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Fired Up My Bolens HT23 Today


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#1 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 04:15 PM

After sitting for over a year I got around to firing up my HT23 today that I got a couple of years ago. I greased the deck and cut a little grass to give it some run time. I know you like pictures so here are a few - it is not a beauty queen but I believe it has not been too badly abused over the years.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Rear View.jpg
  • 2 Right SIde.jpg
  • 3 Right SIde.jpg
  • 4 Right Front.jpg
  • 5 Front.jpg
  • 6 Left Front.jpg
  • 7 Left Side.jpg
  • 8 Left Rear.jpg
  • 9 Rear Seat Pan.jpg
  • 11 Hours.jpg
  • 12 Dash.jpg

Edited by 29 Chev, May 14, 2015 - 04:47 PM.

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#2 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 05:04 PM

That look like a well used but not abused tractor in good overall nick in my opinion. In the UK that would be considered in very good condition due to our climate.
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#3 Austen ONLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 05:06 PM

Nice machine! Looks like it's in straight shape. :thumbs:

 

Thanks for posting the pics. Sounds like you had a good time exercising it. :)


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#4 blackjackjakexxix ONLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 08:28 PM

Thanks for posting the pics,nice to see another tractor with the factory ROPS on it
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#5 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 08:57 PM

Those are great GT's.  Thanks for sharing the pictures with us.


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#6 OldBuzzard OFFLINE  

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Posted May 14, 2015 - 10:49 PM

WOW!  A ROPS!!!!!

 

That's a rare attachment!

 

Good looking HT23 too  :D :D :D


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#7 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2015 - 07:22 AM

Thanks for the kind words. When I bought it I did not realize how scarce the ROPS was as an attachment - wish I had the canopy for the top but since it had the soft sided snow cab for winter use I assume the canopy got removed and never got put back on and the tractor changed owners at some point in the past without it. The front axle has been broken and welded back together but the person who owned it before me had been collecting parts and it came with an extra one. The dash appears to be the original plastic version so I am surprised it is still in one piece as I believe they were a weak spot on these tractors. Here are a few more pictures.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 10 Model and Serial Number.jpg
  • 13 Muffler and Shield.jpg
  • 14 Left SIde Engine Compartment.jpg
  • 15 Dash Engine Side.jpg
  • 16 Hood Stop.jpg

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#8 Paulgo ONLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2015 - 11:22 AM

Thanks for the kind words. When I bought it I did not realize how scarce the ROPS was as an attachment - wish I had the canopy for the top but since it had the soft sided snow cab for winter use I assume the canopy got removed and never got put back on and the tractor changed owners at some point in the past without it. The front axle has been broken and welded back together but the person who owned it before me had been collecting parts and it came with an extra one. The dash appears to be the original plastic version so I am surprised it is still in one piece as I believe they were a weak spot on these tractors. Here are a few more pictures.

 

I have an HT23 with broken front bolster.  Seems to be a very common problem with the model.  Was it a bad design or just low quality parts? 

 

Paul



#9 Husky OFFLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2015 - 11:57 AM

Nice pictures and that deck is huge!


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#10 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2015 - 08:04 PM

Thanks again for the kind words. The bolster in mine appears to be ok - it is the actual axle that has been welded - appears to have broken about half way between the pivot and the right spindle. Given the amount of power and the weight of some of the attachments I am not surprised they had front end problems - but it could have been broken through abuse or just a bad casting - who knows?

The deck is huge - too big to go through some of the tight areas I mow with the tube frame.

Since I had the day off I decided to see if I could get the cruise control working as it has not worked since I got the tractor. Found out that the magnet worked - when I held the cruise switch in the set position the cruise light would come on and I could not move the treadle petal so I checked the wiring diagram and tested the switch and wires for power and grounds. The switch tested ok but the wire going to the interlock switch underneath was not connected to ground so I temporarily bypassed it. Even with a good ground the relay was not putting out power to the magnet wire so I pulled the cover off of the relay and found out why - the contact arm was rusted / seized in the open position. I checked the contacts and they looked nice and clean so I used a scotch brite pad and some WD 40 to clean up the rusted areas and got the contact arm moving freely again. Blew the relay and the inside of the cover out with compressed air then checked the relay contacts with an ohm meter and it worked properly so I sprayed the relay and inside the cover with fluid film and put the cover back on and tried it out and I now have a working cruise control. If the relay quits working I will have to get a new one - looks like a regular fog light relay could be easily adapted to work if I cannot find one the same. Will have to pull the seat pan off and check out the interlock switch to see where it is located and what ails it.

While I was working on the relay I shone the light down and discovered a grease fitting I missed on the front yoke of the driveshaft - looked underneath and found the rear universal joint had one as well and it still has the hydro fan intact as near as I can tell. I assume that somewhere in time the original shaft went bad and someone made a new one with replaceable joints as I do not see any mention of grease fittings in the drive shaft lubrication chart in the owners manual. I gave them both a shot of grease and then took a couple of pictures.

