Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate! - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
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post #1 of 52 Old 04-01-2017, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

Greetings! I'm pretty new here (only had an Intro post so far). I have been on the hunt for a decent LT/GT to mow my property (1 acre). I was originally looking at a Simplicity 4212.5, but when discussing it with my uncle, he told me that he has a Gravely 816 sitting under his decl that "ran when I parked it there two years ago". Looking up all the info I could on here, it looks like it will fit the bill of being able to mow my relatively flat/uncluttered yard, with the additional benefit of being able to plow/snowblow and even pull a small trailer of firewood.

My big concern is getting it running. I'm mechanically illiterate, so we're going to transport it to my house on a trailer, and I'll start going through it from there. How forgiving are the Onan's (I really don't want to mess it up!) ? I was originally planning on a budget of a few hundred dollars for something off craigslist, but it seems like investing that money into tuning up/replacing parts on the Gravely would be a much better long-term investment. He said the mower deck was in need of patching, but otherwise, I'm hoping for changing out filters/gas/battery/tires to get it up and running.


Just wanted to introduce myself here to the Gravely subforum. I'll probably be here asking stupid questions that should seem stupid, so I apologize in advance. Hoping to pick it up within the week, so I can start this project before we take off for a week down to NC!
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post #2 of 52 Old 04-01-2017, 08:09 PM
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Re: Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

That's a heck of a tractor to get for free. Liftable rear hitch, hydro lift, it was the deluxe model for its time. Get it turning over then pour a teaspoon amount of gas in the carb and see if it will fire. The hope is that when you get it running it doesn't smoke. Can't wait to see pics.

btw

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post #3 of 52 Old 04-01-2017, 08:33 PM
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Re: Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

First off Great machine and price!


Only down side to your first is onan carbs can be very picky compared to say a kohler.

But with some time and patience you'll get it running good for many years to come

Steven Turcheck
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post #4 of 52 Old 04-01-2017, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by evsnova74 View Post
Get it turning over then pour a teaspoon amount of gas in the carb and see if it will fire.
Going over with a fresh battery and a big jug of fresh gas. Will make sure we try this if we run into trouble!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravely1964 View Post
Only down side to your first is onan carbs can be very picky compared to say a kohler.

But with some time and patience you'll get it running good for many years to come
That's my concern haha. If it gets to be a bit more than I can handle (I'm a big fan of Youtube videos when working on my bike, but there's not a ton on the 816), I have no issue getting help from someone with a bit more expertise. Like I said, it's still cheaper than paying for a whole tractor from someone!
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post #5 of 52 Old 04-01-2017, 10:22 PM
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Re: Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by likeapuma View Post
Going over with a fresh battery and a big jug of fresh gas. Will make sure we try this if we run into trouble!



That's my concern haha. If it gets to be a bit more than I can handle (I'm a big fan of Youtube videos when working on my bike, but there's not a ton on the 816), I have no issue getting help from someone with a bit more expertise. Like I said, it's still cheaper than paying for a whole tractor from someone!
817 and 450's among the various 8000's used the same motor.

I've done some rounds with my 817, while my 450 carb I've never touched. Kinda a luck of the draw sorta deal I guess

Steven Turcheck
4? gravely's I think and counting
current tractors and rigs
1944 WWII L
48 L grw's
2 49 L's ,1 Wisconsin powered L
52 US navy L restored, 3 53 Ls
56 LI, 2 57 LI's, 58 LI, 59 L & LS, 62 LI, 2 63's L8 & L, 64 L8 & L, 65 LI, 66 L8, 2 67 C10As, 68 430, 69 C8, 70 C & CI & C8, 71 432 & 450, 72 430, 75 CI, 77 526 & 817, 78 818T, 82, 83 8163-B
1950's Bready
74 cub 129& case 220
48 Willy's CJ 2A
1991 ford F150 and Bronco
2007 F250
2010 Sc2450 yanmar
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post #6 of 52 Old 04-01-2017, 10:52 PM
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Re: Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

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Originally Posted by likeapuma View Post
(I'm a big fan of Youtube videos when working on my bike, but there's not a ton on the 816)
I assume your bike is a motorcycle. If you work on that there's no reason whatsoever you can't work on this.

