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

#46 Austen ONLINE  

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

Posted September 09, 2013 - 10:35 PM

tracks01_zps015d8826.jpg



Get ready for the longest and most detailed update yet! Before you jump into an enormous amount of photos that concludes the finale of the hydraulic conversion project, I recommend throwing a bag of popcorn in the microwave as you're going to swear that you know this tractor in and out better than I do by the time we're done here.

To start things off, it's a little sad in a way as this update wraps up this summer project. It was A LOT of fun and one of the most satisfying and enjoyable projects that I have ever done by far. It was always on my mind, even at work where I would find myself thinking about more things that I could do to improve it further. It has not only made me grow a completely new appreciation for tractors like this but persuaded me like never before to search for another tractor project similar in nature to this (think Bolens large frame); it was a really enjoyable experience for me. That Bolens project won't be right away, but it will happen and part of the fun will be the research and finding the right machine.

This update will be a bit more involved and detailed than previous updates in the way that it'll put you in the driver's seat and show you firsthand the step-by-step process of the entire installation of the hydraulic system. If you make it to the end, you'll find a surprise photo during the first attempt at bringing it home that surfaced and hasn't been shown yet. I think it'll make for a good finale.

Well, go grab that popcorn and let's get started:

A lot of these the parts had to go on in a particular order. I have to admit that I found myself taking a few things apart multiple times during the process to get it right.

As you remember, I took advantage of having an area of rust fixed while things were a part. I told my bodyman that part of the intent of this project, appearance wise, is to preserve the original paint as much as possible yet fix the areas that need to be fixed such as the this rust area. Sure, some may argue that leaving this type of thing alone makes it that much more original and could be saved a for a future full resto. Me being me, I wanted it be structurally sound as much as possible while enjoying it in this state. That is just how I am.
null_zps0e3c8881.jpg
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
The hydraulic tank had dents in it so I had the tank sandblasted, dents fixed and repainted- (I did this part). There was not much of the original paint on the tank left to begin with.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
I decided not to paint the cap as the experience that I've had with past restoration projects like this, no matter how durable the paint is, the first place it's going to chip is the cap. Maybe it's partly because of the fumes.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
These are the NOS parts that I ordered from Jerry Frank (PowerKingTractorBarn). One piece is a shorter hydraulic lift arm and the other is a foot guard. The foot guard has a fair amount of shelf wear and has scratches.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
Before we begin installing those new parts, we'll take this opportunity to change the oil in the transmission. There's no easier and better time to access it than now with the body off.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
In the Powerking community there is a well known trick to making the non-synchronized transmission shift smoother. By using a thicker weight oil (a lot of folks who do this will run straight STP engine additive) as it will slow the gears down quicker which not only helps prevent grinding but also quiets the drivetrain. They say the thicker oil also provides increased protection on the gears against wear.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
As I've said before, this is one of the handiest tools to have in the garage. In case you're wondering, the color of that oil is a very dark green.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
While the body was off I decided to mount the spotlight and begin routing the wiring. This photo shows the new terminals installed on the light.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
The hydraulic tank also needed to be installed to the body before I could mount it back on the tractor. This is how you prevent the hydraulic tank strap from getting scratched during installation! It's pretty neat how the tractor is all setup for the system so things like these slots are already there. Remember that tool tray that resembled Mom's home biscuit tray (see below)? It sat directly on top of these slots.
null_zps597483f4.jpg
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
Okay now that the light, wiring and hydraulic tank are installed onto the body, it can now be mounted back onto the tractor. The next step is to install the control valve which you can see directly under the seat. The original bolts were long enough to fit through everything, again, just as if it were made for it.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
Next we install the pump.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat

If you've been following from way back when I first got the machine, you'll remember me mentioning how for some odd reason there was a hydraulic pump belt stored inside the bell housing. Well now is its big day, it's going to finally get to be put to use after all these years of sitting static in there. When I noticed it sitting in there I zip tied it to the side. As you can see it has some factory paint on it!
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
This is how I know this tractor has never seen a hydraulic system installed. Take a look at that mounting hole for the adjuster on the pump! I had to re-drill it round for it to work. Sheesh, I'll say!
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
Installing the belt- what an exciting day for it! :) Time to throw a party!
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
Up next is the installation of the cylinder. This is the mount that it connects to in the back. The manual lift setup did not make use of it before.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
Careful here. It is crucial these parts go on in a particular order; cylinder, lift arm, mounting bolts and foot guard. Trial and error here for sure.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
Preparation of the new hoses is next. Wrap the threads with Teflon tape.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
It's good that we didn't use the old factory hoses, here are a couple of the bad spots!
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
Now the hoses can now be routed.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
Gotta' love those factory grommets too! It's nice to see they're getting put to use too and just for show.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
This is where the saved photos definitely pay off!
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
The ends of the hoses connected to the pump.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
All hooked up!
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
Alright, we're nearing a fire up! Now we can fill the system up for the first time. Turns out that extra gallon won't be needed (even after fully pressurized), it took one full gallon exactly. I was a little concerned about the pump running dry for this first few moments of start up so I jacked the back of the tractor up in the air which allowed the hoses to fill up to the pump.
This part in the project is always nerve racking and my hands feel like they have sand flowing through them . Did all that hard work pay off? What if I have to retake everything a part again? These are the types of thoughts that always start rolling through my head.


