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Lifetime Lawn Guy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! The last few weeks, in my little spare time; spending 30 minutes here, an hour there, I have restored a 8125. I don't know why but I seem to like the 4-square 'school bus' models a lot, lol. I have 3 now...

I tore the thing down completely, to bare deck. Stripped the old paint, which was a combo of LB green that was falling off and John Deere green the PO sprayed all over it. Every part was cleaned well along the way. Only engine work needed was just new upper and lower oil seals. Ran when I got it. Did replace the float in the carb as the old one the clear coat on the cork was coming off and I could see where the cork was soaking up fuel. Also added the pick-up screen in the bowl. New fuel lines were needed, I had some new LB fuel line. The drive system was all in good shape, just needed a GOOD cleaning and re-lube of everything. Had to find a fuel tank, thankfully another member pointed me towards on on Ebay. It's not in perfect condition but it holds fuel fine. I know these models are notorious for tank leaks. New recoil rope of course too.

Only issue is that it's LOUD. Not so much when it's cold but once it got hot while mowing it kept getting louder. All the bolts for the exhaust were torqued to factory specs and used blue loc-tite. New exhaust gasket was used and the gasket surfaces were cleaned to shiny. Only thing I can think is the muffler is letting more blow out the sides where it meets up with the bottom if the muffler plate. Or it's warping slightly when it gets hot. Any ideas? It's definately louder than my Suburban or the 6211, all the same mowers essentially.

BEFORE PICS... Yes, it looked worse in person, the JD green was all over, and not even a good paint job at that. UGLY! Note the fuel tank/shroud. HAHA. The guy I bought it from, being a nice old farmer, certianly wasn't afraid to tell some LIES though. He said "it has a new transmission, new drive belt, and a carburator kit was just done" Ummm, NONE of those items were new, or anything close to it. I should have argued with him and got a lower price, but I kinda wanted it either way...





Now, MUCH IMPROVED!!! Grabber green of course. I want to find new decals for it as well.











I have a photobucket account, for anyone wondering why my pics are showing up full size...
 

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Lifetime Lawn Guy
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1,426 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That looks beautiful with the Lawnboy paint. Also looks more professional with the shroud/ tank turned the right way!
Yeah... When I saw the one pic of it on CL I knew the tank was wrong, but I had hoped that the fool had somehow put it on sideways? But that can't happen. It's a tank from a newer model, that was used, and also sprayed with JD green paint that was bubbling and peeling off!
I was happy to find the correct tank on Ebay, and not the one the guy wanted like $180 for either!
 

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Self-Declared Mechanic
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254 Posts
Great job!! I am totally envious!

You should send a photo to the PO and show him the way it's supposed to look.

Dan B. :smilie_fl
 

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Lifetime Lawn Guy
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great looking mower! Question: Why does the original decal on the front say "Manual"??
There was 3 different models (i believe), Manual, Clutch, and Electric??. The decals were used on both the 4-square and stagger deck models in the mid '80's. It designates the starting basically. "Manual" is one that the engine is killed every time you release the bail. "Clutch" is one with BBC and "electric" of course is electric start. However I knew there was 3, and now I'm really fuzzy if the 3rd was electric or if it was something else.

Yes, strange word choice really...

I always wondered just exactly what "Zone Start" meant. I mean I know it's one you have to pull the cord to start, but "zone"? Wouldn't "pull" or "recoil" make more sence?
 

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There was 3 different models (i believe), Manual, Clutch, and Electric??. The decals were used on both the 4-square and stagger deck models in the mid '80's. It designates the starting basically. "Manual" is one that the engine is killed every time you release the bail. "Clutch" is one with BBC and "electric" of course is electric start. However I knew there was 3, and now I'm really fuzzy if the 3rd was electric or if it was something else.

Yes, strange word choice really...
Thanks for the explanation. At first I assumed "Manual" meant it was a push mower, but then I saw it was indeed self-propelled.

I always wondered just exactly what "Zone Start" meant. I mean I know it's one you have to pull the cord to start, but "zone"? Wouldn't "pull" or "recoil" make more sense?
I agree, that's some strange terminology. Makes me think you have to be "In the Zone" to start it. Now I used to have an old Murray that would only start when there was a new moon and all the stars and planets were in the proper alignment. That one was a "Twilight Zone Start"! :thThumbsU
 

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Looks great, I was wondering about the muffler issue, can you swap mufflers with another mower just to see what happens? It sounds like maybe the guts of that muffler is gone. Did you clean it by heating it on the grill?
 

