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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

Name:
Robert

Join date:
1-10-2008

Member number:
8867

What city, and state, do you live in?
Raynham MA

Are you married?
No

Do you have any children?
No

Do you have any grandchildren?
No

What do you do to earn a living?
Disabled now, due to curvature of the spine and stomach ailments..was an auto parts counterman for over 20 years previously, also worked in a salvage yard..

How old are you?
58

Military service?
No

How did you come to join MTF?
Google Search, when looking for info on old Sears tractors..

What are your favorite forums and why?
Sears/Craftsman because I own Sears Suburbans--I also read most all of the other forums too.

What do you like most about MTF?
The variety of forums, not only just tractors but others regarding vehicles, house repair, garages, etc..

Please list your tractors and/or equipment:
6 Sears Suburbans, 4 of which are operational, one is lacking an engine right now, another SS-16 is just a parts chassis..also own a 1990's Yard-Man 20 HP lawn tractor. I have several push mowers, chain saws, leaf blower, weedeater, a small generator and a old Lincoln welder powered by a Onan 16 HP twin, which needs work still..

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What is your favorite tractor or piece of equipment and why?
I like all my tractors, but the one I seem to be using most is a '67 Sears SS-12 "beater". I put an old 6 HP Briggs on, I use that one for all the yard mule chores like dragging logs, plowing snow, leaves and towing other dead machines around..
I have three others--one has a snowblower, another has a plow I made into a scoop/dump bucket and one I use just for mowing...I have difficulty swapping attachments around now, so I decided to have a tractor for each attachment..its a toss up though, keeping 4 tractors all running well is a chore in itself..

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Is there a tractor or piece of equipment you'd love to own someday?
A full sized farm tractor with a front end loader, maybe a small backhoe or a Bobcat...whether I'll still be able to operate it is questionable..

Tell us some of the tasks you use your tractors and/or equipment for?
Mowing, plowing snow & leaves, firewood hauling and dragging trees, all the chores I couldn't do without them..

Could you describe your property for us?
1-3/4 acre lot, about half is wooded, the rest is lawn or driveway. The driveway is 110 feet long in 2 directions, "Y" shaped, so lots of area to clear snow from..

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Is there something you'd love to build or restore someday?
If I were up to it, an old muscle car like the '69 GTO or '66 Buick Wildcat I had years ago or a '56 Chevy pickup I had in the 80's..
I always wanted to build a small log cabin in the woods someday..

Most memorable tractor moment?
When I was in vocational school shop class, I was told to fix an old Wheel Horse tractor...took me a few weeks to figure out why it wouldn't run--the points had a cam lobe that was keyed to the crankshaft and it was installed wrong, so the timing was way off.
I took it for a "test ride" one day when our usual teacher was out sick and we had a substitute teacher..
When I went to pull into the shop bay from the parking area, (after doing several wheelies!), the tractor suddenly lurched forward when I pushed the clutch in, the belt actually got tighter instead of slack, it had "jumped" under the idler pulley..
I tried my best to steer it between 2 cars on lifts at full speed, ended up bouncing it off both sides of the cars, then I hit a gunk tank that had a lot of tools on it, knocked it over, 5 gallons of gunk solvent and the tools all fell into the floor grate and landed 6 feet below the floor..
I got suspended from school for 3 days, we were not allowed to drive the things we repaired..the 2 cars belonged to teachers in other shops, they had the auto body shop repair the damage I did to them..


Earliest tractor memories ?
A neighbor left a 1960 Craftsman "sit down mower" out at the curb on trash day when I was 8 years old--the kind that had the looped handlebars instead of a steering wheel..
I pushed it home and my older brother got it running, but the crankshaft bearing was so loose under the flywheel the points couldn't stay adjusted and they got soaked with oil quickly--it threw a rod within a few days--another elderly neighbor helped me adapt an old "REO" engine from a reel type mower onto it using a jackshaft and pulleys..it had a 3.5 HP Tecumseh vertical shaft originally, the REO was horizontal shaft..it would go 20+ mph wide open!
One day I was riding it around a school parking lot just up the street from my house and a cop car came up behind me--they chased me, I hit a curb and flipped it over and ran off into the woods--the cops put it in the truck of their cruiser and took it to impound..
I got it back about a month later, but we moved shortly after that and it was stolen from my friends house before I could go get it....


Do you have any other hobbies or interests that you'd like to share with us?
Going to country & bluegrass concerts, fixing up old GM trucks, going through old junkyards, they are like museums to me..

