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You may have seen my intro. Happy new (old?) Bolens owner. I always like to read build/DIY threads so I figure I will give you a rundown of what it took for me to bring this thing back from the dead. I bought it in Spokane mid-Nov non-running, came with the plow, mowing deck and a tiller. Everything is in fairly good shape visually but not without use. They told me there is a starter issue and it keeps flooding.

Starter: I hooked up my jumper charger and the ammeter pegged while nothing happened, so a ground somewhere. This was the reason I pulled the engine. Further testing showed it was intermittent. Hmm. After the engine was on the bench I removed the starter and popped it open. One of the copper leads on the rotor shifted and was ground up between the stator magnets and the rotor iron cores, hence the intermittent grounding. So I went ahead and clipped that wire short on both sides under the assumption that any electrical imbalance is minor due to the intermittent use of it. It's old anyway. Blew the dust out and greased the rolling surfaces. Works great.

Engine: I wasnt originally planning on doing more than a oil change and carb rebuild. But after pulling the engine I figured there is enough grime on it that I should clean it up, looked like gas/oil had been leaking from the head gaskets. I dont want leaks. Oh, the engine was crammed full of oil and gas! I gave it a good pressure washing with a little scrubbing and superclean. Replaced the valve cover, head, intake gaskets with OEM replacements. Cut a oil pan and air filter gasket from a sheet of material. No leaks after 5-6 runs over the last few weeks. Except the drain plug (easy fix). There was enough erosion on one of the intake valves that I decided to just have them done. I cleaned the carbon off the inside and had the valves ground at a shop then lapped them in and gapped them. Plugs were new so I gapped them (were a little off too). Ignition parts and fuel pump were recently replaced with new Onan parts by the prior owner. I did have one hiccup...lost a valve keeper in the oil passage so had to remove the timing gear cover, ugh. One of the photos shows a black gloved finger pointing to the keeper half. That was annoying. I did have one intake manifold bolt get aluminum gummed in its threads, so after massaging it out without breaking it (quite tight for a 5/16), I ran a tap through it, replaced all with SS hardware as there was a little rust on the threads, all torqued to spec without a issue.

Carb: Bought an American kit from Carb doctor. Must have been made for a few variations because there was two almost identical gaskets, screws that I cant use, a jet that I cant use etc. Anyhow that 45$ was well spent for the float valve, seat and gaskets. Was a little annoyed the one jet was NOT the same, but my jets were fine so no big deal really. Also bought a new metal float (30$) as the original was foam and was cracked up bad; I suspect with was the reason for flooding (saturation). Cleaned and replaced the parts, set jets to 1 1/4 out each and set the float height.

Other than that, put it all together, added oil and it fired right up, well, after I remembered to turn the fuel on! Little tweaks and its running great. Loving the transmission. I know hydros have been around a long time, I just never used one before. I kind of wish I replaced the main seals, a little bit of regret right there. Just wasn't thinking of them when ordering the parts. But not leaking and no evidence thus far.... I do have one motor mount that's shot. There was a universal type I dug up online from mcmastercarrr for about 12$ ea, so I ordered 4. Havent replaced them yet but I will soon once a few life things get in order. I also plan on changing the bearings in the mower deck, but havent touched that yet.

I love this machine and look forward to having a fleet for no good reason! I tell my wife they will all be our daughters (lol) and she will go on regular garden tractor rides (with ear muffs, shes a newborn). So every Bolens will be Everleigh's Bolens.


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