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#1 yardiron OFFLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2011 - 01:07 AM

I've been offered an old Custom 6 Sears tractor, it's been sitting outdoors for about 40 years, the tires are rusted off the rims. The engine is an older Kohler 8hp with manual start added, and the seat is gone. Overall, other than surface rust, it don't look that bad. I have a seat here off another old tractor that will work, the engine will need a shroud as the bottom half is rotted out, and the grill has been cut to allow the motor to fit. They removed a good bit of the grill casting to make room for the motor.

What sort of trans do these use? How capable were these?
I was surprised to see its equipped with such a heavy duty looking transaxle.
It feels small but looks pretty well made.

I'd like to fix the cut up grill and loose all the rust if I get it. My guess is that getting the motor running and mounting up a new set of tires would get it going again. The deck is there but rough, but I don't need it to cut grass.

I like the idea of manual start too.

#2 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2011 - 04:28 AM

Sounds like it could be a good little project.:thumbs:
If you get it,be sure to post pictures.

#3 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2011 - 04:52 AM

Sounds like it could be a good little project.:thumbs:
If you get it,be sure to post pictures.


:ditto:
I dont know a lot about these tractors but if the price is right it could be a great tractor.

#4 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2011 - 06:35 AM

They are great little tractors. My dad had one when I was growing up and still has it. The engine has been replaced, it should be a 6 hp Tecumseh. Pretty common that the engine has been changed, as they weren't cast sleeve and they'd wear out eventually. It probably came with manual start originally.

Here's a link to an old brochure in our manuals section with a picture.
http://gardentractor...m-tractors-656/

#5 yardiron OFFLINE  

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Posted April 19, 2011 - 11:59 PM

It'll take the better part of a weekend to get it out of where it's at right now. There's an old army truck, some huge iron castings, and several large trees blocking it's way to a trailer. Surprisingly the engine isn't seized up. Every inch of it is rusty but not really pitted, just brown from rust. The hood still shows some white paint and I can tell it was red at one time. The front tires are missing about half way around where they were sunk in the leaves and dirt, and the rear tires are badly dryrotted and cracked. I have a set of slightly wider rear wheels to put on it to move it, and will have to find a set of 8" tires for the front to get it to roll. It's far too heavy to carry.
As it is, it will most likely have to be hoisted over the corner of one roof rather than cutting down a huge oak tree. The guy parked it in between an log barn, a rock wall and another building, and over the years three large oak trees have blocked it's way out. I figure that if I can get a chain and come along up in the one tree, I can lift and swing the tractor up and over the roof and set it back down on the other side where it could be pulled to a trailer.
The original owner is gone, the new owners just want it gone and consider it an eyesore back there. I can't touch the trees or buildings though. I have no doubt I'll be able to get it out of there, it's just going to take at least half a day to cut away all the vines and thorns. I want to do this before the bees become too active.

The worst part is the cut grill, it really makes it look bad. I can't figure why who ever mounted that engine didn't mount it farther back. There's surely room to move it back.
What trans did they use in these? It looks super heavy duty for this being a 6hp machine. It closely resembles the transaxle in my 1971 John Deere 112.

Where these totally different machines from the higher HP models? Where they smaller or just built with less hp?

#6 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted April 20, 2011 - 07:19 AM

The customs are slightly lighter duty machines than the suburbans build wise. They have a flat stock front Axel instead of the sq tube, the trannies were originally built by David Bradley. They did not have high-low ranges. My understanding is somewhere along the line, they went to peerless and other manufacturers. These are very capable little critters, with more power than you'd think. Only thing I know to watch, if you twist the front Axel, it can damage the steering gear. May want to lift it from the rear if possible.

At one time these were plentiful, not so much anymore. They were Sears entry level GT.

As for pinpointing year, kinda tough. The fenders may hold a clue, same with the grill. There are a couple of guys much better than I in this. When you get it out, take a few pics and we will try.

#7 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted April 20, 2011 - 06:19 PM

Oh, and keep the deck. If you don't want it, part out the gearboxes and etc (assuming they aren't broken.).