What do the other people in your life think of your "tractor" hobby?
Most are OK with it--my parents used to groan every time I'd drag another tractor home, but they did say I could have had worse "habits"..some of my friends think having 6 or more tractors is a bit much, but they have their collectibles and I have mine!

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Super Moderator
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Congrats Robert! Well deserved and certainly enjoyed reading a little bit more about you. The test ride story was great! Sounds like something I would have done!

Once again congratulations!
 

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Super Moderator
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22,970 Posts
Well deserved, Robert! You've been a good resource for the members in the Sears/Craftsman and other forums.

Neat stories, too! :thThumbsU

Congratulations!! :congrats::congrats::congrats:
 

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Administrator - We’re all friends here
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15,740 Posts
Congratulations Robert! Thanks for sharing your stories. :thThumbsU
 

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Cranky Motorsports
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15,275 Posts
Congratulations Robert! You so deserve it! You always have good advice and I miss it when you're not on the forum.
-James
 

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Cranky Motorsports
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15,275 Posts
what motor did you stick in the GT19.9?
 

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20,000 +posts!
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20,959 Posts
Thanks everyone,for the kind words, and the honor of being "Member of the Month"..:D

Not sure I deserve it,since my tractors all look like refugees from a scrap pile compared to some other members here--but I like "patina",and would be less likely to (ab)"use" them all to their full potential if they had nice paint jobs..function over form is my motto..like they say,chrome wont get ya home!..I'm not afraid to scratch the paint!.

I'm also not too fond of painting,or body work in general..its too easily destroyed in a matter of seconds,after hours of hard labor..
I would rather put my efforts towards a good running engine,transmission and chassis,but I'll admit I do like seeing nicely restored tractors,especially rare ones..

James,the GT 19.9 still lacks an engine--the one sitting in it in the picture is actually a generator I rescued from a friends scrap pile,a 1960's vintage 3.5 HP B&S with a 1500 watt Montgomery-Ward 110V generator,which runs excellent,a guy a friend knows got it from his dad's house after his dad passed away,it was in pristine shape and appears to only have been used a few hours..

It actually fired up on the first pull!..only thing "wrong" with it is the choke butterfly broke the "tab" off ,so it'll spin 360 degrees,instead of staying open..after I figured that out,I just clamped vise-grips on the choke shaft to hold it open,and it worked great,did not even have to "flash" it..I have used it a few times to power my drill and circular saws out in the backyard,where cords cant reach..

I simply plopped the generator under the tractor's hood to get it out from under my feet,and gain space in the garage..
After I did that,my brain started thinking "HYBRID" !..make the generator power an electric motor,to power the tractor...but that would likely end up being a lot of work,with limited success...

The tractor will probably get a HH120 Tecumseh that I have a few of, or maybe a clone or diesel,if I stumble across one cheap somewhere..

I'd love to stuff that blue 24 HP Onan into it,but that would require re-engineering too much of the tractor..besides,some day I may find a Bobcat with a dead Onan or something..
I had bought that engine originally to use on the welder pictured above,but it is way different--has a straight 1-7/16" shaft,not tapered like the CCK on the welder,plus its base is completely different..I had it running a few months ago,after sitting 15 years in my garage,it still runs sweet..been tempted to make a go-cart or 4x4 wheeler ,I have two golf cart differentials and enough steel to build something like that,but my back has kept me out of the garage for several months lately..

You guys might notice what appears to be an old home oil tank on wheels in one photo..
I made that to hold firewood logs for the garage's wood stoves--I can load a lot of logs in it and wheel it into the garage,it beats trotting outside every few hours for another armful of wood--but since I built it,I have also found it very handy for use as a portable work table ,for chores like sawing sheets of plywood ,painting things,etc..

I put two wheelbarrow tires & rims in the rear,and one large swivel caster in the center up front,like a tricycle --caster has a brake on it so it cant roll away on you..its pretty stable,but I'm not sure if trying to use it as a tow behind tractor cart would work out,it may be too top heavy..it also makes a great rolling tool box..

I have sawed up the other half of the tank to use for tractor plow blades someday...

The large pallets behind that tank in the picture came from a large outdoor concert venue,a country music star's tour left behind several pallets made with new 3/4" plywood and 2x4 studs every 12" on center,they were listed for free on craigslist--I got 4 of them,nailed 2 together to make two 7x7 foot "walls"...(and now I cant move them alone,they weight too much!)..someday I'm hoping to either use them to build another tractor storage shed,or perhaps a loft in my quonset garage--one sturdy enough to possibly park a few tractors on during the "off season"..

