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1979 Power King 1612, 1985 Gravely 5665 Professional, 2019 Canycom Bp419F
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased this tractor, a 1979 1612 Power King (?), ser. no. 49212, about five days ago. It came with an attached 48" mower and the owner said that it had only been used for mowing, evidently since new. I do not have any mowing and do not need the mower but will use the tractor primarily for snow removal and some hauling of firewood and other yard chores.

Upon first inspection it looked to be in good condition. The battery was very weak but it did start and I drove it a little. It shifted and handled OK, the clutch seemed fine, the steering was tight and the engine ran smoothly. The only thing I noticed was that the front tires were toed-out about an inch and that the right front tire was rubbing the side of the spindle slightly. It appeared that it should be an easy repair although an inch toe-out did seem odd. So, to make the first part of my story short I went back the next day and bought it thinking that all-in-all it was in pretty good shape for being 42 years old and did not appear to need any major repairs and if all it did was mow then it probably had avoided any rough work and the accompanying wear and tear.

When I got it home and started to clean it up and do the normal maintenance check list of checking/changing all fluids, engine tuneup, etc. my first big surprise came when I removed the gas tank to clean it. It had a small amount of gas in it and when I lifted it up and tipped it to one side all of a sudden gas started pouring out of the bottom. There was a rust hole on one end of the bottom. When it was in the tractor it did not leak. Evidently the tanks have baffles in them and there was so much crud in that portion of the bottom of the tank that it sealed off the hole until I tipped it and dislodged some of the crud. The tank was beyond repair. First surprise.

While jacking the tractor up to work on the front axle I happen to notice that the left rear tire/wheel was loose. When I took hold of the top of the tire I could rock the whole tire/wheel assembly back and forth. I jacked up the rear and found that the tire/wheel/axle assembly was quite loose in the final drive housing. I could move it forward and backwards and up and down and in and out. Yikes! Surprise number two $$$.

After taking the floor pan and fenders off to work on the rear end I noticed that the four bolts that secure the torque tube to the back of the transmission were all about a turn or two out from being tight. There was so much grease and dirt around that area that I didn't spot that problem right away. Surprise number three and also a mystery as to why. Now my confidence in the condition of the machine was waning.

It turns out that this tractor had very little if any maintenance. I discovered that both final drive gear cases had essentially no oil, only a thick, oily, silvery mixture of sludge. The silver color being metal fillings. By now I was really getting disheartened. I knew I was in big trouble $$$. Fortunately when I checked the differential it did have about two inches of oil in it but it does not have the small of gear oil, nor does the thick paste from the gear cases. Another mystery.

After two days I finally got the left side final drive case opened up (had to buy a large gear puller to get the wheel hub off of the 1-1/4" axle) and found that the bull gear, axle and all needle bearings are ruined. The pinion gear appears to be OK. The hub might also be bad because it had begun fretting on the axle and was wearing the key and keyway in the axle. I haven't opened up the right side final drive case yet but I'm not to hopeful about its condition. So at worst I might be looking at two bull gear/axle/bearing assemblies plus seals, snap rings, etc. WOW!

I have found several other problems caused by negligent maintenance (lubrication) but not as major as the gear cases.

This has really been a learning experience for me. None of the major problems were apparent when I did the original inspection. I have looked at many old vehicles and machinery to purchase through the years but never had anything like this slip past me. If I ever look at another Economy/Jim Dandy/Power King tractor to buy the very first thing I will do is go to each rear tire, grab the top and give it a strong shake to see if there is any lateral, longitudinal or axial play. That might be the first indication that the rear axle assembly may not have been well maintained as far as lubrication and "Buyer be Ware". And I now realize that that is a very expensive part of the tractor to repair if the parts are even still available.

