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I just don’t get it!


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#1 sharkman OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2015 - 02:34 PM

I just bought my third Economy/Power King Tractor.  One was a metal body Jim Dandy, one a plastic body 1218 (sold both) and this last one a 1220HV.  I have attached pictures.  The last one, by far is the best Power King 1200 series made.  It has a 2 speed hydro trans, a 20 HP Kohler engine, hydro lift and power steering. 

 

The plastic kings are my favorite because of all the modern features, yet still were manufactured with all that Economy tractor heritage. 

 

I just can’t understand why the 1200 series were not that popular.  I know they were expensive, costing over $7K in the late 90’s, but so did a John Deere 335 or Gravely 20G.

 

I have had no trouble picking up little stuff I need from Mission Manufacturing and even a few accessories.  I have added a new rear PTO to the tractor and a NOS Sleeve hitch.  (Try getting that stuff for an older Deere within your budget!)

 

The plastic kings now do not selling for anything near what they are worth. I paid less than $500 for a running mowing tractor in nice shape.  Try getting a Gravely or John Deere for that and neither one have all the features the Power King has.

 

Like I said, I just don’t get it!

 

P.S. I understand the people who don’t think the Plastic kings are not the real deal and the older metal bodies are the way to go.  In my option, the plastic bodies are the perfect combination of the old and the new.  

Attached Thumbnails

  • 73' jd.JPG
  • 1218(3).JPG
  • 01212_e3M9HapkP93_600x450.jpg

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#2 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2015 - 02:44 PM

Yours is good because it's a hydro.  It's the 4 speed trannies in these tractors (and all plastic PKs) that gave them a bad name.  Not the tranny but the clutch.  They are expensive and don't hold up which is why the general consensus is that they are not the tractor they used to be.  I agree that there is much to like about the newer PKs but perception is reality as they say.  If this one with the 4 speed is junk, then they all must be junk.  I never owned a plastic one but I understand they are really nice for mowing.  All I can say is, if you enjoy them as much as you seem to, just enjoy being able to get them so cheap.  Under the plastic, they are still basically the same tractor, maybe tweaked a little, but still strong.  Yeah, the culprit as I see it is that clutch.


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#3 classic ONLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2015 - 03:28 PM

I like the old basic Power Kings because of the way they're built. It's about as basic and simple as you can get, especially with a Briggs, and tough. I'm restoring a '56 PK and I can see where problems can occur, mainly due to age, neglect, or both. With everything mechanical in good order, this tractor should last a long time before major repairs are needed. Like most machinery, rain has ruined many of these tractors.
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#4 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2015 - 04:12 PM

Yep, hydros are good, sticks Not so much. I got into the manuals with several and never really got them back to good stance. Had one 1600 that still worked and mowed, yet at times would start to slip in higher gears, so clutch was going. I had one 1200 stick and sold it at show, running and such, but big trans leak, never looked into that. I now have later Hydros and love them. Power steering and smooth and even wife likes to mow on it, rare for her to like my stuff. Have another in parts in shop, will do something with it next summer and working on another one to get soon. Think the last owner's of PK,  before Mission were trying real hard to improve them and got it right, but they were as expensive as a Scut JD or others and not as tough, so lost sales. The bad reputation didn't ever get fixed either, even tho most problems were fixed by then.  Govt  safety needs made them harder to make also and most had to re-design in all those items to be able to produce a product and think that was expensive and not worth the time for many manufacturer's not well equipped.


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#5 classic ONLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2015 - 04:44 PM

How are the old clutches, grumpy? My pressure plate and disc were in great shape, but I replaced the springs and fingers on the pressure plate while it was apart. To me, it seems like the springs are a little wimpy, even when new. I bought this old PK disassembled, so it's my first PK project.

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  • 20151130_150426-1-1.jpg

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#6 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2015 - 06:48 PM

How are the old clutches, grumpy? My pressure plate and disc were in great shape, but I replaced the springs and fingers on the pressure plate while it was apart. To me, it seems like the springs are a little wimpy, even when new. I bought this old PK disassembled, so it's my first PK project.

The old clutches are great and stand up to time.  Most last 20 years or better depending on what you do with the tractor.  I never even had any problems with the pressure plate and I did some things with those tractors let me tell you.  It's just, as you say, a good simple solid design.


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#7 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted December 29, 2015 - 10:36 PM

Classic, those old ones work well, even when worn out on some parts. Those in your picture look great and new. Discs can be worn almost to rivets and still work great. Many still have printing on the material and not worn away when I have torn down. The ends of the arms on throw-out can be worn. I have replaced with new OR even just welded up the ends some and gave a grinding to them to make smoother and worked OK. I've had some with worn pivot holes or mostly the pins at that point. Most times just new pins and keepers is all that is needed. Most of those clutch parts still available new. On throw-out bearing...it comes off that casting and most times that is all you replace. Aetna is brand I've used, got at local auto stores. The cast part with ears, sometimes is worn at those ears where the fork pushes on it, but again can weld up and grind off smoorh or slightly arced and still works. Then the look at your for ends might show wear, again the weld and grind might work on those too if not too bad. Spring in the housing for the lever can be replaced if broken, but most are not. There is no adjustments anywhere on this set-up cept those wear points. Most times PK clutches are an ON/Off type working and there isn't much slipping of them unless you can really regulate your pressures on the pedal. Each one I had seemed different, just had to adjust Yourself to the the tractor, not the clutch, ha!


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#8 sharkman OFFLINE  

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Posted December 30, 2015 - 11:22 AM

Is there anyone else out there how has a 1220HV?  It seems there were a couple of things changed between the 1218HV and the 1220HV, including the addition of power steering.  I think HHC., Inc. (the name on my serial number sticker) was trying to standardize the 1200 series with the 1600.

 

I have a PDF of the 1218 manual, but not the 1220.






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