Let's see how it works!

How about a quick walk-around of that LED spot light at night while we're at it?

Initial impressions about the operation and general characteristics of the system:

I must admit that I was half way expecting (and preparing myself) for the pump to draw a HP or two and make a noticeable drop in power, maybe not a lot, but noticeable. I was also wondering how loud the whine of the pump would be. Turning the key for the first time and the starter sounded the same and cranked the engine over at the same rate of speed. I was figuring that I would for sure have to turn the idle speed up just a bit at the very lowest setting. It turns out that it still has no problem at all running at the lowest setting where you can count the strokes. While I have not really worked the tractor yet and put it under a good load, from what I can so far, there is actually no real noticeable difference in power. The pump is extremely quite as well, in fact I don't even know that it's there unless the idle speed is very low and you can detect a faint whine.

The operation of the hydraulic system itself is very smooth. The moving parts (mowing deck & 3pt.) do not jump when you press the lever in either direction and overall has a composed, yet, strong feeling. I'm excited to find a blade for it someday and put the 3pt. to work.

Below are a few more photos to wrap things up.

EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
It's surprising how much the engine cover makes the pump disappear! You hardly notice it there now.
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorFinalHydraulicProjectUpdat
EconomyTractorUpdates8-26-2013002_zps802
Looking at this photo makes me want to cry. This is when it was dragging its feet (literally) and wasn't sure where it was going and what was going to happen to it.


Edited by Austen, September 09, 2013 - 10:46 PM.

  • Alc, KennyP, Moosetales and 3 others have said thanks

#47 Moosetales OFFLINE  

Moosetales

    Always learning something!

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 8172
  • 1,088 Thanks
  • 1,284 posts
  • Location: Winthrop, ME

Posted September 10, 2013 - 05:43 AM

Thanks for sharing. Looking great!

#48 KennyP ONLINE  

KennyP

    FORDoholic

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2253
  • 28,502 Thanks
  • 39,730 posts
  • Location: Collinsville, Oklahoma

Posted September 10, 2013 - 06:31 AM

That is great! Very nice looking installation! Thanks!



#49 David Brown OFFLINE  

David Brown

    I said I work on them. I never said I fix them!

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 8570
  • 4,219 Thanks
  • 2,316 posts

Posted September 10, 2013 - 07:17 AM

You are doing a fine job with this old Economy.  It's looking really good.  One thing you may want to check is how close your seat comes to hitting that work light.  If you have any size/weight to you at all, you are more than likely going to smash it slightly, if not doing regular work, perhaps doing something where there is a little more bounce.  just something to consider.  If you are the opposite of me and very light, you may not have a problem at all.



#50 Austen ONLINE  

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

Posted September 10, 2013 - 11:38 PM

Thanks for sharing. Looking great!

 

Thanks!

 

 

That is great! Very nice looking installation! Thanks!

 

Thank you, I'm please with the way it turned out.

 

 

You are doing a fine job with this old Economy.  It's looking really good.  One thing you may want to check is how close your seat comes to hitting that work light.  If you have any size/weight to you at all, you are more than likely going to smash it slightly, if not doing regular work, perhaps doing something where there is a little more bounce.  just something to consider.  If you are the opposite of me and very light, you may not have a problem at all.

 

Thanks and thank you for the input. I haven't had any problems yet and the light itself is pretty robust. :thumbs:



#51 Austen ONLINE  

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

Posted December 22, 2013 - 06:30 PM

It's The Little Things



I thought I might update the thread with a few photos that I've taken of it over the past few months. Most of the time that I take it out is simply to exercise it a bit but every now and then a task comes up where it can be put to use. It's been running and performing excellent and hasn't skipped a beat. The really has not been any new changes since you've seen it last other than one thing as you'll see.
_______________________________________________________________


Attachments? So far, yet so close!!

catandmouse_zps57c889f2.jpg

I visited the Dad of the family who I bought the tractor from recently to catch up as I enjoy listening to him talk and also to share all that I've done with the tractor since I've had it.

