Garden Tractor Forums banner
1 - 20 of 50 Posts

776 Posts
Well, I just got back home after spending all day on my latest road trip. I must have the same luck as Old Buzzard though when it comes to road trips as it was raining like hell out for a good portion of the drive... :( I may have gotten a little wet, but I wasn't going to be deterred today, lol!

Unfortunately, it was raining too much when I got there to take any pictures and I just wanted to get everything loaded and get back on the road headed home. So, pictures will have to wait for now... Hopefully I can get some shots of it later on.

Don't change that dial now!! Stay tuned for more details!!!

776 Posts
Well its morning, wheres the pics?
Yeah, yeah, I know... The g/f wanted to go out to dinner and a movie last night after I got home, so I had to take a shower really quick and go out to dinner. I didn't get home from the movies until after midnight and I was dead tired at that point and went right to bed.

Don't worry, I'll get something up soon at least...

I guess patience isn't a virtue around here for a lot of you guys, lol...

776 Posts
Okay, so sorry it took so long for me to finally get some pictures uploaded here. Like I said before, it was raining too much when I went to pick up my latest find to take any pictures of it before or while I was loading it. However, I ended up having to pull over at a rest area on the expressway anyways to readjust and tighten the ratchet straps as a couple of them came loose while driving, so I managed to snap a few pictures of the tractor then as it had let up raining at least for a little bit. But, before I get to the pictures, let me give you a little back story on this tractor.

I found this tractor last week up for auction on eBay. The seller was asking $300 for the tractor as is. He said that it didn't run currently but that it did run before about 4 or 5 years ago when it was last moved. Three out of the four tires were flat and wouldn't hold air anymore. It had been sitting for a long time and he just needed it gone to clear some room. So, I watched the auction and I waited. No one had bid on it all week, so when there was 1 or 2 days left on the auction, I E-mailed the seller and told him that I was interested in this tractor. I said that it looked like it would need a LOT of work to get running again though, so I could only offer him around $150 for it. He responded back to me saying that the lowest he would go on it was $200, so I replied back saying that I was okay with that price and I could be there Saturday to pick it up. He sent me his address and I headed out Saturday morning to go pick it up. The seller lived way up north in the Adirondacks about 2 hours away from Albany, just a bit further north of where Ticonderoga is, but not that far east.

When I finally got there (after some delays and a couple of issues that came up with my truck on the way up there), I saw that he had already pulled the tractor out of the back and had it sitting up by the road for easy access to load it right up onto the truck. He showed me around the tractor to check it all out. He had even already found a battery to put on it before I got there and he sprayed some ether in the carburetor, jumped the solenoid, and the starter turned over and the engine slowly sputtered to life! He ran the engine while I was there for about a minute or so and then shut it down. I said, "SOLD!", lol! Then I got to talking with him about Bolens tractors for a little bit and I told him about some of the other tractors that I own currently, so then I asked him if he happened to have any other Bolens stuff lying around at all. He said that he had a 1050 tube frame tractor that was in fairly decent shape (or at least better than the tractor that I was buying...), but it was just the tractor only as he didn't have a mower deck or any other attachments for it. I decided to pass on that one though for now since it was buried and I didn't feel like making him dig it out for me in the rain. However, he did say that he had a big red snow blower as well, but he wasn't sure if it was even a Bolens attachment or not, let alone if it would fit the tractor I was buying, but he said I was welcome to take a look at it.

We walked around to the back of his yard to a three walled shed where he showed me what looked to be a big red Bolens Sno-Caster attachment that was made exactly for the tractor I was buying! I would guess that it is an 18044 42" Sno-Caster made for the early Large Frames. I told him that if I'm buying that tractor, then I have to have this to go along with it, so I told him I would have no problem giving him the $300 he was originally asking for the tractor, so long as I get this Sno-Caster with it as well. He was fine with that, so I payed him 3 large bills for everything and we each picked up a side of the Sno-Caster and walked it to the truck. (On a side note, he also had a few other cool toys in the shed, including a really old looking gas engine powered reel mower that looked pretty neat. I asked him about it and he said that he thought that it was around a 1945 to 1947 reel mower with a Clinton engine on it. I asked him if it ran, but he said that it didn't and it was missing some parts to make it work. Still, pretty cool and not something you see every day. But anyways, I digress...) I loaded everything up onto the truck in the rain, strapped it all down, and was headed back on my way home in less than an hour, pleased as could be with my latest acquisitions. I arrived back home around 6pm, unloaded everything really quickly, got cleaned up, and then headed out to the movies around quarter after 8pm or so.

