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Joined the Bolens club today


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#1 77ddt OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2015 - 08:19 PM

I joined the Bolens club today.  I think it's a 1959 Ride-a-matic.  I have some other brands but this is my first Bolens.  I've admired a couple at shows and this one was for sale only a couple miles from me so I took a chance.  The seller got it from the original owner when he bought the house 20-some years ago.  He said he mowed with it for about 5 years, until he broke his finger pull starting it and decided to get something a little more modern.  It's been sitting in a shed for about 15 years, but unfortunately the roof leaked above it so it is pretty crusty in places.  He thinks he scrapped the mower deck at some point, but the snow blade was stored in a part of the shed that didn't leak, and looks pretty darn good for it's age.  

 

It's a neat little tractor for sure.  I still need to do some studying to understand how the ride-a-matic drive is supposed to work.  It doesn't run, but I've worked on K161/K181's in my other tractors, so I'm not too intimidated by the motor part of it.  My biggest worry is the rear end.  I didn't notice it until I got it home, but the axle tube welds are broken from the frame, so the whole thing rocks some side-to-side.  The rear-end seals are shot, of course, but I will have to take it apart to see how much wear/damage there is from running it that way.  

 

I've got a few other projects in the pipeline I need to get through first, but hopefully will get to this one before spring.  

 

Dave

 

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Edited by 77ddt, January 02, 2015 - 08:19 PM.

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#2 wilberj ONLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2015 - 08:32 PM

Not a bad looking 1959 did it have the belt gard?


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#3 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2015 - 08:44 PM

Congrats on your new to you Bolens Ride-a-Matic. There is a thread on here somewhere about this vicious Bolens disease that supposed spreads. Just be warned that won't be your only one. It's a shame about the mower deck as that would have been cool to have too. I have never seen the snow blade setup for one so that is definitely cool to see. Can't get over the framing to mount it to the tractor.


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#4 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2015 - 08:47 PM

Great buy

The transmission is real simple on these and I have been able to source the seals for them. It was common for the tube welds to break as they were pretty thin, they were like that on all mine and you just have to re-weld.

 

Whats strange is your ID tag is a 1958 Ride-a-Matic but the rest of the tractor is a 1959' Very strange!

Should be 230-01


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#5 LPBolens ONLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2015 - 08:56 PM

Very cool find! You can tell by looking at that plow frame that Bolens did not mind using a lot of steel!


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#6 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2015 - 09:01 PM

Whats strange is your ID tag is a 1958 Ride-a-Matic but the rest of the tractor is a 1959' Very strange!

Should be 230-01

 

Do you think it was a mid year change over? Seems all the other tractor manufacturers minus a few did the whole switch over thing where you find pieces from a previous year. Like they had leftover parts and were not going to waste them.


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#7 77ddt OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2015 - 09:03 PM

I am well aware of how quickly the GT collecting disease can spread.  My afflictions with the Deere and Wheel Horse strains are currently in remission.  I am hopeful I am somewhat resistant to the Bolens strain, if for no other reason than I don't see them that often, but if history is any predictor, the prognosis isn't good.  

 

Sadly, no belt guard but the guy said if he comes across any other parts or attachments for it, he will let me know.  I'm not going to hold my breath, but since he is here in town I think if he does find some he will give me a call.  

 

I had not noticed the serial tag.  That is very interesting.  I haven't dug far enough to know if year-by-year serial info is available.  Curious if it would be from very early '59, or maybe just a typo.  The tractor came with the original manual and it is for a 230-01, so I guess I just misread the tag assuming it matched.  It also had the sheet for the mower deck, but no lit for the snow blade.  

 

Dave

 

bolens_05.jpg


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#8 Justin2655 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2015 - 09:26 PM

Good find! That's interesting on the serial number. Hmmm. Pretty cool that you got the manual!

Edited by Justin2655, January 02, 2015 - 09:27 PM.

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#9 blackjackjakexxix ONLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2015 - 09:32 PM

Very cool machine,good luck with it


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#10 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2015 - 10:38 PM

That is a neat, neat find.  That blades looks to be in great shape. 

 

Sorry to hear though that you are now ill with the Bolens disease also.   :D 

 

Ben W.


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#11 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2015 - 03:27 AM

You're lucky to get a Ride a Matic so close to home. I will follow this project with great interest not least as I would want one myself.
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#12 Delmar OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2015 - 06:05 AM

Congrats on the new tractor!  A Ride-a matic is a rare find.  I have never seen one around here.


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#13 HANKG ONLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2015 - 08:51 AM

Those GTS look great with new paint and you will have a very cool and sought after machine best of luck with it.


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#14 Kfs35 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2015 - 08:57 AM

Nice find!

The model number is very odd, I wonder what the story behind that is.
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#15 Husky OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2015 - 05:50 PM

Congrats those old RAM are great little tractors. I hope that you can get that rear end fixed. It would be a nice tractor to restore for sure.


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