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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I became the new owner of an older New Holland S-8 Friday. It's in dire need of some help.
There's a new or newer Briggs Stratton 12hp motor with it, all new deck spindles and belt tensioners, but the tires and wheels are shot.
The back rims are 10", (20-8x10" tires), the rims are bent and basically trash. They're 1" keyed rims, no lugs.

What I'm thinking of doing here is using a set of older cast iron 5/4.5" hubs and using a more common tire size, which I have. I've got several new 20-10x8" tires which are new take offs from a later model Sears or similar machine. These are on 5 lug rims. The problem I have is that the 5 lug rims have a 2" hub center. The hubs are 2.5" or so.
My question is, should I turn down the hubs to make them fit the rims at hand, or grind out the center of the rims to fit the hubs?

I can't increase tire diameter, the right rear tire is too close to the bottom of the shifter handle. 20" is the largest diameter tire I can run. The added width fits fine, and is even a big improvement.
If I turn down the hubs, it will allow me to run just about any 5 lug rim I choose in the future. If I grind out the rims at hand, the hubs will still fit the hub center of most other 12" rims.

My point is how much does one of these rely on the hub center to support or align the rim on the hub?
Its easier to turn down the hubs, the rim centers aren't smooth and are flanged slightly, so turning or grinding them will no doubt leave a less than desirable edge.

I should also say that for being a vertical shaft belt driven machine, this thing feels pretty well built. Its going to take some work to make it right but I think by adding 5 lug rear wheels and installing the newer motor it'll be a good spare machine to keep around for cutting grass and pulling a wagon.


Also, does anyone know of an off the shelf paint that matches the original green/brown color on these. Some has tried to repaint this with something closer to John Deere green and it looks awful. I was thinking of just painting it New Holland blue like the newer machines since I have a brand new blue seat to use on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I priced new tires, I was quoted between $112 and $155 for just the rear tires, plus another $80 for the two front tires. I bought a set of new take offs from a machine that was damaged in shipment for $40, brand new Carlisle Turf Masters but they happen to be 20x10-8 on 5 lug rims. The front tires are the right size, 15x6-6.
All four tires on the S-8 are rotted and falling apart, the rear tires have tubes in them and the tubes are bubbled out through the tread. The front tires have huge tears or splits in them along both edges or corners with pieces of tread missing.
Besides, I'm not against ridding this thing of the keyed rear wheels.
I have a few sets of 5 lug hubs I can use, I've got a set off a wheel horse, and another which I believe is off a newer Ariens. If the rim centers weren't an issue I'd have bolted the new wheels on and been done with it. It's just a matter of whether to machine the hubs or the rims. I think it will remain stronger if I machine the rims, but its far easier to chuck up the hubs and cut down the hub center a bit. I'd have to machine off .255" off the hub centers for the rims to work. The machine that these came from only used 3 lugs but the rims fit tight to the center hub. My concern with machining the wheel is that I'll loose the rolled inner flange on the rim.
I suppose I could also buy a set of 1/4" wheel spacers and just use those too.

Any idea as to a good match on the paint?
The only thing that I can think of that I could use from a junkyard is a new shifter bezel, mine is all cracked and broken. You have to hold the lever in neutral to start it, otherwise the shifter falls into gear on it's own. Once it starts it works fine but the handle flops around.
Its got a loud whirring or grinding noise in the deck, but I suppose that's why the guy had all the deck bearings and belt tensioners for it. I suppose most of those bearings are shot. With the deck engaged it sounds like if I ran it any length of time it would explode. The motor runs, but its tired, I only get 55psi on a compression test, but I have a newer 12hp motor that came with it. The hood will also need some attention as it appears that a former owner used it like a bumper car. At least the hood is steel. The front hinge area is pushed back about and inch and the hood overlaps the dash panel by that much, making the hood hit the steering wheel when opening. Someone's solution to this problem was to bend a flat spot in the steering wheel to clear the hood.

The seat is off an old Sears mower, it's in good shape and has a huge Craftsman logo on it with read trim. It looks real good on the spray bomb green paint job.

I spend about an hour fixing the tie rods too, the last owner had cut and welded four fixed ends together, the problem was neither one was the right length. I made up two new tie rods out of used parts from other machines and now both front wheels point in the same direction. They were toed out about 3" before, but I suppose that was why the front tires were so worn and torn up.


Boyertown, PA is over a 100 miles from me.
 

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I priced new tires, I was quoted between $112 and $155 for just the rear tires, plus another $80 for the two front tires. I bought a set of new take offs from a machine that was damaged in shipment for $40, brand new Carlisle Turf Masters but they happen to be 20x10-8 on 5 lug rims. The front tires are the right size, 15x6-6.
All four tires on the S-8 are rotted and falling apart, the rear tires have tubes in them and the tubes are bubbled out through the tread. The front tires have huge tears or splits in them along both edges or corners with pieces of tread missing.
Besides, I'm not against ridding this thing of the keyed rear wheels.
I have a few sets of 5 lug hubs I can use, I've got a set off a wheel horse, and another which I believe is off a newer Ariens. If the rim centers weren't an issue I'd have bolted the new wheels on and been done with it. It's just a matter of whether to machine the hubs or the rims. I think it will remain stronger if I machine the rims, but its far easier to chuck up the hubs and cut down the hub center a bit. I'd have to machine off .255" off the hub centers for the rims to work. The machine that these came from only used 3 lugs but the rims fit tight to the center hub. My concern with machining the wheel is that I'll loose the rolled inner flange on the rim.
I suppose I could also buy a set of 1/4" wheel spacers and just use those too.

