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1979 Power King 1612, 1985 Gravely 5665 Professional, 2019 Canycom Bp419F
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
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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GB, I always enjoy the advise and comments in your posts. You are helping me more than you know.

I like your line up of tractors. Thanks for posting that picture.

I did purchase the thumb drive you mentioned. It should be here soon. I am anxious to start looking through it.

I have been thinking about the bull gear axle and support bearing design used in the PKs. As I have found out and most of you already know the bull gear axle rides in large needle bearings for support on either side. The problem with that I feel is that in that design the axle becomes the inner race for the needle bearings. So, if there are any wear problems with the bearings due to lack of oil, poor quality oil, contaminated oil, etc. and they begin to deteriorate to any degree that wear will also take place on the axle surface since that surface is acting as the inner race of the bearings. Now instead of just having to repair/replace the bearings the axle shaft itself also has to be replaced introducing a lot more labor and expense into the fix. I found that the axles are not hardened to the rockwell hardness of bearing races thus exacerbating the problem.

I think the EPCO engineers really dropped the engineering ball when they went with that design. Anytime you make a rotating shaft part of the bearings it is rotating in you automatically are introducing wear on the shaft every time it rotates. I think if they had chosen to use a large ball or roller bearing that has its own hardened and ground inner race and was a standard bearing fit on the axle shaft the repair of a problem bearing would be much simpler and in the end probably far less expensive for the tractor owner. I would have thought that the engineers would have realized that some of their tractors would be around for a very long time - forty, fifty, sixty years or more with proper care and that a more maintenance/repair friendly final drive design would help the life span of the tractor. With the current design any bearing deterioration/wear becomes a major and complicated repair rather than one an owner with average tools could handle. Whereas it appears to me that almost all of the other parts of these tractors can be fairly easy to maintain and repair without needing sophisticated shop equipment.

Anyhow, just some thoughts/observations about something that I am experiencing. It is what it is and in most cases seems to work OK.

Sheldon
 

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1979 Power King 1612, 1985 Gravely 5665 Professional, 2019 Canycom Bp419F
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Here are a couple of interesting things I have learned while overhauling my 1979 1612 that might be useful for others that are new to Economy tractors.

1) On my machine there are three 1/4" NPT pipe plugs on the back of each of the final drive gear cases. As I have been working on those cases I have wondered why there weren't any obvious vents for them, like the one on the top of the differential housing. In my experience almost all gear cases/boxes have a vent to relieve any pressure build up that would tend to push oil past the seals.

Well, as I was reading the chapter "Final Drive Assembly Installation" in the PDF titled SERVICE MANUAL STEEL BODY, Power King Part 2, 1600/2400 Series Tractors (in the Thumb Drive that GB in MN mentioned in his post #19 of this thread), paragraph #13 states "Remove the vented fill plug (37) from the top, inner side of the case, ......" ). OK, there was the answer to my question. So, I went and gathered the plugs and sure enough two of the six (total) did have a small hole in them. I have attached a couple of photos of one of them. It appears the filter media is just some very fine gauge copper (?) wire tightly packed in the outer portion of the hole.

Brown Rectangle Wood Beige Grey
Rectangle Wood Beige Grey Floor


2) I also found what may be another possible way to date these tractors if the serial numbers on the body are missing and the engine info tag is gone. The differential of my machine has a build date stamped on the right side of the aluminum housing next to that side of the housings cover plate. The number is 4-16-78 which would closely correspond to the 1979 serial number of my tractor. There is another long number above the date stamp that is a manufacturing code used at assembly. So, if you are wanting to date your machine and the other numbers are missing the differential build date (if it is there) may be helpful.


The other thing I found was over on the upper left side of the housing next to the housing cover the gear ratio is stamped. Mine reads 12.25 49-4. The 12.25 represents the 12.25:1 ratio and I believe the 49-4 represents the tooth count of the ring and pinion gears. This is correct for my machine as it is the model 1612 JD. The larger models have a standard 5.17:1 ratio with the 12.25:1 being optional on most of them, I believe. So, if you are wondering what the differential ratio is in your tractor check and see if the stamping is there. I have attached a photo of my rear axle which might help show what I have described.

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Good write up thanks for sharing that and providing an update on the progress with the JD
 

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1979 Power King 1612, 1985 Gravely 5665 Professional, 2019 Canycom Bp419F
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
After six months and many hours of work and a lot of money an update on this project. It is essentially finished and I have started using it for hauling firewood, one of the main jobs I wanted it for.

