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My 150.00 Economy tractor...1960.


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#1 classic ONLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2017 - 06:45 PM

Picked this up last Saturday since it was cheap and an hour away. I could see it was rusty and figured that water could have gotten into the engine, trans, rear, or steering box. I've taken apart some crusty machines and got lucky, but sometimes, not so lucky. For a buck fifty, it was worth a gamble. The tractor wouldn't roll, so we loaded up with a front end loader and offloaded the same way. The shifter was stuck and all of the tires are shot. The back rims are rusted through, but I have a good pair to use. I've spent some time over the last week disassembling things to see what's shot and what's not. Here are some pics of the machine, and I'll follow up with pics of what I've found and worked on so far.

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#2 classic ONLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2017 - 06:51 PM

I removed the engine first. It's the cruddiest engine I've ever seen. It turned out to have been bored .010 over and had a new crank installed. The engine is very clean inside and the crank and rod measure near new. I'll be saving the internals for another block, and that tractor will get a nice Briggs 23fb installed in it.

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#3 classic ONLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2017 - 07:04 PM

The transmission was almost dry, so I soaked it in ATF before removing it and disassembling it. The throw out bearing was a bit dry, and the clutch disc metal was a bit flaky. The pressure plate surface was a bit pitted and the fingers had some wear on them. I had a cleaned up T-92 transmission case and new bearings on hand, so I used the good parts from this transmission to build another one to install. Only the cluster gear was shot from pitting, and I only used one fork from the top cover. I will clean up the original case to build a spare transmission. I have a good clutch disc, but I picked up a pressure plate from member username, and a new throw out bearing that someone had listed for 30 bucks. The pilot bushing is fine, but I picked up a new pilot bushing seal.

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#4 637Yeoman OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2017 - 07:10 PM

Thanks for keeping us updated, and thanks for preserving a piece of history that could have possibly rusted away if you did not save it :thumbs:  :rocker2:


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#5 classic ONLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2017 - 07:18 PM

Then it was on to the rear end. I removed the left side bull gear housing cover assembly and found that water damaged the inner housing bearing and the axle where the bearing rides. Everything else looked great, so I will just replace this bad axle, bearings, gaskets, and seals. I then removed the right side bull gear housing assembly and found no problems at all. Everything looked fine, so I will just replace the gaskets and seals. I moved onto the steering column since I didn't plan on disassembling the differential. I changed my mind about that today, though, and good thing I did. The differential is actually very clean, but the inner axle seals would have leaked if I left them.

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#6 classic ONLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2017 - 07:23 PM

You can see the end of the center axle is dark and pitted. This area is surface hardened and where the inner needle roller bearing rides. I'm replacing it with the axle on the right in the pic. The axle on the left is the good original axle.

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#7 classic ONLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2017 - 07:39 PM

The steering actually felt pretty good, so I had high hopes for it. Oil came out when I removed the steering box cover and I was relieved to see that! Chunks of plastic,turned to charcoal from age and sun, came off of the steering wheel when I removed it. I was surprised to see all of the steering column components in excellent shape, other than the acorn nut, steering wheel, steering column tube, and the cap for the steering column tube. I have an NOS steering wheel, a new acorn nut, a new 7/8" sector shaft seal, and a good used tube cap. I cut down a used tube that was damaged on one end to replace the original dented and pitted tube. I degreased all of the steering column parts, so I just have to make a cover gasket, and prep the parts for paint and assembly. After restoring one of these tractors already, I'm hoping to breeze through this one pretty quickly.

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Edited by classic, March 27, 2017 - 12:15 AM.

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#8 classic ONLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2017 - 08:05 PM

For some reason I like restoring these old rusty tractors, Luke, and you're welcome. These Economy tractors have really become a favorite of mine after finally getting to use the one that I rebuilt last year. They are a big tough, simply built garden tractor, and parts are not hard to find at all. I put this project ahead of some other tractor projects, since I can't wait to use it. The cold weather is fading, so I'll be spending all of my free time on this one. I'll probably swap out the front spindles and put the 12" rims on it. I'm going to try out the 8" rims first, maybe, to see how it is.
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#9 MNGB ONLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2017 - 10:25 PM

Hi classic, glad you started this thread I'll be following your progress on the PK, interesting on what you found in the final drivers and the differential, are you planning on a complete restore or ?