As you guys can see,I have more projects than I can handle,and with my health not being so great as I've gotten older,I am not that likely to get half the things I'd like to do done..but that hasn't stopped me from dragging more things home I see abandoned on the curb or listed free,I guess it is a disease which has no cure..
I'm glad to be here among like minded folks...who "understand"..:)
 

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Active member, now deceased, but not forgotten.
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4,156 Posts
Congratulations on FMoM Robert. :trink40:

I enjoyed reading your stories. Calamity is always fun. :greendr:

Thanks for the explanation on the half tank on wheels too. That had me scratching my head.

I admire the creativity.

Best to you - a neighbor from over in Weymouth. Al
 

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20,000 +posts!
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20,959 Posts
Thank you everyone !...

I'll try to put up more pictures (and explanations !) when I can...

Sorry many of the photos did not come out too great--I never used a digital camera before really,and its been a challenge to learn how too...hopefully I'll get better at it..also the angle of the sun is such it makes for poor pictures,a lot of shadows..

I know a picture is worth 1000 words,but without words,they sometimes dont make sense!.


The welder I mentioned is pictured below..another "project" I got as far as making it run,then kind of abandoned ,after I heard the engine run,its in dire need of rings and probably a rod bearing or two,but it does weld nice..

This picture is the barrel stove in my garage--one that lays horizontal is one I made using a store bought kit from an old hardware store--another one I made myself that stands up vertically has 3 pipes around the top to let air in,like a Tempwood stove,and it works well once you get it drafting good..the photo came out too dark unfortunately on that one..
I plan to put the stove kit on a 60 gallon air compressor tank soon--the barrel is finally starting to rust through,I built it in 1992!..the tank will be here long after I'm gone probably..

The Chevy van in this picture below I have owned since 1990--its been driven to TN,NY several times,all over New England..its had a 13 year "nap" since 2003 though,and I have been picking at its many sins in hopes of putting it back in use someday-(maybe sooner than later,my plow truck is not really a good daily driver or long distance rig at all)..

Last picture is of the front of my house...anyone in MA know a good roofer who wont charge 6500+ bucks for a re-roofing ?...or a chimney mason ?..
 

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ADMINISTRATOR
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Congrats Robert, well deserved!

I really liked your "Wheel Horse running wild" story. Made me think of a couple of my own misadventures that were fueled by my youth.
 

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20,000 +posts!
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I have another tractor story too..

Back around 1970 when I was about 12,a friends dad,who was a lawyer,got a "gift" from a client one day,who he had saved from being "sent up" for various offences..

I was at the friends house,when a Sears delivery truck backed up to their garage,and a guy knocked on the door--asked if this was the correct address,and my friend said "yes"--the man said "oh good-sign here,I have a delivery for your father"...

The man proceeded to unload a large heavy pallet all boxed up with plywood sides and cardboard,and struggled to get it off the truck's hydraulic tail gate..

He then got a crowbar out of the truck,and pulled off the plywood and cardboard --inside was a brand new orange & white Sears Suburban 12 tractor!...he took it off the pallet,and rolled it into the garage...we were all standing there with our jaws drooping!..

When the father came home he said "OK,where did THIS thing come from"?..then he read a note that was taped to the cardboard--it said "Thanks for saving my a$$ !--this is for you!"..

It was not long after that,that my friends dad found himself too busy to mow the lawn--after a few months,he decided to allow his sons to operate the tractor..

The older son,around 14 or so,was a whiz with anything mechanical,and soon he was racing the tractor around ,and once he actually flipped it over while mowing up a steep incline,and was lucky he didn't get chopped up or killed!..

That tractor got several severe beatings,but it seemed to shrug them all off like it was nothing...the kid loved to put it against the garage wall and pop the clutch in 3rd gear hi and watch the tires smoke and squeal !..he also liked to over-ride the govenor with a length of string,so it would go more like 15 mph instead of 7...

Being typical young punks,we decided one fall day to sneak the tractor and the lawn cart they had for it out,and drive it up the steep hill his street had, that was like a 45 degree incline for a few miles...we knew there was apple orchards up there about a mile up,and it was picking season--and several crates full of apples were left at the curb,for the trucks to pick up...or thieving young punks like us!..

Well,I had no idea I was about to become a accomplice to a apple theft,but didn't feel like walking the mile back to his house either,after they told me their plan...both him and his brother grabbed a crate of apples and placed it in the cart,and myself and his brother both had to sit on top of the apples,or walk home!...and we started off back down the street...