In any event, I'm sure NONE OF YOU care about the story at all, but I just wanted to share it anyways and to make you all work for the pictures, lol! So, without further ado, here are the pictures of the tractor I bought after it was already loaded onto the truck while I was stopped at a rest area on I-87 South in between the raindrops:








In case you haven't guessed it by now, I ended up buying a 1969 model year Bolens 1250 Large Frame tractor. One of the primary reasons I was interested in this tractor wasn't even that it was a Large Frame though. I have just always wanted a Hydrostatic Bolens tractor as every other Bolens in my fleet right now is a stick-shift tractor. The fact that it also has a hydraulic attachment lift rather than a manual lift lever is a nice selling point as well. The seller told me that this tractor has a 14HP Wisconsin engine on it, but I would have figured that Bolens would have put a 12HP engine on this model tractor. (The model numbers don't always match up with the engine used on the tractor, but still like my 850 has an 8HP Wisconsin on it, a 1050 has a 10HP engine on it, so a 1250 should have a 12HP engine on it, right? But then again, both the Bolens 900 and the 1000 have 8HP engines on them. Hmmmm...)

I spent most of the day today trying to move around a big, heavy tractor with flat tires on it, checking it all out, and starting to do some work on it in the hopes of getting it working again. I forgot my camera when I was working on it today, so I took some pictures with my phone instead. Once I get them off my phone and edited, I will post up the progress I made on it today. But it is late now and I'm exhausted as I've had a hell of a long weekend, so time for bed now as I have to get up early to go to work to-morrow.

776 Posts
Nice tractor and blower.
And yes, I did read the story.
Never hurts to ask, huh?
Thanks, Thanks a lot, and Yes, definitely! Especially since the Sno-Caster wasn't even listed in the original auction! I would have never got it if I didn't ask if he had any other Bolens tractors or attachments there. I REALLY could have cleaned up too by taking that 1050 home with me too, but like I said, it was too much of a hassle in the rain and honestly I didn't bring enough cash with me either. I had enough to secure the Sno-Caster, but I probably would have needed at least another $200 to get that 1050 as well. I guess it pays to be prepared when going on a tractor buying expedition, huh?

3,835 Posts
Very nice find & enjoyed the story as well. That was great that the guy made a deal with you via email rather than making you wait until the auction ended...very clever on your part too. I don't know why but seeing Gt's on the trailer going to their new home is exciting. Thanks for the follow up late last night.Congrats

776 Posts
Is this the one you need the air cleaner for?
Yes, clearly, as there is no air cleaner assembly on the engine right now... Ya gotta love the wire mesh screen that they screwed over the carburetor intake to keep "the big stuff" out of the carburetor at least! lol... I was surprised that this thing ran at all like it is as I was sure that the carburetor was going to be filled with mud from running it without an air cleaner for any length of time...

Also, I'll have to post some more pictures of it later on this evening when I get back home, but I don't think that this has the original carburetor on it either. Do you know what carburetor this engine was supposed to have on it? I mean, like I said it runs, but it is missing the choke cable on the tractor and the carburetor just has a manual choke lever on it. I'm also not sure if the OEM air cleaner will bolt onto this carburetor or not (hence why it was taken off and discarded...)

I'm sure I will also need a LOT more parts for this eventually over the course of restoring it... Do you stock many LF parts at all or mostly just stuff for the Tube Frames and EK's? Thanks, Doc!

776 Posts
Very nice find & enjoyed the story as well.
Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate it as I put a lot of time into my storytelling, lol... (Especially since I had to write that whole thing out TWICE, which was why it was so late Sunday night by the time I finally posted it. I have no clue what happened, but I was doing some other things at the same time I was writing my post and then my web browser locked up and crashed, losing everything I had spent about an hour writing! I was soooo pissed, but rather than get upset and give up, I started over from scratch and re-wrote the whole thing again. I definitely wasn't anticipating staying up all night until after midnight writing my post...)

That was great that the guy made a deal with you via email rather than making you wait until the auction ended...very clever on your part too.
Yes, I was very happy with how it turned out as well. I'm guessing the guy had no problem selling it before the auction ended since no one had bid on it for $300. Plus, since he sold it outside of eBay, he got to keep the whole $300, rather than only $270 after eBay took all of their fees out. (Actually, more like $250 to $260, after both eBay and PayPal were done taking their respective cuts...) But at least he sold it so it was out of his hair and he was happy to see it go to someone who wanted to fix it up and restore it to its former glory...

