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post #1 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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1949 L Gravely

Pics of my newly acquired L. The Numbers show its a 1949, but has a canister oil filter. I got this not running yesterday, with no compression. I pulled the head and saw the exhaust valve stuck open so I decarbonized it and got the exhaust valve working again. Now the question, does anybody have a home made starter strap idea?
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Last edited by tiretrx; 07-06-2019 at 10:28 AM.
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post #2 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 08:14 AM
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The tough part of making a starting strap is finding an eyelet heavy enough to hold up for the end . Heavy enough 1 inch cotton or nylon webbing isn't hard to find. A piece of 3/4 or 1 hard wood dowel for the handle.
My 62 LI had a notch in the rim of the pulley to allow the use of a rope to pull start it.

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post #3 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 08:30 AM
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Re: 1949 L Gravey

Factory straps are still available...not expensive.
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post #4 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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I agree, I also have an old Briggs F23 engine with the notch for the rope. I see them online for $11. Might be the best way to go.
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post #5 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 02:05 PM
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Re: 1949 L Gravely

Hope you checked timing if early you know it could bite you.
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post #6 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 02:33 PM
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Re: 1949 L Gravely

Although this is not an elegant solution BUT because I bet you want to attempt to awake this machine from its slumber right NOW, here is a solution I have used on many occasions: I simply used a regular rope when i did not have quick access to the proper starting strap with the eyelet! I have used a piece of rope that the local electric company gave me when they were pulling our power cables: I have also used some stray nylon ropes I had in my shed. Just make sure that you overlap the first 'lap' well with the rope you are using and allow no slack while you are winding the rope around the pulley. I have started my machines many times without the eyed starter strap.

Daryl G

1957 Gravely L
1974 Gravely C8
1973 Gravely CI
1967 Gravely C8
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post #7 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 03:18 PM
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Re: 1949 L Gravely

You can use rope, you really do not need the eyelet on the end if it's long enough. It will grab the crank pulley by itself.

I will warn you though, you can use a rope but it's not the best. It's too stretchy. I used a rope for years to start mine, but then I came across some conveyor belting from a factory. I cut a piece off the right length, and then ripped it to the right width. Boy what a difference. These engines start the best when you can wrap the pulley, and then pull it with authority when the compression stroke comes around. Each time the compression stroke comes around with a rope, it stretches and you lose some oomph in the pull. The conveyor belting does not stretch, and I can pull it around much better and it starts much quicker with it.

I just found a short piece of copper pipe for the handle, and used a small bolt and nut to wrap the belt around the pipe and use the bolt and nut to pinch the belting around the pipe.
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post #8 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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The snap hits at TDC with the head off, is that correct?

I actually have a piece of mule tape (made for pulling lines through underground pipes). Thanks for the idea!!!
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post #9 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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It fired up and ran, I drove it forward n backward, but it gets hot fast. Is this a timing issue? It didn’t kick or anything like that.
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post #10 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 05:29 PM
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Re: 1949 L Gravely

How do you know it's getting hot? I see in the pictures you do not have any of the tin that is supposed to surround the engine jug and direct the air from the fan around the jug. But my Dad has one like that with the tin missing, and he has run it for years like that to plow the garden.

You do have the belt and the fan turns ok in the back correct? The tins look easy enough to make if you were worried about it.
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post #11 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Because it felt hot even standing next to the tractor. I did see smoke but that was just oil n crap burning off that I got on it.
The fan is operating, but making a squealing sound so I hit it with some oil, this is a machine that has not been ran since 1969.
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post #12 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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My best guess is a lean fuel mixture, I have not cleaned the carb yet
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post #13 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 07:31 PM
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Re: 1949 L Gravely

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1949 L View Post
..I actually have a piece of mule tape (made for pulling lines through underground pipes). Thanks for the idea!!!
Yes, that is what I used!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1949 L View Post
It fired up and ran, I drove it forward n backward, but it gets hot fast. Is this a timing issue? It didnít kick or anything like that.
I ran my C8 this morning in almost 90 degree ambient Alabama temperature... for the fourth time this week I am surprised at how cool these engines run. If you think it is hot that quick something is not right and deserves some additional checking. i read earlier that the older machines did not come with the cooling shrouds (these can be easily added/ made). I replaced/greased the bearings in my machine just in case!

Daryl G

1957 Gravely L
1974 Gravely C8
1973 Gravely CI
1967 Gravely C8
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post #14 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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I am totally new to this machine, where do I grease it? I have not found any grease fittings. I did squirt some oil on the fan. I will try removing the carb n giving it a good cleaning and dip.
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post #15 of 72 Old 07-06-2019, 08:17 PM
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Re: 1949 L Gravely

Nice machine!

I have a few of that vintage that have been swapped to spin-on filters. I think it's great that you still have the original. (but if it were mine, I'd pull that off and flush it)

You also have the old style muffler which is cool.

A previous poster mentioned missing tins, but I don't think those were present in 1949. IIRC they came in when the engine was upgraded from 5 hp to 6.6 hp, something like '52. Does anybody have the definitive history handy?

There are no grease fittings on the tractor, main lubrication is all internal. Some attachments have grease fittings.

Running hot: I'd say make sure the fan is working. You should get a fair amount of air blown out the front. Also check mixture, richen until it starts to run rough, then lean a bit.

Keep those cards and letters coming, and

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Old 07-06-2019, 08:21 PM
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