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Picked up an Allis 912H


windetch

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Hey all
Picked up a really clean Allis 912H, non-running
The guy got it with a storage unit he bought primarily for a dirt bike so he had zero history on it. 
He was amazed how much easier it was to move with the transmission reliefs depressed, said he used a dolly under the rear :)
 
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Super clean.  Looks to have had a mild restoration at some point, and likely always stored indoors.  Seat and pan are about perfect.  
Engine oil looks good, and the engine rotates smoothly with compression if I spin a mower blade.  
Bevel-gear-box feels reasonably tight.  
 
Gathering some parts for it and would like some feedback -
 
First thing I like to do with any used piece of equipment is give it a full fluid change and hit the grease zerks. 
My 7116's manual states it's trans (an identical looking Sundstrand) is happy with Type-F trans fluid so that's what it got some years ago, but was checking around and Shell Rotella HD Tractor Fluid specifically states it's designed for "Mobile equipment using Sundstrand hydrostatic transmissions"; I'm tempted to run it, got in my old Kubota and seems like good stuff.  Trans currently has some kind of oil in it, amber instead of the bright red Type-F.
Any thoughts?  From a quick skim here most are running ATF fluid, but for the job it's doing hydraulic fluid seems to make sense.  
 
Bevel-gear-box looks like it'll be happy with 75W-90 gear oil so I grabbed a bag (?!) of that (seriously, when did this stuff start coming in bags). 
Engine will likely get 10W-30 Rotella, though from a quick skim the straight-30 crowd is adamant...
 
Only real rust I've found on her is on the mower deck, which had it's covers in place..  and was completely full of old dead grass with a bunch of rust pitting.  Only one through-spot, everything else is pretty solid.
Thinking about grabbing a can of POR-15 and giving at least the top a protective coat, other thoughts?
 
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Hopefully the remaining parts I ordered will be in tomorrow (belts, filters, gas cap, steering bushing, etc), super curious if she'll crank right up or need some additional care.
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6 hours ago, windetch said:

Trans currently has some kind of oil in it, amber instead of the bright red Type-F.

 

6 hours ago, windetch said:

Bevel-gear-box looks like it'll be happy with 75W-90 gear oil

The amber fluid is probably the Simplicity multi-purpose fluid that was the factory fill (and recommended fluid) for both the hydro and BGB.  

As you stated, a wide range of fluids can be used in the tranny.  Only issue I'm aware of with switch to a different type of fluid (type F for example) is possible seal seepage.   Also, I don't like running a mix of fluids, so it takes several "drain/refill/run" cycles to get the fluid "changed".   But I'm pretty sure the Shell fluid is basically the same as the Simplicity multi-purpose fluid so compatibility shouldn't be an issue.  

As to the BGB, I don't think you need to do the multiple changes due to the service.   

And that is one very clean tractor.  

 

Edited by PhanDad
Added detail about type of fluid
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Thanks guys
 

56 minutes ago, PhanDad said:

 But I'm pretty sure the Shell fluid is basically the same as the Simplicity multi-purpose fluid so compatibility shouldn't be an issue.  

That's what I'm hoping. 
There's a mild chance it's the same stuff, Simplicity was rebranding someone else's product that met their specs, and the fact that the Shell description lists Sundstrand hydrostats specifically is interesting. 

Is the Simplicity multipurpose hydraulic oil still available?  I looked but didn't see much.  

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I recently had one of my late model Sovereign deck housing powder coated because the deck started rusting under the belt covers from the build up of grass clippings. I purchased a spare set of belt covers and cut the outside rear corners and the middle out so I could blow out the clippings with compressed air. I still had trouble blowing out the clippings and now run without the belt covers like others.

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Looks like a nice clean tractor.  It looks like an earlier one with the remote hydraulic filter.  I also use the universal tractor transmission / hydraulic oil in my hydrostatic and 90w in the bevel gear box.  Most use 30w in the Kohler engine unless below 30F.  

I do not know the best answer for the belt covers.  I tried running mine with the center of the cover cut out and it picked up more trash on the flywheel air screen.  The engine in mine was burned out when I bought it because the grass clippings had matted over the air screen preventing cooling.  

Edited by Tom45
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On 8/14/2021 at 10:42 AM, Bill725 said:

I recently had one of my late model Sovereign deck housing powder coated because the deck started rusting under the belt covers from the build up of grass clippings. I purchased a spare set of belt covers and cut the outside rear corners and the middle out so I could blow out the clippings with compressed air. I still had trouble blowing out the clippings and now run without the belt covers like others.

Do you mind saying how much it cost to have the deck powder coated? 
I like the aesthetics of the deck covers, but have also been removing them to run.  Just so much easier to keep the deck clean, and to make sure the spindles are spinning. 
 