Suddenly ,we see a truck come flying up fast behind us--it was the owner of the apple orchard,and he looked very angry--we yelled to the brother driving the tractor to "floor it",but even with the engine red lined,the truck was gaining on us fast..

Then the brother decided to shift the transaxle into neutral,and the tractor started free wheeling,gaining speed at an alarming rate!--the guy in the truck backed way off,when he saw us rolling faster,and soon the cart started fishtailing side to side...
I bet we hit 40+ mph!..we were scared out of our wits..:eek:..

Then we reached the side street my friends house was on,a 90 degree turn off that steep hilled street...
I heard the transmission grinding badly as the driver tried desparately to jam it back into hi range,and he turned the corner going about 25 mph ,and the cart decided to flip completely over,spilling both me,my friend,and about 200 apples into the street...the crates disintigrated into splinters,and the guy in the truck screeched to a halt to avoid running the boards with nails over...

My friend and I ran into nearby bushes and hid,while his brother raced the tractor back to their house,the engine screaming....he had a remote control garage door,and had taken the remote with him,and he opened the door and closed it as fast as he could...the man driving the truck came up the street,parked,and came to the front door,and started banging on it,yelling for us to come out..

The older brother who had been driving ran out the back door,and into thick woods behind his house..the man stayed for about 15 minutes,banging on the door,and yelling...shortly after that,a cop shows up in a cruiser...they walked around the house for a good 10 minutes--then they both got in their vehicles and left..

We waited until dark to go back to the house!..we thought we'd gotten away with it,but nope..

The next day,my friend's dad approached us,and said "You guys took the tractor out yesterday--DIDN'T YOU" ?...I told you NOT to use it if I am not home,did I not "..

"Yes Dad--we're sorry"..

"Well,SORRY isn't going to cut it!--you not only wrecked the cart--you owe me 15 bucks for apples you STOLE !--you know how embarrasing it is for a LAWYER to have the cops show up at his office,and tell you his sons are felons ?"...

He gave both his sons a swift boot in the behind,then he looks at me and says "I cant do that to you,because your not my kid--but I think you should go home and stay away from my sons,until I say its OK for you to come back"...

That was 40 something years ago,but the memory stands out like it was yesterday..

We never did sneak that tractor out again,and after a few years,we had moved on to go carts,mini-bikes,and automobiles...the older brother was still quite a rebel though,and his poor father had to bail him out many times when he'd get in trouble with his car,always doing burnouts and driving like an idiot..we also took our first drinks together,and did some other typically stupid stunts teenagers pull..

Funny thing is though,I always longed to own a tractor just like that one--and now I have two of them...the memory of that day made it near impossible for me to walk away from the pair when I went to look them over,and the guy made an offer I couldn't refuse,I bought both for what I was willing to pay for one of them..

Sadly,the older brother who drove the tractor that day,died about 5 years ago,he was only 54 years old--he had finally "wised up" and had become a EMT and dispatcher for a small town's fire department next to my hometown,then had moved to Florida after he'd had enough of the harsh winters here...
I felt real bad when I saw his obituary in my hometown newspaper..I wished I hadn't lost contact with him,I always wanted to send him a picture of the tractor and say "Do you remember the day we---"...:rolleyes:..
 

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Well deserved TH! Your stories are poignant but humorous as well. I bet Monty Tech was never the same after you left!
 

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Congratulations and it is a good read to get to know you better. Enjoy your month of fame!!!
 

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Well deserved TH! Your stories are poignant but humorous as well. I bet Monty Tech was never the same after you left!
I didn't go to Monty-Tech--last school I went too in Fitchburg was B.F. Brown Jr, High (which just burnt down recently ! :eek:)...

My dad took a transfer in 1971 and we moved to Taunton Ma,after he and my mom had lived in Lunenburg & Fitchburg since the early 50's..he took a new job at Bay State Gas in Brockton,after working at Fitchburg Gas & Electric most of his life after WWII..

I languished 3 long years at Taunton High school,a 100+ year old building that was crumbling,I hated having no friends,and being the "new kid" and the target of many bullies (a problem I had at B.F. Brown too,till I had enough of one kid picking on me,that I almost ended up wounding fatally--that is another long story )..

I actually had to attend summer school one year in Taunton, to graduate to the 10th grade,after I had skipped school so much and let my grades decline,I hated that school so badly..often I'd take the bus to school,go to homeroom class long enough to be marked "present" --then snuck out the back doors and spent the day wandering around downtown,till the buses came back..

The next year I had a chance to go see a brand new school being built just a half mile from our new home,a vocational technical school--"Bristol-Plymouth Regional"...

