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1050 Transmission Question and Oil Spec


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#1 red79 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2016 - 01:43 PM

Hi everybody,

 

I have a couple questions regarding the 1050 worm gear driven transmission.  I've heard several variants of the 'will it roll' explanation, but would like to clear it up.  I have a tractor that will roll if the transmission is in neutral and I rock the tractor (discovered this accidentally).  I know it's not the end play adjustment, because I have no issues with slipping under load or anything.  Thinking about this intuitively, this makes sense to me, because force can only be applied until something gives... and the first thing to 'give' when stressed should be the worm gear reacting to the force by rotating.  I've heard several fellow tube frame owners with this experience; then again, I've seen a lot of discussion saying that rolling is ALWAYS evidence of a damaged transmission.

 

Can some of you chime in with your experiences?  I'm sure our 30-50 year old tractors have some transmission wear -- there's no free lunch -- but I'm not so convinced that that being able to get the worm gear spinning while the transmission is in neutral is that big of a deal.  In my case, this tractor can still just about push a house off its foundation, so I'm not overly concerned.

 

Also, I believe the oil specification on this trans is straight SAE 90 gear oil.  But what is the range of acceptable?  Does it have to be GL-1, GL-4?  Does 80w90 work as well as SAE 90?



#2 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2016 - 06:01 PM

Hi everybody,

 

I have a couple questions regarding the 1050 worm gear driven transmission.  I've heard several variants of the 'will it roll' explanation, but would like to clear it up.  I have a tractor that will roll if the transmission is in neutral and I rock the tractor (discovered this accidentally).  I know it's not the end play adjustment, because I have no issues with slipping under load or anything.  Thinking about this intuitively, this makes sense to me, because force can only be applied until something gives... and the first thing to 'give' when stressed should be the worm gear reacting to the force by rotating.  I've heard several fellow tube frame owners with this experience; then again, I've seen a lot of discussion saying that rolling is ALWAYS evidence of a damaged transmission.

 

At our dealership, we sold many new gear-drive, tube-frame tractors.  .....NONE of them would roll with the free-wheeling pin engaged.  ......On used tractors which came in for repair, some would roll with the pin engaged.   ......On these tractors, we would adjust the rear axle end-play, and approx. 95% of the times, this would correct the symptom.  ......The approx. 5% which would still roll had either bigger problems or a lot of wear internally.  .....In some cases, repairs were not justified until failure occurred.

 

Bolens recommended periodic adjustment of the axle end play to prevent problems.

 

Can some of you chime in with your experiences?  I'm sure our 30-50 year old tractors have some transmission wear -- there's no free lunch -- but I'm not so convinced that that being able to get the worm gear spinning while the transmission is in neutral is that big of a deal.  In my case, this tractor can still just about push a house off its foundation, so I'm not overly concerned.

 

 

Also, I believe the oil specification on this trans is straight SAE 90 gear oil.  But what is the range of acceptable?  Does it have to be GL-1, GL-4?  Does 80w90 work as well as SAE 90?

 

If you are on flat ground, the rolling in neutral is not a big issue if it does not "skip" under load.

 

However, working on slopes may present a problem.

 

 

As to gear lube, SAE 90, 80-85-90, 80w90, are all acceptable. 

 

You can use whatever you choose to put in (or leave out of)  the transaxle, but there may be consequences for poor choices.  .....Some of the synthetic gear lubes will attack "yellow" metals (brass & bronze).  .....The rate of deterioration may be a subject of debate, but why accept any degradation if you can avoid it ?? .....That is why GL-1 is suggested.

 

I have personally witnessed 2 different gear lubes attack  brass worm wheels in gearboxes (industrial equipment).  .....I did some research, and that was when I learned from Valvoline (a lubricant manufacturer) about incompatibility of some lubes and yellow metals.


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#3 red79 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2016 - 08:08 PM

Thanks for the response! Your extensive knowledge on the subject raises another question: when adjusting end play the instructions say to only hand tighten -- I'm sure that was fine back when the equipment was new, but it's not been my experience that handtightening is effective at bringing the axle back to where it needs to be, so if I use a wrench, when do I know that I've got the axle aligned properly? Will I start to feel a noticeable binding? If I understand the adjustment correctly, isn't there a dowel pin in the axle that the adjustment is bringing to the inner wall of the trans?

#4 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2016 - 09:48 PM

I have to confess it has been ages since I've been inside a Bolens transaxle, as I was out of the business in 1984, so others have more recent knowledge.

 

I tend to agree with your thoughts on "hand-tightening."

 

As the end play is tightened, you will reach the point where significant binding will be felt.  ....The adjustment should then be backed-off from there.

 

As for the dowel pin, only some tube-frame models had a pin through the axle.   ....Some other models had a collar welded to the axle.

 

However, the pin does not apply pressure to the case of the trans. 

 

For your 1050, follow the instructions on the yellow sheet at this link:

 

http://gardentractor...lay-adjustment/


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#5 red79 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 21, 2016 - 08:22 AM

Thanks Bruce,

 

This is the answer that I had hoped to find in previous rounds of research as I was wrenching on some of my former tube frames.  When adjusting end-play, I would usually get to the point of wimping out because (1) the instructions very clearly warn against using a wrench in the process and (2) I had seen a few posts where people had an axle shear off right at the point of the dowel pin.  I have not adjusted the play on my current machine -- I've probably only run it for about an hour since owning it just testing it out and such -- so I will make that adjustment and hope the issue is resolved.  If it can still roll, I'll just assume the last 50 years (it's a 1967) have generated some wear.  I'm sure it will be ok as the only work this machine will see is snow blowing when we get storms that are too big to plow, possibly rescuing a downed workhorse tractor and dragging it back to the garage, and maybe a little tilling.  It's more of a toy than an everyday worker and it's too pretty to get real dirty. 

 

Since we all love to see pictures of the machines we're asking questions about, here's a link with some pictures of the tractor when I picked it up:

http://gardentractor...ear-new-bolens/



#6 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted October 21, 2016 - 09:14 AM

One other thought:

 

The differential lock inside the left rear wheel should normally be disengaged (red knob screwed out counter-clockwise).

 

Making many turns with the diff lock fully engaged puts a lot of stress on internal gears, and probably accelerates wear.

 

The diff lock was intended to be used when one wheel lost traction.


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#7 red79 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 21, 2016 - 09:25 AM

Yeah, I do check that when buying tractors and wouldn't touch one that I thought had been locked perpetually with a 10 foot pole. I've heard some people say, not only was the rear end locked when they got a machine, it was seized in the lock position. My hope is that this spent 40 years of its life or more as a lawn mower operated by a sweet little old lady. It's always a bit of a gamble when buying machinery this old😬




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