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Picked up this craftsman last week


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#1 Cjet69 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2015 - 12:05 AM

I ended up trading a Briggs 18hp opposed twin for this 1997 Craftsman 18.5/46 tractor. The mower shop had picked it up as an engine donor. The PO that they got it from said it ran when parked, but thought something was wrong/locked up in the rear end. I got it home and had it running in a couple hours after freeing up the starter drive and bypassing some safety switches. Once it was running I found it had a blown head gasket. Got a new one installed and it runs good.

 

On to the rear hydro. While I had it running I tried the hydro lever and got nothing. Looked underneath and saw the drive belt was loose because the brake/clutch pedal was stuck part way down. Got that freed up and away it went. the hydro was quiet and smooth. Next problem was the I couldn't push it. The hydro freewheeling valve was rusted and wouldn't release. After a thorough cleaning it operates as it should and the tractor can be pushed now.

 

I think its a keeper now and worth ordering tubes for all of the tires and putting a new seat on so my rear doesn't get wet. Jeez the lights even work. The mower deck is shot.

 

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#2 Tecumseh power OFFLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2015 - 01:49 AM

Pretty nice find can I ask what they charged you. If you don't mind
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#3 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2015 - 05:20 AM

You're not going to fix that deck? Heck, it mowed when parked! What's the plans for the tractor?


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#4 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2015 - 07:19 AM

That poor little tractor doesn't look like the po ever covered it . Are those decks hard to find ?
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#5 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2015 - 08:05 AM

Should make you a good tractor. Didn't take you long to get the basics sorted out! 


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#6 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2015 - 08:58 AM

No doubt it has had mother natures for a roof most of its life.  I do not understand people who do that. More $$$ than common sense.


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#7 toppop52 ONLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2015 - 09:07 AM

Those are pretty good utility tractors, I had a slightly newer GT5000 with the rounded body work and 26 h.p. Briggs, same basic tractor. I ran that thing with a Johnny bucket for a couple of years, used it like a bulldozer, pushed over small trees and bushes, drub 20' trees into the woods after cutting them, filled raised bed planters with dirt I dug out of the creek bed. The weak points are the steering and spindles.


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#8 Cjet69 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2015 - 11:57 AM

Pretty nice find can I ask what they charged you. If you don't mind

 

It was a trade deal for a Briggs 18hp opposed twin engine that I had sitting around.

 

You're not going to fix that deck? Heck, it mowed when parked! What's the plans for the tractor?

 

That's one of those rare decks. It has right discharge, left discharge, center discharge, and your choice of top discharge, right, left, or center.  I'm currently adapting an MTD 40" snowblower to it, but it will mainly be used to pull a little trailer at this point. 

 

That poor little tractor doesn't look like the po ever covered it . Are those decks hard to find ?

 

Everything on it was stuck, front end, steering, brake pedal, choke cable, you name it. I think I found a new deck shell for $269, but I don't plan on getting one at this time. This had the 46" three blade deck. I've heard they aren't very good if you want to run a bagger. Would probably work better with a 42" two blade or a larger 54" three blade deck. I have plenty of good mowers to choose from anyway.


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#9 Cjet69 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2015 - 12:04 PM

Those are pretty good utility tractors, I had a slightly newer GT5000 with the rounded body work and 26 h.p. Briggs, same basic tractor. I ran that thing with a Johnny bucket for a couple of years, used it like a bulldozer, pushed over small trees and bushes, drub 20' trees into the woods after cutting them, filled raised bed planters with dirt I dug out of the creek bed. The weak points are the steering and spindles.

 

We had a GT 6000 that had steering problems. We fabbed up some custom pieces to improve it.



#10 Cjet69 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2015 - 12:14 PM

Here are some pics of the head gasket replacement. I should add that when I started to pull the head I found the lower 3 head bolts were loose. Probably the reason for the head gasket to fail.

 

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#11 Cjet69 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2015 - 12:19 PM

And a pic of the snowblower I'm adapting.

 

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#12 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2015 - 12:23 PM

That ought to work!



#13 Marty'70 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2015 - 12:37 PM

I'm sure the mouse nest didn't help the head gasket issue a bit

#14 Cjet69 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2015 - 12:45 PM

I'm sure the mouse nest didn't help the head gasket issue a bit

 

That's what I was thinking. When I found that I was worried about cylinder or piston damage, but all looks good.


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#15 Cjet69 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2015 - 12:53 PM

Just about done adapting the MTD blower. Just a few more details to finish and then we just need snow.

 

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