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Bolens Handi Ho Restoration


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#1 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2014 - 10:12 PM

Since no one really talks about walk behind tractor restorations very much, I figure I might as well start telling how I do the ones I get to lay my violent hands on.  They are so simple mechanically to restore, but oftentimes very difficult tracing parts and getting the details right.  I think walk behinds are my favorites to get polished up since in most cases you end up with a one of a kind machine that is very rewarding to finish.

 

This is the victim, for one of my local customers. It is a Bolens Handi Ho.

 

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It has had the normal abuse and misuse all walkers seem to get.  However, it was retired and parked away inside (much better treatment than most of its brethren get) and was in very decent shape. 

 

 

I was told by the Bolens geniuses floating around here that the Briggs 8B currently on board was incorrect.  It just happens that I have a 6S lying in the shop that would be right at home on the tractor and that would make it correct. 

 

The first step was a stick of dynamite and I suddenly had it in a pile of pieces. You gotta love the simplicity of these tractors.

 

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I learned pretty fast that it had had some modifications through the years.  Not the least of which was the engine.  The old engine and the 6S side by side.  Someone was creative enough to raise the tank on the 8B to make it fit. 

 

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Sadly, they did cut up the base plate to make the 8B mounting pattern work. 

 

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It looks like they even had to rig up the belt guard.

 

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Someone must have gotten aggressive on the handles.  Both are broken off.  I have a second set I will probably use to replace these. 

 

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The cultivator attachment came apart very easily.  Most times dirt engaging tools from the past simply are permanently in place.  Once a little oil goes on the right places, I think I will end up with a working Handi Ho.

 

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Here is another injury.  The whole pull of the cultivator pivots here:

 

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The old Firestone tire still holds air, amazingly.  There is no tube here, even on split rims. 

 

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Before I began sanding, stripping, and priming, the 6S had a beautiful Briggs logo on it I had to preserve first.  I hate to take those off, but you gotta do what you gotta do, and this shroud is turning green!

 

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This lime green (almost a Deutz Spring Green) was the color of the inner sprocket.  This thing has been repainted numerous times.  The first original coat shows through in some spots.  Some places it is a dark forest green, others it is this lime green, and other places it is a John Deere green.  At least it was preserved from rust although it was painted wrong!

 

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I really haven't decided what color to paint it.  I am leaning towards Oliver Clover Green, not the dark green of the old Olivers.  The yellow looks like an industrial yellow, so I'll probably borrow some Cat paint.  Do I hear any input on the paint?

 

Ben W.

 


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#2 Nato77 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2014 - 11:34 PM

Looking good Ben. Its a shame you had to get rid of that nice Briggs decal. Don't you have any "N"s or old style "8"s laying around? A shroud off one of them would've worked.

Your going to use rattle cans for painting it and not a spray gun right? I have no clue on colors. Best thing is probably get a few different ones to do spray outs and decide that way.
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#3 trowel OFFLINE  

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Posted June 15, 2014 - 05:45 AM


Your going to use rattle cans for painting it and not a spray gun right? I have no clue on colors. Best thing is probably get a few different ones to do spray outs and decide that way.

:ditto: on the painting, as for the color the Bolens experts should be able to advise, IMO it being so simple and small you could slam it with auto grade primer/paint and still have a few $$ left in the wallet, don't go too high a gloss, every imperfection/dent will be blinding and blow it out, i find a satin sheen works great and gives it a correct vintage feeling.

 

Those old tires was made to last for sure, the split rim can be a pain to take apart sometimes.

 

She's a little peach, toting the little vator she is a little green motorhacke.


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#4 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted June 15, 2014 - 08:12 AM

Looking good, If you can wait hold off on the paint. I'm working on this color since I need it for my Ridemaster and hope to have something figured out by the end of the week.

Bolens actually referred to the yellow as "Orange" Paint


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#5 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted June 15, 2014 - 09:15 PM

I'll hold on for you, Brian.  Let me know. 

 

The yellow does have some orange in it.  Is Cat yellow close enough for government work or do you know a better match?  It looks almost perfect compared to what I have on the Handi-Ho now, but who knows if that was the original paint or not.  :wallbanging:

 

Ben W.



#6 gunstuff1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 15, 2014 - 09:48 PM

I'll hold on for you, Brian.  Let me know. 
 
The yellow does have some orange in it.  Is Cat yellow close enough for government work or do you know a better match?  It looks almost perfect compared to what I have on the Handi-Ho now, but who knows if that was the original paint or not.  :wallbanging:
 
Ben W.

. The old cat yellow is very close I feel like it's close enough Bolens later changed to more of a safety yellow
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#7 Lauber1 ONLINE  

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Posted June 15, 2014 - 09:59 PM

and here I thought you would be done with such a simple tiny tractor by the weekend.


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#8 Nato77 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 16, 2014 - 12:31 AM

Komatzu yellow is what came up to be the best match for the samples I had mixed and scanned for my power ho.
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#9 Lauber1 ONLINE  

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Posted June 16, 2014 - 05:27 PM

I think I'd just paint it pink with a white wheel. Then you'd have something, no one else had.


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#10 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted June 16, 2014 - 06:36 PM

I think I'd just paint it pink with a white wheel. Then you'd have something, no one else had.

 

Um........  :wtf:


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#11 trowel OFFLINE  

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Posted June 16, 2014 - 06:46 PM

I think I'd just paint it pink with a white wheel. Then you'd have something, no one else had.

:bigrofl: :bigrofl:


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#12 jbmatth OFFLINE  

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Posted June 17, 2014 - 06:57 AM

I'm glad I ran accross this thread, I'm in the process of rebuilding a Handi-Ho now as well.  I have the 10CB01, but is mostly complete other than I'm missing the chain guard.  I may be able to find one with enough time, but might just end up making one.  Yours seams to be in pretty good shape, I'll be following this one for sure.  I'm not doing a true restoration and I'm painting it hunter green and some sun yellow accents.  Best of luck to you.


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#13 robert_p43 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 09, 2014 - 10:44 AM

Looking forward to seeing this project completed.  Who would have thought you would come across all these modifications and stuff on that little machine.  On the other hand, are you also working on one for yourself to surprise us with?


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#14 Lauber1 ONLINE  

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Posted July 09, 2014 - 04:44 PM

Hmmm, its now July 9th , almost 30days from the start, so this project should be about done. It is after all only a tractor with a single wheel.


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#15 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted July 09, 2014 - 05:58 PM

Great project - unfortunate model name. Handi Ho.

 

Instead of rattle cans I would suggest one of Harbor Freight's old style touch up guns. It's just the right size for small projects. With a small assortment of tractor/ industrial paints you can mix it to match what you want.






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