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Bolens 1050 Repower With Honda GX390


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#1 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted February 28, 2015 - 01:30 PM

With spring coming soon (I hope) I have decided to repower my Bolens 1050 with a Honda GX390 engine (this is the first Bolens tractor I got and was a hand me down from my brother as he upgraded to a newer and larger tractor).  The TRA10D that is on it now is getting old and tired and has been reringed at least once and while purists would say rebuild it I feel it is better in the long run to replace it with the Honda as this tractor is used weekly in the summer time to keep the lawn cut.  It is my intention to keep any modifications to the tractor itself to a minimum, make the Honda look like it belongs in the tractor without modifying the  hood and to keep the original engine so that the tractor can be put back to the way it was should the need arise.  It is my hope to document this as I go as it may help others who chose to repower a similar tube frame model with a Honda or one of the clone versions that are available.  I have repowered  the 1050 in my avatar several years ago with a GX390 (when I got that tractor it did not have the original engine) I purchased at TSC but it only had a 3 amp charging system (which I have since upgraded) and as a result I have chosen the QNR6 version of the GX390 for this repower as it comes with an 18 amp charging system.  I have attached pictures of what the tractor looked like in 2003 when I rebuilt it, what it looks like now and a couple of pictures of my other 1050 with the Honda on it.   

Attached Thumbnails

  • Front Picture.jpg
  • Hood Open.jpg
  • Side Picture.jpg
  • Side Picture 2.jpg
  • Decals On.jpg
  • Before Picture 1.jpg
  • Before Picture 2.jpg
  • Honda 1.jpg
  • Honda 2.jpg

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#2 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted February 28, 2015 - 03:21 PM

Whats wrong with the TRA10D IMO the Wisconsin is far superior to the honda, for under $200 you can have that Wisconsin running another 40 years.......

 

(Opinions from a purist) :angel:


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#3 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted February 28, 2015 - 03:42 PM

As more machines get bought as parts donors, I foresee this happening more and more. I have been scoping parts for the GT I bought last fall in Oklahoma, and at this point I think I should find another machine. It would be cheaper, I think. But then I would have two that I would feel the urge to restore.

 

I would be interested to see a thread about how you upgraded your first GX390 from the 3 amp charging system. There is a budget tool store that sHall remain nameless For now that has an extremely economical V Twin Honda clone for large garden tractors. Problem is, it has the same 3 amp charging system. Not suitable for night operations, or if you have an electronic clutched pto. Since the clone is identical to a GX670, I wonder what it would take to upgrade the charging system. Like it or not, re-powering these older gt's is going to be a fact of life if we want to keep them out of the scrap yards.

 

image_25155.jpg


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#4 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted February 28, 2015 - 06:54 PM

Whats wrong with the TRA10D IMO the Wisconsin is far superior to the honda, for under $200 you can have that Wisconsin running another 40 years.......

 

(Opinions from a purist) :angel:

I respect your opinion and if I could rebuild the TRA10D for under $200 I would do it in a heartbeat.  Unfortunately to do it properly I would want to rebore the cylinder which would require a new piston.  I would also want to put in new guides and valves, resize the crankshaft and connecting rod, install a new carburetor (old one is warped between the main body and the bowl).  I started to price these items and found out very quickly that Wisconsin parts in Canada have not gotten any cheaper in Canada in the last ten years (had to buy a new float for the carb several years ago and it was about $75.00 back then by the time I paid the shipping).  Add to this the cost of the machine work, the chance that I might have to rebuild the starter generator (new armature, fields, brushes and bearings) and the Honda starts to look attractive - was also told when I started to price the Wisconsin items that parts for the TRA10D are getting harder to come by.  I agree the Wisconsin is a great engine but I have had good luck with the Honda in my other tractor (been in it for eight years) which is used in the winter time to blow snow with my homemade two stage snow blower.  I know there are other sources of parts for the Wisconsin's but most are in the U.S. and when you factor in the exchange rate and the duty we pay for the privilege of getting items across the border and they start to get expensive real quick as well (not complaining -just the way it is).  This way I will still have a running TRA10D that I can put back on the tractor to put it back to original if I wish and have a brand new engine (with electronic ignition and better fuel economy IMO), carb and starting / charging system with the Honda. I have attached pictures of my other 1050 with the two stage blower that puts it to work - I have used the blower with the Wisconsin before I got the second tractor and I find the Honda has as much or more power.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 4 Blower After Use.jpg
  • 7 Blower After Use.jpg

