Hi, I'd like to nominate my 1971 Power King Tractor - Humpty Dumpty
I had first seen this tractor on a classified board at work in 2001. It was a fully functioning 1614 at the time. It had a Kohler K321 14 hp engine, dual 3 speed transmissions, dana rear end, snow plow, mowing deck, rear farm type plows, 3 point hitch and an extra set of turf tires and rims.
I didn't have the cash to buy it so a friend, Frank, that worked with me bought it. Frank ran it until 2007 when he blew up the Kohler. He tore down the front end to get to the engine and tore down the engine to replace the rod and piston but never did. He went out and bought a new fiberglass bodied Power King. So the PK sat outside in pieces until the day before Frank retired. He called me up and said he had a retirement present for me. I laughed and told him I wasn't retiring, he was. He went on to say that he wanted me to have the Power King since I always asked about it.
So the story of Humpty Dumpty started on Dec 1, 2009 when I went and picked it up.
I got the tractor to my friend Angelo's and he said that we better get a replacement engine since the 14hp Kohler K321 was missing so much. He was plowing snow for this guy and he noticed that the guy had a big ole hunk of junk in the bed of his plow truck and it had an engine on it. He asked the guy what it was and he said a 1960 something stump grinder. Ang told him that was nice but what about the engine and climbed up into the back of the truck. It was a 16hp Kohler K341 and the guy said for him to unbolt it and take it.
Once he got it out of the back of the truck the next stop was the rental joint were his buddy Charlie was going to go thru it in his spare time. Well that ended up being about 5 months but it received a new piston, rod and a valve job which cost me a whopping $50. Wait..I don't remember giving Ang the $50..LOL!
It was another month and Ang didn't do much to it. He was going to clean it up, remove and old clutch flywheel and pull off the pull start. Yes..I said pull start. There is no way on a 10 degree day that I'm going to be pull starting a 16hp engine to plow snow.
I only made it to his house twice and he didn't touch the thing at all so I went and picked it all up in October. I dropped the tractor at the house and brought the engine to work with me. My buddies and I worked on it during lunch and then tucked it away in this huge moving crate that had a built in drop ramp. Jack and Gabe pulled off the old pull start, flywheel and such while I took a dremel to the flywheel that wouldn't break free for no one.
Funny thing, Frank called and said he had found a bunch of parts for that engine and dropped them off to us. I measured every inch of the old block and new to ensure that they were the same. I went into the pile of stuff that Frank dropped and pulled the flywheel, stator, starter and so on. I took it all home and painted everything. The starter was missing teeth so I picked one up off of ebay. I also bought to clutch parts from Jerry in Texas and with help from the yahoo PK guys we put the clutch all back together too.
While we worked on the engine and clutch at work, I figured I’d clean up the rest of the PK at night and on weekends if I had time. It wasn’t supposed to be a full ground up restoration, I just wanted to clean it up and make it look decent. The thing had original paint, some other paint and some stuff that looked like a cross between paint and undercoating so I decided to try to get the big stuff off of it and try my luck at painting. I set up a big tarp out in the back yard to sand blast all of the tin and frame. I didn’t have the right tools for the job so my brother, Rob, brought over his sand blaster, large air compressor, welder and small air grinder. I set up 2 tables under the tarp along with the frame. I started to blast the parts and found that the parts with original paint came right off and others were a nightmare. My 11 year old son, Matt, took an interest in blasting so I suited him up and let him go to town. I ended up having to use paint stripper on some parts. The main body panel called the tunnel was rusted out where the battery sits so Matt and I took a drill and air chisel to it and got the bad piece removed. Rob took the old battery panel to work and made me a replacement. He welded it into place and I used a little body filler on it to smooth it out. I’m more used to working with sheetrock mud so this was a bit challenging. Rob offered to prep, prime and paint everything but I told him that I wanted to try it myself so I did. It didn’t come out too bad considering this was the first time wheeling a paint gun, a borrowed paint gun. Of course he pointed out a “fish eye” and a couple runs but I didn’t really care. I just wanted to say that I had done it myself.
On most of the early model Power King, Economy and Jim Dandy tractors, they used all orange paint. I wanted something a little different so I went with the gloss black frame and attachments and orange for the body tin. Tractor Supply is about a half mile from the house so I used their Valspar tractor implement primer and paint.
Once I had everything prepped and ready to go, it was time to put Humpty Dumpty back together. I dumped the two coffee cans full of nuts and bolts onto a big table and started to sort everything out. My buddy Jack brought me all of his mics and gauges to figure out what we had and made a list of all the rusted junk. I picked up all of the hardware and headed to the garage. There really isn’t a lot to the PK but it is all of the little things that made me scratch my head so I decided to do a dry fit to make sure I had all the parts in the right places. Once I got the tunnel, dashboard and fenders back on, it started to look like something. Rob made me the two long hydraulic hoses and the positive and negative battery cables at work. I ran all of those and put on the hydraulic pump on. I took the tires and rims down to the local tractor shop. I switched out the older Ags for the newer looking turfs and got two new tires for the front. After those were mounted, it was time to get it back on the ground for the new 16hp. Rob helped me lift it onto the frame and slide it onto the pilot shaft. It only took a little wiggle for it to set right. I bolted it all into place and was ready for the hydraulic pump. Matty P. worked with me on that as well as putting on the gas tank and front grill.
The old lights were beat so I picked up a few replacements at my local hardware store. I added one to the back so I could see the hitch at nite and a safety light so everyone can see me while plowing my 500’ driveway. Jack and I changed out the steering wheel and blasted in a new clutch cable, throttle cable, battery box and wired in all the lights. I put on a nice comfy seat cushion all by myself. LOL! With snow season coming up quick, I figured I’d better get some chains for plowing so I called up Frank and asked if he still had some kicking around. He did so I went and grabbed them. What a nightmare putting those things on. My hands still hurt. I mounted the plow and she is ready to go. Here are some pics of how Humpty Dumpty looks today. Not bad for a rookie??