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 My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build

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Thunderdivine
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:25 pm

@LAWN MOWER MUDDER wrote:
@Ariens YT11 wrote:
@LAWN MOWER MUDDER wrote:
@Angchor wrote:
@LAWN MOWER MUDDER wrote:
The axles should fit.  (Same thing except one more gear ratio)

Input shaft is 5/8"  That is the usual going size for vertical shaft trannies except fot 820's, they are 3/4.
I'm going to start calling you "MowerWikiMan"!!

Laughing Ok?.....

My 820 has a 5/8" input shaft so not "Every 820 has a 3/4" shaft"

Yeah sorry about that. Forget about that I just realized that too with the 820 that I have recently recieved. I do think I remember seeing an 820 with a 3/4" input shaft somewhere...

Will Re-edit my original post

Mine's a 5/8", I've yet to see one that's 3/4 inch input?
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98svtcobra
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:13 pm

Hey guys.

So I ordered a new coil which should be here next week. I'm also going to check the valve adjustment and fix the oil leaks I have (rear sump cover, oil dipstick tube). I'm hoping these will solve my starting issues.

I'm also going to test to see if my issues might be an issue w/ a gravity feed tank on a fuel pump system by connecting the fuel pump to a gas tank that is lower than the engine vs. the current setup where the fuel tank is mounted higher than the engine.

If I'm still having issues with starting then I am going to rebuild the carb and fuel pump on my "spare" LT1000 w/ 20.5 oppy which ran fine until the fuel pump died. Perhaps I will have better luck with that engine if I continue to have issues with my current setup.

Other than what I've mentioned above, I might work on the clutch system as I do have some slippage in 5th gear or possibly work on my front end swap.

I am going to order the new MST-203 trans and "posilock" gears in the next month once I get my issues from above squared away.

Thanks for following along.
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98svtcobra
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:47 pm

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving holiday.

Not too much to update everyone with here unfortunately. I needed to divert some of my focus to a few other projects recently. I have been having lots of trouble starting the 21hp oppy since it started to get colder out.

I'm in the process of making some more room in the garage so I can work on this in the warmth. Once I get the Murray in the garage the goal is going to be to have it ready for spring.

I've got to figure out why this thing is so hard to start and then go from there.

I will let you guys know what's going on as I have more to update on. Have a good one!
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98svtcobra
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:33 pm

Hello everyone.

I wanted to wish everyone happy holidays this year. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanza and Happy new year! (OR WHAT EVER YOU CELEBRATE)

Nothing new to report here unfortunately. The year end / holiday rush has gotten the best of me and I just haven't been able to get the garage cleared up enough to get the Murray pulled in and ready to work on again.

I'm hoping that with some of the extra days I have off around the holidays that I can actually get it cleared up so I can start working on this again for the new year.

Right now my plan is to get the engine running better before continuing too far along. I've had no luck with starting it since the cold weather has come in. I have a new coil ready to swap in and I am ordering a complete engine gasket kit (http://www.amazon.com/Briggs-Stratton-495868-Engine-Replaces/dp/B008TSYN62).

I do have a second 21.5 hp oppy that I can try to swap in also....though this engine needs a little TLC too. i think its the carb/fuel pump. It stopped sucking fuel. I did the carb/fuel pump overhaul kit to it but it still wont suck fuel....but i may have messed it up....so need to re-do.

Anyway, that's it for now I suppose. I will keep you posted...likely after the new year. have a good one.

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98svtcobra
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:27 pm

Hey Guys.

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy Christmas holiday! and Hanukkah for those who celebrate it also!

Finally have some good news and progress to report!!! We have had some unusually warm weather here in NY. So on Christmas eve I was finally able to clean out the garage and relocate some equipment to make room for the Murray in the garage.



Of course since it had been so long since I've been able to work on the Murray, I couldn't help myself but try to make some progress, even on the late at night on the eve of Christmas and in my PJ's.

