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Source For New Gas Tanks?

bolens ek-10 estate keeper estate keeper gas tank

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#1 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted June 20, 2016 - 02:09 PM

Does anyone have a source for replacement OEM gas tanks that will fit a Bolens Estate Keeper EK-10 with a Wisconsin TRA-10D engine?  The original gas tank on mine was pretty rusted and full of gunk and sediment.  I sent it out to be hot tanked and cleaned up, but the shop just got back to me and said that there was too much rust in the bottom of the tank and it ended up with pin holes all in it, so it won't hold gas any longer.  :( :wallbanging:

 

I'm currently running it temporarily with a used plastic gas tank that I got for free.  It works and the tank was very clean, however I am afraid of it because it is plastic.  The first time I ran my Estate Keeper for any length of time to mow my yard with it, the engine compartment got so hot that it looked like the plastic gas tank was melting on it!  The sides and bottom started caving in on it and it is all distorted now.

 

I would like to put the original steel gas tank back on this tractor, but where can I find one that is clean and will work?  Is there anyplace that sells replacement gas tanks that will fit this engine?  Do any of our sponsors have NOS OEM gas tanks for this tractor by any chance?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

 

(I also need to do an oil change on this engine sooner rather than later.  I think this might be PART of the problem with it running hot.  I also noticed it was smoking a bit from the head after running it for over an hour.  It is full of oil, but the oil looks pretty dark black and sludgey right now.  I have no clue how old the oil is, but the tractor has sat for over 2 years in the garage before I finally got it running again, so it is probably a couple of years older than that even.  Unfortunately, I still haven't managed to find the oil drain plug on this.  It was my understanding that on the EK-10's, Wisconsin manufactured a custom engine case that had a drain plug directly on the bottom.  However, I can't seem to find a good way to get under there to get a good look at it and I haven't managed to find it yet.  I may need a set of car ramps to drive the thing up on so I can get a good look at the underside of it...)


Edited by MailmAn, June 20, 2016 - 02:12 PM.


#2 adamjd200 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 20, 2016 - 02:26 PM

Gas tanks can be pretty tough to find, if it's just pin holes you could line it with red-kote, but if it is swiss cheese that won't work, pics of the cleaned tank would help.



#3 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted June 20, 2016 - 02:29 PM

I will have to do some looking and see what I can scrounge up for a tank , if you want new those will not be cheap, last time I checked wisconsin tanks are running about $250-$350

 

Your oil drain plug is located on your side cover of the engine (same part the oil fill plug is located) Directly in the center on the bottom an alan screw is used for the plug so it does not stick out on the bottom.

 

 

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#4 Jazz OFFLINE  

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Posted June 20, 2016 - 02:44 PM

I will have to do some looking and see what I can scrounge up for a tank , if you want new those will not be cheap, last time I checked wisconsin tanks are running about $250-$350

 

Your oil drain plug is located on your side cover of the engine (same part the oil fill plug is located) Directly in the center on the bottom an alan screw is used for the plug so it does not stick out on the bottom.

 

$350! I would  make a new tank, just bend some tin, weld the seams and be done. 


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#5 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted June 20, 2016 - 03:40 PM

I will have to do some looking and see what I can scrounge up for a tank , if you want new those will not be cheap, last time I checked wisconsin tanks are running about $250-$350

$350! I would make a new tank, just bend some tin, weld the seams and be done.

 


Damn!!  :hitting_self_roller:   :bs:  My sentiments exactly. That's more than I paid for the whole tractor! I wish I knew enough how to fabricate a new gas tank up myself since I could do it for a LOT cheaper than that I would imagine.
 

Your oil drain plug is located on your side cover of the engine (same part the oil fill plug is located) Directly in the center on the bottom an alan screw is used for the plug so it does not stick out on the bottom.

 
 Thanks for the info, Doc.  Although, I don't see the oil drain plug at the bottom of the side case in your picture (unless that was not from an Estate Keeper?).  At least I know where on the engine to start looking for it.  I have a bad feeling I'll be getting the tractor, myself, and my garage floor covered in used oil trying to do an oil change on this thing... :(

 

Any recommendation for oil to use in this thing?  I'd assume it calls for straight 30W conventional oil, but is there any problem running 10W40, 15W40 diesel oil, or like 20W50 in it?  Since I'm running it in the summer and this thing likes to run HOT, I'm feeling like I'd want to be cautious and go with a heavier weight oil than just straight 30W...  If I was going to run it in the winter though, I might want to run a thinner oil than that.

 

 



#6 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted June 20, 2016 - 03:48 PM

30w is the heaviest that you mentioned. The first number is the weight of the oil, the second number is what it acts like when hot. Change it now. You should not trust old oil in an engine. Do an oil change immediately when getting an engine. It is cheap insurance. It does sound like you may have a leaking head gasket. Keep an eye on it for a while. Use Marvel in your gas. Good Luck, Rick


Edited by boyscout862, June 20, 2016 - 03:50 PM.

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#7 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted June 20, 2016 - 04:02 PM

use either 30 or 10W-30 oil, do not use modern synthetic I have been stocking and using the Kohler branded oil as it is specially formulated for these small engines and has a zinc additive which most auto oils do not which helps with wear.

