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post #1 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Super Convertible Expectations

I bought a super convertible gravely with the 30 inch mower to cut tall grass and weeds between raised garden beds and in areas where my tractor mounted brush hog can't go. I've never owned a gravely before but heard good things about them. So far I am not impressed and I want to find out what I can change to make the machine serve my needs or if I need to sell it and find something else. The issue is it just doesn't seem to have much power and it goes way too fast for what I'm trying to do in low gear - I end up riding the clutch all the time.

The mower has two blades in an X and guards on the front and back. I'm going to try taking one of the blades off and remove the front guard to see if that helps, but it will still go too fast. The engine seems to run OK but it doesn't have a governor and I've never seen a piece of power equipment without a governor so what it does where it bogs down then revvs up when you take the load off is I guess to be expected?? On a normal engine I would say it has a bad governor

I was told that there's a gear reduction hub set that can be used on this machine to slow it down, that might do what I need but I don't see anything like that on eBay or CL - where do I buy such a thing and would it be reasonably priced (ie ~$150)?

I had high hopes for this thing and people seem to be crazy about them so maybe there's something wrong with my machine, hopefully someone here can point me in the right direction with it and thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 09:52 AM
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Re: Super Convertible Expectations

Sounds like your machine lacks the Swiftamatic 2 speed axle. Given the cost of the GRWs and a governer, I'd sell the machine and buy one with both of the above. You'll be happier with it for ground work especially.

Also, there is a single heavy brush blade option for the 30" bush hog, which is the standard setup. I would not remove one blade from the grass cutting cross blade setup, but rather remove the spacer/blades and source the heavy brush blade.

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post #3 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 09:53 AM
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Re: Super Convertible Expectations

Hello VT farmer,

I'm kinda new to these as well, but I'm going to take a stab.

If the machine is a Super Convertible, then it is a model C-8 or possibly an L-8.

Either should have BOTH the High/ Low input stage controlled by the inside lever on the right. Towards you is high, away from you is low.

AND the 2 speed differential assembly controlled by a short lever on the right side just below the handlebar tube, up and back is high, forward and down is low.

The differential has I believe a 1:1 and 2:1 so it cuts the ground speed in half in low.

My Super Convertible is quite stubborn getting it to shift into low, and lifting up on the right side handle bar just enough to unload the axle usually gets it to shift. Done with machine in neutral running or not.

If your diff is shifting OK, and it is still too fast in Low / Low the only choice to slow it down is to swap out the Worm and Ring deep inside the machine with a 6 lead worm set from a early 4 wheel tractor in the 400 series. This will make another 25% speed reduction in all gears. but is a major job.

With mine, I still have to feather the clutch when working in tight areas with my 30" mower. I did purchase the parts to do the 6 lead swap, but that has slipped way down on my to do list.

My 2 cents, exchange rates may vary.
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post #4 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 09:58 AM
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Re: Super Convertible Expectations

Welcome vt!

From your description of your use case, a super convertible ought to be a good choice. Let's figure it out.

As a general consideration, pic always help

First, the mower deck. The criss-cross blades are for finish mowing, for brush work you want the single heavy blade. You'll definitely want to remove the front guard, to let the crap exit and not clog. Don't remove the rear guard if you value your ankles.

All the supers came stock with governors. It's possible yours was removed, or is not functioning. You should see an aluminum roughly cylindrical thing about 6 inches long, under the left side of the fuel tank, with a pulley which rides on the fanbelt. If it's missing, you should be able to find one on ebay or at GT or Richard's. If it's not working, there's lots of info on here about how to repair/tune.

Re gearing, you want to be in low axle. Look for the stubby handle pointing down, under the right handlebar. Move that handle forward. That cuts the groundspeed in half. You can't use GRWs on a machine with the two-speed axle, but you shouldn't need to, because they serve the same purpose.

Let's stop here and see where you're at.

Keep those cards and letters coming, and

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post #5 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Super Convertible Expectations

Thanks guys! Maybe my machine just has a super convertible hood? It definitely does not have the governor or two speed axle (see photos).

On doing major work on the machine, I have no problem with that (also see pic of the rig I do my "big" mowing with, now splitting THAT tractor is a job!) but I don't have a lot of time. I own 5 big tractors and a dozen or so small machines (mowers, chainsaws, splitter, generator, etc) so having time to do all of the projects I want to do is an issue.

