Alright then, I finally got all the pictures from yesterday edited and uploaded, so let's get to it! First, here are some pictures of the tractor after I unloaded it. The rear tire that WAS still mounted on the rim (albeit flat) managed to break the bead while unloading it and moving it around. I am also not sure if I somehow damaged the tractor at all when unloading it or if it was already damaged when I bought it, but I saw some problems with the tractor that I'm not too happy about. But, I'll get into that in more detail in a second. First, here are some pictures of the tractor after I unloaded it and moved it around the best I could to a spot where I could work on it but it was also still out of the way enough that I could leave it there for a while:
I also noticed that the controls on this tractor seem odd to me, like they were replaced at some point by a previous owner who wanted longer controls for some reason. I started looking through the manuals for the 1250 tractor and the attachment lift lever and the transmission shift lever both look much shorter in all the manuals than they do on my tractor. The transmission shift lever especially looks like it has an extension screwed onto it or something and doesn't look right to me.
I also noticed that the rear fender is missing the mounting bolts and isn't attached under the seat anymore. I was wondering why the fender was flopping around so much and I couldn't push it from the back as I just kept pushing the fender up, lol...
I'm also not sure if the board that is zip tied underneath the fender is supposed to be there or if someone put it there to get a bit more clearance between the fender and the rear tires.
Now, while I was walking around the tractor checking everything out (and taking pictures, of course), I noticed a MAJOR problem that I'm not sure if *I* somehow caused when unloading the tractor or if it was already broken before I bought it. Regardless, it is broken now and I'm not happy about it and I'm not sure how I can try to fix it:
That's right, somehow the MAIN front support broke and was sheared right off. This seems like it would be hard to do as it is a solid piece of heavy cast iron and it must have taken quite a beating in order to shear it clear off on both sides. In any event, since this is both the main support for the front axle as well as the PTO
, the tractor cannot be used as it is until this support is either replaced or repaired somehow. (I'm leaning heavily towards replacing it as I'm not sure if it could even be welded or anything or if it would be strong enough if it was able to be repaired.
Here is a shot of the front end between the hood showing how far out the front support can be moved out. NOT GOOD!!
I'm also not sure what this is leftover from? It looks like either part of a broken off muffler mounting bracket or possibly part of the muffler heat shield that is missing.
Now, as I said, parts of this tractor seem like they were modified or otherwise just cobbled together by a previous owner. One such item that I am skeptical of is the carburetor on the engine. Take for instance that the factory choke cable was removed for some reason:
Could that have been removed since the carburetor on the engine now only has a manual choke that can't be cable operated? Also, the carburetor on the engine is a Walbro, but I thought that the old Wisconsin engines primarily used the Zenith updraft carburetors. So, is this not the correct carburetor for this engine then?
Speaking of the engine, this seems to be a point of contention among some of the Bolens experts on this forum with this tractor. The seller told me that this tractor has a 14HP Wisconsin engine on it. However, I have heard from multiple sources on these forums that the 1250 tractor only came with a 12½ HP engine. Well, so here is the proof right here then about what model tractor this is as well as what model engine is in it:
Here is a close up of the Bolens Serial Number tag. It looks to still be in excellent condition, especially considering the shape the rest of the tractor is in. However, it does seem odd to me considering the condition of the Model Number stamped on it that the Serial Number is non-existent! I wonder if for some reason the Serial Number wasn't stamped on the sticker at the factory?
Now, here is the all important picture of the Serial Number tag on the engine:
I know it is still hard to read even after I tried to clean the tag off. I still have no idea what the number in the middle of the tag is supposed to be. The number on the far left is the Model Number and the number on the far right is the Serial Number.
Here is a close-up of the Model Number on the tag:
Yes folks, it would appear to be that this is definitely a Wisconsin S-14D engine on this tractor, which is a 14HP engine. Now, I'm not sure if this engine was installed on this tractor at the factory or if the original engine maybe died at some point and it was replaced either by a previous owner or perhaps even by a Bolens Dealer with whatever spare engine they had available. Another interesting theory that was posed by the seller was that this tractor could have been built later in the year and the factory could have run out of the correct engine for this tractor, so they just threw on whatever was available at the time to get it out the door. I looked up the Model Number of this tractor (197-03) and this appears to be a 1969 model year tractor, which was the last year that Bolens made the 1250 before switching over to the 1476, 1477, and 1886 model tractors in the early 1970s. Bolens also happened to make a one year only model in 1969 - the 1455. This tractor did come with the Wisconsin S-14D engine on it. So, this lends credibility to the fact that perhaps Bolens ran out of the S-12D engines in the middle of a production run of 1250's and instead were forced to send out a whole bunch of 1250 tractors with the 14HP engine installed in them that were supposed to go in the 1455 tractors. Or, this could even be a one-off production mistake that some factory worker accidentally installed the wrong engine on and no one caught it! We may never know the truth of what really happened with this tractor...
