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Just got back from a road trip today...

bolens tractor large frame 1250 hydrostatic wisconsin s-14d 14hp 48in deck 42in sno-caster

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#31 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 13, 2016 - 12:23 PM

The patch is seen in this picture. You can clearly see that the bolster was not attached to the frame rail.

 

I didn't think that was a "patch" for the broken bolster/support.  I'm not sure what it was from, but my guess is either a muffler support or a leftover bracket from the muffler heat shield that is not there anymore.  I would have to see a picture of the original muffler heat shield on this tractor though to be able to tell if that is what this is for sure.  This picture was also taken AFTER the tractor was unloaded and I started taking the deck and wheels off of it on Sunday.  If you go back and look at the pictures of it loaded onto the flatbed when I was hauling it back home, the front bolster/support looks intact there and not damaged.  I am wondering if pulling it by the front axle with the J-Hooks and then trying to push the tractor off to unload it with the flat tires and it not wanting to roll were probably what did the front support in.  :(

 

It just pisses me off that it seemingly broke so easily, but it is 40+ year old cast iron.  Cast iron is kind of odd because it is both considered very strong and heavy-duty, while at the same time being quite brittle and somewhat delicate.  It will take a lot of use, but the slightest beating or abuse can also cause it to crack it right in half, which is what it did to me.


Edited by MailmAn, July 13, 2016 - 12:24 PM.

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#32 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 13, 2016 - 02:44 PM

I strongly suggest to try to get the engine running before any major investment into the unit, next would be the function of the hydro, both can be accomplished as it sits awaiting new rubber.


Well, that is easy enough since (as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts...), the engine does already run! The seller started it right up for me before I bought it. I'm just worried about running it for any length of time without an air cleaner on it. As for the Hydrostatic unit, that doesn't work currently as I'm sure it is low on fluid. I'm hoping maybe if I just fill it up with fluid, it should work. I'm not sure how prone these units are to having the pump fail or anything, but I'd imagine running it low on fluid (or without any fluid in there at all) wouldn't be good for the pump.

One of the other first steps I'm going to take this weekend on it is to replace the oil filter on the Hydrostatic unit, drain any old fluid that remains in there, and fill it up with fresh fluid. Does anyone know what type of fluid I should put into the Hydrostatic unit on this tractor? Does it just run like standard Dextron ATF fluid or do I need a specific type of ATF or even hydraulic oil in there for it to operate properly and prolong the life of the transaxle?

One last potential issue with the rear transaxle is of course the fact that it is low on fluid right now. So, obviously it must have leaked out at some point. You can see in the pictures that the left hand axle housing does seem a bit wet, so I'm wondering if that is where it has been leaking from. The oil filter does seem to be right above that area too though, so I don't know if the filter could be leaking there as well. Are there any end seals in the rear end that might be worn out and causing it to leak fluid? If so, how much of a pain is it to take apart and replace the seals? I might as well do that now while I'm taking things apart and before I fill the rear transaxle up with fresh fluid.

 

If the pics of the tractor on the trailer chained down are upon arrival home the axle bolster looks no worse for wear and I don't believe you hurt it with your tie down method. If it had to drop and roll off the trailer I suspect with two flat fronts the bolster took the brunt of the shock and was broken at that time, don't beat yourself up to bad because unfortunately the bolster is a bit of a weak link , it could have been cracked in several places and the trip or the unloading finished the job.


That may indeed be what happened. The earlier pictures were taken at a rest area on I-87 South roughly somewhere between Bolton and Lake George in the Adirondacks. So, I would say roughly half-way between where I picked it up and home. So, it wasn't entirely out of the woods yet, but I guess I will say that it survived winching it onto the trailer at least then. I did have some trouble unloading it and I had to pull some tricks moving the bed back and forth to try to push the tractor off of the flatbed to unload it as it didn't want to roll off nicely. I was still very slow and careful with it and when I did get the front of the tractor to drop off, it fell at most MAYBE 4 to 6 inches, so not a significant fall or anything. I figured it should have survived that easily, but then again, there was no cushioning from the flat tires either and the shock was probably transmitted right through the wheel rims to the front axle and cross member. Still, to do enough damage to crack that front support/bolster, I'd imagine the wheel rims would have been bent up or damaged as well and I didn't see that at all. It just seems very weird to me...

