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Single vs. Twin Cylinder LFs: What are the noticable differences in operation?


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#1 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2016 - 04:38 PM

For one who's always been intrigued by 'driver's seat experiences', I was wondering from an operator's perspective, what the differences are like in terms of a single vs. twin cylinder large frame. I'd love to hear from those of you who are fortunate enough to own or maybe have operated both, the differences that you notice from your perspective. More nitty gritty detail the better! :)

 

To clarify, not looking for a comparison in paper specs but rather a detailed 'firsthand operator's perspective' point of view on how the two compare when you're operating them. If you were to hop from one to the other, what would you notice. Things that come to mind: Is power the biggest noticeable difference? Can you sense the frame length difference between the two and if so, in what types of scenarios? In terms of operational feel, again, are they worlds apart? Would you even choose one over the other for a particular job? Maybe for some of you there isn't any difference, but please share why as this is supposed to be fun. I realize, of course, there are many variables that can come into play such as the later style hydros and more advanced hydraulic systems but that's OK.

 

Someday in the future I would love own an early model, single cylinder, large frame to accompany my 1886 and thought it would be fun to get a little more firsthand insight on the real world differences.  


Edited by Austen, May 19, 2016 - 04:49 PM.

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#2 Paulgo ONLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2016 - 05:12 PM

The biggest drawback with the twins is that it takes twice as long to clean and re-gap the spark plugs. 

 

:poke:  

 

Paul


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#3 Nxt2doc OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2016 - 05:22 PM

Have a 1267 and a recently acquired 520H. Only the 520 has a Mainly I see that the 1257 seems to have a little more top end speed. The big Onan is smoother and more quiet with the bigger muffler. Both seem to turn about the same but also I haven't had to do much precision turning with the old girl since I haven't mowed with it.

Hope this help's.


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#4 ClassicBolens OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2016 - 05:42 PM

The most obvious difference is the lack of dual hydraulics. Not a big deal unless you like to plow snow a lot. The only real drawback to the old single cylinder tractors is the feeling of being a little underpowered when compared to the 1886 and HT's. But, this tends to come with a positive... the steering feels somewhat lighter on the old 1250s and 1455 etc., not that the twins are bad.

The twins just feel more weighty overall, more agressive. They have that throaty growl about them that tells you there's a lot of power and torque available to get you through the toughest jobs. Hands down, the 1886's and HT's are my favorite of the Large Frames. Appearance wise, the 1886 is the show stopper.
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#5 WrenchinOnIt OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2016 - 06:24 PM

As stated the remote hydraulics for the front power angle blade, I use the rear remotes for hydraulic dump and a hydro top link on my LF earthcavator so the remotes are handy. But you own a 86 so I'll say this, the Wisconsin powered large frames especially the 14hp ones rumble and growl out of the hydro just like an 86, the Wisconsin has a good sound and good torque seems to be plenty of power to mow and run a standard tiller, I have a 48" I run behind the 23's I wonder what the 1476 would think of it, I'd try but it doesn't fit ! Large Frame Bolens are my favorite tractor I like how they look, no frills, all their "junk" is hanging out for all to see, the cool azz big friggin mufflers, power steering units, old hand cruise controls, IMO all leave the look of we mean business. I personally like the HT 20 the best , yup even with its drawbacks, it's my favorite and what I own the most of.
Austen your committed to own more Bolens it's inevitable, you'll need a Wisconsin powered one, all the describing can't compare to setting on one. If you're ever switching coasts for a visit I'd be very pleased to let you get your fill (is that possible ?) 35 acres , paths thru the woods, couple mud bogs and 4 acres to mow , you can try 'em all.
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#6 5thGenFarmer OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2016 - 07:45 PM

Agree with all that's been said so far. Definitely more vibration with the singles. I really notice it when using my recently restored, all original 1250 for longer periods of time vs. the 1886 or HT-20. Tends to be fatiguing. An experienced Bolens owner on this forum once said (I paraphrase) that the large frame singles are big beautiful, torquey beasts but need a good fresh engine to really get the most out of them. Still definitely worth owning. I use the hell out of my 1250 for misc farm chores.

Sent from my XT1058 using Tapatalk
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#7 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2016 - 08:59 PM

Thanks guys- this is great!! :-)

 

 

The biggest drawback with the twins is that it takes twice as long to clean and re-gap the spark plugs. 

