I'm a newbie, I got my first tractor, a Bolens H14 this fall. The previous owners added the letters ZAM in front of the Bolens because they used it to clear(and squeegee) their ice rink. For a guy who really likes to skate, it seemed like a sign. It's been repowered with a Honda GX340 motor. It came with a plow, a snow blade, 2 mower decks and a snow caster(round back), and a dumping "wheel barrow" thing. also an extra set of wheels with weights and chains for the rear. I love the fact that it has a PTO. No belts to mess with, easy swap on the attachments. Seemed not bad for $400.
It has turned out not to be quite the good deal I thought it was, although I've had a lot of fun wrenching on it. (My wife says I'm nuts)
I had to rebuild the snow caster, I did that in December(before the first snow fell) after figuring out that the previous owner ran it with no oil in the gearbox. New gears (from Rick, blackjackjakexxix), new bearings (local bearing store) all around, and now it throws snow great. Even wet heavy snow.
I also ended up sleeving the tubes at the front end of the tractor. Right after I bought it my wife sat on it, turned the wheel and the whole front rocked back and forth. Im guessing that it was the same previous owner who killed the gears on the snow caster also pushed the anti-crush plates in the front tubes back so he could get the bolts in easier. That caused the tubes in front to collapse. Got the torch out, a muffler pipe expander and about 16 inches (each side) of heaver tubing to pound into the front tubes. Carefully drilled some holes and its good as new, maybe even better, the tubing I used is much thicker than the original tubing.(I also put the plates back in, in the right place) I also replaced the axle pivot and put some bushing in the axle support. There was a lot of wear in there. When its already apart, that's the time to do it.
Unfortunately, now I broke my snow blade. But, as they said about Steve Austin, we have the technology, we can rebuild.
I'm still learning where the high spots in the sidewalk and alley are, and I hooked one at an angle and the mounting bracket broke/tore. Actually I hooked several, but only the last one was really bad. I had already done some welding on it, a couple of the tack welds had popped and the angle selector was very worn, had to rebuild the bar and the slots, but that all went fairly easily, things seemed to be in good shape. Little did I know.
There is a lot of rust in there, the metal is really thin. I figure that if I weld it back together it will just fail again. So, out to the garage to look in the odds and ends scrap pile (never throw useful stuff away). Found a piece of 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 by 3/8 or 1/2 inch angle iron, also a piece of 3/8 inch plate for a new scraper. I figure this will double the weight of the plow, should help in snow removal. Get a pry bar and the angle grinder out and take the old mounting barcket off and start laying out the new pieces. I'm still deciding what to do about the bottom 3- 4 inches of the plow blade, it's really rusty(see through) and I will need to put something on either the back or the front to reinforce it. I'm worried that if i put it on the front side the snow will stick/get hung up on it. We will see. I'll keep you posted.