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1971 Bolens 1886-01 Restoration Photos

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#1 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2015 - 02:49 AM




I purchased this tractor from Steve Wike as a fulfillment of a longtime dream to own a Bolens, in particular a 1886, due to some fond memories I had of seeing one when when I was a little kid. Steve went completely through this tractor mechanically and did a modern engine transplant among other things. Before he had it, it had actually been painted green. After he went through it, he primed, and reassembled it and put several hours on it as a means of sorting out any possible kinks prior to fully restoring the body.


After I bought it, I made Steve a promise that I'd give it a new paint job in the future; possibly as early as this winter. I knew all the potential it had to look like a new machine again so it didn't take long to get make the decision to begin the project a little early.


If you've followed Steve's build on this tractor, you'll know all of the mechanicals.


Here's a few specs on the body portion of the restoration since I've had it.


It was disassembled down to the frame and repainted from the ground up.





The paint is Valspar Automotive, same paint that is featured in Gas Monkey Garage. It is also fuel resistant It is "Wimbledon White" which is a real close match that we got from some original paint left on the PTO lever. The brown on the grill is called "Leather Saddle" brown.


I've always liked the look of exposed fasteners so I chose to keep them that way (at least the visible ones) and not paint over them. Steve replaced every fastener with stainless so they're not going to rust. Why cover them up?


Steering wheel:


The steering wheel had the typical cracks. Unfortunately they were deep so the wheel was ground down in each affected area (picture a "V") and the slots were then filled. Because of this, the texture coating was lost in order for everything to then be even afterwards. Either have an original textured wheel with cracks, or, a refinished wheel that is none-original but has no cracks. I chose the latter. The wheel was then sprayed black and cleared and a new center cap decal installed. It was probably Chris's favorite part of the project.




The decals are from Sam's Bolens. One of the things I've appreciated most about this tractor is that it's a resto-mod, and not factory a nut and bolt factory has allowed me the freedom to add some of my own details into it. An example of this is in the decals. I've always liked the "Husky man" center headlight decal like the earlier 1250 comes which the 1886 did not. Sam wouldn't let me swap it out but you could purchase this particular decal individually from "Click it and Stick it" and "Texas Maple Hunter." I purchased one from each place in order to make an in-hand comparison of the better quality piece. I chose the one from Click it and Stick It. The material seems comparable from both places, but the print is noticeably better quality from Click It and Stick It and nearly the same as Sam's. It also has a couple of earlier LF "hydrostatic drive" decals that were included in the kit sent in error originally for the 1455 & 1476 models.


Muffler heat shield- last call:


If you've followed my updates on this tractor, you'll know about that I've experimented with a couple of different muffler heat shield designs for the concealed muffler I installed. The muffler heat shield went in for a third and final design. As the first two designs being a learning experiment and discussing the project with Chris, it was decided that we needed a boxed design. This time it is made out of thicker material, diamond plate, and it also has side covers for the ends of the muffler which were the last key to the puzzle. It works and looks awesome. The reason I wanted the muffler to be hidden is that I've always loved the proud lines of Bolens tractors and I wanted to keep the body panels unobstructed as much as possible.


Exhaust pipe routing:


Again, a little bit of trial and error that was good to find out before it was painted. Even though it was positioned for a "direct stream", the flow of the previous outlet began getting one of the loader uprights somewhat sooty anyway (probably from cross breezes and such) so a new downpipe had to be made and routed off to the side. It may seem like it is longer than it needs to be but it's situated in such a way that the path of exhaust flow will clear everything without the chance of getting anything black now- which I knew would drive me crazy if it happened again.


Hood hinge & fitment:


For some reason the factory hood hinge assembly was riding on the grill and putting a small crease in one of the louvers. What was strange was the hinge didn't appear to be bent. Anyway, I didn't want it touching the grill after it was painted so the hinge was clearenced and modified slightly so that it would no longer touch the grill. The hood fitment was also not that great either and was difficult to close over the nub keepers. The rear of the hood was stretched just slightly so that it could slide over them with one hand like it should without having to awkwardly lift one side over. The hood to dash gap on top was poor so we adjusted it to obtain as close of an even gap as possible.