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#10 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2017 - 11:15 PM

We can always count on you for rescuing some of the worst tractors. It's amazing how an engine can be that bad but inside so well preserved. Will be watching with excitement with high expectations 😆
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#11 classic ONLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2017 - 11:43 PM

I'll be working on this one steadily and it will get a full restoration of sorts. Everything that the tractor needs to bring it back, it will get. I say a restoration of sorts, since I won't be using the original engine. The original 1960 Briggs 23AFB block is in rough shape. For now I will be installing a Briggs model 23FB from 1956 that came off of a generator. The generator shaft is coupled to the crankshaft, so it's not tapered. These engines seem to be identical, so I don't know what the difference is between them yet. I'll have to look through the illustrated parts lists of both engines to see if there is a difference. By chance, I have another Briggs 23AFB from 1960 that I stripped down for parts. This engine was originally on an Economy tractor. My plan is to build up a replacement 23AFB using this block and install it in this tractor. I'm also not sure if I want to keep the 8" front rims, or install 12" rims and shorter spindles. I always thought that the Jim Dandy and Squire tractors only came with the 8" rims like these. This tractor does not say Power King on it anywhere, just Economy Tractor on the ID tag and sticker on the front of the hood. The tractor serial number ends with an E, and I'm trying to find out what the E designates, if anything.
I did find a sticker on the engine in the tractor that says Midlik's Power Equipment, Inc., Fairfield CT. This engine was rebuilt at one time, so maybe it was them that rebuilt it. This tractor may have been sold by them at one point, also. I think they are Fairfield Power Equipment now from the info I came up with online. Everything is broken down on the tractor now, and I have most of what I need to complete it. I have to spend some time making a handful of gaskets for the rear end, trans, driveshaft housing, and steering box. I have the same seat in nice shape and better fenders to replace the rusty ones, and a couple of shifter boots on the way. This tractor is about as simple as it gets when it comes to Economy Tractors, so it's a fairly simple restoration. It's mostly going to take elbow grease to get it done now.

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#12 classic ONLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2017 - 12:01 AM

Hey Sawdust, how have you been? " Goin' to the scrapper " tractors seem to be all I come across anymore, and to be honest, it's what I seem to like to work on most. Turning a tractor like this from trash to treasure is rewarding. That MTD 990 you brought back was a real good example of this. I have umpteen tractor projects all going on at once, a little here, a little there, and I'm making progress on each of them. I have a few threads going,some a couple of years old, and I'll be updating them as I work on each one. Lately, I've been working on them more instead of chatting here, so I figured that I would start this thread with this Economy Tractor. This one is going from start to finish without veering off onto something else.
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#13 classic ONLINE  

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Posted April 01, 2017 - 10:36 AM

Instead of using the engine from the generator, I decided to rebuild the the Briggs 23AFB from 1960 that I had on hand. I picked these two engines a couple of years ago for 30 bucks for the pair. The one on the left is a 23DFB which I rebuilt and installed in my Junkyard PK. The one on the right is the 1960 23AFB that was manufactured a few months later than the original AFB in this tractor. Since the piston, rod, and crankshaft are in excellent shape in the crusty engine on the tractor, I will be using them for this rebuild.

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#14 classic ONLINE  

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Posted April 01, 2017 - 10:48 AM

The cooling fins are rusted thin on the engine in the tractor and the replacement DFB block is in nice shape. It looks like the original engine in the tractor tossed a rod at some point and knocked a chunk of cast iron off of the bottom of the cylinder, and from the web by the crankcase breather. This block really is in sad shape. I honed the replacement block .010 oversize and I have new rings to install on the piston. I'm waiting for the gasket set, a crankshaft seal, and the exhaust valve seat so that I can do the valve job and assemble the long block. I have new valves and the rest of the parts to build the replacement 23AFB for this tractor.

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#15 MNGB ONLINE  

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Posted April 01, 2017 - 11:55 AM

Hi classic the replacement block really looks good, what kind of hone do you use to hone the cly over size?


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