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Ranchero50

Wonderboy 700 runs again

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Ranchero50

Hey guys, first post and thanks to Google I've found this forum to share my latest find and hopefully find out some info on it.

Last week my neighbor who does home repairs told me about an old Simplicity tractor that the owner wanted gone from his families home. The tractor was bought new by the guys grandfather to mow 8 acres of orchard land in front of their house. As the trees were thinned out they got newer and larger mowers and this one sat in a corner of the garage and now wears a simplicity plow. The original mower deck is gone.

Today I rode up and picked the tractor up. The engine turned over by hand, the fuel tank was dry but smelled like ancient gas and it had one flat tire (which is pretty normal for around here). My oldest son and I loaded it on my truck and brought it home. We popped a freshly charged battery in it and after checking that it had oil in the engine hit the starter. It turned over and even tried to fire up off starting fluid so we added a half gallon of fuel tot he tank and fiddled with the sediment bowl and fuel line to get gas to the carb. Once fueling the darned thing started up and ran. Currently it's idling outside making stinky smoke rings as it self cleans the tank and carb. Just for fun I put a meter on the battery and it's even charging.

As said above, it's got a flat tire and needs a new drive belt to be mobile. The S/N is 2106 and that's about all I can read of the original data plate under the seat. I'll post some pictures up once the camera battery take a charge.

I'd love to find a manual on it before tearing into any of the drive systems. The crank hub for the drive shaft is pretty loose and it has some old oil leaks by the gearbox. I have a '58 MF50 and this one might make a decent show companion for it. Heck, I can load this one in the Massey's front bucket.

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motorhead110

Welcome to the club James!

This forum is full of great information and has even better members.

Nice find by the way! Wish I could find a deal like that out my way!

Good Luck!

Brenden

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fishnwiz

Welcome to the club!

Sweet tractor dOd and one awesome find.

Please be sure there is no signs of any mouse nesting inside the shroud of the engine as sometimes its very hard to detect. If in fact you do run the engine for any extended period of time with this material in the engine covers, you WILL destroy the engine due to overheating. A tell tale sign would be an overwhelming smell of mice urine and burning grass, seeds and paper as well as seeds and paper shreds flying out from the cylinder fin area of the engine head while the engine is running.

One other tip is to change the oil and plug ASAP. I also like to add a splash of Seafoam gas additive and run the engine for a bit to help loosen the carbon in the rings and cylinder head and valve area.

Best of luck,

Wiz

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Tacey

Welcome! I like your tractor!

Manuals are available online. You'll need your mfg # to id the machine. The mfg # is on the simpletrActors site.

Lots of info has been archived here on this forum regarding your machines drive line. Search for bevel gear box (bgb) for one, for insight into dealing with it.

On YouTube you will find video about accessing the condition of these tractors. A guy named ZippoVarga did some that are excellent.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Ranchero50

Thanks for the kind words. I did find a mouse nest, although by the amount of crud that came out I'd call it a mouse condominium in the drive line tunnel. The motor ran cool and surprisingly smooth for how bad the fuel smelled. I love the big old low compression singles. The oil is black as sin so I plan on changing it out today as well as get the inner tube to seal and maybe find a new final drive belt for it. The oil bath air cleaner was full of oily grass so who knows the last time it was serviced. I added some used motor oil to to help start getting the funk in the filter loose. Most of the original wiring is there and from the pictures I've found online I guess the PO took the rear light and mounted it on the side of the hood. I have a bolt in the hole on top of the hood. Both lights have toggle switches which is pretty cool. The tractor even had it's key in the switch.

It's been run for about an hour so far at idle and after sitting overnight the float even held the fuel back which is weird. Usually the darned things self drain the fuel and never want to charge. So other than the normal flat tire this tractor is way above average. Maybe it's a karma thing or I've done my penitence on too many other bad projects and fates thrown me an easy one.

I've also noted that it's a '59 or '60 model, not a '67 or '68 like I thought.

So, free 53 year old tractor with only a flat tire that needs some maintenance issues dealt with. How rare is that?

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Ranchero50

I like the idea of keeping the patina on the skins but I'l probably paint the chassis and white parts. The emblems are in decent shape for the age and neglect.

As you can see in the pics, it's back on all fours and has been up and down the alley a couple times. My oldest son and I changed the oil in the engine and gearboxes. The front box was dry, the back on is leaking out the left side axle already. The engine still smells when it runs but as long as it starts and runs I'll keep using it.

The Massey in the background is about half way restored. I put the loader bucket on the rear arms to help move firewood today. I think I'm going to hook this little guy up to the splitter to help move it to the wood. I was surprised at how low the gear ratio's are so I think it'll do fine.

DSC01851_zps9010590b.jpg

I did hit half the hood with some rubbing compound to see what's under the crud. I think it has aged well and there's still a lot of shine in the paint. Someone painted it a brighter orange than original. There's red under it.

DSC01852_zps4d1c82a8.jpg

If anyone knows, could you point me in the right direction for the manuals? I haven't found anything on this old guy.

Thanks,

Jamie

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Ranchero50

Mack, thanks for the link.

