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Gene's Shop

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About this blog

For years I've admired and wanted a Simplicity Carry-all like this one. Maynard had 2  and when he passed I made a mistake not requesting one when sold. We just don't see 'em in  Missouri as it seem the farmers who bought garden tractors were fiscally conservative and they just didn't splurge for equipment. Heck, you don't even see many hydro garden tractors around here from the 1960's as farmers opted for "the poor man's hydro" variable speed units because of their familiarity with similar drive units on harvester/combines. But I digress..


 ACken fabricated the top link for me. I cut, drilled, and welded the rest of the skeleton from new bar stock purchased locally. Again, the skeleton is similar but different than the original (we can say to protect infringement on patents but in reality I'm no engineer so it is what it is). 



I decided to weld instead of bolt together the frame. Besides, my drill bit collection is junk. And, I bought a Hobart 125EZ welder on closeout at TSC so this was an opportunity to get familiar with wire welding. Was I going to take this apart later anyway? No 



You can see I also used some angles cut from a Cub Cadet frame I had from a part out.




I may fab up a set of longer lower arms. I think this would make carry-all have a steeper incline when dumping a load of whatever. I have the tailgate too. I'll post a picture mounted in a few days.  How about my climbing wall? More on that sometime later but you can't get to it w/o climbing over my garden tractors & equipment.




Entries in this blog


Maintenance - property and machines

Many of us do a lot of maintenance stuff outside our hobby but it may include our hobby equipment too.  Linda and I have 26 acres surrounding our house that requires a lot of maintenance. So, I thought I’d start this blog with a wide scope in mind and cover some of things I do and probably reflect back on things I’ve done too. 

Sept 18-19, 2021  

Now that I've retired its time to put at least a little emphasis on improving our yard. We live at the bottom of a hill and there is a rock shelf not far below the surface. So, water from uphill comes our way washing what little topsoil we have on farther down into the woods. I let my career get in the way of yard improvement for the last 11yrs and I've vowed to get started. Picked up a nice Simplicity revitalizer in OH while attending 2021 GOTO. Set it to lightly work the surface and loosen thatch in the shady parts of our yard. Some say its late to over-seed but we’ve been dry for the latter portion of the summer and rain is in the forecast. FC1A19DC-1342-4C4A-BE4A-DF0BEBBAE560.thumb.jpeg.2c73016ea0da5de2bf46250e18ceec48.jpegA052DDAB-84EB-40A2-B9CB-7316C570BB6C.thumb.jpeg.5ace5fb41cc7ac81a97e159fc34a89f8.jpeg

Equipment used: Conquest 16-44 with turbo blower, Hydro-18 with revitalizer, the Bumblebee 10 with Agrifab seeder. I used a shade mix including creeping red fescue, bluegrass and perennial rye. Sunny spots are covered w/zoysia.  Found the revitalizer likes more even ground than we have but it worked well carving slight groves for a good seed bed. Blew out a turbo belt (2nd one this season @$22ea) and I used 25# seed at $1.95/lb. Finished up seeding some points and harder to get to areas by hand. DB78EC07-80D1-47D1-B3E5-06B520252D77.thumb.jpeg.20cc95573a5ea1e5c5c514f7c8295e13.jpeg

September 21, 2021  Received 2.1" rain last night so timing was good. We do have a yard irrigation (needs adjustment and more heads) but you just cannot beat a good rain at seeding.  Cleaned up the equipment after use with leaf blower and today I removed excess dirt and debris before placing it on the pallet racks for storage. 6C49A179-4F97-4B9F-A087-8FA830CE0259.thumb.jpeg.c3aea9ea1b1fa9fd838b84f60c7f8a42.jpeg

Found the one way to grease this zerk was to pry the bearing cover out of the way - ugh! Blades and spacers are spring tensioned from middle so I did get it to take grease!3C49A949-BBD0-4517-BC4B-76C4010D6F53.thumb.jpeg.3260c62a5b4a6e467499ca80a9b6c1e8.jpeg

Time to reload equipment on shelving. 

September 21-22, 2021

Zoysa along our drive has elevated to a level that’s above the drive causing water to travel from the street nearly to our house. I am in need of grass in sunny areas around the shop so I used the Agco 2025 loader tractor to dig a strip along the drive and relocate them to around the shop. 

my good neighbor brought his long handle flat shovel, som gutter nails, and string to mark the strip and cut the sod. Worked great after a 2.1” rain. 


strips were cut length of the bucket. East to cut new digits for the sod 


sod strips awaiting placement


not sure why this happened 


luckily I saw the cap quickly so I raised the front off the ground, replaced the snapring and dustcap, and was back in business


I must not have made sure the ring was completely set in the groove


September 23, 2021  Watered in the new sod transplant strips, listened to the Cardinal game, and changed out the blades on the Conquest 44” deck to gators. It’s that time 


Never pass up a chance to grease so while on the floor I greased the Conquest front axle and front wheels. 


Saturday September 25 I musta ran over something yesterday with the loader tractor. Right rear tire flat. Luckily a tire shop could fix it today. So, off with the wheel weight, chains and wheel: forgot the lug nuts are metric


Ellie and her mother stayed a few days and Ellie wanted some tractor time


September 27, 2021 fall roundup and shop cleaning time 9D4E38B9-1773-4EBF-B9C8-18B71D9ACA58.thumb.jpeg.c9150d081a33930b60817ed7a25cae4f.jpeg

with loader assistance the Agri-Fab carryall and seeder on the top shelf and revitalizer on the bottom. Still some rearranging to be done39A76152-A9A9-475F-8D3D-9A82E4A1049D.thumb.jpeg.ec487466f65bd1cc50bc7fd17fc6a7d4.jpeg

winter 2021-22 maintenance. Washed and waxed the Conquest 16-44


and took a few pictures before removing the  deck and power bagger


new in ‘02 and she’s proven to be worthy


 winter duty clothes


and a little seat cushion maintenance inspired by @SmilinSam



Removed the chrome front bumper and replaced with original black one. Chrome bumper was kinda a rare option.



Tuesday December 14, 2021  We are experiencing an extremely warm winter. Local weather forecast for today: Clouds will increase and temps in the mid-60's. Tonight cloudy with temps near 60 at midnight, the warm to mid 60's by Wednesday morning. Wednesday forecast: very warm and windy with > 50mph winds. Temps likely reaching record in mid-70's. Dec 14 avg high is 44* and avg low 27*. So far I've probably only burned a dozen sticks of wood in the shop, mainly to take the chill off in the mornings. Have had the overhead door open many days.

December 17, 2021 Temp in 30’s, cloudy and rainy all day. Fire felt good


Wanted more light so caught this on eBay


and added in-line to a ceiling fixture9D2B4CE6-CA77-425B-ADFD-DDB5D5BF4718.thumb.jpeg.e26d2531838f0634fd0d43163993cfee.jpeg

Never been a detail guy but YouTube can help me do about anything maintenance wise. Watched several videos on dual action polishers and compounds before deciding to buy a MaxShine M8S, some Griots Complete Coumpound, and a bag of HF microfiber towels.


Should have taken a before picture but started on the Sovereign and you can see where I worked first


Bringing the old oxidized paint back to life slowly. Old girl cleans up nice 



Time to try this blogging thing again 

In summer 2017 a SimpletrACtors member alerted us of a CL Simplicity fdt loader and weedcutter for sale near Des Moines, IA. I called, took off work , and landed this beauty3CAD5732-A0F4-4DE1-9F98-644B0ABE7572.thumb.jpeg.673623fd3fa5afeff7f0561c388cb1e8.jpeg1E887334-D2ED-49EF-A739-A40B0E76B000.thumb.jpeg.9bcde871d194c3b4893555f64941c90c.jpeg

Blades we’re stuck and no hitch so I moved it to the basement, squirted PB Blaster whenever I thought about it, and bought a fdt snowblower hitch from a FB group memberD0FD86C3-57FE-47D8-869A-30473F2ADCF3.jpeg.29d3e2b7d77b39b7941e3b2bd3630896.jpeg

Fast-forward to May 2022. It’s weedcutter rejuvenation time! No amount of PB Blaster could free this up so it’s tear down time. So, I pulled out couple B&D Workmates for a work table an the fun begins

2653DC99-17CD-4644-949E-0EB4856AACC7.thumb.jpeg.02c579e51f69ef3783947946aaff08d7.jpeg38E6A372-B50D-4C14-8AFB-4A5AE74958EB.thumb.jpeg.278ff770b7fdc756f80be639e094c75d.jpegThe old machine is in pretty good shape. PO told me it was used primarily to clean up around electric livestock fences. Top shield was realitively easy to remove. Look at the crud in the corner and stiff belts-all original Simplicity 34FCB23B-1CC6-4CC8-8FD9-1F7281462C78.thumb.jpeg.d9d4cafaf49ac48ffcad09d9168d50c5.jpeg627934BC-032D-4D5F-8E39-E3A41395D36C.thumb.jpeg.d669e00cbbd71ad728fb3b0946e028f7.jpeg

Took plenty of pictures for later reference


Removing arbors was a challenge. Bolts rusted so my new Milwaukee 1/2” impact came in handyB3546D54-39F1-4BCA-A7BD-2F48BEDF2927.thumb.jpeg.299255a213bb493ed2bfea2460d4a019.jpeg

After removing all arbors a greater challenge to separate pulleys. #1 came apart rather easily. Note spacers and shims used892FD0D2-3781-42A8-9DF7-88C8BB425688.thumb.jpeg.86e964f67b2f862d57d9c4658db63945.jpeg

 #2 is the power drive arbor and most challenging to separate. I watched @GrincheyOne YouTube video https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/46497-990370-weed-cutter-rebuild/


All original Hoover bearings and same as mower deck bearings. Had 6 inexpensive EBay purchased bearings on hand so decision time: use them and buy 2 more or buy 8 new ones?

Decided to use the bearings on hand and order couple more from Ebay.


and bought 3 new NAPA 4L300 belts per @Chris727  https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/63531-weed-cutter-rebuild-now-completed/?tab=comments#comment-508740


Starting reassembly



of course I made a miscue: sandwiched two bearings in an arbor correctly but the spacer decided to turn on its side just before the seated blow. So, beat one bearing back out and ordered a replacement.


going back together with mostly new hardware


then a little work on the snowblower hitch I acquired for this implement. Yellow is a fdt snowblower hitchF3C1D327-2583-497F-A2F5-EB9249B58F6F.thumb.jpeg.a2084ff130619856b0ea53794dd26207.jpeg

and I modified the orange one for the weed cutter


June 16, 2022 cut off the 6 carriage bolts at top of belt(s) cover to ready for test run8FDD0EE1-91C6-41B6-B540-16AA42CC33DB.thumb.jpeg.2042d7926e71fc403b87d4965576e8c7.jpeg

(respect this warning)


Not decided yet which tractor I’ll mount to so pulled the bumble bee 10 out to see if it starts this year, and success!