I don't know why but seeing GT's on the trailer going to their new home is exciting.
Yes, it definitely is, especially when you're the one taking it home, lol!
Also, that's not a trailer that the tractor is sitting on... :smilewink:

1,232 Posts
yah that 1250 should be a 12HP Wisconsin. I'll say that tractor looks all original. It is so nice to find all original because maybe no one has gone in there and totally messed up stuff. I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

776 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Alright then, I finally got all the pictures from yesterday edited and uploaded, so let's get to it! First, here are some pictures of the tractor after I unloaded it. The rear tire that WAS still mounted on the rim (albeit flat) managed to break the bead while unloading it and moving it around. I am also not sure if I somehow damaged the tractor at all when unloading it or if it was already damaged when I bought it, but I saw some problems with the tractor that I'm not too happy about. But, I'll get into that in more detail in a second. First, here are some pictures of the tractor after I unloaded it and moved it around the best I could to a spot where I could work on it but it was also still out of the way enough that I could leave it there for a while:





I also noticed that the controls on this tractor seem odd to me, like they were replaced at some point by a previous owner who wanted longer controls for some reason. I started looking through the manuals for the 1250 tractor and the attachment lift lever and the transmission shift lever both look much shorter in all the manuals than they do on my tractor. The transmission shift lever especially looks like it has an extension screwed onto it or something and doesn't look right to me.


I also noticed that the rear fender is missing the mounting bolts and isn't attached under the seat anymore. I was wondering why the fender was flopping around so much and I couldn't push it from the back as I just kept pushing the fender up, lol...


I'm also not sure if the board that is zip tied underneath the fender is supposed to be there or if someone put it there to get a bit more clearance between the fender and the rear tires.


Now, while I was walking around the tractor checking everything out (and taking pictures, of course), I noticed a MAJOR problem that I'm not sure if *I* somehow caused when unloading the tractor or if it was already broken before I bought it. Regardless, it is broken now and I'm not happy about it and I'm not sure how I can try to fix it:




That's right, somehow the MAIN front support broke and was sheared right off. This seems like it would be hard to do as it is a solid piece of heavy cast iron and it must have taken quite a beating in order to shear it clear off on both sides. In any event, since this is both the main support for the front axle as well as the PTO, the tractor cannot be used as it is until this support is either replaced or repaired somehow. (I'm leaning heavily towards replacing it as I'm not sure if it could even be welded or anything or if it would be strong enough if it was able to be repaired.

Here is a shot of the front end between the hood showing how far out the front support can be moved out. NOT GOOD!!


I'm also not sure what this is leftover from? It looks like either part of a broken off muffler mounting bracket or possibly part of the muffler heat shield that is missing.


Now, as I said, parts of this tractor seem like they were modified or otherwise just cobbled together by a previous owner. One such item that I am skeptical of is the carburetor on the engine. Take for instance that the factory choke cable was removed for some reason:


Could that have been removed since the carburetor on the engine now only has a manual choke that can't be cable operated? Also, the carburetor on the engine is a Walbro, but I thought that the old Wisconsin engines primarily used the Zenith updraft carburetors. So, is this not the correct carburetor for this engine then?



Speaking of the engine, this seems to be a point of contention among some of the Bolens experts on this forum with this tractor. The seller told me that this tractor has a 14HP Wisconsin engine on it. However, I have heard from multiple sources on these forums that the 1250 tractor only came with a 12½ HP engine. Well, so here is the proof right here then about what model tractor this is as well as what model engine is in it:


Here is a close up of the Bolens Serial Number tag. It looks to still be in excellent condition, especially considering the shape the rest of the tractor is in. However, it does seem odd to me considering the condition of the Model Number stamped on it that the Serial Number is non-existent! I wonder if for some reason the Serial Number wasn't stamped on the sticker at the factory?


Now, here is the all important picture of the Serial Number tag on the engine:


I know it is still hard to read even after I tried to clean the tag off. I still have no idea what the number in the middle of the tag is supposed to be. The number on the far left is the Model Number and the number on the far right is the Serial Number.
Here is a close-up of the Model Number on the tag:


Yes folks, it would appear to be that this is definitely a Wisconsin S-14D engine on this tractor, which is a 14HP engine. Now, I'm not sure if this engine was installed on this tractor at the factory or if the original engine maybe died at some point and it was replaced either by a previous owner or perhaps even by a Bolens Dealer with whatever spare engine they had available. Another interesting theory that was posed by the seller was that this tractor could have been built later in the year and the factory could have run out of the correct engine for this tractor, so they just threw on whatever was available at the time to get it out the door. I looked up the Model Number of this tractor (197-03) and this appears to be a 1969 model year tractor, which was the last year that Bolens made the 1250 before switching over to the 1476, 1477, and 1886 model tractors in the early 1970s. Bolens also happened to make a one year only model in 1969 - the 1455. This tractor did come with the Wisconsin S-14D engine on it. So, this lends credibility to the fact that perhaps Bolens ran out of the S-12D engines in the middle of a production run of 1250's and instead were forced to send out a whole bunch of 1250 tractors with the 14HP engine installed in them that were supposed to go in the 1455 tractors. Or, this could even be a one-off production mistake that some factory worker accidentally installed the wrong engine on and no one caught it! We may never know the truth of what really happened with this tractor...

