lug nuts in total to bolt these right up without the need to purchase any extra hardware.

 

Overall I am completely 100% satisfied and recommend Motorsport highly, not only for the craftsman side of things but the customer service too. Lenny also kept me in the loop all the way through emailing me  updates and would call if and where needed. I really appreciated this a lot as one of the most frustrating things a company can do is leave their customer in the dark, especially with a project like this. Building custom wheel spacers for something as odd as this is something that not every company would want to take on, and if they did, would charge enormous amounts of money in order to so. It is a very unique thing. It takes a devoted company who is in the right mindset of putting the customer first and not making any compromises.

 

Thanks Motorsport Tech, I know we will be working again together sometime in the future.

 

Let's get down the business end of it, the photos.

 

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Carefully packaged.

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Now that's a spacer!

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Wheels off, prepping the machine for spacers. This gave me a good time to degrease under the wheels and wax the insides of the fenders BTW.

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Spacers on! 

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Before

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After

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#35 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted August 27, 2013 - 09:44 PM

HYDRAULICS

 

I've decided to move forth with the hydraulic conversion. Something about a full hydraulic system sitting in a box collecting dust was beginning to eat away at me.

 

To give some brief background on the hydraulic story, I purchased this package before I even got the tractor as the right deal sort of fell in my lap and was something that I was looking to do soon after I got it. The system is off a '76, so one year apart. At the time I purchased the system, I was very up forth with the gentleman in stating that I wanted everything, and that I mean every nut and bolt and hose, to mount the system up. Not that I would be re-using certain things like the hoses but I wanted those parts for reference purposes and something to go off of. In my opinion, purchasing the complete system in this case was more cost effective and simple versus piecing together an entire  with parts that have never worked together before and may need modification here and there.

 

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When I received the parts everything seemed to be there, and it pretty much was aside from one thing that I would have caught at the time if I had the eye that I do now. After a second time of spreading the parts out and really inventorying everything as if I was going to mount everything up right then and there, it didn't take long to realize the shorter implement arm was not included. The manual lift arm is much taller than the hydraulic lift arm and would be very inconvenient to use. Compare the shorter hydraulic arm on the machine below to the manual version on mine below.

 

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I did some research and found a few used implement arms but I soon learned these are actually a high wear item on these tractors. The biggest thing is the mounting holes, most were badly warn and opened up quite a bit which would have caused slop in the arm and the fix would be to weld the holes shut and drill new holes. The second thing is that most were bent to some degree as well. I really wasn't looking to get into side project into fixing a worn out part. One of the things that I've learned over the years working on projects like this is that you can quickly get carried away by cutting corners such as throwing on used parts like this which will end leaving you with a bit of a "hodge-podge" in the end. In other words it pays to be picky sometimes. I contacted one of the most helpful folks who has given me a lot of answers along the way, Jerry Frank from powerkingbarn.com, who informed me that he can still get these arms brand new so after learning that it was a no brainer.

 

After studying some photos of similar machines with the hydraulic setup, I noticed that a lot of them had a foot guard that sits behind the hydraulic cylinder. Yup, gotta have that of course! It mounts on the same mounting points the cylinder does so I decided to find one before I did the installation so that I wouldn't have to take things a part a second time to install one. Jerry said there was ONE of these left brand new from his supplier for nearly the same price as purchasing a used one (apparently these are a fairly desirable part) and like a kid in a candy shop again, had to say yes.

 

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I decided to have all new hoses made up as well. While the cost of this turned out to be more than expected, to me it is security and reliability. One of the key aspects about the revivement of this tractor is to make it reliable and it would drive me nuts if I installed the system and after a few months one of the 30+ year old hoses sprung a leak. Not so mention, a few of the hoses had some bad cracks. The fittings and everything will be new with the hoses. Oddly enough, the shop that I found that specializes in this work is a place that I pass all the time and didn't even know was there and existed before now.