Now for the early b10 that hasn’t run since summer ‘20. Swapped in battery from the bumblebee, opened the gas line valve, 3 revs and it purred like a kitten. Float sticks so gas shutoff valve is a must have.  Note I mounted the hitch to see the fit. B4EDCFA5-29D3-407D-9166-94C6A9A03611.thumb.jpeg.64f0e68ae769a6433fd7a47948aaf33c.jpeg
June 17, 2022. First time mounted


I burned though a $36 green drive belt from O'Reilly, then ordered another $12 belt from Amazon and promptly burned through it. I quickly ordered more $12 belts to have on hand for quick use since I burn em so quickly. Started looking at my converted hitch, then bought one at Portage Garden Tractor Daze for a spare, and started swapping parts. I think some of the parts on my original converted snowblower hitch were bent so worth a try. I also installed belt guides and will find a spring as in this 2003 post https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/10006-weed-and-brush-cutter/?tab=comments#comment-1000  Also want to note a picture of Richard Jay's mounted weed cutter that uses the flat style pulley same as the snowblower - and he uses it so maybe I didn't need to change that pulley??IMG_3964.thumb.jpeg.843769d9d2aed2b7675888aae15a4e45.jpeg

7/22/2022 Painted rear wheel weights removed from the sold Conquest JD yellow and let them cure in Missouri 90* heat past week. Installed them today on the X540


July 27, 2022 working on my to-do list of restorations I just never get to. This front tine AC tiller sat under a tree for a long time before I bought it in a pkg a few yrs ago. A00342C4-4C81-41B2-8DD4-6153A850CEF9.thumb.jpeg.3eddebd6b2e25e937026d354bb371f40.jpeg

Engine appeared to be a 3hp Briggs but I have two 5hp Briggs on the shelf that “run when parked”. E576E7ED-F500-4062-8463-89838BD59C49.thumb.jpeg.eed0e5e735a78fc388e87b17c66b0a8c.jpeg
So yesterday I decided to bring the tiller from the basement and get started taking the old engine off and start cleaning


Repowered and running strong. Still has that original look too! (I know, a whole $75 if I am lucky but its an AC.


9/17/2022 I attended a plow day at NEMO Old Threshers in Shelbina. A member of Central MO Plow Days FB group invited us and had convinced the group to host. Four tractors and plows showed up to try to plow the hardest ground possible! My B210 was climbing clods that I had turned over that were every bit 80-100#. My plow was sucking in, tractor rearing up the front end, and I broke 2 chain links on the lift before I called it quits. Installed 4 links upon return home.


9/18/2022 Used the revitalizer on the yard where I got carried away with roundup thinking it was 2-4D. Man I like this tool for reseeding.


9/22/22  Been intrigued by this tractor and story  All White Early B-10 "Promotional" Tractor *Updates Added* - Show & Tell - Simple trACtors  since @MarksA-C posted. Today I brought it home and will decide over the next few weeks/months whether to clean and fix it up or restore with picture history. For sure, I will dig around to find if anyone anywhere can verify the story. 

9/26/22 had a tandem load of topsoil delivered. That will require some seat time on the Agco 2025 loader tractor. 

9/27/22 After parcelling the dirt out in the yard I decided to get the belly blade down from the storage shelf. Glad I did! I forget how good it works


Cleaned both tractors and equipment pre-storage

I bought a pkg deal: an old New Belgium bicycle to clean up a rehab this winter


and a 40” JD spike aerator. The spike tines are metal and a plastic molded insert rides on a metal shaft. This thing is frozen nearly solid!  I got the end tine off, wire brushed the shaft and cleaned out the plastic insert but that was tough. I couldn’t get the second spike assembly to move outward. Soaked it w/PB Blaster, have turned the spike with much effort, but the dang thing will not move up the shaft. 98B99A3A-C32F-41C7-9E44-1E342A692C77.thumb.jpeg.8e450ba5ef41574a8b532ec87c65f484.jpeg
the first one removed. 464577A9-ACFA-47D6-B732-0FB401AED8BE.thumb.jpeg.31711d1d56258ca52f967adca60f86c3.jpeg


44D63F65-53E6-43D9-A35A-CEE860BFE1F5.thumb.jpeg.9dc28766cda96a21a81b0736d4fe69c9.jpegMy neighbor has been helping me - we found the rust is so packed under the plastic and around the rod and the only liquid that works is water. Heating the plastic so it expands enough that the spikes will turn on the axle, then trying to dissolve the rust enough to move it by spraying water on the joints and in holes I drilled in the plastic, clean the rod as best I can after finally screwing the tine off, and move on to the next tine. I am going to have so many man hours $ in this thing!  6 tines off with only 2 (so far) that will needed to sacrifice. 6716BD0F-58DE-479C-9BB1-C2B8302D5FCF.thumb.jpeg.067a61f568dfb4d18e5bb05b4d0e5e08.jpegF1B6F60D-86C3-4FD1-B9B2-7314D5AC7AAA.thumb.jpeg.cdaff890c3ee26ef3f9cdeb4956bbc5e.jpeg39DFDD8A-ABCD-4523-BC58-0257A8630112.thumb.jpeg.eb68bfeae54d97b882bbb7de07a39157.jpeg

White early B-10 "Promotional" tractor purchased from Mark McCarren aka MarksA-C  .https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/59396-all-white-early-b-10-promotional-tractor-updates-added/?tab=comments#comment-486195  Some parts were originally yellow painted over with white while others show no yellow at all. Gas tank is rusty inside so that’s a bummer but it’s good enough to clean and coat. (Thinking of painting an AC plow white for display purposes.)





11/29/2022 I worked with the shop door up today


12/1/2022   yesterday in the 30*s and today 40*s so this026F485E-CB7F-406F-8945-128CF25DCBB4.thumb.jpeg.ed4505097ae76132b55cfead438cec8d.jpeg


Vanguard 16 maintenance

Winter 2020/2021   I bought my Conquest new in 2001 and for the most part I’ve not done anything other than regular maintenance to it or the Vanguard 16 hp engine. Oh, I’ve replaced a starter once, replaced valve cover gaskets twice, but otherwise it’s oil and filter every 50hrs, air cleaner 2-3 times per year, grease the front axle pivot and other fittings, and that’s about it. With 750+ hrs she’s started leaking oil (I think) around the crank seal and #2 valve cover. Oil was collecting on the mower deck and I noticed the loss on the dipstick at each startup.  So I’ll take you through what I found and most of what I did. While the engine was on the workbench I developed a sever pain in my hips so progress was pretty slow. I am blogging this on Sunday, March 21 and its beautiful 71* Missouri day. But, I am playing catch-up cause I started the tear down several weeks ago. 

 Hood pops off the Conquest without any bolt removal. Just disconnect the light wiring harness and lift up with the hood open.  I've owned this machine for 18+ yrs and never knew that. 



Electric clutch removal is cumbersome but not tough. Disconnect the wiring harness, take the center bolt out and drop it off the shaft. Dirt and grime build up 



Unclipped air cleaner cover and removed the filter to reveal nuts & bolts that hold SSM ly onto carburetor.



Air cleaner assembly removed. Air is supposed to move across the heads and fins to keep dust & dirt out but it looks like the engine has probably been running hotter as the buildup is worse than expected. I do blow compressed air around the heads couple times per year without removing tinwork but apparently I wasn’t getting the job done.




 The grand reveal under the blower housing: yuk! Tore it down none too soon. Fins were clogged/packed with oil soaked dust and dirt. Vanguards are known for leaking oil past the valve cover gaskets and I've had problems with one cylinder. Pretty easy to see which one..



Spark plugs look fairy good so the engine is operating fairly well for this age.



I was surprised to find the head gaskets didn't seem compromised and no real buildup around them. So I decided to clean up the fins and not pull the heads. Here you can see the buildup around the spark plug holes



My engine stand was an old Cub Cadet front wheel salvaged from a machine I bout to scrap a few yrs ago. Really worked good for me as I could rotate the engine a full 360* to inspect everything. I found the sump gasket was seeping a bit so that, along with the crank seal may be most of my leaking problem. 


@s_stephen has cautioned me to check Vanguard valve clearance so while on the bench I simply followed instructions by inserting a ✏️ into the cylinder through the plug hole, measuring at tdc then 1/4” past tdc. 


New sump gasket was the most expensive part ($30+) replaced plus there was an o-ring in the sump gasket that added a bit more. This picture is after assembly with only a bit of the red colored sump gasket showing


On reassembly I forgot the governor spring orientation so with the help of my @Chris727 pictures I got them rightD3A5262C-3BC5-4B09-ADFB-15C9E4D55547.thumb.jpeg.ab1d020361588a3bed11d62112fd29c4.jpeg93863DEA-F6CD-491A-8BAD-0C4AEC074C27.thumb.jpeg.77736e670a019ed8bb5b65e0fef215bf.jpeg5CDD6276-5388-4790-81C3-B50D24CC615E.thumb.jpeg.e1fc897ce848f34bedc22df24693920a.jpeg04497804-638F-46DD-B257-4DD03E4F153E.thumb.jpeg.364ddcb3391cadffcd8f420fccd18219.jpeg
When I put repowered the Sovereign I followed @PhanDad instructions to cut holes in the blower shroud and place covers over them for future cleaning. Although I like the feature on the Command, it is not as serviceable as I'd wished because the covers are so close to the firewall on the Sovy. Should be a big + for this vertical engine though so I set about drawing, cutting and jabbing inspection and clean outs hoping I can avert future buildup problemspop





While underneath replacing the electric clutch it's a good time to grease the front axle pivot. I've been lucky so far that this wear point is still fairly tight. 




Just a picture of the model, serial and pkg numbers from the frame. As I've said, bought it new in 2002 and never been sorry of the purchase. I coulda bought the older style Landlord with Kawasaki engine for a little more $ but I opted for foot controls and styling over heavier transaxle. 


While the engine on the bench I took the mats off the footrests to clean up some rust and repaint. This is the 2nd time for repaint on the right footrest. Powder coat orange has bubbled and moisture collected under the mats caused erosion. Those darn christmas tree plugs are odd size; ordered new ones off Amazon that were a little short but think will do the job. Had to finish out with some from higher $ ones from the hardware store.  



Remember this paint can buy  @Chris727 ? Does just what I needed and matches well. 




What I didn't show new lower crank seal (that I messed up and had to get a 2nd), exhaust and valve cover gaskets.

