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Deja' Vu All Over Again!

ht23 bolens large frame large frame

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#1 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 01, 2016 - 10:51 PM

Well, I had an interesting thing happen to me Saturday, but a little background first...

 

Three years ago I bought a Bolens HT23 with a Brantly FEL, homemade rear blade and tiller.  I used the FEL for moving snow in the winter and sod and dirt in the summer... the shuttle pedal was so natural to use, and the power of the big Kohler twin made it a joy to operate... except.... it didn't have a 3 pt hitch, and, even worse, no power steering.

 

FEL work became a wrestling match, and I didn't have the confidence, or the time to install power steering.  I finally decided to sell it.... and regretted it ever since.

 

My feelings were partially assuaged when I bought my Ariens GT20 WITH power steering.  However, it didn't have a front end loader.

 

Even though I have a Mahindra Max25 CUT with a loader, the big GTs were the cat's meow for working in yards... getting through gates, etc.

 

I've been trying to sell a Mitsubishi K3D engine for a friend of mine with little luck.  It has a lot of hours, and has sat for several years.

 

Fast forward to Saturday... I got a text from a guy who asked about the engine--he was looking for something to put in his GT that had just thrown a rod.

 

We got to texting back and forth, and he mentioned he had an HT23 with a tiller and FEL, and that he had just bought a new place and needed something bigger, but wanted an engine so he could sell it... I asked him what he wanted for it as is... and exchanged several texts with him over 4 hours, with him wanting me to make him an offer, and me not wanting to commit myself or offer too high.

 

Finally I told him I'd like to come see it. He then asked me if I had sold someone an HT 23 a couple years ago... I said yes and described it... come to find out... this guy was who I sold it to!!  Due to advancing Old Timer's, (and having raised 6 teenagers) I didn't remember his name at first.

 

As it was, we were visiting my daughter and her family in another town and the guy lived there as well. So we drove over to look at it...  There she was, my ol' sweetheart, a couple years older, and now with a daylight engine block, but just waiting for me to buy her and bring her home...

 

We wrangled a little on the price, but I finally agreed to his asking price.  The banks were all closed, so I will be taking the money over to him this Friday or Saturday, and I'll have her once again.

 

So, now I get to decide what to repower her with.  I don't want another Kohler 582 as they are pretty fuel thirsty... I have a Kohler CH18 V-twin, a Honda 600-series 18 hp V-twin, and a Ruggerini 21 HP Air-cooled diesel twin...

 

I'd like to put the Ruggerini in her... should fit pretty well, but it's hard to find parts for the engine, and they're way expensive.

 

I do have a lead on a Kubota D600 reefer pack with the radiator, etc.  but am a little concerned about the extra hassle of putting a water-cooled engine in her....

 

Anyway, I've included a couple of the before pics... if anyone has a suggestion, chime in.

 

Regards,

 

Smitty

 

Bolens HT23.jpg IMG_20140105_130535_276.jpg IMG_20140423_182325_663.jpg IMG_20140419_130913_599.jpg

 

 

 

 


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#2 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted May 01, 2016 - 11:09 PM

Very cool to run across your old tractor, and buy it back, even if it is in worse shape than you sold it for. Been there, done that, almost always will do it again. Personally, I would install the Honda twin. The Honda engines always seem to hold up well and due to the clone market parts can be had at any price. Besides, I hear they are easy on fuel. Yes diesel is cool, but gas will work too.
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#3 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 01, 2016 - 11:30 PM

Very cool to run across your old tractor, and buy it back, even if it is in worse shape than you sold it for. Been there, done that, almost always will do it again. Personally, I would install the Honda twin. The Honda engines always seem to hold up well and due to the clone market parts can be had at any price. Besides, I hear they are easy on fuel. Yes diesel is cool, but gas will work too.

Thanks Casey...  The Honda's probably my number one choice for a gas engine, plus I already have a drive shaft adapter for it...

 

Smitty


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#4 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted May 01, 2016 - 11:56 PM

Cool!! Great stuff! It's neat that it's landed back into your possession again.

