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A Little Off Plumb
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Nice new front tires - not much difference when you have the two wheels side by side but sure changes the stance of the tractor imo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 · (Edited)
It's been a while since I have had time to do anything with the Mutt [ Muttely]. Sometimes life has other plans and projects like this are off the stove, not even on a back burner. Today ended up being thunderstorms late morning, early afternoon so I decided to putter a bit. Back a few days ago while rearranging some clutter in my barn I stumbled onto a box filled with miscellaneous Bolens tube frame parts. I suspect that they were removed from my 1220 tractor when I tore it down to start a refurbish project back several years ago. There was a mangled light switch, amp gauge with a broken glass, an extremely grubby, corroded ignition switch, handful of rusty screws, bolts. And low and behold two red pull knob control cables, choke and throttle. Wow! I wish I had known they were there a couple months ago when I started working on the Mutt. Actually, this is funny but sad too. I have "useful things for possible future use" [junk] squirreled away and don't remember all of it or exactly where I put at the time. I am working on that problem and have made much progress on sorting out the true junk that gets tossed and the pieces that are worthy of being organized and shelved. Quite a process! So back to my project today. I found the throttle control cable was going to be good fit. Gave it bit of a clean-up and a generous oiling then installed it in place of the generic cable I initially used. Works good and now I can set and twist-loc it at whatever engine speed is desired. Great! Next, I decided to adjust the tie rod as I could visibly see that the front wheels were toed-in quite a bit. My tape measure confirmed that there was about 3/4" toe-in. That happened at some point before I took possession of the tractor. I'd never tinkered with any of the steering components other that greasing and oiling. So, a bit of trial and error and I have just a smidge of toe-in. maybe 1/8" give or take a hair. There is a small bit of wiggle in the fit of the axle to the spindles, so I'm saying this is good enough. It looks better now too. I did manage to find a pair of scarred but useable dust-caps that I figured ought to finish the new tire, correct wheels project. Nope, dust caps don't fit the hubs. The OD of the hubs is approx. 1 5/8" and the ID of the caps is approx. 1 1/2", with the OD being just about 1 5/8", same as the hub I want to fit them over. Ain't gonna fit! This is a puzzler to me. I maybe had a pair of front wheels at some point with a smaller diameter hub? If so, a pair of larger ID dust-caps wouldn't have fit on them. Dunno. At this point of my cleaning and rearranging mission I'm 99% sure there are no other dust-caps stashed anywhere. Throughout my tube frame tractor projects there should have always been an equal number of caps and wheels that fit each other. How this played out is beyond me. Another mystery here in GT Land!
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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
I was wondering, since the Craftsman wheels fit the Bolens, could that also work the other way around? Put Bolens wheels on a Craftsman? And are those ball bearings in the Bolens wheels.
Yes the Bolens wheels have removable ball bearing inserts. Might be able to put the Bolens wheels on a Craftsman. If the spindles are long enough. There was about 3/4" stack of washers behind the Craftsman wheels so they didn't shuck in and out on the Bolenes spindles. So I believe the Bolens spindles are a bit longer than the spindles of a Craftsman. Not sure if it would work or not. My guess is no.
 

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Yes the Bolens wheels have removable ball bearing inserts. Might be able to put the Bolens wheels on a Craftsman. If the spindles are long enough. There was about 3/4" stack of washers behind the Craftsman wheels so they didn't shuck in and out on the Bolenes spindles. So I believe the Bolens spindles are a bit longer than the spindles of a Craftsman. Not sure if it would work or not. My guess is no.
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
I decided this afternoon to attempt to modify the two dust-caps to fit the hubs. Neither of them are exactly pristine in condition so I figured what the hey. I considered trying to press something into them to increase the ID. I couldn't find anything including various sockets that would be even close to doing what I wanted. I think trying to stretch them out that far might have just split them open. I dug through my stash of scrap metal pieces and found short piece of exhaust tubing that was 1 5/8" ID. With a little bit of massaging with the die grinder it was a snug slip fit on the wheel hub. OK, so now I have a plan. The piece I had wasn't long enough to make two sleeves from, so I went to the local NAPA and bought a short adapter pipe that was 1 5/8" ID on one end. I cut two 1/2" wide rings using the tubing cutter clamped in the vise and turning the tubing with vise grips. I then cut 3 slots in each ring copying the pattern of the slots of the dust caps. Then I cut the ends with the slots off both caps using a cut-off wheel. Trued them both up on the bench grinder. I then ground back to clean shiny metal on the ends of the caps and also the two rings. The caps were a slip fit inside the rings, there was about 1/8" overlap when they were fit together. Considered brazing them but decided to solder them together. Just like sweating copper fittings, I used paste flux, 50-50 solder and a propane torch. They soldered together great and ought to be plenty strong enough. Test fit shows they should work fine.
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Did a bit of clean up and got some primer sprayed on. That was it for today. I'll paint them silver tomorrow.
 

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A Little Off Plumb
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Very nice modification to create two dust caps. Wonder if a cup style expansion plug could be soldered to the end of a stepped exhaust adaptor to create two new dust caps from scratch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Very nice modification to create two dust caps. Wonder if a cup style expansion plug could be soldered to the end of a stepped exhaust adaptor to create two new dust caps from scratch?
Thanks! Yes I believe that idea would work too. I didn't think of that. I just wanted to use these as they wouldn't fit any of my other tractors wheels. And I still have zero clue how I ended up with a mismatch of caps and wheels.
 

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A Little Off Plumb
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Thanks! Yes I believe that idea would work too. I didn't think of that. I just wanted to use these as they wouldn't fit any of my other tractors wheels. And I still have zero clue how I ended up with a mismatch of caps and wheels.
Did some research using the information compiled on the Tube Frame tractors years ago by member LP Bolens and it appears that Bolens used two different size ID dust caps on the Tube Frame tractors just to make things interesting. Attached are the two part numbers to Tube Frame model pages that I found shown 1715899 - 1.50" ID and 1721245 - 1.625" ID. Hope this helps solve the mystery created back a few decades ago.

Looks like Brian offers the 1715899 for sale if someone needs one or two for the 1-1/2" size hub
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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
I actually went and looked at all my other tractors and they have the larger 1 5/8" hubs. If one had had the smaller hub wheels the larger caps wouldn't have slipped on and stayed put. Like I keep muttering to myself, this just doesn't add up. I'm thinking possibly elves or gremlins got into my barn and traded dust caps with me. 😜
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
I see on the list you posted that my 1054, 1220, 1254, all could have had either size cap. My H14 was supposed to have the 1 1/2" caps. All my front wheels are 1 5/8" hub. I guess that not knowing much of any past history on my collection of tube frame tractors, parts and pieces were quite possibly swapped around from tractor to tractor. After awhile who knows what what went where? I have done the same thing, "borrowing" a part, piece from a tractor that's sitting to keep another going.
 
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