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RETHINKING the Bolens HT23 mower deck.


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#1 BTS ONLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2015 - 06:59 PM

I'm thinking about my Bolens HT23, right now I have it pulled apart because the starter mount on the oil pan broke. Luckily I was telling a friend about this and he said he has one on a old engine out of his John Deere. So I was thrilled and it saved me big $$$. I got my engine pulled and the pan replaced. Now I just need to stick the engine back in. But before I do that, I'm going to pull the hydraulic valve and take it apart to see what is wrong with it. It seems that the mower deck lift valve gets stuck in the "float" position??? If I get under the hood with a screw driver I can get it popped back up, but it makes it a real hassle when I'm mowing.

I'm guessing there is a spring or something wrong inside?, has anyone ever taken one of these apart before???

 

The next thing is, I'm thinking about making the mower deck mount on the front of the GT instead of the mid mount. My reason is, I use this GT a lot in the garden and I'm getting ready to put a loader on it. This deck is a real hassle to take on and off and I'm going to be putting on/taking off the deck every time I mow. So I'm thinking if I make it front mount, it would be a lot easy to handle.

Also, my gear box on that deck is a little iffy, but luck has it, I have several NEW hydraulic motors used on Hustlers industrial mowers. I also have several hydraulic pumps for these motors and I also have oil coolers. I test fitted the pulley from the original bolens gear box and it's a perfect fit, I just need to make a mount for the motor to mount on, which shouldn't be a big deal.

 

Does anyone have any thought on this???

I'm probably going to give it a try either way, I'm not really out anything.

 

Also if the deck is mounted in front, it would make it easier to mow under trees.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Bolens HT23 Hydraulic Mower Deck 022.jpg
  • Bolens HT23 Hydraulic Mower Deck 023.jpg
  • Bolens HT23 Hydraulic Mower Deck 024.jpg
  • Bolens HT23 Hydraulic Mower Deck 027.jpg
  • Bolens HT23 Hydraulic Mower Deck 026.jpg

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#2 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2015 - 07:11 PM

There are some excellant manuals on the Bolens Transmissions in our Manuals Section. Good Luck, Rick


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#3 glgrumpy OFFLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2015 - 08:18 PM

Buy another tractor for mowing, this one for garden. How you gonna mow with loader hanging in way?? More tractors, one for each attachment.
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#4 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2015 - 08:40 PM

I'm thinking about my Bolens HT23, right now I have it pulled apart because the starter mount on the oil pan broke. Luckily I was telling a friend about this and he said he has one on a old engine out of his John Deere. So I was thrilled and it saved me big $$$. I got my engine pulled and the pan replaced. Now I just need to stick the engine back in. But before I do that, I'm going to pull the hydraulic valve and take it apart to see what is wrong with it. It seems that the mower deck lift valve gets stuck in the "float" position??? If I get under the hood with a screw driver I can get it popped back up, but it makes it a real hassle when I'm mowing.

I'm guessing there is a spring or something wrong inside?, has anyone ever taken one of these apart before???

 

The next thing is, I'm thinking about making the mower deck mount on the front of the GT instead of the mid mount. My reason is, I use this GT a lot in the garden and I'm getting ready to put a loader on it. This deck is a real hassle to take on and off and I'm going to be putting on/taking off the deck every time I mow. So I'm thinking if I make it front mount, it would be a lot easy to handle.

Also, my gear box on that deck is a little iffy, but luck has it, I have several NEW hydraulic motors used on Hustlers industrial mowers. I also have several hydraulic pumps for these motors and I also have oil coolers. I test fitted the pulley from the original bolens gear box and it's a perfect fit, I just need to make a mount for the motor to mount on, which shouldn't be a big deal.

 

Does anyone have any thought on this???

I'm probably going to give it a try either way, I'm not really out anything.

 

Also if the deck is mounted in front, it would make it easier to mow under trees.

You may want to think about a complete overhaul of the tractor since you are this far into it already. You can prevent future problems by bringing everything within specs. I have an HT 23 and plan to give it a full overhaul later this year. Unfortunately, there are a dozen tractors  and numerous house projects ahead of it. It is a great tractor and will be a pleasure to operate when all of it is working right. Good Luck, Rick


Edited by boyscout862, April 07, 2015 - 10:29 PM.

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#5 BTS ONLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2015 - 08:41 PM

Buy another tractor for mowing, this one for garden. How you gonna mow with loader hanging in way?? More tractors, one for each attachment.

 

:bigrofl:  Like I have the money to buy another garden tractor :hitting_self_roller:, I lucked out and got this HT23 for $100 and I still had a hard time affording it.