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#5 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted February 28, 2015 - 07:00 PM

Forgot you were in Canada, I agree it would be cheaper with a honda then, maybe this is why so many re powers are seen up north?

 

On a side note,

Contrary to popular belief Wisconsin parts are readily available, the factory still produces and stocks many parts even for the "Legacy" engines.

Wisconsin's biggest problem is they dont advertise much at all and most people think they are out of business. I have been trying to reverse this for about 3 years now trying to bring this brand back to life.


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#6 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted February 28, 2015 - 07:08 PM

 I would be interested to see a thread about how you upgraded your first GX390 from the 3 amp charging system. There is a budget tool store that sHall remain nameless For now that has an extremely economical V Twin Honda clone for large garden tractors. Problem is, it has the same 3 amp charging system. Not suitable for night operations, or if you have an electronic clutched pto. Since the clone is identical to a GX670, I wonder what it would take to upgrade the charging system.

 

I can provide you with some information if you like (if you are sure they are identical it would probably require making a new stator and winding it with 14 gauge wire (I made a four pole stator and double wound it with 14 Gauge magnet wire reversing direction every pole and a 15 amp full wave rectifier / regulator which gives me about 8 amp output) but in hindsight I would suggest using a early 80's GM car alternator with the built in regulator if you have the room as it would probably be less expensive.


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#7 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted February 28, 2015 - 07:18 PM

Forgot you were in Canada, I agree it would be cheaper with a honda then, maybe this is why so many re powers are seen up north?

 

On a side note,

Contrary to popular belief Wisconsin parts are readily available, the factory still produces and stocks many parts even for the "Legacy" engines.

Wisconsin's biggest problem is they dont advertise much at all and most people think they are out of business. I have been trying to reverse this for about 3 years now trying to bring this brand back to life.

I spoke with Mar Industrial who are one of the Distributors we deal with in Ontario and the chap I spoke to recommended a repower instead of redoing the old engine - while parts are still available today his concern was how available they would be in five or ten years in Canada - maybe he was just being a pessimist.  The nice thing about Bolens was they used several different engine sources over the years and I imagine if they were still building quality machines the way they did back then they would have used a Honda engine somewhere along the way.   



#8 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted February 28, 2015 - 07:59 PM

Got a start today while waiting for the new engine - didn't do a whole lot as it is still cold in the shop.  First thing I did was to take some pictures of the hood bracket and how far open the hood goes in relation to the dash.  I also made up a jig out of some scrap wood that fits on top of the frame tubes and put a piece of masking tape on both tubes to put a mark for the placement of the jig.  Since this tractor has the original engine the jig will help me get the pulley in the correct height and front to back location for the belts so that hopefully I can reuse the same belts.     

Attached Thumbnails

  • Hood Bracket On Wisconsin.jpg
  • Hood Open Distance From Dash To Edge Of Hood.jpg
  • Hood Open Distance.jpg
  • Masking Tape On Frame Tubes WIth Marks.jpg
  • Wood Pulley Locator.jpg
  • Wood Pulley Locator In Place.jpg
  • Wood Pulley Locator In Place 2.jpg
  • Left View Of Pulley.jpg
  • Right View Of Pulley.jpg
  • Tractor WIth Hood Closed.jpg

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#9 Gtractor ONLINE  

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Posted February 28, 2015 - 09:48 PM

There is a budget tool store that sHall remain nameless For now that has an extremely economical V Twin Honda clone for large garden tractors.

Would that be Hazzard Fraught?

