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Cleaning/ Repairing The Dirty Suburban 12. What A Nasty Mess...


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#1 classic OFFLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2014 - 05:40 PM

O.K., so I found the sources of the oil leaks that put a thick coating of caked on dirt and oil everywhere. The muck went from the front of the grill and along the frame to the back of the mower deck. Apparently the leak started some time ago, and an attempt to stop the leak resulted in a snapped off bolt in the engine block. Well, I had a gasket set, a crankshaft seal, and a replacement bolt, so I dug into it today. Luckily, the remaining piece of the snapped off bolt just spun out of the block by hand. The engine case gasket was pushed out from between the case halves near the broken bolt, and the gasket was brittle and oil soaked. Also, the crankcase breather was over tightened, warped, and leaking. I straightened out the breather and installed it with a new gasket. I cleaned everything up and installed the crankcase seal and case half with a new gasket. It's all back together and dry as a bone.
I ran it around for a while today making repairs to the driveway with the plow. The tractor ran flawlessly, and it was sunny with temps in the low 60's. Got a lot more cleaning to do, but here's a few pics.

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Edited by classic, March 11, 2014 - 05:45 PM.

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#2 classic OFFLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2014 - 06:28 PM

Here's a pic the previous owner sent me last week, just before I bought it. You can see faint signs of a possible oil leak....well maybe not so faint.

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#3 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2014 - 06:58 PM

That's a blessing that bolt came out. I did one similar but had to drill a hole  & use an easy out on it. The tough part was getting the drill bit to stay center of the bolt. I was afraid to center punch the bolt too hard before drilling because of breaking the casing off. It sure looks a lot better. That tractor looks like a border line of should restore or leave as is. Sometimes I think some should just be left alone because of their good condition. The only problem is that new paint sure makes em bark!


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#4 Arti OFFLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2014 - 07:01 PM

Lucky the broken bolt came out so nice.

I used to hate to buy an oil soaked machine, then discovered that all that caked on oil and dirt actually preserved the metal under it.
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#5 ericjr16 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2014 - 07:34 PM

Just cleaned the SS12 other day to find that the possible oil leak was just oil puked from carb once? Glad you got it fixed!! Cleaned up good!

Enjoyed the nice weather here also!! Had to move my SS10 this morning due to the mud during day would let it sink into yard! Dad wanted to use it to level our driveway some and by time he got out it would be mud already! I leave for work around 6:45AM. Glad neighbors don't mind a Suburban bark at 6AM!! ;)

Here is my SS12 cleaned up engine.

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#6 classic OFFLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2014 - 07:43 PM

The hitch and rear fenders are in dire need of paint, so I decided I'm going to repaint it in the original colors. The tool box was modified, so I bought a nice yellow one that came off of an ST model...another reason for a repaint. I would really like to leave it in original paint, but I plan on using it and don't want to deal with constant rusting issues. The plow and deck will be disassembled, gone over, and finally repainted. I really prefer the orange and white Suburbans, but this one was a good deal I couldn't pass up.
An oil soaked machine is always a gamble, but worked out fine in this case. I need to find a close match for the original seat and replace the two clutch idler pulleys. It's amazing how much these Suburbans quiet down with new idlers.
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#7 ericjr16 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2014 - 07:45 PM

My ST12 is quite noisy right now when brake is released. Just like you said, the bearing must be worn!



#8 classic OFFLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2014 - 08:12 PM

The weather was definitely nice today, but yea, the mud in the yard is unbelievable. I'm not attempting to ride the suburban to the shed, so it's tarp bound for now. The SS looks good ericjr. For the cost of a gasket set and crank seals, it's worth putting them in these old machines. These Suburbans have to be the simplest tractors to work on. I have a 69' that hardly seen any use and the idlers are quiet. It feels like a new tractor compared to one with noisy idlers. Replace yours and you wont believe the difference.
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#9 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted March 12, 2014 - 05:29 AM

Nice tractor and really not that dirty compared to some I've cleaned.


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#10 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted March 12, 2014 - 11:30 AM

My MF12 was like that before I disassembled it. It has three idlers down the one side from the engine to the tranny. It sounded like a thrashing machine with bells ringing at the same time...nerve wrecking! When I get the Massey back together I'll start on the SS15 so guys to em good I'll be watching  :camera:



#11 ericjr16 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 12, 2014 - 06:59 PM

Thank God mine are leak free right now! Dad has been using my SS10 for grading the driveway with all the mud in it. He used the ST12 today and installed a nicer fitting set of chains on it. These machines are cool for the age of them. Quite the work horses!!

Glad you saved another one Classic!!


Edited by ericjr16, March 12, 2014 - 07:00 PM.

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#12 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted March 13, 2014 - 09:35 AM

nice clean up on the ole Sears.

I wished my 68 SS was that clean, mine is covered with yrs old grime and a lot of surface rust. Probably why it's shoved in the corner for last 3 yrs, I'm scared to work on it :D


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