 

Rick Show ( BlackJackJake) one of or site sponsors has a good used 1250 bolster, if you want the heavier version used on the later Large Frames I probably can help you out. The later large frames also incorporated a "L" brace behind the front axle to lessen the side to side torque under use the axle gets, unless it becomes a full Monty resto I strongly suggest installing a pair.


Yes, I am actually working with Diesel1050 right now on trying to procure another bolster/support for this tractor.
I also happened to find one on eBay (here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/272250987268). The only issue with the one on eBay is it doesn't really look exactly the same as the one on my tractor, even though the seller claims that it is from a 1250 parts tractor. I'm betting it is probably off of a later HT model tractor though. I'm not sure what the extra holes are for in the one in the auction and also the three posts that the hood hinge mounts too seem a lot shorter than the ones on my tractor. It may still work, but I'm not 100% sure. I'd rather find one that is identical to the one I have on there now.

So, did the later Large Frames not use a cast iron support and rather a steel reinforced one or something? I was not aware that Bolens added L-shaped support brackets to the front support on the later model Large Frames either. Were these incorporated into the bolster/support as one piece or were these bolted on and can be added or removed to/from the tractor? I'm not sure if I could add these onto my 1250 or not. I'd have to see some pictures of what you are talking about to see the difference.

 

The plastic gas tank and heat shield are from a later model Large Frame (HT20-23) the 1250 would of had a metal one.


Oh, so the heat shield for the gas tank (that big blue metal plate in the pictures) isn't original to this tractor either and that, along with the plastic gas tank, came off of a later model Large Frame (like an HT series)? I'm sure I can use it for now, but I'm not sure if anyone has an original 1250 metal gas tank that isn't all full of rust, sediment, sludge, and gunk that I could get to eventually replace the one that is in here with if I end up deciding to try to fully restore this tractor some day in the future...?



 

Here's the air cleaner that would have gone on the Walbro (Take a look at the pictures):

http://bolenspartsan...2d-s14d-tra12d/

Choke cable can be attached using the original style cable


So, do you have this air cleaner assembly available at all or do you just sell the filter element itself? If not, do you have any ideas where I can find one? I'm assuming that this air cleaner sticks out far enough that the hood will close behind the air cleaner housing, right? (Otherwise, it looks too big and like it would interfere with closing the hood all the way.)

Do you have a choke cable available for this? Is there anything else that I would need to make the choke work on this, like a cable mounting bracket and hold-down for the end of the cable so that it will actually move the choke lever?


Thanks!

Edited by MailmAn, July 13, 2016 - 08:38 PM.


#33 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted July 13, 2016 - 05:55 PM

I do carry the choke cables and clips , they are cut to fit, to the length you need, will get pricing on the air filter kit and get back with you, will also quote a used assembly w/ new filter as well


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#34 WrenchinOnIt ONLINE  

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Posted July 13, 2016 - 06:00 PM

Sorry I confess I DIDN'T read the whole post before I answered. Glad it runs . There are rear axle seals you have to pull the rear hubs to access them, they will leak after drying out sometimes they stop after some use but it's been my experience usually they don't. Best is to change them. Our Sponsors who specialize in Bolens can get them for you. The Eaton 12 hydro pumps did experience some failures early on, I would think by '69 the snags were worked out. TSC carries a universal hydro fluid for older tractors two types one is a little more money because it is advertised to help condition older units. The old red Ford ATF was the standard I believe. I use Brad Penn universal in all my hydrostatics for several years now and it's a excellent product.

That bolster on the ebay listing you reference is from a member here NJ Ken, he did or still does have a stable of large frames he's in the know on what's what, however the hinge mounting shoulders do appear to be shorter and would require the spacers used on the later LF's. It has the thinner side pieces thou. Here is a reference :http://gardentractor...ter +difference. I'd use a newer beefier bolster if I could get one, Bolens knew they had a problem and tried to make them sturdier. I still believe it was probably cracked and during the move/unloading it gave. All the LF bolsters are made from cast iron.
I had the exact same thought as Ed (Husky) who also knows his way around an LF, that the home brewed bracket was an attempt to repair the bolster, but after carefully viewing your pics I agree with your muffler/ heat shield theory.
L brackets pic:

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_20160713_1827477_rewind_kindlephoto-61190675.jpg
  • IMG_20160713_1827355_rewind_kindlephoto-61285895.jpg

Edited by WrenchinOnIt, July 13, 2016 - 06:10 PM.

