Jump to content

Nominations for Tractor of the Month
Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay



Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

Off To A Good Start, I Think...


  • Please log in to reply
72 replies to this topic

#1 TX_Dj OFFLINE  

TX_Dj
  • Member
  • Member No: 54173
  • 141 Thanks
  • 84 posts
  • Location: Sachse, TX

Posted March 02, 2014 - 08:03 PM

I've been interested in sears tractors for a little while now, but couldn't find any meeting my needs/wants around the time that I bought my new house.  I have an acre to tend, so I needed *something* quickly and ended up picking up a new Troy Bilt Pony.  From the moment that I bought it, I'd made an agreement with my Pop that as soon as I had something closer to what I'd been looking for, I'd take the Troy Bilt down to him to replace his late model Bolens/MTD, and take that one home to get it working right again.

 

Well, recently I found something that looked like what I wanted to start messing with, so in one fell swoop, I picked up all this equipment from a nice gentleman about 25 miles south of me...

 

917.25961   Tractor (I *think* this means it's a 76 SS 18/6?)

917.253250 42" mower deck

917.253130 Electric 3PT Hitch (more on this in a bit)

917.252280 Middle-buster plow

917.253020 Moldboard Plow (missing disk)

917.252240 Cultivator (only 3 pieces)

917.251330 Rear Leveler Blade (Missing lower arm braces)

917.251880 Roto-Spader Attachment (replacement engine, has a honda 190cc on it, leaks oil like a seive)

 

Also came with:

Front end weight (don't know if that has a part number)

Wheel weights (plastic, concrete filled)

Two extra rear wheels with tires, don't hold air.

 

Tractor engine starts right up, and purrs very smoothly.  Tiller engine is cantankerous to start, but once warmed up it screams at max throttle until you shut it down.

 

All the tires are Sears branded, and are old and cracked enough to warrant replacement.

 

The 3PT hitch had stripped gears in the actuator when he bought it from the last owner.  He said he couldn't find a replacement gear set, and said the best price he found on an equivalent was $100 used and unknown condition.  So, he welded up some plates and mounted a harbor freight 2000 lbs winch and used that.

 

This works fine, really - but it doesn't have a clutch, and it won't raise up to maximum height because the center link and/or the lifting arms will contact the winch.

 

There are no floating links for use with the rototiller, and he says that's the only thing he used the tractor for in the year he had it.  The center link top clevis is broken on one side (as they're prone to do).  The adjuster "wings" were bent flat, presumably from getting wedged between the link and the winch.

 

I've downloaded the manuals for everything, and will read through them - I'm sure most of my technical questions will be answered there.  I've also seen a number of articles or videos for people who have built their own electric lifts or retro-fitted the lift with a different linear actuator.  I'd like to go back to the actuator, and remove the winch.  I've also seen at least one setup that used an actuator to replace the center link, and while that seems really trick - I don't mind keeping the center link manual, but I am a bit concerned about the busted clevis.  He had a big bolt shoved in there and double-lock nutted.  No washers were used, so the hardware is a bit chewed up but functional.

 

I had primarily been looking for a working unit with a solid, working mower deck - but was interested also to find some implements.  My back yard is in need of a lot of help, more than I'm willing to do manually.  The Troy Bilt can do some things, but there's quite a lot it can't.  I'd love to get a Kwik-way loader for it too...

 

The soil here is very dense expansive clay, and the property was previously had horses in the back yard (original owner had a lot of property adjacent, which was eventually sold and houses were built).  The guy I bought the place from never even watered in the back yard, let alone dethatch or aerate or anything beneficial.  The ground cover back there has the bulk of its root system in the first inch of soil, with very little reaching down further.  The tiller and moldboard plow just don't want to cut any deeper than that either.  My hope is to break it up a bit, grow a good lawn, and eventually have a veggie garden in one corner.

 

Oh, also, the hood hinge fiberglass has the typical busted-ness to it as well...