On 8/14/2021 at 10:46 AM, Tom45 said:

Most use 30w in the Kohler engine unless below 30F.  

I do not know the best answer for the belt covers.  I tried running mine with the center of the cover cut out and it picked up more trash on the flywheel air screen.  The engine in mine was burned out when I bought it because the grass clippings had matted over the air screen preventing cooling.  

I pulled the Kohler K301 manual and was a little surprised they state that 10W-30 will 'substantially increase oil consumption and combustion chamber deposits' above 32F

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Bought a container of Rotella 30W for it

And thanks for mentioning the engine's intake screen, it's buried in the middle of the machine so easy to forget, will keep an eye on it.

 

Found a little rust in the standard battery spot and a bit under the gas tank, will get it cleaned up and painted. 

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The steering bushing at the dash was shot, and the steering components all caked in old grease so I just took it all apart to clean it.  Rather it be greasy than dry :)
Really wanted to test the engine this weekend, but might as well get this small stuff sorted first. 

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On 8/15/2021 at 10:05 PM, windetch said:

Do you mind saying how much it cost to have the deck powder coated? 

$200. See my post "Sovereign Deck Powder Coat" dated March 27, 2020. This website is not user friendly in regards to searching. 

FYI, I have switched my Sovereign batteries from the 22NF, which is a vented battery and has leaked acid causing rust, to a 51R, which is a sealed battery. The 51R does not have the tie down feet like the 22NF, but you can put a squeeze on the battery case to retain. 

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Thanks PhanDad, Bill that turned out really nice!  
That's about what I was expecting price-wise, if there was less pitting on this deck it'd probably be worthwhile.

Picked up some Rustoleum Allis-orange implement paint for the battery pan, will see how I like it and probably give the deck a coat too.  Reviews say it's pretty decent. 

And good to know on the battery, esp since I just bought a 51R at Costco :)

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54 minutes ago, Chris727 said:

Has had a shortblock put in it at some point. 

I’m curious how you know; I suspect it’s the unpainted block that your sharp young eyes noticed without being prompted. 


 

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14 hours ago, PhanDad said:

I’m curious how you know; I suspect it’s the unpainted block that your sharp young eyes noticed without being prompted. 


 

Yes the block is gray as were most of Kohler’s short blocks. Seems like the majority of 900 series single cylinder machines that I run across have had these installed. I’ve heard that at one time it was cheaper to install a short block than to rebuild. 

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4 hours ago, Chris727 said:

I’ve heard that at one time it was cheaper to install a short block than to rebuild. 

The last K341 I rebuilt cost me about the same as rebuilding a 4 cylinder Pontiac Iron Duke.

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7 hours ago, Chris727 said:

Yes the block is gray as were most of Kohler’s short blocks. Seems like the majority of 900 series single cylinder machines that I run across have had these installed. I’ve heard that at one time it was cheaper to install a short block than to rebuild. 

That's really neat, was wondering about the gray paint on the engine.   Thanks!
Is there a code stamped on the case that might indicate engine displacement / age?   It's running what's probably it's original 12HP K301 shroud, would that swap on to a K321 or a K341 shortblock? 
It's likely still a K301, but it'd be good to verify for when ordering parts. 
 

3 hours ago, CarlH said:

The last K341 I rebuilt cost me about the same as rebuilding a 4 cylinder Pontiac Iron Duke.

Hah, I'm really hoping this thing cranks; I just had entirely too much fun rebuilding a 1600cc aircooled VW engine and it's still taking up my workbench.    
Mildly regretting not trying this engine before tearing down the dash, could rig a temp fuel tank but I'll just be patient. 
 

Had another minor delay -- took a closer look at the gas tank and the seal was cracked and held in with two self-tapping screws, plus a thin layer of sealant. 
So a new seal and fuel fitting are on order. 
Not all bad, gives the fresh paint on the battery pan a little extra time to cure. 

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Has anyone else had issues with the bottom tank seal leaking? 
Looking at the parts diagram I'm assuming the seal is just press-fit; unless those screws are a common fix I'll plan to seal up the holes, tank should be ABS right? 

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12 hours ago, windetch said:

Has anyone else had issues with the bottom tank seal leaking? 

Yes, it's a fairly common occurrence with aged components.  It seems the sealing surface takes a set to the tank with time and "excessive" tugging on the fuel line can cause it to leak.  Changing a fuel filter can cause "excessive" movement at the tank connection. 

In my experience, only a new fitting will reseal the tank.   

The PO added the screws to try to improve/fix the problem - but now the screw holes can also leak.  A pic of a typical installation:

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The fitting can take some non centered alignment and still not leak.  

PS - Many rip off the mesh screen on the inlet side of the fitting to prevent plugging (and rely on an inline filter).  I haven't experienced that issue with the screen.  

 

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When new the short block would have included a decal with the new engine serial number which was to be applied to the blower shroud. 

