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ChrisInOhio

New Simplicity Owner

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ChrisInOhio

Greetings from Ohio. I pulled the string on my first garden tractor tonight. I will admit that I have wanted a Wheelhorse for over 10 years. Here in Ohio any Wheelhorse that is not beat to***is expensive. I started my search for a Wheelhorse about a month ago. At that time I found a video of a Simplicity. I started looking, but I was highly skeptical. A 17 GTH-L popped up near me. The guy had it way overpriced to begin with. I threw him an offer of about 40% the asking price. He said that he had an offer $50 higher already. He sent me a message today that the other guy was a no-show. I hooked up the trailer and hit the road. He was about an hour north of me. I got there and checked it out. It was dirty, but in great shape for being 25+ years old. It fired right up and the tiller implement spun like a champ.  I just got it home and my wife said I am acting like a kid on Christmas morning. 

 

I have spent a couple weeks lurking here. But, I need opinions from experienced tractor guys. What are the best fluids for these? I only run ethanol free 91 octane in my other small engines. Is that the best for these also? Best oil? I typically do not use synthetic on engines older than synthetic. Is that best for these? 

 

I am sure I will have tons of other questions once I get this thing tuned up and cleaned. 

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

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fishnwiz

Welcome to the club. Sweet tractor you bought....looKs like it will clean up real nice.

While wheel horse are nice (Older ones) I am sure you will grow to love the simplicity brand. 

There are several GTH fans in the membership that will be along shortly with their advice on what they use in their tractors. 

Remember,  there are NO dumb questions on our site. This membership loves to share their extensive knowledge with anyone who will listen. ;)

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GWGAllisfan

Once it's cleaned up that will be a real winner. I have one just like it and it has become my favorite mowing tractor.

There is a lubricant chart somewhere on here in the downloads. That will give ideas on the hydro and the Bevel gear box. Been a lot of discussion on that. I'll go out on the limb and say ATF for the hydro.

Oil produces a lot of opinions. For this engine, I would suggest regular mineral based SAE 30. This may be a controversial opinion, but I believe these engine were built to such an older engineering standard that anything on the shelf that is above the SD category will be fine. That being said, I have a couple of engines that for some reason burned one brand of oil and not another, probably due to whether it was a straight viscosity base oil or a blend of thin and heavy. Right now I'm working through a case of Pennzoil I bought when it was on clearance sale because of a packaging re-fresh.

There are those who swear by the HD diesel oil, like the rotella or Delo. It's getting a little harder to find SAE 30 in quarts, at least in my surburban area.

Opinion freely given-value accordingly

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ChrisInOhio
5 hours ago, fishnwiz said:

Welcome to the club. Sweet tractor you bought....looKs like it will clean up real nice.

While wheel horse are nice (Older ones) I am sure you will grow to love the simplicity brand. 

There are several GTH fans in the membership that will be along shortly with their advice on what they use in their tractors. 

Remember,  there are NO dumb questions on our site. This membership loves to share their extensive knowledge with anyone who will listen. ;)

Thank you! And my life motto is "If there is a dumb question, I will be the one to ask it! "

 

6 minutes ago, GWGAllisfan said:

Once it's cleaned up that will be a real winner. I have one just like it and it has become my favorite mowing tractor.

There is a lubricant chart somewhere on here in the downloads. That will give ideas on the hydro and the Bevel gear box. Been a lot of discussion on that. I'll go out on the limb and say ATF for the hydro.

Oil produces a lot of opinions. For this engine, I would suggest regular mineral based SAE 30. This may be a controversial opinion, but I believe these engine were built to such an older engineering standard that anything on the shelf that is above the SD category will be fine. That being said, I have a couple of engines that for some reason burned one brand of oil and not another, probably due to whether it was a straight viscosity base oil or a blend of thin and heavy. Right now I'm working through a case of Pennzoil I bought when it was on clearance sale because of a packaging re-fresh.

