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Should I go for it?


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#1 red79 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2015 - 09:34 AM

I've been wanting to upgrade my G10, which has solely been a snow pusher, for quite some time.  My target tractor is the 1050 and I'd like to do additional work with the new tractor like tilling, mowing and pulling a dump trailer or small boats.  My G10 is not up to any tasks requiring the PTO at the moment (needs parts), plus I like the (1) stronger clutch, (2) locking differential, (3) wisconsin engine and (4) hi-low shiftability of the 1050.  From what I've read, the 1050 is far superior to my G10 in terms of capability.  I should note that I love Bolens and plan to keep this new machine as my trusty workhorse for years to come.

 

My question relates to a specific deal on a 1050 that I'm considering.  It comes with a tiller, deck, plow blade and an extra engine.  The seller bought it on a whim and lost interest, but the PO used it to till and grade a lawn for his new construction home.  The tractor looks to be in great shape and allegedly underwent some level of restoration in the mid '90s.  The seller told me the engine runs well at low rpms, but will cut out when throttling up.  I'm wondering whether there are any SERIOUS problems with these Wisconsins that would produce that symptom in particular.  I'm not worried about having to rebuild the carb or anything along those lines, but I'm not wanting to purchase a new tractor with a shot engine either (I'm unfamiliar with Wisconsins, but know they have a bulletproof reputation).  What do you guys think?  Is this a sign of possible catastrophe unique to the TRA-10d, or is it likely something that can be fixed with a little patience and mechanical know-how? 

 

Also, for those of you who work your old Bolens, how often do you do mechanical work beyond simple cleaning, tune-ups and fluid swaps?  Am I being overly optimistic by thinking I can work this tractor for another 50 years as long as I keep up the maintenance/repairs?  Any insight from those of you who have been there, done that would be great!


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#2 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2015 - 10:06 AM

Hello,

 

To answer your question the 1050 is definitely the more capable machine for durability and operator comfort, The 6 speed transmission and true clutch make it much smoother to operate.

I dont know if your G10 has the Briggs or Tecumseh but the Wisconsin is a far superior engine to any Tecumseh , plus your Wisconsin has far better parts availability.

 

It sounds like this one just has a carburetor issue, Could just be the carb needs to be cleaned or the high speed needle adjusted.

 

As a regular user of these machines for over 15+ years I can say I have never had many mechanical failures that were nagging problems or had to fix over and over again. If you keep the tractor greased and clean , the engine oil topped off and change it regularly there's no reason you cant get another 40-50 years out of them, heck most of the ones still running have the original engines that have never been rebuilt before!

My Grandfather had Bolens since 1966 and would keep logs of all the parts he bought for them and work he preformed and besides, batteries, belts and bearings, occasional clutch disc replacement he did not have many major issues cataloged,  there was one log where he blew a gear in the transmission but it was from over loading the machines capabilities (Pulling a big wagon full of hay! LOL)

 

But one thing to keep in mind these are 40+ years old and if your just purchasing one thats been sitting or has been neglected its going to need a couple hundred to bring it back, belts, bearings ect. Once you get them tuned up they are pretty much set for years. These tractors were meant to be used and sitting does take a toll on them especially if they are stored outside.

 

There are still tons of parts out there especially the tubeframe series , alot of people will say parts are hard to find but I dont think they have to be and I have been slowly bringing back many of the older parts so we can keep our Bolens Running for many more years to come. When All else has failed I have been having some parts made and brought back to the market.


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#3 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2015 - 10:29 AM

Should you go for it? Ask Alan, he's an impulse buyer.


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#4 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2015 - 10:37 AM

I second Bolens 1000 but, want to add a few coments. The engine may need its valves adjusted. Invest in good quality tools and take care of them so that they can take care of you. You do not need super expensive tools, I prefer old SK Wayne and old Craftsman that I pickup at garage sales. After you get comfortable with tube frames, try a Large Frame(you will love it). Good Luck, Rick


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#5 red79 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2015 - 11:22 AM

Thanks for the replies! :thumbs:

 

I'm definitely ready and able to do some mechanical work to get this running well.  I'm hoping that with a few nights in the garage, I can get it running reliably for fall and winter chores.  The seller also mentioned that this will need a battery, which has me thinking that there is a possibility that we're looking at some starter/generator work too.  Are parts and rebuild kits available for those?  Are they as cooperative as the rest of the package from a longevity standpoint?

 

Lastly, I saw a post on this forum about the Wisconsin engines being sensitive to timing and ignition issues.  Could those issues be a culprit in the failure to run at higher RPMs?