 

PDMTjsT.png

Kx4Dzan.png

Bon36Sp.png

VqZT4fP.png

cr6l9Bf.png

DhNWyhP.png

2b1tser.png

NNCSE0q.png

JU6j15x.png

 


  • Alc, hamman, boyscout862 and 6 others have said thanks

#2 JDBrian OFFLINE  

JDBrian

    Super Moderator

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2507
  • 9,574 Thanks
  • 14,136 posts
  • Location: Hubley, Nova Scotia - Canada

Posted March 02, 2014 - 08:25 PM

Nice combo deal. You did the right thing by finding a tractor with all those attachments. Getting a new actuator may be spendy but having a 3pt. hitch is a big bonus. Perhaps you can improve on the existing winch setup.


  • TX_Dj said thank you

#3 Bmerf OFFLINE  

Bmerf

    Patina Farmer / Rust Collector

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 9846
  • 1,707 Thanks
  • 1,444 posts
  • Location: benton harbor, mi

Posted March 02, 2014 - 08:33 PM

:welcometogttalk: Looks like you have the start of a nice setup.


  • TX_Dj said thank you

#4 Sawdust OFFLINE  

Sawdust
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 36549
  • 4,521 Thanks
  • 2,829 posts
  • Location: Butler, Kentucky

Posted March 02, 2014 - 08:45 PM

:welcome: to GTT glad to have you sharing your project. That looks like a nice haul, I just bought my first Sears a SS15 & like most other older GT's well made. Keep us up to date with your progress.


  • TX_Dj said thank you

#5 superaben OFFLINE  

superaben
  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 11204
  • 7,664 Thanks
  • 5,677 posts
  • Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA

Posted March 02, 2014 - 08:58 PM

I think you made a good haul.  Implements are the hardest things to find these days for many old tractors.

 

Ben W.


  • TX_Dj said thank you

#6 TX_Dj OFFLINE  

TX_Dj
  • Member
  • Member No: 54173
  • 141 Thanks
  • 84 posts
  • Location: Sachse, TX

Posted March 02, 2014 - 09:31 PM

Nice combo deal. You did the right thing by finding a tractor with all those attachments. Getting a new actuator may be spendy but having a 3pt. hitch is a big bonus. Perhaps you can improve on the existing winch setup.

 

I've not priced any actuators yet, I wouldn't tear anything that he's done off the plate until I had something I figured should work.

 

The winch setup is quite functional, and besides the clearance issues when lifting, the other nuisance is the seat pan doesn't clear the top of his winch backing plate, so often you have no spring in the seat, or, sometimes the seat gets stuck behind it.  I *think* the seat is pushed all the way forward, and I have a 34" inseam... Whatever I end up doing with the lift system for the hitch, I'll keep that in mind, if I find the seat doesn't have room to adjust backwards.

 

It's not without its problems, but what isn't after 38 or so years of use... The Onan leaks, I don't know where yet- but the whole section of the frame under the motor is covered with sludge.  It runs great, though, except for some bad gas and needing a little bit of carb cleaner... now that that's all done, it cranks on the first rotation most times, and pulls strong at any throttle setting/gear.  

 

The clutch pivot (or something) is tight, making the clutch feel very vague and that leads to a few abrupt starts.  When I got it, the tiller was hooked up - and the front weight was not.  I had never thought of using a tiller as a wheelie bar, but it worked, and seems to have survived. :)

 

I'm still uncertain how *much* of a project this tractor will become, and how much I'll just leave be because it works.  I'd obviously like it to look a little fresher, but that doesn't have anything to do with how well it works, so we'll see how bored I get some winter as to whether or not I tear it apart to refinish it.  I may choose at some point to repower it (another reason I prefer the older horizontal engined tractors) with a diesel engine... I've been working for several years to convert things over to diesel, and if any reasonable options were available for my motorcycles, I'd probably be doing it to them too!  As to when/where and whether I'd sell the entire Onan as a whole working engine or part it out, I don't know.

 

For now, I just need to concentrate most on getting the deck serviced and functional, and under the belly of the tractor.

 

Thanks for the warm welcome, fellas!


