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Western Auto Wizard, chance at new life.

western auto wizard bolens walk behind briggs briggs and stratton

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#1 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2015 - 07:26 PM

Some of you may be shocked seeing me post in the walk behind section but we are stretching our legs < no pun intended :D

 

There is apparently more to this Western Auto Wizard than just Brian (Texas Deere & Horse) dropping it off when he was passing through. This thing originally popped up on GTtalk in the classifieds section as "2 Wheel Western Auto Wizard". It had the replacement engine on it when Brian dropped it off. We completely forgot he also dropped off the original motor and variable pulley.

 

Here are some pics before we started tearing it apart:

 

DSC_0444.JPG  DSC_0445.JPG

 

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There were a few things with the current engine that didn't look promising. One was the grounding wire to shut it down wasn't hooked up, at least that is what I think it is. Second was when I removed the gas tank so we could clean it out. I guess the year or more of it sitting outside didn't do it good. The gas smelled horrible and the amount of rust and dirt was unreal.

 

 

Keep in mind we didn't realize this was previously posted on GTtalk and we don't know that much about the walk behinds. I kind of figured it wasn't the original engine because of the recoil starter. The pulley on the gear reduction output was also too new along with the lock nuts mounting the engine to the frame. We unbolted the replacement Briggs to get it on the work bench and make it easier to work on. That is when I removed the gas tank and pretty much called it quits trying to get the replacement engine running. Went ahead and removed the gear reduction and set it to the side.

 

DSC_0448.JPG  DSC_0449.JPG

 

 

Something kept triggering the little night light in my head that we had a small engine that would work but I couldn't remember where or what it was. Dad was over looking at one of the other Bolens walk behinds and seen a small engine sitting on the floor. Low and behold it was the motor that was original to the Western Auto Wizard. Also laying beside it was the variable pulley.

 

 

Put the little Briggs and Stratton up on the work bench and was looking it over. It is missing the air cleaner and the governor linkages. I have never really messed with any little single cylinder Briggs engines so this is all new to me. Spinning the engine by hand it didn't really seem to have any compression. I don't know if these little Briggs have a compression release on them or not.

 

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We started taking the shroud off and the coil looked like it may have been in bad shape, along with the flywheel missing quite a few fins. Unbolted the head and popped it off. The valves were definitely covered in a bunch of carbon and there is no way the exhaust valve could have been sealing correctly with how much carbon build up there is on the valve seat. Removed the carb and set that to the side. Also removed the valve cover and once I had that off there were a bunch of pieces just laying in there. I assumed they had to do with the crankcase breather but wasn't sure how they work. After seeing the Briggs and Stratton Model 6 manual that Bolens 1000 uploaded I can see now that we are missing the spring that keeps tension on it to keep it in the hole.

 

DSC_0456.JPG  DSC_0457.JPG

 

DSC_0458.JPG

 

 

We removed the valves and the valve guides seem to be in decent shape. The cylinder bore looks to be in good shape as well. We hooked the spark plug cable back up to the spark plug and checked to see if it still had spark. I thought for sure it wouldn't with how the coil looked but sure enough it had a nice strong blue spark. 

 

 

Originally the goal was to try and get it running. Now knowing we have the original motor other than getting a few pieces for it I think we may restore it. Dad has a set of cultivators for behind it which would be great at shows. I know I definitely don't see many of these Western Auto Wizard walk behinds so I think it would be a nice one to do. We are looking now to get parts for the governor linkage, air cleaner assembly and the flywheel.

 

 

There was a metal plate and metal angle welded to the front of the frame which looks like it was for a snow blade. I am going to do my best to remove this sometime this weekend. Going to cut into the extra metal and get it removed than worry about grinding the frame down to original size. It is going to take some time to do but I will get it done.


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#2 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2015 - 07:33 PM

Looking forward to seeing this restored!

You should just be able to lop off the piece of metal someone welded on the front and be able to use the original snap hitch again.

Finding a wizard complete gets harder and harder each year.


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#3 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2015 - 07:36 PM

So you plan on getting some exercise, I see! Good luck with it!


