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MiCarl's 1631 story

speedex 1631

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#1 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted November 24, 2015 - 08:12 AM

I guess I should introduce myself and my tractor.

 

I grew up near Akron Ohio and spent my youth farming.  My mother still lives in the Akron area and her boyfriend and my cousin collect tractors (mostly farm tractors).  I've always loved machines and own a motorcycle repair business.

 

I now live in a Detroit suburb on what is a large lot for the area (2/3 acre).  When we bought the house I bought a new Craftsman lawn tractor that I hated almost from day 1.  I didn't know at the time that I could have bought the same tractor at any home store without the Craftsman name for about half the money.  In defense of the tractor though it was never designed for the work I gave it.

 

Anyhow, mom's boyfriend knew I was interested in a tractor that was stronger than my lawn tractor and told me I should get a Speedex.  At the time I really didn't pay much attention.

 

Now the Craftsman lawn tractor is 18 years old and I'm putting repairs on top of repairs.  We also just did major remodel that required some re-grading of the lot.  I thought to myself perhaps it was time to get a tougher tractor and do my own grading.  I started poking around on Craigslist.

 

On Craigslist Akron-Canton was listed a Speedex 1631 with hydraulic 3-point, back blade and belly mower for $900.  I sent the guy an email with my phone number.  When he called the next day he told me he felt bad as he'd sold the mower deck before seeing my email.  He said if I still was interested I could have the tractor and back blade for $650.  I called mom's boyfriend, asked him to go have a look and if it was half as nice as the pictures to buy it for me.  He called back later to inform me I was the owner of a tractor.

 

Then I started researching what I'd just bought.  All the descriptions I found showed no kind of foot rest and a drive system where the engine slid back and forth to act as a clutch on the drive belt.  When I went to pick up the tractor I found it was quite different than I expected it to be - it had sturdy diamond plate floorboards and an engine that didn't slide around.  I also finally realized that the 16hp Vanguard V-twin was probably in it from day 1 and not a re-power from the single cylinder engines I'd seen in the parts manuals.  The engine was manufactured Feb. 1, 1994 and there is a sticker that says it was made in Ravenna Ohio.  Based on the histories I've found this must be one of the last tractors built in the Ravenna factory.  It's also got 6 lugs on the rear wheels like the Strongland tractors instead of 5 like every Speedex picture I've found.

 

I'd been looking for a small disc and not having any luck.  On the trip to Ohio I looked at every overgrown patch on every plot of land thinking "I know there have to be discs like I want sinking into the mud everywhere", but no luck.  When we got to mom's I mentioned my search to her boyfriend.  Turns out he had a 4' 2 gang disc sinking into the mud behind the barn where they store their tractors and said I could have it.

 

On ebay I bought a Cat 0 to sleeve hitch adapter and draw bar.  Now I can use the box scraper that never really worked very well on the Craftsman.  I also purchased a middle buster which needed some modification to work on the Speedex.  Now I've got a back blade, box scraper, middle buster and disc.  I've also got the broadcast spreader, aerator and roller I used with the lawn tractor. The lot is all graded and ready for seeding!

 

I've put off seeding because my 4 year old grandson is goofy about machines too, particularly trains and tractors.  I'm hoping the ground will be dry enough this weekend (Thanksgiving) that we can dress the soil and seed while he's here.  He lives in the Akron area and rode tractors when we visited the barn to pick up the Speedex.

 

From what I've read, I didn't lose a lot by not getting the mower deck.  I understand they weren't the best design and replacement blades are a problem.  I've got a pretty solid 48" deck off a John Deer lawn tractor that I'm hoping I can make work.  That will be a project for this winter.

 

In the pictures with the disc there is a heavy steel bar hung on the bumper to keep the nose down.  The anvil on the disc was with the house when we bought and is so heavy I built a shed around it rather than move it!

 

Glad I found you folks.  It's good to be here.  That's my grandson with me in the first picture when I picked up the tractor.  The next 3 are from the Craigslist ad.  The last two I took while grading the lot.

 

Carl

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#2 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted November 24, 2015 - 08:18 AM

:wave: Welcome to the forum! Very nice looking Speedex you have there.


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#3 TAHOE ONLINE  

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Posted November 24, 2015 - 08:21 AM

Welcome to the madness.

 

You did get one of the later model Speedexs. good old tractors. I have a much older model.

We do have some experts on here, they will be by in a bit and can give you some details.