On replacing this machine with one that is exactly what I want, I need something that does what I need pretty soon but other than CL and eBay, they don't come up too often around here and when they do they're the estate of a greybeard being cleared out with 23 model L machines in pieces or an immaculate newer machine (orange paint) that the seller wants $3K for. In other words, unless you guys can point me to where I can buy such a thing, I'll probably just stick with this one.

Thanks again for the advice!
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post #6 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 10:34 AM
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Re: Super Convertible Expectations

It's a common misconception that tractors with the SC hood are necessarily 2 speed swifty machines. This was not the case. Many were simply electric start L tractors.

What does your gas tank tag say?

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post #7 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 10:45 AM
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Re: Super Convertible Expectations

My bad PA, you're right, not all the convertibles were swiftos. Please ignore my misinformation above.

vt, that machine does not have a governor. Nor does it have the swifto.

However, it does have the later style induction system. The MA106 is also a later model, square head on the plug, not hex.

Agreed with PA, what's on the data plate for model number?

Given that you don't have the swifto, a set of GRWs *would* be a viable option. Finding a good set is another story, of course . . .

'41 L (not running)
'43 L
'44 L
'50 L
'52 L (not running)
'58 LI (not running)
'59 LI
'61 LS
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'62 LI (not running)
'63 L8
'66 L8
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'74 Comm 12
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'74 816
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post #8 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Super Convertible Expectations

My gas tank tag is like old Schulze in Hogan's Heros: "I see nothing! I hear nothing!". I can kind of see where the rivets were...
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post #9 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 11:12 AM
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Re: Super Convertible Expectations

. . . or maybe where they never were. Gravely did a lot of parts-bin engineering. It wouldn't be surprising to see an old-style tank shroud on a newer machine.

Try looking on the lower left side of the advance casting (the mount for the attachment). That won't say model number, but it should have an S/N.

'41 L (not running)
'43 L
'44 L
'50 L
'52 L (not running)
'58 LI (not running)
'59 LI
'61 LS
'61 LS
Mutt LS
'62 LI (not running)
'63 L8
'66 L8
'66 C8
'67 C8
'74 Comm 12
'75 C8
'73 812
'74 816
UFT Mountaineer 88E
3 parts/project tractors
Too many attachments
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post #10 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 11:23 AM
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Re: Super Convertible Expectations

Pretty sure this seller is one of our club members:

https://harrisburg.craigslist.org/gr...927282638.html

See if he will ship for you.

Looks like some prep/prime/paint work might be needed, but not an unreasonable price if you are intent on staying with that machine.



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Thanks.

----
Looking for a home for:
- Seat pan support brackets for a G-series
- Axle bearing retainers for a G-series
- Too many attachments to list

Looking for:
- Onan-powered rider
- Direct Mount 50" mower setup
- 14# wheel weights
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post #11 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 12:04 PM
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Re: Super Convertible Expectations

150 is a fair price for a set in good condition, which it looks like those are.

The tires don't look terrible from the pic, but if they need to be replaced, they are available from Miller.

'41 L (not running)
'43 L
'44 L
'50 L
'52 L (not running)
'58 LI (not running)
'59 LI
'61 LS
'61 LS
Mutt LS
'62 LI (not running)
'63 L8
'66 L8
'66 C8
'67 C8
'74 Comm 12
'75 C8
'73 812
'74 816
UFT Mountaineer 88E
3 parts/project tractors
Too many attachments
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post #12 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 12:18 PM
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Re: Super Convertible Expectations

Low compression could cause exactly what you describe. Since it is electric start a compression test is possible.
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post #13 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 12:26 PM
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Re: Super Convertible Expectations

A sickle bar will do your work finding a good bar is sometimes difficult. You may have to rebuild it. They do well on tired tractors.
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post #14 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 12:42 PM
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Re: Super Convertible Expectations

That would depend upon the spacing between the raised beds and it would still be too fast.

I agree that a compression test is worthwhile before sinking any money into it though.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk

Thanks.

----
Looking for a home for:
- Seat pan support brackets for a G-series
- Axle bearing retainers for a G-series
- Too many attachments to list

Looking for:
- Onan-powered rider
- Direct Mount 50" mower setup
- 14# wheel weights
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post #15 of 28 Old 07-12-2019, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Super Convertible Expectations

Good idea on the compression test - I'm assuming I'm looking for about 140#s?

Thanks for the lead on the reduction gear wheels, I'll see how the compression test comes out and what it will cost for a single blade mower and go from there.

On the sickle bar, one of the reasons I bought this machine is the 30 inch mower is EXACTLY the right size to go between the beds.
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