I was given my first Ford today, an early 90's or so YT16. It's in great physical condition but had a wiring fire under the hood. The engine wiring to the stator and the ignition appear cooked. The paint, mechanical functions, and starter are in like new condition.
The motor has good compression, but will most likely need all new ignition, solenoid, switch, and new coils. It was supposedly running when someone decided to add rear lights to the back of the ignition switch, and created a short or overload, (There's a huge KC highligher off road light mounted to the back of the thing).
The tires are like new, the paint is near perfect.
Being more familiar with the green and yellow tractors and older Bolens, I've not dealt with a Ford tractor before.
Are these on the same level as an equivalent JD or Bolens? It looks fairly well built, a far cry above say an MTD or Sears of that age.
I'm thinking it would make a good small grass cutting machine for around the shop, and double as a trailer jockey for my boats? (I've been beating an old, much smaller Noma tractor with no deck for years as my trailer jockey, but it most likely don't have many more years in it.
This thing will no doubt need a stator, coils, and some wiring, I have a new switch and wiring is easy. I'd toss all the safety switches anyhow, so that wiring would be history anyhow. The deck is a 42 or 44" cut, and it has what looks like new gator blades on it.
I see there's not much info online on these, but I seem to recall they were the same as some Jacobson machines?
I was told that it's 1990 or newer since it's got a Briggs Stratton motor too, the guy that had it said it was from either 1990 or 1992, he knew he brought it home in a truck he had just bought, but wasn't sure which one.
I like the fact that the shifter is on the side, vs in between my legs on the AYP built Noma, which make for a real stretch when trying to shift gears being 6' tall. The Ford is a nice size, being just large enough to fit on, yet small enough to maneuver around close quarters.
Hopefully this will be an upgrade from the mid/late 80's Noma beater I've been using.
After doing some more digging and maybe sort of figuring out the date code in the serial number, this is August of 1985 model.
Here's a pic of it as found.
What I see happened is that the new ignition switch applied 12V to the coil ground out or kill wire. The old ignition switch was with the tractor, and bad, with several broken pins.
I got the correct switch, and ordered the coil, (Go figure, no one local stocked a coil for a Briggs L motor?).
My question is whether or not the wrong switch could have damaged the alternator as well? It's not running yet, and I don't figure I'll have the new coil till next week. I'm just wandering if I should order a stator as well?
Anyone know how to tell the 16a stator on these from the standard Briggs stator? There appears to be two two wire stators, this machine does have a voltage regulator on the motor, so I'm guessing maybe its the larger version?
The more I look this thing over, the better I like it. I especially like the side shifter arrangement, it's sure makes backing up or changing direction easier than reaching between my legs to shift my other two machines. It 'sits' or feels like a much bigger machine yet has a really good turning radius. I did find the drag link bent slightly, but a quick fix in the vise got the steering back to 100%. There's very little wear on it overall, the tires are in good shape, but do show some age checking, but they'll work fine for a few more seasons.
The engine has perfect compression at 135 psi per cylinder, it's got new belts, and has decent paint.
The seat has a few splits in it, the battery may be a bit weak, it took a jump to crank it to check the compression. I put the battery on slow charge, but it's a year old and may have sat all winter unused.
While I'm waiting for the coil, I'll sharpen the blades, lube the front end well and try and find a good gas cap, the one on it is missing it's gauge lens, and will no doubt leak water in if caught in the rain.
How did you find the date on yours? I just got one with a 6 way blade on it. Is that factory? Do your back fenders and seat raise up? Does your seat slide? I can't find the date on it. How many yt-16 tractors were made? Are they rare?
My seat and fenders do not tilt, but the seat is adjustable. I've got a new factory ford seat for mine which I got lucky and found on Craigslist for $20.
Yours is the second YT16 I've seen with 5 lug rear wheels, mine are keyed shaft type rims. I'd love to lose these rims and be able to run normal 12" 5 lug rims on mine.
It sure would make tire swaps a lot easier and make the machine far more usable to me. Right now it's just used to move trailers around and on occasion still cut some grass. I suppose however that one day the deck will get hung on a wall in the garage for good. It gets in the way more than not.
I can't figure out why the seat tilts up. I stripped it to the bare frame today. Just a warning those 2 cylinder 16 hp. motors are heavy. I'm going to clean every thing and get new paint and stickers for it. I am also going to completely overhaul the engine while i have it off. All it really needs is seals. Does yours have a ampress gauge?