#4 HANKG ONLINE  

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Posted November 24, 2015 - 08:23 AM

Welcome aboard cool speedex


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#5 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted November 24, 2015 - 08:41 AM

Welcome Carl, and thanks for the great intro!  I used to do motorcycle/ATV repair on the side of farming, but gave it up over 20 years ago.  It was just too much work for one set of hands.  Welcome to GTtalk!  :wave:


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#6 MolonLabe OFFLINE  

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Posted November 24, 2015 - 08:41 AM

That's a great story and a very nice tractor to go with it, :welcometogttalk:


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#7 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted November 24, 2015 - 09:28 AM

Welcome to GTT. Great story and tractor. Checkout our Manuals Section for 3 free downloads per day. To me it is sad to see that anvil on the harrows because it looks alot nicer than my big anvil(218#). Good Luck, Rick

#8 Oldford OFFLINE  

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Posted November 24, 2015 - 11:08 AM

Nice lookin tractor.   If you keep the craftsman running you'll never have to change out a mower deck, that is a hassle on most machines.  All you need now is a front plow for the Speedex and you'll be set for winter with those ags and 3ph you can pick up some weight on the back for traction.  I always liked the vanguard idea if it dies you can still buy a new one and drop in, good luck



#9 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted November 24, 2015 - 12:26 PM

Nice lookin tractor.   If you keep the craftsman running you'll never have to change out a mower deck, that is a hassle on most machines.  All you need now is a front plow for the Speedex and you'll be set for winter with those ags and 3ph you can pick up some weight on the back for traction.  I always liked the vanguard idea if it dies you can still buy a new one and drop in, good luck

 

95% of the use would be mowing.  The Deere deck is pretty slick in that it has a quick release on the belt tensioner to detach the drive belt, spring loaded pins that hook it to the linkage and spring loaded pins in the drive wheels so you can turn them 90 degrees to roll the deck out.

 

The tricky part is going to be getting from that transverse horizontal PTO to the vertical shaft on the deck.  I like what Wheel Horse did on some of theirs with the idler pulleys mounted at the right front corner.  I don't think the steering gear and fact that the grille folds down with the hood will let me do something like that.  I'm thinking a jack shaft under the frame with a twist in the mower drive belt.  I'm hoping to get the deck and tractor into the shop over the long weekend to see what I can work out.

 

In any case, the Craftsman is a poor excuse for a mower.  If I end up having a 2nd machine it'll be a 0 turn rider.  Only reason I'm not going straight to the 0 turn is I'm limited on storage space.

 

On the other hand - if I add a front plow I can free up the space used by the snow blower.


Edited by MiCarl, November 24, 2015 - 12:31 PM.


#10 TAHOE ONLINE  

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Posted November 24, 2015 - 12:30 PM

Sears also used a mule drive similar to the WH to run their decks, that may work for you.

I have worked on a couple JD's that have those easy decks, our church as a 133 that you pull a few pins, release the idler lever and out she comes.


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#11 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted November 24, 2015 - 01:13 PM

I need some advice from you folks:

 

The steering levers (steering tab weldments) are attached to the steering spindles with a tapered pin.  There is significant angular play between the steering tabs and spindles.  The pins seem to be tight in the tabs so there must be play in the hole through the spindle.

 

I'm wondering if this is normal or desireable?

 

The tractor seems to steer just fine, but each wheel will find its own path over uneven ground.  I'm worried that the holes in the spindle are wearing and eventually something will break.  The pin is very small compared to the spindle diameter.

 

I'm inclined to drill them out a bit larger and through bolt them.  Any thoughts on whether this is a good idea?


Edited by MiCarl, November 24, 2015 - 01:16 PM.


#12 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted November 24, 2015 - 05:52 PM

Pin holes DO wear on those, With just pins, no way to tighten them up, nothing gives movement to clamp is what I mean. I would go to next size up and redrill, but do it all while together for proper alignment an guideing. Don't go too big and keep enough metal in spindle to not break. I've got some that fella just put in a bolt, guess that works and is easier to pull back out for sure. These later models at least have ends on the steering links, the early ones just had bolt thru the flat metal parts and they wore also. I have changed some tie rods between spindles to rods with joints when I rebuilt them.



#13 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted November 27, 2015 - 08:38 PM



Pin holes DO wear on those, With just pins, no way to tighten them up, nothing gives movement to clamp is what I mean. I would go to next size up and redrill, but do it all while together for proper alignment an guideing. Don't go too big and keep enough metal in spindle to not break. I've got some that fella just put in a bolt, guess that works and is easier to pull back out for sure. These later models at least have ends on the steering links, the early ones just had bolt thru the flat metal parts and they wore also. I have changed some tie rods between spindles to rods with joints when I rebuilt them.

 

It turns out the pins were shot.  I started a separate topic HERE to document my repair.



#14 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted November 27, 2015 - 08:40 PM

Sears also used a mule drive similar to the WH to run their decks, that may work for you.

 

I had a look at the Sears mule drives on epay.  It looks like this variant will be perfect for the job.  Thanks for the tip!

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Edited by MiCarl, November 27, 2015 - 08:44 PM.


#15 jabelman OFFLINE  

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Posted November 27, 2015 - 09:42 PM

I had a look at the Sears mule drives on epay. It looks like this variant will be perfect for the job. Thanks for the tip!


I have an extra one it's missing the 2 pulleys if want it just pay for the shipping pm me if interested





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