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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased what I think from serial# is a 1973 model C with the 8 speed swiftmatic, 2 gear selectors and forward/reverse selector. (This is my 2nd gravely purchase) It sat for several years outside and didn't run. Got it running but I need to pull the carb and clean it as the air/fuel has no adjustment. Anyway, I couldn't get it to move so I sprayed WD40 on the hi/low gear and axle selectors on the lower cases many times over several days which helped. I was able to get it to work and after running it around the yard several times it is freeing up to the point where I can move it a little then it will go into gear from neutral. I've worked on various equipment over the years but never a gravely, I read a lot on the forums to learn. It appears the previous owner had the forward/reverse adjusted wrong as the springs were adjusted tight on the arm going into transmission. If what I've read is correct, after adjustments are made and are correct, reverse should not lock in place, you have to pull and hold the handle in reverse for safety purposes. Forward should be controlled by pushing it forward locking it over center. The springs appear to be mashed as there is no clearance between them. When I push the forward lever to make it move forward the rod from the shifter control to the transmission bows out. Again, if I'm going in the right direction I think I need new springs as there is no tension from the spring to hold it to move forward. Is there anywhere I can purchase new springs or does my lack of knowledge have me heading down the wrong road? I work a lot and don't have much time to play around with it but I will post pics at some point as it appears to be in really good condition.
 

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Welcome 2Wheel!

It does sound as if your fwd/rev is (badly) out of adjustment. It's also possible that the clutch acutator is jammed up, so that when you push on it, it just bends the rod instead of moving.

Either way, I recommend you take the control rods off, and try to work the clutch arms by hand. A not too worn clutch should move back and forth about 3/4 to an inch. If you are getting that kind of movement, reassemble and adjust the springs to compress, but not bottom out.

If you're not getting any movement, you may have to pull off the advance casting and see what's going on.

keep those cards and letters coming, and :wwp:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Today I took carb apart and cleaned it, checked and adjusted points and I adjusted the forward/reverse lever and now it works as it should. Still having issues with hi/low gear going in. Thank you all for your comments. John, I'm taking your suggestion and will post on the gravely forum from now on.
 

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Hello 2Wheelstrong,

With my C-8 Super Convertable, I have trouble getting it to shift rages, but once engaged, it stays.

My trick when she is being stubborn is to lift up on the right handlebar to un-weight the right wheel just a bit after moving the shifter then set it back down and turn the bars left - right a few inches and she is good to go.

The first time I r=tried to shift it after it sat for years I had to put a jack under the sulky bracket and lift the right wheel clear of the ground and rotate it by hand about 1/4 turn to get the shifter to go all the way.

That is my 2 cents, exchange rates may vary.

Good luck with yours.
 

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It's also worth cleaning the shift rod (connected the linkage which pivots on a pin threaded into the axle housing) and adjusting the springs. That mechanism is prone to getting dirt and crud in it and partially binding up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Did some more reading last night and found a manual and realized it was operator error. Didn't know you had to engage axle under tank for hi/low to work on the handle bar, lack of experience! Got home early and played with it, and it seems ok. Arnoldir I did have to move it a little to go into gear, normal I guess. jrd I will try cleaning the shift rod, I'm sure it'll help. I think I may have to clean carb better as it's sputurring now and then through exhaust? Think I'll check valve adjustment while carb is off. I paid 200 for it, the cultivator is missing the shroud and tines are worn but the deck was cleaned, painted top and bottom. It has a 2 blade set up, they appear to have a slight curve to them. That's not normal is it?
 

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Yep, late model custom convertible, '73 looks right.

That's a real clean machine. It already looks like a good grab. If you get your carb issues sorted out, I'd say a great deal.

Not sure what you mean by curved blades. As in bent down? Up? :wwp:
 

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Did some more reading last night and found a manual and realized it was operator error. Didn't know you had to engage axle under tank for hi/low to work on the handle bar, lack of experience! Got home early and played with it, and it seems ok. Arnoldir I did have to move it a little to go into gear, normal I guess. jrd I will try cleaning the shift rod, I'm sure it'll help. I think I may have to clean carb better as it's sputurring now and then through exhaust? Think I'll check valve adjustment while carb is off. I paid 200 for it, the cultivator is missing the shroud and tines are worn but the deck was cleaned, painted top and bottom. It has a 2 blade set up, they appear to have a slight curve to them. That's not normal is it?
Check the other posts on the site for info on the carb problem; sounds like it is still dirty or some of the internal ports and passages are plugged. New gas is bad news if left in the carb too long. If you can get it use non ethanol gas, race gas or aviation fuel. This can get a little pricey dependent on where you are; I just run the regular car fuel out of the carb every time I shut off the machine for more than 12 hours. Also, use a gas stabilizer with all fuel going into the tank. It will help.
 

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One other trick related to shifting the range is to wiggle the forward/rev lever while shifting the range lever. That can help things to engage significantly. However, in my experience, it just takes time, cleaning, lube, and repeated shifting to help things after they have sat out for a long time. As you have probably read, do not try to shift the range while moving. It's almost to have one that doesn't shift easily because it forces you to stop completely to make the shift.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Can't tell you how many hours I've spent reading different websites and forums about this tractor. It was a godsend to find the book on-line and get some great feedback! Not sure when I'll get to work on it again but Thanks for the tips.
 
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