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#35 blackjackjakexxix ONLINE  

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Posted July 13, 2016 - 08:38 PM

If your interested I do have a bolster from a 1250,pm me for more info,are you intending to make this original ?,good luck with it

#36 Husky OFFLINE  

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Posted July 14, 2016 - 06:22 AM

I see what you mean on that support. Maybe it was a muffler but either way, there is a 1" gap between the front of the frame rail and the bolster. That is not a good sign. There should be no gap. It still looks as if that bolster is broken but it's hard to tell in your picture. 



#37 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 14, 2016 - 09:04 AM

I see what you mean on that support. ... It still looks as if that bolster is broken but it's hard to tell in your picture.


Oh, it is DEFINITELY broken on both sides, no doubt. Look at the other pictures of it and it is quite easy to tell:
 

Right Side:
Bolens1250-20160709_13.jpg


Left Side:
Bolens1250-20160709_15.jpg



I'm just still thinking that I broke it moving it around, which sucks. But what others have said about it already being fatigued or possibly having hairline cracks in it already before I bought it and the little jostling around I did moving it around to get it home finally just finished it off makes some sense as well.

 

If you're interested, I do have a bolster from a 1250. PM me for more info. Are you intending to make this original? Good luck with it!


Thank you, I appreciate it. If my current lead falls though for some reason and I am unable to get one elsewhere, I will definitely message you and see if I can get one from you.

I guess since it already doesn't have the original engine in it, it's not going to be an "all original" machine and I'm not going to throw out the engine that is in it and replace it with the correct S-12D engine unless this one dies on me or something, so... Not sure if that answers your question or not? If I can get a more reinforced bolster for it and it will fit fine and the hood will still fit (like I said, I was worried about the shorter hood hinge mounting posts on some of the other bolsters I have seen...), then I would probably like to replace mine with the heavier duty one. If I can't find one for a reasonable price though, I may just go with the original one for the tractor and try to be more careful with it.

Edited by MailmAn, July 14, 2016 - 09:05 AM.


#38 Husky OFFLINE  

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Posted July 14, 2016 - 11:29 AM

Yah they do get stressed. Who knows what was on that tractor in the past. Is the break on the drivers side a fresh break also? No matter what when you replace the bolster there is not supposed to be any space between the front of the frame rails and the bolster. You get movement if there is space and that helps to stress it and crack it again. I replaced two of them, it's a bit of a pain but nothing that can't be done. I'd go with that S14-D for sure if it runs well. 


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#39 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 25, 2016 - 08:28 AM

Okay, so now I have another problem (what else is new?)...  I have been trying to source some new treads for my 1250 as the original tyres on this tractor are beyond shot and are all dry rotted, falling apart, the tread is separated, etc, etc, etc...  I went to my local tyre shop where I get all my tyres for my cars and trucks and such and asked him to price me out some tyres for my tractor.  The original fronts are 20x8.00-10 2 Ply Rating and the rears are 26x12.00-12 2 Ply Rating.  The new tyres are all 4 Ply Rating as they evidently don't make 2 Ply tyres anymore.  I was told that for some reason they could ONLY get the turf saver tyres at my local shop and they didn't offer any other tread patterns.  Then they told me the prices...  The front tyres were $60 each and the rear tyres were going to cost me $140 each!!  So, to put 4 brand new tyres on my tractor is going to cost more than I paid for the whole tractor!  It was going to cost me $280 for both rear tyres and another $120 for the front tyres, bringing the grand total (not including tax or NYS tyre disposal fee either, mind you...) to around $400!!!  That is more than I paid for 4 new tyres on my car, which were P225-60R16's!

 

So, needless to say, I held off on buying them from my local shop and figured I'd ask around and do some online searching to see if I could find a better price on some new tyres for my tractor.  If anyone has any suggestions on where I can buy tyres for a LOT cheaper, please let me know.  I'm trying not to get killed on parts to fix this tractor up and get it running again, but so far I have had no luck and everything is costing me an arm and a leg these days!

 

I'm also wondering what options I have for tread design.  I'm sure the turf saver tread is going to be the safest to be sure it's not going to tear up my lawn, but it won't provide the best traction in mud or snow.  On the other hand, if I go for the big V tread design like Austen has on his 1886 tractor, I'm sure those will get much better traction in snow and mud, but will also wreak havoc on my lawn:

 


IMG_2502_zpsh4kjqio1.jpg

 

So, is there a good happy medium as far as tread design goes for my tractor that will get decent traction in difficult conditions but also won't dig up my lawn?  The other thing I could do is if I can find a decent price on tyres and wheels, I could always just buy a second set of wheels for the rear and mount up the V tread tyres on one set and the turf saver tyres on another set and just swap the tyres around as needed depending on what I'm going to do with the tractor - from mowing to ploughing to snowcasting, etc...

