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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.