A buddy sent me a message that he had found a rough Sears sitting in the weeds and wanted to know if I was interested. Sure I was,so he done a little wheeling and dealing and brought it home. A week or so later I made a two stop trip delivering a tractor and picking another up (a Wheel Horse) on the first stop then on to my buddies place where I picked up this '68 Suburban 12 and a 42 inch deck and a few other things. I dropped some bare Wheel Horse frames (no trans,engines,or sheet metal) along with some wheels and tires and a antique Briggs engine. With my trailer (and truck bed) full of goodies I headed home. (I also picked up another 42 inch Sears Suburban deck on my first stop). The owner of the Suburban has passed away and the tractor had been left to rot away until they were ready to clear the area out. They used a loader tractor to move the Sears because they said the rearend was locked up. They bent the seat pan over double and bent up the early DB style 3 point hitch. A buddy straighten the hitch up for me and I have the seat pan roughly straightened up but it still needs more work. The ignition switch was rusted stuck,the wiring chewed to pieces,the engine full of mouse nesting,etc. The tractor was a mess. Here is what I brought home.
More detail on the 68 Suburban 12
Posted January 23, 2015 - 10:58 PM
Once home it needed a thorough cleaning first off. The mouse urine smell was the worst that I have every encountered on a old GT. The entire tractor smelled of urine and was horrible underneath including the transaxle. So pressure washing from the top just wasn't enough and it wasn't coming into my shop until it was cleaned up. Before I got much past cleaning it a local kid called wanting to do some trading so I took it to him and brought a couple of other tractors back. Before I took it though I found the locked up trans was a twisted stuck drive belt and the carb needed serious attention. While the Suburban was gone I took a 68 Sears Custom 10 in on trade on a old Harley iron head Sportster Roadster that I sold. The Custom didn't stay long but I did Keep The last model,heavy duty 3 point hitch with the longer lift handle. As a matter of fact the same kid calls me wanting to trade the Suburban back. So I load up the Custom and haul it to him and bring the Suburban back. He had put a new drive belt on it. I put it in the garage and let it sit a few weeks until I strike a deal to trade a ST10 that I had for a 68 Sears Super 12. The super 12 came with a 48 inch deck and other spare parts. I spent a while working on the non firing Super 12 until I determine the SSI needs replaced. So turning back to big orange against the wall,I decide to start on it again. I steal the ignition switch from the Super 12 and put on Big Orange,then give the carb a thorough rebuild/cleaning and go thru the wiring,fixing what needs attention. Its starts and runs like a top ! No smoke and sounds great ! Here are cleaning and repair pictures and pictures of the 68 Custom '10,the '73 ST10 and the '68 Super 12. More to come...
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Posted January 23, 2015 - 11:47 PM
Another tractor buddy tells me that he has a nice homemade Sears 3 point grader blade that I can have because he will never use. S a week or two later I make a run to his place to pick up some 953 Wheel Horse parts and the grader. Seeing how nice the grader is made me want to get Big Orange up and going even more. So I replaced the gas line and starter / generator belt. I had gotten a set of 8.50 23 ag tires in a deal on my first stop when I made the trip to pick up the Suburban the first time (I picked them up on my first stop). He called the tires junk because of a hole in the side wall of one tire and dry rot on both tires.Being me,I had to see if I could make them work,so I broke down the tire with the hole in the side wall and patched the tire and tube both. The wheels are from a Wheel Horse so they have a wider offset than the Sears wheels and I knew I would like the stance. While I was changing wheels I noticed the pinch bolt was loose on one hub and I had already noticed that the other hub was too far out on the axle so I took care of those issues too. I replaced the exhaust with new pipe and one of afriends custom built mufflers. Once it was running and rolling good I took it for a test drive. Just as I hoped it runs,drives,stops and shifts great ! So back into the shop to pull off the rest of the early style 3 point hitch and bolt on the late model heavy duty,long handle 3 point hitch and hook up to the grader. I gave the tractor a short test run on the end of my drive grading my rock back into my drive and was very impressed with the tractor and grader ! I showed my father in law a few pictures a few days later when he went to Cracker Barrel with my wife,our daughter,and I. He remarked that he would like to have that at his place for a few days. While I don't want to loan it out,I told him that I would load it up and bring it out the next day. I took it to his place and graded for a hour and a half of more and only used a half tank of fuel. The tractor done a excellent job on the soft wet drive. He said it did a better job then his 8N Ford,giving credit to the fact that I can micro-manage the manual Sears 3 point and he could not as well with the hydraulic lift. I do believe that he is right. With the manual handle as I am pushing down on the blade I can instantly relieve some pressure if need be then immediately return pressure or pick up very slightly and release,etc. much quicker than with hydraulic lift and I have more and quicker feel for the needed adjustment. That pretty much brings us up until now. I plan to update this thread although it may not be real quick. I still plan to use rubbing compound and cleaning wax on the paint. Paint the wheels,and do some other odds and ends. I also plan to try out the 42 and 48 inch decks. I will mostly likely use Big Orange to plow the garden next spring. More pictures. These bring us up to current.
Edited by rustyoldjunk, January 24, 2015 - 12:11 AM.
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Posted January 24, 2015 - 07:22 AM
Thanks for the great story, I think you have a real worker there.
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Posted January 24, 2015 - 10:32 AM
- rustyoldjunk said thank you
Posted January 24, 2015 - 09:03 PM
She looks so happy to be working again.
Thanks for the great story, I think you have a real worker there.
MH I am amazed at how strong and smooth the HH120 runs and if it will turn a revolution or two,it will start. It shifts like new and steers so light it is almost like power steering. To run and work this well well almost 50 years later and with all the tractor has been thru over the years says a lot about these old Sears.
I have a special place in my heart for those old sear
They grow on you fast if you use them even a short while.
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