My Tractor Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
yesterday I was out for a mc ride...minding my own business...and saw a tractor sitting at the end of a driveway with a for sale sign on it...I debated...but got sucked in.

the sign said $250... a '78-ish Bolens tube frame w/11 hp Briggs, hi/lo range thru a belt switch, no differential lock and skinny tires with loose chains, w/38" deck... front/mid/rear ptos... I was expecting to see some rubble, but it was obviously kept inside and greased...next thing I'm aware of is stuffing a fiver in the guy's hand to hold it til tonite at 7-ish......one owner, widow complained about a bolt fell off the muffler heat shield and drove her over the edge to dump it on the curb...with manuals in a plastic bag.

... it's home and on the lift for a look-see starting tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,371 Posts
Hi modre
You know you can never go wrong with a clean tubeframe. Good luck with the new addition. As I'm sure you already know there is a complete original bolens tubeframe repair manual posted here in the MTF Reference Library. There is also a link to that and more in the Bolens Forum sticky titled "Bolens Manuals".

Like Jim said, show us some pics! :)
 

·
Citizen of Earth
Joined
·
15,295 Posts
Nice find! Glad to hear it now has a good home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
had I seen the request for pics sooner, you could have seen it in one piece...
next move is to flip this thing over and clean and shim the steering pinion.

the piston has some slop, drive is good (no lock...breaks my heart) couple paint spots where it was painted after assembly to touch up, everything else is intact and useable...idler pulley's are shot, drag link and tie rod ends are worn...your basic used tractor...but the foundation's there.

I had a 65-ish 1050 Kohler, this is a '78-ish briggs...interesting and sort af sad to see where Bolens cut corners thru those dozen years and the downward spiral of the brand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
site told me the pictures are too big...ain't got time to mess with it now...tractor's torn down to the frame with parts everywhere...picture grease, parts, tools, and rags... and lectures on housekeeping respect issues abundant.
 

·
Citizen of Earth
Joined
·
15,295 Posts
" it followed me home...can I keep it?"
I've gotten myself in more jams with that exact sentence then any other words I have ever used. When I was a kid, the "it" that followed me home was most likely a puppy, or cat, or frog, or turtle..... then later in life, I stated adding old cars and trucks, and then still later, I started adding tractors, mowers, tillers, my adopted brother (I found him, not my parents.... it's a long story), women (before I got married..... an even longer story). Now that I'm approaching 50 years of age, I'm pretty much down to puppies and tractors. ;)
 

·
Anything With Wheels
Joined
·
9,834 Posts
That's how it works Joe...don't worry the older you get you'll find your going in a big circle....We leave this world pretty much the same way we came in....No teeth and messing in our pants ROF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
so I tore it down, flipped it over, cleaned it up, the machine was painted post assembly, so I prepared and touched up the mating surfaces, the rest of the original paint is good...I'd do a whole 10 yards recondition but I don't want something that upsets me if I scratch the paint...drive is good, transaxle is re-sealed up with aviation permatex, frame is good, controls are all good and set right, steering is good and set right...I had to paint the front wheels, but back's were good enough (96.5%)...tires are the ole dry-rot originals with 1/2 a million miles tread left that will hold air and roll until I get there...then I tore the engine down.

...after I made the purchase and had the tractor loaded and strapped in, the guy liked me enough to confide (seller's wife is the little sister of an old high school friend of mine)...he told me the reason the widow mother-in-law wanted to sell was "she wanted something more dependable...this was starting to give her trouble...bolts coming loose ect...)...and in the packet was an invoice for a "no brakes" repair...and I'm taking this right off the paper...

"WORK PREFORMED > Installed new brake shoe & adjusted it
PARTS $55.85
LABOR $50.00
Pick Up/Delivery $30.00
Sub Total $135.85
TAX $8.15
TOTAL $144.00

I don't know why they just didn't bend that poor grieving widow over the hood of a car and make her bark like a dog while they were at it.

