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Sears Handiman R/t


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#1 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted July 22, 2014 - 12:33 PM

First, if this tractor is in the wrong section, could a moderator please move it for me? I wasn't sure if it should be under Sears or David Bradley. Thanks.

This is the second tractor I was able to purchase in the package deal, along with the Mighty Mite (see "Other" brand part of the Forum). I think this is a 1941 Handiman, based on the design and model number on the tractor's data tag, but I see varying information on the internet on these little guys. Information seems to be scarce and not all in agreement. Anyway, there is also a data tag on the engine which may shed more light on it, but I have to remove the hood to see it which I'll do at some point. It's obviously in tougher shape (at least in some ways), but they are hard to find. Love the flat pulley drive system (seriously, it's neat), and the rear end. Cool shifting mechanism too (the knob in front of the seat), and independent rear brakes. The rear of this little tractor weighs a ton, between that rear end and the cast iron rims. New rear tires (but not new tubes - they need to be replaced) and the fronts are good. I think it's the original engine (looks right, from what I can see), but I won't know for sure until I pull the hood off and get a good look at the data tag). The bad is pretty obvious - it needs part of the hood fabricated and grafted to the original (at least it's just a flat piece of sheet metal with a few holes, longer than the other side, although I bet those louvres will be fun to make), a belt cover fabricated and a two inch flat belt itself to drive the tractor. Still, overall what's there is in decent shape, I think. The rear tires should be a 22" rim, but it looks like when they replaced the rear rims and tires they put 24" on as I know they're far easier to get and cheaper than the 22". I do have the fuel tank for it too, just not installed.

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Edited by MH81, August 22, 2014 - 06:34 AM.

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#2 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted July 22, 2014 - 12:35 PM

That's a cool tractor.  Thank you for sharing those great photographs.


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#3 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2014 - 05:31 AM

I took a better look at the engine.  It is a Sears Roebuck tagged Briggs, and the number on it is for a model Z.  I guess it's likely original to the tractor then.  Does anyone know how to date these tractors?  Normally I'd run the tractor serial number or the engine serial number.  I haven't found a list for serial numbers and manufacturing dates for these yet.  Anyone know how I can date it or where I can go to find out?  I'm guessing it's a 1941, based on a little information and some conjecture.


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#4 IamSherwood OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2014 - 05:48 AM

That's real neat Jamie.

How do you find all these rarities?

Maybe you can find a piece of louvered sheet metal at a scrap yard, and patch

it into a new side panel.



#5 MH81 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2014 - 11:40 AM

I believe that you can narrow the year down by type of belt.
This is so from a bad memory, but i remember a guy saying something like "The first ones had the flat belt and later they had a double v"

#6 DougT ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2014 - 01:12 PM

I found the info somewhere online but can't remember where right now. Seems they were only made 39-41 and like Alan said, the 41 had a double V pulley instead of the flat belt.



#7 Lauber1 ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2014 - 04:55 PM

if you posted the model number from the plate by the shift, I could tell you the yr.


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#8 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2014 - 05:07 PM

if you posted the model number from the plate by the shift, I could tell you the yr.

 

According to the tag, it is model number 917.5155.  The serial number is 2439.  If you'd like a picture of the tag itself I have that as well.  Thank you very much!



#9 Lauber1 ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2014 - 05:14 PM

its a 1940, an early model one if it has the flat belt. early ones had  a Z engine later ones had a ZZ. these tractors were made very last 38, all of 39, and 1940. 39 had to models 5151 and 5154, 40 is 5155.


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#10 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2014 - 06:07 PM

Great news.  Good to know that it's a 1940.  The model number on the engine is a 500.20438 which I was able to find out was a Briggs model Z.  The engine has a Kingston carb on it and it looks like it's brass (never worked on one of them before).  I'm very much looking forward to fixing this one up, although it's going to be a long term project, this winter at the very earliest, but more likely next year.  I'll probably still take it to a show or two yet this year, even in its current state.  You just don't see them often.  Thanks for the info!


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#11 Lauber1 ONLINE  

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Posted July 23, 2014 - 06:24 PM

actually I see them all the time, but then again I run with a wild crowd of Sears/DB collectors.  You would be happy to know that your tractor was built in a large brick building, thats partly still there. Its located in Bradley, Illinois USA, just a few blocks from where the biggest DB in the county is held each July.


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#12 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted July 24, 2014 - 04:28 PM

Not very many around here. I wish there were more of them around here because I'd like to see some others. Do you happen to know anyone who may be able to take pictures and measurements and what not in order for me to make the hood piece as well as the belt guard? If they're able, a pattern would be fantastic. I'll need to track down this info in order in order to get the parts made. Any and all info would be greatly appreciated. Also, just for fun I did a compression test on the engine and found that it pulled 70lbs. That was a pleasant surprise as I was expecting the worst.
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#13 Lauber1 ONLINE  

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Posted July 24, 2014 - 09:07 PM

i'll see what I can do. I don't own one of them, all mine are the WT series.



#14 MH81 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 24, 2014 - 10:42 PM

I do know a guy, but I haven't seen him in over a year. He kinda dropped off the show circuit.
He does still try to make it to portersville as far as I know.
If anyone ends up there and sees Daryl with his pride and joy, take some pics and measurements. I do know his had the belts BTW.

#15 MH81 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 24, 2014 - 10:49 PM

Three pics of Daryl's. I believe he said it was a 1942?
http://gardentractor...3-handi-man-rt/
http://gardentractor...handi-man-rt-2/
http://gardentractor...handi-man-rt-3/
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