As you may already know from my previous posts, I've been having cold and hot starting issues with this 21hp oppy. I've always mentioned how it appears to flood the engine right away, making it very difficult to start. The colder the weather the harder it was to start, until it got below 32*f, at which point I couldn't even start it despite my best efforts. Even after a carb and fuel pump rebuild, I still had the same issues.

I had purchased a new ignition coil about a month or two ago after reading about them often going bad and causing starting issues. I was pessimistic as it seemed that the ignition coil related starting issues others experienced were different than mine, but since it was a part with higher failure rate, and an improved replacement part available, I decided to replace it anyway.

So on Christmas eve, with the Murray finally in the garage, I decided to finally swap out that ignition coil.





After I swapped out the coil for the new one, I was pleasantly surprised at the results. Here is the first start up:


I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT! I still almost don't believe it, but after numerous tests it's true, my starting issues are resolved!! It fires right up every time! It runs so much better now! It has never started this good in my possession. It has always taken 30+ seconds of cranking cold or hot to get going. Now it's almost instant!

I'm guessing that my coil was the issue all along. I'm guessing it had a weak spark and I was simply leaning it out to get it to start and run right all along.

That being said, I now finally have a solid runner, it's in the garage and can continue with this build full speed ahead!

Thankfully Santa was good to me this holiday season and I was able to save enough to get some of the parts I wanted/needed for the build. I just ordered these today:


  • https://www.surpluscenter.com/Power-Transmission/Transaxles/Mechanical-Transaxles/3-SPEED-PEERLESS-MST203-568-TRANSAXLE-13-1508.axd

  • https://www.surpluscenter.com/Power-Transmission/Pulleys/Finished-Bore-Pulleys/3-15-O-D-5-8-BORE-1-GROOVE-PULLEY-1-BK30-B.axd

  • http://roms-peerless-transaxle-supply.ecrater.com/p/7192288/gearset-upgrade-5-for-peerless-transaxle-3-4-axle

  • http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008TSYN62/


I'm also currently looking for some used ATV tires for the rear. I will eventually go w/ Kenda Bear Claws but I would prefer to go with something cheap initially until I'm sure I want to invest the tire $$ into it.

This weekend I am planning on stripping the body and dash off the chassis to make plenty of room to work on belt/pulley system and for the transaxle swap. If there is enough time I might also get to start on the front end swap as well.

I look forward to continuing with this build and making progress. Can't wait to get out there and ROMP! Thanks for reading.

Happy and healthy new year to all!
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98svtcobra
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:36 pm

for those curious from my last post, I will explain why I ordered the parts that I did.

The MST-203 transaxle is going to be the transaxle I use in the Murray. I am going to swap over 3rd - 6th gears from an MST-206 that I already have or the entire gear set. Redneckcomputer geek has a video where he pretty much does the same thing. I decided to get the new transaxle from Surplus Center because it was less expensive that to order the parts I would have needed to use my MST-206.....plus, it's new! I got the 3.15 inch pulley for this transaxle's "pully swap". I am currently running a 3.5inch on the 5spd spicer.

I decided to get the "diffy-lock" differential gears for the MST-20x transaxle instead of welding up my own locker. I honestly just did this to save from having to weld a new transaxle all up. If I have to, that's one thing, but if I can avoid it by spending a few extra bux, then so be it in my opinion.

The gasket kit is to take care of some oil leaks I have from the rear sump seal and dipstick tube. I got the entire engine kit so I now have any seal I might need later down the road as well.

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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:36 am

Man I am glad to hear that you got that fixed, towards the end of the coil's life they need cranked a lot, I am guessing it has to build up electricity before it will fire enough. with mine it was at an event and it needed cranked for about 3 minutes before it started, and the next week it died entirely. but I am glad you are making progress with your build!
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:21 pm

@1997 Murray wrote:
Man I am glad to hear that you got that fixed, towards the end of the coil's life they need cranked a lot, I am guessing it has to build up electricity before it will fire enough. with mine it was at an event and it needed cranked for about 3 minutes before it started, and the next week it died entirely. but I am glad you are making progress with your build!

