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Bolens 800 seized.. Rebuild, Swap,..?

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#1 rjbu OFFLINE  


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Posted October 10, 2011 - 08:24 AM

Hey folks after years of city living my wife and I bought a 5 acre farm and within days of ownership I knew that I would be in need of a garden tractor. Being within a 30min drive of Port Washington WI Bolens popped to mind quickly and sure enough within a week or two I found a really nice 1963 Bolens 800. And I was in love It came with a 38" deck, a blade, and tiller. Life was good. When I bought it I asked the owner about fluids and he claimed that he did the transfer case and changed the oil. Did think or do anything of it. Come yesterday after running the deck for ~50 or so minutes I heard a whine and the motor died… I opened the dip stick to find no oil what so ever. I ran and grabbed 2 pints of oil. At that point the flywheel was still free but after 5 or so minutes it is seized solid. (Sick feeling) So I am at a loss right now. Drained the new oil and it was black as night. So I pulled the plug and topped it off with PB blaster and filled the filler tube with about as much PB as it would take. So the question is if that doesn’t work use marvel mystery? Is it rebuild-able? Or did I torch it? I am so pissed off that I was lazy and stupid and took this jerks word for it. I ran the tractor for maybe 2hrs of total ownership. The other option is to pick up an engine. There is a 10hp Wisconsin on CL and I can only assume that it is a TR-10D from 1050. Would that be an easy swap? What to do help! I can't believe I killed this amazing tractor.

#2 mikebramel OFFLINE  


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Posted October 10, 2011 - 10:46 AM

Pull the engine, drop the pan, split the rod and inspect the damage

#3 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 10, 2011 - 04:23 PM

I would fill it with some oil then let it sit for a while.... Then try turning the engine over and see what it feels like. If its free start it up and see what happens. If you hear any funny noises shut it down immediately

I know of a few people who had the same thing happen and the engine turned out to be ok

Edited by Bolens 1000, October 10, 2011 - 04:28 PM.

#4 mjodrey OFFLINE  



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Posted October 11, 2011 - 05:09 AM

I would fill it with some oil then let it sit for a while.... Then try turning the engine over and see what it feels like. If its free start it up and see what happens. If you hear any funny noises shut it down immediately


And welcome to the forum.
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Posted October 11, 2011 - 06:02 AM

I hope it's an easy fix. The noise is a little disconcerting... If the main spun or something...
You may want to try option 2, but if any noise, open it up.

Good luck.

#6 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted October 11, 2011 - 06:26 AM

If you can buy the 10hp Wisconsin cheaply, buy it. ....It's good to have around, even if you don't use it right now. .....It should fit in your 800 without modification, if it was from another Bolens tractor. ....However, you won't know the condition of the 10hp without tearing it apart.

I would not run your present Wisconsin engine anymore without pulling it apart. ......I'm 99.9% sure you will find the problem on the crankshaft and connecting rod. .....Metal from the aluminum (alloy) connecting rod will transfer to the crankshaft journal. .....If you catch the damage before it gets worse, you can prevent bigger problems.

The aluminum that is transferred to the crankshaft can be polished off with fine emery cloth. .....You want to remove the aluminum deposits without cutting into the iron crankshaft journal. ......As long as there are no "high spots" left on the journal, you can re-use the crankshaft.

Inspect the bore of the connecting rod. .....The metal which was transferred to the crankshaft will leave "pits" in the connecting rod. ......With the connecting rod cap bolted back onto the rod, hone the bore of the rod with a fine brake hone using kerosene or light oil as a lubricant. ......You do NOT want to try to remove the pits, or enlarge the hole. ......You just want to remove any roughness. ......The pits will hold oil while the engine is running.

Yes, this is more work than others have suggested, but for the price of some gaskets, you will know the condition of your engine. .....If the cylinder bore is not scored, check the ring end gaps with the rings set midway into the bore. ....If they are excessive, that would be a good time to replace the rings.

Clean out the crankcase of any grit, or dirty oil. ......New head gasket, pan gasket, and fresh, clean oil, and you're back in business.

This work should not be considered as a "rebuild," but as a repair. .....It can add many hours of useful life to your present engine.
  • Bolens 1000 said thank you