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1977 Economy Tractor Project Thread


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#61 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2017 - 11:08 PM

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Time for an update on this guy!

I've wanted for a while now try out the Gannon Earthcavator on the Economy. The swivel balls on the 3pt were seized so I had free them up first.

Aside from being a mower, I don't think this tractor has seen much if any ground engaging work before so I kind of felt like it was wondering what it was doing at first. ;-) I left the deck on as I'm using it frequently for mowing but just wanted to experiment with it a little and see how it would perform with the box blade; later this year once mowing season is over I'll remove it.

Overall, it did a great job. The implement is completely different to use vs. when it's on the Bolens. It is a 'slower' process to use it simply because it's not a hydrostatic tractor so you're always clutching and shifting but that's just the name of the game with this one. The hydraulics are a little more 'relaxed' in their response but that's alright. It was cool to have low RPMs vs. the hydrostat where you're just about at full RPM all the time. I used it around the back of our fence to pull out some ivy and it did a nice job. Lots of fun- I could do this type of thing all day. :-)

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The belt needed its first adjustment.

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It's been a great tractor and it's fun to try it out for a different task. It's fun owning these two very different machines. :thumbs:


Edited by Austen, May 13, 2017 - 11:13 PM.

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#62 MNGB OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2017 - 12:48 PM

Hi Austen, nice post the earthcavtor looks good on the PK and good to hear it worked good for your task, I fabricated one of my own and have used it a couple of times and have been happy with the results.


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#63 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2017 - 03:25 PM

Hi Austen, nice post the earthcavtor looks good on the PK and good to hear it worked good for your task, I fabricated one of my own and have used it a couple of times and have been happy with the results.

 

Thanks, GB. Yes, I remember your build thread; you've built many great attachments for these tractors.


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#64 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted July 17, 2017 - 12:25 AM

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Look any different? Kinda, maybe, sorta? Can't put your mind to it? :smilewink:

 

I plan to have the tractor repainted in the foreseeable future so this update sort of consists of finishing off some other little modifications I wanted to get done before that happens.


Wheel Restoration

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I had the factory rims sandblasted and powdercoated by my guy in gloss black. Like the custom rims on my Bolens, these are also a mirror finish. I couldn't believe they were the same rims when I got them back. Wheel restoration- check!

Before:
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After:
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Jumping Ahead
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I discovered the 24" rear wheel models came with about 3" longer kingpins on the front.  The rear tires I decided to run which are 9.5-16 vs. the stock 7.5-16 are about 3" taller, and 2" wider so that combo would pretty much level it out. I put some feelers out there and found a set of 24" style king pins from a member on the Yahoo group.

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Jumping Back
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I love Carlisle tires and have always had great success with them. I decided to run 9.5-16 Carlisle Farm Specialist R1 tires which I mentioned are around ~2" taller and  1" wider than the stock rears. I also wanted to tuck the fenders a bit more as the wheel spacers left a little gap so this was another reason for the bigger meats. These things have some crazy deep lugs in them in comparison to the originals. They each weigh 53lbs and what's even wilder is that they actually each felt heavier alone than the stock tires mounted on the rims! I couldn't believe it. The compound it quite a bit softer then the rock hard Firestone rubbers too so combined with the Rim Guard  there's a big jump in weight. The local Les Schwab tire store sells Rim Guard so I just have them pump into the tires after they mounted 'em.

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Size Comparison

Height specs

Before
Top of hood: 40.5"
Top of back of seat: 41"

After:
Top of hood: 43"
Top of seat back: 42 3/4"
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These were a lot of fun to mount up due their weight but with a help of an extra person raising and lowering a jack while I pushed them up to the hub on the cart made it pretty easy.

Other Doodads
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I've always despised the screw-in oil dipstick. Getting a wrench out each time to check the oil is inconvenient. You can swap over to a regular style stick by via a threaded insert tube. Locating NOS dipsticks aren't too hard to find but the insert is. There's been an NOS one I've been watching on Ebay for the past 2-3 years that's been too much money... the reason why it's been on there so long. I tried making an offer in the past with no luck but thought I'd try it again a few years later and it worked out; I guess the seller decided to give up on it.