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#4 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2015 - 08:08 PM

I have one of those sitting out back covered up. I was "temporarily storing" for an elderly lady, that was over 3 yrs ago and haven't heard from her since. 


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#5 wilberj ONLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2015 - 08:11 PM

Missed out on one of these with a hood at Portland wish I could find one or one like the Ride A Matic.   Cant wait to see yours all fixed up!


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#6 Lauber1 ONLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2015 - 08:21 PM

i'll get you the pictures of mine this weekend, its covered up in one of the back sheds right now.


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#7 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2015 - 08:24 PM

i'll get you the pictures of mine this weekend, its covered up in one of the back sheds right now.

 

Thanks Jeff. Pics of the governor linkage would be the most helpful. I have a general idea of how it might go but we don't have the adjusting rod and this is the first time I have ever worked with an air vane governor.


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#8 adamjd200 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2015 - 08:27 PM

Those old Briggs often surprise me, I have never had to replace the coil on one.


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#9 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2015 - 09:15 PM

George, I have the crankcase breather valves complete only, but I think you can get the springs separate. 

 

You will find a couple things about old cast iron Briggs engines.  First is that they are very simple once you know the tricks of the trade.  Second is that there really isn't much that can go wrong. 

 

They do have chronic low compression as a rule, but it sounds like your messy exhaust valve is your biggest culprit there.  Most of the time that means rings, but if your spring is missing in the crankcase breather it will fog up the entire neighborhood with burnt oil and foul up the cylinder.

 

The governor setup on this engine is the same as an N or a 8.  The governor spring hooks directly to the throttle shaft on one side.  The other side goes to that bracket that slides up and down on the rear of your bearing plate, right next to the carburetor.  The air vane has a little piece of wire linkage that also connects to the throttle shaft.  The governor spring goes in hole #2 on the throttle shaft on most applications and the air vane connects to number 4.  You count starting from the shaft. 

 

Ben W.


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#10 Lauber1 ONLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2015 - 09:19 PM

Thanks Jeff. Pics of the governor linkage would be the most helpful. I have a general idea of how it might go but we don't have the adjusting rod and this is the first time I have ever worked with an air vane governor.

oh a virgin, always glad to help out a future walk-behind guy. I believe I dated mine back 10yr ago and found it to be a 52 engine. Got a picture here that shows the basic air vane set for a Briggs, but I'll still get you the photos of the original one.

 

 

B_S Throttle2.jpg


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#11 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2015 - 11:03 PM

George, I hope you don't have too much trouble getting it going. I knew your Dad enjoyed walk behinds and I thought this would go good with his Bolens tractors.


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#12 grand OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2015 - 01:51 PM

George, I hope you don't have too much trouble getting it going. I knew your Dad enjoyed walk behinds and I thought this would go good with his Bolens tractors.

Thank you Brian for the Wizard. When I searched to get an image I got some pics of decent tractors. I chose one and the source was listed as GTTalk.

I had missed that thread but recognized the tractor. What a great story it is turning out to be. Regardless of George's luck in getting the engine running the Wizard will be at several shows this year.


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#13 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2015 - 09:36 PM

oh a virgin, always glad to help out a future walk-behind guy. I believe I dated mine back 10yr ago and found it to be a 52 engine. Got a picture here that shows the basic air vane set for a Briggs, but I'll still get you the photos of the original one.

 

 

attachicon.gifB_S Throttle2.jpg

 

That is the picture of a "set speed" setup for one of those old engines.  I imagine George has a remote throttle on his walk behind. 

 

Ben W.



#14 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2015 - 09:39 PM

That is the picture of a "set speed" setup for one of those old engines.  I imagine George has a remote throttle on his walk behind. 

 

Ben W.

 

Yes there is a remote throttle setup on the left handle.


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#15 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2015 - 09:41 PM

I got the head cleaned up and also the top of the block today. Also got the valves lapped. I believe I found the reason for lack of compression beyond the crud buildup on the exhaust valve seat. There is no valve clearance whatsoever so I am going to take care of adjusting that tomorrow.


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