So my nice clean tractor purchase has now become a major disassembly and repair instead of a general checkup and maintenance and easy front end repair. What is odd I think is that the mower deck is in reatively good condition. All of the blade spindles are tight and smooth turning, the idler pulleys are both in good shape and there is relatively little rust overall. A box came with the tractor that had a new blade spindle, a new idler pulley and some other mower parts. It appears that the mower deck was getting all of the attention maintenance wise. It has the serial number decal still on it so it could probably be dated. Maybe it is not the original deck but it appears to be. I don't have the number at this moment but if anyone is interested in the number I will post it.

I had not been very familiar with the somewhat confusing model designations of the tractor and thought I had purchased a Power King but apparently I have a Jim Dandy. I have since learned that the 1979 1612 is a JD and that the 1614 and up models are true PKs. While going over the parts list for the rear axle I found a number of differences between the two. The most significant being that the JD has a smaller diameter bull gear, 5.7" compared to 9.6" for tne PK and the axle is shorter, 8.25" compared to 11.75" for the PK.

You will notice in the attached photos that there are no markings, decals, that indicate it is the smaller JD. That seems odd to me. Apparently the JD also had the small 8" front wheels. I did notice the small wheels when I first saw it but thought that was because it had been set up for turf work only and that I could change them out for the 12" wheels. However, I have since found again through the parts drawings that the spindles are different lengths relative to the wheel sizes. In order to change to the 12" wheels I need to go to the shorter spindles. Also the 12" wheels have a hub with lug bolts where the 8" wheels do not. Not as simple a swap as I originally thought. But all of that pales in comparison to the rear end situation.

That's not all but this post is too long already so I need to end it for now. In hindsight if I had known what I know now about it I would not have purchased the tractor.

Just thought you might find this story of my first experience with a PK (or JD or..?) of some interest. I certainly have a lot to learn about these tractors. Unfortunately it appears that I am getting a crash course.

Sheldon

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Hi BatesAK, welcome to the group and Jim Dandy ownership, yes sometimes things like this happens to the best of us, take heart your are not alone, the good thing is once repaired these are very good dependable and capable tractors, if post the SN the model year can be determined. there is a great thumb drive sold on e bay that has 1000's and 1000's of pages of Power King - Economy - Jim Dandy manuals instruction at the present time it is out of stock but should be available in a couple of weeks. In 1978 EPCO the parent company changed the model designations from Power King and Jim Dandy to a number system Power Kings became 1614 - 1616 - 1618 or 2414 - 2416- 2418 and the Jim dandy became the 1612 and a deluxe model a 1614 had the 14 hp engine, as for the fuel tank there is a tank liner that can be used to reline the tank and seal it auto parts stores /. motorcycle shop sell these products. Parts for the final drives are available used check e bay and if you do FB there are a number of members that sell parts, the bearings and seals are off the shelf parts that can be gotten most any bearing store good luck its actually not a bad looking tractor you have a good base to start with
 
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I hope you stick with it and get it redone...they are really good little tractors with an interesting history...if you get it restored...I am pretty sure you will wind up being really happy with it
 

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Cool PK, I like those machines! Hope it’s not too neglected and you can get it back on it’s wheels and useable again. Keep the updates coming!
 

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1979 Power King 1612, 1985 Gravely 5665 Professional, 2019 Canycom Bp419F
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank yo
Hi BatesAK, welcome to the group and Jim Dandy ownership, yes sometimes things like this happens to the best of us, take heart your are not alone, the good thing is once repaired these are very good dependable and capable tractors, if post the SN the model year can be determined. there is a great thumb drive sold on e bay that has 1000's and 1000's of pages of Power King - Economy - Jim Dandy manuals instruction at the present time it is out of stock but should be available in a couple of weeks. In 1978 EPCO the parent company changed the model designations from Power King and Jim Dandy to a number system Power Kings became 1614 - 1616 - 1618 or 2414 - 2416- 2418 and the Jim dandy became the 1612 and a deluxe model a 1614 had the 14 hp engine, as for the fuel tank there is a tank liner that can be used to reline the tank and seal it auto parts stores /. motorcycle shop sell these products. Parts for the final drives are available used check e bay and if you do FB there are a number of members that sell parts, the bearings and seals are off the shelf parts that can be gotten most any bearing store good luck its actually not a bad looking tractor you have a good base to start with
Thank you for the warm welcome and model identification info. I did determine that it is a 1979 Jim Dandy by the serial number 49212. The Kohler engine serial number is 9300936 which makes it a 1978 engine.

