My Tractor Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I am new to the MTF and I have a couple of questions I was really hoping to get some help with. I have a 1951 Gravel Model L that has been in my family for about 40 years that I doing a bit of a restoration. It hasn't run in about 15 year but from what i can tell it is pretty solid and everything is there to get it running again. I was born long after the Model L's stopped being manufactured so I am learning what I can from youtube, online manuals, and trial and error.

My question is just regarding the engines themselves. Mine is the 5 hp model. Later models came in 6 hp and 7.6 hp I understand. What is the difference between these engines? Is it the same cylinder, bore, and stroke? Would someone be able to give me a quick and dirty explanation of how the original 5 hp evolved into the higher hp models? And are they interchangeable?

Thanks a lot.
 

·
Parts collector
Joined
·
2,769 Posts
:MTF_wel: Lots of info here.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,104 Posts
Welcome Digger!

Short story: The gravely T head engine was the same basic configuration throughout its life. Same bore/stroke, same valve train, same mag ignition, etc. The 6.6 model increased RPM, and had better cooling. There was an increase in the capacity of the oil pump. The 7.6 model increased RPM a little more, had a different head, and a slightly larger venturi in the carb.

That's really about it.

Not sure what you mean by interchangeable. The bolt pattern from the case to the transmission never changed, nor did the primary drive gear. So if you're asking can you find a newer engine and bolt it up to your older tranmission, the answer is yes. You might need to replumb oil lines etc, depending on what oil system your older machine has. You might also need to fiddle the induction system, as that evolved over the years as well.

I wouldn't bother with any of that. The gravely engines were never about raw horsepower, they're torque monsters. I have several older 5hp machines, and they work just as well as the 7.6hp ones. My advice is to get the '51 running, use it, and then see what you'd like to tweak. If you really end up wanting more power, you might want to look for one of the later kohler powered machines.

Keep those cards and letters coming, and :wwp:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,794 Posts
I was about like you were and used to use them growing up so I bought one for my son and a project for me as well ( and man its been one to! lol!)
But mine was a '66 6.6 H.P. and I busted the fins on jug/cylinder ( long story) but have a 7.6 '58 or so L.I. for parts and I just took the jug off of it and put it on my 6.6 tractor and it fit like a glove.
I even used my 6.6 head.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
593 Posts
A governor added to the engine really transforms the whole tractor. If it doesn't have one, I would look for one and add it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,794 Posts
A governor added to the engine really transforms the whole tractor. If it doesn't have one, I would look for one and add it.
But dont try to use it as a belt tensioner. Ive talked to a cpl people that had one and removed them but from what I can gather from it all is if you are going to be doing a bunch of work where the machine will be tilted and going up this and down that they are a good thing but if its just gonna be used for a mower pretty much it seems to me the jury is still out on it.
I also hear they arent cheap either.
This is just what I have gathered about it and my buddy that had one on his is one heck of a wrencher and has been his entire life. But he did say he was gonna rebuild his governor but couldnt find good parts for it and his was torn up because previous owner used it to tighten belt with and since it was just gonna be a level-mower he didnt see much use in spending anything on it so he removed it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,104 Posts
The governor is a big win any time you're dealing with a load that varies more than a little bit.

The most useful case is snowblowing, but it helps a lot for mowing or digging with a rotary plow as well. If you're cruising along at 1/3 throttle and run over a lump of leaves or weeds, it's annoying to have the RPM drop to near-idle while the machine works on getting through it. With a governor, it just leans in and keeps near-constant speed.

And no, don't use it as a belt tensioner. That front bearing is a little bitty thing. It's fine for keeping the pulley aligned, but it won't take much of a side load.

Digger, your '51 likely didn't come stock with a governor. It'll run just fine without one. I'd say get her running first, then see about adding on.

Like other gravely stuff, costs of used parts, at least stuff in good condition, are going up. Still well worth it. These machines work as well today as they did 50 years ago. Better than modern stuff costing much more.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,794 Posts
The governor is a big win any time you're dealing with a load that varies more than a little bit.

The most useful case is snowblowing, but it helps a lot for mowing or digging with a rotary plow as well. If you're cruising along at 1/3 throttle and run over a lump of leaves or weeds, it's annoying to have the RPM drop to near-idle while the machine works on getting through it. With a governor, it just leans in and keeps near-constant speed.

And no, don't use it as a belt tensioner. That front bearing is a little bitty thing. It's fine for keeping the pulley aligned, but it won't take much of a side load.

Digger, your '51 likely didn't come stock with a governor. It'll run just fine without one. I'd say get her running first, then see about adding on.

Like other gravely stuff, costs of used parts, at least stuff in good condition, are going up. Still well worth it. These machines work as well today as they did 50 years ago. Better than modern stuff costing much more.
I guess I stand corrected ( considering who's doing the correcting lol!)