 

:poke:

 

Paul

 

:D

 

Hmmm, what a pain!

 

 

Have a 1267 and a recently acquired 520H. Only the 520 has a Mainly I see that the 1257 seems to have a little more top end speed. The big Onan is smoother and more quiet with the bigger muffler. Both seem to turn about the same but also I haven't had to do much precision turning with the old girl since I haven't mowed with it.

Hope this help's.

 

Thanks!

 

 

The most obvious difference is the lack of dual hydraulics. Not a big deal unless you like to plow snow a lot. The only real drawback to the old single cylinder tractors is the feeling of being a little underpowered when compared to the 1886 and HT's. But, this tends to come with a positive... the steering feels somewhat lighter on the old 1250s and 1455 etc., not that the twins are bad.

The twins just feel more weighty overall, more agressive. They have that throaty growl about them that tells you there's a lot of power and torque available to get you through the toughest jobs. Hands down, the 1886's and HT's are my favorite of the Large Frames. Appearance wise, the 1886 is the show stopper.

 

Great observations! I can see how the more simplistic hydraulic system could limit the capabilities when you compare it to a later style that has more functions in that regard. That totally makes sense about the steering being lighter due to the smaller engine on the single cylinder versions. No wonder power steering eventually became an option.

 

I can feel exactly what you describe about the twin cylinders being more "throaty" and having a heavier overall feel vs the single cylinders, while still very capable, are in a different league there. Great point! :thumbs:

 

 

As stated the remote hydraulics for the front power angle blade, I use the rear remotes for hydraulic dump and a hydro top link on my LF earthcavator so the remotes are handy. But you own a 86 so I'll say this, the Wisconsin powered large frames especially the 14hp ones rumble and growl out of the hydro just like an 86, the Wisconsin has a good sound and good torque seems to be plenty of power to mow and run a standard tiller, I have a 48" I run behind the 23's I wonder what the 1476 would think of it, I'd try but it doesn't fit ! Large Frame Bolens are my favorite tractor I like how they look, no frills, all their "junk" is hanging out for all to see, the cool azz big friggin mufflers, power steering units, old hand cruise controls, IMO all leave the look of we mean business. I personally like the HT 20 the best , yup even with its drawbacks, it's my favorite and what I own the most of.
Austen your committed to own more Bolens it's inevitable, you'll need a Wisconsin powered one, all the describing can't compare to setting on one. If you're ever switching coasts for a visit I'd be very pleased to let you get your fill (is that possible ?) 35 acres , paths thru the woods, couple mud bogs and 4 acres to mow , you can try 'em all.

 

Kevin,

 

You are the best. I would truly be in Heaven taking you up on that very generous offer. What an excellent way to keep up 35 acres with a fleet of vintage Bolens equipment.

 

I couldn't agree more about your thoughts in regards to appearance. The big LFs just have a certain presence and demeanor to them that no other tractor shares. They really speak to you in a certain way that other tractors can't and were built stand the test of time. I like your description of  "the Wisconsin powered large frames especially the 14hp ones rumble and growl out of the hydro just like an 86" as that is an excellent way to describe the sort of feeling the Eaton 12 is like.

 

Thanks for the encouraging words. I trust one will come along at the right time later in my life but until then I will continue to share the passion with you guys for yours here. :thumbs:

 

 

Agree with all that's been said so far. Definitely more vibration with the singles. I really notice it when using my recently restored, all original 1250 for longer periods of time vs. the 1886 or HT-20. Tends to be fatiguing. An experienced Bolens owner on this forum once said (I paraphrase) that the large frame singles are big beautiful, torquey beasts but need a good fresh engine to really get the most out of them. Still definitely worth owning. I use the hell out of my 1250 for misc farm chores.

 

Thanks 5th, and for bringing up the vibration part. Excellent observation. I could certainly see how a single would offer more vibrations than a smoother running twin. You make a good point about making the most out of them with a fresh engine too.

 

Thanks again, guys. I realize this may be kind of a strange post but I'm one that likes to get the full experience out of things that I'm passionate about. I enjoy receiving the opinions of others to get different perspectives and understandings on things like this. Thanks guys. This is fun and hope that you just as much enjoy sharing your "in the driver seat" experiences and observations too.