The seat on mine tilts to allow access to the seat slide release, it moves about 4" fore and aft. Only the seat mount itself tilts though, not the whole fender pan.
My ammeter is higher up on the dash, at the top.
Your machine looks more like my buddies 1982 Gilson, his has the same fender pan as your Ford, and the same dash.
When I first got mine, I searched all over for info, a few months ago I went digging for info and found a defunct Ford dealer which was still operating as a repair shop and stopped in. The guy handed me an old shop manual and a few brochures he had left and said they haven't done Ford since the early 90's.
The manual is a 4" thick binder with several models listed and all the attachment manuals. The manual is dated 3/1984, and updates for the YT16 go up to 1987, none older, none later. His parts books listed it only for those years. The pics in the shop manual, although just black and white sketches, show even the first year to be the same as mine other than color and switch location differences. None in the manual show a seat and fender pan, nor dash like yours. Yours looks more like the original Gilson these were derived from. I'm wondering if yours is a very early model? All info I can find online, including the link in a prior post here supports the 1984 to 1987 production dates as well. But, Gilson did built their version of this model prior to this being sold by Ford. There is on parts sketch in the book showing a dash though with the ammeter mounted low like yours. They only give about 50 or so pages to the YT16, then there's a few component sections for the trans and hydrostatic pumps they used on various models. They refer you to the engine manufacturer's manual or the transaxle manufacturers manual for those items, which are not covered in the main shop manual.
The ID plate according to the manual is on the left side of the frame, just behind the left front wheel, below the motor and ahead of the dash console.
There is also some info posted on these in the file section of the Gilsoncollectors group at Yahoo.
I don't think there's a lot of collector value to these if that's what you mean. Maybe if it were an LGT model, but these vertical shaft engine/belt drive machines never had much of a following. On a plus side, I think the Ford branded models have a better following than do the Gilson or Montgomery Wards versions that were made, although most were nothing more than re-badged tractors all made by Gilson.
I'd be surprised if mine would fetch more than a few hundred dollars in good clean running shape, I've seen several on CL in varying conditions for rather little money over the past year or so that never sell, so I don't suppose there's much interest in one other than to a die hard Ford guy that just wants a blue machine to cut his lawn with.
Fix it up and use it, I doubt anything you do will make it a valuable collectible unless you find that one person that just has to have it of falls in love with it. If you rebuilding the engine, replacing belts, blades, seat, and repainting, you will no doubt be spending far more than it's market value. If it were the larger LGT series, then maybe it would have more value but mostly just because it would be a far more useful machine. The YT16 isn't really a ground engagement type machine, it's just a big lawn mower that can push a small plow, carry a grass catcher, and maybe pull around a small yard trailer.
I use mine to move my boat in and around the yard and to pull a utility trailer when needed and on occasion to cut grass. These were quality machines but not super heavy duty by any means. The fact that yours has bolt on rear wheels makes me think that maybe the early models had a heavier duty transaxle, but I'd have to see what model it's equipped with first. Most of the used YT16 tractors I've seen have been parked due to either a bad PTO clutch, broken transaxle, or bad mower deck. The two that I saw with a bad transaxle were physically broken, not worn out, the actual case of the transaxle was cracked from overloading. Apparently the electric PTO is a common fault, and expensive to fix. It works much like the air conditioning compressor clutch on a car using an electromagnet and a set air gap to engage and disengage the PTO options.
I put two new belts on mine, which was about $60 at the local Tractor supply store, rebuilt the carb (About $20), cleaned out the tank, installed a new battery ($35), coil ($65), ignition switch ($45), bought four new tires for it ($260), and seat ($20), and more than likely spent more on it than I could sell it for. I was lucky in that mine came to me in generally good condition, the items needed were due to age not abuse or wear. It could use new paint but doing so wouldn't make it any better of a machine for my use and it still would sit outdoors. The decals would no doubt run at least $50 or more if even available, and the cost of the paint and supplies would be well over $200 to do it right, then figure time and labor, it's just not worth it. I did clean mine up a bit, touched up a few spots here and there and painted the rims when I had the tires off.