Anyway, at one point during our time together he mentions "I have this big old tractor in my garage that you wish you had bought, it has a bunch of attachments too." He starts describing it saying it's a 14HP etc etc... basically describing the Economy to a tee. I knew that he was confused (...he's in his 90's after all) that the one I bought from them was the one that we was describing. So, he said go take a look in the garage and stated how I could walk around back but was kind treacherous getting up to it so I had to be careful. I went inside the garage and it was like entering into a cellar that had not seen the light of day in 20 years. Cobwebs everywhere; I was covered in them by the time I got out. As I had thought, there was no tractor but I could see a front mount dozer blade attachment at the very back wall in the garage standing up in the Economy orange paint- pretty much the other attachment of choice that I would love this tractor to have!

After speaking with him about my findings, it doesn't sound too promising on my end and I won't go into all of the details out of respect for privacy but it's basically due to confusion. I explained as kindly as I could with many items of evidence that I strongly believe the machine that he had described to me is the one that I bought and that I also did not see any tractors in their garage. It didn't work so I asked if I could buy the attachment(s) but he doesn't want to let them go, or, the "other" tractor. Unfortunately he has difficulty getting around so making it out to the garage for a visual check of his own is out of the question.

I may write a letter to the family to explain the situation and see if I can get anywhere with that. If not, I think my chances are out until they have some big estate sale one day...

Spacers:

I had mentioned earlier about having the front spacers redone to be hub centric like the rears are. I sold the originals and had these new ones made for the front. They are the same spec as before only with a small lip.

10-6-2013SpacersampSummerGoodbyeRide004_

10-6-2013SpacersampSummerGoodbyeRide006_

EconomyTractor11-3-2013008_zps6d548ff1.j

EconomyTractor11-3-2013006_zpsb44f8b84.j

Root Pulling:


We had a couple of apple trees removed in our yard and because of it there was a nice root system down below. Before we could begin new planting, it had to be cleaned out and the Economy proved to be a help with that project.



7615682B-592D-4079-B26E-6ACA24B18D8B_zps

158C76A2-BD3E-4BF6-9247-B3BA88263DA8_zps

Last week we woke up to a small amount of snow. Before work, I decided to take it out for a short spin.

52CC669B-950F-4109-ADEE-16CA207EB180_zps

8B9AE4E0-BB36-405C-8FBE-A386FB8644A8_zps


Edited by Austen, December 22, 2013 - 06:41 PM.

  • gopher and twostep have said thanks

#52 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

cookiemonster

    Village Idiot

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 6338
  • 406 Thanks
  • 1,274 posts
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Posted December 22, 2013 - 08:30 PM

Doggy say... "Dang, stick too big"

 

I'm reading this story late... and in bits in pieces... but very impressive. I am also a sucker for improving old tractors...



#53 sep OFFLINE  

sep
  • Member
  • Member No: 25080
  • 60 Thanks
  • 65 posts
  • Location: CT/RI

Posted January 05, 2014 - 09:11 PM

Nice job on the hydraulic conversion!



#54 Austen ONLINE  

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

Posted January 09, 2014 - 09:25 PM

Nice job on the hydraulic conversion!

 

Thanks sep!



#55 glgrumpy ONLINE  

glgrumpy

    Getting Out!

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Member No: 8360
  • 6,662 Thanks
  • 6,480 posts
  • Location: Huntington, IN 46750 North East in State

Posted January 27, 2014 - 06:38 PM

Neat old Chevy truck too. I've had some of those in past, but not now.  You should get a blade for that rig and play in snow. Not hard to find them, and go on fairly easy. They hang off those forum mount squares under engine on frame. Just make sure you get one that has that mounting. Most from 74up are that way I beleive.  jrhaines on epay has the lots of times or others. They push snow well. Might need some weight on back, maybe chains. I have done some level plowing with no chains on good paved surfaces. Not so good on ice, but snow seems to let the ags grip. Hydro lift is better than strong arm too, the blades are heavy.



#56 Copperhead300 OFFLINE  

Copperhead300
  • Member
  • Member No: 49297
  • 5 Thanks
  • 9 posts
  • Location: Asheville, NC

Posted May 08, 2014 - 05:12 PM

Let me commend you on an excellent job.  I have been following your post all along with anticipation of the next installment.



#57 Austen ONLINE  

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

Posted January 22, 2015 - 06:19 PM

1/22/2015 Updates

 

DSC_3184_zpsmud3ak4t.png


In case you've wondered why there has been such a long absence for updates, it certainly isn't because I've been neglecting the tractor on purpose. ;) I moved out of state last year for an internship with the Pebble Beach Concours. Over the holidays, I flew back home in WA where the tractor is to visit family so I have not seen her since then. It was sure a very long and overdue wait and in the meantime, found myself watching the videos I had made and going over pictures. Before I left, I stored her away properly and she fired right up as if nothing happened after all these months which was great.

