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What is this tiller?


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#1 TimW OFFLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2016 - 09:32 AM

Terrible pics, sorry.  Anybody know what make this tiller is?  It has a 4hp kohler that tilts from the side to tension the belt.  It may have been repainted, but the orange is all I see anywhere.  It has a small driveshaft that runs back to the tine gearbox.  It was a barn find and the the guy that had it new nothing about it.

 

Tim

 

post-10778-0-93827600-1459866510.jpg 0404162116_HDR.jpg

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#2 sharkman ONLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2016 - 01:02 PM

very early Ariens??



#3 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2016 - 01:11 PM

Looks very well built whatever brand it is. Good luck, I hope you can find out what it is!!


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#4 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2016 - 03:22 PM

Wow incredible find!

 

Thats a Bolens "Power tiller"

 

Original engine looks to be replaced as the engine pulley is not right (Should have friction wheel for reverse) and rope start and tank are not right but a great find none the less, only about 5-6 of them "Known to exist" at least on the forums

 

 

Here's mine


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#5 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2016 - 04:06 PM

moved your thread to the Bolens forum


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#6 ClassicBolens ONLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2016 - 04:59 PM

These tillers were originally manufactured by Milwaukee Equipment Company, which was then bought out by Bolens in 1954. Not sure of the differences between the M-E branded machines and the Bolens branded, but it may help you with further identification and information. Looks like a nice find.
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#7 Gtractor ONLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2016 - 06:00 PM

Thanx C.B.!  I was wondering why it was not Bolens green. 

My brain was thinking Western Auto Wizard. 

:wave:


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#8 Nato77 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2016 - 06:55 PM

There should be a model tag on the left front frame rail alongside of the engine, if its still there. Should also have Bolens cast onto the chaincase cover that runs the tiller.

I just love the tread design of those tires. The tires have been replaced on the one I have. Regular bar tread will have to do.
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#9 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2016 - 09:51 PM

These tillers were originally manufactured by Milwaukee Equipment Company, which was then bought out by Bolens in 1954. Not sure of the differences between the M-E branded machines and the Bolens branded, but it may help you with further identification and information. Looks like a nice find.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe these tillers were Bolens built , it was the early ones that were ME rebadged as Bolens. The ME tillers Bolens re-badged came with the ID tag having the ME logo still in it these power tillers and the Big tillmaster had Bolens only tags and I believe these models to be their own design.


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#10 ClassicBolens ONLINE  

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Posted April 05, 2016 - 10:24 PM

It's been several years since I researched them and information then was pretty sparse. I think they were all based on the original M-E design, but overall what changes were made I'm unsure of. The tine hood and depth bar looks very similar the M-E B16 and B24 models, but I think M-E used primarily Wisconsin engines on those units. My understanding was that M-E continued to build them for Bolens after the 1954 acquisition, but I believe I had read that they were building for Bolens as early as 1951. Also we must consider that M-E was likely building them for other brands as well, as that seemed to be the norm in that era.
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#11 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted April 06, 2016 - 07:57 AM

From what I can tell anything after 57' was Bolens designed but could be wrong

I have seen these ME tillers re-badged as Bolens but the Bolens ID tag also featured the M-E logo in it even if they were painted green

 

 

 

$_57.JPG

 

 

 

These later ones like the Power tiller, badger, Tillmaster were all Bolens tags and it looks like they made all their own sheet metal and handle bars while the real early ME units were carbon copies just different colors.


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#12 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted April 06, 2016 - 08:20 AM

  I believe I had read that they were building for Bolens as early as 1951.

 

 

According to my paperwork, Bolens did not offer any tillers until 1954.

 

The 1954 thru 1957 tillers appear to be M-E designs, while 1958 and later appear to be Bolens designed.


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#13 TimW OFFLINE  

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Posted April 06, 2016 - 09:48 AM

Thanks so much for the info.  I marvel at the knowledge that is present on this site.  Your average Joe that is not aware of sites like this has little or no chance of figuring out what he has.  The idea of doing google picture searches is far overrated.  I have a 58 Rideamatic and about 6 assorted tube frames and that is just great that this tiller has a Bolens connection.  You may notice from my pics that I should be more concerned with organizing and arranging what I got instead of chasing barn finds, I guess that is part of the illness. :loosing_it:     


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#14 TimW OFFLINE  

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Posted April 06, 2016 - 09:19 PM

Gtractor wins the what is it tiller award.  I finally got the tag clean and it is a Western Auto Wizard badged tiller.  So would I be right in assuming this was built by Bolens for Western Auto?

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#15 ClassicBolens ONLINE  

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Posted April 06, 2016 - 11:35 PM

Awesome!
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