Okay fellas, I'm entering this old Bolens into the 2022 Build Off! For those of you that haven't seen the original posts of me bringing it back from the dead they can can be found here on the 1st and 2nd pages of the Non-Topic Tractor Talk thread to see how it went from being DOA to build worthy!
Now for a little background on it... It's a 1969 Bolens "Husky" 1225 (Model 194) with a Eaton 10 Hydrostatic power unit and hydraulic lift. I got it as part of a $500 package deal with the Bolens snowcaster, rear tiller plus a few other goodies. It came with no engine, unknown hydro status, alot of previous repairs and it's obvious to me that it lived it's life being a workhorse on a farm.
Here's a screenshot from the ad that I kept.
This is when I picked it up.
and as it sits now, after a couple days of tinkering with it.
The engine is a 1977 Briggs and Stratton 16hp single (32ci) that I bought attached to an old wire burying machine (a Line Ward L-1) from my boss a couple years ago, he had it running a couple months before that but as of now I think this carburetor is doneski so I've ordered a new one in case I can't revive it (the main needle is seized in and I'm attempting to drill it out), would be good to have a spare regardless! The Line Ward itself is loaded with lots of usable steel, wiring and heavy duty linkages to use.
Well there it is! I'm excited to be a part of the build off this year, I wish all of us good luck and don't forget that the whole point of this is to HAVE FUN! I know I will be! Lol.
So what I would like to do with this beast is turn it into a tractor recovery rig/mudder, this way if I or a friend break something so badly on one of our machines that it can't be flat towed we have a Plan B! There are alot of pretty rugged trails around here and I figure if it's going to be used for recovery/mudding it's going to have to be super capable and tough as nails so this should be a good tractor to start with and alot of fun to build! It would be even better if it was gear driven instead of hydro (for strength/simplicity) but it's what I have to work with and still think it's going to be awesome!
Things I Have Planned For It
- Install the 16hp Briggs and Stratton single ~ Complete! - Atv tires on (at least) the rear ~ Complete! (But Removed/Replaced) - Lights all around ~ Have in stock, not installed. - Horn and a siren ~ Have in stock, not installed. - Tethered kill switch ~ Have in stock, not installed. - Intake snorkel ~ Complete! - Exhaust system ~ Complete! - Wire it from scratch ~ Nearly Complete! - Build a good strong front bumper ~ Work In Progress - Install a winch ~ Work In Progress - Splash/branch guards for the belts and hydro fan - Go over the whole front end and rear transaxle to service it, tighten it up and make repairs as needed - Replace the tredle pedal(s) with running boards/tree kickers and a custom pedal setup of my own design - A wheel lift (yoke) on the back as seen on tow trucks and maybe a tow dolly too! ~ Work In Progress - Sheet metal repair ~ Work In Progress - A good scrub down and paint job!
I'm sure I'll come up with more as I go along, I always do! Lol.
Things Added Since Conception
- Custom Dashboard ~ Complete! - Tire Inflator ~ Complete! - Rear Rack and Grab Handles ~ Complete! - Toolbox(es) ~ Complete! - Dual fuel tanks with 3 way fuel valve ~ Complete! - Fire Extinguisher ~ Have in stock, not mounted. - Hood Pins ~ Complete! - New Knarly Tires Front and Rear ~ Complete!
I like to keep track of what my builds cost so this post is dedicated to how much I've got in it, keep in mind several of these items I already had "in stock" but am still adding their worth even though they weren't bought specifically for this build, also if I only used 1 or 2 of several items the price is adjusted to show only what I used. Prices are in Canadian funds, tax included and rounded to the nearest half dollar.
***PRICES OF PRODUCTS ONLINE ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE***
Free Items: - The original seat from my Bolens G10 - Wiring - Voltmeter - Motor plate - 1/4" (from the Line Ward) - New/Used Throttle Cable (found in my stash) - GX200 fuel tank - Pilot/Warning light - Tire Inflator - 3000lb Champion Winch (thanks to the Ontario government vehicle registration refund). $230 dollar value - Front and rear toolboxes - Various metal used to make brackets/shields/guards ect. - Front 8" wheels from? (My friend gave them to me a couple years ago)
Weights and Measures
After learning how much the tractor weighs in stock form I thought it would be neat to keep track of the weight best I can as I build it up so here goes nothing!
