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Empire Rider


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#1 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted July 27, 2016 - 01:54 PM

Today I'm getting back into fixing the Empire rider I traded for awhile back. It's a neat, hard to find little garden tractor that was built in Windsor, Ontario. The one machine is a 1943, but I don't know what the other one is. I started with the 1943 that I got in a trade, and it needed a lot of rear end and brake parts, both of which are of a unique design, particularly the drive system. You have a little lever for each wheel allowing you to engage or disengage it. You can have no wheels driving, the right, the left, or both, but it looks a little complicated and I have no idea how it works. I have to take a good look at it to figure it out. Anyway, that tractor sat for a bit until I stumbled onto another one belonging to a friend. It, too, was missing some parts, but the drive system and brakes were complete. My hope is to make one good, complete tractor from two. I started this project awhile ago, then discovered that what I thought would be an easy, straight forward process of swapping parts was not going to be. Upon discovering that, I put this project on hold and moved on to other things. There are lots of small, subtle differences between the two machines; they are not exactly the same. Anyway, my current plan is to remove the engine from the machine with the hood sitting under it (the 1943), and swap it onto the other machine. That engine seems to run fine, or I think it will with a little tinkering. It starts relatively easily and has about 70lbs compression. The other engine has been giving me grief. So, I'm hoping to swap the engines to start, and I'm really hoping they will slide out of the clutches without too much trouble, but we'll see. Once I've got the engine swapped, I'll move on to the fact that the hood doesn't fit this tractor as the steering column is angled a little more upright than the other one and consequently doesn't allow the hood to sit properly. Then I have to tack the transmission support crossmembers into place. Right now, I could probably pull the transmission out by hand. That can't be right. Then I'll have to look at the rear end's wheel engagement system. I don't think that's working properly either, though it' complete, but I don't know how it works so I'll have to figure it out first. More on these steps later, after the engine swap. One thing at a time, and I'll post as I go. I'm hoping to be done in a few days as I moved them from my garage onto the driveway. It's hot and humid here and has been for awhile. May have to tarp them in the event of a thunderstorm, but it's easier working outside as there's more space.

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#2 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted July 27, 2016 - 06:18 PM

Neat looking tractors! Should be fun to run! Good luck!



#3 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted July 28, 2016 - 04:33 PM

The swap is going alright so far. Engine is in fine and I have the steering column on a bit more of an angle to accomodate the hood. I have the transmission (sort of) bolted in now so we'll see if it holds or if I need to weld it. I had it running and moved it forward to few feet and backward a few feet. One hiccup so far: after the engine has been running for 30 seconds or maybe a minute, it smokes pretty good. I don't think it's rings. I had to switch two head bolts to put the right fuel tank on, so I torqued all the head bolts to the same spec, did another compression test, and now it's up over 80 lbs. Crankcase breather plugged maybe? I know I still neeed to clean the carb and play with it a little. My Tiger does the same thing, pulling 95 lbs but smokes.

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#4 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted August 05, 2016 - 02:49 PM

These are the two items in the crankcase breather. I assume they are correct. I can see daylight through both so I assume they're not plugged. I didn't put it back together yet and try it again, but I'm thinking that because these look fine that the smoking isn't the problem. Any other ideas as to why it smokes bad?

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#5 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted August 05, 2016 - 02:59 PM

Wait a minute. I just checked the oil level and oil came pouring out the check oil/oil fill plug. The oil level is way too high. Why would that be? I changed the oil, filling to the bottom of that plug as usual and none was coming out when I changed it. Why is it now, out the same plug, coming pouring out? I haven't had this happen before so I'm a bit confused. I suppose a high oil level could explain the smoke and burning oil, but how did the oil level get higher from when I changed it? Am I doing something wrong? Now I want to open that plug, let the excessive oil drain out, and then start it again to see if it still smokes. Amy I about to learn a simple and obvious lesson? Any help?

#6 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted August 05, 2016 - 03:17 PM

Was wondering about gas in the oil, but I smelled it and I don't smell gas, just oil. Still, the carb was leaking out the bottom so I'll take it apart, inspect it (particularly the float) and see if that's the issue. I'm thinking it is, or at least that's my current theory anyway. I wanted to check take the carb of anyway, even though it looks like it was rebuilt by the previous owner. Normally I do that right away, but the previous owner said he had it running and I can see a new main jet on the end of it so I assumed it would likely be fine. We'll see.

#7 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2016 - 05:43 AM

Wait a minute. I just checked the oil level and oil came pouring out the check oil/oil fill plug. The oil level is way too high. Why would that be? I changed the oil, filling to the bottom of that plug as usual and none was coming out when I changed it. Why is it now, out the same plug, coming pouring out? I haven't had this happen before so I'm a bit confused. I suppose a high oil level could explain the smoke and burning oil, but how did the oil level get higher from when I changed it? Am I doing something wrong? Now I want to open that plug, let the excessive oil drain out, and then start it again to see if it still smokes. Amy I about to learn a simple and obvious lesson? Any help?

That usually is from gas in the oil!



#8 petrj6 ONLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2016 - 07:02 AM

Yep, if the carb is leaking fuel by then it can get in the case and overfill it. Looking at the pics ,the carb setup looks like a up draft style so that is not likely. Mostly this is a problem in newer engines where the carb is level with the intake port. Double check that you don't have a carb issue as fuel is really the only thing that will thin oil, water will make it foam and be very obvious. Don't run it like that!!!! Thin oil will ruin your engine.

#9 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted August 24, 2016 - 09:33 AM

Got the oil level issue cleared up, I think. I started it up and it seemed to run okay and blew no smoke. Still not running perfect. I think it still needs some fiddling with the carb. Got the rear wheels to engage but that was a chore. Either it's out of adjustment or some parts are pretty worn. I'm still not even 100% sure exactly how the design works. Anyway, I drove it up and down the driveway a few times, parked it, and within two minutes of sitting I had a little puddle of oil under the engine. Front crank seal gone maybe? Other possibilities? I guess my next step is to take the flywheel shroud off and probably the flywheel too. I can't have it leaking that much oil.

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#10 DougT ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 07:22 PM

Jamie, kind of hard to tell what the pictures are. How about the oil pan gasket? Another thought is the bolts through the tank bracket are drilled through into the crankcase. I've had some that needed a little sealer to stop leakage. You should be able to see it down the side though.



#11 jtrojek OFFLINE  

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Posted August 29, 2016 - 05:59 PM

They are terrible pictures.  The last one is the bottom of the flywheel shroud where it kind of sits on a crossmember.  There was lots of oil between the two pieces.  The second last one was where the bottom right bolt for the flywheel shroud goes into the oil pan.  There was lots of oil sitting right up on top.  The second picture is looking underneath at the crossmember holding the front of the engine where all the oil was running down.

 

You actually had read my mind.  I literally had just said to my father earlier in the day that it could be a gasket for the oil pan.  I had also wondered if there were bolts going into the oil pan or crankcase (the flywheel shroud bolts?) that went into holes drilled right through into the pan or crankcase.  I will take the flywheel shroud off to investigate, hopefully sometime this week.  The more I had thought about it, the more I wondered if it were something other than a seal.  I'm not saying that it's not a seal, but I am saying I've never had that before, if that makes sense.

 

Anyway, thanks, Doug, and I will let you know what I find out, though it may be a few days.  I have a few things on the go at the moment.


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