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wildbill59

New member, first post - my new Sunstar!

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wildbill59

Hello! New member here, excited to be part of the group. I collect antique lawn equipment, and have a later model small engine salvage yard with about 300 pieces. Always been a fan of older Simplicitys, I still have a late-50s Wonderboy, a mid-60s Landlord, and a cool old Roto-Cul. Just recently I scored my latest Simplicity, and it's quickly become my pride and joy (don't have the heart to tell my fleet of MTD 800 tractors that I use for mowing, plowing and hauling!). It's a mid-90s Sunstar 1692456 -20hp Kohler Command twin, 2 speed hydro trans, and a 60" mower deck. It came with the Simplicity bagger system with the turbo blower. I've only used it once to really mow, but it turned my rutted, hilly 2-acre lawn into a great big green carpet. What an awesome machine! I have some parts coming in by Friday, hoping to really spend some time giving this big guy the love and maintenance it deserves - change the fluids and filters, lube, new front tires, a good deck leveling and a nice bath! I've already printed off the 32 page manual from Simplicity's page - some of it is very detailed, other parts - a little vague. So any other manuals, literature, info, etc. would be greatly appreciated. I'll also be looking for some specific odds-and-ends parts - a light switch, gauge bulb, dash lens, and hood strap. I'll post that in the parts section, but if these sound like parts that you might have, please check my other posting. Again, looking forward to learning about my new tractor (out of the hundreds of tractors that I've owned, this my first real sub-compact), any info, thoughts, comments, tips and tricks - all greatly appreciated!

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1978Simplicity7016H

Bill, hope you have better luck than I did. A customer of my dads bought a brand new Simplicity and just gave us their old SunStar. Really the only thing the man said about it was that it leaked oil like crazy, but ran. So we brought it back to the shop and put some oil in it (it was practically empty). It fired up pretty well, and it sounded like it was in good shape, other than the carb was dirty. We left it on the trailer for the night. Next morning, the whole trailer was covered in oil. So that day I took the motor out, to find the oil drain pipe wasn't even on it, it was just laying on the frame. So I thought good, all it needs is that drain pipe put back on. But those plans changed a little. I was about to put the drain back on, when I saw metal pieces in the oil pan. That's not good. So I took the head off, and sure enough I turned the flywheel, but the piston did not move. So that's why it seemed like the carb needed adjusting. Well, it seemed to run good, on one cylinder. So I guess I will tear it all down and put a new rod and seals in it. It is an 18HP. Power steering and lift. Also a 48" deck. I know what you mean, the SunStars are more of a “luxury” tractor. I guess just be thankful it didn't look like it threw the rod into the crankcase. I saw the part of the rod where it connects to the crank in the drain hole.

Good Luck!:D

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1978Simplicity7016H

It's in fairly good shape. Its little faded, but I've seen worse. The deck was bowed in the front, but nothing you can't fix. It doesn't have the two speed axle and dual brakes, but better than no tractor at all.:D

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lugnard

Lookin' forward to a picture of that gem!!! I just bought an allis 1920 and I 'll give you some of the things I ran across. First if it's been sitting un-used for a time check for mouse nests in the blower housing area. Mine was loaded and it got blown up into the cylinder fins between the sheet metal. No good, as it will over heat. You will want to grease the drive shaft u joints and there is a panel to remove on the right side underneath that will give access. You can then see into the hydro cooling area and that was where the mouse nest was. Grease the mower u joints as well.

Also I lost the nut and lockwasher on the deck slide for the height adjustment..also lost the shoulder bolt and the rectangular metal slider. After making a new slider and replacing the shoulder bolt I used lock nuts now on both sides. Highly recomended!!

Not sure of the hours on yours but mine had 1400 or so. Before picking it up I talked to the local dealer...said it will more than likely need a head gasket and of course it blew after about 20 minutes of mowing.(gave me the chance to clear the mouse nest tho) so you might have that to look forward to. Not a bad job but you have to move the motor forward or pull it as the blower housing can't be removed otherwise.

What else... oh yah plan on replacing the breather gasket as well. Mine was as hard as a rock and leaking oil.

Shut off the engine when hot at half or full throttle. Fuel solenoid only shuts off the main jet not the idle jet which leads to an afterfiring condition (dieseling) not good!

Check your deck arbor shafts in the housings for movement up and down. That means that the bearings are spinning in the housings. All 3 of mine needed attention. Bearings were fine. I did buy a new set of housings for one and realised that the bearings are a bit of a press fit so I cut two washers for the other two is what I would call them, out of good gasket material and snugged them up top and bottom along with blue locktite. Seemed to work good.

Wouldn't hurt to pull the pto and inspect it, set the gap and give it a good looking over. Mine locked up the rear bearing that pushed that to the top of the list. If it's growlly it won't last but can be replaced. They are staked in so a bit of a job but do-able.

Harry

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wildbill59
wildbill59
wildbill59

Hey, thanks 720nut - yeah, that deal just kinda fell into my lap! But it is a beaut, I'm really proud of it. And thank you, lugnard, for all the good advice - that's the kind of thing I was hoping to learn. I'm going for a good workout session with it this weekend - gonna pull the shrouds, filters, fluids and lubes. The minor engine has some oil seeps, but nothing alarming - nowhere as bad as your engine, 1978Simplicity! It's got just a tick over 1000 hours, but is running excellent for it's age. Think I'll check the torque on those head bolts, and give that breather gasket a good look while I'm there. Again, guys, thanks for the good words and advice, always hoping to hear more opinions, tips, tricks, advice, etc!

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wildbill59

Thanks fishnwiz - glad to be here! Glad to help anyone out with late-model mower and tractor parts and info, feel free to check with me. Been so dry here in PA, haven't had a chance to mow with my new buddy again - c'mon rain!

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