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rsnik

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rsnik
A neighbor about a block away has an A/C 312D for sale at the end of his driveway (they call that kind of sale "road kill" around here). I looked it up. A 312D has a spiral gear 21 speed transmission. Say what? Shipping weight is 810 pounds and the machine definitely looks the part, it's big. The 12 HP is a Kohler, of course. Can that Kohler muscle a beast that big without throwing a rod? The 312D comes stock with electric lift, electric front PTO and rear lift. I was very entertained to see such an unusual A/C but not sure I want to buy it. Any input would be appreciated.

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HubbardRA
Jonathan, That 21 speed is a 3-speed with a vari-drive that has seven positions of adjustment, same as they used on some of the B series tractors. A 12 Hp Kohler is a good engine. I have a couple of them stored in my garage.

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rsnik
Thanks Rod, Are the Kohlers in the garage because you took them out of your tractors and put Briggs in? }:) I see the 312D was made only one year, 1971, and does not cross reference to any Simplicity tractor. Suppose there is any historical reason for this short life span? Possibly the next year's 400 series is the 300 series with something corrected or improved. I notice the vari-drive was dropped the following year on the 400 series. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who has experience with one of these as there can't be very many of them in existence.

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dirtsaver
Jonathon I have a neighbor that has a 310(I think) with the vari-drive and he hauls firewood out of the hills with it,no problem. I have the Simp 3012V(Briggs engine though;)) with that drive and once it's adjusted it works well,although not as good as a hydro or as strong as a hi-lo setup. As for no crossover,that's because the 300/400 series were made during the time AC was in a lawsuit for monoply and hade to split Simplicity and the AC equipment so these were not Simplicity made. Hope that helps! Larry

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joshuaareed
Jonathon, I absolutely love my 314D. It pushes snow very nicely, and is a real animal for low end power. I have realized that it is no speed demon, but the electric lift and PTO are nice. Just for fun, How much is he asking for it? If you look at the drive belt on the vari drive it is about 1 inch wide, and quite expensive, as I could not find mine cheeper that $57.00. It is a hefty tractor as you said. Mooseman2310 has 2 of the 400 series, and I know he loves them.


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rsnik
Hey thanks Larry! Always great when a mystery gets solved. I missed by a hair on buying a 3012V with P/L last summer and boy was that the big one that got away. They are handsome and useful tractors. I think the 312D may be considered more like what Red Green says: "If they can't find ya handsome they better find ya handy." &:) The tractor does have a muscular stance and looks like it could easily pull a house down. ^

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MikeES
Jonathan, the 312D should have the electric front clutch and the electric lift. The electric lift and the whole transaxle is the exact same as, and built by Simplicity.

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rsnik
Hi Josh, This one also has the 46" dozer blade and a mowing deck. Seller is asking $800. As I mentioned, the tractor is parked at the end of his driveway. We call that "road kill" around here and sellers sometimes take a lot less when the tractor is pushed out to the curb. It was 30 below with the wind chill and getting dark when I spotted it yesterday so I didn't ring the doorbell and didn't get a real close look but it looked real good. It's going to warm up to the high 50's over the weekend. Probably will stroll over. I'll take some pics and send them to you.

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rsnik
Thanks Mike, Yep, kind of sounds like an FDT with running boards. :O Has the vari-drive of an FDT with some RBT features like electric lift. Don't recall any other 1971 that has an electric front PTO. My 7016 has a manual, disc clutch front PTO.

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rsnik
Hi Dave, I'll have to take some pics. It was bitter cold and getting dark but the first thing that caught my eye was the unusual looking front axle set up and the way the 46" dozer blade was pinned to the frame.

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rsnik
Thanks Levi, I have a "stupid question". I have never owned a vari-drive. How do you operate the transmission? You don't necessarily have to engage the clutch when stopped with, say, a shuttle. Do you have to clutch a vari-drive when you start and stop? Also, this one, as Rod described, has 7 positions you can select from with the vari-drive lever. Are they all this way? I thought the FDT's with Variable Drive did not have stops; you just push or pull the lever to change the ratio as the sheaves expand or contract.

