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biggie_rat

Working on a tractor that someone has tried to fix

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firefoxz1
Yes wiring can be a pain but I think people welding things together because they didn't fit right because a $10 or less part was worn. EX: I got a Sears Custom 10xl that someone welded the slip sleeves on the deck shaft fast because they lost the 15 cent clips to hold it in place, the belt breaks and now they can't change it because the shaft is welded up tight, I get the tractor free (I like free). I did cut the weld and the shaft and splines were not worn.

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Jovee
Had a LT-10 once where the owner opted to not install a $5 hotdog muffler but ran gas pipe from the exhaust hole thru many elbows across the front of the engine then around the other corner into a muffler from a MG he had laying around which was wired to the hood. Couldnt understand why I had to take it off to put a plug in. Same tractor also had a Chrysler coil and ballast resistor mounted externally thru 700 miles of elecrical tape. It gave up a few years ago but I wish I had a picture -Joe

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Brent_Baumer
Bought a 716-6 last year off ebay that supposedly ran good but "just needed a battery". Anyway after installing a battery and jacking with it to get it going, and discovering I had to get all the water and algae out of the carb I noticed the idle screw was all the way in. Odd me thinks. Clean and reinstall the carb with the idle screw backed off to roughly where it should be I get it started. Try to throttle it up and discover why the idle screw was all the way in. You guessed it, the throttle cable was broken. Arrgh! Didn't actually attempt this one but after I had a plug blow out of the head on a K341 due to stripped threads, my brother-in-law "guaranteed" me I could simply wrap the spark plug with tin foil and reinstall it and it would "work fine". I pondered this for a moment then opted for a heli-coil. Good topic. Looking forward to more entertaning responses.

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comet66
I think the first thing people do when a tractor won't start is "tweek the darb". I bet I get three a year through here that just need the carb. cleaned, properly adjusted and fresh gas put in to run well. But like the man says, these are the ones you can make money on.

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HubbardRA
A previous neighbor was mowing with his push mower one day. It was not running good and kept dying in heavy grass. It quit and he was cursing at it. I asked him if I could help. He looked at me and said, "Oh, so you think you can fix it". I had him start it, and I adjusted the main jet on the carb. It then mowed great. He wouldn't even speak to me for a couple of weeks after that. Guess that is what I get for helping a "macho" football coach. Guess it bruised his ego that he didn't know how to turn the little screw. My biggest gripe about getting these old tractors is figuring out why people cut notches in the frames or put holes in the sheet metal. Especially when most of them never seem to line up with anything on the tractor that would have interfered with that part of the tractor. In restoring old tractors, I have spent quite a bit of time welding up holes and slots and then using bondo to make the fix look like it was never there. I also wonder how some people drive these machine. I have had hoods that looked like the tractor was driven into a deck or a trailer or something at full throttle in high gear. Large dents across the front and all of the spot welds broken loose. I have had mower decks that I had to beat on with a sledge hammer to straighten them out. "What are these guys running into?" When I bought my 716H, it had a homemade front bumper that went across the front and turned back on the sides for about 8 inches. It was made from 4 inch heavy wall channel iron and had a 3/8 inch thick piece of rubber bolted to the outside of the bumper. It was attached to a plate bolted to the front of the frame with four pieces of 2 inch pipe. What was this guy thinking he was going to run into anyway? It amazes me how some people can tear up a tractor with "normal usage", yeah right!

