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Thanks Sheldon . I'm looking forward to seeing those books of yours . I've got some of my own fabrication ( not as complicated as yours ) going on . I have a Cyclone Rake ( my most prized possession for the fall leaves ) that I had hooked up to my old lawn mower . I'm retrofitting a new boot from odds & ends from the tractor shop down the road so it will soon hook up to the Gravely .

Rick
 

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This has got to be the longest running thread ever. Almost 60 pages and still going.
 

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Sheldon, and everyone else also, I must agree with Rick's sentiments. I have been lurking for about a year now, being directed to these forums by internet searches while trying to fix up my old "new to me" 1987 8123-g. After beginning to read this thread a few days ago, I had to join, just to convey my thanks to those of you who spend so much of your time sharing your experience and information.

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #884 (Edited)
Thanks to all for the kind words, happy to share what I have learned. And many others on here have played a big role in all this information coming together.

And I do have some new "improvements" and projects in the works, just need a little time off work.....

Sheldon
 

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:fest30: Just got back from a 11hour drive after moving older sister to Dickson Tennessee to be near her expectant daughter . Awesome people in Tennessee . Especially when they find out it's your birthday ! I found out I just can't hang with the youngens like I used to 20 years ago . :coffee: Thinking the gifts & partying are all done , I finally roll into the drive to find one more surprise waiting for me .:biggringi Sheldon's Vol. 1 Gravely Improvements . Very nicely done . But , since I'm past the BIG 5-0 , I'm gonna have to wait for morning to check out all the priceless information . Thanks again Sheldon ! I can't wait to put all of the information to good use !

Rick.
 

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Sheldon , I just got done reading the section of the book about the light upgrade . With worry of having too big of wattage bulb for the electrical system , did you consider LED ? It's my understanding that LED pulls less voltage than incandescent bulbs . I was unsuccessful in finding a conversion match on size in LED on an internet search .
 

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Discussion Starter #888
Sheldon , I just got done reading the section of the book about the light upgrade . With worry of having too big of wattage bulb for the electrical system , did you consider LED ? It's my understanding that LED pulls less voltage than incandescent bulbs . I was unsuccessful in finding a conversion match on size in LED on an internet search .
Back when I did that, there were no LED flood or spot lights to even consider. That was 6 years ago. There may be other options now, not sure.

But the 60 watt lamps have worked fine for all this time, no issues. With the addition of the rear backup light, I did put the headlights on a relay to take the actual headlight load off the ignition switch and the light switch.

For me, a big consideration in all the improvements was to do them without serious modification to the tractor - no cutting, "rigging" or other non reversible modifications. So it was important to use a "drop in" replacement lamp.

Sheldon
 

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Sheldon, just an FYI for the thread:

Running "PAR-36 LED" into Google returns a lot of hits. Almost all are more powerful than standard headlights, with 70W equivalents common. Prices are as low as the $15 neighborhood.

https://www.google.com/search?q=par+36+led&oq=par+36&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j0l4.6753j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=par+36+led&tbm=shop

:comp26: That does it , I'm putting my Android tablet in Time-out ! All my seaches only brought up incandescent results l Thanks Mikey4 .
 

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Discussion Starter #891
Mikey, that is good to know. There still is one other factor. The 12 watt lamps GRAVELY used, and the 60 watt ones I used are "tractor" headlamps, not flood or spot lights. The difference is that the tractor lamp actually has "headlight" optics in the sealed beam lens, much like old sealed beam automotive headlights.

Flood lights or spot lights may work OK, but with no LED options six years ago, I stayed with tractor headlights.

Sheldon
 

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Mikey, that is good to know. There still is one other factor. The 12 watt lamps GRAVELY used, and the 60 watt ones I used are "tractor" headlamps, not flood or spot lights. The difference is that the tractor lamp actually has "headlight" optics in the sealed beam lens, much like old sealed beam automotive headlights.

Flood lights or spot lights may work OK, but with no LED options six years ago, I stayed with tractor headlights.

Sheldon
I think more research might answer that question. I agree that the original style lamps had "headlight" optics. Based on your research and information I chose to not even bother with the relay and go up to 65W as you did, but I went up to 35W lamps on my tractors, which was a real improvement over the OEM 20W lamps. Had I not read your thread I never would have even thought to look for alternates.

My thinking about LEDs, based solely on my own logic, is that brighter is better. With the speed we use to work a tractor, that's likely enough. I see little chance to over drive the light throw as might be a problem with a car. I have LED floods outdoors around my house and they are BRIGHT! They range from 75 W to 100W equivalents. Given that, I should think a 70W equivalent 12V lamp would be plenty for a tractor moving in the neighborhood of 5 MPH.
 