 

Austen

 


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#8 OldBuzzard OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2016 - 09:00 PM

I only have one 'gripe' about the single cylinder large frames.

 

I absolutely HATE the hydro lift lever!

 

I use one of my 1250s with the Sickle-Mo on it and having to 'push forward to lower and pull back to lift on the lever annoys me no end.

 

I'd much rather have it like the 1886 and up where you lift up to raise and push down to lower.  It's just much more intuitive.


Edited by OldBuzzard, May 19, 2016 - 09:04 PM.

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#9 ClassicBolens OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2016 - 09:09 PM

Hey pick me up on your way to Kevin's. Surely we can break ground somewhere on that 35 acres with all his toys for the future Bolens museum!
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#10 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2016 - 09:26 PM

 

I only have one 'gripe' about the single cylinder large frames.

 

I absolutely HATE the hydro lift lever!

 

I use one of my 1250s with the Sickle-Mo on it and having to 'push forward to lower and pull back to lift on the lever annoys me no end.

 

I'd much rather have it like the 1886 and up where you lift up to raise and push down to lower.  It's just much more intuitive.

 

Interesting observation and detail. Thanks Dave!

 

 

Hey pick me up on your way to Kevin's. Surely we can break ground somewhere on that 35 acres with all his toys for the future Bolens museum!

 

Absolutely! I'm sure we'll never want to leave. :thumbs:


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#11 LPBolens OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2016 - 09:50 PM

I guess I am one of the guys that likes the HT23's the best so I have more than one person can justify easily, even though I agree with Todd that the 1886's are the coolest looking. I also have more than one of the earlier LF's with the singles. Underpowered for many applications and more tiring to run are the drawbacks of the early ones, but the Eaton 12 is clearly the best hydro to have, and they have it.

 

I have often considered adding remote hydraulics to an early LF. Certainly the Eaton 12 could handle the load.


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#12 whitefishblues OFFLINE  

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Posted May 20, 2016 - 12:31 AM

I had a 1455 with a Johnson loader, and now I have an HT20D with a (different) Johnson loader.  That is mainly what I have used my Bolens for.  I thought there would be a significant difference between the two as far as capability, but really I haven't noticed it much.  Both had plenty of power to do anything I wanted to do with the loader.  The HT20D has wide front tires on it and the 1455 had narrow ones, so I can't really make a fair comparison on steering.  One thing I didn't like about the 1455 was that the loader was powered by a belt off the PTO pulley.  So when I fired the tractor up the starter was having to spin both the engine and the loader pump.  I'm sure the starter was getting tired on it, but I often had to help it along by manually spinning the pulley on the loader pump to get it to start.  I have the loader on the HT20D running off of a pump mounted to the front PTO so I can disengage it when I start the tractor.  

 

I enjoyed the single engine sound a lot though.  That was a fun tractor to have.  


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#13 OldBuzzard OFFLINE  

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Posted May 20, 2016 - 03:51 AM

I guess I am one of the guys that likes the HT23's the best so I have more than one person can justify easily, even though I agree with Todd that the 1886's are the coolest looking. ...

 

While I don't have an HT23, I do have the HT20D and HDT1000 which are diesel powered variants, and I think that they are the very best of the large frame line. Especially the "S" models with the cruise, PS, and hydro oil cooler as standard equipment.

 

Yeah, the 1886 DOES look spiffy, but the green and white HT23 is danged good looking as well.

 

I've never been a fan of the black and white color scheme that Bolens used with the HT18, HT20 and some if the tube frames in the same time frame.


Edited by OldBuzzard, May 20, 2016 - 03:51 AM.

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#14 nyrobbie77 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 20, 2016 - 08:58 AM

As stated the remote hydraulics for the front power angle blade, I use the rear remotes for hydraulic dump and a hydro top link on my LF earthcavator so the remotes are handy.

 

This is why we added the dual spool valve from an HT series tractor to my 1250.  It is really nice using the hydraulic angled plow!


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#15 Austen OFFLINE  

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Posted May 20, 2016 - 11:19 AM

Great opinions and observations, guys! Thanks! It's enjoyable and interesting to read. Keep them coming.






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