...anyway the engine...the same oil leak that beautifully preserved this machine in like new condition came from the side case gasket that had somehow managed to loose about 2" of the upper run into the crankcase was pouring out oil and soaked the fins real good...collected enough crud to completely block off any hope of cooling and the engine was running hot...piston skirts are wiped pretty bad...cylinder (no sleeve) is wiped too...I need to find out how far an overbore I can go...and the exhaust valve guide is radical...all the journals and bearing surfaces are good...nothing I would'nt polish up and put back in service...compression ring end gaps are .044", and the oil ring gap is .085".

though the guy said it was becoming unreliable, I myself think it performed the first 25 year incarnation in service admirably under the circumstances...I drove it on the lift...it purred...

There's some debate about splash vs. the semi and full oil pump systems used...from the crank and cam bearing surfaces, I don't see anything wrong with the way this engine survived with splash.

a little concerned with the way excessive exhaust guide wear, and tho I'd like to reuse this block if I can, I'm not married to it...this drivetrain would go nice with a modern horizontal V-Twin on it as well...I have a 1600 60hp VW block sitting around too...hmmm.

I'll force myself to address those picture sizes...I have some tasty finese points I did some may find interesting...like rubber stops for the pedal at both ends of it's travel for that Cadillac feel.

So far the only thing that's not likely to make the final cut on rebuild is that Malibu Ken rear fender/deck/entertaining plateau some pinhead geek designed on mushrooms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I didn't get pictures of the before...but it was a running tractor...this is after I dug down to the starting point and began reassembling.

anything further on this project will be in the Bolens section.

I have a couple Briggs questions.
1. what's the biggest over size piston Briggs offers...030" over?

2.there doesn't look to be enough metal available for a valve guide insert short of a complete re-do (where the new guide becomes the outside surface and potential oil leak)...I didn't measure it yet, but there's big wear on the ex guide...do they offer oversized valve stems to compansate for worn blocks?

I'd like to save this block if possible, but it may be beyond...anyone know what a new naked block runs...or possible short block for this 1978 11hp...(I don't have the model number off the top of my head). If all the parts bolt on, next choice would be get a new sleeved block and piston/rings and just rebuild with these parts (everything else is useable), but I'm not familiar enough with Briggs stuff to know if that's possible...my instincts say it is..
 

Attachments

·
Citizen of Earth
Joined
·
15,295 Posts
WOW! The wheels look almost new! Did you power wash it, or was it that well maintained? If the rest of the tractor (minus the already described dying engine) is in similar condition, you got a nice tractor, well worth fixing up. :fing02:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I had to slap some paint on the fronts, rears are as I found them...I clean with WD40, Kroil, gasolene...nothing special as long as it's petrol based...I think pressure water is lousy around machine parts myself...the oil leak had the entire tractor preserved pristine...I'm a big fan of oil leaks, and think the best care of machinery is to keep everything wiped down with oil...not much of a wax & polisher myself...and yes, the oil embalming is what swayed me on the deal...the foundation is all there in good shape...there's still 97% original paint on the footrests.

Just came back from the local Briggs dealer who has a machinist on staff...waiting on the final verdict, but it looks like .030" is available, as are valve guides...this engine can be put back into service.

ballpark is $250 purchase, $130-ish parts (piston/rings is $90...YIKES!.) + machining. I should have a nice 20+ year Bolens tube frame with fresh tight engine for $4-500.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
and I'm in full agreement with the post on the Bolens section about reconditioning these older machines when the current offerings are slipping into the mundane...besides, it's just plain fun. I'm already keeping my eye out for the next Bolens, Cub, JD, Gravely, Wheelhorse ect...

for the $500 I will have in it, a comparable current market tractor would be (guessing) $3000+

I haven't gotten to the mower deck yet...I'm sure it's either useable as is or rebuildable...my interests are in making a micro-mini backhoe with a 3' digging depth for drainage ditches and such, and a mini front loader with that 24" bucket I fabricated last year...and running hydraulics off the pto shaft.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top