#8 yardiron OFFLINE  

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Posted April 21, 2011 - 01:51 AM

The deck isn't seized, it really didn't feel bad at all. It's small though, maybe 36" or so. The grill is junk, its all cut up to make room for the engine. It's got two big openings with Custom embossed overtop, it's dark red in color with white hood, wheels, and grill. There are no fenders, and no seat or seat spring on it. I don't see any sign of it having had fenders. The rear tires are Firestone Turf tires that look like regular old Bias ply snow tires. They're tall and narrow and on 12" rims I believe.
I was pretty much just going to sling a lifting strap around the front axle on each side and the same around the rear axle. My thinking is that if the axle ends can support the machine's weight on the ground, it should be able to hang from them.
The engine on it actually feels pretty good, its got good compression and I'd be willing to bet with a set of new points and a carb cleaning it will run. The fuel tank is even still clean. The engine has a bolt on aftermarket recoil though, one of those junky looking things that used a universal cup and that bolted right to the original shroud anyway possible. It works but it's two sizes bigger than the engine. The engine is large enough to be in the K241 family, I suppose it's an 8 or 10 hp. I couldn't find or read any numbers on the engine yet. The first step will be a good wash down to get all the woods debris off it.
The transaxle is huge for a machine this size, it's super heavy looking cast iron.

#9 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted April 21, 2011 - 07:28 AM

You may have found a 600. Does it look like this?

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#10 yardiron OFFLINE  

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Posted April 22, 2011 - 12:33 AM

Looks more like this one:
http://vintagesearsg...om7manual_2.jpg

There's no name or model badge on it, the custom header panel is gone and most of the right side grill is cut away.
I'd need to find a whole grill for it and remount the motor so it fits under the hood.
I'm guessing the trans is a 3 speed, the fuel tank is now on the engine, and its got a group 24 car battery under the hood.

Something that I've been trying to figure out is how the Kohler on it now originally was started then it dawned on me it must have been a starter generator engine. The recoil on it is an aftermarket add on, there's no belt pulley but no screen either. There's also no gear teeth on the flywheel. I'm not sure what size engine it is, but it's the same size block as the K241 on my JD 112.
The engine is not only sticking out of the right side of the grill, but it sits way off to the right of the hood area too. There's a 1/4" steel plate which they added to extend the motor mounting area off to the right about 4", then ran a belt to the engine. Either this motor has a much shorter output shaft than did the original motor or there's something missing there?

#11 yardiron OFFLINE  

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Posted April 26, 2011 - 12:08 AM

I got a little better look at the Sears tractor tonight, I did some digging around it and trimmed up the one tree and hung the chain which will lift it out of the hole it's in.
The recoil is on the right side, not the left, the motor is mounted on a plate which sticks out on the right side of the frame, that plate is on rubber mounts. The engine is set way forward, forward enough that they had to cut almost the entire right side rectangle of the grill away. It almost looks like they turned the motor around the other way as if the replacement Kohler turned the wrong way or something. The belts are on the right, and the motor is hanging off to the right outboard of the belts. I can see the bolt pattern and paint marks where a motor used to sit on the left center of the frame too. Turning the motor clockwise, the direction the recoil spins it turns it correct to give me 3 forward speeds and 1 reverse. The rear tires read 22x7.50-12 and look like Snow tire tread. The front tires are rotted to mush and are sort of melted and gooey.
The engine is multi colored, as if made up from spare parts.
I tried to snap a few pics but they came out too dark to be of any use. Its in such an overgrown mess that almost no light gets to it. It's also covered in pine sap. It may or may not even be worth getting out of there but at this point its sort of just for the challenge than anything else. The worst thing is that if I so much as sneeze on either building there either one is likely to just collapse. The plan is basically to just hoist the thing up the tree, and then to swing it to the other side of the trunk and let it down, then I'll drag it to my trailer with another tractor. Once its on my trailer, I'll be able to get a better look. One thing that surprised me today was that the engine still has good spark. Just ask my buddy that tagged along today, while I was trimming the tree, he decided to 'test the spark' by hand. It was partially my fault as he asked me if it still had spark, my comment was 'I doubt it' and I kept cutting limbs. He then proceeded to hold the plug wire and give the recoil a good hard yank. I could hear the snap, snap, snap, snap, snap sound over both his cursing as well as the saw I was using. If the inside of the fuel tank didn't look like a fresh plowed field, I'd probably dump in some gas and give it a try. Not as if it's driving anywhere with no front tires though.

#12 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted April 26, 2011 - 04:57 AM

Glad you're making headway. As much as we all love to see one rescued, I'd hate to read that anyone got hurt.
Safety first and good luck!




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