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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up an 18G today and brought it home. I'm pretty stoked. We had a 424 when I was growing up and it was sold with the property when I was in college. I've been looking for a Pro-G for the last few years and finally located one about 90 minutes away. It's in pretty good shape cosmetically (lots a dirt), and seems pretty sound mechanically. It needs a tune-up but the motor has lots of life left and after a thorough tune-up and clean-up it should look and run great.

Here it is loaded up earlier today:


Just for yucks here is Gramps on the 424 back in 1970:


I love these tractors, just wish I had a few more acres to play on....
 

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Congradulations! Great tractor. Was that the one on Ebay with the 60" deck? If so that sounded like a great machine. I love the pic of Your Gramps with the dog eater! Welcome back into the Gravely family..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, it was on craigslist when I first spotted it, I arranged to go check it out and noticed it showed up on Ebay a little while later. It did not match the glowing description the seller had posted. It needs a lot of TLC but it has all the original paint and no rust or dings. I do believe it was well maintained but I think he slacked off a bit recently, the air filter is clogged and its running a bit rich. I am really looking forward to tearing into it and making it shine again.
 

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well Good luck to you. I am doing an 18 G right now myself. I do wish I had a 60" deck, they are nice. Keep us posted on your progress..
 

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Congratulations,nice lookin' tractor.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys, I'm off today to get the parts to tune up the motor, and if the weather cooperates, hose off the years of grass clippings and dirt that are stuck everywhere! I also need to pull the deck for storage, it's a little to wide for the corner of my garage that I set up to park it for the winter.
 

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Great machine! I would love to find a nice big rider like that for a decent price. Around here, they command a premium.

Be sure to post progress pics as you go into this beast.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Replaced the fuel filter, air filter/pre-cleaner, spark plugs and oil and filter today. The motor is running pretty well, still a tad too rich I think, but it's not missing anymore. There is thick oily grime all over the top of the engine and tranny, so the next step is to de-crud everything and check over the carburetor. This thing is a Beast!

RE: the 60" deck, it is overkill for the size yard I have, however based on its welded construction and the casters at all 4 corners, it is a great attachment. I intend to change out the blade cradles to 2.5 inch and run Gator blades on the deck. As I said, storage this winter will be an issue, so I am trying to determine how to stand it up on its end and secure it against a wall. Suggestions would be appreciated. I am contemplating putting it on a low dolly and winching it up to a vertical position....

I'll try to put up some "before" pictures tomorrow.
 

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Good luck thats a clean looking tractor:bannana:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My grandfather never ran a mower on the 424. He kept the dog-eater, lawn roller, dozer blade and cart from his 2-wheel tractor. By the time I got to drive it, the dog-eater was replaced with an MA-style blower and we had a pull-behind lawn sweeper, too. It was in rough shape when I took an interest in it, and in high school I got my dad to replace a bunch of worn parts, and I stripped the whole thing down and repainted it (not accurate colors, I wish that I had). It had the classic "broken/missing fins" on the flywheel from being backed into something. It always shook when it ran and my dad didn't want to spring for a new flywheel.

When my grandfather died, my dad started using it and it spent its whole life pulling the cart around. We had a wood-burning furnace in those days, and we would drive into the woods and load up the logs from trees my dad felled the previous year. The cart overturned on the hills a couple times, and had to be re-built at least twice. The only thing original was the axle and tongue.

Here is the tractor in 1988, repainted and with the cart on the back:



The Snapper mower in the background is what my dad bought to mow our 2 acres. He said the "mower deck alone for the tractor cost more than the Snapper."

Here it is with the snowblower installed.

My dad had used the blower on the tractor until the Blizzard of '78, then he got a walk-behind. He said he "got tired of a lapful of snow" whenever he used it. I thought the skids were wonky, so I fabricated some casters. I never got to blow much snow with it, though, as the front drive shaft sheared off (from a bad repair job) after about 10 minutes of use.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Tearing into it. Hitch/guard came off and I replaced the fuel/air/oil filters.







The tractor may be dirty, but the PO seems to have kept up with lubricating the appropriate areas



Check out the deck - no rust, no welds. This machine really is in great shape!



Finally got the 60" deck off the tractor. It is a monster!



I lived in Clemmons, NC in 91-93, which was the time that this tractor would have been built. So this machine was assembled 2 minutes away from where I was living at the time, yet now I live in Michigan, where this one has been used since it was new!

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Started working on the cosmetics today. From what I can tell, there is a shiny finish under the grime:





My father-in-law (78 this year) wanted to help out, so I set him to work with some degreaser on the deck. This is the result so far:



He did some nice work! The guage wheels are COATED with grease and grass so I'm going to set him on that tomorrow. We'll see how white the wheels are under all that gunk. The deflector does have some rust spots on it so I plan on repainting it.

The U-joints on the drive shaft are tight and I'll check out the gearbox and spindles tomorrow. I'm going to hoist the deck up on its end and get a better look under there. Planning on replacing the cradles so I can run Gator blades.


I'm wondering about these Carlisle "Turf Chief" tires:



Has anyone else used them and how do they compare to the standard Turf Saver tires in snow? I've got a line on a Snow Dozer for this Winter but I don't anticipate getting chains or weights in time for this season.
 

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Started working on the cosmetics today. From what I can tell, there is a shiny finish under the grime:





My father-in-law (78 this year) wanted to help out, so I set him to work with some degreaser on the deck. This is the result so far:



He did some nice work! The guage wheels are COATED with grease and grass so I'm going to set him on that tomorrow. We'll see how white the wheels are under all that gunk. The deflector does have some rust spots on it so I plan on repainting it.

The U-joints on the drive shaft are tight and I'll check out the gearbox and spindles tomorrow. I'm going to hoist the deck up on its end and get a better look under there. Planning on replacing the cradles so I can run Gator blades.


I'm wondering about these Carlisle "Turf Chief" tires:



Has anyone else used them and how do they compare to the standard Turf Saver tires in snow? I've got a line on a Snow Dozer for this Winter but I don't anticipate getting chains or weights in time for this season.
Turf Chief, Turf Master, and Turf Saver all work about the same. The TS has a rounded shoulder that may or may not help in turning and not digging a divot. But you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference. There are also the RS type tires that are rounder shoulder or over the entire width of the tire.
 

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Nice job on the deck. It looks like that tractor will clean up nice.

The tires that has will work just fine. I have been running the 4 wheel tractors for many years in the winter. Due to the fact that we can gear them down so low and the weight of the trans and motor are already on the rear axel, I have always found that chains are more important than rear wheel weights. If you have to choose between the two of what to get first I would get the chains.
I just bought a new set from this company. I also got a set of springs. They shipped quick and look good.
http://www.tirechain.com/
 
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