Thanks! I'm actually typing up another update right now! The coil was exactly like you described....needed a lot of cranking. I have an LT1000 with the same engine and it needs the same thing! and I thought it was the carb on both and rebuilt both! haha.

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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:02 pm

Hello everyone. So it was an unusually warm and beautiful weekend in NY and thankfully that allowed me to make A LOT of progress with this build this past weekend.

After I replaced the coil and got the engine running much better, I realized I needed to then address the oil leak issues I had as it was leaking a lot of oil which would then drip on the belt....and all over. We could barely test drive it as the belt would constantly slip.

Even though I already ordered a complete gasket kit for this engine, we decided to try to repair the leaky rear sump gasket with some "form-a-gasket" to speed up the process. Fortunately this worked perfect! Finally no more oil leaks and after a massive oil residue clean up, we were able to do some "test" rides. The rides went great and we are happy with how things are turning out. We were able to hit 16mph with minimal belt slip. The engine ran without issues and we were able to enjoy some nice back yard romping.

After some riding around though, we decided it was time to begin "phase 2" of the build. Unfortunately this meant taking the tractor that we just got running great.....back apart....

For "phase 2" we are basically stripping the chassis to take care of a lot of modifications:
-new mst 206 transaxle and 3 inch pully
-new clutch setup
-4 inch engine pulley
-complete re-wire
-rust removal and painting
-bumpers and winch installation
-misc modifications and improvements

We got the entire tractor torn down in about an hour or so. We had some extra time so we were decided to take care of sorting out the front end. Initially we were going to try to swap the front axle from an LT1000 into the Murray. After we took the Murray front end apart, we realized that because of how much the craftsman and murray chassis are different, that it would be way more work than we anticipated to get it to work. That being said, rather than re-inventing the wheel, we simply made all the repairs we needed to the Murray front end and will try to make other improvements as we go along.

At this point we are stuck for our parts to arrive. Once the new transaxle arrives, we are going to work on the installation and setup of that....then take it from there.

Hopefully this weekend we will be able to make some more progress. I will keep everyone posted. Thanks for following this build!

IMGUR album of this update's pics: http://imgur.com/a/zv7Kv

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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:45 pm

Hello everyone. Another quick update here. On new years day we decided to open up our MST-206 to make sure that there were no unexpected surprises or issues with our 6 speed gear set that we are going to swap into the brand new MST-203 I ordered from surplus center.

We decided to go with the new MST-203 and make it a MST-206 by swapping over the 6spd gear set from the MST-206.....thanks Redneckcomputergeek for the great idea and informative video on doing this. This is because not only did we crack the MST-206 case when we had tried to remove the stuck wheels from the axles, but we also damaged the spider gears and axle gears in the process, so this transaxle would not have worked out for us even if I did buy new axles for it. Fortunately though the 6spd gear set appears to be in good condition and should swap into our MST-203 without issues.

We are only waiting on the MST-203 at this point as far as parts are concerned, but there is a lot of work that we plan on starting in the mean time.

This weekend we plan on working on the new engine pulley, frame and body clean up, and prep work for our clutch system.

I'll keep you all posted. Can't wait to be able to romp! Thanks for following along.









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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:13 pm

Judging by the third pic, 1st is where reverse is? So no reverse? Looks beefy as hell tho
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:32 pm

@crafsmankiller wrote:
Judging by the third pic, 1st is where reverse is? So no reverse? Looks beefy as hell tho

Actually its stock/unchanged. 1st - 6th and reverse all in working condition. Literally just opened the case to remove the axles w/ stuck wheels and to inspect the gear set to ensure it was in good shape to be swapped into an MST-203.

I also confirmed that my "diffy lock" differential gear set was of the correct size as well, which is was.