  • JDBrian and Sawdust have said thanks

#7 TX_Dj OFFLINE  

TX_Dj
  • Member
  • Member No: 54173
  • 141 Thanks
  • 84 posts
  • Location: Sachse, TX

Posted March 02, 2014 - 09:35 PM

Also, does anyone know if the floating lift links are required with the electric lift hitch?  It has its own floating ability inherent to its design, especially with this winch lift setup.  Specifically regarding the tiller... the tiller manual says they were included with it, but I don't have them.


Edited by TX_Dj, March 02, 2014 - 09:36 PM.


#8 MH81 ONLINE  

MH81

    Proud to be Deplorable

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 802
  • 27,206 Thanks
  • 28,581 posts
  • Location: N. W. PA

Posted March 02, 2014 - 10:02 PM

I have drooled over your pictures long enough, time to reply and pretend I'm not jealous.
Great looking package. The electric lift had a float built in from my memory. It would've been the uplift allowed the outer tube to float on its own, at least that's what I remember seeing on the ones I've been able to look at. Shame about the top link. I think it would be weldable, I think it's cast steel, not cast iron?

BTW, I have an offer; I have a set of cross arms and you need dimensions... You have a front end weight and I need dimensions...
Just kidding, I'll get you dimensions next day or two, but if you get a chance, I'd love a few measurements on the weight, I want to make one for show.

:welcome: to GTTalk!
  • TX_Dj said thank you

#9 trowel OFFLINE  

trowel

    Summer.

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Member No: 5127
  • 4,819 Thanks
  • 4,533 posts
  • Location: ma.

Posted March 02, 2014 - 10:06 PM

Welcome, that is a nice pile of stuff.

T


  • TX_Dj said thank you

#10 TX_Dj OFFLINE  

TX_Dj
  • Member
  • Member No: 54173
  • 141 Thanks
  • 84 posts
  • Location: Sachse, TX

Posted March 02, 2014 - 11:24 PM

I have drooled over your pictures long enough, time to reply and pretend I'm not jealous.
Great looking package. The electric lift had a float built in from my memory. It would've been the uplift allowed the outer tube to float on its own, at least that's what I remember seeing on the ones I've been able to look at. Shame about the top link. I think it would be weldable, I think it's cast steel, not cast iron?

BTW, I have an offer; I have a set of cross arms and you need dimensions... You have a front end weight and I need dimensions...
Just kidding, I'll get you dimensions next day or two, but if you get a chance, I'd love a few measurements on the weight, I want to make one for show.

:welcome: to GTTalk!

 

HAH!  Well if it makes you feel any better, it wasn't cheap.  I went into the deal thinking about what it would cost if I were able to find each of the pieces separately, especially if I was figuring I'd have to pay shipping for some of the smaller stuff.... And with that mindset, I got a good bargain.

 

The broken link part is long gone... and I hadn't even considered it might be cast steel.  Maybe if I feel like fixing it, I'll spark test it and see for sure.  I had just been thinking about going with it as is for now, and cobbling something together from odds and ends to replace it.

 

Oh, NOW you tell me you'd like dimensions on the front weight... I installed it last night... It's easy enough to remove, I'll see what I can come up with.  The weight itself is a cast lump, and the framework is basically a piece of c-channel with slots in the back that ride on the studs inside the tractor frame, and then the weight box also has a pair of studs set in it that ride the slots at the front of the tractor frame...  Should be fairly easy to figure the measurement of that part by measuring your tractor.  the weight itself snugly fits inside that channel, and tapers out about 1-2" wider before going down a few inches.  But I'll see if I can't get ya something a bit more specific soon!  (Feel free to PM me if I forget)


  • MH81 and Sawdust have said thanks

#11 oldedeeres OFFLINE  

oldedeeres
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 14008
  • 5,834 Thanks
  • 3,185 posts
  • Location: Rivers End, Saskatchewan

Posted March 02, 2014 - 11:30 PM

Welcome aboard. It looks like you belong here--- that's a good looking pile of stuff anyone of us would like to get our hands on.


  • TX_Dj said thank you

#12 MH81 ONLINE  

MH81

    Proud to be Deplorable

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 802
  • 27,206 Thanks
  • 28,581 posts
  • Location: N. W. PA

Posted March 03, 2014 - 02:20 AM

The weight is the biggie. I think I can figure the c channel out, with the exception of overall length, I think I can steal the measurements from a snowplow mount. Thanks.