Found out a bit ago that the side emblems are chromed so now I'm getting them cleaned and polished. I pulled the hood and lamps off to get the wiring fixed and both bulbs are blown. Tragic but almost expected with how out of balance the drive shaft is.

I've also been tinkering around with getting the grill mesh straightened out.

On the good new front, the engine has settled down to running pretty smoothly. I only get a couple blasts of stinky smoke when I juice it.

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Ranchero50

Yeah, I looked and i can get them locally for about the same price less the wait. This evening I went ahead and pulled the gas tank. Surprisingly enough it was really clean inside and doesn't smell anymore. I cleaned out the sediment bowl assy. and installed it so the shut off was to the outside.

While the tank was off I pulled the coupling. Good old bonded rubber failed. In fact, the rear one is blown as well. A quick look online and they'll end up costing around $80 to get them here. Unless someone has a great online source I doubt I'll find them cheaper locally. Maybe I'll get some stainless shim stock and make my own. A lot of our drivelines at work run similar setups. I have a CNC mill and an older Logan lathe in the garage and love to tinker.

More to come.

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MPH

Welcome to the club and congrats on the beautiful find.

You said the driveshaft is out of balance, check out the OLD rubber couplers, quite likely they have become at least partly broken loose between the rubber and metal. New fiber disc kits are available to replace them.

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mbinwi

Welcome ! You'll find an excellent bunch of people on here, always ready to help.

Nice find! Wow! I have a 700 I dated to 1960. Mine is right after Simplicity dropped the Wonderboy name from the 700. I think it was used later on the rear engine mowers. Anyway, nice tractor! If you can access my profile, I have some pics. I didn't know that the side mounted headlights were stock on these. Mine has the "cyclops" light, which is original.

Mike.

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Ranchero50

Mike, I think mine originally had the cyclops light. It also has an original style covered wire going to the rear hitch area so maybe I had a light back there as well and the PO just hung two off the hood in the later conventional style. What's the S/N on yours?

Here's some pics of today's fun. I decided to just make a pair of stainless flex hubs for the drive shaft couplings. No real drama making them, just clamped some 18ga stainless between some sacrificial boards and drilled 4 holes 1.25" from the center point

DSC01853_zpsb5b1f9d1.jpg

Once drilled I traced around the original hubs and bandsaw cut the discs out of the plate.

DSC01854_zps2f563524.jpg

Only real trick to using them is to space them away from any large flat mounting surface so they can flex without binding.

DSC01856_zpsdc6146d1.jpg

Done. I also took a moment to fix the flopping shifter lever. The bolt was hourglass shaped and needed replaced.

DSC01855_zps3a658976.jpg

I did get it to start for a moment or two but it's still smoking pretty bad. I figure I'll pull the carb and clean it, possibly end up putting rings in it this winter.

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Ranchero50

Thanks, no start this evening and the 1960's plug is firing well so I pulled the carb off for a cleaning in the dip tank at work tomorrow. Figure I loosened a chunk of trash when I messed with the hose and tank and it's blocking the needle valve.

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rokon2813

Nice job on the flex disks, however I'm not too sure on the choice of material.

In the event of a catastophe, the fiber disks can shatter, and the rubber ones can flex and rip.

If your gear box comes apart or seizes, how will that transfer to the engine ???

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Ranchero50

Rokon2813, what happens if something fails was a concern and led me to use a stainless disc vs. a fiber or even spring steel material. A spring steel or fiber disc shatters, the stainless should collapse. Even the bonded rubber OEM couplers are bolt bound and won't shear completely. My concern is if the disc shatters what are the chances of the fuel system getting compromised. As I get further along I want to build a cover from the front coupling. The rear is shielded pretty well.

In other news I got the carb cleaned up and am working on rebuilding it without a kit. I have to make a new gasket and reshape the main mixture screw nose. Someone tightened it way to tight and put a flat ring on it. The side of the body also looks like it was whacked with a wrench a bunch of times over the years.

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Ranchero50

Yes, I figured they were either whacking it to get fuel to flow or stop flowing. I polished the needle and mixture screw and the parts have spent today hanging in the garage after being painted with Rustoleum's equipment orange. I ended up making a new carb gasket from stock and need to make a pair of new intake gaskets for it. Hopefully everything will work correctly once it's back together.

I did end up with a new pair of lamps and 2' of 1/4 fuel line.

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Ranchero50

So, after spending some quality time with the tractor today it's running much better. After the drive line repairs and carb 'rebuild' the tractor runs much smoother.

DSC01858_zpse25bd062.jpg

I also managed to get both lights working. One of the new bulbs was blown in the box and one of the switches needed taken apart and the contacts cleaned to get it back in service.

DSC01857_zps04c5e970.jpg

I also spent the time to get the steering rod straightened and the wheel now points more or less where the front tires are pointing. I need to source the rear seals as I'm tired of forgetting to put a piece of cardboard under it whenever I park it. Simplcity 154269 became 2154269SM and hopefully my local NAPA can cross them to something less that tractor store prices.

I still need to repair the front axle kingpin and of course find some matching sneakers for it.

Today was a good day.

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