675lbs - Bolens 1225 in stock form +20lbs - B&S 16hp vs. Wisconsin TRA12D -5lbs - Smaller than stock battery +20lbs - Winch plus accessories +5lbs - Toolboxes and Rack
Nice... That will add up quicker than you think! Everything on dirty rat up to this weekend has been free or I had stored somewhere. (minus welding rods purchased last week) That changes next week with my heims. It's only going up from there.
Nice list of things you would like to do! I always do lists, but for once I'm kind of winging it. LOL
Ya it will! Lol. The good thing is I have 2 ATV frames plus a wack of parts, a pocket bike frame, a scrap BMX, the Line Ward, a scrap snowblower, a bunch of various shapes and sizes of metal to work with, a small bucket full of wiring and probably 50 pounds of hardware so that will all help keep the cost down!
As for "The Plan", I usually just wing it (like with The Warhorse ) but for once I wanted to come up with an actual "plan". I say "plan" because it's very fluid and subject to change! Lol
i've always been a fan of the old Bolens my Dad still has one in his shed that he has had since i was about 2 years old. and i'm 54. can't wait to see how she turns out.
I hear ya! The first time I saw a tube frame I instantly loved it, after some research on them I was hooked! A couple years later I finally ended up wearing my friend down and we made a deal for that tractor (G10), it's been great and hasn't given me any trouble!
I got the motor to give me a sign of life yesterday but what a fight to get to that point! Clean the gas tank, completely overhaul the sediment bowl and carburetor... I've never seen so much aluminum corrosion before it was nuts but pure white vinegar to the rescue! Lol. The ignition points needed to be removed and cleaned up really well too.
It would basically just run for a few secs then quit and then it decided not to start at all after a few times so I obviously have more work to do and doubt a new carb will be the only answer! I do have to say once it started and was running, it was running pretty smoothly and feels like it has lots of compression so that's very encouraging!
Well for once I'm glad I was wrong! Lol. I put the replacement carburetor on it, got it to fire and stay running for 5 mins before I shut it down so I guess the old carb is either too far gone or more crud found its way in. I think I'll tear into again at some point, it would be good to have a working spare.
I think this might just turn into a pretty sweet rig, i'm watching her!!! What trails do you ride on? are they on you property or else where?
Thanks man! I'm hoping so too! I don't have trails on my property, I only have about 1/2 acre in a cottagey area (close to the lake) but just a couple minute drive down the road from me there's part of a HUGE trail system.
So the motor is freed from it's prison, man this thing is big and HEAVY! I'd like to actually weigh it but I'll guess it's close to a hundred pounds!
I'll tinker with it and clean stuff up while it's on the bench but the next main thing will be mocking it up in the tractor so I can build a motor mount for it, I'm not looking forward to slugging this thing around much! Lol
Wow, that say 143? That's crazy. Can't beat old iron!
Especially when it's all old cast iron! The only aluminum on it is the cylinder head, carburetor, coil mount, magnet mount, front plate and booster fan! Lol. I don't even have to use a compression tester to know it's got plenty, it bounces hard off it when it's shut down so she seems to have tons of life left! It even already has the double belt pulley to match the tractor AND its the exact same size as stock but I will have to source a new slighter smaller double pulley to run the PTO and there just happens to be plenty of room on the shaft to do so! I've gotten very lucky, it's almost like it was destined to be!
Well I guess it's time to remove that little test motor and start mocking this thing up!
Thanks @MightyRaze and I wish @Nevadablue, even if I had one it would be completely useless to me here unless it was attached to a machine with wheels, I can only work on it outdoors as you can see in the first photo. What I've done is put a bench beside the tractor so I can more or less slide and quick lift it back and forth and then one big heave at the end of the day to get it back on the workbench. Yes it's heavy but it's also awkward! Lol.
I did make some decent progress today! I pulled the test motor out and plopped the big guy in to get an idea, looks pretty good in there!
