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Does it count as a barn find if it was my barn?


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#1 rhythim OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2017 - 08:19 PM

My dad had this thing for fiddling with old mowers and tractors.  Probably 25 years ago he decided he wanted to find an old Suburban.  Long story short, he found  a completely original, unmolested, but non-running 1971 Suburban 12 with the original 48" deck. A weekend's worth of fiddling got it running again, albeit being pretty smoky while doing so.  He mowed with it a couple times, then parked it in the barn with the idea of coming up with parts to rebuild the 12hp Tec HH120

 

Fast forward to 2017, we've sold our property, and I'm going through the old equipment to find out if I'm going to keep anything, and I "find" this in the barn the same day I find the completely rebuilt, ready-to-install Kohler K321 in the attic of the garage.  I'm thinking there's a repower in my near future.

 

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#2 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2017 - 08:28 PM

I'd have to rebuild that Tech just cause that's what your Dad planned to do!


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#3 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2017 - 08:33 PM

I'd have to rebuild that Tech just cause that's what your Dad planned to do!

 

Got to agree.

 

Besides, when you scrape the dirt off that's going to be a nice original tractor.  Keep the original engine in it.


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#4 Marty'70 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2017 - 10:08 PM

I'll have to agree with Kenny. Seems like the older I get the more I tend to do things the hard way just for the nostalgia. Kinda wierd that way I guess.
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#5 secondtry OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2017 - 10:38 PM

   I would start looking for the planed home of the kohler. Sounds like there could be another barn find around Don


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#6 wcl400 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 19, 2017 - 12:32 AM

That is so cool and funny story too. Good find.
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#7 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted March 19, 2017 - 08:17 AM

Great story I agree as well keep it original mainly because of dad. This will give you an excuse to find another tractor to fit the Kohler.
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#8 toppop52 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 19, 2017 - 10:51 AM

I'm bucking popularity here, clean it up, install the Kohler and have nice machine. I'll bet it comes closer to being a rider again in your lifetime with the K, than if you wait to rebuild the old Tecumseh.



#9 glgrumpy OFFLINE  

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Posted March 19, 2017 - 11:59 AM

Looks like a wash job and be a real nice tractor, not all hacked up and missing covers and such.  I also would redo the Tec as the covers and other little items will all bolt up as should be and be nicer.  With Kohler you will lose the start/gen probly, the covers then for that, the cranks might be diff sizes, so new pulleys, and electric from Mag key switch to Battery key switch, and other wiring for same.  Could be done, but wouldn't be same. Like putting a Chevy in a Ford, which is done alot, but not right to me.



#10 speedbird OFFLINE  

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Posted March 19, 2017 - 12:26 PM

It's easy for us to tell you to do it the hard way when we aren't the ones doing it, but I agree if it is a nice original tractor try to keep it that way. Like they say, it's only original once. 


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#11 oldedeeres OFFLINE  

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Posted March 19, 2017 - 01:02 PM

And Yes, a barn find is a barn find, doesn't matter whose barn, lol.
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#12 toppop52 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 19, 2017 - 01:32 PM

If it was a matter of "I'm going to start on it tomorrow and work until it's done, what should I do?" I'd say rebuild the original, too. But most projects are a balance of time, money, patience and desire.
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#13 rhythim OFFLINE  

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Posted March 19, 2017 - 07:22 PM

Thanks for all the replies, folks.  I had some time this afternoon, so I pulled it out of the barn to get a closer look at it, since it had been every bit of 25 years since really being in daylight.  It still has the original Sears tires on it.  The fronts have some dry rot, but they're not coming apart.  Tubes aired up, but the left front has a slow leak.  Held air for about an hour before going flat again.  May see if I can get away with just putting a set of tubes in it.  Not like a blowout at 2.6mph is going to kill me in a horrific crash...lol.

 

As far as the Kohler, the whole reason I was looking at it is that it can be installed and used without having to cut anything, or reinvent the wheel for the clutch pulley since the bracket from the Tec bolts right up to where the starter bolts up on the Kohler.  I don't have any issues with modifying something if it's bolt-up, electronics don't scare me, it was a spare engine for one of Dad's Power King tractors anyhow.  I have a whole pile of those things I'm trying to get rid of.  As far as originality is concerned, that's what I have this for:

 

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That's the 1948 Farmall Cub that is the last thing Dad restored.  It's been apart down to every last nut and bolt.

 

 

Back to the Suburban...so I decided to fiddle with it some more and just see if it would do anything with a battery and some fresh fuel.  It had oil in it (that was as black as midnight in a mineshaft) but at least it had some.  I pulled the plug and verified it had spark, looked in the tank to see clean, dry, shiny metal, no rust or sludge.  Hmmmmm...

 

So after a few cranks and a small shot of ether, this happened:

 

Yes, I was holding my phone the wrong way...

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=EwXLDSpmhMo

 

So much for my memory of the Tec being a smoker!  I'll let that one slide for old age, but doesn't look like it's going to need an overhaul after all.

 

All that done, I grabbed the grease gun and hit all the zerks, tested the lights (working!), engaged/tested the mower deck (spindle bearings NICE and quiet) then got out the hose/bucket/sponge and knocked the big chunks off of it.  The seat has definitely been replaced somewhere along the way, but the rest of this thing is dead-nuts 1971 Sears.  It is without a doubt THE LIGHTEST steering lawn tractor I've ever ridden.  Almost like it has that completely numb 1970's GM/Chrysler/Ford big car 1-finger power steering.

 

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So now it's looking like I get to try and play "match that color" at the paint shop and come up with something close to Jade Mist.  Maybe next winter's project.  Think I'm gonna cut some grass with it this summer just like it is, though.

 


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#14 toppop52 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 19, 2017 - 08:30 PM

Well, that settled the motor issue!

#15 secondtry OFFLINE  

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Posted March 19, 2017 - 09:02 PM

I would likely paint the deck the rest looks good. Don






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