 

I'd appreciate any help and suggestions y'all can offer on choosing tyres for my 1250.  Thanks!


Edited by MailmAn, July 25, 2016 - 08:44 AM.

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#40 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 26, 2016 - 10:30 AM


Hello?            :anyone:                       :watch_over_fence:
 
 
I did manage to do some searching yesterday online and to my dismay, didn't really find many prices that were cheaper than I was quoted by my local tyre shop (but found quite a few that were more expensive, depending on the tread design and number of plys the tyre was...).  I did find one somewhat newer tread design (at least it was new to me as I had never seen it before) that I was slightly intrigued by.  It is a tyre made by Carlisle (who is one of the big manufacturers of small lawn and garden tyres) and it is their Turf Smart tyre.  Here is a picture of the tread design:


b8163088-ee53-4015-bb3d-1627f510689f.jpg

 
I kind of like it and may go with that for the front tyres on my tractor at least.  I'm not really sure if they are any more aggressive than Carlisle's standard Turf Saver or Turf Master tyres at all.  The company advertises these as OEM replacement tyres for like modern Zero-Turn mowers and professional grade lawn and turf equipment.  Has anyone had any experience with these tyres or think it is worth getting these over their standard Turf Saver or Turf Master tyres?  (The other ones seem a bit cheaper on average than the Turf Smart tyres too.)
 
Is there anyplace that sells the original looking tyres that came on this tractor originally by Bolens?  I'm sure they probably aren't manufactured anymore unless a company out there makes reproduction tyres for them or something.  I have seen some pictures of Large Frame Bolens tractors on this site though with the original-looking front tyres on them at least, but they look in too nice a shape to be original survivor tyres.  Maybe I'm wrong in assuming that though?  If I can't find the original tyre tread design for this tractor, I'll have to go with something newer, like the above pictured tyre.
 
As for the rears, I'm still debating over going with a Turf Saver type tread design or the meatier looking V tread design, like the Carlisle Tru Power or Super Lug or the Deestone D405 or D408 or the Firestone Flotation tyres.  Otherwise, I haven't managed to find any intermediate looking tyres yet that will provide increased traction over a Turf Saver type tyre yet won't destroy my lawn like a big V tread tyre will likely do.

#41 LPBolens OFFLINE  

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Posted July 26, 2016 - 02:48 PM

I like that tread design. I have not seen it before either. Sort of a take-off on the older design that came on the Bolens tractors. Unless I am looking to have extreme traction requirements, I typically stay away from ag treads. You can always put tire chains on a turf tire for those times when a little more traction is needed. As for price? Aren't none of them cheap anymore, as you have discovered by doing research on your own.


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#42 Austen ONLINE  

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Posted July 26, 2016 - 04:50 PM

If you're careful, you won't tear up the lawn with AGs. For normal use running around, it just doesn't happen until you start to spin if you're pushing or pulling something really heavy. Fill the tires, run weights, and that chance of spinning goes down. Mine rarely slip unless I've got a load on the front and am backing up a loose dirt hill or running a box blade. Spin long enough with a turf tire and it will damage the lawn as well which will happen quick, mind you, because these machines are heavy. Both of my tractors run AGs and have not run into issues over the years of them tearing up the lawn due to their design.

 

What are your intended uses for the tractor? If it's going to primarily be used for mowing and not ever used for tilling, plowing, or ground breaking attachments, then go with the turfs. If you're going to be playing in the dirt at all, there's no question to go with AGs. I once had turfs on a tractor and wouldn't do it again. It almost rendered the machine useless for anything other than mowing.


Edited by Austen, July 26, 2016 - 05:05 PM.

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#43 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 27, 2016 - 05:36 PM

What are your intended uses for the tractor? If it's going to primarily be used for mowing and not ever used for tilling, plowing, or ground breaking attachments, then go with the turfs. If you're going to be playing in the dirt at all, there's no question to go with AGs. I once had turfs on a tractor and wouldn't do it again. It almost rendered the machine useless for anything other than mowing.