Monday, March 22, 2021 I filled the gas tank, cranked the engine (forever it seemed until gas flowed into the carb) and it purrs like a kitten. Replaced the hood and hooked up the headlights and everything works as it should. With all the leaves that have fallen over the winter I am going to leave the gators on the deck to crush 'em as soon as the yard is settled enough to run over.


May 11, 2021  45*F this morning and a cool spring after a very warm startup. Grass is green and growing. So far no leaks and the engine is running nice albeit at a higher max rpm. I've mowed 3 times now but didn't operate it at max rpm not knowing just how fast the engine is turning. I have an older tachometer we used to get readings off the combine shafts but it doesn't work when applied to the top of the Vanguard. Ordered a new knock-off throttle/choke and digital tach off Ebay; will report results

Reflective tape is even supplied with these inexpensive digital tachometers so I cut a small piece and applied to the rotating debris screen921958F8-2EDD-4F1C-83EE-7D78E25AE813.thumb.jpeg.dfd3792ead7ff32df8f71adf376fec45.jpeg

May 23, 2021  time to check the revolutions per minute. I knew top end was set too high when I reinstalled the engine earlier so I’ve been running 3/4 throttle. Top end after warm up today 43721421-1491-4298-9D48-20AF69BB64EF.thumb.jpeg.0fa6d9df6aa69c8b81909cff4719eb93.jpeg

and 3/4 throttle was a little over 3,000. After adjusting I settled at just under 3,300 rpm.1524432F-710C-45B7-A904-728FD61DC17B.thumb.jpeg.689e721ae24ae143d55dc2fb3fb35792.jpeg


AGCO 2025 + Loader & more

My ST and farming friends all convinced me a loader would make lifting a lot easier so I've been on the hunt for one that fit my pocketbook for nearly a year. Passed up a few that I probably shouldn't have, looked at newer small compact utility tractors but a little too pricy. I found a CL ad listing a loader with this piture


From discussions here I thought it probably was a Kwikway for an early Legacy so I answered the ad via email with my contact info and waited. No response for over a week but after a second attempt I received an email back asking me to talk to the owner's son. I did, made an offer (mid September) and sent a check telling the owner I would let it clear and contact them to pick up in about a month. Mid October I made the 4.5hr trip and brought home my Kwikway made loader with subframe, weight box, and rear wheel weights


Looks a lot nicer on the trailer after I wiped off the dust. I didn't know it at the time but Lloyd pointed out the long subframe I brought home is not for the loader but is for a front blade or snowblower. 


And then the bonus I saw on the parts tractor parked in the shed. 3pt hitch



blade subframe, 3pt frame and wheel weights rode home in the bucket


Loader setting on stands in my drive. Hoping it works as good as it looks. 



I didn't get these hangers; didn't think about it as I was making sure I got all the big stuff loaded. Have contacted the loader previous owner and waiting. Otherwise I have pictures and info from @720nut.



A CL ad for an AGCO 2025 popped up south of Kansas City.  @Talntedmrgreen told me to be patient and I would find what I wanted. Well, hopefully I have. With low price comes some mechanical work I know but I think I can still get in under budget. The 60" deck is solid but needs electric cutting height motor, new rollers, and some new hardware. I negotiated what I thought a fair price for the tractor so the deck isn't part of the plan.  



Will start giving the tractor a bath and replace a few things including this finless fan. Harder than it appeared to replace but a relative inexpensive $11 part. With a pair of thin jay slip joint pliers and 1 1/8" wrench it came right off. Below the finless and the new replacement and then the new fan mounted on the front pto.



The heim and hub/arm steering assembly were worn badly, had been fixed-at but not fixed at all



Old and new replacement parts 


Talk about a bugger to get off. I tried pulling, heating and pulling, heating and squirting with PB Blaster but it wouldn't budge. So I soaked PB and let it set overnight. I love it when a plan works


New parts installed. Generic 3/4" RH thread heim $16 and hub/arm steering assembly $94. High priced pieces that Josh tells me is a wear point on the older Legacy. 



Fenders were crinkled from some prior modification and probable oops. A little hillbilly body work and it has more eye appeal.




Side bar: October 31, 2019  I don't ever remember snow on or before halloween (my birthday) either in Northeast Missouri where I grew up or in Mid Missouri where I've lived for the past 26 years. The deck this morning: 1st picture at 6a then a picture at 8a CST


November 23, 2019  Started working on the hangers. Lloyd PM'd a rough drawing and description of the hangers he built for a similar subframe. I used cardboard as a model then respaced the holes equidistant from the ends. Pictured is a cardboard mock of a rear hanger. 


Front hangers made from 3/8" flat iron 3" wide. 


Front hangers in place.


November 27, 2019  Lifted loader subframe into position and pinned to front hangers. Used this to make mock up of rear hangers. 



Picture from under right side at rear of loader subframe hanging in approximate alignment. 



High tech machining taking place in the Wiseman shop...



Picture from left side under the tractor after bolting up the rear hangers and pinning up the subframe front and back. .


December 1, 2019  My neighbor Mark has been a lot of help on the shop and in the shop. He came down this Sunday after noon to look at speakers in our house when I asked if he minded helping me drop the loader onto the tractor subframe. It wasn't as easy as that but after a little tractor movement and prybar use we pinned the uprights in place. I was resolved to hook up the hydraulic pump outside but Mark convinced me that we could skid the bucket on boards into the shop for a warmer work environment. Glad he persisted. Below are shots after we got everything hooked up and I had taken it to the gravel pile for a test run with no weight on the rear.  Backed into the shop for further adjustments and rear weight box attachment. 



Seems the hose is too long running to the pump but zip ties are doing the job for now. Also, the pipe nipples are a little long off the pump so I may change those later. 




Saturday December 21, 2019 temps were in lower 50s so I opened the shop door and welded couple hooks onto the loader bucket to increase the versatility. 


Need a new boot for the joystick and couple of zerks - and found that zerks cannot be found (the proper terminology when searching TSC is grease fitting). Since the tractor spends its downtime inside the boot is not a priority. The zerks (later pics) are on the end of the tilt rams at the bucket.  




welded couple of Chinese hooks on the bucket w/my little Hobart 125EZ mig. 



and used some black metallic paint I had leftover from a project to make 'em look pretty



3.30.2020  Received a load of clean fill from a neighbor contractor late last week. Ground finally dried up enough to load and transport. Man I have to shim the valve up a little though.



Then took receipt of a 4cy double ground mulch. Used the loader to fill the dump cart pulled by the Hydro-18. 3 days use saving back - - I'm liking it. 


Sovereign Repower

Everyone has them if they admit it. My money pit long-term project is about to get re-started. I've been lurking around eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and on-line classifieds. Patience... I won the Ebay auction the February 16, shipments only on Fridays and for some reason not on all Fridays...Confirmation received item was shipped March 1 from Portland OR and on March 8 the box arrived via Old Dominion at my work in Jefferson City, MO.6B11CE31-A6FD-4E42-BF61-1E839B0B63A4.thumb.jpeg.36873324721d87f4a12a381d37d7db9b.jpeg


Box unloaded in the shop.



Lots of screws and staples



Contents and project hint



Contents revealed: Kohler CH-18  that has been setting in a warehouse with some parts taken off. I worked out a deal to trade the vendor the muffler I didn't need or want for a valve cover that was robbed for parts. Got lucky - was supplied with a newer one with yellow o-ring. A3E95D06-23B0-4BAD-B0E4-5F1E90300BA8.thumb.jpeg.d325a7e26190990230b88640cfbf04d6.jpeg


Engine is 2004 vintage. Its clean inside but I'll run the first oil a short time and change along with filter to rid of dirt and dust particles that I am sure have accumulated.



Modifications begin. I have most of the parts needed to make it Simplicity worthy



Will change out ignition coils with newer Kohler replacements I have on the shelf. F0AE0990-7404-44F8-8AB6-6DCDE93DE8A4.thumb.jpeg.5b45d091dc54d4813e9429d99251d102.jpeg


Ordered inspection plates from OPE Engines and headed to Destin, FL. Project to resume upon return

As usual I practiced installation to get it right. Somehow I didn’t consider the engine might not be wired correctly for my application. Here is a picture of 1st install. If you look close you can see extra wires at the starter. Not shown are the extras in the connector. 


So I uninstalled the engine and stole from the shot parts Command that was in the tractor when I bought it. I planned to build my own new harness but my local O’R does not stock Delphi-Packard connectors do I installed the old Simplicity application harness. 



I have a video of it purring after initial sputters😮 what a nice sound. Wish I could upload from my iPhone but a screenshot and your imagination... Next the hood.

I used @PhanDad Kohler muffler idea.


Notice, I didn't bend the exhaust outlet exactly correct so the exhaust pipe I had made at a local muffler shop is resting on the frame. May have to adjust with the gas wrench later.  I will not install light bulbs in the headlights until I know the heat situation up front. The muffler is noticeably located higher than OEM. I expect I’ll be removing the old recessed bezels and adding something outside the hood. Anyone have a set from a 75th🤔?  

Update:  headlights cannot connected. The hood would not close due to muffler rubbing on the light. 83F958AB-43B4-40F3-AC92-C1B7BAB76914.thumb.jpeg.017e259e7de8501fc60b2e9578d78237.jpeg


The hydro needed adjusting to center neutral. I used HF chocks to secure the tractor while working on it in the shop but at startup it climbed out easily (in neutral). Blocked up the tractor so the transaxle was off the floor, adjusted per service manual, and off to work.!


Worked Saturday clearing the yard  of sticks and mowing the first time. 

Engine ran really hot and I noted the exhaust getting cherry red while not working the tractor hard at all. Discussing at length with @CarlH only 3 causes: too much fuel-carb, timing-wrong ignition coils. Took a look again at paperwork from OPE Engines & yes I bought & installed wrong replacement coils! @PhanDad is correct. So, coils I took off are 14yrs old but essentially new. Tear down time8F9DF84C-4806-4F65-B9C0-380540923B80.thumb.jpeg.2abe8a843ef3d3a93d8db07e112c3e7f.jpeg9B39F12D-CF6C-44E4-9937-D4A4E031BC9B.thumb.jpeg.9f2e2bace3dcf5415ba4c87be0f7b80d.jpeg

Original coils in and it runs lots cooler! I’m excited to begin using it harder around the yard & lots.

October 10, 2019


 I really enjoy working with the Sovereign now. Engine purrs and performs as it should. I had to remove the lights from the hood because the Kohler muffler addition invaded the light's space. I covered the area with sheet metal and plan to add lights outside the hood sometime in the future. Really like the power steering. Have a transaxle leak that I'm not sure if a hose, connection, or seep from a gasket area. When hot the oil spots the drive quite a lot. Found I just cannot pinpoint the leak and, spots look worse than reality.


