One of my Babys

  • Less than 20 hours on this beauty and as near new condition as possible for something 20 yrs. old. There truly is not a single scratch on it. I place towels on the footrests when I take it out for a spin to grade my driveway. The engine is ported and polished and the valves ground a little deeper as well as the top of the cylinder grooved and polished around the valves. The heads are shaved .050 to increase compression, the intake runners are polished, and the intake ports flanged for a smooth transition. It has a P220 intake and carb and the carb venturi is bored with larger mains. It has a high flow K&N air filter with the stock air box. I made the shift levers from aluminum stock on a lathe and made the diamond plate footrests. Future mods include having the muffler shield and front mule, rear hitch, seat frame, wheels and headlight housings chromed. The tractor has a real nice rumble and rump de dump at idle...kind of harley-ish sounding and yet runs like a Swiss watch when in normal use. I may get an aluminum flywheel for quicker response and less aggressive cooling fan to gain a couple more horsepower. It also has a smaller transmission pulley for a top speed of about ten mph. The pulley is only about 1/2 an inch smaller so it still uses the stock belt with a 1/2 inch larger idler pulley for proper clutching. It did not affect low gear much at all. It has many "invisible" mods for increased performance and improved looks but still passes for bone stock. I will keep tinkering with it in between maintaining my collection of constantly varying size, 10-25 tractors on hand. I have changed from a person who flips for profit to one who is collecting and keeping. I have sold off most of the non-collectable tractors and only have eight of the best ones I had. Tractors like this are gone forever in exchange for the home depot junk that are nearly all made by one of two manufacturers, MTD and Husqvarna. Deere still makes a decent tractor if you are willing to pay the entry fee up in the 700 series and Simplicity makes a good product in the Prestige line. still, I don’t think they will stand the test of time like Case and WheelHorse tractors, there are tons of 35+ year old Case's and WheelHorse’ s running around mowing lawns every week just like they did when they rolled of the assembly line 40 years ago. Gone are the 3000 hr. Kohler K-series and Onans we once knew as commonplace, replaced by 250 hr. Kohler Courage and Briggs Intec’s with a design life of ten years based on the consumer average of 50 hrs. per year. I have owned many WheelHorse and Case tractors from the 70's and they still run as new...it is incredible when you think about it. How many Craftsman tractors built in the 70’s, even the 80's, are still going...a very small percentage of the total sold. I guess that if I had to choose the most durable it would have to be Case. There are many 30-40 year old machines still going strong, my second would be WheelHorse. It is sad were the market has gone. I purchased a brand new Craftsman GT 5000 in 2005 and although built quite well, the Briggs engine failed at 60 hrs. , apparently common at the time according to the repair tech and later determined the cause of a poorly designed air filter, and the tranny went about half way through its first winter plowing. Sears treated me OK but I had to wait a month for the tranny replacement...the engine was done in less than a week. It rode, drove and felt substantial but ultimately failed when put to real work and the attachments where poorly designed yet rugged enough. The attachment system was laughable compared to a Case or WheelHorse and the contraptions they came up with to manipulate the attachments was kind of funny...a four foot long arm coming from the plow back to the driver...it took three feet of travel from the drivers arm to lift the blade 6 inches. Your arm tires quickly having to reach over your head and pull down to your hip every time one lifted the plow. Why the engineers used such an awkward contraption vs. a simple lever that hooked on to the conventional lift arm is beyond me. Therefore, i will stick with my Case, WheelHorse, Ariens and the odd Bolens and the manufacturers can keep the current products until the market becomes frustrated with junk...

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