 

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What would it be without at least one of the hoses putting up a good fight? Had to cut the fitting off one with a cutting wheel so I could get my impact to spin it off.

 

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The first and most difficult step to this project was the removal of these roll pins that held the manual implement lever on, it was essential these be removed. Let me just say that they were about as difficult, disgusting and time consuming to remove as they look and I'm not ever dealing with them again. It was the biggest relief when they came  out as it literally felt like this project could actually take off and begin. The pins are getting replaced by bolts for ease of removal in the future when a full restoration happens.  For sure.

 

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The nice thing about this project is that it is allowing for a few other things to get taken care of and done at the time as well since things will be apart.

 

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You may have remembered me mentioning a small rust area around the parking brake. It's the perfect time to pull the body off while the hoses aren't already wound  all the way through it and take it to my body man who my Dad and I have always used for all of our vehicle projects in the past to cut it out and weld in new metal. I am also going to have him straighten a couple of spots on the leading edge around the hood, there are a couple of small creases in it that aren't that noticeable but are to me. Finally, he is also going to fix a couple of dents in the hydraulic tank.

 

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A final degrease of the parts that I couldn't get before!

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Degreased and the manual lift setup completely disassembled, now awaiting for the hydraulic parts.

LED spotlight:

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I'll also install the rear LED spotlight that was contributed by Mobile HID from a contest I won, so it will be nice to get all of this stuff taken care of at the same time.

 

I expect to have the machine back together in about a month to month and half.

 

The very last thing will be to have the seat recovered but won't be for a few more months I plan to have it recovered in a nice black leather, something that is similar to say comes in say a BMW M5.   

 

Miscellaneous:

Below are a few other small things that I've been up to with it:

 

Changed the gear oil in the final drives.

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This little pump has paid for itself time and time again.

Now that the body is off I'll be able to access the fill and drain plugs of the transmission and will service that as well.

 

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Bought this special driver to remove the six square head plugs. Much easier than rounding them off with a wrench.

 

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Been meaning to install a Battery Tender for the new battery. Got one for my B-Day, love these things.

 

And a couple of photos of it and I.

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Edited by Austen, August 27, 2013 - 09:46 PM.

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#36 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted August 27, 2013 - 11:06 PM

Wow Austen, I haven't been following along as I should have been. By far, that is the cleanest PK I have ever seen. You work you are doing is top notch, very nice indeed !! :thumbs:


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#37 Alc OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2013 - 05:39 AM

The wheel spacers really gave it a nice stance :thumbs:  not too wide just right,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Where the lift parts from the fellow in Pa ?    Great job !


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#38 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2013 - 06:43 PM

Wow Austen, I haven't been following along as I should have been. By far, that is the cleanest PK I have ever seen. You work you are doing is top notch, very nice indeed !! :thumbs:

 

Thank you for the very kind words TDH, that really means a lot!!

 

 

The wheel spacers really gave it a nice stance :thumbs:  not too wide just right,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Where the lift parts from the fellow in Pa ?    Great job !

 

Thanks!

 

That's just what I was hoping for.

 

YES! Thanks to your research and assistance, it made this project possible! I am forever grateful of that as it worked out perfectly.

 

Thanks again as it is HUGELY appreciated.



#39 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2013 - 06:51 PM

Austen ALWAYS does top notch work guys!  I've known him several years now, long before GTtalk was born.  Great work Austen, and do check in more often....we leave the lights on 24/7!


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#40 sep OFFLINE  

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Posted September 01, 2013 - 10:52 AM

Thanks for the update! I was going to say you can just use a piece of flat stock for the missing piece that hooks to the piston but then read Jerry has one for you. What about the rod that runs from that flat stock piece to the 3 PT hitch? I thought I saw it in one of your pictures but didn't see it in the one with the hydraulic set up. Funny, I noticed the new idler pulleys on the mower deck and I'm wondering if I'm missing them all together on my 71 deck. I was looking at mine the other day to see what rot I needed to cut out and all I have is the 3 spindles. hmm? 

