Where to start? ... I fell into Bolens ownership .... over 10 years ago when we bought our house an old tractor and some miscellaneous parts were still at the house. So with my packrat and dumpster diving ways, I said leave everything. Several years later I happened to have a motorcycle battery handy and got this tractor to fire and run for a few seconds off of some fuel in the carb. Since then, everything has just sat until now. I started digging into exactly what this tractor was, saw some pictures motivating me of what it could be, and decided it was time to get going.
The tractor is a 1966 Bolens 1050 and has always lived at my house. The prior owner purchased it in 1966 and I have the original manuals from it. In addition to the 1050, I have a snow blower (yellow), a mid-mount mower (green), and a snow plow (red). I guess there isn't consistency in the color schemes.
Is it pretty? No. I thought the original color may have been some shade of orange. However, from my initial inspection, it appears that everything is mostly intact. I've got some work to do, but there don't appear to be major things missing or broken. And it appears to be solid - the frame and sheetmetal just have surface rust, the footrests probably need the most work.
My goal is use it for snowblowing in the winter and tooling around in the summer. I've got a larger mower and a larger tractor, but I'm sure we'll come up with some other uses for it. Plus I like the restoring part. My oldest vehicle now is a 1979 CJ7, so this will take me back a few more years.
Here's what I'm thinking for a timeline:
1) Start with getting the tractor running.
- New battery (recommendations?)
- Rebuild the carb (I bought a kit and am in the process - questions to follow!)
- clean fuel tank/new fuel filter
- prep the engine (oil change, mystery oil in cylinder?)
- new spark plug
2) Do a compression test on the engine
3) General maintenance
- change transmission fluid
- replace/clean/rebuild belts/pulleys/wear items
- change air filter
4) Get it operational
- replace the throttle cable and choke cables
- check all the wiring
- new front tires
- fix the lights
5) Start the restoration
Comments and input on this plan are appreciated! What am I missing and anything else to be aware of? Other maintenance items to take care of early on?
I found a great post with a guy restoring his and it showed all the great input from this forum. I'd like to follow that same path. I'll see how much I can get done before the warm weather projects start back up again.