There are those who swear by the HD diesel oil, like the rotella or Delo. It's getting a little harder to find SAE 30 in quarts, at least in my surburban area.

Opinion freely given-value accordingly

I really hope it will clean up nicely. I will not know about mowing with it. It did not come with a deck. I am on the hunt and I have a line on a couple. I think I may be better off buying another tractor  just for the deck. 

Oil always seems to be a diverse subject. I do run rotella in my ATVs due to the wet clutch. I have found that it really works better than amsoil in my atvs. But For the older engines I believe I will stick to conventional. 

 

Thank you for your input.  Free advice is about the only thin I have never over-paid for.

 

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hurleyii

Welcome... as for your ruleof not using synthetics in an engine older then synthetics your in the clear. Amsoil created synthetic engine oils in the late 60's and had them released by 1970. 

First thing I do with every one of my tractors is install Amsoil 10w30. In my New vangaurd it will be getting the Amsoil B&S oil. (Ouch $$). As a long time user of Amsoil I've seen it all and there is nothing better on the market. Will see what happens now that the boys took over and pops is dead!

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Talntedmrgreen

That's a great looking rig!  I really like those machines...I have always enjoyed those opposed Kohlers, and love the styling of these tractors.  The last Sovereign style that came after this had a bit of a slope to the hood, which is attractive, but cuts down on how big and long that hood looks out in front of the driver, which I just love.

The one caution I would have, is to make sure a fuel shutoff is on it, and use it every time you shut down. I have never had a Kohler that didn't purge fuel into the crankcase.  Pain in the butt!

AND...Welcome aboard!!  Thanks for sharing.

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ShaunE
1 hour ago, ChrisInOhio said:

Oil always seems to be a diverse subject. I do run rotella in my ATVs due to the wet clutch. I have found that it really works better than amsoil in my atvs. But For the older engines I believe I will stick to conventional. 

Synthetic or conventional is fine as long as it has Zinc.  Any flat tappet cam should use a high zinc concentrated oil.  Small engine oils have this & I for one like the Amsoil small engine oil or the Toro synthetic small engine oil.

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ChrisInOhio
2 hours ago, hurleyii said:

Welcome... as for your ruleof not using synthetics in an engine older then synthetics your in the clear. Amsoil created synthetic engine oils in the late 60's and had them released by 1970. 

First thing I do with every one of my tractors is install Amsoil 10w30. In my New vangaurd it will be getting the Amsoil B&S oil. (Ouch $$). As a long time user of Amsoil I've seen it all and there is nothing better on the market. Will see what happens now that the boys took over and pops is dead!

I do love Amsoil. I run it in everything except 2 of my atvs. I have a jug sitting here and I was thinking about using it. The previous owner said there is only about 10 hours on the current oil. I always take that with a grain of salt. I will be draining it here shortly. I believe it is 1.5 quarts so the amsoil cost is not bad on this.

 

2 hours ago, Talntedmrgreen said:

That's a great looking rig!  I really like those machines...I have always enjoyed those opposed Kohlers, and love the styling of these tractors.  The last Sovereign style that came after this had a bit of a slope to the hood, which is attractive, but cuts down on how big and long that hood looks out in front of the driver, which I just love.

The one caution I would have, is to make sure a fuel shutoff is on it, and use it every time you shut down. I have never had a Kohler that didn't purge fuel into the crankcase.  Pain in the butt!

AND...Welcome aboard!!  Thanks for sharing.

Thank you! I do think it has great lines. The lines clearly carried over from a time when things were not built sleek. I was actually shocked at the size and bulk once I saw one in person. As an old gearhead who hates modern vehicles, the style really got me! I do not believe there is a shut-off valve on it. Or I have not seen it. Will any in-line valve do? 

 

2 hours ago, ShaunE said:

Synthetic or conventional is fine as long as it has Zinc.  Any flat tappet cam should use a high zinc concentrated oil.  Small engine oils have this & I for one like the Amsoil small engine oil or the Toro synthetic small engine oil.

