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Karl_Brandt

Simplicity Sovereign questions

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Karl_Brandt
As I read and learn from the postings and pictures of the old Simplicity and AC tractors, I am slowly becoming familiar with the models, their relative age and features.

I have also noticed that the new Simplicity Sovereign looks a whole lot like some of the Simplicity/AC tractors you guys chat about. My question is: Can you give me a bit of history on this new tractor and how it compares to the older ones. Is the drive train the same, belts, trans, lift, etc., and do the older attachments fit the new model? Also I read about the weak axle problem on some of the older tractors. Has this been addressed in the new Sovereign? If one is using a moldboard plow, pushing dirt w/ the front blade and towing or dragging (such things as fence posts and firewood) will the axles on the new Sovereign hold up over the long haul?

Thanks,
Bill

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Guest
This has nothing to do with your story. I am not "yet" an expert (at anything) let alone AC/Simp tractors, but...In the beginning, I needed a ride-on lawn mower (boo...hiss). Low and behold, I visited dealer after dealer until I found something I liked. I found it! a simplicity Soveriegn. A simple brutish square nosed beast. What could this obvious misfit cost I asked myself, looking so out of place amid the sea of silly rounded toyota-esque lawn mowers. $5,400 was the dealers response .....

So that was that. I then looked in the want ads.. found the significant differences between a lawn mower, lawn tractor and a GARDEN TRACTOR.. and eventually found an old AC Garden Tractor. Then I found this site. To make a long story short, that new Soveriegn is what got me interested in a quality tractor in the first place, and if tractors are like anything else in this world, the older ones are better made, last longer and have a great deal more intangible 'charm'. As anything old, however, they exist only for maintenance.

So that's my story, if I bought a new Soveriegn, I never would have found this site, never would have learned how to level a deck, never would have had to explain why the damn thing wasn't running to my wife, and never, never looked back.

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tej
Bill, the Sovereign is the most rugged built "garden tractor" you can buy today, (hint: look at the shipping weight of the tractor). In my opinion even the Sim. Legacy is not as heavy duty as the Sovereign. Nothing J.D. makes or any other mfg. is built as heavy duty. If you need something better than the Sovereign you need to go to a "Compact" sized tractor instead of a garden tractor.
I suggest you buy the Sovereign, because you have access to the best support group on the planet.
MS

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tej
Jeff, Yes I have used and abused by B12 dozing, mowing, tilling, snow blowing and a few dozen other things. Dam thing just keeps going. My Simplicity dealer keeps trying to sell me new Sovereign attachments for my old tractors. He says they will fit with no problem. The main difference I see with the new ones is that the grill is in front of the front PTO pulley. This shouldn't matter if the pulley is in the same place in relation to the mounting points on the front axle. Tim

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tej
To answer your question about axle longevity,a fellow just late last year gave me a 1964 Landlord[9hp]that had a broken axle tube in it. Upon questionong him I learned he has been using this tractor to 'logskid' firewood for many years and the only reason it broke according to him is because he was rocking it back and forth to get it unstuck from the mud with a load of wood on back WHILE he had DOUBLE wheel weights AND chains on it at the time! Yes they are a tough tractor indeed! dlc

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Les
My 1968 AC B-112 is still going strong. It is very similar in design to a new Sovereign. I was recently at my Agco dealer paying through the nose for parts. The owner of the dealership said that the snowblower off my B-112 would not fit on a new $5450.00 Sovereign. I do not believe him. The frame extends farther forward on the newer tractors, but the hitch looks the same. My blower fit on my 712 Allis so why wouldnt it fit on a new Sovereign??? You just need a longer belt(which I have). Could the center PTO be different???

I think you made a great purchase!! I have never heard of anyone buying a new deck for a Sovereign. It is not uncommon to see John Deeres on their 3rd deck, which Deere charges about 2 grand for.

Would you dealers please answer me. Dam, I hate being lied to!!!

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Les
The steering gear on the AC 300 and 400 series was different that other AC/Simplicity tractors. On that series they apparantly used an different source for those parts. The only steering gear problems that I have heard about relates to that specific series, which were made at the Lexington SC plant in the early 1970's, just prior to that plants' closing. I push dirt all the time with my 1968 AC B-112, no problems! The 712's gear looks identical.

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Les
Yes todays current Sovereign is pretty much an updated version of the original - why make changes when you have a good thing going in the first place? Some advantages of the current one are: the latest OHV twin cylinder engine design (older cast iron is no longer in production but parts and short blocks are still available as far as I know), built in and proven hydro trans and lift - power steering also available so the wife can enjoy too! Many of the older attachments will fit or can be adapted. Have had no axle "problems" from our experience within the first 10-20? years - but I guess after that things can happen, which I think is to be expected and indeed a good record! A lot depends on how they're treated or should I say mistreated? There is a reason the trans speed is variable - there are times you should not be "full speed ahead" :) Of course there's always the guy that is using it in place of of a farm tractor.......does that sound like you Tim? :)

BTW - there was talk at one time of taking it out of the lineup because it didn't match the rest of "todays" modern looking models but many dealers said it was the only one their customers recognized as a "real" tractor! AND it is the same one Simplicity choose to represent their 75th anniversary! What does that tell you?