I took the tests and was accepted as a freshman,so I had to drop back a grade to get in,and I couldn't get into my first choice of shops,Metal Fab,and Auto Repair,so I took the option of the "exploratory" program,where you went to 4 different shops during the freshman year,to help you decide which one you liked best..it was either that, or I didn't get to go there..

My first semester I was in Distributive Ed,a course that teaches you retail sales and how to run a store..it was "ok" but for the most part I wasn't happy there..
I got to go in the Industrial Maintenence program the next 2 semesters,I liked that shop,you learned about small engines (which I was already getting good at on my own!)--and some electricity,metal fab,auto repair,and building maintenence all in one shop.."Jack of All Trades" you might say..

I got accepted to attend that shop class for the duration of my high school years,and looking back,I think those were probably "the" best times of my life..with a few exceptions,when some guys thought beating me up in gym class was "fun"..

In my senior year after I got a car on the road,(a '63 VW bug),I didn't go to school much during academic weeks ,only shop class,to avoid confrontations with the "jocks"who for whatever reason hated me,and I ended up having to do a lot of "make up" work after school in order to graduate..but I did learn a lot there,and had some really good times..

Another incident I recall in shop class --one day my teacher wanted us to make a large hole in a steel work table,so lawn mower engines could be bolted down to it..we had torches,but he didn't like us using them,and this particular day the oxogen tank was too low to be used for cutting..

We had no big hole saws available either,so the teacher got a huge Rockwell drill from the tool crib with a 1/2" drill bit ,and told me to stand up on the table,and just drill a bunch of holes close together as possible to make the circular cutout...then he would use a sabre saw to cut the remaining metal away from between the holes..the drill was one of those giant heavy metal cased beasts,with the pipe handles on it..I think it had a 5/8" chuck..

I started drilling the holes,and after I got a dozen or so drilled,my arms were getting tired,and several times the drill jammed up in the hole,and threatened to remove my arms...holding the trigger "on" got tiring,so I decided to "lock" it in the on position...

Well,you can guess the rest..the next hole,when the drill bit broke through,the bit jammed,and the drill torqued up and it flung me right off the table onto the floor--and the drill ,now spinning wild like a helicoptor,wound up 100 feet of extention cord like spagettii on a fork in a matter of five seconds,then the wall outlet it was plugged into got yanked off the wall,bent the conduit,and sparks shot out !--the schcool had those big cartridge fuses that looked like shotgun shells,and when they blew,they went off like a firecracker...:tango_face_surprise

The teacher ran over to me,asked if I was OK,then ran over to the wall outlet,there was some sawdust under it from a belt sander machine that started smouldering..someone pulled the fire alarm,and the entire school ended up being evacuated,over practically nothing...:eek:..

A few months later my teacher had me and a friend remove the mcPherson struts from a VW Super Beetle,that another teacher owned..we were going to replace the strut cartridges,and it was our first time to ever use or see a spring compressor..they were those cheapie ones that are just metal hooks on a threaded rod..

I started putting them on the spring,and tightening them with a box end wrench..that was too darn slow,so I got the 1/2" air impact gun from the tool crib and started using that to tighten down the nuts,and compress the spring..I had the assembly clamped in a vise..

Well,I guess I must have tightened one of the clamps too much,next thing I know I hear a "BANG",and the thing takes off like a missle,and it hit the 8 foot flouresent lights over my head and shattered them all,and bits of glass and white dust covered me and my friend..we both had the crap scared out of us..

The teacher was livid,said he should have known better than to let me get near anything potentially hazardous.."This is why you MUST BE CAREFUL when your fooling with stored energy in springs!"...

About ten minutes later,he reamed another student out,for leaving the chuck key in the drill press chuck...and about an hour later,when he was using the metal lathe--HE "forgot" to remove the chuck key from the lathe chuck and he turned it on,and got smacked square in the forehead with it !..he had to go see the school nurse and get a bandage put on..he was three shades of red with embarrassment after that happened..
He said "Do as I SAY,not as I DO"!..

Then there was the day some students decided to sneak a cigarette in the rear of the shop,behind the welding booths..they would strike an arc and get some smoke from the welding rods to cover up the smell--when the teacher decided to walk over and see what they were doing,they panicked,and flicked the butt into the sawdust collection hose nearby,that sucked sawdust from the table saws and planer up into a huge overhead outdoor collection bin,and they switched it on....
The resulting fire cancelled classes for the rest of the day,and both kids got suspended...:eek:..
 
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