 

It could be someone swapped your motor , look at the sides of your engine if its from an EK you should see screws for the side plugs , if you see a square plug on the side its from another machine


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#8 DougT ONLINE  

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Posted June 20, 2016 - 07:20 PM

Can you post a pic of the tank you need? Swap meets are a good place to find them.



#9 blackjackjakexxix ONLINE  

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Posted June 21, 2016 - 07:36 AM

This is why so many machines wind up in the junk pile,prices like Wisconsin are asking is totaly out of hand,and there not the only company asking crazy prices,Kohler is not far behind (IMO)


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#10 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted June 21, 2016 - 09:12 AM

use either 30 or 10W-30 oil, do not use modern synthetic I have been stocking and using the Kohler branded oil as it is specially formulated for these small engines and has a zinc additive which most auto oils do not which helps with wear.


Well, STP Oil Additive also has ZDDP (Zinc additive) in it that I could add to the oil...  http://www.napaonlin...B65148/NCB65148
 

30W is the heaviest that you mentioned. The first number is the weight of the oil, the second number is what it acts like when hot.


So you think straight 30W oil is the best option then? I know it is a higher weight of oil and it is straight weight, but like you said, the other oils "act like" a 40W or 50W oil when hot, so I figured that might be better to run in the summer when it is hot. I mean, the oil is going to be hot most of the time while the engine is running anyways. That's my thought at least.

 

 

It could be someone swapped your motor , look at the sides of your engine if its from an EK you should see screws for the side plugs , if you see a square plug on the side its from another machine


No, no... You misunderstood what I said. I haven't checked my engine yet anyways for the oil drain plug. I was just saying that in the picture you posted above, I didn't see the drain plug that you were talking about. I wasn't sure if the picture was of the side case from a different engine, that's all. I wasn't talking about my engine at all. Sorry for the confusion.
 



#11 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted June 21, 2016 - 09:17 AM

 

This is why so many machines wind up in the junk pile,prices like Wisconsin are asking is totaly out of hand,and there not the only company asking crazy prices,Kohler is not far behind (IMO)

 

It all depends on how you view things I guess, for a collector looking to finish a restoration the fact that even the majority of parts for these engines are still available is a small miracle in itself. Its just my opinion on this but I'd rather have the option of having the part still stocked and pay a bit more than to have them make everything NLA and be stuck with nothing.

Working with old equipment has and always will be more expensive than something new, its all part of the hobby and your enjoyment of using these old machines and preserving history.

 

:usa:


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#12 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted June 21, 2016 - 09:24 AM

Working with old equipment has and always will be more expensive than something new, its all part of the hobby and your enjoyment of using these old machines and preserving history.

 

:usa:

You must not have priced parts for new cars. My 1985 Chevy C10 is so much cheaper than my 1999 GMC. Good Luck, Rick


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#13 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted June 21, 2016 - 09:25 AM

You must not have priced parts for new cars. My 1985 Chevy C10 is so much cheaper than my 1999 GMC. Good Luck, Rick

 

I'm not much of a car guy :D


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#14 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted June 21, 2016 - 09:47 AM

I'm not much of a car guy :D

Fixing my cars saves enough to let me play with tractors. Working on the cars does take alot more blood, sweat, tears. The money is often more but the parts to rebuild a k301 and a Chevy 350 are about the same.  Thanks, Rick


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#15 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted June 21, 2016 - 09:54 AM

This is why so many machines wind up in the junk pile,prices like Wisconsin are asking is totaly out of hand,and there not the only company asking crazy prices,Kohler is not far behind (IMO)

 

Yes, I agree with this 100%.  Of course, I realize that other than the small collector and enthusiast market, there is not a mass demand for these type of replacement parts, so there is a high overhead cost to manufacture only 1 or 2 of these parts as needed, which drives the price way up on them.  But seriously, $300 is outrageous just for a gas tank!  They would probably sell a lot more of them if the price was more reasonable.

 

No wonder so many of these old machines either get junked, as you mentioned, or else they get re-powered with a newer engine.  I can buy a brand new (albeit Chinese junk) engine for $350 at Harbor Freight right now:  http://www.harborfre...-epa-60340.html  I would much rather keep the original Wisconsin engine on it to keep the tractor original, but with the ridiculous prices they are charging for replacement parts, they are making it increasingly difficult to do that!  :(  :mad2:

 

I have been seeing this a lot more with newer equipment too, especially lawn mowers.  I know that they are purposefully trying to get consumers to buy new equipment rather than put money into fixing up their old equipment as it breaks to keep it running since that's where they make the most money is on people buying new equipment.  But on say a newer Toro push mower or something, these new engines are coming with junk plastic carburetors that are not adjustable and are set just to run at a preset RPM only.  When they get all gummed up from the Ethanol they put in the gas, they want like $120 (+ shipping) just for a new carburetor, when you can go out and buy a whole brand new lawn mower for $250-$300.  It is just crazy!  I know someone who was trying to fix up their John Deere tractor with a 13HP Kohler engine on it and the carburetor was all full of dirt and sand from sitting.  Kohler ended up charging him almost $140 for a new carburetor for that engine.  (Which is STILL a hell of a lot cheaper than Zenith is charging for a new carburetor for one of these old Wisconsin engines...  Doc Bolens told me they are charging around $250-$300 for a whole new carburetor!)


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