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Al
Hi, The worst was a Briggs twin in a Grasshopper. We sold the engine to a farmer. He elected not to have us put it in, because a guy in a little garage operation would put it in for half. Briggs has modified the blower and blower housing in the newer engines and they stick out further. The grasshopper has an intake plenum that sticks up above the engine. The notes with the engine advise to remove the blower housing and flywheel from the old engine and install them on the new engine when replacing this grasshopper type number. About two weeks later the farmer called me and wanted to know why his oil had lumps in it like gun grease. Over the phone I had no idea. The engine had about 10 hours on it and he was doing the 5 to 10 hour oil change. He changed the oil and a week later called me to tell me the engine didn't have any power. He wanted warranty on it. I told him to bring it in and if it was a warranty situation and the engine had to come out Briggs would pay for the remove and replace, but we had to do the work on it. When we got the engine it had no compression on one cylinder. We removed it and the engine was yellow or gold colored even down on the sump. Further examination revealed that the plastic finned blower that is bolted to the flywheel was missing and the old blower housing from the old engine was installed. There is a little booster fan similat to what is on the Briggs engines in the old starter gen tractor 725 B10 etc. "He said, Well sometimes it smelled kinda hot" The engine was cooked and the valve seat had come out of the block. Briggs rep came in and took one look and said NO WAY! I knew is wasn't warranty, but I had to ask. Can you imagine an air cooled engine without the blower fan? Anyway the farmer had to pay us to remove the engine and tear it dowm. Next he went to the person that put it in and tried to collect. He had no money and NO INSURANCE. I explained that he saved about 100 dollars, but had we put the engine in we would have stood it if there was a screw up. I explained that part of the cost difference in our labor is the 18,000.00 a year we pay for insurance. He sued the installer and received a judgement for 2000.00. The guy has no money and no insurance and the judgment is not worth the paper it is written on. The the farmer wanted us to at least sell him a new engine at cost and put it in as a favor, because he had purchased the first engine from us. Sorry Charlie. You can't believe all the time I spent on documenting the failure and pictures etc for the court case. Sometimes you are better off if you don't sell someone something. When aluminum on these engine blocks turns yellow or tan the engine aluminum has exceeded the 600 degree range. Al Eden

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goatfarmer
Home welding has to be the worst.I have a Broadmoor deck that a friend wanted,'til I turned it over,and saw someone had welded the arbors in place. Some tractors are like refrigerators I work on. It's worked on the # 5 setting for 20 years,but when it starts acting up,turn it all the way up to 9,that's gotta fix it,just like turning the carb screws fixes all engine problems.

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Al
Hi, Many years ago, a friend that ran an independent repair shop for farm equipment was so frustrated about welded up machinery that he said: "Farmers should be banned from owning welders". They think they can replace all the bolts ever made". This was in the 50s and sixties when personal ownership of welders was just happening. I do understand what he was saying. When you would see all of the things that were getting welded, instead of being fixed correctly. Then you couldn't get it apart without a cutting torch to replace something. I guess that is why we call a cutting torch a "Hot Wrench" Al Eden

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powerking_one
Making my weekly trash run to the dump is always interesting. They have a "take-it-or-leave-it" section I always scope out. A few weeks ago I spied an almost new looking Snapper 21" push mower. Looking underneath the crank looked straight, very little grass buildup and the blade still had 100% of the paint still on it and zero nicks(still factory sharp)! The top of the deck and B&S engine were just covered in oil though. The kid who "tends" the pile, said "the guy who left it said it burns a lot of oil and the 'shop' told him it's not worth fixing". Well, into the back of my truck it goes. After Gunking her down and checking things out, the oil level was about 6 inches high on the dipstick! Gee, nothing's wrong with that. Thus I drained around 2 quarts of oil out of it. Refilled it, gased it up and bingo--started on the first pull! Needless to say we had an insect fogger for 20 minutes! Not a puff, knock or problem with it after. I bet this thing had less than 2 hours running time on it since new. There's so much rampant incompetence swarming around in the services sector of "business" out there, you have to wonder how they stay in operation beyond their opening week. One man's junk is another man's gold, Tom(PK)

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dhardin
Worked on a guys truck once, he said it had low oil pressure and asked me to change the pump only. I craualed under the truck and found he had welded the oil plug to the pan. Things than make me go Hummm. I knew i migh be in for a surprise, but after i get the pan off i found the pan to be full of sluge and dirt. The screan on the pump was covered. Not wanting to get into trouble or any deeper i quickly replaced the pump and replaces the pan. He came in a few day later and I had to ask why he welded the plug and how he changer the oil. He said someone was "sealing this oil" and for changing the oil he did not worry he just added oil every other day or so. I took his cash and luckly have not seen him sence.

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goatfarmer
My brother in law worked with a guy who never changed oil in any of his vehicles. He claimed it never wore out,so he would change the filter once a year,and add a quart when he did.

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