I moved a lot of snow the last week of Feb 2021. Not as nice as the newer foot controlled tractors to operate but still enjoyment. While the engine is out of my Conquest. Hydraulic lift is a plus too!  Found an original muffler & pipe in eBay so (see above) the lights are installed and operable.64410264-A216-4973-AB4B-91BB676DB5C8.thumb.jpeg.c190acb78b8abaa0c8e7716af20f0c5b.jpeg



Long Winter

Celebrated President's Day weekend doing a little maintenance and snow removal. It's been a long winter here in Missouri with extended periods of lower temperatures and a fair amount of snow as well. We live at the end of a dead end street, a community really, and off the street about 500'. So I have a nice drive to push when it snows and, I usually clear from 4-6 neighbor drives as well. Linda took a picture of me on day 2. IMG_0734.thumb.JPG.2e9e925c56f2100adbe3c7067cf4096b.JPG 

After I finished snow removal duties I decided to replace the cutting edge with one I made up. The old edge was a powermax edge I got years ago from @Chris727 when he was still in college.



Next I installed a pair of inside wheel weights on the B210 I got in a swap with @Talntedmrgreen. Needed a bit more weight than I'd been carrying with one regular set of weights. 



I actually had to remove the outer weights, install washers and nuts on the inside weights to keep them from moving, and reinstall the outside set with washers and nuts. I have the Swisher bucket @SmilinSam on front and I plan to roll the back tires of my Sovereign Hydro-18 into the bucket and tow it to the shop to install an engine in the next couple of weeks (look for that blog entry).  

1/20/2022  Even though 2021-22 winter has been milder than most on record, we are in a cold snap at 6*F this morning. I’ve done little in the shop to this point. However on Jan 3, I received a total right hip replacement at SSM St. Mary’s Jefferson City and I am already so much better than before. Yesterday I ventured (3rd time actually) to the shop while Linda was away in St Louis, started a fire in the wood stove, and watched/listened to Lawless on Netflix. Neighbor has been firing the stove when necessary and I have a backup electric oil radiator heater, but it felt good doing it for myself!  Another couple weeks till I am released to drive and 4 till I’m free to use garden tractors,  but for now it’s walking trips to the shop that really make my day.


Snap-On torque wrench surgery

Bought a 3/8" drive Snap-On torque wrench on eBay a while back to use on small engine projects. Wrench was decent price but skipped a cog or two when using. I had given some thought of chasing around auto shops to catch the Snap-On guy but checked out their on-line store. Easy enough. $10+ and no charge shipping under $50 for the repair kit. Received in 2 days this package: 



Small items!  And, I didn't have a torx bit small enough for the screws. So $15 for a SK 1/4" drive T-7 bit and the screws were out. Inside I found lots of small metal fragments and 3 teeth from the drive. After cleaning thoroughly and spreading included lube it was time to assemble. Well, it wasn't easy and I needed a third hand to hold the drive in one end while the spring needed to be compressed in the opposite end so the awl could be inserted. Linda came to my rescue. I held the small spring and drive in place while she place the awl in. Took couple of tries but we achieved success!5c6884e31834f_ELTVUOe0RJkoEA9O7A.thumb.jpg.8dafc59ea5d08b564bea164e4d4bda08.jpg

Recommendation: next time chase down the Snap-On truck & have the sales guy repair the torque wrench.  



Anvil stand

Western anvil came from CarlH15A4EC97-4F7C-422D-83F7-305859472C7A.thumb.jpeg.d04d5457ee2f06b3723939ebd07cea47.jpeg

I’ve had it setting on a block of wood that Linda had in the basement. Worked alright but I needed to sit on the roller mechanic stool to use it. 8C49F5B8-3B61-40D1-8341-4BEACA926B01.thumb.jpeg.58ecf41d37ac05c941695dcbc8aa06b7.jpeg

Told my neighbor I needed a stump to make an anvil stand. Shortly a tree service cut white oak in his next door neighbor’s yard and I got a call to come pick up my stump. We debarked and let it dry on my shop porch until this week. D467F7E7-39D3-447A-85DF-5E5278178BE2.thumb.jpeg.1879c22650e28734416794fe7ab4558a.jpeg

I watched a YouTube video on cutting an anvil stump/stand to correct height. 064C435C-409E-4EB7-8BDC-FBA1FEA47602.thumb.jpeg.46a6060259b5154942204708e7e5909a.jpeg 

With 2x4s secured in decent level I turned it on it’s side.C600099C-EBB9-4812-A28F-2324FC860E8A.thumb.jpeg.a83eb2b6be35bdb8d660801f976801bd.jpeg

for my neighbor to saw w/his 20” bar Stihl 330. Turned out pretty well for couple of novicesEF8FAC51-D6E1-4666-A1BE-114FE485E658.thumb.jpeg.bbec38c2533ea975ba750be200f9c753.jpeg

Already used it and I can tell you anvil at correct height is way more useful and easier on your back44F0ECB8-DC1E-49BF-9E0A-F42B652333CC.thumb.jpeg.25d4096d4328a735b037c183a0f01e1c.jpeg

Will need to knock off a bit of the center of the underside as it has a slight wobble. Neighbor has a belt sander.,.


Workbench No 2

I've used a light duty wooden workbench that came with a house I bought in '95 till recently. Moved that bench twice. It's functional and will continue to be used in our basement as an odd job work and storage. (18hp command hiding under the sheet)06DABBC3-BEB4-4BAB-8443-620FE70E0F1F.thumb.jpeg.b75d70de52685749aaf3835c2d8afcce.jpeg


In 2010 I added a 6' beast of a workbench made from pallet rack metal and 3/4" plywood.  The fellow that made it incorporated electrical outlets and a steel plate to mount my Rock Island vise. I really like its design so in my new shop there is adequate area for more workbench area. 5c2a14296913d_rOa4mWXSS2XCpyqxUPhIw.thumb.jpg.bb10b5eaffcb5b43afb16ed958c2798f.jpg


When the local Sears store closed at the mall I bought 2 complete 10' tall x 8' long pallet racks for equipment storage, 1-12' tall end rack (green & slightly damaged) and 4-6' orange horizontals with anticipation I'd fabricate a similar workbench to one above. I cut the metal for the legs and end horizontals  bQ46IQ4vR7GAwT5vDkLvkw.thumb.jpg.d6bcdbc71eb478a4272ace77a8ec1061.jpg   


Welded them together and attached the 6' orange horizontals for the work area and bottom shelf making sure the workbenches would match up well side by side5c2a14528741f_ruO51mahSHmfKShg6pYqQ.thumb.jpg.aee7ef9cb5f7a65cc7ef3e5111cf6107.jpg

Mark, my neighbor who did the window treatment and wood trim around the walls cut the plywood on his table saw and helped me secure it in place on the new steel frame. No need at this time for extra electrical outlets but those can be added later if needed. 


We had to shim up the supports under the top +/- 1/4" to make up for my engineering gaps. I need to drill and screw the top into the metal and then I'll decide if I want to sand and seal the plywood or leave it natural. Today is December 31, 2018 so its a good end to one year and start to another.


Couple coats of polyurethane later




Power Hacksaw repair

Posted a picture of my old Excel Power Hacksaw in Shop Talk thread What did you do in the shop today?  by plastikosmd https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/60372-what-did-you-do-in-the-shop-today/?page=12


Ken (maxwood) responded with a picture of his:




Ken and I corresponded back and forth and he sent me information that the design was originally Covel  & sold by Sears and later bought by Atlas. He also directed me to vintage machinery website that has a ton of information on old machines and this one for a parts book http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/51/3452.pdf   and then a link to Sears Parts Direct for parts. I was going to make the lever plates but Sears Parts Direct sold the correct ones 


As shown, mine are worn out and not ratcheting as deigned.  Not a big job to replace but I never expected to find the correct parts out there. For a total of $22 & change I received the new parts and know where to get more if needed.

Before picture with my old worn clips



And after picture with new lever plates installed. 


Now to get the levers adjusted. A big thank you to Ken Stange (maxwood)!


I had a tailgate made


Ever tried to acquire a tailgate for your Simplicity or AC dump cart?  


Well,  I came back from 2018 Garden Tractor Daze in Portage, WI with two nice AC implements for my collection: a 42" fdt snowblower w/hitch and an AC cart w/o tailgate. Posted want ads, negotiated with sellers of rough carts w/tailgates, but in the end I just couldn't fill my order in the market. Next I contacted a fellow from a different site who offered new fabricated tailgates but I received no reply (mustuf sold them quickly). So, I have a contact through work that does some metal fabrication and has done a decent job for me in the past. I took a chance and sent my (pretty good shape) original AC tailgate and asked for 2 tailgates made. 

The original with top tabs and bottom pins shown 


And my original AC rear view 

50F69BA2-2FBA-4175-8CA6-66A8F872B87C.thumb.jpeg.88a12d5840d5e2dd8d9463599c60b833.jpegWe all know 


And below, a picture of one of the new "naked" fabricated tailgates. I think the metal is a bit heavier than original but notice the top tabs and bottom pins



And the rear view:


Another project yet unfinished...

October 6, 2018 I pulled one of the tailgates I had made off the shelf to see the fit. Little snug but it does work and looks niceioVJmgaQS3SNK62bXZwWBQ.thumb.jpg.eef2e39f1322aba033cf341ef341777d.jpg9WOWiE7KQPSPv7DmAqL3Lw.thumb.jpg.fa7155858cf82b371f949eaa37a95485.jpg64c9KebVTWiQEZJuBIubeQ.thumb.jpg.90e5d2302c39306a02d44e1b2b7c4105.jpg

And fyi - if you need one Briggs still has these torsion springs for sale. I bet there is a cheaper source but was easier for me to order one from my dealer and pay the $14 total including tax & shipping. 



Shop Build ++

Well. I am finally beginning that garage build I've discussed and planned for some time. Linda really wants my shop, tractor, equipment, & parts collection out of the basement. So, with her blessing, I began the process October 2016. I have been intentionally slow to allow myself analysis time to decide what exactly I want and, to allow some adjustment in Linda's expectations (looks, colors, landscape, etc).



October 10, 2016 my friend and contractor Mike Schneiders brought his track loader in to clear and level our an area for a garage behind our house.


image.thumb.jpeg.e753e23685023ad0e12af3695ab58bed.jpegTopography here is rough w/steep grades so it was critical to excavate in the location chosen to get the area I wanted (initially 30x30). When finished Mke announced "it looks like you'll be building a 24x40 unless you want a deeper cut. 24x40 it will be. Above is the finished cut viewed from our deck. A neighbor & I groomed, sedrd & mulched quickly to get a grass stand to hold the soil.