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I always wondered just exactly what "Zone Start" meant. I mean I know it's one you have to pull the cord to start, but "zone"? Wouldn't "pull" or "recoil" make more sence?
Pre-compliance and zone start are both "pull" or "Recoil" start. Zone start is the term used to say that you have to be in a safe "Zone" to pull the starter rope. The bad thing is that someone gets paid to make up these terms. :thSick:
 

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Lifetime Lawn Guy
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks great, I was wondering about the muffler issue, can you swap mufflers with another mower just to see what happens? It sounds like maybe the guts of that muffler is gone. Did you clean it by heating it on the grill?
I didn't bake it or anything. I've never tried that... There wasn't much carbon build up on the top of the muffler, though there was an odd peice on it; the hole where the exhaust enters the muffler there was a short (3/4") long peice of pipe/tubing tack welded to the hole, sticking up. Didn't appear that it was inserted into the hole. First time I'd seen that, but I'm also kind a noob at this and have only had a few F mufflers off so far. I just know the others didn't have that.

I'm pretty sure those mufflers are unable to be opened up for cleaning, correct? When I get some bored time I will pull a muffler off of another and try it on this one and see what happens.

imaLBfreak: Echoman gave me the name of a couple guys on here to try for decals (in a PM) I thought he may have them as he does have others, no luck though. I need to find those names and see what they say.

Thanks for all the kind words guys! Honestly it looks better in pictures than if you really look at it close in person. I've found out I'm NOT a paint and body guy! I could use a good lesson in how to correctly strip paint and prep for new paint. I always end up with scratches that the paint won't cover, and also problems with the paint in general. It's good enough for a mower, but it's not really as "perfect" as I hoped it would have been.
 

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Lifetime Lawn Guy
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
amazing job-any issue with the drive train? getting parts etc?
Tankfully the drivetrain was in fine shape. I just cleaned everything well. There was one missing part, a little cup shaped peice that slips into the hole where the square shaft is located. The o-ring was there though... I'm sure over time if it's used more it will start oozing grease out of there around that shaft because of that cup missing. (it was shown in the service manual). I've heard that the drive systems for these are hard to find parts for, though there is a few parts for them on Ebay now even. I was very careful with it when reassembling, even used an inch lbs. torque wrench to put the 2 halves of the tranny box back together to be sure I didn't overtighten anything.
 

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5K Poster!!!!
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I didn't bake it or anything. I've never tried that... There wasn't much carbon build up on the top of the muffler, though there was an odd peice on it; the hole where the exhaust enters the muffler there was a short (3/4") long peice of pipe/tubing tack welded to the hole, sticking up. Didn't appear that it was inserted into the hole. First time I'd seen that, but I'm also kind a noob at this and have only had a few F mufflers off so far. I just know the others didn't have that.

I'm pretty sure those mufflers are unable to be opened up for cleaning, correct? When I get some bored time I will pull a muffler off of another and try it on this one and see what happens.

imaLBfreak: Echoman gave me the name of a couple guys on here to try for decals (in a PM) I thought he may have them as he does have others, no luck though. I need to find those names and see what they say.

Thanks for all the kind words guys! Honestly it looks better in pictures than if you really look at it close in person. I've found out I'm NOT a paint and body guy! I could use a good lesson in how to correctly strip paint and prep for new paint. I always end up with scratches that the paint won't cover, and also problems with the paint in general. It's good enough for a mower, but it's not really as "perfect" as I hoped it would have been.
Yeah sounds like you may need a new muffler, it would appear that a previous owner has modified that one.
 

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Thanks for all the kind words guys! Honestly it looks better in pictures than if you really look at it close in person. I've found out I'm NOT a paint and body guy! I could use a good lesson in how to correctly strip paint and prep for new paint. I always end up with scratches that the paint won't cover, and also problems with the paint in general. It's good enough for a mower, but it's not really as "perfect" as I hoped it would have been.
Rustoleum makes a filler sand primer that covers alot of small sanding scratches.
Put it on, sand it off, put it on, sand it off, use #0000 steel wool when taking it off.
Then repeat the process, it does work, but is not a miracle cure.
If you start off with heavy grit paper to remove the paint, then you have to go over it again and again with lighter grit paper using lighter grit each time.
Oh, and all the mowers look better in the pics, just like movie stars...
 

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Lifetime Lawn Guy
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Iv'e been using a angle die grinder and paint stripper disks, as well as scotch brite pads to take paint off. They work really well, less scratches than sand paper for sure!

Next time I will try the filler primer. I used self-etching primer on this one, sanded with 400 grit, then a coat of paint, sanded again with 400 grit and scotch brite, then the 2nd coat of paint failed... Had to really sand to get all the wrinkles off of it and still had some I wasn't going to work any harder to get 100%. The final coat is ok enough I suppose. Of course I ended up scratching it and dinging it a couple times when I was reassembling. Didn't help that I didn't let the paint cure for 5 ot 7 days before I started putting it back together...
 
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