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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my 1254 tractor that had a failed TRA-12D motor when I brought it home. I haven't done much with it in the past 3 years except bolt a 5 hp. B&S motor on it to verify that the transmission was good and then this TRA-10D motor I got last summer. About a week ago I did this realy quick throw together arrangement just to get it running and moveable. Used the dash assembly from a 1000 tractor just because it had a voltage regulator, wiring, and a starting switch already in place. I used a jumper wire from the coil to the battery positive terminal as I didn't have an ignition switch close at hand. Used a piece of string for a throttle control and we were mobile. I have cruised it around the driveway and yard a bit but now it's time for something a bit better. I will find a shorter piece of pipe for the exhaust too. Going to put the original dash support and dash back on and have choke, throttle controls and a key switch. I have the remains of two wiring harnesses, one from this tractor and one from a 1256 so between the two I will be able to wire it. Supposed to rain tomorrow so I probably can make some improvements. I was planning on removing the fender pan for a better look under it, so I already removed the seat.
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Nice engine on that tractor! Are those 15" front tires?
I believe that they are. The rims are 6" and I believe were on a Craftsman originally. They came to me on the front of another tube frame tractor. I have a pair of Bolens 8" front rims but no tires to put on them at the present. This was just one of those whatever works, throw together deals. I wanted it running and moveable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So far, I have the sheet metal removed and am examining things. Doesn't look too bad overall. Put a shot of penetrant on anything that moves or has a screw or nut. The pto lever/shaft was very stiff but some oil and working it back and forth a bit, and its probably functional now. The brake pad that stops the drum on the front of the transmission is about used up and I believe that the clutch/driveshaft assembly ought to be removed and cleaned up, bearings rinsed out and regreased at the least. I also wonder how things look under the transmission cover? All gears work, it shifts ok, and isn't terribly noisy, so I would expect the transmission to be good. Now I have to take a breath and decide just how far I want to tear into this thing right now. The correct answer is that I really don't have the space or time for another major tractor project at the present. So I am going to stay on track with the original idea [plan A] of getting it pieced together, and wired up better. Maybe after awhile I can find time to tear into it a bit more.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looks good. I would suggest that you make it usable and then put it to work - that way you will have a lean, once again working garden tractor machine that can be integrated into the fleet as required and you won't be afraid to tackle the down and dirty tasks that pop up every now and then.
Sounds like a reasonable idea. Just having it running and somewhat useable will be better than having it sitting around doing nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I didn't get much done today on this project as the weather cleared, and I had more important things to do. I did get out 2 heat shields I had on hand. One is from a 1256 and was a flea market find, the other was original to this tractor. Both were bent out of shape from rough handling. I decided to attempt to straighten the worst one of the two. I had to bolt it in place and heat it with the torch to stress relieve it to get it back in shape. Did a bit of hammer and dolly work to get the creases and dents smoothed out. Then I ground, sanded the rust and scratches, followed by some primer and a coat of paint. Not perfect but good enough for what I'm trying to do. Next rainy day I will tackle the wiring.
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Today was a rainy day so I got quite a bit accomplished on piecing this thing together. I used some of the original wire harness, [that was already cut and hacked] and ran some new wires where I had to. I followed the wiring diagram for a later 1050 tractor. I will have to dig through my collection to see if I have a decent fuse holder for the lights. That wasn't a priority today anyway. I discovered that the choke cable assembly I had was only about a foot long. Might be left over from a Wisconsin motored LF? The cable I ended up using didn't have the C on the knob, but it wasn't a twist lock like used for the throttle either. Dunno. Those were the only two Bolens oriented red knob cable units I had, so I had to use a generic cable assembly that I did have for the throttle control. It doesn't twist lock so it's questionable if that's going to be ok or not. Got a shorter pipe nipple for the exhaust from the hardware and that looks a bit better now. So, this is the rough draft of my homebrew wiring harness that possibly will get a tweak or two and definitely needs to be taped up better. That will be a project for another day. So now the tractor starts and stops by turning the key and I have choke and throttle control by using the knobs on the dash. The amp gauge registers a charge and I read 13.8 volts with my meter during a brief startup run. So that might not look like much, but it kept me rather busy for a few hours piecing this puzzle together.