Nosey neighbors.



This shot is of a diversion ditch I cleaned out that runs along the hill just above the the garage site. Lots of rain water runs off the hill especially in springtime and it'll be helpful to divert from the garage area. 



A tree beside our house was removed to make room for a drive. 



A shot from the site towards our deck and screened-in porch from where I'll take several pictures. Removing part of the tree w/my newly acquired Sovereign 3012 Hydrolift and Agri-Fab Utility 10 Carry-all.  



September 13, 2017 my concrete contractor, Greg Rackers and his crew (Grey Stone Foundations) dig and pour footings.




Cole County Industries, Jefferson City supplied the concrete. These drivers can back a huge concrete truck up, around, down and into some tight places. Kudos to their driving and backing skills!



Greg Rackers, Grey Stone Foundations and his crew hard at work. 



The footing pour complete.



On Sunday September 17, 2017 we received the nicest all day .07” rain you could ask for. On Monday, September 18 a 2” downpour came in 40 minutes. Needless to say I’ve been digging off the footings. Will finish shoveling today (Sept 23) then brush and blow dirt off concrete. Hopefully it doesn’t happen again before walls & floor are poured. 



I scooped, broomed, and blew off the footing to get as clean as I possible and ready for the concrete retaining walls. It was two hot and humid Indian Summer days in Missouri and I sweat a ton but it was worth it in the long run. Ready for the concrete crew. 




Tuesday, September 26, 2017. Our concrete construction crew Grey Stone Foundations arrived and began the process of setting forms.




The 4 man crew worked non-stop through the morning and, just as the last of the forming was complete and inspected by the foreman, concrete trucks arrived (early afternoon). 




Forms removed Wednesday, September 27, 2017. Picture taken facing westward from our deck. In the foreground is the retaining wall for the floor that will be under the 8' overhang on the east side of the shop. In the background is the 4' retaining west sidewall of the shop and front wing wall. 




Standing on the west side of our house and facing northward,  the wing wall and west sidewall of the shop. You can also see the 3'x 4' concrete front corner of the shop (southwest)  and 3'x4' concrete rear corner (northwest).   And of course, to the right is the retaining wall for the east side "porch".



Friday, September 29, 2017: while I was in Bloomington IN at the Executive Committee meeting with Kent Thomas (Kent), Josh Thornton (Talntedmrgreen), and Carl Harcourt (CarlH), my carpenter Dale Feeler coated the sealed the retaining wall. Pictured looking southward from the rear of the building toward the back (north) and side (west) of our house.



Cooper, our English Cream Golden Retriever surveying the work. 



From the back northeast side of the shop building site. The topography of our property is shown better here and we are lucky as most Jefferson City construction jobs encounter bedrock. As you can see we are blessed with soil, heavy clay soil that dries hard as a bulls horn! Dale delivered drainage tile that will be laid on top of the footing and next to the outside of the west sidewall, then covered with aggregate. 



So on Saturday, September 30, 2017: I decided to have a little fun and to get an idea of how much floor space these guys will take. I needed to remove the sickle from the Early B-10 anyway and pallet it for shipment, knock down and smooth some of the dirt around the construction, and mow some grass so this was justifiable... A neighbor showed up during the operation and asked if I wanted to borrow a tarp.



Forecast of rain this brought the Raithel Plumbing in ahead of schedule on Monday, October 2, 2017. Tractor is a 29hp New Holland w/loader and backhoe; amazing what this small machine can accomplish. 






Jerry Raithel used a tool I'd not seen before: an small electric device that takes the place of a transit. He could readily find the elevation off the floor at any given time by punch of a button. I should've gotten a picture of the $700 piece of technology. 



Dale also came to insulate and coat again the outside west concrete wall and install the drainage pipe on the foundation of the west wall. Plumbers used the New Holland loader tractor to cover with aggregate before Dale covered with filtration fabric.  

The rains came on Tuesday evening and have not stopped as of Saturday October 7 collecting 4.05" so far.  

I guess now is a good time to share my plans as they’ve evolved: 


Shop will have a bathroom w/stool and utility sink located next to the stairway to the attic. Wood stove on north wall, 14’ garage door & 2 walk-ins. 



Have decided on scissor trusses in front 1/2 to allow more vertical workroom area. 20’ of upstairs storage should be enough and, I’ve found a person fills up whatever storage they have so I decided to limit that for me (and Linda). 



A rough idea of the front (south facing) view. Overhead door will be significantly larger than it appears. 



October 14, 2017: we've made no progress w/exception of me scooping dirt from the footings that washed in w/the rains. It's been dry this week and warm for October, but not warm enough dry the dirt to get cement trucks into the job site. Today, a cold front is scheduled in that may bring more rain. 






October 27, 2017: today is windy, overcast skies temp in the low 40s. Dirt is working nicely for Mike Schneiders. He backfilled w/dirt from excavation and gravel hauled in by his brother Ron. My contractor is on huricane mission work duty in Houston, Texas this week and he will be pleased we've progressed.


October 28, 2017: I finished replacing the starter/generator and hydrolift belts and throttle cable on the 3012. The original pull/twist throttle had been replaced by a simple lever off a lawn mower at some point and earlier this week while bringing in wood the cable broke. I found a throttle lever and cable from a AC 712 on the parts shelf. I like these and have converted several flat hoods, however the 712 cable was too short so I opted for a cheap choke cable from O'Reilley for now.  I also replaced the badly worn starter/gen belt and found the O'Reilly cross over to be too short and $2 higher than the correct (2)157524(sm) from the Simplicity dealer.  Hitched the Brinly disc I got from Howard Tews (aka HTews) several yrs ago, worked the soil around the building site, and sewed wheat for a cover. 




Tuesday, November 21, 2017: concrete floor pour. 



Thursday, November 30: Lumber delivered for framing. 



Monday, December 4, 2017  While I attended the Missouri Farm Bureau Annual Conference with Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn, look what was happening at home. Linda text these two pictures of the crew framing. You'll probably pick up some revisions made.  6' framed stud wall on top of the 4'concrete (west) wall. 



10' east & north stud walls going up.  (Construction crew: Dale, Jeff & Nathan)



When I came home from work last night, December 5, 2017 the cement porch had been poured and finished and all walls up. The temperature was to drop to low 30s and the blankets were laying there, so I texted Greg to see if he cared if I covered. I guess the crew was supposed to do that but instead, Linda and I did that at about 7:30p. 



The structure looks big right now. Guess it's the 10' walls that make it appear that way.





Trusses arrived a day early on December 20. 



And were set on December 21 rather than after Christmas as earlier scheduled. Trusses weighed 300#+ so a boom truck was brought in to do the heavy lifting. 





Starting to take shape and I am beginning to get a visual of what it will be. The next 2 pics are from the shop door on the southeast side looking to the northwest corner. 





From the walk-in door looking west. 



Trusses w/tiptops on and a view of the porch.



Progress is slow. Missouri winter weather has caused some delays. Fully boxed in and 1/2 the roof has decking.  



Crew worked to get the roof decking on 1 side and covered w/Titanium before a winter storm is supposed to come through. Prediction of freezing rain and zero temps. Titanium overlay is touted to shed rain for up to 6 months and not curl like felt.


4' steps will allow a wide load to navigate the stairway for those big storage needs. 







A look at the upper room.  Picture taken from the steps southward toward our house.




Roof sheeted & covered, windows ordered, ready for foam insulation & outside wrap. 




March 2 photo below.  Windows & walk-in door in about 2 weeks ago. 



March 6: electricians began wiring and finished bldg work on March 7, 2018. Dale dug in the water line and electric from the house. And, I contracted to have the roof and 3 sides metal installed late March. 



Sometimes communication just doesn't come easy. When I instructed the contractors that I wanted conduit imbedded in cement to bring electricity into the building they heard it. However the conduit was placed on the outside wall and beside the walk-in door. So now I have a box on the outside and this on the inside to get electrical service to my breaker box. All will be hidden inside however a little extra expense.



Although not far from the house I wanted a simple bathroom out here w/a urinal and a utility sink. Linda put the kibosh on a urinal so a stool sits here. 



And the utility sink here. Next challenge, no room to swing a door into the bathroom w/o hitting the sink. Solution: we will be modern and have a sliding bathroom door in this shop!



2 electrical outlets on the porch and a frost-free hydrant.



4 canned neon lights out here and a white metal ceiling. The stump is for the anvil (I'll cut it to correct height).



March 21, 2018: foam insulation applied.  Picture east corner of shop door toward west wall & rafters



From shop door toward north wall. The foam really brightens it. I had them foam the stairs/risers in the utility room/area behind the bathroom and under stairs where the water heater will be. Will also install a H20 shutoff in our basement.  



Foam in the upper room. Picture taken from stairway toward the south wall.



Standing at the south window in the loft facing west and downward. 


Caleb Zimmerman (A-1 Construction) and his crew from High Point, MO. 2018 Spring is cold, many days in 30* w/wind, snow and rain. Caught this picture of the crew unloading on the best day they worked. From this day forward they worked in rain, sleet, snow and mud. They had to catch the nicest of part of the days to do the high work. 


Frontier Metal, Versailles MO supplied the burnish slate 26ga G-Rib metal roofing


white #2 29ga G rib metal ceiling


Clay 26ga G-rib metal siding


March 29, 2018 - Finally a little sunshine for a decent picture.C80370BC-48B3-40F8-A9EF-A45AC2AF93CE.thumb.jpeg.3087c29f1f3a9478f0486a7236076940.jpeg

North and west sides show the all metal exterior look. Those side windows are exact mower hight so this may be interesting..


Left the front for Linda. She wants the shop to look good with the house. 


Initially the porch was for storage..7' trailer, wood, etc. Now looks like a great place for bbq grills, lawn chairs, and some maybe some dry wood. 


April 4, 2018 Metal workers finished and pulled out. 9CEC46D0-6B08-41D8-9843-D57A27C24E4D.thumb.jpeg.b492b3eceb1d4f5bc9b2c52fc51ab151.jpeg4E90D9CA-90CF-41E5-A703-D153220E0959.thumb.jpeg.f71020306a54100fd330756c28fde9a0.jpeg

April 9, 2018 Drywall on bathroom begins the downstairs finish. Dale Feeler, my general contractor and friend along with another friend, Bob Bell are my drywall crew.


City inspectors approved a wall vent for the bathroom drains. 


A look into the utility cubby under the stairwell and the bathroom. 



This picture taken on April 9, 2018 at noon. It was a partly cloudy day in Central MO but with the white ceiling and white foam brighten the shop. 