Sheldon
 

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1979 Power King 1612, 1985 Gravely 5665 Professional, 2019 Canycom Bp419F
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I hope you stick with it and get it redone...they are really good little tractors with an interesting history...if you get it restored...I am pretty sure you will wind up being really happy with it
Thank you. I am sticking with it and will provide updates. I have a number of questions that I will ask in another post.

Sheldon
 

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1979 Power King 1612, 1985 Gravely 5665 Professional, 2019 Canycom Bp419F
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK, some questions observations about repairing the JD (I'm tempted to refer to it now simply as a smaller model of the EPCO tractor line and dispense with all of the confusion of a model name, you wil see why later).

First, I have opened up both gear cases and they both did not have any oil in them, only about an inch of the thick silvery black paste on the bottom. Everything in the left case is ruined, the bull gear, axle, hub and all needle bearings, seals, etc. The right case fared better with just the bull gear ruined but I am going to replace all of the bearings, seals, thrust washer etc. as they all were subjected to who knows how long a period with no oil.

So, my first question is has anyone of you gone through the process of a complete disassembly/reassembly of the gear case and if so what was your experience? It appears to be something I will not be able to do completely in my small shop with normal mechanics hand tools. I found that all of the internal parts, bull gear and axle, hub and axle, etc. are pressed together, and a heavy press not just a slip fit secured with square keys and snap rings . The gear puller I bought was only able to remove the damaged left hub off of its axle, mostly because the hub had already loosened itself as I mentioned in my first post. So, it appears that the disassembly of the old assemblies and the assembling of the new parts is going to require some type of hydraulic floor press. Correct? To those that have gone through this stage what did you do?

I have ordered all new bearings, seals, two bull gears, one axle shaft, snap rings, etc. to do a complete rebuild. And yes, it was a lot of money but I need to see this through and do it right once and not have to worry about it later. This is not a restoration or show tractor but a working machine that will see plenty of use throughout the year.

Another question for you regards the tie rod for the front wheels. Evidently the tie rod is made up of three parts? Mine is completely frozen up and nonadjustable. I need it to be adjustable as the way it is now the front wheels are toed out about an inch+. The rod ends (knuckles on the parts list) are also bad but so far I have not been able to remove them or free up the rod itself using heat, penetrating oil and all manner of griping tools without ruining the tie rod in the end.

I thought I had located a good used rod assembly but it was 24" long and mine is 28" (about 32" over the rod ends). So, and here we go again, there are two front end widths to the JDs? Is the 28" rod just for the PKs? But wait, mine is not a PK even though that is the label on the hood and it has the 28" tie rod but is really a JD with the smaller bull gear, shorter rear axle, different engine mounting (base) plate, etc.etc.... Wow, my head is spinning trying to keep up with all of this.

Thank you to all of you with the patience to read through my lengthy posts and any thoughts, suggestions or help regarding my questions and the rebuilding process I am going through are much appreciated.

Sheldon










has anyone gone through the process of rebuilding the gear cases? Disassembling the axle from the hub and bull gear for instance. I soon discovered that it is not just removing the snap rings and sliding the assembly apart.
 

