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Yeoman 616 revival


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I was given this 616 tractor some years ago. I had to increase my fleet of machinery to a Kubota B2650 mainly for snow removal as well as an all terrain fork lift.  Being quite tired of all the big box store riding lawn mower maintenance, I started to get some of the Simplicity fleet up and running again. I pulled up all 8 Simplicitiy's out to the front of the shop and started in on the triage process. A few quick repairs got my Dad's old 717 running. The 616 engine was made to run, though a little smokey on start-up,  but I knew originally the gearbox was going only into reverse. The 616 rear wheel/axles were severely seized. I put acetone/atf blend in and put good rubber stoppers to hold the mix in and it sat for a year with an ocassional reapplication. They finally  came off (Iwas shocked) though heat was needed on one side.

Having bought a 728 years ago with the similar gearbox problem I knew what to expect. I had repaired this one by cleaning only.

Well today I pulled the 616 gearbox out and split it open and, as expected,  found it full of red creamy  gear oil and a cup of clear water. The engine running had whipped this up pretty thoroughly.  The reverse and hi-lo gears and shift dog were rusty and very crusty rust/goo covered mess. The gears and shifter dogs will clean up OK but the 4 shifter shafts are pretty bad.

Any advise as to real Simplicity parts. If necessary, I can make them and harden them, but I would certainly rather buy them. Any help sourcing these NOS from old dealers stock would be appreciated.

The deck is out and apart for sand blasting, paint and spindle reconditioning and grease fittings.




Edited by dynodave
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Hope you get it all running well!  I have a 627 that is my mower tractor for my small yard, that 32 inch deck is perfect and does such a great job.  Also have front blade and snowblower for it just in case.  Great little workhorse!

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Not sure if the 627 is a later copy of my machine? I also have a 32" mower deck for it, which I am reconditioning. I was able to find 3 of the 4 shafts I needed. Very reasonalble price too! I like this mower as it has a super small turning 20" radius. Even the 717 36" deck, now running, has a quoted 22" rear wheel turning radius. My 727 36" deck will be for grass and leaf vacuum. My 728 is for the plow or snow blower. 

I was having big problems getting all of them to spark. Found dirty points and bad capacitors. Now trouble shooting the Delco regulators. Fixing a few tires and tubes.

Edited by dynodave
correct deck size
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Great to hear you're reviving old iron. 

As to NOS parts, almost all of the major Simplicity Dealers near me are gone.  Closest one now is Walt's:


They still carry a large inventory of Simplicity parts but have been "cleaning house".  A few years ago I was there getting some mechanical parts and asked about a deck boot for the old vacuum systems,  The old parts guy (IMO only the "old" parts guys know about old stuff (there are some exceptions)) says "yes" I know exactly where they are.  Unfortunately they cleaned out the loft where all the old bulky parts were stored.  

Another dealer ( @SmilinSam refer) I found helpful with parts years ago is B&B Lawn Equipment:  



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A little chore to remove the rear 1-1/8" swivle pin. 4000lb hoist had quite a preload before a smack with a lead hammer started the movement. Pumping the hoist finished the drop of the tranny mount held by a chain on the lower strong back I beam Very similar job I had to do on my 728 Broadmoor .


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  • 4 weeks later...

I now have 3 of the 4 shafts needed:


Here is the reverse/neutral shifter shaft prepped for reface welding. Now has been welded and almost finish machined...shaftweld.thumb.jpg.a52984d52602190073b3d0b19823d408.jpgThe final disappointment is one of the $4 springs in the limited slip gearset is cracked and is hopefully the last thing needed to allow the tractor to roll under it's own power.

This leaves the mower deck refurbish  as the final major task to get the 616 fully functional.

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  • 1 month later...

The 616 gearbox 2nd posi trac (ebay NOS) spring came after sitting in a regional Utah mail center for 13 days,,,,Uhhhhhh!  Now it's together and only axle stubs/wheels need paint after sand blasting off all the tons of rust.  So I'm getting close to having an additional  self propelled tractor, just needing a reconditioned mower deck.




I was looking for the earlier paint "almond" white in Dupont Imron, it is called terex. I already have the later  snow white called "paper white"




In the meantime my dad's 717 is doing grass cutting duty to prevent a hay field from taking over the back yard. We had record rain locally for a july month. 

I call this showing off "Yipes Stripes" of the weed patch.


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