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wilm169
The variable you have to clutch, the shuttle and hydro you don't. A shuttle has 4 only forward gears no reverse, reverse is done with the shuttle, hydro has no gears to shift, and a variable has 3 forward and 1 reverse gear with a shive style pully to adjust the speed. [pullies change sizes to set speed] 7 in each gear forward and reverse.

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rsnik
Went over and met my neighbor today. Turns out he has spent most of his life as a mechanic working on tractors. Boy, did we get along good! I think Larry is right in that the 300 series tractor was built to prove to the government that A/C tractors were completely different from the Simplicity tractors. For example, I looked it up, an adapter bracket is required to mount the 46' dozer blade. My neighbor could not figure out why the dozer hitch hits the mower mule drive. I told him about the missing bracket and our site. I think he changed his mind and may keep the tractor. This tractor has an electric front PTO with a front mule drive like on a 717 that directs the belt back to the mower deck. It has a bgb, but no cone clutch. There is a keyed shaft where the cone clutch would be, obviously for a pulley for rear implements. Anyway, I thought the tractor was very interesting and took pictures, but I am not sure it is appropriate to post them here. I think I will go post them over at Show & Tell. I say this hoping the pics won't all be too big to download. :Q

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dmsmitty2004
I have a 310D, and love it to death, I have pushed some serious snow with it. I have the 46" dozer blade also, but I don't have the special hitch, it hooks up on the mounts on the front axle and don't have a problem with it. As for the variable drive, I just thought I would share that I have been told that they were a trouble maker with the 300 series, Maybe its just my particular tractor. It does not function at all, and they guy my father bought it off of around '75 said it didn't work right, and dad never had it to work. Maybe its my tractor, maybe the simplicity dealer in my area is right with them being trouble. I don't know. If I can ever slow down with projects I will have to tear it apart and see. David

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HubbardRA
Jonathan, there is a 14 Hp Kohler on my 61 Wards. One of the 12 Hp Kohlers was replaced by this 14. Two other Kohler engines were given to me by another club member, and a 12 Hp Kohler was given to me by a guy I worked with. Right place, right time, I guess. I am keeping them as spares or for a tractor that I may find or build that needs an engine. Only one of those engines is currently in complete running condition. Keep up the grins and giggles, Mike.:D

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skunkhome
We had a 312D when I was a teen. It was a real fancy tractor in comparison to our B-1 and B-10 tractors and had a taller stance. We did have some engine problems as it had a tendency to warp exhaust valves if you made the mistake of lugging the engine. The 300 and 400 series are unique as they were a direct result of a Federal antitrust law suite against Allis Chalmers after they purchased Simplicity. The 400's had an improved double beam front axle assembly. I wish I could find one within a reasonable radius of Baton Rouge.

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dirtsaver
David the varible drive is one SOB until you learn how to adjust them. Most people never take the time to learn how to do it right because it take some time and patience. Also, if some one has forced the lever with the tractor not moving they may have bent the linkage,which makes it almost impossible to set up right. That is why most shops bad-mouth the vari-drive system. Find a manual and study the process and follow it exactly as laid out in the manual and you'll be suprise at how well it works. And I do mean follow the instructions to a T. When I first got my 3012V I tried skipping a few steps and got nowhere real fast! Larry

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skunkhome
quote:
Originally posted by dirtsaver
David the varible drive is one SOB until you learn how to adjust them. Most people never take the time to learn how to do it right because it take some time and patience. Also, if some one has forced the lever with the tractor not moving they may have bent the linkage,which makes it almost impossible to set up right. That is why most shops bad-mouth the vari-drive system. Find a manual and study the process and follow it exactly as laid out in the manual and you'll be suprise at how well it works. And I do mean follow the instructions to a T. When I first got my 3012V I tried skipping a few steps and got nowhere real fast! Larry
Larry, the same can be said about the Shuttle. It works great when adjusted right but it is a most misunderstood system. You can't short cut the adjustment. My only complaint with the shuttle is that it is excruciatingly slow at 5.1 mph.

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rsnik
Rod, Dave is obviously doing a great job as president. However, I was inspired by the depth and breadth of your outreach and statesmanship and charisma as president. That does not mean I don't like teasing you. }:)

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mooseman3210
well i love the 400 series i keep buying them and trading for them . i really like the way they look and how they drive once you figure out how to make the adjustments it's all good .

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