 

Thanks for the helpful input, Austen.  I was actually going to ask how your tractor runs with those AG tyres on it and if they rip up your lawn at all?  I'm sure you purposefully put those on that 1886 in the picture because it has the front loader on it, so you would need good traction to use that effectively in loose dirt or mud.  My other question about those tyres then is how is the ride?  I'm wondering if the tractor has a significantly rougher and bumpier ride with those tyres on it versus a turf tyre?  Is it similar to riding around on a tractor with tyre chains on it?  (Because I have to say that I tried that with my Bolens 850 tractor a while ago for Snowcasting and it hurts your @$$ riding around on the tractor with tyre chains on it!)

 

To answer your question about what I would use this tractor for, I'm thinking my intent would be to use it for snow removal as I ended up getting that Snowcaster attachment with the tractor.  That's why I was looking for a tyre that would supply good traction, especially up and down hills on potentially slick pavement.  I know chains would help out a lot in that situation too, but I don't have any chains for the 1250 right now (I only have a set for my 850).  However, I may also end up doing some mowing with the tractor as well.  I shouldn't really need to do that though as I have a Bolens 850 and an EK-10 Estate Keeper as well that I can mow with (even though the 850 is currently not running...).  As of right now though, I do not have any other attachments for the 1250, such as a tiller or a plough blade, that could really benefit from having AG tyres on the tractor.  I was also thinking that for Snowcasting, skinnier rear tyres might really be better than the wide-@$$ tyres that were on there as the skinny tyres would cut through the snow better instead of riding up over the top of the snow like the wider tyres will have a tendancy to do.  However, I also don't have the narrower set of rear wheels for the Large Frames either, so I would have to find a set before I could worry about that.  If that were the case, I could put AG tyres on the skinnier wheels and put Turf tyres on the wider wheels for mowing.

 

At least these are my thoughts for it at the moment...  which may change next year, next month, next week, or even to-morrow!  lol...



#44 Austen ONLINE  

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Posted July 27, 2016 - 07:14 PM

 

I was actually going to ask how your tractor runs with those AG tyres on it and if they rip up your lawn at all?

 

I haven't run into issues with them tearing up the lawn. If you're mindful, it's not a problem. Large frames don't have a very sharp turning radius so you're not going to be making really sharp turns where AGs could scuff either.

 

 

My other question about those tyres then is how is the ride?  I'm wondering if the tractor has a significantly rougher and bumpier ride with those tyres on it versus a turf tyre?

 

If the tires are not going to be filled, then yes, you will feel a more bumpy ride when you're on a hard surface.Mine have weights and are also filled so it's a fairly smooth ride as they conform to the terrain quite a bit.

 

 

Is it similar to riding around on a tractor with tyre chains on it?

 

Not going to be near that bumpy, even without weights and fluid.

 

 

To answer your question about what I would use this tractor for, I'm thinking my intent would be to use it for snow removal as I ended up getting that Snowcaster attachment with the tractor.  That's why I was looking for a tyre that would supply good traction, especially up and down hills on potentially slick pavement.  I know chains would help out a lot in that situation too, but I don't have any chains for the 1250 right now (I only have a set for my 850).  However, I may also end up doing some mowing with the tractor as well.  I shouldn't really need to do that though as I have a Bolens 850 and an EK-10 Estate Keeper as well that I can mow with (even though the 850 is currently not running...).  As of right now though, I do not have any other attachments for the 1250, such as a tiller or a plough blade, that could really benefit from having AG tyres on the tractor.

 

Turfs may just be for you then. Turf tires are not only easier to chain up than AGs but from what I understand, are actually more effective with chains on in the snow than AGs as well.

 

 

I was also thinking that for Snowcasting, skinnier rear tyres might really be better than the wide-@$$ tyres that were on there as the skinny tyres would cut through the snow better instead of riding up over the top of the snow like the wider tyres will have a tendancy to do.

 

That is true.

 

 

However, I also don't have the narrower set of rear wheels for the Large Frames either, so I would have to find a set before I could worry about that.  If that were the case, I could put AG tyres on the skinnier wheels and put Turf tyres on the wider wheels for mowing.

 

Unless you buy new rims, the 15s are more uncommon and harder to find than the 12" rear rims.


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#45 Husky OFFLINE  

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Posted July 28, 2016 - 11:14 AM

I ran ag's on my 1556 for a few years mowing my lawn and no issue at all with digging up the turf. I run them on a few of my tubers and on a couple of my large frame tractors and same thing no issues unless you really dig and spin the tires. 


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: bolens, tractor, large frame, 1250, hydrostatic, wisconsin, s-14d, 14hp, 48in deck, 42in sno-caster

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