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On 8/18/2021 at 8:47 PM, windetch said:

Had another minor delay -- took a closer look at the gas tank and the seal was cracked and held in with two self-tapping screws, plus a thin layer of sealant.  So a new seal and fuel fitting are on order.  Not all bad, gives the fresh paint on the battery pan a little extra time to cure. 

That's unfortunate the PO decided to go to so much effort to salvage a worn grommet, intentionally damaging the fuel tank in the process when a proper repair is so easy and cheap.  I just had to replace the same grommet on my 917 - $5 part and it was in stock at my local Simplicity dealer.   Took all of 10 minutes to repair - most of that time spent finessing the tank out and back in.  In your case ,the fuel fitting itself is likely still usable.  Mine still has the mesh (and it wasn't blocked at all).

Edited by Snojetter
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Thanks guys!

Screw holes in the tank are patched, used a plastic welder and a spare chunk of clean black ABS.  
It's good to know that the tank seal doesn't have to sit perfectly flat against the bottom, 'cause I wasn't able to get it perfectly smooth, but not too bad. 

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I stayed away from the seal's hole so I didn't deform it, should be good to go whenever the new parts come in.  
The old fuel fitting is practically bonded to the old rubber seal, I thought about trying to reuse it but it had a touch of corrosion and a new one was only $7. 

 

23 hours ago, Chris727 said:

When new the short block would have included a decal with the new engine serial number which was to be applied to the blower shroud. 

Ah well, thanks.  
Doesn't look like the previous owner used the new sticker, the serial number on the engine is from 1982 according to this chart - https://www.wheelhorseforum.com/files/file/1108-engine-kohler-dating-engines-by-serial-number-1965-2011pdf/
Which matches the approx age of the tractor..  she's looking good for almost 40

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Here is what I do to all of my large frame tractors to prevent any issues with the fuel line and grommet.  Cut out the the saddle to allow the fuel tank to be moved without removing the fuel line.

 

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15 hours ago, MikeES said:

Here is what I do to all of my large frame tractors to prevent any issues with the fuel line and grommet.  Cut out the the saddle to allow the fuel tank to be moved without removing the fuel line.

Now there's a "why didn't I think of that" idea if I ever saw one!

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Thanks Hurley!

And that's a solid idea Mike. 
Though I'd feel bad cutting into this one, going to try to install the new tank seal and fuel fitting with the tank in place; those should be in tomorrow and I can hopefully finish up this maintenance run.  


Got all the fluids changed today,
BGB had oil in it so I put the Shell hydraulic fluid in it as well like the manual recommended; feel like the 75W-90 gear oil is a better fit for it's application, but this particular garden tractor will just be on mower duty so I'm not as concerned for it.  Its likely gone its whole life with hydraulic fluid in there and the tolerances still feel pretty good. 


While I had the steering system in pieces I figured I'd replace the bushings to try to get a bit of the slop out; and while I'm grateful parts are still available, charging $24.75 for a single bushing seems a bit excessive Briggs.  
Found some cross reference numbers, still Briggs parts but being sold for much cheaper.
tie rod spacers - 154177 ($5.95ea)
drag link spacer - 1725601SM ($9.99)

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New bushings look identical; old ones weren't too bad, but between them and some new bolts everything feels much tighter.  

Used the part numbers MTopp posted here for the replacement ball joint -

On 4/2/2020 at 3:53 PM, MTopp said:

Part numbers in case someone needs them: (McMaster-Carr)

4444T3 Ball Joint with Grease Fitting, Rod End, 1/2"-20 Thread, Right-Hand

4737T6 Ball Joint Rod End Seals for 1/2" Rod End ID

Stuck some washers under it to bring it a little closer to the old ball joint's height, and had to cut around half an inch off the threaded end so I could get it set right; there wasn't room for a jam nut, but it feels like it's working well and seems a better design than stock at a steep discount. 

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And we good. 

Tank installed with it's new seal, new fuel lines + inline fuel filter, some fresh gas, and the new battery. 
Spun it around a few times with the sparkplug out to prime the trans and get some oil splashing around in the engine, put the plug back in and she started third try.  Without choke even, because I wasn't thinking about it (..but it is 95 degrees out).  

Little smokey, but I wouldn't be surprised if the previous-previous owner left some oil in the cylinder when he went to store it.  
Or it's burning off a little crud.  Will keep an eye on it. 

Front yard needs mowed anyways, will give it a go later this afternoon. 
Only thing that doesn't seem to work is the ammeter, and I'm not super surprised by that.  That and a front tire wont hold air for long, but I've got a tube to put in it.    
Keyswitch turns cleanly, starter hit without hesitation, front lights are bright. 

Neat machine, really glad I grabbed it. 
Thanks for the guidance and kind words guys!

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