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Discussion Starter #1
I found this out for sale at the roadside last year when I was going to pick up a 1254 that I really didn't need either. Long story short it ended up coming home with me too. I guess it just appealed to me and I felt sorry for it sitting there like that. Got a tiller and two 38" decks with it. With a jump start it climbed up the ramps onto my trailer. I haven't done anything to it except rig up a different fuel line and filter from a box of used stuff I had. I occasionally would put a battery in it and some gas to start it up and drive it around. I have decided to look it over and fix some issues it has. I really don't plan to make a full restoration project of it just yet. At least that's what I keep telling myself. LOL The first thing I did was to braze up the corners of the hood that were broken. And welded up a stress crack in the hinge. Hood opens and closes much better now. It looks like this thing was brush painted black, white and red. I found a broken off bolt that holds the front axle support, or bolster if you prefer. Had 4 different length bolts in it. Was able to drill the broken piece out of the hole and clean the threads with a tap. Next I will tackle the severely worn cross shaft that the steering gear and clutch pedal mount on. There is another issue with the clutch assembly's drive shaft that needs fixed too. More to follow when I have the time to tinker with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I had a chance to work on it again today. Got most everything removed from its underside. First thing I found was someone had welded the end of the cross support bar to the tunnel because the tab had broken off. Thankfully it was only a gob of bubblegum weld and the grinder got it loose without much trouble. There is a V shaped notch ground in it too. Maybe has something to do with the "repair" on the drive shaft? Haven't quite figured that one out yet. It wasn't even lined up straight when it was "welded". Check out the bend on the end of the shaft that mounts the steering gear and clutch pedal. Some more welding on the pivot bracket that the release fork mounts to. Have to weld and grind the clutch linkage rod that goes to the clutch pedal. Or make a new one. Looks like I have some work ahead of me. Don't see anything I can't deal with. I didn't know this thing had all these creative repairs [mechanical mayhem] when I first bought it. I knew it needed some attention [cross shaft] but wasn't expecting to find all this. My fault entirely, I didn't get down on the ground and crawl under it before making the deal. Really not a big issue, the price was reasonable. I hope to get time tomorrow to push it outside and give it a de-greaser solution, pressure wash treatment. Most of the pieces except the clutch assembly are soaking in the wash tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's a good question. It's either 7 1/4 or 8 1/4 hp. I guess I ought to look at the tag on the motor to see if its an S7-D or an S8-D. I will check. Funny, I never thought to look.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just went out and looked. I guess I had the description mixed up a wee. Tag reads S-8D. So 8 1/4 hp. And must be a 1964 or 1965. I believe I saw that the 1963 had a S-7D.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Not much done on it yesterday, I did get time to remove the regulator, switch, amp gauge and wiring. Pushed it outside and gave it a good douse with Purple Power solution. Also did most of the pieces that were removed in the last session. Waited about a half hour and got after it with the pressure washer. It's not perfectly clean but I got a lot of the crud off. If time allows I will give it a second wash. I was surprised that it actually cleaned up as well as it did. I will be watching for a clue of the original paint when I unbolt things. Unless someone took time to completely disassemble it there ought to some original color there someplace. Where the foot rests were bolted it looks like it might have been the cordovan brown, but I was in too big a hurry to examine it closely. At this point I am very tempted to just fix the mechanical issues and leave it as is. Maybe touch up the existing black color in a few places. We'll see. I am going to change the gas tank from white to black for sure.