Lots of help to be had here, too.

Good luck and and

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post #7 of 52 Old 04-01-2017, 11:25 PM
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Re: Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

Welcome likeapuma! Congratulations on your 816! It will be well worth your effort to get it running. You'll be glad you did. They are great tractors.

Let us know how things are going.



Dave
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post #8 of 52 Old 04-16-2017, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

So an update: Got back from vacation & had a chance to visit my Uncle for Easter lunch.

Guess he underestimated how long it sat there: Possibly up to 9 years under the deck. Whew. It "ran well when I parked it. Only stopped using it because I got a scag to mow."

Like I originally posted, I'm not very mechanically savvy. And I want to keep this on a budget. The goal is to get it up & running (and mowing) quick, with beauty & restoration coming later, as budget permits.

Is it worth it? It comes with a gravely plow, deck (unsure of size), & flat tires wrapped in chains.

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post #9 of 52 Old 04-16-2017, 09:04 PM
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Re: Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

Shouldn't take much to get it going. Plan on cleaning the entire fuel system, including replacing the gas line from the tank to the engine, probably even before attempting much more than rolling it over. If the fuel lines are decroded pieces of crap, you'll thrash what could be a perfectly good fuel pump if applicable, and possibly making the job of cleaning the carb more difficult than it needs to be if it's sucked full of junk from the fuel line.

I'd say to get it to working condition won't cost much. Full restoration, however, well...


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post #10 of 52 Old 04-16-2017, 09:08 PM
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Re: Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

Is it worth it? I'd say so. I love my 816.

First get it to turn over, check the compression, see if you have spark, drop a little gas in the carb.

My machine when I got it had some wiring problems, so the starter would quit on me. The ignition switch also was intermittent, so the coil wasn't always getting energized. I worked around those problems (by jumping things) until I was sure it would run, then did some wiring cleanup.

As somebody else said, if you can work on your bike, you can work on the 816. If you decide it's beyond your patience level let me know, I'm not far from you and would be happy to take it off your hands

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post #11 of 52 Old 04-16-2017, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

Thanks for the suggestions! Hoping to getting it trailered home this week. Anxious I'm getting in over my head & will be without mower this year haha. But also thrilled to have something to work on

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post #12 of 52 Old 04-16-2017, 11:19 PM
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Re: Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

I dont even know what that thing looks like. Is it a rider or a handle bar job? Cant beat the price whatever it is.
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post #13 of 52 Old 04-19-2017, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

Finally got my hands on it, wanted to see if the tires hold air (they do!) to ease the process of getting it to the house. Took the plow off it & it rolled out from under the shed without issue. Did a quick look through & it looks pretty decent. Watching rw3dog videos on YouTube, I have hope that I'll be able to get it running!

As recommended, I will change out the fuel line. When I took gas cap off, the end of it looked rusted pretty badly... Even with a line change & fresh gas, will it be ok? Or do I need to consider getting a new tank?

Already putting a list together of things it'll need to get going... And maybe a few ideas to spruce up its looks (my wife won't be happy about THAT endeavor! Buddy is helping me with a trailer on Friday! Down the worm hole I go!
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post #14 of 52 Old 04-19-2017, 05:54 PM
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Re: Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

Yikes. Looks like the tank will need a lot of work. I would replace. Wonder what the carb looks like?
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post #15 of 52 Old 04-19-2017, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Free 816 But I'm Mechanically Illiterate!

That's what I was worried about. I didn't have a flashlight to look inside, but the stick had me concerned.

Plastic tanks a better alternative? Finding Gravely parts tractors around here are few & far between.

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