Any idea as to a good match on the paint?
The only thing that I can think of that I could use from a junkyard is a new shifter bezel, mine is all cracked and broken. You have to hold the lever in neutral to start it, otherwise the shifter falls into gear on it's own. Once it starts it works fine but the handle flops around.
Its got a loud whirring or grinding noise in the deck, but I suppose that's why the guy had all the deck bearings and belt tensioners for it. I suppose most of those bearings are shot. With the deck engaged it sounds like if I ran it any length of time it would explode. The motor runs, but its tired, I only get 55psi on a compression test, but I have a newer 12hp motor that came with it. The hood will also need some attention as it appears that a former owner used it like a bumper car. At least the hood is steel. The front hinge area is pushed back about and inch and the hood overlaps the dash panel by that much, making the hood hit the steering wheel when opening. Someone's solution to this problem was to bend a flat spot in the steering wheel to clear the hood.

The seat is off an old Sears mower, it's in good shape and has a huge Craftsman logo on it with read trim. It looks real good on the spray bomb green paint job.

I spend about an hour fixing the tie rods too, the last owner had cut and welded four fixed ends together, the problem was neither one was the right length. I made up two new tie rods out of used parts from other machines and now both front wheels point in the same direction. They were toed out about 3" before, but I suppose that was why the front tires were so worn and torn up.


Boyertown, PA is over a 100 miles from me.
Yeah, you do have to watch the size on them. 20X10-8 and 20X8-10 are not the same size tires. I have 20X10-8s on a modified L frame. And 20X10-10s on one too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, you do have to watch the size on them. 20X10-8 and 20X8-10 are not the same size tires. I have 20X10-8s on a modified L frame. And 20X10-10s on one too.
The effective diameter is the same, they both stand the same distance off the pavement give or take any tread wear. The new 20x10-8 tires stand about 3/16" taller than the worn out, original 20x8-10 tires did.

I dismounted the one tire, chucked it up in the lathe and turned the center hole till it measured 3.245" The rim center is one piece, welded into the actual outer rim, so my thoughts were that the large conical raised area around each lug hole is more than enough to retain enough rigidity once it's secured to the hub.
While it will likely be used mostly to park my boat and to pull a wagon, it won't likely every see enough stress to cause a rim to fail in my lifetime.

The proper tires look too small on this machine anyhow, the 2" or so of added width actually makes it look right. The rims are 50% offset, which offsets the center of the tread outward about 1 3/4" from where is was on the old wheels but that also allows for the wider tires.

I actually had considered using 23x8.50-12" wheels/tires on it but I would have had to redesign the shifter handle. I may remake the shifter bezel out of aluminum and toss the cracked and broken up plastic piece. If I do so I'll make it a simple Z gate and make a new shifter handle to simplify the movement of this thing. The actual mechanism on the trans moves only for and aft to shift. The shift lever as it sits moves side to side to engage a safety contact and zigzag pattern making going from forward to reverse almost a two hand ordeal. I'd simply make neutral the cross over area in the new panel. It would also let me shorten the shifter both top and bottom.
I've got no clue why they built it the way they did other than to make it look more complicated than it is.

Any thoughts on painting this thing? Color choices?
The easiest I guess would be to find the right color but I'm not spending the cash on it to go buy proper mixed paint to match the odd looking green it was. I just want to lose what looks like a 5 year old's attempt at a paint job with a spray can. Luckily who ever had this most likely only had one can of paint and they barely covered it in JD green. Nothing against JD Green but not on a New Holland or Ariens.

I think I can even clean off the original decals, the paint on it don't seem too well adhered, the years of grass clippings, grease and dust all over it made sure of that. They painted right over a huge greasy hand print on one side, plus they painted half of each tire on the inside, part of the steering wheel that hung over the hood, and a good part of the dash.

I also figured that the last owner didn't own a phillips screwdriver or wrench set since most fasterners that he fooled with have slots cut into them with a hacksaw. At this point I have no idea why I'm even fooling with it but since I have just about all the parts and no real other use for a 12hp vertical shaft Briggs I guess it gets put together as a beater or sorts.
It does appear to be a rather well built machine.
 

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It sounds like a real project to me.

On the rear wheels situation, I have to agree, if you can get rid of keyed rear wheels in favor of bolt on wheels do it. Especially if you can add some tire width and use a more readily available tire. I had an S-8 about a year ago that I sold to a guy at work, I sold it because it just wasn't worth the cost of new rubber to me, plus all the other things it needed.

They were good machines, that Eaton hydro and cast iron transaxle is pretty heavy duty for a vertical shaft engine type tractor. They're more capable than they appear. On mine, the engine had an odd shaft length too, they didn't use the standard length PTO shaft found on so many box store tractors. You may end up using an aftermarket pulley to get proper belt alignment.

Mine was a 1972 model and the engine had a very short shaft, less than 3" total.
 
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