I have no experience with the Toro synthetic, But I think you guys are making me lean towards Amsoil.  

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ChrisInOhio

Fellas, I had my first set-back. Pulled her off the trailer and drove back to the barn. When I was almost in the barn the tiller dropped like a rock. My first thought was I blew a hydraulic line. I looked on the ground and on the tractor. I found no fluid. So i grab a socket and remove the 2 bolts that look like they are holding the rear fender down. Then I find that there are 2 levers to release the rear fender. (The learning curve is half the fun.) I find a frayed and busted cable. Silly me, I did not realize the lift was a hydraulic ran cable. The cable is frayed but I do not see anything it would have been rubbing on. Is this common, Or did i just get lucky and it broke within the first 10 mins of driving it? 

 

Thanks In advance!

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PhanDad

Most important is to make sure the cooling fins are clean.  The KT-17's are great engines, but they're know for breaking rods if overheated. 

My first 7100 series tractor was a 17GTH-L and it came with a broken rod.  If there's an oil or fluid leak that gets on the fins, fine grass clipping will collect and plug the fins and can lead to rod failure.  The Simplicity decks tend to throw a lot clippings forward and, with the bottom of the frames open, they are sucked in by the fan.  

The OEM BGB and hydro fluid for the 17GTH-L was "Simplicity Multi-Purpose Hydraulic Oil".   A switch to ATF has been known to cause seal leakage - see this old post:

https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/16502-simplicity-multi-purpose-hydraulic-fluid/

I"m a believer in putting back the same type of fluid that is currently in the item, unless a fill/purge cycle is used to ensure most all of the old fluid is drained.  Using any readily available good multipurpose hydraulic oil is OK IMO.  Only issue with this procedure, with used equipment, you can't be sure exactly what fluid is in the item.

Welcome to the club.

 

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PhanDad
49 minutes ago, ChrisInOhio said:

Or did i just get lucky and it broke within the first 10 mins of driving it? 

I would say you just "got lucky" and the cable broke.  

Since you weren't aware about opening the rear seat deck, I'm thinking no manuals came with the tractor.  If so, go here:

https://www.simplicitymfg.com/na/en_us/support/manuals.html

Click on the "Tractor" box and put in your GTH-L manufacturing number (1691957) and you can download owners and parts manual.  

Did you get a deck with the tractor?  The GTH-L usually came with a mfg#1691219 48" deck.

And although I think the tiller is newer, it should be very similar to mfg#1690039.

You can get owners/parts manual using the same "Tractor" box.

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maxwood

Hello, The cable is known for breaking after years of use,  they have a threaded end on them at the rear connection  It is probably better to order a factory cable  as it is specific in length.   I have tried to make several cables  and mine  don't hold up under the weight of tiller or heavy rear implements.

Thanks Ken in Mi

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ChrisInOhio
2 hours ago, PhanDad said:

Most important is to make sure the cooling fins are clean.  The KT-17's are great engines, but they're know for breaking rods if overheated. 

My first 7100 series tractor was a 17GTH-L and it came with a broken rod.  If there's an oil or fluid leak that gets on the fins, fine grass clipping will collect and plug the fins and can lead to rod failure.  The Simplicity decks tend to throw a lot clippings forward and, with the bottom of the frames open, they are sucked in by the fan.  

The OEM BGB and hydro fluid for the 17GTH-L was "Simplicity Multi-Purpose Hydraulic Oil".   A switch to ATF has been known to cause seal leakage - see this old post:

https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/16502-simplicity-multi-purpose-hydraulic-fluid/

I"m a believer in putting back the same type of fluid that is currently in the item, unless a fill/purge cycle is used to ensure most all of the old fluid is drained.  Using any readily available good multipurpose hydraulic oil is OK IMO.  Only issue with this procedure, with used equipment, you can't be sure exactly what fluid is in the item.

Welcome to the club.