The loader is a Kwik Way and I'm going to make quick attach for it so that's not a issue.


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#6 BTS ONLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2015 - 08:44 PM

You may want to think about a complete overhaul of the tractor since you are this far into it already. You can prevent future problems by bringing everything within specs. I have an HT 23 and plan to give it a full overhaul later this year. Unfortunately, there are a dozen tractors  and humerous house projects ahead of it. It is a great tractor and will be a pleasure to operate when all of it is working right. Good Luck, Rick

 

I thought about it, but I don't have the money right now, I'm hoping to do a light restore (paint ect) one of these days but it's not going to be this year. The engine isn't to bad to pull, I'll tare it back apart another time.

Everything (besides the goofy valve) seems to be working perfectly, like they say, "don't fix what isn't broken" :thumbs:
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Edited by BTS, April 07, 2015 - 08:46 PM.

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#7 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted April 07, 2015 - 10:32 PM

On the other hand: a stitch in time saves nine. Good Luck, Rick


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#8 crittersf1 ONLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2015 - 08:02 AM

Buy another tractor for mowing, this one for garden. How you gonna mow with loader hanging in way?? More tractors, one for each attachment.


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#9 nglauer OFFLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2015 - 06:54 PM

I haven't seen any detailed pictures of a Bolens deck mounted on the front... but i have asked this same question albeit running it off the front pto. There is a tractor image online of a large frame with a steiner/ventrac mower mounted on the front. Please do this and share pictures! I have pine trees that i hate to mow around :)
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#10 BTS ONLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2015 - 10:12 PM

I haven't seen any detailed pictures of a Bolens deck mounted on the front... but i have asked this same question albeit running it off the front pto. There is a tractor image online of a large frame with a steiner/ventrac mower mounted on the front. Please do this and share pictures! I have pine trees that i hate to mow around :)

 

Ditto with the pine trees!, I mow my neighbors lawn which is 3 acres, the whole place is surrounded by evergreens and they scratch me to nothing when ever I mow around them!

 

I was going to use the original gear box, but it was going to be turning the wrong way if it was on the front PTO. But I do think you could take apart the gear box switch it around inside. My gear box is getting worn, I have the pumps, motors and valves to go hydraulic.


Edited by BTS, April 08, 2015 - 11:16 PM.


#11 BTS ONLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2015 - 10:28 PM

I have a front half of a hustler mower that I'm going to mount the deck on, I am wanting the front wheels to help keep the deck level and I believe this hustler front end is going to work great! I'm going to cut off the angle iron because it's not heavy enouth, I have some heavier box that I'm going to replace it with. I found a pump that I'm going to use, I'm not sure of the GPM but I think it should work. The hard part is trying to get the couplers to change it from a 18 spline (half inch) to the bolens drive shaft.

 

I'm going to mount this pump on the belly of the tractor and run it off of the mid PTO. That way I can just leave the pump on so I can use it with a trencher and a hydraulic 540 PTO that I have. I also have some hydraulic drive reel mowers that I want to get mounted up on the bolens one of these days.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Bolens Mower Deck Rebuild 001.jpg
  • Bolens Mower Deck Rebuild 002.jpg
  • Bolens Mower Deck Rebuild 003.jpg
  • Bolens Mower Deck Rebuild 004.jpg
  • Bolens Mower Deck Rebuild 005.jpg

Edited by BTS, April 08, 2015 - 10:32 PM.

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#12 BTS ONLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2015 - 11:06 PM

Got the deck mounts finished, also got it to mount to the front of the GT, I'm going to put in a hydraulic cylinder to pick the front of the deck up so it makes it easy to work on and load onto a trailer. I'm going to get the hydraulic motor set up on it tomorrow, so far my deck lift seems to be working like it should.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Bolens Mower Deck 041.jpg
  • Bolens Mower Deck 045.jpg
  • Bolens Mower Deck 046.jpg

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#13 trowel OFFLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2015 - 11:11 PM

Looks great !. Wow, I see grass !


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#14 BTS ONLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2015 - 11:18 PM

Looks great !. Wow, I see grass !

 

It just rained and the grass is really greening up!. That's why I need to hurry and finish this!!!!! :wave:


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#15 nglauer OFFLINE  

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Posted April 26, 2015 - 09:04 PM

This is so awesome. I'm so happy to see this being done! After lugging my 54"out from under mine last week to plow the garden, i almost dread hooking it back up to mow. Can't wait to see the finished product. Good luck!
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