It has not yet been restored as it needs to go an upholstery shop. At that time, I'll have the seatframe repainted or powdercoated.



I have some secret plans in store for a new front and rear wheel and tire setup so I didn't feel the need to get too carried away repainting these rims as they're going to be replaced. The wheel weights however were two different colors so we re-did them for the pics and interim.


Bodyman's Recognition:

I have to take a moment recognize my friend Chris who helped make this possible, met all my expectations and went above and beyond. I really appreciated his interest in the project which I think led to a higher standard level in certain areas where it could have been overlooked. I had to keep reminding him throughout the project that it was always going to be "working tractor" and not in a museum. It was important to him not to leave any rock unturned whether it was everything was filling in some pitting that was going to be covered up by the new foot pads to repainting the bucket is soon going to scratched up. My only complaint is that he's made even more difficult to get the initial dirt on it!


Now, less talking...more pics!!! :-)










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Thank you for checking it out and sharing the passion. I can't tell you how ecstatic to own my "dream" Bolens and I am blessed to be be apart of a community that also appreciates these hard working tractors.

Edited by Austen, September 27, 2015 - 04:22 AM.

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#2 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted September 27, 2015 - 05:48 AM

Great restoration of a classic Bolens. Congratulations on seeing the project through without compromising. Enjoy your dream tractor! 

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#3 Alc OFFLINE  



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Posted September 27, 2015 - 06:03 AM

What a beauty !! Great job !
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#4 backyardtinker OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2015 - 06:15 AM

That is a fantastic machine! I really enjoyed the pics. Just a thought about the steering wheel for you to consider if you haven't already. What about spraying it with truck bed liner? It's durable, has a bumpy finish and is paintable too so you could do it matte, satin or gloss.

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#5 OldBuzzard OFFLINE  



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Posted September 27, 2015 - 07:41 AM

:thumbs:  :thumbs: :thumbs:  :thumbs:  :thumbs:  

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#6 gardentractornut OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2015 - 08:00 AM

Wow, just seeing that first pic dropped my jaw, literally. You guys did an amazing job! 

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Posted September 27, 2015 - 08:21 AM

Wow very nice !

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#8 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2015 - 08:28 AM

Nicer than new !!!  :thumbs:

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#9 Kfs35 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2015 - 08:37 AM

Looks great!
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#10 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2015 - 08:48 AM

Wonderful restoration.  And you call this a working tractor and worried about a little soot on a the loader frame?  Go get it dirty and put a scratch on it right off the bat and you will be able to use and enjoy all your hard dedicated work.  Until  then, you won't even want to start it up.  Great job.

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#11 blackjackjakexxix OFFLINE  



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Posted September 27, 2015 - 09:27 AM

That is one super job,lots of your time in it,you sure can tell,I really like the engine modification, very well done

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#12 Toolfoole OFFLINE  


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Posted September 27, 2015 - 09:49 AM

Austen, you, and all involved, did an awe-inspiring job restoring your 1886! Great job! :thumbs: It's certainly something to be proud of.


Don't be afraid to use it. You've eliminated the old, shall we say, "patina" of previous owner/s. Now you can create a patina of your own. If you wish, you can do what Jay Leno does with his vehicles; he says that he restores them perfectly, but uses them until they get down to about 80%, then he restores them again. :smilewink:

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#13 WrenchinOnIt OFFLINE  


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Posted September 27, 2015 - 10:04 AM

VERY NICE! Looks fantastic! You have to be pleased with the outcome.Congrats.
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#14 sodisr OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2015 - 10:47 AM

I agree.!!!   That is Jaw-dropping ..   I would put it in my living room to admire.. :D    OR go get another to use as a work horse..That needs to be on the cover of a magazine...

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#15 Manfjourde OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2015 - 03:15 PM

Looks too nice to use! But use it - that is awesome.
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