I wont dare challenge jrd on Gravelys or anything else either really, you know to much for a guy like me to do that. No harm no foul lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
Just be careful on how much money you put in to your walk behind. You might not get it back. It seems that the bottom has dropped out, at least in my area. I used to be able to find a non runner for say 50-75 bucks put another 50-75 make a good machine and sell for $250-300. But now I almost have to give one away to sell it. I moved to a smaller house and have a small herd, I don't really need them any more. But the sad fact is the only way to get my money back is to part them out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
593 Posts
Just be careful on how much money you put in to your walk behind. You might not get it back. It seems that the bottom has dropped out, at least in my area. I used to be able to find a non runner for say 50-75 bucks put another 50-75 make a good machine and sell for $250-300. But now I almost have to give one away to sell it. I moved to a smaller house and have a small herd, I don't really need them any more. But the sad fact is the only way to get my money back is to part them out.
Don't get me wrong, things getting collectible and going up and in value and being restored or traded to make money is the American way. I have done that myself on other things.

But I think I have commented before that I appreciate Gravely prices staying in check. I bought my Gravely's to use, so for my purposes lower prices are a good thing. These are great machines that do a good job. If most people consider them ugly worthless pieces of junk, that is good for me.

Just compare the price of a old walkbehind and the appropriate implement you need, to a DR machine. If you do that, the Gravely is a bargain and will be equal or sometimes out perform the DR machine. Look at the big box stores and what they want for a cheap junk snowblower. Then use a old Gravely walkbehind with the snowblower on it, no comparison. I will admit electric start which was not common on the Gravelys is a drawback for them, especially as I get older.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,104 Posts
+1

I think my gravelys are amazingly cool, and fun to tinker with and use. But I'm not about collecting show queens (despite what my sig says). My runners get used to do real work, and the non-runners will eventually be runners, or get parted out.

So far, they're better price/performance wise than anything else I see out there. I don't see that changing any time soon, but if it does, I'll start buying something else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
Franklin2, I agree with you 100%, as well with jrd. Bought my first one 15-20 years ago and very soon after got GAS. Must have had 20-30 Gravely WBs since. I love em and it's a good hobby. My point is only. If you lets say, rebuild the top end, carb, mag and put new rubber on it. Or other repairs, you might not be able to get your money back if you try to sell it. The non runner 50 buck tractor is still a 50 buck tractor after you put the time, money and effort into making a good machine out of it. That is what I do not understand. But most younger people would not consider using a walk behind any more
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
Digger, all the engines are basically the same. There is no noticeable performance from a a 5 hp to a 7.6 hp Check out GT Gravelys web site for more info on your tractor
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,794 Posts
I personally hope the bottom falls out so low they start giving them away because just me personally, and I repeat "me personally" mess with them now because #1- I always loved and used them as a younger man, and #2- I needed a new hobby because buying guns to just collect dust for the last 30+ yrs. was getting old esp since I cant even shoot them where I live now, and going to a range aint for me. and #4- I dont sell stuff normally and still have things I aquired when I was 20 and am 59 now, I get things because I like it/them (whatever it may be) and dont even think about parting with it untill they pat me on the belly with a shovel and my son will get my stuff.
On occasion I will trade just like I did yesterday for the sulky I got but it has to be something I really want and dont care much about what Im parting with.

And I have this thing about so-called "getting your'e money back", does anyone really ever get their money back once you touch it or work on it?
Unless you are just flipping something do you really get your'e money back? and if so how does one gauge it? A arbitrary hrly. wage? What your'e job pays you for your'e time?
Do you figure in paint, new bolts at a 10% profit? Got me man, I couldnt do it if I tried.
But Im a keeper of things, prob is where to put it after a few decades lol.

Oh and last but not least, I wanna get my son into them and Im gonna give him one that is as much like new as I can.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,104 Posts
I personally hope the bottom falls out so low they start giving them away
Problem is: If they get too cheap, they just end up going for scrap, because everybody thinks they're not worth anything more to anybody else. I've seen that happen in my area, though seemingly not so much lately. I don't know if that means they've mostly already been scrapped, or the slight uptick in prices has convinced sellers it's worth finding a buyer.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,794 Posts
Problem is: If they get too cheap, they just end up going for scrap, because everybody thinks they're not worth anything more to anybody else. I've seen that happen in my area, though seemingly not so much lately. I don't know if that means they've mostly already been scrapped, or the slight uptick in prices has convinced sellers it's worth finding a buyer.
Everyone Ive been talking to about them who have them are still using them and say they have no plans on parting with them.
And the ones Ive seen for sale are really up there, I was pretty lucky that I got mine esp for $300.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top