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tej
Yes to repeat what some others have said- I have also heard that Sim. was or is thinking about replaceing the Sovereign. But I also have been told they already have a updated tractor to replace it when the time is ready as sales are really down on it. The Landlord in some area's out sells the Sov 5-1 as some people seem to like the new aero look with the rounded hood and some of the updated stuff. As to the axle anything can break whether defective-abused or just plain wears out but I can't beleive Sim. would take a chance and under design a tractor that they have been building for years as their reputation specks for itself. I for one have broken an axle tube on my 64 landlord "but" let me say the conditions were just write along with some stupidity to go with it. 55# wheel weights-v-tread tires-chains all on a tractor that was 30 years old. At the time I was plowing up sod and broken concrete when it let loose. After owning a tractor with the design like the Sov. I couldn't imagine owning anything else. Now I just hope someone at Simplicity reads these answers and takes the hint and leaves a great tractor alone.->jackl<->happyjack<-

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tej
Bill, The 1st drive shaft driven Simplicity unit was in 1959,the Wonderboy700[7hp]990168/169 The 1st hydro lift Simp. unit was the 1965 101 Landlord[10HP]990351. Like all the previous posters said;'why change a tried and true design?'And yes they have downpressure,with our 3112H we can pick the rear wheels off the ground using our tiller!The newer 7100 ser. cannot boast that claim because the rear lift assy[rod vs.cable on the newer ones]will not allow that,prob. for govt. safety reasons. dlc

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Al
Most of this has been covered, The Sovereign started out as the 725, and evolved up through the Landlord,where the Vickers hydro became available then the 20** and 3*** models, the 3300 series still having a belt tightener PTO. with the 3400 the cone PTO clutch came on the scenem and the crossdrive got heavier shafts and bearings. This crossdrive is used in the 1999 Sovereigns. With the 7000 series the Hydro changed to Sunstrand. There was a change in the axle tube in the early 7100 production. Mainly the keyway and the length of the key. This reduced the tendency for stress cracks to run out from the keyway and cause the tubes to break. I believe the new tubes have the change in them now. After 7100 fell out of favor the tractor was built as a 17hp as the 17GTHL, this year they also built a 17GTH whitch is the same as a 6500 series. This has always ticked me off as a dealer because it is difficult enough to find out what tractor a person has without all of this name confussion. I like the number system. As Jeff mentioned they dropped this series when the 16 GTH new style [now Landlord] came out after the Sun Star. So many dealers complained management said we'll bring it back as long as you order it, and it's still in the line. aftern the 17 GTHL, it got an 18 Koh Command, then the 18 TOC [Twin Overhead Cam] Kohler which now powers it. SO you can see it is a throughbred.

As for axle tubes I bought a new Wards Squire 10 ian 1967 and 3212H in 1970. I was mowing a very hilly 26 acre cemetary and a lot of other mowing for the city. We put dual 6-12 ag tread tires with 100 lb lead wheel wieghts on it. In 71 or 72 when the 16 Brs came out I put a 16 tune up kit in it and swapped the upper and lower PTO pulleys aroungd to speed up the mower. We then set the governor to 4000. I told my hired help when I come out here I want to see this thing going as hard as you can make it go. You cut the grass and I'll buy the parts. We ran it this way and in 7 years I broke about 3 axle tubes, but we went from full speed fwd to full rev. and the wheels don't slip. We also mowed banks that it carried the front wheels until the lift chain on the mower got tight. When the rollers started to come up we had to back down. I still have this old war weary tractor and intend to restore it when I get time. We started our business in Golf Cars, and several tractor companies tried to get us to take their line. I didn't take any tractor line until I was able to get Simplicity, because of the way we BEAT THE HELL out of ours and they took it. I don't know what more I could have gotten anywhere else. Enough Al

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tej
The newer Suntrand pumps and hydro lifts are different from the older Vickers. The downward pressure is now limited and I don't think you can raise the front tires off the ground when a snow blade is mounted on the front. They still work fine for plowing but if you're thinking of trying to break up thick ice I don't know of anything that will work - except maybe a tiller - but that might be a little hard on your driveway!

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Al
If I remember correct, the dealer told me that the new Sovereign has a shaft drive from the motor to the hydro unit/trans. Is this correct and did the older versions of this tractor have that feature or did they have a belt? Also, the lift on the new Sovereign is hydro. How far back does this go on the Sovereign? Lastly, does the hydro lift push down? I ask this because that might would be a nice feature for a front blade.

Thanks for all the info,
Bill

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tej
Bill, I have hydraulic lift on my 67 B12 and 66 B10. Yes the lift pushs down. My dozer blade will lift the front wheels off the ground. Also what is pushing down on the front is lifting up on the back. Tim

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tej
Hi Bill, I wil keep this short-Yes the Sov. has a shaft drive from the engine back to the bevel gear box. Then a belt runs from the bevel gear box to the trans.-Yes they started using this setup back in 1967 approx.-The lift dates back I beleive to 1965 aprox.date-Yes the hydro lift will apply down word force on the blade. I hope this helps and please anyone else correct me if you may. Just keep on asking Bill that's what we are all here for "helping one another"-Thanks->jackl<->happyjack<-

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tej
One more on the lift, if the lift (front and back) is still controlled with one double acting cylinder then the down pressure and lifting power are the same. When you lift with the rear lift arm the front lift arm goes forward which would be pushing down on a front mounted attachment. Same is true when you lift with the front, the rear arm goes down. If the newer tractors have two cylinders then maybe they could have less down pressure than lift, although with double acting cylinders it should be the same. Forgive me for stating the obvious. Tim

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