 

Thank you for the information overload! I seriously do appreciate all of the help. I just changed plugs and oil. I filled it up with some amsoil I keep for soaking clutches. Never been in a machine, just a sealed bucket. I ran it around the farm for about 10 mins and drained it and put in fresh new amsoil.The original oil was very black and about 1/4 qt low. but I ran the magnet through the bowl and found no metal shavings. I believe this tractor has been pretty well taken care of. The guy I got it from had it for 4 years and said he only tilled 4 or 5 gardens a year. All of the grease fittings seemed to have been greased recently. I fired up my pressure washer for the first time this year. That did not go well. It seems someone put used it after I put it up for the winter. the pump has a huge crack on the bottom and the bearings were screaming by the time I could shut it off. I guess I am asking my wife for a new pressure washer for her birthday. Since the pressure washing was a no-go i opted to try out the tiller. I tried it in the middle of a pretty compacted cattle pasture. It did ok, but that ground is hard and has not been turned over in at least 50 years. I did notice that the depth was different from one side to the other. I did not see anything obvious to adjust that. I will be checking out the link to the tiller first .

 

30 minutes ago, maxwood said:

Hello, The cable is known for breaking after years of use,  they have a threaded end on them at the rear connection  It is probably better to order a factory cable  as it is specific in length.   I have tried to make several cables  and mine  don't hold up under the weight of tiller or heavy rear implements.

Thanks Ken in Mi

Hi Ken. I have been going through the exploded pats diagrams and i can not find that cable yet. Would you happen to know the part number?  I made a cable out of 3/36" braided cable and a few clamps. It will work as a short term fix, but I would much rather have the correct part. 

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ChrisInOhio
5 minutes ago, Chris727 said:

Welcome to the site. The cable is listed in the attachments catalog instead of the tractor manual as it was an optional item.  MFR# 1690404.

https://www.simplicitymfg.com/na/en_us/search.html?searchrequested=1690404

Chris you are my hero of the hour! I looked everywhere for that.  the first website I used (partstree) had nothing. But I just found it on another site (jacks small engines) thanks to your help.

 

This is a question for everyone: Is there a "preferred" website for ordering parts? Maybe one to support another member. Or one that provides better service than the others?

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AC716

After you get your cable fixed, take the tiller to a spot that needs the fertilizer, to wash the fertilizer off the tiller.sm06 WElcome

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Chris727

Chris, We have several site sponsors which advertise on our homepage. They are all good places to get parts. You might also have a local dealer. The Simplicity web site has a dealer locator on it. I have bought parts through most of the vendors on the home page as well as buying NOS parts from closed up dealers and the local dealer.

 

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ChrisInOhio
25 minutes ago, AC716 said:

After you get your cable fixed, take the tiller to a spot that needs the fertilizer, to wash the fertilizer off the tiller.sm06 WElcome

I am actually going to send a sample off t the local ag extension office just to see how fertile 50+ years of pasture is. I may grow a  tomato the size of a pumpkin! lol

 

25 minutes ago, Chris727 said:

Chris, We have several site sponsors which advertise on our homepage. They are all good places to get parts. You might also have a local dealer. The Simplicity web site has a dealer locator on it. I have bought parts through most of the vendors on the home page as well as buying NOS parts from closed up dealers and the local dealer.

 

Thank you Chris. The first site I found it on is actually a sponsor of the site. I did find it for $9 less on another site, But I would rather spend money with people who support others. Some may say that is a waste but i have always been that way.

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tadams

Welcome to the site and as you have found out, have a question just ask and someone will give you a answer. I always use a fuel additive years around. I use sta-bil, I never know when the fuel might be in there all year.

Tom

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ChrisInOhio
4 hours ago, tadams said:

Welcome to the site and as you have found out, have a question just ask and someone will give you a answer. I always use a fuel additive years around. I use sta-bil, I never know when the fuel might be in there all year.

Tom

Thank you Tom. This group has been awesome so far. I typically use sta-bil when i winterize. I also use ethanol free gas in my small engines. I have found that this really saves the carb if the engine sits longer than I expected it to.

 

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