 

http://www.flutterby...f_tool_sale.pdf


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#10 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted March 02, 2015 - 08:14 PM

Got a little bit more done tonight - drained the gas out of the Wisconsin, removed the starter / generator, belt guard, undid the wiring and unbolted the engine from the tractor.  After I got the engine out I loosened the set screws in the belt pulley and did a quick measurement on the crank to mounting surface - found out the Wisconsin was about 4-3/4" from the centre of the crank where the Honda is about 5-1/4" according to the specs I have found.  Then I did a quick cleanup with the vacuum cleaner and came in where it was warm.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Hood Bracket Unhooked.jpg
  • 2 Hood Bracket And Coil Removed.jpg
  • 3 Starter Generator Removed.jpg
  • 4 Firewall And Belt Guard Removed.jpg
  • 5 Engine Ready To Be Removed.jpg
  • 6 Engine Removed.jpg
  • 7 Pulley In Relation To Back Of Wisconsin.jpg
  • 8 Mounting Holes Where Engine Bolted To The Frame Tubes.jpg
  • 9 Time For The Vacuum Cleaner.jpg
  • 10 A Little CLeaner.jpg
  • 11 Pulley To Mounting Surface Height.jpg
  • 12 Set Scews Loosened.jpg

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#11 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted March 04, 2015 - 08:11 PM

Picked up the new engine - thought I would share some photos.  There have been a few cosmetic changes since I bought the other GX390 several years ago (taller fuel cap, slightly different air cleaner) but I am optimistic I can still make it fit with a few modifications.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 In The Box.jpg
  • 2 Box Is Opened.jpg
  • 3 Regulator.jpg
  • 4 Out Of The Box.jpg
  • 5 Out Of The Box 2.jpg
  • 6 Out Of The Box 3.jpg
  • 7 AIr CLeaner And Muffler As It Comes.jpg
  • 8 Starter And Back Of Ignition Housing.jpg
  • 9 Big Fuel Cap.jpg


#12 BowDown ONLINE  

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Posted March 04, 2015 - 08:17 PM

Wow very nice. Looks expensive. Lol.

#13 AA Hayes OFFLINE  

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Posted March 04, 2015 - 09:30 PM

Looking good! Being in ontario also I feel you pains and worries of the availability of parts. My tra10d is still running strong but seems to be eating a little bit of oil, it being winter and working her hard with the blower it is hard to tell the cause as of yet. I look forward to seeing your progress, good luck, keep warm!
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#14 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted March 05, 2015 - 07:39 PM

Wow very nice. Looks expensive. Lol.

 

It depends on how you look at - I could go and buy a new lawn tractor and deck but I doubt if I could find one that has the same quality for 3 times what I paid for the motor.  This way I will have a new engine and the fun and satisfaction of putting it in and driving a tractor which will probably outlast me.


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#15 29 Chev OFFLINE  

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Posted March 07, 2015 - 05:57 PM

Got a bit of time today so I measured the pulley in relation to the Wisconsin engine and then pulled it off - fortunately it came off with very little force.  Cleaned up the inside with a piece of scotchbrite pad and then I tried it on the Honda and did a measurement - it will sit about 3/8" further away from the engine as it is or I could bore out the end of the pulley a little if I want it closer - did a test fit on the belt guard and it will fit the Honda bolt holes but will have to spaced out from the engine to line up with the pulley if I leave the pulley as is.  Did a quick calculation and it looks like the Honda engine will have to spaced up about 1/4" from the frame tubes to get the correct height for the original belts to work - will have to see where the engine will bolt to on the tubes after I make up some spacers to verify my calculations.  Put new oil in the Honda and called it a day as it is still cool here.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Engine To Pulley Distance.jpg
  • 2 Pulling Pulley.jpg
  • 3 Pulley Off.jpg
  • 4 Pulley Inside Cleaned Up.jpg
  • 5 Wisconsin Crank And Key.jpg
  • 6 Honda Crank And Key.jpg
  • 7 Pulley Distance On Honda Crank.jpg
  • 8 Belt Guard Test Fit.jpg





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