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Most refer to your tractor as a Jim Dandy simple enough and most know what your talking about, I don't own a Jim Dandy but have a number of Economy;s and Power Kings and I have been thur the final drives on my 48 its not hard and requires no special tools, first off very few guys remove the hubs from the axle ad they are almost impossible to separate, there is no need to remove the hub and the bull gear will come off the axle going toward the inner end my gears came off with very little resistance. When reassembling be sure to seal the 4 bolts the attach the drop box to the tractors frame and use new lock washers and self locking nuts as once assembled there is no way to hold the bolts to tighten them, some guys weld a strap to the bolt heads (2 each) so they can be tightened in the future, I did not. The OEM tie rod ends are no longer available but replacements are and work as good or better here is an example Amazon.com: DVPARTS RH Ball Joints C12102 C44640 AM100644 AM30168 AM32868 723-0179 923-0179 for John Deere 110, 112, 140, 200 Series, 300, 312, 314, 316, 317 and 400 MTD Yard-Man GT1855 GT2055 1850 995 918 : Patio, Lawn & Garden
check to ensure that both ends are RH thread if one is LH they are also avaible
 
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1979 Power King 1612, 1985 Gravely 5665 Professional, 2019 Canycom Bp419F
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Most refer to your tractor as a Jim Dandy simple enough and most know what your talking about, I don't own a Jim Dandy but have a number of Economy;s and Power Kings and I have been thur the final drives on my 48 its not hard and requires no special tools, first off very few guys remove the hubs from the axle ad they are almost impossible to separate, there is no need to remove the hub and the bull gear will come off the axle going toward the inner end my gears came off with very little resistance. When reassembling be sure to seal the 4 bolts the attach the drop box to the tractors frame and use new lock washers and self locking nuts as once assembled there is no way to hold the bolts to tighten them, some guys weld a strap to the bolt heads (2 each) so they can be tightened in the future, I did not. The OEM tie rod ends are no longer available but replacements are and work as good or better here is an example Amazon.com: DVPARTS RH Ball Joints C12102 C44640 AM100644 AM30168 AM32868 723-0179 923-0179 for John Deere 110, 112, 140, 200 Series, 300, 312, 314, 316, 317 and 400 MTD Yard-Man GT1855 GT2055 1850 995 918 : Patio, Lawn & Garden
check to ensure that both ends are RH thread if one is LH they are also avaible
Thanks GB for your comments. That is interesting that you say the bull gears should come off relatively easy when removing from the inner end. That would be great. I will try again tomarrow and see what happens. I just assumed the gears would be difficult to remove because the puller I had used to remove the damaged hub had had such a difficult time with the hub. How did you remove your gears; with a puller, or just careful use of a hammer?

I don't know what you mean by "drop box".

I know that replacement tie rod ends are available (thanks for the link) but the main problem I am having is freeing up the three pieces of the tie rod to get some adjustment that is needed to set the proper wheel alignment. The outer sleeves ("tie rod supports" I think they are called on the parts list) I believe are rusted solid to the inner tie rod piece. So far I have not been able to budge them. Just wondered if anyone else had experienced that problem.
 

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1979 Power King 1612, 1985 Gravely 5665 Professional, 2019 Canycom Bp419F
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Another question I have is regarding front wheels. I want to change to the 12" tires and wheels in place of the 8" that were on the tractor. It appears I need to use shorter spindles and also the lug style hubs that the 8" wheels do not use. The 12" wheels seem to be difficult to find. It seems they have a unique offset peculiar to tractors. I did however find some that might work on the Steiner Tractor website 404 Error Page. Has anyone used them? Any other suggestions for a source or an alternate type of wheel? Also, any suggestions or comments from others who may have done this wheel/tire conversion will be much appreciated.

Thanks to you all for your interest in my project.
 