No I won't be using that wood as the motor plate, that was just to get the test motor in there, I'm going to use the motor plate out of the Line Ward, it's 1/4" thick and the mounting holes are already there so that's a bonus
Even when it's sitting on it's proper mounting plate which is lower than that chunk of wood I'm sure I'll still need to work on the hood to make clearance for the the head/spark plug and will definitely need to relocate the fuel tank and do something about the exhaust.
This large angled support had to be cut off but I wanted to get a move on and figure out belt(s) length so I set it on a piece of 1/2" plywood (no picture), used some rope, came up with 32" and headed into town to grab some cheap belts (31" & 32") for $10 each, an idler pulley and some grade 8 hardware. I feel the cheap belts will be perfect for testing, polishing the pulley grooves and to keep as spares, I'll buy quality ones when the time comes. I cut the angled piece off after I got home.
I still need to trim the ends off but I wanted to do some more alignment and figuring, Houston we may have a problem... Here's my dilemma, the plate actually sits beautifully on the frame, and I can slide the pulley back for belt alignment plus it lets the motor sit as low as possible so that's all good but with the motor sitting in that location there won't be room for another set of pulleys on the engine to drive the PTO. Look at how nice the plate sits as is, let's call this this "option A"
"Option B" would be to slide the plate back, partially on top of the front clamps (which are 1/8" off height wise from one side to the other for some reason? so that adds another needed solution) and then have to add a spacer on the other end of the plate. This not only raises the center of gravity but also puts more weight forward and onto the front tires. I'm not liking "option B", seems sketchy and a pain in the arse!
"Option C" is to figure out exactly how much I need to move the front clamps forward and extend the (tube) frame that amount, that comes with yet another issue... the front PTO is attached to the front end! If I tried to space it backwards then the universal joint for the front attachments would either not reach or just barely reach... neither of which are good.
"Option D" is to "Keep It Simple Stupid!" Yknow, the KISS principle?! Lol. Go with "option A", keep options B and C in mind when altering the hood, relocating the fuel tank and reworking the exhaust. I know it sounds silly to care about the front PTO for a recovery rig/mudder but I've been secretly excited to be able to put the Snowcaster on it! My G10 runs it but struggles sometimes, it was never designed to run a 38" unit.
What would you do if you were me? Keep in mind I'm also working on stuff for The Warhorse in the background and plan on getting back into the actual build very soon, if I only had this one on the go no problem! Lol
Sorry for the novel guys! I still have a couple hours worth of motor work to post but I need a break, this post took forever! Lol.
It was beauty out today, around 16F and sunny! Last week was a little tougher hovering around -5F but I'm so used to it from working outdoors most of my life, the key is to dress for it! Wear many layers and stay hydrated! I do have a small electric heater to warm my hands and a propane heater for when I close myself in the workshed, don't worry it's not well sealed so there's plenty of ventilation! Lol
Once it started to get too dark outside to work I turned my attention on getting more engine work done in the workshed.
I figured I should get the pulley free so I can clean up the shaft and it will make it easier for pulley relocation/add another set behind it. To my surprise it didn't put up much of a fight, not even the hub!
Then again I did start sprinkling it yesterday with my favorite penetrating oil, if you haven't seen or heard of this stuff trust me when I say you want to find it! It's the best I've ever used and it's really hard for me to come by, my first can lasted me almost 10 years I used it so sparingly and only when I knew I needed it! I didn't use very much at all and you can see in the above photos how well it penetrated. It's an American company (I'm pretty sure) and they had sponsored a Nascar team at some point so you have a better chance than me at getting some... if you do please let me know I want another can! Lol. But seriously...
Once I had the pulley and belt guard off I cleaned the front plate and noticed all these hairline fractures... I hope they won't be a problem! I think it's best for me to start poking around and see if there's any new(ish) plates to be found! Hope you can see them in the pic
I decided to have a look inside the voltage regulator, almost wish I hadn't that's nasty! Once the motor is mounted in the tractor I'll test it out but by the looks of this, it's only fit to be a spare IF it does still work!
Then I started replacing shotty wire ends, cleaning up and (dielectric) greasing all the connections.
This was about the time I realized my beer was almost empty so I shut 'er down for the night! Lol. It's been an eventful one, hopefully tomorrow is as well!