Late friday April 20 Gerry Lage started Linda's brickwork. Saturday 12:50p picture (he doesn't mind working weekends). The brick used on the house is still available from Midwest Block & Brick here in town; has a few more black bricks than original but Gerry pulled those or placed them low so the house and shop look similar. 


Gerry finished around 6p Saturday evening. He enjoyed winding down for a short while over a Sam Adams. 


April 30 - May 3  I attended a regional milk regulatory seminar in Reno. Rooms were a bargain at Silver Legacy and look at my view!


May 3 & 4, 2018 Dale & Bob hung drywall. Picture toward the bathroom, stairwell & north wall. 


With only natural light it’s not bad in here. From the north wall looking toward the shop door. 


Another picture showing the light through the shop door. 


Inside the utility cubby under the stairs. Drain is for the water heater. 


I bought the 6” insulated flu pipe along with a wood stove from a fellow who inherited a cabin from his in-laws at Lake of the Ozarks. When the guys located the flu holes in the roof and ceiling they didn't have the black flange that was to be boxed between ceiling joists. As you see, we will improvise and run the black stove pipe through the metal ceiling connecting into the flu here. Will need to pull a staple, move the wires, and secure the black flange to the truss. Also buckled the roof boot when we repositioned the flu so will need to get someone on the roof to fix that before long.  



Englander wood stove I bought when I first started this idea. It's in excellent condition, firebrick show little use, as does the insulated flu & stovepipe. Looks like I have 2 - 35” joints flu pipe left over if someone has need.   



Stairwell is a bit dark but wide steps & risers are a pleasure to navigate. Neon lights will help. 


Loft. There was a Carolina Wren nest w/fledglings in the truss so the crew worked around them on Friday.  By Saturday May 5 the babies were gone from the nest. I'm told this is a sign of good luck so I'll take it. 


May 23, 2018



May 30, 2018  Tuesday following Memorial Day.  While I am away on business in St Louis and then in Lake Ozark 3 contractors converged at our shop. Caleb and A-1 crew arrived at 5:45a to install the vinyl siding for front gable and to position the flue. May was the hottest on record for Missouri so crews worked when cooler. IMG_0046.thumb.JPG.64e1f22ca09c9eadd01f8abe4804b8ab.JPG5b12a47a79d54_AqIoZFYcRyq7tJIGtGFsQ.thumb.jpg.46680614421a453c27dcf13c64b89814.jpg


June 6, 2018  Jerry Raithel dug in the sewer, installed the frost free outside hydrant,  
IMG_0048.thumb.JPG.5ed6eff40c9e0dba437067c6f543d5c2.JPG  IMG_0047.thumb.JPG.bd0aab0e0b4b3a7019394984c31ca791.JPG

and installed the water heater in the utility cubby. Decided on a 20gal rather than my original planned 6gal. May want to wash something big.;) And a utility sink and stool in the bathroom too.

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Dale mudded and taped before leaving May 31 for a 3week cruise around Alaska w/his wife Dr Lory. While he was gone I cleaned, painted, and did some other small  jobs to ready the shop. I've been surprised so far how the foam insulation really keeps the upstairs at a bearable temp during the hot days. I am not installing an air conditioner initially but holding the option for heater/air conditioner wall unit later if needed.



June 14, 2018  I told someone yesterday they have to understand, I am working on a year-long project that's taking 3 to complete. I do have a lot more patience than I did 30yrs ago! Between work and family trips I am starting to cut in the ceiling, corners, windows/doors, etc so I can roll paint on the walls (and ceiling upstairs). Electricians are ready to come back when painting is complete so pressure is on me. Leave Sunday for a week long FDA training in Dallas so hope to get some paint slapped on b/f I leave.



Dale returned June 20. He finished mudding upstairs, built the barn door for the bathroom, and installed trim around the bathroom and walk-in doors. 5b302b8b24fb6_w68WxrXFQ95aVYYLfaiaw.thumb.jpg.52e35ce4942d40e9e9e2ddcfb00766a8.jpg


June 22, 2018  I returned from Dallas on a 6a flight to St Louis. Our neighbor Mark Blume has offered to cut, stain, and install window trim made from old ruff sawn oak fence lumber to give the shop a rustic look. I am painting all walls and ceiling upstairs white as well and will summon the electrician as soon as finished painting.




Walls painted, windows  trimmed, 10’ tall pallet rack ends & 8’ rack supports ready for assembly. I see one ceiling light will need to be moved from directly over the rack.



July 25, 2018  Trimmed out the garage door with metal. I liked the look and would have stained or painted the wood anyway.  



July 30, 2018  Mark Blume is retired, my neighbor, and woodworking is his hobby. He offered to trim the windows in old rough sawn oak and after that he said "why not use some scraps to trim out the wall. Today after church we cut, sanded, stained, sealed and nailed 3/4" trim to the wall where the workbenches and pallet racks will stand. 



July 31, 2018  14' overhead door installed. My builder told me the insulation and door would keep the shop cooler in summer and he is right. Working inside on pallet racks, trying out different shelf heights, and its much nicer when the door is closed & fan running. 



Stained & polyurethane coated the bathroom door & trim and added a pull handle




Figured and reconfigured the pallet racks. These were used and some a bit abused I think so the erection didn't go as easily as I thought it should. Also, I couldn't set them up exactly as I had planned because you do what you can do with used right?  This will work or I'll buy some new parts to make it work later when I determine my needs better. 



August 11, 2018



Throughout this project Cooper and our resident deer have been pictured a lot. In August 2018 these two fawns, their mother, couple of doe friends and a buck are frequenting our yard and backyard. Linda sprays the costa every week to keep them from feasting so much. Today as I walked to the shop after work these two fawns were as interested in watching me as I was them. My view from the porch.  


August 27, 2018  Electrician has been swamped and hasn't returned. According to code I have to either use a licensed electrician or I can do the work myself. So, for the past several nights after work I'be been installing breakers, tracing wire, installing GFCI and regular outlets and switches.


Linda picked out the bathroom light fixture. A little big & bright but well lit necessary room. 


Overhead door works smoothly but the contractor charged me for, yet didn't install, the wireless keypad and 2nd remote. They told me to drop by & pick them up - no problem for me to install myself.  So I deducted the cost of 1 remote ($30) and 1 wireless keypad ($45) and sent the check. Ordered new wireless keypad remote from eBay for $20. 



September 4, day after Labor Day holiday Gary Schulte called to finish the electricity. He didn't change out much of what I did; changed out 2-15a breakers for 20a, changed out the LED bulbs & replaced w/LED fixtures on the porch, and pretty much left the rest. Passed city code inspection so Woohoo! Electricians installed the hallway 3way switch & asked Linda to get matching lights to those we used upstairs from Lowes. LED lights installed in the workshop area really brighten the place! 

Took picture below at 8:00p September 3 after finishing over seeding the backyard.  5b9121d1059e8_gWJya9ekRY2Q0p63Ah0YQ.thumb.jpg.8e59ee5ac43c14070bfe0eee07e6e777.jpg

Trip to Ft Collins, CO to see our son, daughter in law & especially the grandkids so I'm off shop duty for a week.   


Upon return I needed to mow our property at the end of the street. I use the Bumblebee 10 out there; its rough and tumble and the B-10 handles it very well. When done I parked it inside the shop so now we have 3 resident vintage foot dragger Simpletractors. In the foreground you see more 1x8 pine boards. Neighbor Mark Blume & I will sand, stain, seal and nail up these baseboards downstairs. 



Newest acquisition for the shop is FB Marketplace find: Black & Decker Workmate 200 for $25 delivered.  


October 1, Mike Schneiders excavated the new drive and spread the gravel base for the concrete.  Had to remove a dogwood tree. Mike moved it into the woods behind the shop.


October 3, 2018  I had to really beat and pry to get some of the pallet racking up and when finished the uprights were visibly whopperjawed. So I measured and found I had 3 different length cross bars. Tore down the left side (mostly orange crossbars) and reconstructed until I had 2 crossbars left - one orange 96.5" & one green 97". The lower orange crossbars are all 96".

October 6, 2018   The move has started. I need my tools in the shop instead of the basement. Put the equipment to work moving my Craftsman tool boxes and power hack saw.  


Cut the pallet rack crossbars with an Excel Mfg power Hack Saw (purchased from Ed England auction, Galesburg IL). Its old style, slow and I have to baby it to keep it from hopping but does a nice job



Spot welded with the Hobart flux core mig that I moved as well


And put the cross bars on top with help of my daughter visiting from Boston. 


October 14, 2018  Stained 1x4s for baseboard and picked up backer board and screws to erect behind the wood stove.


October 27, 2018  Wood stove up. Earlier this week we screwed 2-3'x5' 1/2" cement backer boards to the wall directly behind the stove. After firing yesterday I may likely sit a stove board against the wall behind the stove too as it gets pretty warm back there. Neighbor Mark is installing the baseboard.

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And more implements loaded onto the pallet racks. The Deere (rebranded Brinly) implements have extra long handles that don't fit my configuration. So I mfg short ones to accommodate my needs. Not sure how easy it'll be to unload when I want to use but this one man setup is working ok. Loader may be in my future...5bdefa8067277_zBRNEpaQmOPBhABYO2VQ.thumb.jpg.f1a46aea8d91ddf8bf80929cb39e5836.jpgaRWL8nrkRieq5WZxqRrjCw.thumb.jpg.69cf384d8a69771300b8cba1bfb030e8.jpg


Personalized things a little. Lizard was given by by girls back when they were in middle school. It was a crazy gift but a gift nonetheless. Their mother wouldn't display it in the house so I've hung it in my shop for 20+ years. Pop's Shop was this year's birthday gift from my grandkids.  



The sign from the old voting precinct in the rural township where my paternal and maternal grandparents' lived and farmed. Politics has one place in this shopsm03



And nearly 4 years after we started we're done! Well actually, we're done with concrete. For some reason I could never get the original concrete contractor back to finish the drive. Being your own general contractor puts you behind the big guys I think. After major frustration I finally contacted Terry McDaniel, another reputable long time concrete contractor and competitor for the shop pour. After only 2 weeks the stars aligned, well actually the clouds aligned and rains drove his crew from a commercial job nearby on Monday, July 20. 2020. I received a call at 9:30p that night asking if it'd be ok to come tomorrow. So Tuesday, July 21, 2020 the drive pour started.


And this pictured prior to expansion cuts on Wednesday evening July 22, 2020. 


I suspect I will never be done with modifications because I am going to add 2 more 4' LED  lights inside before winter, ceiling fans to the porch before next summer, and probably a split mini unit one day (???). Will add a landscape wall on both sides of the drive soon too. 

