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Got Sum
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1,221 Posts
I bought the soldier back in the early 90's off the original owner ,it had a blade, deck , snow caster and tiller, he bought it new I think in '74 I have the paperwork somewhere. It was my main snow removal unit for probably 5 or 6 yrs and got the rough part of the lawn mowing duties because my wife was forever hanging the 60" deck up on the Duratrac and Old ****** would pull it out. Somewhere along the line (late 90's) it dropped a valve and the seat so I decided to take it to the Bolens dealer where I bought the Duratrac to overhaul it ,no BS they rebuilt the engine, the hydro and replaced every bushing , bearings etc. I had to have Wells Fargo deliver the cash for payment of bill , really no BS , my wife still hasn't got over it really, really no BS.
As luck would have it with about 10 hrs on the rebuild it started ticking pretty loud while I was blowing snow, I finished up, pulled it it the garage let it cool off, tried to start it and it wouldn't . Pulled the engine , tore it down and discovered it had stripped about a dozen teeth of the timing gear on the end of the camshaft, talk about a bummer . So Old ****** sat patiently waiting for me to find a good used camshaft , one was procured and I got the box of engine parts out and started reassembly , I then discovered one of the main bearing housing on the end plates had spun loose. Thought about epoxy but decided against it. Looked like Old ****** was going set awhile longer.
Eventually I came across a XL series 16 hp engine at a local machine shop that had overhauled it and the owner stiffed the machinist , a price was agreed on and Old ****** would soon be back in action... not so fast, tapered shaft and smaller diameter crank and the XL series is not has deep because Tecumseh changed their internal counterbalance design, so a trip to the machine shop and some retro-fitting and Old ****** was fit for duty. Trouble was I discovered Large Frames , the Bolens bug being what it is made me think I needed every Large Frame I saw, I did my best to own most of them and that left poor Old ****** regulated to yard rat wagon puller and yes the horror, setting outside back in the woods under a tarp. Old ****** had been shamefully forgotten.
Fast Foward to 2014 at a auction in Jamestown NY with a mindset to own a pretty nice Haban Sickle-Mo and lawn cart , took both home. Pushed the Sickle -mo back in the corner.
Powers to be determined our road was too narrow , had too much crown and piss poor drainage all astute observations on their behalf . Our road got a facelift , widened, flattened and let's see what was the third part ... Oh I got it Drainage , yes drainage... Um ... Ah.. we own the right away they said , no shtt was my reply, I ended up with a 18" deep ditch and about a 45 degree bank where my soft swale of a drainage path once was... No longer mow-able... Humm... Haban... Old ******... worth a try.
A most effective match was made, screw the townships un-mow-able ditch that they'd knock the 3 ft grass down once a summer. No more 500' foot of weed-wackin, Old ****** and the Sickle -Mo made short work of it.
Today I gave Old ****** a new carb, media blasted the muffler and heat shield , hit it with Hi-Temp paint and proceed to trim the ditch line and all the tree lines
Here he is , in his work clothes , just finished up work detail, and yes Old ****** is back in the dry when he's resting... the old boy has earned it.
 

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Getting Out!
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8,205 Posts
Well, I"m still trying to MAKE an old ****** at my place. Maybe have to give it a name, but won't be nice with all the trouble it is giving me makin' it live again! I still have a G10 that I got cheap w/out an engine, wonder what that one will bring to me, Joy or Craziness! Going WHITE is hard to do, heh! :smilewink:
 

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A Little Off Plumb
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7,831 Posts
Let's see - first floor of the museum can be tube frames, second floor walk behinds, third floor can be other brands, east wing can be large frames, west wing can be works in progress, north wing can be ones yet to start on, south wing can be brochures and other collectables . . . . . . . .

Thanks for sharing - it is always great to hear how it came to find a home with you and the on again / off again relationship that develops with the "Bolens Bug" addiction.
 

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Tractorholic
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988 Posts
Boy, that dropped valve and seat thing sounds familiar! My H14 did that right in the middle of blowing snow. Good to see Old ****** out and about.
 

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Got Sum
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1,221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Glad you got her going , is that a NOS carb or did you get a new Walbro replacement?
It's genuine Walbro , same carb that was on it, two kits later and it still kept loading up when I engaged the PTO with the a load on it, saw some on Ebay for crazy price (IMO) found some for considerably less, now that I see they are an endangered species (?) I think I'll see how many more he has, may buy him out. ( I have 3 more Tecumseh powered TF's and I want to be prepared )
 

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Registered
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483 Posts
Right on!!
 
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