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Kent

They say confession is good for the soul...

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Kent
So, before the word leaks out, I'll confess to just making a deal to buy yet another non-Simplicity machine. I just agreed to a deal on a Gravely 12 HP walk-behind.
[img]http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/attach/Kent/Gravely_right.JPG[/img]

[img]http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/attach/Kent/gravely_left.JPG[/img]
The sulkey won't get much use, when I get it to its new home. I just bought a foreclosed 15 acre "farm" back home in East Tennessee and will be moving down for good in June. Rather than building on the lot I bought years ago, I saved serious money by buying a foreclosure and taking advantage of today's low fixed rate mortgages. So, that 5-acre waterfront tract is now up for sale... But, this property is even steeper, and I'm already looking for a brush-cutter and sicklebar for this Gravely to help clear and maintain places where even my Power Trac may not safely operate. Talk about steep and overgrown:
[img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7182/6869150751_36c392b59e_z.jpg[/img]

[img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7060/6869157333_58a5f41f71_z.jpg[/img]
Even the lawn is too steep for my Simplicities:
[img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7183/7059202891_d9150fa1f1_z.jpg[/img]

[img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7124/6913135134_538aed168e_z.jpg[/img]
This one has duals and steering brake to fight hillside crabbing, though I may have to swap out that splash-lubed Kohler. The older pressure-lubed Gravely-engined ones didn't have brakes and the newer V-twins with pressure lube were just price prohibitive... Meanwhile the BAD news is that I'll likely be selling the 3112V to help pay for this (coming on top of the move), and keep only the HB-216 which is already in Tennessee in storage. It will likely be limited to grading the gravel driveway, tilling the garden, and pulling the cart around... Without a ROPS, 4WD, and with the limited braking capability, I just don't want to risk it on these hillsides... So there, I've now confessed... :Osm03

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larry8200
A nice American made machine. Whats to feel guilty about? Of course some people just like to confess. I have been tempted lately by a Graveley 12hp rear engine tractor, what a BEAST! So far I have said no, no and no again even though its supposed to run and FREE

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SmilinSam
There ya go using four letter words...like WALK:O....:D However I can see what you mean. Looks like the slopes we have been trimming out brush on down at my dads farm. Cant hardly stand on some of them, let alone ride. Those Gravely units have quite a collector following around here. Never any bargains at the auctions.

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Kent
quote:
Originally posted by rokon2813
Here ya go Kent;) http://buffalo.craigslist.org/bfs/3000905992.html
Not at those prices -- that's more than the tractor...:O:O

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rokon2813
LOL the ad said will separate, I didn't think you wanted all 5 attachments. Here is another one, but it looks pretty rough to me and I don't see any blades in the pics http://rochester.craigslist.org/grd/2997471916.html

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Kent
LOL :D:D:D I'll ask for the price on the brush/weed mower and the sickle bar. That's the only ones that I'm currently "in need of...." The rotary plow would be nice, but I have tillers... Not sure what extra would be needed to use that 30" mower -- looks like there's a shaft and housing missing, but I'm not sure. Looks like it's for the older machines, that don't have the Quick Hitch.

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HubbardRA
Kent, When I was a teenager, Gravely tractors was all we ever had. They are working machines, but can work you hard too. We had the plow, sicklebar, rotary mower, and the dual wheels. I mowed hillsides as steep as the ones you show with the old style Gravely. Not sure how the Kohler engine compares to the older 7.5 Hp Gravely. From what I have heard, the splash oilers do better than the pressure oiled engines when operating on steep slopes. The oil pump on the pressure oilers will lose its prime when the grade is beyond a certain angle. The splash oilers throw oil regardless of the angle. If you don't believe how much oil the splash units will sling, just leave the oil cap off and start one. I still have a wall stained from floor to ceiling from forgetting to put the cap back on a Kohler before starting it.

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ReedS
I used a Gravely at work for several years while I was in the maintenance department. Excellent on steep sloped areas and they don't throw stuff out like some of the other mowers we have. Ours has Vangard 16 twin with a million hrs on it. Still a good machine not quite like a rider but certainly versatile!

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Kent
After a long phone call to the owner, I got the whole history of this machine. He bought it many years ago after one season of "commercial" use as a trade-in from a local Gravely dealer. It was originally a 8HP Model 5260, with the 40" rear discharge Quick Hitch deck. It came with the dual wheels and steering brake. He bought it, replacing his old pull-start L-model Gravely, because of the steering brake, duals and sulky from a local dealer who'd sold it originally to the local town, but they traded it in after one season, on a newer, bigger machine. He used it for many years in that configuration, mowing his 1 acre lot, riding the sulky in 4th (i.e. High/High gear). He never liked that deck, and in the late 1990s bought a new 50" deck for it, only to find that the 8HP engine wouldn't spin the newer deck on high PTO speed and again he wasn't satisfied after using that configuration a couple years, with the cut on Low PTO speed. So he bought a brand new Kohler 12HP Magnum for it in the late 1990s and had it installed at the dealer. Now, he could use the high PTO speed and get the cut he wanted, in 4th gear, riding his sulky... Other than those two different mowing decks, it has never had a different attachment on it, and the only time it has left his 1 acre lot was to go to the dealer for service or something. He's now in his 70s, selling it and his John Deere walkbehind, and replacing them with a new Exmark... He estimated between 400 and 600 hours on the machine, total, based on his use (sharing time with the John Deere) and allowing for the first year being owned by the local town. Other than one season of use by a local local town when new, it has spent its entire life on his 1 acre property. He will provide full receipts from when he bought it from the local dealer as a trade-in, one season old, and all the subsequent changes and modifications... I'm hoping that steering brake will make it easier to man-handle on those hills, once I learn how to use it...