 

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I suspect it wasn't good for the general longevity of the tractor. I didn't get much backstory on it. I fellow I got it from told me that he had taken it as partial payment on some deal he had with someone else. So he was just flipping it. At this point it doesn't matter who did this or why. I ground all the chicken poop welds off and got it separated. The collar appeared to be just a piece of black pipe or plain tubing. Could see the seam on the inside diameter of it. Didn't even come close to fitting the shaft. Both ends have been somewhat ground to a point. Possibly there was going to be an attempt to butt weld it? I think I can save it by getting a collar that's a true 3/4" I.D. to slide over both pieces. Or possibly turn a step on both pieces and press them into a smaller I.D. collar for a better shot at true alignment. Just thoughts for now. Would have to make sure the length was right before welding too. Other option of course is to find another shaft, maybe a complete assembly. I see complete assemblies on E Bay occasionally. At least they didn't weld the flange-hub to the input shaft of the transmission. That part looks to be in decent shape. I just can't think up a good reason why the shaft got cut. Must be whoever did it didn't know how to get it apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've been slowly tinkering along at this thing whenever I get a few minutes or an hour or so. Been watching on the "net' in hopes that a shaft or possibly an assembly might appear. Hasn't happened yet. Decided to try welding it back together and see what happened. I'm in this tractor way deeper that I had initially intended but that's the way it always seems to go. I bolted the pieces in place on the tractor with an angle-iron jig to hold it hopefully in alignment. Was able to reach down through the hole where the steering column mounts and get it tacked together with the mig. Carefully removed the whole thing and added a couple more beads with the mig. Had enough material in place then to add some more using the stick welder. Slow process, run a bead, let cool, chip and wire-brush, check for porosity, grind slag if necessary, re-jig and clamp in the angle iron, repeat, repeat, etc. Took me about 2 hours to get it built back to size. I finished filling in some irregularities with the mig and got it ground and filed reasonably smooth. Seems to spin true as far as my naked eye can tell. Good enough. Had to compress the spring in the vise and hold the half-moon key in with a mini-clamp to get the flange back in place. Probably a special service tool for that ? Anyway, reassembled with a squirt of primer and black on the bare metal. The innards of the transmission look pretty good. More to follow.
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Discussion Starter #10
I also repacked the bearings too. They ought to be ok. Been having a struggle with this new improved site, my dinosaur lap-top struggles with it. Probably just me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's a pile of parts that I have been working on over the past few weeks. Welded an end on the cross brace. Welded up a stress crack on the belt guard. Made a new cross-shaft to replace the bent worn one. Straightened the clutch pedal and put a new bushing in it. Made a new linkage rod for the clutch-brake pedal. New lining on the brake shoe. Did a new lining on the other brake assembly too, no pic of that. Put new bushings in the support tunnel and welded up the egg shaped holes in the steering gear.
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Discussion Starter #13
Thank You! Still wrestling with how deep I want to get into this tractor. I really don't want to make it a full on refurbish project at this time. My intention was just to correct the worst of the mechanical issues and leave the cosmetic part and the less important things for another time. Still haven't decided yet if I want to consider it a "keeper". Just figured that I ought to make it useable. Really shouldn't have bought it but I suspect it wouldn't have gotten all the TLC it's getting now. I just felt sorry for it. If that makes any sense?
 

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With the forum changeover I did not catch this until now...I didn't know that anyone in NY would find one of fhese for sale by the side of the road...not here on Long Island, anyway... I have only seen 1 Bolens for sale here on LI...I don't remember ever seeing one when I was a kid....looks like it is getting a lot of love....looks like it is going to be a good looking machine
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Back in the day we had a Bolens dealer here in my town. There are a fair amount of them scattered around the area. Probably less than a few years ago though. I know the location of 4 different square hood tube frame tractors that can be seen from the road. 2 of them beside a storage shed that are "going to be fixed up when I get time". They haven't moved in years. I attempted to make a deal several years ago but his really don't want to sell them price was crazy. At least to me. At another place one is being used occasionally to mow, and at another location the other sits with a tiller on the back at the end of a garden plot. Haven't seen that one move in over a year now. Been tempted to stop and ask about it. Shouldn't, I really have too many now. One fella had 3 of them lined up beside his barn for years and wouldn't sell them. They all disappeared about 5 years ago. Cab Cadets and John Deeres are very common here too as we had local dealers for them as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Got a chance to tinker with the tractor again. I have most everything put back in place underneath now. Still have to adjust the clutch and brake linkages for proper function. I decided to pull the steering shaft out of the column as I needed to clean the rust and crud out of the oil hole at the top by the steering wheel. I guess the oil hole went away on later tractors as there was a plastic bushing installed instead. I also discovered that the early tractors had no grease fitting on the lower end above the bevel gear. Must be you were supposed to reach up under with a squirt oilcan to lube the bottom end. I decided to make an upgrade and drilled and tapped a hole to have a grease fitting. Thought about tapping the hole at top and having a fitting there too, but decided that a squirt of oil there occasionally would be fine. Was installing the belt guides back on the motor and found that the right hand one has a stress crack almost completely through it. I suspect that someone in the past had pried them out enough to get the belts off instead of loosening the bolts. That also appears to be what happened to the lower belt guide as it was rather bent and had a stress crack too. Slow progress but I am gaining.