Now that I am looking back through this log I can see where things were placed and how I can do some other modifications as well so....

so, you’re never done, right?  Upstairs needed a barricade to keep the grandkids safe (and me too). Found a FB Marketplace buy for $40 so neighbor Mark and I moved the boxes that hid the problem and installed this bannisterFE820D23-A4E2-4E81-B9FD-1693FB2C10BE.thumb.jpeg.cd79c544ce88c9a4279b07e4ec7aec39.jpeg9898F932-9CAD-4694-889D-A8D558EB0CB0.thumb.jpeg.644baf89438cf1f78d8f26e9a30537a7.jpegAAE597C9-79CF-4000-A485-1BD9D0DF28A6.thumb.jpeg.3f6be7f6f650dc1cf774ee2fc74cd3d2.jpeg3AFD9416-B713-448A-88A4-04923FE6217F.thumb.jpeg.760655d86a60e9b5aa66b8cfa98ce43b.jpeg

Next up, Linda got me 2 new ceiling fans for the porch for my birthday 2020. Waiting for cool(er) days to put install them…

June 24, 2021 after a long dry spell we received some much needed rain overnight and this morning. I came home from Friday morning coffee & debotion to find a red oak had splintered and fallen onto the shop


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Turns out God provided some nice firewood in a convenient location


and minor sign of the impact


July 2021  My builder and older, more nimble friend Dale Feeler helped run wire I and installed electrical boxes during cooler weather. 

8/03/2021. I am officially retired this week. Time to install the ceiling fans Linda got for my porch. The rib panels on the tin ceiling presented some challenges because that’s something we didn’t consider when I  pinpointed fan location. So we decided the north fan would be easiest and, it was.

Got out the Dremel and cut off wheels to modify the tinwork for the near fan0EF62EC4-C2DD-41BB-87C2-6D3B8F3B9110.thumb.jpeg.d3894a03a820441004e1212516e5835f.jpegDCC56497-E616-429E-A204-AEF3F964F3CC.thumb.jpeg.0a98f4fe42135447d3b71bd04c5d8d70.jpeg


With a few more cuts in the ceiling to get enough area to mount the fan base, and help from neighbor Mark, we installed the south fan. Makes a great place to cool down or just sit and enjoy watching the wildlife and birds.  Now Linda would like me to clean up our here but I think the porch storage works just fine…



FDT replacement gas tank

I used my last metal fdt gas tank setting on the shelf last summer to replace a leaker. Metal ones in good shape are getting harder to find so I purchased a well weathered Lawn-boy Commercial tank for a decent price off a FB page. Read about others using them here. https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/46259-fdt-plastic-replacement-gas-tank/?tab=comments#comment-83318

Tank looked like this when I received it. Well actually I'd already cleaned it up when this picture was taken. May have been setting under trees in a mower graveyard somewhere.



So I tried to clean the black spots off w/cleaner but no luck. Today I took some fine sandpaper and rubbed lightly. 



I'll probably paint it when I put it in a tractor (AC yellow or Simplicity orange) so the scratch marks should help the paint stick (I hope). Cleaned up nice:



Mr. Mouse

We've received much needed rain here last two days. Sunday a nice .7" all day rainfall allowed me a little tractor maintenance time. I have not overworked the 3012 Sovereign since acquiring last spring but I've really not taken time to examine it completely either. So, rain keeping me from outside activity I took advantage to check behind the blower shroud on the Briggs 12hp engine. Look what I found, and destroyed.


While the grill was removed I added the missing axle travel stop from my parts stash. Productive day for me but destructive for Mr. Mouse.


Sickle mowing & repair

We have about 1 acre at the far end of our town property that is rough and I don't mow it often. But, when I do mow I use one of the foot draggers because they are just so tough. I decided to give the sickle mower a try this time as the growth was a little out of hand.  I knew to use the small mid pto pulley and 1/2 throttle or less. My Allis-Chalmers Early B-10 will throttle way down and I enjoy listening to the 23d engine operate as slow revolutions. I should have taken a picture of the 12" growth but, if you look closely you can see the thick cutting on the ground.  The Simplicity cable lift sickle operated flawlessly at 1/3 throttle in both 1st gear when I needed extra caution, and 2nd gear in the open areas. This is an after picture 



As I finished I felt extra vibration and found one of the heim joints on the pitman to be really worn. When you consider the revolutions and speed these machines operate, there is no doubt there will be wear points.  



Not sure how it held together till I finished actually.



McMaster Carr to the rescue! I measured and ordered the part one day and took delivery the next day. That is service! 



Heim joint installed and ready for the next mow. 






Stumping for progress

Received a call from the cement contractor; coming next week to form new shop foundation. Last minute prep: had to move a stump from removed tree to an area out of the traffic way. Simplicity 3012 hydrolift strained a little but lifted high enough to transport. Individual brakes would have been nice option to steerIMG_0798.thumb.JPG.de9d2adb4c86600a7e28114a2b36fe3d.JPG



FDT weekend rodeo

We're experiencing a beautiful June 24-25 weekend in Missouri with mild ('70's) high temps and low humidity.  I'm batching it right now so I planned to get the foot draggers out for a little work and repair. First, my B210 shucked the starter/generator belt last week while I was retrieving a neighbor's wood splitter from behind couple of houses and a swimming pool. Got to use my repop front/rear hitch for that job. Luckily I didn't kill the engine till the move was finished.  So, after work on Friday I started the replacement job with a belt I had removed from a parts tractor last year. Thought I'd just remove the bolts and spacers from the drive shaft, and the hydrolift belt, and slip the replacement belt over the pulleys. WRONG. After skinning my fingers, dropping the spacers in the frame, and finding I just didn't have enough room for my club hands, I decided it would be easier to remove the grill frame and pull the engine.  Not sure this is the preferred  but it worked for me as those 4 engine bolts come out pretty easy and I could move the engine enough to get the room I needed to work. Finished in time for bed so I felt I had accomplished my mission. 

After the dew dried on Saturday I pulled the early B10 out for it's first work of '17. I'd mounted and used a Simplicity cable lift sickle on it last fall and, I had some tall grass and weeds growing along a diversion ditch that runs along the hill above our house. The old 23d Briggs started right up and the sickle ran smooth as silk; well it ran as smooth as a sickle should run. I operate at less than 1/2 throttle on the small mid pto pulley and it'll still shake the tractor a little. I'm trying to post a picture from a frame of the action video I shot but for now here is a picture of when I replaced the fronts with tri-ribs I'd taken in on a trade. 



Next I needed to try to outsmart a squirrel. For 6 years now I've one upped the squirrels with my pvc pipe atop the bird feeder pole. I simply capped a length of 4" pvc, drilled a hole in the cap, slipped it over the pole, and drilled holes for the tarp strap that hold it up there. Squirrels have climbed that pole and gone under the pvc pipe but not on it. This has been a successful deterrent until this year. We have a grey squirrel population mostly and the go up and inside the pvc but not on the outside. I think the smarty may be a red variety. So, a little grease rubbed on the bottom of the pvc and we'll see if the little bugger can climb this. 



Later I took the Bumblebee 10 w/42" deck to the north end of our property to mow an acre open field. Although this property is contiguous our home property I have to load the tractor and travel about 8 blocks to get there. I don't mow this as often as I should and these old one cylinder tractors and deep decks really make me look good. Now I've had a gas leak on this tractor of late so it's been parked under our deck rather than in the basement. I thought I'd repaired it by replacing the shutoff valve with a NOS I had on the shelf.  Here I am showing a very small set of channel locks my brother in law gave to me one Christmas. Some of the family laughed at the small pliers so, every time I use them I take a photo and send to the laughing family members showing them who gets the last laugh...



Actually, this was a fun day mowing. A cool breeze, plenty of shade, I only used about 1 1/2 tanks of gasoline, and all belts held. I filled the gas tank, loaded up the trailer, admired my work, and headed home.



Pulled in the drive and I noticed gasoline spill on the side panels and frame. I wiped it off and started searching, hoping to find only expansion from the lid. No such luck.  Gasoline was leaking into the battery area as fast as I could wipe it up. The tank was nearly full so I had to drain it back into the can. Gasoline never runs out of those 1/4" lines as fast when you're on a planned drain as it does if an accident or an incident. This tank was repaired and lined about 10 years ago. This is what I found.



I got a repaired tank along with the 3012 deal so I checked and installed it. No leaks! Another unexpected but successful repair. Now, what to do with the yellow leaker tank? 



Sunday I wanted to remove the Rube Goldberg stack muffler that was on the 3012 when I got it from Swede. Great weekend to do that outside using my "gas wrench" acetylene torch outfit.  Was pretty darn stubborn so I had to get a spare piece of heavy sheet aluminum  (no parking sign) out to shield the heat from the carb, wires, etc. 

So I went from this



to this



And I finished up Sunday moving some of the wood awaiting the wood splitter to a spot out of the way in case the concrete crew shows this week. I've found a lot of use for the utility carryall box I made earlier this year. Hitched to the 3012 w hydrolift, I found I could roll the large pieces into the box, lift it high enough to keep them from rolling out, and move to the spot away from the planned construction site. 



I also used the Agri-fab utility carryall to move the smaller and split wood from to an area out of the way.  This is a pretty good start on my winter shop heating. 



We will always have to make unexpected repairs to ~50 year old machines but that is part of the hobby. Collecting and operating them, listening to the engines lug, experiencing what they can accomplish, and using various pieces of equipment gets my adrenaline running full bore. Hope your weekend was as fun and fulfilling as mine has been.    


Carburetor Overhaul

When I picked up the Simplicity 3012 from SimplicitySwede earlier this spring, he told me it leaked gasoline from the carburetor. He controlled the leaking while parked by shutting off the valve under the gas tank, however there was a constant drip while operating the tractor as well. My shop is in the basement of our house and, any slight smell of gasoline permeates the Linda's house. So, I either have to keep these things under control or move the culprit tractor out under the deck (for now). So last weekend I decided to overhaul the Briggs updraft carburetor on the 3012 to keep peace and harmony in the family. Had an overhaul kit on the shelf that I'd bought from Al Eden some time ago (old part number displayed) and I've done this several times so I set about the task to rebuild. This is going to be a piece of cake ;). Just to be sure I stay on task I pull out the Briggs carb adjustment cheat sheet.



No job is routine! After overhaul the tractor ran rougher than before, wouldn't throttle up or down evenly, and leaked from this hole even more than before my overhaul.



I have a back stock (Linda's term for my inventory) so I pulled the carburetor box off the shelf, got out the trusty Dremel, and cleaned up a different lower body determining this must be my problem along with maybe a float adjustment. 



After wire brushing, polishing, and compressed air, the replacement lower body was ready for service. 



