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Stanley, Our Lawn Tractor


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#1 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted May 17, 2013 - 08:57 PM

I've had this tractor for a couple years now.  It is a 46" cut, manual transmission tractor with Briggs power.  In my research, I've found out it was made by Murray.  The date under the seat puts it as a 2003 model tractor, sold new from Wal-Mart for $1748.  Two Wal-Mart price stickers are still intact under the seat as well as what I'm assuming is the original Ever-Start brand battery.  It basically came with our house.  The fellow we bought it from was moving to an apartment and wanted rid of it.  I gave him $300 for it and a small plastic dump cart.

 

The old tractor runs very good and mows good enough.  It is also unique in being the only piece of equipment that we refer to as a male.  Everything else is female. 

 

I'm not very familiar with this stuff, but I know it is not meant to be a working tractor.  It was designed as a lawn and garden tractor, with emphasis on the lawn part.  It does have 12" wheels, but they are on the slip-fit spindles and not bolt on hubs.  We use it to pull some trailers around the yard.  One is the small garden style dump trailer and the other is our 5x10 utility trailer. 

 

I've notices that the transmission appears to be "slipping", for lack of a better word.  You can let out on the clutch and it is as if it takes a second or two to take up the slack in the transaxle before it begins to move.  I'm curious about this mainly because I want to try to find or build a sleeve hitch for it and get a terracing blade for it.  We live on the lower side of our road and all the rain water goes into our yard.  I need to be able to scrape up the gravel and dirt that washes down our drive way and builds up in front of our property and causes water issues with the house.  Nothing really strenuous, literally just scratching the surface.

 

Did Murray make a sleeve hitch for these tractors?  If so, how hard would it be to find one? 

 

I will try to get some pictures of it up tomorrow.  I just decided tonight to write this out tonight. 


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#2 John@Reliable OFFLINE  

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Posted May 17, 2013 - 10:49 PM

The link below will bring you to all you need for a Murray. They did make a hitch but it's NLA,  universal ones may work with a little fab work. As far as the "slipping" might be time for a new belt, they do wear over time. Good luck :thumbs:

 

http://outdoordistri...urray_Main.html


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#3 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2013 - 08:03 AM

Thanks for the web site and suggestions. As for the slipping, I do not believe it is the belt. It feels more like mechanical slack being taken up.



#4 UncleWillie ONLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2013 - 01:34 PM

I would check the belt anyway. Get it up in the air and get under it with it in gear AND THE TRACTOR OFF!!!!! and see if there is play in it. Make sure it is securely supported so it doesn't fall on your head.

 

A sleeve hitch shouldn't be too hard to fab up if you can't find one.



#5 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2013 - 03:13 PM

I would check the belt anyway. Get it up in the air and get under it with it in gear AND THE TRACTOR OFF!!!!! and see if there is play in it. Make sure it is securely supported so it doesn't fall on your head.

A sleeve hitch shouldn't be too hard to fab up if you can't find one.


I did just that today. The belt is plenty tight and holds strong. There is almost a full turn of the input pulley before the slack is out of the transmission though.

While it was up, I had to tweek the clutch/brake lever. It had bent till you could not apply the parking paw. A little work with a 14" pipe wrench took care of it in fine style.

While it was up, I popped off the snap rings on the rear tires and decided to fill them.

I ran to Wal-Mart and bought 6 gallons of their -20* washer fluid.

uploadfromtaptalk1368907034038.jpg

I broke the outer bead down using one of my Hi-Lift jacks and the rear bumper of my K5 Blazer.

uploadfromtaptalk1368907224514.jpg

For those of you unfamilair with a Hi-Lift or "sheep herder's jack", they are dangerous. The safest thing to do with one is, when you get it home after buying it, cut it into very small pieces with a torch and recycle the slag. For us brave enough to use one, it is simply a matter of time before your first black finger nail, missing tooth or involuntary nap.

The best way to break down the bead is to apply enough pressure that you feel confident it is going to slip off and then bounce on the tire's bead near the foot of the jack. It shouldn't take but one or two hops to slip it off the bead retaining ring of the rim. This is of course for tubeless tires on rims with bead retaining rings. For tubeless or rims without retaining rings (16.5 automotive wheels come to mind) it can be easier or more difficult to do, depending on the rim.

Next I pried the tire away from the rim while pressing the other side of the tire into the recess on the rim that is there to ease the installation and removal of the tire on the rim and poured 3 gallons of fluid into each tire. After that I put the valve core back in and reseated the bead using a 120V B&D tire inflating pump.

I set the rear tire pressures to 6psi after seating the bead and reinstalled them on the tractor.

uploadfromtaptalk1368907893831.jpg

It seemed to help some, but you can only improve the traction of turf tires so much without a tire groover.