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Hi, " I don't know what you mean by "drop box".a common name for the final drive gearbox case, yes I've done 3/4 tie ros assy and they can be a bugger I've heated them red hot with my oxy toruch and I'v put them in a 12" 2" piece of pipe held vertical in a vise and filled the pipe up with a 60/40 mix od ATF and acetone (60% ATF) as for changing out the front wheel pretty much in possible to do on the Jim Dandy"s it already has the shortest spindle made for them
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi, " I don't know what you mean by "drop box".a common name for the final drive gearbox case, yes I've done 3/4 tie ros assy and they can be a bugger I've heated them red hot with my oxy toruch and I'v put them in a 12" 2" piece of pipe held vertical in a vise and filled the pipe up with a 60/40 mix od ATF and acetone (60% ATF) as for changing out the front wheel pretty much in possible to do on the Jim Dandy"s it already has the shortest spindle made for them
GB, Thanks again for your comments. Always helpful and thought provoking.

Thanks for the clarification of "drop box". I am sure by the end of this project I will have learned more of the common terms/names when discussing these machines. In your previous post - #11 - you mention sealing the bolts that secure the drop boxes to the frame and use locking washers and nuts. I don't understand what you mean by "sealing" the bolts. The bolts that secure the gear cases to the frame on my tractor are threaded into blind tapped holes in the castings that do not intrude into the inside of the gear case. What is the reason for sealing them? There are also no nuts involved with the bolts. Did the design of the gear boxes perhaps change through the years?

Regarding the front spindle change: I may have already made a mistake. I have already ordered new shorter spindles and they are in the mail. I thought I had researched this thoroughly, but now you have me wondering. The parts drawings and part number lists that I have been using are from a 1975 manual that list the 1612 JD as one of the models it covers. So far it has proven accurate to what I have. The spindles on the tractor now are the 12.75" length which corresponds to what the parts list shows for a JD with 8" wheels. It also lists a shorter spindle of 10.87" but as you have now pointed out those look to be for the PK model. I then checked to see what the part number for the replacement spindle bushings for the front axle bar assembly was and it is the same for both the PK and JD.

So, if the spindle diameters happen to be the same (they apparently both use the same bushing) I wonder if maybe the shorter PK spindle can be used in place of the JD spindle? In studying many photos of the PK/JDs it appears to me that the only difference between the tall and short spindles is the length of the portion of the spindle below the thrust bearing. The other construction features appear to be the same. In studying the parts list again it does show two different front axle bar assemblies. One for the PK and one for the JD, both different part numbers. But what is the difference? It does not show that. I guess I will just have to wait and see. But in the end I am going to try to work out a way to use the 12" wheels and still keep the front of the tractor at a fairly level height.

Regarding my previous post #13, it appears that the link to the 12" wheels that I does not work so I have attached a picture of the wheel from the website. The site lists them as 3x12, 5 lug, 2-5/8" center to center bolt holes (adjacent), 3-1/8" diameter center hole. If anyone has an OEM PK 12" wheel that they could check those measurements against that would be great.
 

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Sorry about the sealing of the bolts I mixed Power kings with the Jim Dandy's as you posted the JD's bolt go into the blind hole the PK's the bolt pass thur the gearbox into the tractor frame with the bolt heads inside and the nuts out. As for the front axle assy the difference is the width of the axle Power Kings are wider, the Jim Dandy was designed as a smaller tractor more adept to mowing and maneuvering in small yards and the Power King was designed as a utility tractor small acreage farming etc thus the 8" turf wheels on the Jim Dandy's, The JD's went thur many changes over the years with rearend ratios speed reducer gearbox to the dual transmission set up similar to the PK's It will be interesting on the spindle front wheel set up I've never seen a picture of a JD with 12" wheels. The 12 inch wheels are the same as used on the Farmall Cubs and are the same as 12" trailer tires which many guys have used including myself the down side to trailer wheels is no good way to attach front wheel wts if wanted, I'll check the lug measurement tomorrow if I remember, I'm thinking they a 5 X 4.5
 