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RickS
Kent, I have a friend that has spent considerable time behind one of those. He wouldn't trade it for anything. For many many years it cut 10+ acres of grass for a boys camp. Then it was retired when the camp closed and only cut 5 acres. In all that time and all those hours he has only replaced one seal in the transmission and finally had to rebuild the motor. He even upgraded the unit; he had the steering brake added one. I think his unit is 40 to 50 years old. He thinks the world of it. You did good. Rick......

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Kent
quote:
Originally posted by HubbardRA
Kent, From what I have heard, the splash oilers do better than the pressure oiled engines when operating on steep slopes. The oil pump on the pressure oilers will lose its prime when the grade is beyond a certain angle. The splash oilers throw oil regardless of the angle. If you don't believe how much oil the splash units will sling, just leave the oil cap off and start one. I still have a wall stained from floor to ceiling from forgetting to put the cap back on a Kohler before starting it.
So, Rod, if you were me would you give it a go, and risk damaging a replacement Magnum that likely has less than 200 hours on it? Just trying to understand, since the only Kohler I've ever owned is the CH-25 in my Power Trac... Like Roy, I've usually thought Kohlers belonged in the bathroom, though that CH has given me zero problems in almost 800 hours... There are adapter plates and gears available to hang virtually any horizontal shaft engine off one of these. It seems a popular mod is to use the inexpensive Honda clones that are pressure lubed... If necessary, I'd rather do that than hand-grenade this Kohler -- at least it has some resale value as it is...

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rokon2813
I don't think the Kohlers with splash oilers have had problems since the mid 80's designs. I blew 2 of those for the landscaper I worked for back then.:O What they would do, on a steep side slope the oil would flow to the side far enough that the splasher wasn't in the oil. I have not heard of too many problems since then. Of course, we only had an occasional side slope, looks like Kent may have to grow one leg longer.........:p Maybe Al could shed some more light on the subject :D

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Kent
quote:
Originally posted by rokon2813
I don't think the Kohlers with splash oilers have had problems since the mid 80's designs. I blew 2 of those for the landscaper I worked for back then.:O What they would do, on a steep side slope the oil would flow to the side far enough that the splasher wasn't in the oil. I have not heard of too many problems since then. Of course, we only had an occasional side slope, looks like Kent may have to grow one leg longer.........:p Maybe Al could shed some more light on the subject :D
I don't know enough about Kohlers to know when/if they corrected the problem, though I've certainly heard stories of the old K-301s throwing rods due to lack of oiling... BTW, here's a slideshow of pics he provided. Pretty clean machine for a 1979 model. He even started it while on the cell phone, and let me hear it start and run... yep, it's a Kohler! :O:D http://www.flickr.com/photos/kentthomas/sets/72157629668699828/show/

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GregB
I dont know Kent. Maybe after you brush back the overgrowth, you should fence it and let goats keep it cropped :D Goats milk, and goat cheese could suppliment your retirement sm03

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RickS
Kent I am noticing a trend here. Can you explain? First you got a Simplicity, started this website, and found many others that also like Simplicities. Then you stepped out and got a Kubota, sold that and purchased a Power Trac. Finally you purchased a Gravely. Are you trying to tell us Simplicities can't do everything?OO Rick..........

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D-17_Dave
The Gravely factory was next door to me in the next county before they were purchased and packed up so I have tons of these in my area. They are very well built and dependable machines. As far as the engine goes, I'd feel comfortable useing this machine as long as your changing directions constantly on the different angles. I can say this about the land, there's nothing there that an older D-6 Cat can't help level out. You could do a little dirt moving and have lots of room for tractors then. You might also look at a Powermax. I use mine on heavy angle with no problems and no walking. Glad to see you moving closer to me. Maybe now we can do some long over due catching up.

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Kent
quote:
Originally posted by RickS
Kent I am noticing a trend here. Can you explain? First you got a Simplicity, started this website, and found many others that also like Simplicities. Then you stepped out and got a Kubota, sold that and purchased a Power Trac. Finally you purchased a Gravely. Are you trying to tell us Simplicities can't do everything?OO Rick..........
There's one common denominator to all those changes -- operating on steep hills...

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HubbardRA
Kent, I do not know the specs on the K series versus the Commands. I had never heard of the K series having a problem on grades. I do know that most engines with oil pumps have definite grades limits. The oil will go to one side and the pickup will not be in the oil anymore and will stop pumping. From my experience most splash lubricated engines can be operated on relatively steep grades without any real problems. I mowed many hillsides with our Gravely that had the "T-head" engine when I was still at home in WV. I also used riding mowers on grades where they were sliding down the grade almost as much as they were moving forward. I used push mowers on grades as much as 45 degrees. I never had an engine problem with any of them. As Dave said, change directions frequently to be sure you don't ruin an engine from lack of oil.

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Kent
quote:
Originally posted by GregB
I dont know Kent. Maybe after you brush back the overgrowth, you should fence it and let goats keep it cropped :D Goats milk, and goat cheese could suppliment your retirement sm03
I have seriously thought of that. My sister-in-law has some miniatures for pets. But, fencing for goats could get real expensive, real fast...

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Kent
Thanks, Rod! I'd heard of 301's throwing rods when they first came out, when being used on roadbanks, etc. I think they may have changed the oil slinging system and solved the problem, as Dan described...

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