So, otherwise, here are a few more photos and some nit-picky issues I found with the tractor. Here is a shot of the rear transaxle. I'm assuming the black plug there is the transaxle fill hole, but so then what is the plug/bolt above it for? Could you also fill it at that hole or is that bolt used to mount certain rear attachments with or a rear PTO
I also have two clevis pins in the left side rear lower attachment mounting bracket, but there is only one in the right side. Do you ever even really need two of them on each side to mount any rear attachments or is one of those pins on the left side not needed for anything?
I'm also not sure how the rear mounted attachments would work with the hydraulic lift system on this tractor. It appears that this tractor has a [small] 3-Point Hitch mounting system, but there isn't a typical lift cylinder or arm to lift a rear mounted 3-Point attachment that you would expect to find on other larger tractors, like a Ford 8N, for example. So, how did Bolens make this setup work then and can you mount other 3-Point attachments to this tractor successfully or not really?
I also noticed that the left side headlight retaining ring is broken and missing two mounting clips to secure the light in place:
There were also a wide assortment of mismatched clevis pins of varying lengths and diameters used to mount the mower deck on the tractor, like this one in the front mounting bracket that is obviously much too small:
I was also looking at the left foot pedal, which most people think is just a foot rest, but according to the owner's manual is actually a "cruise control" pedal to maintain a constant speed of the tractor over long distances. I'm still not 100% sure on how it is supposed to work, but it certainly looks pretty rusted up and like it won't move freely without a fight!
Now, actually the most difficult task that I accomplished on Sunday wasn't even moving the tractor around with 3 flat tires (although that was pretty difficult as well, don't get me wrong...), but rather it was trying to remove the mower deck from the tractor with 3 flat tires! Man, what a pain in the @$$ that was, especially in the heat! I worked up quite a sweat trying to tackle removing the mower deck. Further complicating the process was the fact that the hydraulic attachment lift wasn't working and it was stuck on the lowest setting as well as those annoying rear wheels on the mower deck itself that wouldn't clear the rear wheels on the tractor. It was especially difficult to get anything to clear the rear tire that was flat, so I ended up having to jack up the whole rear end of the tractor in order to get enough room to wrestle the mower deck out from under the tractor. I have no idea if this process is any easier on a tractor with 4 properly inflated tires and a functioning attachment lift system, but from what I just experienced, I'm thinking, "Bolens HUSKY Tractors have the fastest attachment switch system in the industry" MY @$$!!! lol... I think I spent at least an hour trying to remove the mower deck!
Then, once I had the mower deck removed, I decided that a good first step would be to replace all 4 tires on this tractor so that I could at least push it around to move it until I can get it running again. So, I pulled the rear wheel weights off of the tractor (which were HEAVY suckers, let me tell you!) and then pulled all 4 wheels off of the tractor. The only one that was a real pain and fought me was the left front wheel. I had to use a sledgehammer to pound it off with. I found the inner wheel bearing was welded onto the spindle and wouldn't come off. I have no idea how that wheel even turned at all since the bearing was seized up on it. The right side wheel was fine though, so I'm not sure if the one wheel just ran low on grease or something and it seized up? My other thought is that the exhaust is right there too, so I'm wondering if the heat from the exhaust dried out the grease in the wheel and seized the bearing up?
Those front tires were both definitely SHOT though and were dry rotted really badly. One tire had both sidewalls blown out on it and ripped:
The other front tire had the tread itself disintegrated and falling apart on it:
So, I finally wrapped up for the day and left the tractor sitting as a familiar sight for Schenectady or Troy around here - up on jack stands after the wheels have been stolen off of your vehicle!
Hopefully if I can get some time after work this week or perhaps next weekend, I'll try to completely dismount the tires from the wheels and then wire wheel and sand them down to get them ready to either paint or powder coat. (I haven't made up my mind yet what I want to do to the wheels yet.) I figure if I need to get all new tires for it anyways, I might as well make the wheels look like new first so at least that will be all done and out of the way. I know it will look weird to put brand new tires on freshly painted wheels on the rest of that tractor looking the way it is, but I guess I gotta start somewhere, right?
Stay tuned for more updates to come in the [hopefully] near future!