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For brush hogging, I prefer an LI or LS. The commercials are too heavy, harder to move around.

The place where my comm12 beats my L models is snowblowing. For that application, raw horsepower carries the day. There's nothing like a snow cannon on the front of a comm12 for lofting the snow into the next county.

For mowing (including brush-hogging), rototilling etc, I think the L's work better. You're moving relatively slowly, and probably are not running at full throttle anyway. Even the 5hp of my 1943 L does fine.

Depending on how rough the terrain is, you might want an L8 rather than an LI. It's a bit slower. Or, with an LI, consider a set of geared wheels. Those will really slow you down.
 

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I have 3 older L machines. Two of them have been converted to Li. The Li is a good compromise for speed and power. Jrd is spot on, the old L's are a little bit better balanced when you are having to man-handle them on steep terrain and around obstacles. They are a bush hogging machine. Many times I have pushed down on the handle bars, lifting the 30 inch mower as high as it will go and plunging it into briar patches.

The other machine I have is a regular L and I have the geared wheels on it. I really am not that fond of the geared wheels. They do work well when using a plow, but they do sort of mess up that good balance the old L's have. You will find you can slip the clutch on the Li, and it will go as slow as you need. When you are bush hogging it will be a lot of lunging into the briars, and you really never lock the forward lever in very much.
 

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Discussion Starter #184
So that Li that’s listed sounds like a pretty good machine. As far as working on that engine and other repairs are concerned, how available are parts?
 

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So that Li that’s listed sounds like a pretty good machine. As far as working on that engine and other repairs are concerned, how available are parts?
Parts are available. There's not much NOS stuff around any more, but if you need something like a jug, there many machines are being parted out, so things pop up. For stuff like mag parts, carb rebuild kits, valves, tires, pistons/rings, there are new-manufacture replacement parts. Check out gtgravelyparts or richards, or just browse around in this forum.

My problem keeping my machines running isn't lack of parts, it's lack of time :) I've got half a dozen projects backed up, most with parts in boxes waiting for me to get to them.

You'll find the T-head much simpler to work on than your Onan :)
 

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So that Li that’s listed sounds like a pretty good machine. As far as working on that engine and other repairs are concerned, how available are parts?
Anything I ever need I am finding on ebay or the classified on one of these boards. I have had the first L I bought for 25 years now. The only serious failure I have had was the governor fell apart inside. I was able to repair that myself, though that is when I messed the pulley up and had to make another one. I have never even replaced the sparkplug. I do always turn the fuel valve off under the tank and let it sit there and run out of fuel. I don't use it like I used to, I used to mow almost 3 acres with it and a 40 inch mower for 5 years before getting a larger mower.
 

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Discussion Starter #187
Glad to hear parts are readily available. I contacted the seller of the Li and he apparently has a number of walk behinds for sale, and the listing he has is more of an ongoing ad. He’s not too far from me, so as things ease up and time allows I may take a trip to see what he’s got.

Franklin- How long will you leave gas in your tractor tank after shutting the valve?

Back to my 816... I spoke to Boomer a few minutes ago and he said he has a points box that sits 4” higher than my current box. Problem is I can’t measure the space between my box and the seat to see if there is 4” of allowable space. Can anyone tell me whether there’s 4” of free space?

On the other hand, I also understand there is an option to convert the points to electronic ignition? Good/bad idea?
 

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Discussion Starter #188
BTW, I’m looking at a used set of springs. How much are these for lift vs. providing more flex to the seat?
2455797
 

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Franklin- How long will you leave gas in your tractor tank after shutting the valve?
I have left the fuel in the tank for a year at a time. BUT, this is important, I do not use ethanol fuel in any of my small engines. We have stations around here that sell non ethanol fuel. It's a little more expensive, but well worth it. That ethanol fuel is bad stuff. It will clog everything up if you let it sit more than 6 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #190
Good tip on the fuel. There’s a spot not too far from me that may have some. I’ll have to check it out.
 

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I generally run avgas in my gravelys. Honest 100 octane (not the wierd formula they use for cars these days) with honest tetraethyl lead in it.

But I get that it's hard to get if you don't have access to an airport. Thankfully, I do, because there are no stations selling non-ethanol fuel in the peoples' republic of massachusetts at less than astronomical prices.
 

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Discussion Starter #192
So it looks like upgrading to electronic ignition isn’t much more than upgrading to a high rise breaker box. Pros/cons?
 

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I have never converted your particular engine to electronic before, but I have converted other brands and it works well. The ones I converted had a little module that mounted up on the flywheel and picked the magnet up as it went by.

On finding the non-ethanol fuel, you can also try boat places if you live near the coast. The boat guys have the same problems, and some of those multi-carbed boat engines are very expensive to work on. And they let them sit over the winter so they take special precautions to help keep the fuel from going bad, and I have heard they sell non-ethanol fuel for them to use.
 

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The new epa gas cans are aggravating though.
I have about a dozen pre-epa gas cans, plastic and steel. When I do find myself having to deal with the new style, I usually chop all the extraneous stuff off the spout, and find a plastic plug to use as a cap. That's much less trouble than fighting with it every time you want to fuel something.
 

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I have about a dozen pre-epa gas cans, plastic and steel. When I do find myself having to deal with the new style, I usually chop all the extraneous stuff off the spout, and find a plastic plug to use as a cap. That's much less trouble than fighting with it every time you want to fuel something.
As far as storing gas, I don't keep any regular pump gas more than 6 to 8 weeks before I either use it or dump it into a road vehicle. I also keep all gas for small engines in steel containers, the CAM2 race gas (we don't have any non-ethonal gas in NH) is in an older Eagle can and all pump gas goes into real or knockoff military cans which seal tightly with a gasketed locking cap. Keep all gas out of the sun and undercover too. Also, all pump gas gets a dose of Stabil and a shot of either Marvel Mystery Oil or two stroke oil to help ward off the effects of the ethanol. Seems to be working, haven't had to rebuild any carbs since I started doing this.
 

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Discussion Starter #198
Thanks for the gas tips. Speaking of fuel, I talked to Boomer today and he recommended I ask you all what type of fuel pump people are running on their Gravely’s. My 816’s camshaft is showing some slight wear from the fuel pump rod arm. When talking about my camshaft, he recommended I check with you all to see what people are using besides the mechanical pump.
2456856

2456857

2456859
 

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Discussion Starter #200
Do you happen to recall what range of PSI pump you used?

I also saw where some use a Briggs vacuum pump by tapping a plate for the vacuum hose, and fastening the plate over the original opening for the fuel pump. Looked like a pretty nifty install.
 
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