I figured now that I'm home visiting family that I could post a few small updates, some of which I did not get around to doing at the end of last summer.

Grader Blade Attachment:
I think I mentioned earlier about a grader blade attachment that the original family still has. They told me that it's mine and that when they can dig it out of their garage (believe me, this is an understatement) they will call me to come get it. If I had the time, I would dig it out myself per their approval.

Mowing Deck Idler Pulley Bites The Dust & Idler Pulley Delete Mod
Economy%20Tractor%20Idler%20Pulley%20Del
Remember those new shiny idler pulleys that I installed on the deck soon after I got the tractor? While mowing with it last summer, the bearing in one of them completely loosened up out of its race and took out one of the drive belts of course while doing so. The  whole bearing and race assembly was un-repairable and haven't anything like it before and Jerry hadn't heard of this happening after I contacted him about it. This was discouraging to see as one of the key goals with this is project is to eliminate points of failures.

"Idler Pulley Delete Mod"
Sans%20Idler%20Pulleys%20Economy%20Tract

 

VS

 

6-15-2013%20Economy%20Tractor%20Updates%
 
After looking and thinking about it, I decided to remove the idler pulleys off the deck as an experiment to see how it would run without them installed.   After installing new drive belts and mowing with it several times since, I have had no ill effects without sans the two extra idlers. While some may say otherwise, less moving parts the better as I see it and until an issue arises without running them, that how it's remaining. It also cleaned up the deck surface quite a bit with them removed too.

Reviving The 3-Point Adjustment Caps
Economy%20Tractor%20Adjusters%20Black_zp
The caps on both adjusters were really faded and an ugly brown color. I put some thought into whether I wanted to replace or paint them, but didn't like the idea of paint. That's when I remembered 'Forever Black', an awesome automotive black dye that I've used in the past with great results. This stuff is designed for bringing back the black luster of faded rubber on car bumpers etc. I applied it to the caps- much better. Below is a photo of what they used to look like for reference.
Economy%20Tractor%20Final%20Hydraulic%20

New Rear Diff Gasket
[url=http://s26.photobucket.com/user/76Datsun/media/Economy%20Tractor%20Rear%20Diff%20Gasket%20Template_zps1vw6m13r.jpg.html]Economy%20Tractor%20Rear%20Diff%20Gasket
The rear diff gasket began leaking worse so it was time to take care of that. Replacement gaskets for the diff can no longer be purchased for these tractors so guys use RTV gasket maker as the alternative. While this would work fine too, I liked the idea of having an actual gasket in there like stock so I made a template and created one. Of course I changed out the fluid too. I had some photos on my phone when I did it last summer but they somehow got deleted.  I found the template and grabbed a photo.


Edited by Austen, January 22, 2015 - 08:31 PM.

  • Cat385B and MNGB have said thanks

#58 LA2TN ONLINE  

LA2TN
  • Member
  • Member No: 63647
  • 19 Thanks
  • 16 posts
  • Location: Northeast Louisiana

Posted February 25, 2015 - 05:31 PM

Austen, I've looked at your thread and I am certainly liking what I'm seeing.  My dad passed away last summer and I will soon be acquiring his 1975 PK 1614.  It's pretty much the same machine as what you have.  It has hydraulics already on it, but it bad need of hoses.  I live in TN (grew up in Louisiana) and my dad lived in California.  So the machine is in CA right now.  It will probably be this summer before I can go and get the machine.  I'm very much looking forward to getting it operational.  I remember mowing our 2 acres with it when I was a kid and I very much want to revive this machine and re-live old memories.  I've never done any work on tractors so this will be a learning experience for sure.  I'd love to be able to get some advice from you as you have already been down this road.  Here are a few pics.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20141129_211716936_iOS.jpg
  • 20141129_211728369_iOS.jpg
  • 20141129_211747087_iOS.jpg
  • 20141129_211759672_iOS.jpg
  • 20141129_211822695_iOS.jpg

  • Alc and Austen have said thanks

#59 Austen ONLINE  

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

Posted March 08, 2015 - 10:35 PM

Hey LA2TN, I apologize for the delay in response. Thanks for the message and posting the photos of your family's Economy! I'm sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. It sounds like the tractor will be a great way to cherish memories. :)

 

It appears to be nicely preserved! It's great that it's remained in CA so I'd imagine it must be pretty solid throughout structurally. It will definitely be worth the effort to have it shipped back to where you live. Yes, please feel free to ask me questions any time and I'll be looking forward to following the resurrection.  :thumbs: 

 

#60 Austen ONLINE  

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

Posted March 08, 2015 - 10:37 PM

I realize I had made a couple of videos last year and neglected to post them here.

 

 


  • MNGB and Fl smoker have said thanks




Top