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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:49 pm

Hey everyone. Quick update today.

This weekend we got started cleaning up the frame for both paint and welding. We removed some unneeded bracketry and such. We got some frame painting done, but that was about it. We were going to start working on the clutch setup but with no trans and engine pulley not made up yet that's pretty difficult to do. lol.

I hope the transaxle should arrive this week and next weekend we will be able to start working on the clutch system. Once that's complete then we can really start to work on everything else.

Forgot to take pics this weekend, but it looks mostly the same lol.

Thanks for following along. Hopefully big things coming up soon.
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:04 pm

Ok but i wanna know how that trans works. Lookin at the pic theres two gears that mesh with the gear on the input shaft. The gears would spin different directions and the shafts only going to spin one way. And how is there reverse without a reverse chain? I have a mst206 and it has a reverse chain and theres only one beveled gear that meshes with the input shaft gear.. so i cant see how your trans works like that
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:06 pm

Oh i forgot to mention, im likin the build, looks good
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:44 pm

@crafsmankiller wrote:
Ok but i wanna know how that trans works. Lookin at the pic theres two gears that mesh with the gear on the input shaft. The gears would spin different directions and the shafts only going to spin one way. And how is there reverse without a reverse chain? I have a mst206 and it has a reverse chain and theres only one beveled gear that meshes with the input shaft gear.. so i cant see how your trans works like that

they have two bevel gears and one of them spins reverse
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:43 pm

@1997 Murray wrote:
@crafsmankiller wrote:
Ok but i wanna know how that trans works. Lookin at the pic theres two gears that mesh with the gear on the input shaft. The gears would spin different directions and the shafts only going to spin one way. And how is there reverse without a reverse chain? I have a mst206 and it has a reverse chain and theres only one beveled gear that meshes with the input shaft gear.. so i cant see how your trans works like that

they have two bevel gears and one of them spins reverse

I have the MST 206-545C which as 1997 Murray mentioned, has two bevel gears and one of them spins reverse. It sounds like you might have an older version of this transaxle with the chain and sprocket drive.

@crafsmankiller wrote:
Oh i forgot to mention, im likin the build, looks good

Thank you!
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:58 pm

Hello Everyone! Made a lot of progress on the build this weekend! We are getting closer to being able to do some romping! I can't wait!

I found a new set of Carsile HD Field Trax tires (22.5 x 10 x Cool on CL for way too good of a price to pass up, so I had to pick them up. I was originally going to run Bear Claws, but I guess these will do since they were half the price. I think they will be easier on the lawn around the house anyway when I'm not trying to go crazy.

The new MST-203 arrived from surplus supply and we wasted no time installing our "diffy lock" locker kit and the 3 additional gears needed to make it a 6spd.

We got the new transaxle installed and mocked up our belt/clutch system. We are trying to integrate the blade height adjustment lever and linkage to an "on the fly" adjustable tensioner pulley. We have some clearance issues with the wider tires, but I think we can make it work. Plan "b"is to simply make it adjustable tensioner that can be accessed with a socket from under the foot boards.

We also started to sort out the linkage for the shifter as well as the brakes. Also got the new tires mounted on the 8 inch Murray rims.

We used DocSprockets excel sheet to estimate our top speed. Of course I forgot to save the spreadsheet, but with the current setup, 3 inch engine pulley, 2.90 inch transaxle pulley, and 22.5 inch tires, it looks like we should be able to hit 21mph at the top of 6th. We are planning on "flipping" the engine pulley with the deck pulley, which would make it about 4.5 inches and bring our top speed to about 30mph.....which i would be more than happy with! We did the math for a 7 inch pulley as well on the engine and that brought the top speed to about 45mph!!...but I dont believe we are going to have that much of a "need for speed".

I was surprised to find out the gearing in the 6 spd MST was about the same as in the Spicer 5 spd. We would have achieved the same top speeds using either transaxle.