So far after having mine a little over a year I can say it's weakness is that it's harder to work on than most other similar tractors, the seat and transaxle is hard to get at, the belts are hard to access, and the turning radius it far too large for tight quarters. As a lawn mower it's great, that is if you had a larger field to mow, but for getting in and around obstacles, the thing just don't turn very sharp compared to either a smaller machine or even most larger models.
I had several machines in this style and size, while the Ford no doubt is well built, it's not particularly better at getting the job done, it's just a little better built in that most parts seem to fit and work a bit better than the run of the mill lawn tractor. If you out to fix something up to make it collectible, then your better off doing a JD or Cub Cadet machine. There's just far more of a following for those.
I've always been a Ford guy, and would no doubt grab up any clean old LGT if one came my way for the right price, but by right price I mean really cheap and for no other reason than I'd consider a slightly heavier machine an upgrade to the YT16 for my type or use here. The one thing I wish someone would make is a garden tractor that's better suited for outdoor use year round, I've yet to find one that doesn't get rain water in the fuel tank through the cap vent.
When you tilt your seat and fender pan, does it give you access to the top of the transaxle? Where is your fuel tank and fuel fill? On mine it's right under the fender pan, you have to remove the rear fender assembly to get to the tank, and remove the tank to see the transaxle drive pulley. Getting at the belt, guides, and springs is a challenge at best on a fully assembled machine. Access to the steering and linkage is also tough with the engine installed on mine, when I got this one, someone had adjusted the drag link wrong and it was dragging on the frame, I was barely able to get a wrench and hand into the lower console area to remove the linkage which on mine is below the battery box, behind the motor and within the lower dash sheet metal.
I did find the following list of model numbers online, its the first info I've seen that shows the YT16 being made as late as 1992, although the Ford factory info seems to all stop at 1987. http://i48.tinypic.com/nlsaw7.jpg
First off yes when i lift the rear fenders there is a hole that goes straight to my pulley. My gas and right behind my motor. There is a liitle plate that devides them. you poor the gas right by where the oil dipstick is. the only difference is the gas tank has a cap with the fuel gauge and it's slightly bigger. As of belts mine are easy to get to. It is only a one belt mower. When you describe your yt-16 it reminds me of my big 87' white with a 2 cylinder 18 horse briggs and stratton. I have 2 montgomery wards. Both of them are stripped waiting for the junk yard. After your gas tank is on a panel bolts on over it then my batter sits on top of that. Everything important is crushed in my engine bay.
I wonder why they moved the tank? I have to assume for capacity and to get it away from the engine heat?
I like the idea of the fuel fill being under the hood, out of the weather. I've yet to find a gauge cap that don't leak in rain water. The vent in right on top in the center of the cap. I have to remember to pull the cap and tighten it down over a piece of plastic when I park it. (I gutted the cap of what remained of the sender, the float fell apart long before I owned it anyway. I've tried solid top caps but they don't seem to vent properly for some reason.
My tank holds just over 4 gallons of gas. Way more than it needs to hold for my uses. 4 gallons would last me a year.
I've been looking around for a donor machine that would donate me a set of bolt on hubs to convert my straight axles to 5 lug hubs. I hate dealing with a keyed axle, both in trying to remove them after years of use and for simplicity of changing from turf to Ag. tires for pulling.
I had an MTD 18 hp a while back with a rear discharge deck, it was pretty similar to this thing in size. It had issues with the motor that never seemed to be resolved, it was used hard before I got it and just had too many issues to chase down so I traded it and another one off a few years ago. It was much lighter duty in the frame and hitch areas than the Ford and had an even poorer turning radius. It had a similar layout for the tank but a really odd shifter set up that never worked right either. Forward Neutral and Reverse was between your legs and a hydrostatic speed lever on the dash. The controls were crude and jerky. The Ford is far better built compared to that thing and much heavier overall.
Are your rear hubs just clamped onto straight axles?
I'm curious if I could swap in either a pair of hubs or even a whole transaxle to make mine more usable. Right now I'm stuck with a set of odd sized turf tires to keep the mower level, I'd love to be able to keep a spare set of rear wheels just for mowing, and one set for pulling. It would make a whole different machine out of this for my purposes.
I bought mine at the local New Holland dealer here about 2 years ago, but I'd venture to guess that it could be had at any small engine parts dealer.
I've even bought garden tractor switches at Auto Zone.