As you can see I have modified it quite a bit. Some but not all of the modifications included:
•Relocating the fuel tank to the rear of the tractor.
•Mounting a full size auto battery (NAPA 7526R) on the right side of the seat.
•Converted individual steering brakes to a single pedal activating both rear brakes together. •Converted the front axle to 4.00 x 12" wheels from 8" wheels (new spindles, spindle arms, wheel hubs w/bearings and seals, tie rod, etc. - all new parts). 5.30-12 trailer tires.
•Removed electro-magnetic PTO (not needed).
•Installed rope start pulley on flywheel.
•Removed hood/front grille assembly (not needed).
•Fabricating a steering column support bracket off of the firewall/dashboard panel. What an improvement that made! I am amazed the company did not recognize the need and do that in the beginning.
•Installed voltmeter and an hour meter.
•Installed bottom drain plugs in the rear gear cases and the differential housing.
•Modify/cut tunnel sheet metal for quick easy removal and complete access to the drive train.

I know some of those modifications are appalling to EPCO/Power king purists but after I found how many things (MAJOR things) needed repair and correcting I decided to forget about restoring it and just build it like I wanted a tractor to be; a solid work horse with no unnecessary parts, panels, frills, etc. The main uses for it are pulling the firewood trailer and other logging chores and plowing snow.

I sure learned a lot about EPCO and their tractors. In the end I feel that their basic idea was sound but the execution was poor from a manufacturing standpoint based on my many years as a machinist in the machine/equipment manufacturing industry. On my tractor the quality control was very poor. However, it is working well now. The last thing to do before winter is try to mount an old Wheel Horse snow plow/dozer blade assembly that I found to it.

I have attached a number of pictures of it as it currently is and how I am using it so far this summer. A big thanks to all of you who helped with suggestions and answers to my earlier questions.

Sheldon

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Looks good. Is/should there be another tin to direct air from the fan to go over the rear of the engine? While it looks nice and open to the air, it doesn't actually get cooled very much unless there is air being pushed over that area.
 

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Looks great, good to see you have it done and working with your upgrades and going thru it it will give years of service
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Looks good. Is/should there be another tin to direct air from the fan to go over the rear of the engine? While it looks nice and open to the air, it doesn't actually get cooled very much unless there is air being pushed over that area.
dave_r,

Thanks for your reply. However, I am not sure that I understand what you mean by your question. The engine has all of the factory cooling shrouds in place. I did not change anything. The only thing I did to the engine was add the 3" tall air filter assembly and cut and rotate the exhaust pipe to place the muffler away from the ignition points cover area. If you look at the pictures in my first post in this thread you will see what was on the engine when I purchased the tractor. It is now still the same. This tractor did not have the extra sheet metal piece fitted to the top of the engine that I have seen on some other Power Kings. I think that piece was installed by the factory on some of the tractors to deflect engine heat down and away from the back of the dash panel where the voltage regulator/rectifier was mounted.

I have an unmodified 1985 Gravely two-wheel walk behind tractor that also has the K301 and it has the same cylinder shrouds as this tractor. The rear of the engine - cylinder/head assembly - needs to be open to vent the warm air from that assembly as it is being cooled by the cool air from the blower.

There is another cylinder shroud/baffle listed in the 1974 Kohler factory parts book for the K301 that can be fitted the the starter side of the engine that does partially wrap around the back of the cylinders cooling fins. I think that may have been available for engines operated in cold climates to help the engine reach its optimum operating temperature. I have purchased two of those shrouds, used off of eBay, one for this tractor and one for the Gravely. Since I use these machines in the winter for snow removal I want to try these extra shrouds to see if the engines will warmup quicker and run a little warmer. In past winters it has seemed that the Gravely engine, which I use only in the winter, is not operating at its optimum temperature. It will be interesting to see if they do indeed run warmer. I have attached pictures of this shroud.

Hope this has helped with your question.

Sheldon
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1979 Power King 1612, 1985 Gravely 5665 Professional, 2019 Canycom Bp419F
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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Looks great, good to see you have it done and working with your upgrades and going thru it it will give years of service
GB in MN,

As always thanks for your reply. Yes, I do hope that it will run well for many years.

Sheldon
 

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It's just my experience with engines, that at least newer ones have the tins so the air is directed over more of the fins than your engine does. I've heard that some older engines had problems with overheating in spots because they didn't get force air over parts of their cylinders (IDK if that's a problem or not for your engine).

Personally, I would probably fashion something to keep more air going over the fins on top and around the back, but it's your engine.

As for your tins in post #27, I would expect the opposite results, using those would not warm up the engine any faster, and the engine would run cooler, overall, because cold air is forced over more of the fins on the cylinder. WIth the engine fins more exposed, more of the engine will get hot faster & stay hotter vs having more air flowing over them.
 

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Sheldon, your engine will be just fine with out the top air flow deflector as you posted it is mostly to keep the heat off the dash/voltage reg and the operator but with the hood removed the air can move out and not concentrate in that area
 
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