Anyway, this weekend we are hoping to have the linkages all sorted out as well as the belt/clutch system. Next after that will be some re-wiring and get the body back on and can do some test romping!

There is much more I want to do like adding bumpers, tow points, winch, and lighting, but I figure we can do all of that little by little as we still enjoy being able to ride the thing. If we try to tackle this all at once, the Murray would not be usable for much longer. Plus likely after testing things we will probably have to make some changes or adjustments.....which might change future plans.

Here's the safe imgur album link to this update: http://imgur.com/a/X3cLO


Loving how it sits at the moment.


Last edited by 98svtcobra on Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:02 pm

I have a quick question for anyone with Murray builds.

How are you guys fabricating your front bumpers? Since the front axle/suspension is the front most part of the Murray chassis, it makes it difficult to fabricate a front bumper that wouldn't interfere and is strong as well. Just looking for some ideas.

I thought about boxing in the front suspension with some 1 x 2 steel tubing and then working off that. It would have to bolt up where the front suspension already mounts so it can be removed.
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:31 pm

Nice, Bearclaws would tear stuff up, wouldn't like to see your new axle blown up. Most people weld/bolt bumpers to the mounts where the good are, some pipe and stick it past the grill 4-6" for later accessories. I used angle iron and square tubing for mine, I plan on welding huge nuts to it for D rings. Bumpers are a must for the crap I hang off the front of mine and I've mowed down plants and trees with it , very protective.

You might be able to thread female heim joints on if your rod ends are loose, you want no steering play at 25+ mph.
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:29 pm

@redlinemotorsportts wrote:
you want no steering play at 25+ mph.

This
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:24 am

@802 Customs wrote:
@redlinemotorsportts wrote:
you want no steering play at 25+ mph.

This

believe it or not, my rod ends are in pretty good shape. I was going to get some heim joints and do just that, but they were pretty good. I replaced them a number of years ago after I bent both steering rods and it never got used much after that. I have to replace the lower and upper bushings for the spindles eventually, but they are not too bad. Just a little play. Same with the stock "heim like" joints that are on the steering gear, I might have to replace those with heim joints, those have a little play and are original. I guess I'll have to wait and do a few test runs to see how she does. If there's wobble or play at high speeds I'll have to sort that out for sure. So far at 16/18 mph it was pretty solid, and that was with a bent up front end, I have since straightened it out.
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:44 am

murray widebodys have the best steering setup ever, period. they have an adjustable steering gear so you can tighten the steering box, mine worked good at 45 mph, you could let go of the wheel and it would not swerve, and it was awesome. my craftsman sucks big time compared to the murray.
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:26 pm

@1997 Murray wrote:
murray widebodys have the best steering setup ever, period. they have an adjustable steering gear so you can tighten the steering box, mine worked good at 45 mph, you could let go of the wheel and it would not swerve, and it was awesome. my craftsman sucks big time compared to the murray.

I don't believe mine is a wide body, so not sure if the steering is the same. It's the same as fearlessfront's Murray. I do prefer the steering setup it has compared to the other steering setups I've seen in my other tractors. The gear setup works nice and it has two tie rods instead of 1 like many other tractors. Though the tie rod end joints, where its just a ball in cup, those suck. but if replaced with a heim joint or legit tie rod end, they are solid.

I have a Husqvarna Hydro mower that has this type of steering:


It's a huge pile of garbage that always slips. I even tried to replace a few of the components in it and it worked for a little while and now it slips worse than ever. We have a LT1000 that will be our next build but it has the same ***** steering setup. I may have to customize the steering on that and use something like a snow blower auger gear box for the steering box.
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:17 pm

you have a widebody. and my craftsman has that steering
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:06 pm

@1997 Murray wrote:
you have a widebody. and my craftsman has that steering

how can you tell the difference between wide body and not?
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PostSubject: Re: My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build   

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My 2003 Murray Select All Terrain Tractor Build
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