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The insert as the photo showed in the pic needed some love, despite it being never used. I had it powdercoated which will work fine as it's not an exhaust part and won't get hot enough to burn off and necessitate the need for ceramic coating instead... it'll work just fine. I then painted the outside of it and the stick's handle orange. Keep in mind, all this stuff is going to get repainted later on anyway.
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Where it Snowballed
 When I was talking with the guy who sold me the kingpins he asked me if I "needed anything else" (bad thing to ask me when it comes to my equipment)." I said "you wouldn't by chance have one of those hard to find 2nd transmissions setups, would you?" Turns out he had everything aside from the coupler that's needed but I was able to purchase one as seen below elsewhere. He said he had a rebuilt trans and gave me an offer I couldn't refuse. Awesome! I will most likely do the conversion when the tractor comes apart to get repainted. I was talking with the guy quite a bit about the conversion and the motor has to be slid forward, hydraulic system all as come apart of course, body work off, etc, etc. If I'm tearing the whole tractor apart might as well do the re-paint at the time as I see it. I don't really like doing this kind of stuff multiple times if I don't have to.
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Edited by Austen, July 17, 2017 - 01:46 AM.

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#65 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted July 17, 2017 - 04:18 AM

That looks good! Since you went to the taller tires and raised it up, how low will the deck go?


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#66 MNGB OFFLINE  

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Posted July 17, 2017 - 07:26 AM

Hi Austen great job it looks good with the bigger tires and long front spindles and you are so right about the screw in oil dipstick that is a pita 2 of my tractor had the dipstick like you installed one the screw in type I had the fill tube but no dipstick like wise I watched e bay finally one came up I jumped on it so now all three have the pull out dipstick also so much easier to put oil in the engine. Now you need to find one of the original seat back rests I have one on the 1976 and like it, but when they do come up on e bay its more money than I want to pay.


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#67 tiretrx OFFLINE  

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Posted July 17, 2017 - 08:02 AM

That's a lucky PK to have you for an owner, my friend :thumbs:

 

Love the improvements, especially how it pertains to the tractor's new stance. Soooo, what's next????


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#68 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted July 17, 2017 - 01:25 PM

Nice improvements for sure. Those new tires go Bumpity-Bumpity on the pavement?  Mine do on my 24".  You must have been talking to Sam Minder I bet, he has tons for sale and good prices.


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#69 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted July 17, 2017 - 02:08 PM

 

That looks good! Since you went to the taller tires and raised it up, how low will the deck go?

 

Thanks, Kenny! There's quite a bit of adjustment on these tractors when it comes to fitting their attachment so I'll just take a link or two out of the chain that attaches the deck to the rock shaft which will allow it come all the way back down again. :thumbs:

 

 

Hi Austen great job it looks good with the bigger tires and long front spindles and you are so right about the screw in oil dipstick that is a pita 2 of my tractor had the dipstick like you installed one the screw in type I had the fill tube but no dipstick like wise I watched e bay finally one came up I jumped on it so now all three have the pull out dipstick also so much easier to put oil in the engine. Now you need to find one of the original seat back rests I have one on the 1976 and like it, but when they do come up on e bay its more money than I want to pay.

 

Thanks, Gary!

 

I agree. I think the fill tube would be easy to make. I was also thinking the fill tube would be easy to make as well. A standard threaded pipe could be expanded on the end just enough so the dipstick tube fits in tight.

 

I'll bet the backrests command a price.

 

Thanks for the nice words.

 

 

That's a lucky PK to have you for an owner, my friend :thumbs:

 

Love the improvements, especially how it pertains to the tractor's new stance. Soooo, what's next????

 

Thanks, Ellis! Not too much other than a future repaint and 2nd transmission install which will happen at the same point. I'm sure I'll be contacting Stew about the seat.

 

 

Nice improvements for sure. Those new tires go Bumpity-Bumpity on the pavement?  Mine do on my 24".  You must have been talking to Sam Minder I bet, he has tons for sale and good prices.

 

Thanks! Yes, it is a bumpier ride for sure. Interestingly though, it has quite a bit less rolling resistance than before.

 

I purchased the parts from a someone named Stan who's also on the Yahoo group.


Edited by Austen, July 17, 2017 - 02:10 PM.

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