 

It sure looks like it's solid machine! You'll appreciate it's usefulness. Keep us posted on the engine swap. Looking forward to seeing the direction you go.


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#5 Dieselcubmike OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2016 - 12:15 AM

Well smitty its all up to you. But with me being into diesels anything is possible. What you can do is measure how wide your frame is. Then measure how wide your d600 is. Its a smaller diesel so it should actually just drop right in between the rails. And whats nice is you can always change out the radiator and put a different fan on it. You could run an atv style rad with a fan or in my diesel puller I have a rad out of a honda civic. Its made by CX racing. They have a huge selection on ebay and are fairly cheap too. I think mine was 50$ when I bought it years ago and it came with free shipping.


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#6 OldBuzzard OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2016 - 01:20 AM

Did he buy your friend's K3D?

 

If not, that would be a good candidate since that the engine Bolens used in the HDT1000.

 

 

 

 


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#7 Mtypython OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2016 - 04:28 AM

Nice, looks good
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#8 MH81 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2016 - 06:36 AM

Good you're getting your girl back.
Now you can put in an engine AND watch for some way to put a three point in.
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#9 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2016 - 06:59 AM

Did he buy your friend's K3D?
 
If not, that would be a good candidate since that the engine Bolens used in the HDT1000.


Yeah, I knew Bolens usec the Mitsi K3D--that's what the present owner was thinking of doing, but since I'm buying the tractor, he doesn't want the engine.

The K3Ds in rough shape--my friend left it uncovered in his back yard for a couple years--I've tried to keep it covered, but a guy looked at it 2 months ago--the engine would spin, but get stuck at one point then move past it.... we rolled it on to it's side, and water came out the intake manifold. It also didn't seem to have much compression.

I know they can be rebuilt, I just hesitate to sink all that money into just the engine...

I have pictures you posted several years ago showing how Bolens made the diesel fit into the LF without extending the frame--they'll be very useful if I put a diesel in it.

Thanks,

Smitty

#10 gardentractornut OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2016 - 06:59 AM

Congrats on getting your 'ol buddy back! Funny how that stuff works ain't it?


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#11 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2016 - 07:08 AM

Good you're getting your girl back.
Now you can put in an engine AND watch for some way to put a three point in.


I actually started to make a 3ph for it, but got hung up making the bearing blocks for the frame, and the adjustable links for the lift arms.

I am very close to putting my vertical mill into operation--once I do, the bearing blocks will be a lot easier...

I gave the present owner the lift arms I'd made and I'll be getting them back.

As for the adj links-- Tractor Supply opened 2 stores within 10 miles of me last year--they have some links I've used on my Case 444 and Ariens GT20 with good results. They're too long for the Bolens, but I also bought a South Bend lathe last year, so it won"t be much of a problem to cut them down...

That's the plan at least...

Smitty
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#12 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2016 - 09:20 AM

Quite a cool Story Smitty.  While you are working on the engine and 3 Pt might as well put power steering in her as well.  I'm sure with the talent and experience on here you could get it done.  :thumbs:


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#13 oldedeeres OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2016 - 11:24 AM

Some things are just meant to be----- it's neat to get the old girl back again.
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#14 Husky OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2016 - 11:34 AM

Great story!


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#15 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2016 - 12:00 PM

Quite a cool Story Smitty.  While you are working on the engine and 3 Pt might as well put power steering in her as well.  I'm sure with the talent and experience on here you could get it done.  :thumbs:

Yeah, I actually bought a bracket for the orbital valve off another Bolens, plus I got an orbital valve and steering cylinder from an old Toro 223D front mower... just gotta figure how to tap into the hydraulics... hopefully I can use the charge pump circuit to do it... if not, I'll need to do some figgerin'...

 

I also want to straighten out the fender pan and hood while I'm at it--they're a little worse for the wear... nothing really serious... I think I'll also paint her while I'm at it... you know, a girl needs to feel appreciated...

 

Smitty


Edited by Utah Smitty, May 02, 2016 - 12:03 PM.

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