 

Steve


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#41 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 01, 2013 - 12:15 PM

I have missed the last couple posts, it is looking great! Since you are having the hood worked on anyway, make sure to check the two back corners for cracks, they tend to get stress cracks from the vibration of the engine.

 

The stance looks great! You are right about which way the dish faces, and that way it is much better. :thumbs:


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#42 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted September 02, 2013 - 09:41 PM

 

Austen ALWAYS does top notch work guys!  I've known him several years now, long before GTtalk was born.  Great work Austen, and do check in more often....we leave the lights on 24/7!

 

Not sure about top notch, but I do my best.

 

I have really been enjoying my time here and it has been giving me the itch to find another GT because of it! One of the most enjoyable things is simply browsing the threads here and appreciating everyone's machines. I just wish my schedule allowed for more time to do that kind of thing.

 

Thank you for the kind words Dan, that is very nice of you to say and it's neat how we have known each other for quite some time.

 

 

Thanks for the update! I was going to say you can just use a piece of flat stock for the missing piece that hooks to the piston but then read Jerry has one for you. What about the rod that runs from that flat stock piece to the 3 PT hitch? I thought I saw it in one of your pictures but didn't see it in the one with the hydraulic set up. Funny, I noticed the new idler pulleys on the mower deck and I'm wondering if I'm missing them all together on my 71 deck. I was looking at mine the other day to see what rot I needed to cut out and all I have is the 3 spindles. hmm? 

 

 

Glad you've been enjoying the thread, it's just as fun for me to write.

 

The long rod attached to the 3 pt. which connects to the lift arm is there, I think it may be hidden in some of the photos.

 

When I first got the tractor going, I was so anxious to use it that I actually cut the lawn the first time without the idler pulleys. It seemed to work fine other than the belts had quite a bit of play in them and I think they would wear quicker that way because of the increased vibration. As soon as I installed the idlers, there was a pretty noticeable difference in the decrease of wobble in the belts because of it.

 

 

I have missed the last couple posts, it is looking great! Since you are having the hood worked on anyway, make sure to check the two back corners for cracks, they tend to get stress cracks from the vibration of the engine.

 

The stance looks great! You are right about which way the dish faces, and that way it is much better. :thumbs:

 

Thanks Ryan!

 

The hood appeared free of cracks otherwise but thanks for the suggestion.

 

I agree 100% about the facing of the rims.



#43 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted September 03, 2013 - 07:12 AM

That is a fine looking tractor. I like what the wheel spacers did for it! Thanks for taking us along.


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#44 powerking56 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 03, 2013 - 08:00 AM

Wow I can't believe I've missed this thread!!!  Great work Austen, on a really nice original tractor with a great story to go with it!!

I also remember the LMC days, nice to see you here with a great GT project.  I love the stance of your tractor with the wheel adapters in place, another thing they will help with is clearance if you chose to run chains on the rear wheels. Keep up the good work and great job with the pics and write up in this thread!!


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#45 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted September 09, 2013 - 10:34 PM

That is a fine looking tractor. I like what the wheel spacers did for it! Thanks for taking us along.

 

Thank you!! Writing these are actually just as much fun for me as it is working on the tractor. It puts things into a different perspective.

 

 

Wow I can't believe I've missed this thread!!!  Great work Austen, on a really nice original tractor with a great story to go with it!!

I also remember the LMC days, nice to see you here with a great GT project.  I love the stance of your tractor with the wheel adapters in place, another thing they will help with is clearance if you chose to run chains on the rear wheels. Keep up the good work and great job with the pics and write up in this thread!!

 

Peter!

 

It's been a long time, wow, it's great to see you!! Thanks for the reply! I'm going to send you a PM.

 

Coming from you that really means a lot, thank you! I have definitely grown a new appreciation for these tractors. They are quite the brute.

 

Good point on the chains!






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