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm surprised that no one asked me why on Gods green earth was I using a torch that close to a gas tank !? Yeah- that thought crossed my mind as I was heating up the shield. I said to myself "boy, you're none too bright are ya?" I just didn't point the torch towards the tank and I checked that the cap was tight and couldn't smell any fumes or see any drips anywhere. I should have laid a wet towel over the tank but didn't think of that till I was done. I probably won't do something like that again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I got to wondering about some differences I see between a 1054 tractor I have and this 1254. Going by what I see in the tube frame article here on this site- the 1054 tractor was made one year, 1971. The 1254 was made two years, 1971-1972. The 1054 tractor has a fender pan that is the earlier style like the 1050s, etc. used. But the 1254 tractor used the newer style bigger style fender pan. Thats how my tractors are too. My 1054 tractor has the lever type dash controls, and the 1254 tractor uses the pull knob controls. Being as these two tractors were "big brother, little brother" wouldn't one surmise that the fender pans and dash controls would have been the same? Being as I have no back story on either of these two tractors, I suppose that some parts/pieces could have been swapped around in the past? Or was Ma Bolens just using up leftover stock on certain models? Not that any of this really matters, I just thought it to be a bit odd.
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
IMHO the lever type controls were an improvement. Being as the 1254/1256 tractor was probably considered a step up from the earlier 10 hp models, it would seem that the “new style” lever controls would be used. New and better, right? Or- did someone do some parts swapping on my 1254 before I got it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I looked through the illustrated parts diagrams and they show that the 1054 tractor should have the pull knob type controls. The lever type controls show up on the 1055 (G10) and the 1255 (G12) tractors that replaced the 1054 and 1254 tractors. So- it would seem that someone prior to me owning my 1054 tractor must have done some parts swapping. Unless a 1054 hood was bolted to 1055 tractor? I remember that when I brought it home it was an off white, basically light almond color. The illustrated parts diagrams did show the different fender pans used on the 1054 and 1254 tractors just as seen in the tube frame article. Like I stated, none of this really matters. A curious side note- last summer I bought some rather beat up 1256 parts at a flea market. A hood with 1256 decals, dash plate, heat shield and a rather hacked wire harness. The gent I got these "treasures" from claimed it all came from a tractor that his teenage son had disassembled. The twisted and broken dash plate had the lever type controls. The illustrated parts list shows a 1256 tractor having pull knob controls. So- was there some parts swapping done on that tractor too? Or did his son tear apart more than one tractor? Ah, the mysteries of the GT world!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I was up before the sun this morning and allowed myself till lunch time to work on this creation. I removed the clutch/driveshaft assembly and took it apart for an inspection. Overall, it's not too bad. The front support bearing might have been replaced at some time. It spins nicely with no slop or funny noises, and I'm going to use it as is. The bearing on the clutch release hub seemed a bit stiff but I removed the seal washed it out, regreased it and it spins good with no funny feel or noise. Going to roll the dice and try that too. The worst things I found was that the facing for the brake plate was almost completely loose from it's plate, and the cotter pin that anchors the spring for the belt idler was almost worn through. I did a trip to the hardware and got the highest strength and heat range JB Weld they had. Sanded the brake plate and back of the facing ring, coated them with JB and clamped it together. I used the front clutch assembly plate as a backer to apply pressure as evenly as possible while clamping it. The JB is supposed to set in 4-6 hours and cure in about 24 hours so it's going to sit awhile. The roller bearings in the double V pulley look good and actually had a bit of grease remaining. Washed that out and regreased it too. So, by then it was approaching lunch time and that's where the project stops for now. It's a warm, sunny day and I really do have other things to do that are more important than this tractor.
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I wonder if the shorter lever movement of the one on the 1054 resulted in a quicker engagement and disengagement of the PTO or if it helped with the PTO braking system?
Not sure if there was or not. I personally like the older left to right type over the newer style. Less moving parts and simpler design. My 3 cents!
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Was up early again this morning and got right at the clutch project. The JB Weld seemed to be set up well and I believe the brake plate will be good to go. Had it all assembled, installed back in the tractor and adjusted by 9 AM. Then it was time to get going on some other projects I have right now. I did manage to squeeze a few minutes here and there while waiting for primer to dry and caulking, [working on the house] to get the fender pan and seat bolted back on. I finally got a chance to start it up and go for a ride around the yard for a few minutes. The clutch works fine now, with everything lubricated and adjusted like it should be. I will have to replace the little brake pad that stops the brake drum on the transmission to get the parking brake to work though. So- there's some progress. I think next, I should check the axle endplay and change the lube in the transmission. So, there it is, my mutt Bolens. Ought to have a 12-hp. motor but has a 10 hp. instead. If I put the older style fender pan on it, it would almost pass as a 1054. I might at some point put my "freshened" TRA-10D motor on it. We'll see.
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