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Tinkering On Tractors...

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It was an exciting day yesterday in the household.  I brought home a new tractor!  Well, not new, cuz that's just not how I roll, but a new to me, used one.  Its one of the last models of the "old" style Simplicity "RBT's" (running board tractors).  Produced around 1996 or so (kinda hard to pinpoint it exactly) its a twin cylinder, fully power version of my 7016H that I've rebuilt.  When I say full power, I mean it.  Its a hydrostatic transmission, hydraulic implement lift and, drumroll, POWER STEERING!!!  I've been searching for about 6 months for the right deal, and I missed out on a couple of them.  I finally snagged one last night.  

I pretty much gave up on buying a factory power steering machine...they were too much money, or gone by the time I was able to look at them. I was starting to plan out the installation of power steering and a 20 HP KohlerCommand in my 7016. It was going to be tight, but I thought it would work.

Started out getting a message from a friend about a power steering machine for sale about 35 miles away. My craigslist alert went off that morning...I made contact with the guy to set up an appointment to put eyeballs on it. Wasn't totally sure of the condition, as I could tell the paint was faded, but the seat looked ok. Didn't think it sat outside, but wasn't sure.

Bonus, the tractor has a Kohler Command 18, not the Triad.  The Triad is an OHC design that Kohler tried.  I guess its a real smooth runner, quiet, and excellent on fuel. However, as it sits in a Simplicity (the flywheel side of the engine is where its coupled to the tractor which is backward from most mfg designs), the grass clippings get sucked into the engine.  That combined with a poor valve cover gasket design that leaked oil, meant that the cooling fins on the engine would plug up.  Once the fins plug up, the engine overheats, and will drop a cylinder liner, thus grenading the engine.  I was originally looking for one of these tractors with a blown engine.  Thought I could get it cheap, and I have a new engine (a 20 HP Kohler Command) I could drop in it.  Little did I know that cheap and power steering didn't go together.  I found a tractor in WI, missing an engine, that the guy wanted 700 bucks for!  He ended up pulling his ad, due to the response he got...he didn't think he advertised it for enough.
I was pretty excited when the previous owner opened the shed, and I saw how clean it was. The upper surfaces of the hood and fender pan are faded, but that's it. Everything else looks nearly factory fresh! Wheels, transmission, chassis, even the seat is clean...no tears. The tire still have the little tits on the beads!  We haggled on price a bit, he came down a little more than 10% for me, and I brought it home. There are a couple items to address...the sticker for the dash is all cracked and falling off, the front tires will need tubes (looks like they went flat, and sat for a bit) and I'll need to break out the wet sandpaper and buffer. Headlight lenses need a good scrub. Need a little bit of tune up here and there: Air Filter, Tranny fluid (the filter has NEVER been changed) etc. Deck is a little rough. Its packed full of grass, and I can see the rust starting. Has a decent set of gator blades on it though. I'll probably sell that deck with the 7016, and keep the deck I rebuilt last year.

Already had the wife on it, and she likes it WAY better than the 7016. Its amazing how much quieter the newer twins are than the Briggs single. Anyway, enough babble, pics, right?  These pics were taken almost as soon as I unloaded the trailer.  Stay tuned for updates on the clean-up and PM posts on this guy!








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