#6 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2015 - 01:47 PM

Thanks for the replies! :thumbs:

 

I'm definitely ready and able to do some mechanical work to get this running well.  I'm hoping that with a few nights in the garage, I can get it running reliably for fall and winter chores.  The seller also mentioned that this will need a battery, which has me thinking that there is a possibility that we're looking at some starter/generator work too.  Are parts and rebuild kits available for those?  Are they as cooperative as the rest of the package from a longevity standpoint?

 

Lastly, I saw a post on this forum about the Wisconsin engines being sensitive to timing and ignition issues.  Could those issues be a culprit in the failure to run at higher RPMs?

Yes. Download the manuals and take your time. The spare engine maybe the perfect practice model. Good Luck, Rick



#7 Bill 76 ONLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2015 - 02:43 PM

IMO you can't go wrong with a Wisconsin engine they are hard working  tough sob's .I have a couple over 50 years old and the only problem I ever had was a sticky exhaust valve and that was my fault storing it in a damp shed but it was an easy fix and still start on one or two pulls and they are torque monsters.    


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#8 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2015 - 04:38 PM

Brian (Bolens 1000) gave you good info!

 

The rotary mower deck blades are not being made any longer, so Brian can advise just how difficult they are to obtain  replacements.  ....The belts, bearings, idler pulleys, bushings, etc. are still available.

 

I have seen 2 Wisconsin engines that would start and idle, but not speed up - they would cut out.  .....These 2 engines had broken camshafts, which is certainly not a common occurrence.  .....Hopefully, yours will just be carb or ignition related.

 

I'm suspicious of why there would be an extra engine in the deal. 

 

You can jump start the tractor from your vehicle's battery to prove the starter works.  .....The starter/generator can be rebuilt if needed.

 

The 1966 model (192-01) 1050 had a Wisconsin model TR10D engine equipped with a flywheel magneto system. 

The 1967-69 1050 tractors were model 192-02 and had a Wisconsin TRA10D engine equipped with battery ignition.

 

Both styles used ignition points and condensers, and yes, Wisconsin engines are sensitive to correct ignition timing.  ....If the timing is too far off, the engine will run poorly or not at all.

 

Turning the carb main needle adjuster counter-clockwise will richen the mixture.  ...This may be all that is needed, but it can sometimes help a failing ignition.


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#9 MrFixit1599 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2015 - 08:58 PM

I bought a 1050 with the TRA-10D about 3 years ago with the deck, snowthrower, chains, wheel weights, plow, and tiller for 400 bucks.  It was all original, had been used at a cabin in northern Wisconsin most of it's life so it got minimal use.  When the owner passed, the kids didn't need it and wanted to sell it.  So far the biggest problem I have had is the drive shaft bearing locked up when a neighbor borrowed it after his john deere quit working.  I replaced the bearings, belts,  and the clutch while I was at it.  I also recently replaced the head gasket, and it was like getting 5 of the 10 horse power back.  It pulls the front wheels off the ground now if I let the clutch out too quickly in H-2.  Had to replace a PTO pulley maybe a year ago.  For a 45 year old machine with unknown maintenance, and appeared to be ALL original, I would have to say it has been remarkably reliable.  Obviously I use it year round.  The only thing that has actually HAD to be done was the drive shaft bearing.  I would recommend at least checking the torque on the head gasket, maybe replace it.  So far I have yet to have an issue finding parts for any of it.  I saw in the earlier comments something about the deck blades no longer being made, but I found a set of 3 last spring for like 50 bucks.

 

So yes, I highly recommend going for it.  It may take some elbow grease and a few parts, but finding something more robust is hard to do.


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#10 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted July 26, 2015 - 05:52 AM

I have a 1254 model which is undergoing some mechanical work and a re wiring job. It has not been used for over 12 years or so but it was stored in a garage when I bought it last summer. The built quality is unbelievable as you are no doubt aware from using your G10. I have I been told that these are excellent for using a implements with. Good luck with the impending 1050.
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#11 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted July 26, 2015 - 08:43 AM

I dont know if your G10 has the Briggs or Tecumseh but the Wisconsin is a far superior engine to any Tecumseh


Well, THATS harsh. :poke:
I have been impressed with Ryan's Wisconsin and agree that it's a torquey little bugger that seems to really be well built.
Superior? Dunno about that, but it's a darn good engine.

Now if you'd said that they were superior to a Briggs, I would be giving all kinds of dittos :rolling:




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