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Hi Sheldon, I measured the front wheel its a 5 X 4.5" rim/wheel, and I looks like I may get to see my first Jim Dandy with 12" front wheels, did some other measuring a regular PK (12" wheels) is 19" from the top of the axle to the floor my Country Squire with 8" front wheels is 18" from the top of the axle to the floor so its only 1" difference, and FYI full sized Power King frames are 15.75" wide outside frame rails, frame length is 64" and the front axle is 31" wide the measurements are approx as I was by myself trying to reach and read
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Sheldon, I measured the front wheel its a 5 X 4.5" rim/wheel, and I looks like I may get to see my first Jim Dandy with 12" front wheels, did some other measuring a regular PK (12" wheels) is 19" from the top of the axle to the floor my Country Squire with 8" front wheels is 18" from the top of the axle to the floor so its only 1" difference, and FYI full sized Power King frames are 15.75" wide outside frame rails, frame length is 64" and the front axle is 31" wide the measurements are approx as I was by myself trying to reach and read
Hi GB, Thanks for your last two posts and for taking the time to check the wheel size for me and for the PK frame dimensions. Lots of good info there. I think the Steiner Tractor wheels might work and it appears they might also accept wheel weights. I might give them a try. It's good to know that regular 12" trailer wheels also will work. I don't think I will have a need for wheel weights anyway. Here is a picture of the Steiner wheel. I mistakenly deleted it from my earlier post. It is listed as 3x12, 5 lug, 2-5/8" center to center adjacent bolt holes, with a 3 1/8" diameter center hole.
Wheel Tire Automotive tire Synthetic rubber Tread



That's interesting about the PK frame and axle size. I keep learning more and more about the differences between the PK and JD. Using the measurements you supplied here 's how they compare to my JD:
PK frame width - 15.75
JD frame width - 13.12

PK frame length - 64"
JD frame length - 60"

PK axle width - 31"
JD axle width - 31"
It's interesting that the front axle widths appear to be the same. So, maybe the later JD/1612s shared the same front axles as the larger PKs, although the parts list I have been using does show a different " FRONT WHEEL SUPPORT BAR ASSEMBLY (axle)" part number for the PK - #01-0211 and for the JD - #02-0211. Just another one of the mysteries I keep running into regarding the JD. I have ordered the parts I think are necessary to make the 8" to 12" wheel conversion and will update when I have some results.

Now about my bull gear/axle separation problem: I followed your advice to try removing the bull gear from its axle by going off of the inside end of the axle. It still would not budge no matter what I did with the limited tools I have at hand here. So, I called our local antique tractor club to see if there was anyone who might have had experience with bull gear removal. Sure enough there was and he said to bring it by his shop. I did and using his large hydraulic H-Frame press we finally got them separated. It took quite a bit of force and when they started to move it happened with a loud bang. After getting them apart I then found that that axle had also been ruined in the past by lack of lubrication. So now I will be replacing both axles, both bull gears, at least one hub and all of the bearings, snap rings and seals. All new parts (Mission Manufacturing). Once the new parts arrive I will check the fit between them and will probably have to have the fellow press them on, again using using his heavy press. It is going to be a weak or so before I get the parts but again I will update when I have results.

An ongoing frustration I have is that I have not been able to find an owners and/or parts manual just for the 1612 preferably 1978 or 1979, if one was even published and I am bebinging to think not. Then I think I would know for sure if I am ordering the right parts.

Thanks again GB and all of you for your help and continued interest in this thread.
Shel
 

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Hi Sheldon they never published a seperate manual everything was combined into one and it covered a number of years but the thumb drive sold on e bay is a big help it has over 340000 pages of manuals, drawings instruction sheets etc and it is price is reasonable and I recommend it I have 3 as they have updated them over the years
 
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I forgot yes those are the same wheels as used on the Power kings , sorry that some of my advise is off but I have no hands on with JD's just Power Kings and I'm learning I that there is more differences than I was aware of. Just a thought on the JD front axle differences the early JD's were smaller then the 1612's so that maybe where that difference is, when looking at my Country Squire and the Power Kings sitting side by side it looked like the CS axle was narrower but when I measured they were the same

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