While it was up withcthe deck off, I took the chance to lube everything up really good as well.
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#6 MH81 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2013 - 07:07 AM

It may still spin, but over time, it will be less frustrating to use.

I noticed what axel you have under there in the pic, you might want to check for end play on the axels (bushing wear at the end of housing). That could be a cause of the slop, wouldn't take much out there to cause a gap in the gears at the differential.
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#7 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2013 - 11:11 AM

Good to know. I will check that out next time I'm working on it.

Picked up 3 mostly complete snow blades today for $120. One looks easy to modify to fit it so I'm planning on making a dozer blade to help clean gravel out of the driveway and parking spot that washes down our road. May also cut down one blade and make a trenching rig to help clean out ditches and create some drainage in our back yard.

#8 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted May 20, 2013 - 06:09 AM

After considering the lift system on my tractor and the design on the blades, I've decided to chop up the slightly bent frame of one of them and modify it to work with it. Then I'm going to cut down the blade and make a motor grader blade that will mount under the tractor. This should give me what I need to do some cleaning up and grading around the house this summer to help with our water problems.

#9 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted May 23, 2013 - 08:23 AM

uploadfromtaptalk1369315314803.jpg

Here are the blades. I'm hoping to get started on one next week. I have plans this weekend to go back home and get started taking the Monte Carlo apart.

#10 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted May 27, 2013 - 07:15 PM

Well, I was out of town all weekend and wound up sick as a dog. The older two girls were also sick so we laid around and my parents babied us. Not what I wanted to do as the Monte Carlo is still sitting where it has been for two months now and I'm no closer to getting the engine and transmission out of it.

Anyways, on the way down, I managed to pick this up for $25 from a guy who just didn't know what he had. It is brand new, never used and the only reason it is assembled is because the box broke and he didn't want to loose parts to it.

uploadfromtaptalk1369700094699.jpg
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#11 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2013 - 02:41 PM

So I was in a funk this morning after breakfast and it took me till nearly 10 to get motivated enough to go try to do anything. So with the girls playing in the yard, I got the garage opened up and decided to try to fit my new sleeve hitch onto Stanley.

After stewing it over, I decided that cutting the ears on the hitch on angles to match the rear plate on the tractor and welding them together would work best. With my measurements made, I took a cut off wheel on the grinder and made my cuts. It fit pretty good so I drug my Hobart Handler 187 out.

I've owned this welder for three years now and this is the first time I've used it. Shameful, I know. After reviewing the manual quickly to get an idea about how to use it, I took a flap wheel and stripped the paint off both pieces.

I used an old stainless steel tail gate liner panel set across my saw horses as a welding table. With both pieces laid out and squared up, I tacked them in place and set to welding.

After a couple adjustments, I had it welding pretty good. I need more practice with it. My heat was good but I was moving too slow and the welds are built up a bit high. Penetration was good though so it will hold.

Anyways, here it is, and some pictures of Stanley I've been promising.

 


Edited by Earl, June 02, 2013 - 05:05 PM.


#12 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted June 02, 2013 - 05:08 PM

I'm not sure why the pictures didn't work. Lets try again.

uploadfromtaptalk1370210838636.jpg

uploadfromtaptalk1370210862600.jpg

uploadfromtaptalk1370210882517.jpg

uploadfromtaptalk1370210901736.jpg

uploadfromtaptalk1370210922242.jpg

#13 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted June 02, 2013 - 05:25 PM

Looks pretty good. Are you going to be able to use the handle as is or will it need to be moved?


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#14 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted June 02, 2013 - 05:58 PM

The handle works fine where it is.  It doesn't get near the tires either position.  I was a little worried as I bolted the rear plate back on the tractor, but it worked our great!



#15 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted August 21, 2013 - 07:25 PM

When I mowed the yard two weeks ago, the front edge on the left side of the deck collapsed in. The deck bent back against the blade and I had to pry it out to continue mowing.

Well, after mowing last week, I pulled the deck and started straightening out the lip and front edge. I've welded up most of where the blade cut it and after drilling a hole at the end of the cracks, welded them shut. I've also added a piece of 1" square tubing to the front edge to help stiffen it.

I'm going to add a skid to the front edge where there is no anti-scalping wheel on the front of the deck on that side. Hopefully it will prevent the deck from digging in when it hits something and instead ride over it. I've also got to straighten both anti-scalping wheel brackets and add braces to keep them straight from now on. I'm also going to pull out the spindles and paint the deck before putting the brackets back on. I'll try to get pictures of what I've done tomorrow.




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