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Discussion Starter #18
Was up early this morning and took a couple of hours to work on it again. A few days ago I had made a reinforcement plate to weld over the cracked hood hinge flange. Got that welded up and also brazed a stress crack I found at one end of the hinge. All cleaned up and gave it a squirt of primer and a light coat of paint to prevent rust till I get time to tackle the bodywork and paint. If I bother with it that is. Got all linkages hooked up, guards in place and all adjusted as close as I can without actually running it. Might need to be tweaked a bit. Have replaced quite a few bolts,washers,nuts,cotter-pins. Found suitable springs from my stash that ought to work fine for the idler assembly and the speed control lever. The transmission gasket seemed good enough for now so that got a smear of red RTV and the cover went back on along with everything except the hood. Lots of bends and dents that need fixed, deal with that some other time. Its starting to look like a tractor again. Still more to do, not sure when I'll get back to it.
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coil 001.JPG coil 002.JPG hood 002.JPG hood 005.JPG hood 006.JPG hood 003.JPG hood 007.JPG hood 004.JPG
 

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I did take a few minutes to hammer out a few of the worst dents and bends in the sheet-metal. The tower looks to have been pied, bent outward to gain a view or possibly to reach in? I'm sure a few of you out there are questioning why I would have it that far apart and not do a complete job of de-greasing, cleaning, sanding, straightening, prime and paint. Well- my answer is that I don't want to spend the time and have all that mess in my garage right now, all for a tractor that I am not sure exactly what I will ultimately do with. And it's a bit low on horse power in my opinion for the jobs that its younger, bigger brothers do around here. I had an idea it might end up being a butt-buggy to take to tractor-engine shows, or possibly someone out there in tractor-land might want to make me an offer on it. At this point it could be called a survivor, sort of. Too bad it was repainted the wrong color and is so dented up. Suppose I could go back and give it a cosmetic refresh at some point. For now I just want to get the major mechanical issues ironed out and back in one piece. I haven't addressed the PTO assembly and guard yet. There are some issues with them as well. Also I have another tractor project I want to tear into and this one is headed for storage in the barn in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Got a bit more done today. Decided to repaint the gas tank. It had many coats of white paint on it. In the process of sanding it I discovered there was off white or an ivory color underneath. So it must have been taken from a newer tractor or it would have been the brown color. I had it sanded pretty much to bare metal before priming it. Gave it 2 coats of gloss black. Ought to fit into the color scheme a bit better now. I also ended up painting the voltage regulator cover too. I decided to remove it and work out a dent, and after cleaning it up it got sprayed as well. Ended up installing a different starter-generator as the one that came on it is showing signs that it ought to have new bearings and brushes. This one looks good inside and I lubed the bearings. I suppose I could have cleaned it up and done some paint, but going to wait till I know for sure it is going to work ok. Pretty sure it will, it spins the motor over much better than the other. Starter switch, Amp gauge back in and some of the wiring. Going to install a key switch and replace the wires that feed it, the coil, and down to the points box. That was pretty much it for today. More to follow as soon as I get a chance.
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tank 001.JPG tank 002.JPG tank 003.JPG
 
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