Still leaked!  Back to the bench. I'd recently read an article in Lawn & Garden Tractor Magazine by Norman Ng, owner of iSaveTractors who talked about this very problem with Briggs updraft carbs. I determined the gasoline was likely leaking past the surfaces where the emulsion tube is supposed to seal against the carb lower body. In the past I've used a Q-tip and toothpaste to smooth up surfaces but I decided to follow Norman's advice placing an o-ring on the emulsion tube. Norman's article is also on his website http://isavetractors.com/articles-1/ 

Again, back stock time. I bought an o-ring kit from my local Carquest auto parts store (no longer in business) a few years ago that's come in handy to rebuild fdt hydrolifts among other things. The smallest 006 fit the tube nicely. 



I reassembled the carb adjusting per Briggs instructions with the cleaned up 2nd lower body. No leaks while setting or running!! Not only that but, after idling for a full 5 minutes and readjusting the needle valve, the old Briggs 12hp runs like a Singer sewing machine while idling, throttles up nicely and gives off only a light puff of smoke on quick throttle up. Not bad for a 50yr old motor. 


The 3012 is now parked back in our basement out of the elements. No gasoline aroma from her now however I think I will call the concrete guy this week to see what his schedule is. Maybe its time to accelerate the shop build...





Soggy Weekend Repair Job

The heavens opened on Central Missouri this week making it a soggy one. I emptied 1.6" from a Wednesday rain, 5.5" from Saturday rains, and .6" today. I forgot to take a picture of my rain gauge so this from Paul Jeffery, a college fraternity brother and buddy of mine.



No mowing grass or any other tractor work much this week. So I pulled the steering wheel (much easier than I expected), removed the bolts connecting the steering shaft to the steering gear, and pulled the steering shaft up to examine.  As you can see the OEM rubber bushing is toast and, there are some extra bushings between it and the retaining clip??? 



Look what I found.  The added bushings were 3-rubber washers, maybe garden hose washers, and a short piece of threaded pipe. Guess someone didn't realize the retainer clip could be removed and placed in a higher position? A close-up of the homemade bushings.



And another of the worn out OEM Simplicity bushing. 


Luckily I have a supply of NOS OEM rubber steering bushings I got a few years ago from Ed England and I have a couple of usable used ones too. Turned out to be a quick fix; at least I think its fixed anyho). I reset the retainer clip, drove a good used OEM rubber bushing in place and I took the opportunity to adjust the steering gear set screw. When back together sitting still on cement there seemed to be no steering shaft wobble or steering gear slip. Due to the weather I was damp and cold by the time I finished this project so I packed the tools back into the shop, cleaned up and called it a day. The test will come in action next week. 


I'm generally a patient guy, especially when it comes to spending cash. Wasn't always that way but age, raising 2 daughters, and a divorce have contributed to that characteristic. Couple of things I discuss in this entry hinge on my patience. First, I've been looking for a decent 12hp briggs powered fdt since selling my last one, a 3112H, to member ronhruska about 2 yrs ago. On March 1 I decided to contact Jared Olsen aka SimplicitySwede regarding a 3012V package deal he was wanting to sell. We continued communicating and came to agreement April 7 so I made the trip the next day. The pkg included an armstrong lift sickle bar mower that needs work, new pr mounted 23x8.50-15 Carlisle Tru Powers, new pr mounted 4.00-8 Deestone tri-ribs, 2-moldboard plows (1-orig AC & repainted Simplicity), pull behind cultivator, & center mounted scratcher along w/misc parts.  



The 3012 as she arrived. 




And now, a little cleaner & a doner seat from an AC. Side panel off to inspect the steering for excessive play. The upright pipe is going to come off soon too. 



Swede has moved on to collecting and refurbishing Farmall tractors now so his Sovereign has set in the barn for awhile. She started quickly and ran nice as well but after a 3.5 hr trip home the sediment in the gas tank all came loose and I've battled that until today replacing fuel filters and draining out gunk. Today I think I drained the last of the gunk for awhile. As with most used nearly 50 yr old tractors there are issues that need attention so I've prioritized and will get to them as I can. However, in the meantime this old girl is going to have to earn her keep. As many of you know the variable speed units are contrary. This one was way out of adjustment so I tackled that first.

I busted out one of my Large Frame Repair Manuals and copied off the step-by-step instructions for adjustment. Been through them exactly as printed twice now and it's close but I cannot get the clutch/brake just where I want it yet. I've done this several times over the years and each tractor is a little unique, has its own quirks. If anyone has a good idea I'll try it. Until then I'll go through the adjustments and measurements again to make sure I'm not missing something. I think it is the part where you're supposed to adjust so the drive belt has just a little travel when the clutch/brake is depressed and then back off the brake adjustment nut a little...



And 2nd: I'm going to start a series of entries soon on a shop build behind our house.  Linda has given her approval to my build, motivated I think because our basement is overflowing w/my ST collection or hoard and she's ready to get it back into her possession. See the climbing wall? Haven't been able to get to it for 5 yrs w/o moving a lot of stuff.



Had a tree cut that was too close to the house for me to tackle. You can see the tree behind those beautiful dogwood trees, and to the left of the garage. Linda loves those 2 dogwoods and that subject will also be discussed later in the shop build.



I started on clearing the limbs and small stuff this weekend. I hate stumbling over those things when I am operating my vintage Stihl 1989 024AV.



This afternoon I pulled out the last load of limbs, taking them over the hill out of sight. You can see the cut where the proposed building will be erected. We cleared the area and made the cut last fall and I bid out the concrete work earlier this year. I'm in no particular hurry as my calendar is crammed full till end of June. So I'm shooting for a fall build. We shall see... 



Limbs cleared and ready to cut up the log for firewood to heat the shop. 



Worked after work so I can work

Well, nothing went right yesterday, Monday April 17. Our day was crazy at the office, phone calls from the wild side, etc. I checked but I already knew the full moon occurred last week, not this week! Over the years I've seen the pattern and I am a believer that a full moon brings out the wild side. When I got home the day didn't get any better. I enjoy mowing with a 42" deck fdt; especially the longer frame models, so last week I readied the B210 for mowing duties with my rough deck so I can justify mowing w/out picking up sticks, clearing roots, whatever. Linda and I ate a quick Easter leftovers dinner and I was off to mow I thought. About 100' into the mow the B210 died as if I had picked up a root or something in the deck. Drove back to just outside my basement shop and found the mid pto seized; that's right it was seized!  Never heard of that. So, I unhooked the deck (in the grass), pulled it from under the tractor, positioned the Bumblebee 10, and slid, tugged, lifted, cussed, got blocks and pry bar, and after a lot of sweat and rolling around remounted it. It musta taken an hour. Of course, I in the grass nothing seemed to align correctly. Finally after I got the pins secured I tried every belt I had on the rack but I have 2 for longer fdt frame to 42" deck drive belts and 1 that must have worked on some short frame (B10) sometime but it had to have shrunk or something. Well, its dark-thirty and I'll have to run get a deck drive belt today so that I can again start to mow tonight. So, I conclude that after work last night I worked so that I can work tonight. Its like I spun my wheels but didn't get anywhere. Oh yes, I haven't removed the blade and chains from the Conquest yet which is my go-to mower tractor. The fdt are for fun. Ugh  


Agri-Fab Utility 10 Carry-all

I am getting a handle on blogging (late is better than never, right?) so bare with me as I cut from the original, paste in new entries, and add more. 

I've thought about starting this on a FB post, saying something like: I've ended my life-long search for an Agri-Fab Utility 10 prototype carryall. I read about these "prototype" garden tractors found, one of a kind stuff, modifications like my dad and I would make to farm tractors and equipment to make them work better for us in our particular situation. Also, if we didn't have what we needed, and/or couldn't afford it, then we built it. I made this carry-all box to satisfy my want and save myself some cash. Thought also occurred to me the grandchildren might get a kick out of riding in it later. 

As I stated, I sought advice from everyone I could think of about measurements, metal dimensions, maybe even buying a well worn Simplicity cart to use. Chris727 shuttered in his shoes when I mentioned I was thinking of "destroying a Simplicity dump cart for the cause. That caused me to rethink and remember a project build I'd followed on SimpletrACtors by snohiker  https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/37363-carryall-update-5-26-11/#comment-413033  Take a look at it and you will no doubt see similarities. 

Next up I contacted ZippoVarga for metal measurements. Zippo had bought an old, rough carry-all box  that needed a total undercarriage rebuild.IMG_1544.thumb.JPG.418d10671bdcfe34a831f8dc01651d16.JPG


Again, you will see the similarity. If that furrow has already been plowed, and its working, all I really need to do is fall in line.



The run-down garden cart I bought from a CL ad was perfect. 2 flat tires and looked terrible but the bed was in nice, shape. 



In reality, I am not sure how much use this will get but I can pick it up and throw it in the corner or on a shelf to get it out of the way much easier than moving my Allis dump cart that is in too nice shape to use anyway. And, I just like tinkering in the shop, now in our basement) as it takes my mind off work and other stressful stuff. AND - If I remember correctly former Club Secretaries have had a carry-all or a version of one anyway. As it warms and I use it this spring I am sure there will be a modification or two in the works. gw


Note-that's Cooper, our English Cream Golden Retriever, watching the doors. He's my partner on all projects

and now in action

Its been wet most of the spring and when it wasn't Linda and/or I were traveling. Had a load of mulch delivered in early March. Have the Swisher bucket mounted on the B210 but it doesn't really work well to dump a bucket of mulch on top of the already growing hosta plants. And it takes several trips over the yard and my grass, as you can see, has its challenges anyway. So I decided what the heck, let's put the Agri-Fab Utility 10 Carry-all to use.  Here I am backed up to the wet double ground mulch pile in our drive. The silage fork fits easily as pictured so I can scoop from the sides and grab a large scoop full. 




I'd used a larger Agri-fab Utility trailer to haul mulch this week but it holds about 2.5 times more, takes longer to load and unload (not enough built-in breaks), and you have to back it up. I am pretty good at backing 2 and 4 wheel trailers but I have earned the right to make it a little easier on myself when I want. No backing and more breaks it is. Here you see the loaded cart. I backed right over hosta plants and into the bed to. Nearly as handy as a shirt pocket. 



Cooper photobombed me. This mulch was wet/heavy but the box full wasn't hard to lift. Actually it seemed to break over center quickly making the armstrong lift easier than I expected. I'll post a picture of the hosta garden fully mulched later today. Love these warm, spring days.


As promised, Miss Linda's hosta garden



and now in March 2021 the carryall is mounted on my B-210 in the shop. All winter I used that combo to haul wood from the wood lot. It is never not mounted for long.