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Discussion Starter #893
Mikey, completely agreed. And the 35 watt lamps are good upgrade and I do suggest that option in my book.

I too am now using LED's for my outdoor lighting around the house, they are great.

My original desire for the brighter headlights was for snow plowing, which I do in high range, 3rd or 4th gear, so 6-8 mph is possible, still not like a car.

My 60 watt lamps provide a good beam about 150' out from the tractor - more than enough.

Originally I ran the 60 watt lamps without the relay, no problems, but when I added the backup light I knew I was pushing the wiring load. So I moved the heavy load of the headlights to the relay and left the backup light on the old lighting circuit.

Sheldon
 

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I'm going to try the LED lights in bright white . The specs say they only pull 7 watts so I'll assume it will stay cool . Then I'll have to figure out how to make the clear lens out of polycarbonate or maybe just plexiglass . I just happen to have a sheet 3'x4' I was going to build a windshield for my Teryx before I decided to go with an aftermarket one . I can see this winter restoration and Sheldon's improvements getting really interesting .
 

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Discussion Starter #895
I'm going to try the LED lights in bright white . The specs say they only pull 7 watts so I'll assume it will stay cool . Then I'll have to figure out how to make the clear lens out of polycarbonate or maybe just plexiglass . I just happen to have a sheet 3'x4' I was going to build a windshield for my Teryx before I decided to go with an aftermarket one . I can see this winter restoration and Sheldon's improvements getting really interesting .
Private message sent.

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter #896
UPDATE:

Finally, after much delay, Volume 2 of my booklet of improvements is now available.

As it turned out, it was not possible to include everything I had hoped, so a Volume 3 is actually being considered.

If you are interested in Volumes 1 or 2, send me a PM.


In other news, the wife is finally better, kids doing well, work is still busy........and I need to cut the grass this afternoon.

Still considering repower options. If anyone has a Kohler M20 for sale, I might be interested in that as well......

Sheldon
 

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UPDATE:

Finally, after much delay, Volume 2 of my booklet of improvements is now available.

As it turned out, it was not possible to include everything I had hoped, so a Volume 3 is actually being considered.

If you are interested in Volumes 1 or 2, send me a PM.


In other news, the wife is finally better, kids doing well, work is still busy........and I need to cut the grass this afternoon.

Still considering repower options. If anyone has a Kohler M20 for sale, I might be interested in that as well......

Sheldon
Excellent news on everything Sheldon . I'm happy to hear your wife is doing well . Things have been hectic around here now that decent weather has arrived . Seems I'm being pulled in 6 different directions every day . I still need to get the clear lens from you and NOW I see Vol. 2 of your excellent improvements for the 16G . I'll be sending for both as soon as my Gravely Piggy Bank allows . Everyone is laughing about how much time I spend in the garage working on , cleaning & improving a lawn tractor . If​I have to explain, you wouldn't understand ....:fing02:
 

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Discussion Starter #898
UPDATE:

So as I still consider a repower to get more HP, I decided to do some "maintenance" to the Kohler Magnum Twin. Generally it is running fine, but it would idle a little rough from time to time and sometimes run rough for a few minutes on a hot restart in warm weather. It is now approaching 800 hours, 300 hours past Kohler's recommended service interval for cleaning/decarboning the cylinder heads.

So last evening I pulled both heads, cleaned them, cleaned the intake valves which had a fair amount of carbon/oil buildup on the back side, and checked the valve lash.

Sorry no pictures, I was hot and dirty........

But, the report is good.

The walls of both cylinders still retain factory crosshatch patterns, valve seats all looked good, carbon buildup was present, but not excessive.

Valve lash was at the tight end of the factory range, and the only adjustment means pulling the valves and grinding the stems, but at least I know their condition.

I also replaced the original fuel line, and relocated the fuel filter a little father from several heat sources. On rare occasions I have experienced mild signs of some sort of vapor lock problem on hot restarts. I think it was the fuel filter too close to the block/exhaust.

After reassembly and startup, I had the expected popping and rough operation until it cleared out and warmed up. After some carb adjustments she is now running very nice.

The whole process did raise one question in my mind, is it possible for the head gasket on these engines to "leak" with out fully blowing out?
I ask this because there seemed to be a wide variation in the amount of torque required to remove the head bolts, I swear I could have removed a few by hand.......

And, the new gasket is a different design. There was no real sign of failure, but there were discolored areas on the old gaskets faces in places.

Just seemed strange.

Anyway it all went back together easily and fired right up with no problems. Several test runs and restarts seem to indicate some renewed smoothness and performance, and no sign of the occasional hot restart vapor lock problem.

Later today or tomorrow I have more mowing, that will tell us even more.

Sheldon
 

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What method did you use to decarbon the heads?

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk
 
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