So, otherwise, here are a few more photos and some nit-picky issues I found with the tractor. Here is a shot of the rear transaxle. I'm assuming the black plug there is the transaxle fill hole, but so then what is the plug/bolt above it for? Could you also fill it at that hole or is that bolt used to mount certain rear attachments with or a rear PTO or something?


I also have two clevis pins in the left side rear lower attachment mounting bracket, but there is only one in the right side. Do you ever even really need two of them on each side to mount any rear attachments or is one of those pins on the left side not needed for anything?



I'm also not sure how the rear mounted attachments would work with the hydraulic lift system on this tractor. It appears that this tractor has a [small] 3-Point Hitch mounting system, but there isn't a typical lift cylinder or arm to lift a rear mounted 3-Point attachment that you would expect to find on other larger tractors, like a Ford 8N, for example. So, how did Bolens make this setup work then and can you mount other 3-Point attachments to this tractor successfully or not really?

I also noticed that the left side headlight retaining ring is broken and missing two mounting clips to secure the light in place:


There were also a wide assortment of mismatched clevis pins of varying lengths and diameters used to mount the mower deck on the tractor, like this one in the front mounting bracket that is obviously much too small:


I was also looking at the left foot pedal, which most people think is just a foot rest, but according to the owner's manual is actually a "cruise control" pedal to maintain a constant speed of the tractor over long distances. I'm still not 100% sure on how it is supposed to work, but it certainly looks pretty rusted up and like it won't move freely without a fight!


Now, actually the most difficult task that I accomplished on Sunday wasn't even moving the tractor around with 3 flat tires (although that was pretty difficult as well, don't get me wrong...), but rather it was trying to remove the mower deck from the tractor with 3 flat tires! Man, what a pain in the @$$ that was, especially in the heat! I worked up quite a sweat trying to tackle removing the mower deck. Further complicating the process was the fact that the hydraulic attachment lift wasn't working and it was stuck on the lowest setting as well as those annoying rear wheels on the mower deck itself that wouldn't clear the rear wheels on the tractor. It was especially difficult to get anything to clear the rear tire that was flat, so I ended up having to jack up the whole rear end of the tractor in order to get enough room to wrestle the mower deck out from under the tractor. I have no idea if this process is any easier on a tractor with 4 properly inflated tires and a functioning attachment lift system, but from what I just experienced, I'm thinking, "Bolens HUSKY Tractors have the fastest attachment switch system in the industry" MY @$$!!! lol... I think I spent at least an hour trying to remove the mower deck!


Then, once I had the mower deck removed, I decided that a good first step would be to replace all 4 tires on this tractor so that I could at least push it around to move it until I can get it running again. So, I pulled the rear wheel weights off of the tractor (which were HEAVY suckers, let me tell you!) and then pulled all 4 wheels off of the tractor. The only one that was a real pain and fought me was the left front wheel. I had to use a sledgehammer to pound it off with. I found the inner wheel bearing was welded onto the spindle and wouldn't come off. I have no idea how that wheel even turned at all since the bearing was seized up on it. The right side wheel was fine though, so I'm not sure if the one wheel just ran low on grease or something and it seized up? My other thought is that the exhaust is right there too, so I'm wondering if the heat from the exhaust dried out the grease in the wheel and seized the bearing up?

Those front tires were both definitely SHOT though and were dry rotted really badly. One tire had both sidewalls blown out on it and ripped:



The other front tire had the tread itself disintegrated and falling apart on it:


So, I finally wrapped up for the day and left the tractor sitting as a familiar sight for Schenectady or Troy around here - up on jack stands after the wheels have been stolen off of your vehicle!



Hopefully if I can get some time after work this week or perhaps next weekend, I'll try to completely dismount the tires from the wheels and then wire wheel and sand them down to get them ready to either paint or powder coat. (I haven't made up my mind yet what I want to do to the wheels yet.) I figure if I need to get all new tires for it anyways, I might as well make the wheels look like new first so at least that will be all done and out of the way. I know it will look weird to put brand new tires on freshly painted wheels on the rest of that tractor looking the way it is, but I guess I gotta start somewhere, right?

Stay tuned for more updates to come in the [hopefully] near future!
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.