#13 sacsr ONLINE  

sacsr

    Bush Hog Addict

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 4776
  • 3,268 Thanks
  • 3,283 posts
  • Location: Eastern NC

Posted March 03, 2014 - 05:58 AM

Nice haul! Welcome to the forum!
  • TX_Dj said thank you

#14 TAHOE ONLINE  

TAHOE
  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 24522
  • 6,476 Thanks
  • 4,937 posts
  • Location: "Hamiltucky" Ohio

Posted March 03, 2014 - 10:18 AM

Welcome!!!!

 

That is a very nice package, I sooo want a rear tiller for mine!

 

As for the electric actuator, check out Surplus center or Northern tool for an off the shelf one. Hard to tell from the pics, but It looks like your original mount has been modified so you may need to re-modify to get an actuator to work.

They did have a float mechanism, basically the top piston pushed up on on tow plates. The pin they pushed against could also be pulled, then re-oriented to make actuator have some down force and be fixed. Whenever I get around to building my electric 3 pt, I will build very much the same as the factory one.

 

The front weight is just a mule drive channel with a block of cast fixed to it. Once could be easily made out of an old mule drive.....if you have a chunk of steel lying around.

 

Can't help ya much on the linkages other than what came stock on my 3 pt.

 

I see you like other "fast toys", my son would love the dirt bike, he's outgrown his Yamaha TTR90.


  • TX_Dj said thank you

#15 TX_Dj OFFLINE  

TX_Dj
  • Member
  • Member No: 54173
  • 141 Thanks
  • 84 posts
  • Location: Sachse, TX

Posted March 03, 2014 - 10:39 AM

Tahoe, I just got that KTM put back together.  It had been quite nearly a basket case for 3.5 years.  The shop seen in these pics is one of the reasons why I bought this house last year.  720 sqft!  That's more than 1/2 the sqft of the house I had been renting prior, and nearly double the sqft of the garage that house.  I found it downright impossible to work on things in that shop without having to unload some amount of the contents into the driveway!  I had to put the swingarm and rear wheel back on just to move it to the new place, even though it was quite light at that point...it was unwieldy.

 

Spent part of the winter re-assembling everything, and thankfully I found the problem (and *all* of the parts and hardware) in the process.  Here's a better pic of it when it was nearly completed, it took me a while to find the part that keeps mud from spraying all over the shock, but I had finished testing for leaks and tweaking the carb by this point.

 

bzGwSdj.png

 

It's a beast!  More than 60 HP, and about 250 lbs soaking wet.  It is road legal (very easy to get it to the trails near the new place) but need to get it re-insured, tagged, inspected yet.  Didn't stop me from "dethatching" the back yard with it a little. ;)  You can see another project behind it there, a Yamaha XT225 I bought from my Pop when he needed some money, it had a rusty tank and had dribbled some of that rust thru the carb.

 

My Pop calls me the "man of never-ending projects" because, much like this Sears mower, I tend to buy another project before finishing others that need to be done.  He used to ask me when I was going to tow my old jeep off my property next to his, but he's so used to seeing it sitting there that he has forgotten it's there.  It broke down over 10 years ago, grenaded its trans and t-case in one blow.  Rebuilt the t-case, and I have moved the new trans (and the parts trans) like 3-4 times since then.  My hope is to get all the bikes going, get the sears squared away a bit, then pick the jeep up when I take the Troy Bilt to him.

 

I'm going a little nutty now having more shop space than I can think what to do with, and need to take a moment this spring to empty it all out and re-arrange and finish unpacking a few things to make better use of the space.

 

Anyhow, seems I've managed to derail my own topic!  Super stoked about the Sears, and wishing I had a good chunk of change that I could justify spending right now, because there's a guy about 300 miles south of me selling a custom rebuilt roper with a Kwik-Way attached, all in perfect running order.  Considering how hard it is to mount/remove the FEL, I'd love to have a dedicated tractor for it.


  • MH81 and TAHOE have said thanks




Top