Attached Thumbnails

  • .5 Cruise Contol Circuit.jpg
  • 1 Inside Of Relay.jpg
  • 1.5 Relay.jpg
  • 2 Relay Rusted.jpg
  • 3 Relay Cleaned Up.jpg
  • 4 Relay Contacts.jpg
  • 5 Relay Installed.jpg
  • 6 Front Driveshaft U joint.jpg
  • 7 Rear U joint.jpg

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#11 blackjackjakexxix ONLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2015 - 09:39 PM

Nice work
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#12 WrenchinOnIt OFFLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2015 - 07:31 AM

I have an HT23 with broken front bolster. Seems to be a very common problem with the model. Was it a bad design or just low quality parts?

Paul

I believe the cost factor and limited options(at the time) were the prime reasons to cast these and many of the other cast components found on pieces of equipment from the time period . Of the hundreds of thousands pieces cast I think failure is relatively low. Maintenance issues , abuse or overextending machines capabilities,perhaps a low quality cast (unseen air pockets etc) all could contribute . I believe these castings were malleable and being so overcame many of the brittle nature's of the early ductile casting technology, however no idea the make up or the components they used.

My experiences working on the large frames are the broken front bolster (axle support) and broken axle wheel spindle ends. I blame the bolster breaks I've encountered on the behemoth 2 stage sno-casters and the spindle ends on worn bushings allowing excess movement .

The strength of cast iron is amazing for what is basically a simple process perfected over the centuries since its invention. The problem comes usually when it receives a 'hard shock' or a continued stress when other components of the overall structure are out of alignment, thus transferring stress that the piece wasn't designed to absorb ,even malleable cast is still brittle when compared to 'cast steel'. Steel will bend ,cast will break.

I'm intrigued by the post on another forum of the fabricated front bolster, beautiful work it would be interesting to see how the welded pieces would fare on some of the applications that caused the cast pieces failure. ( just an observation NOT a CRITIQUE of his fabricated piece)

Edited by WrenchinOnIt, May 16, 2015 - 12:52 PM.

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#13 Paulgo ONLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2015 - 07:55 AM

I believe the cost factor and limited options(at the time) were the prime reasons to cast these and many of the other cast components found on pieces of equipment from the time period . Of the hundreds of thousands pieces cast I think failure is relatively low. Maintenance issues , abuse or overextending machines capabilities,perhaps a low quality cast (unseen air pockets etc) all could contribute . I believe these castings were malleable and being so overcame many of the brittle nature's of the early ductile casting technology, however no idea the make up or the components they used.

My experiences working on the large frames are the broken front bolster (axle support) and broken axle wheel spindle ends. I blame the bolster breaks I've encountered on the behemoth 2 stage sno-casters and the spindle ends on worn bushings allowing excess movement .

The strength of cast iron is amazing for what is basically a simple process perfected over the centuries since its invention. The problem comes usually when it receives a 'hard shock' or a continued stress when other components of the overall structure are out of alignment, thus transferring stress that the piece wasn't designed to absorb ,even malleable cast is still brittle when compared to 'cast steel'. Steel will bend ,cast will break.

I'm intrigued by the post on another forum of the fabricated front bolster, beautiful work it would be interesting to see how the welded pieces would fair on some of the applications that caused the cast pieces failure. ( just an observation NOT a CRITIQUE of his fabricated piece)

I read through that other thread and sent the guy a message to see if he kept his measurements.  No reply so far.  Hadn't considered that his build might not hold up.  Would love to know.  Hoping to fix mine and put a 600lb FEL on it.    Paul



#14 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2015 - 07:48 PM

Found the safety switch for the cruise control today and got it working - looks like it is designed so that the cruise cannot be engaged if the parking brake is applied. Since I had the seat pan off to get at the switch I decided to straighten the rear part of the pan where it was crumpled in and clean up some of the rusted areas. Noticed it has two grooves from the rock shaft ears where the cylinder hooks on - I assume these should not be there and that something has come loose at one time and allowed the ears to hit the floor pan when the cylinder was extended??

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Cruise Safety Switch.jpg
  • 1 Seat Pan Bent.jpg
  • 1 Seat Pan Bent Out 1.jpg
  • 2 Seat Pan Bent Out.jpg
  • 3 Seat Pan Bent Out.jpg
  • Seat Pan With Grooves.jpg

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#15 WrenchinOnIt OFFLINE  

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Posted May 16, 2015 - 08:17 PM

Found the safety switch for the cruise control today and got it working - looks like it is designed so that the cruise cannot be engaged if the parking brake is applied. Since I had the seat pan off to get at the switch I decided to straighten the rear part of the pan where it was crumpled in and clean up some of the rusted areas. Noticed it has two grooves from the rock shaft ears where the cylinder hooks on - I assume these should not be there and that something has come loose at one time and allowed the ears to hit the floor pan when the cylinder was extended??

Yes ,most likely the bearing blocks that bolt to the frame on both sides and the rock shaft sits in and rotates as the lift cylinder operates,the one closest to the cylinder (left side sitting on tractor) let go either thru bolt shear or binding due to lack of lubrication or metal fatigue and let the lift cylinder push the rock shaft up into the fender pan and one set of the lifting arms on the shaft left their signature. At some point Bolens beefed these up and there was more material ( thicker) to them. Though I believe the same part number ,I've tore down late model 2087's and the left block was noticeably thicker than the right one.

Edited by WrenchinOnIt, May 16, 2015 - 09:33 PM.

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