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Brettw

Sunstar Restore nearly complete with deck 6/08/12

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Brettw
So, I picked up my first Sunstar today. Cosmetically a bit rough, but everything works......now. When I went to grab it the guy tells me the carb is "spitting back but it runs good." Well, as soon as he started it and the carb was "spitting back", I told him to shut it down. It appeared to me to be a stuck intake valve. So we negotiate and and I bring it home. First thing I do is pull the valve cover and sure enough, valve is hung up. I try to free it up, and it does move, it just won't close. So, not being familiar with the Sunstars, I realize I can get at all of the tin that covers the cylinder head and pull the head. Now to back up a bit, when I pulled the air filter and bottom plate there were only two mounting screws instead of the 4. Anyway, I pull the head to see what is hanging this valve up (as the rest of the engine looks A-1 and the valve moves freely in the guide) and here is a threaded small capscrew sticking out between the valve seat and the valve. What the heck is this? Sure enough, it is a screw from the lower air filter mounting plate. It beat up the jug a bit where the valve seats, and I'm thinkin' I am going to need to do some work on it. In the mean time I put it back together and it runs A-1. That Mag 20 really snorts up a storm. I will say the cylinder was mint. Still has cross hatch and NO scoring. It's likley because it didn't eat the bolt. So here are some pics, and I am thinking it's going to parts out unless I have other opinions.








Power steering works just fine, dif lock works, two speed rear end works and the hydro seems very solid. Front electric PTO, no rear PTO. Well, Goat guilted me into a restoration, so as I start, the pics follow below:

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Brettw
Ray: I have heard that the power steering unit is the same for the Sovereigns. How much of a hassle is it to install? Are they really worth the big money I hear about? If so I may just continue to muscle the manual steering and take my millions and walk! 8D

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RayS
They usually bring pretty good money. The power steering is great. When I restored the Deutz Allis I put new bearings into the steering sector and it steered amazing for a manual compared to tractors I had in the past. Pretty much effortless. I have thought about putting power steering on my 7790 diesel but it steers great for a manual steer tractor as well and the diesel weighs 200 pounds so it more than likely won`t get it either. I have seen them bring over $600.00 on ebay and I have bought a complete unit on ebay for less than a $125.00 shipped. The steer valve, steering wheel and cylinder are the same as the Sovereign. The rest is not and the hoses are exspensive. You maybe able to use a couple of hoses from the Sunstar but that would be about it. Since you would need hoses, dash, cylinder mounting bracket and the bracket on front spindle, your probably looking at $300 - $400 in parts if you buy new. My first one took awhile to do. Second took between 2 - 4 hours, but I was in no hurry either.

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chuckdog
Brett, I think there was someone on the local craigslist that was selling a 60" deck for a sunstar recently. If you decided not to part it out, that would make one mean cutting machine. I think he wanted 350 for the deck.

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Brettw
I have to do a little more evaluation. There were some panels on Craig's, but I called a bit late and most are gone. I have been looking more closely and totaling some costs: New tires on the front, mounted $75. New battery $50. New seat $60. Panels and sheet metal(if I had been able to get them) $50. Hood $100? Front end rebuild (sloppy) $100? Not sure the front electric clutch is working $125? Engine work (regrind the valves, gaskets, parts, etc: $ 75 Misc: paint, parts, filters, fluids, $100. Now we add in the deck $400? I will end up with more in this than I would like, on a machine that may need even more work than I know about. So I have some decisions to make.

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Brettw
I have found a deck, and the guy traded me for a set of 26x12x12 rears. The cylinder head is in for valve work (thanks BLT) and now the cleaning and misc repairs begins. I will need new tires for the front end and will rebuild it so the steering is tight again. I will try to straighten the sheet metal and do a quick paint, and keep my eyes open for good sheet metal. Mechanically the tractor seems pretty darned good. I verified the electric clutch does work, so I am off the fence and on to a restore. My brother has a 5 acre lot so I hope to get him off of his Crapsman and into this beast.








The M20 is ready to go back in, have to get a few new motor mounts. Thanks to John and BLT for the valve work and logistics. Front end is waiting on bushings and parts, frame and engine bay is cleaned up and repainted, waiting for the M20.




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simple-kid
Looking good!!dOddOd I like the idea of giving it to your brother. I'm going to try to get my brother off of his Wheel Horse and onto one of my AC or simplicity tractors.:D:D

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Brettw
quote:
Don't forget the gasket that goes between the engine and the air plenum....
Yes. There were none on this tractor. No gasket seal at the engine or the driveshaft. The tractor is missing the plenum air box over the trans cooler. Not sure how necessary all of this stuff is, but I assume the engineers had a clue when they designed all this stuff. My father bought one of the earliest Sunstars. I recall at the time he was very disappointed in the machine only for the reason of how much grass clippings were getting everywhere. The thing looked like a Chia Pet when you were done cutting the lawn (Dad had about 4 acres of grass to cut). The engineers from Simplicity actually came out and did a bunch of testing, etc. (We lived about an hour from Port Washington) I don't remember much more than that, and I don't recall how long my dad kept the tractor, but I know that clippings were an issue and I assume all of the baffles, seals, and cowlings are there for a reason.

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comet66
With that gasket/boot in place all of the engine cooling air is forced to come from the top sides of the hood through the trans cooler into the engine shrouds and out the front. Without it much of the air is drawn from under the tractor pulling in the clippings.

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Brettw
The M20 is back in and running. Front end alignment after replacing bushings, shimming, and tightening up the front end, some high tech sophisticated equipment. Left a little camber in 'er and a hair of toe out so she doesn't push too hard comin' out of turn 4. Installed the two new tires from Overstock wheels. I am impressed. Fast shipping and they were a great deal. 16x7.50x8 shipped for $52. Then they added in two tubes for N/C. Quite the deal. Anyway, back together and ran around the yard. It's a beast.




Now, on to the electric. Started fine with the key prior to removal of the engine. Upon re-installation and a new battery, the key does not work properly. PO installed a brand new ignition switch and solenoid. Starts when jumped at the solenoid, but someone has jury rigged some of the wiring as compared to the schematic for this tractor. Front PTO will engage, but not with the nanny ground. Going to take some real trouble shooting to get this rats nest of wires, plugs, safety module, switches gauges, etc all straightened out. Might need an electrical engineer for this one............

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RedbarnRick
Brett start with the switch at the base of the clutch pedal that's been the culprit several times for me, with the same symptoms, it's neat to see where the legacy evolved from, a lot of similar pieces went into mine.

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ardisam
Rick, the Sunstar's do not have a switch at the clutch pedal(just two pedals for the dual brakes). There are no clutches on the drive train on these tractors.

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Brettw
Learning a bit more as I go along. The tractor appears to be a 1989 / 1990. The engine serial number puts the manufacture date at 1995. This would explain the shape of the engine, and perhaps the hour meter at only 340 ish. Perhaps a new meter with the newer engine?

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