For the 3rd consecutive time in a row I would like to proudly nominate "Lucy". When it comes to moving snow this is what this tractor was resurrected for. Originally our/my plan was to build a winter tractor for my wife, having tried a few tractors out previously from modern to vintage we have learned a bit along the way and have built a criteria. First was a hydro driven tractor, that was easy because there are many options these days but I have had a foot operated hydro and was not as pleased with those as a lever driven hydro. The lever driven hydro does not requite constant pressure you just put the lever where you want it and relax while the tractor just moves along to where with the foot pedal you always have to maintain with it. Driving it with your hand is also great when you got snow boots on and snow everywhere. We had one other lever driven hydro in the past so knew that is what we wanted. Great tractor but very hard to steer, the worst part was that the clutch pedal was on the right and I have a bad knee so anything with a right hand clutch has now been ruled out, our/my options for our criteria are now a lot thinner. Now we are looking for a vintage garden tractor with a hydro drive and the clutch on the left. Oh and to top it off I am now picky to what design belt drive I get I have learned that the one with bends and twist in them do not last long I have tried those on my modern and vintage tractors and have never had much luck with belt wear. Constantly searching craigslist, ebay, my local paper I found an ad for some "old sears garden tractors". As I clicked on the ad and started looking at it I saw that there was a hydro with this odd shaped devise on it called a sickle mower, I notice a few mower decks a snow blower a manual driven sears just like the hydro drive and then one more completely shredded apart tractor they called a parts tractor with all kinds of crap and stuff welded to it, it was scary.
Well as you know I bought it yep the whole lot of stuff that I don't even know what it is yet. My wife is looking at me like I am crazy carrying home all this rusted junk, I could see she was wondering if I got paid for hauling home this "old junk"
I Immediately go at it like a gold miner that found his first nugget. Not sure if it was the pressure of proving to my wife that I didn't just pay a decent amount of money for a few trailer loads of junk or if it was because I saw the quality of the steel I was hauling home.
I got to working on the manual first because it had all its parts and I wanted to get at least one together.
I got the plow finished up and got that one moving along that winter and started to fall in love with it right away, this was the manual tractor I was looking for , its strong yet nimble steering, comfortable ergonomic I couldn't ask for a better simple vintage tractor.
I knew I was going to have to get back to the hydro driven one specially now that I have driven the manual drive and loved it so much.I also have a manual drive wheel horse and at the moment is our bread winner. With a 12 hp Kohler this this shoots snow.
Well now we get the Sears Hydro running and blowing snow, and right off the bat we were very impressed with this tractor, my wife falls in love with it and names it "Lucy" She also stakes claim to the patina and says I am not painting it she likes it just the way it is.
She ran great the whole winter with out a hick-up, I did put new seals in the hydro and the axles changed all fluids took a few things apart and lubed it up but made sure not to clean up or touch her paint job. The following year I started having issues, I had a carburetor crap out and an ssi went on me to, I ordered an aftermarket ignition and was able to keep "Lucy" running off the only one I had left and was starting to shop to a spare because this is our go to tractor, the one we want to put our hard work and effort into keeping, she mows great she snow blows great I found a tiller for the her, We are ready to commit and invest.
Well I get the shopping cart together and find that my parts are just insane for a few small items I can just about buy a brand new engine. I have done a lot of research and have read about engine swapping on the Suburbans so knew that it was something that could be done so started researching engine options.
Picking the right engine is not easy , you first have to find one that rated for what you would like to do with it and then you have to figure out how your going to make it fit and hope that the specs you get are accurate because its a big investment if it don't work out there is also no support on this.
Well I went with a Subaru Robin EX40 and it fit, had to do a little cutting to the hood and swapped out the front grill with another tractor I got along the way for parts but it fit , we were not happy losing the look of "Lucy" at first but this one is starting to grow on us. What we gained was great , this engine is so smooth, so quiet, so fuel efficient and so powerful, starts great as it does have an electric start but to add to the happiness it also has a recoil back up. This engine was/is exactly what we needed, yeah we strayed away from the original vintage part and I'll be honest you cannot knock a Tecumseh engine that are strong beast they only got beat out by supply and demand. However since having this engine installed I have grown fond of the very strong starts although the tecumseh always started even in the coldest of winters they always seem to crank kind of slow.
Well this year we have upped the anti and even added more to this old girl.
Taking on a new look and a new engine , we also got a new blower
And one of those fancy rubber seats I see you all using.
Next nit picking thing we could find was a clutch/brake pedal so we added on one of those.
My wife is also impressed with her new weight ballast it does not hit and clank against the seat no more and is removable with just a few nuts (4 to be exact) I also welded on a tab so that I can pull my wood trailer with it still attached for convince. Its very sturdy I can jack the whole tractor up by listing the tank or I can put all my weight on the tank and it don't budge a bit. Perfect for something I only want to use winters.
I also have a few videos.
https://www.facebook...43545768995806/ Lugging wood at engine idle
https://www.facebook...92927437390972/ Crawling at engine idle
https://www.facebook...93067147377001/ Putting some RPM's to it
This last one is a video of last year before we put in the new engine, the cushy seat , the brake pedal, the larger snow blower , the upgraded weight ballast, got the head lights working, new belts, and several other small things I am sure. you name it this tractor is ready to blow!
BTW I have learned in life that anything that makes a woman smile like that is worth investing in, its ok to assume that she is wearing that same smile while she is snow blowing because she is.Its just that you can't see it with her face mask, so I had to show you a summer photo so you would see what I am talking about.
Edited by John Arsenault, November 07, 2017 - 04:16 PM.