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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi folks

Been looking for a gear drive GT for a while. Found a really nice one owned by my brother’s step son. It has been stored for many years inside and is by far the nicest one I have seen in my 4 months of looking.

Nose piece and dash are in one piece, no cracks! Looks like seat has been replaced at some point.
Wheel Tire Vehicle Motor vehicle Vehicle registration plate


3 point hitch (needs adjustment) and rear blade Ice chains that look too big for the tire size and wheel weights

Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Automotive tire


The overall condition is what amazes me. 45 years old and no serious rust issues. Orange shift knobs are still bright, decals are in place and legible, muffler shroud is good and PTO cover is there. The transmission feels better than some cars I’ve driven. It goes easily into all gears with a smooth positive click and no slop in the lever. High /low range is a little stiff but goes in and out of ranges with a good solid feel. Steering is tight and remarkably easy to turn. The rear “Chevron tread tires” as Sears called them look really good. I’ve never seen a set with that much tread on them. The implement clutch and parking brake levers still have their rubber handles. Clutch/brake pedal is complete and has the decal. A lot of these details were missing or damaged on most of the tractors I looked at.

Wheel Tire Vehicle Automotive tire Tread


Sitting in it’s new home next to it’s bigger sibling

Wheel Tire Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive tire


Automotive tire Tire Motor vehicle Tread Bicycle tire


Hood latches down securely. Sears decal in centre of wheel is mint!

Steering part Motor vehicle Corded phone Steering wheel Bicycle part


How many hours?

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Gauge Rim



Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tread Art Automotive lighting


Apparently these rear blades are rare here. Lots of people were trying to buy this blade but didn’t want the whole package. It was perfect for my needs. I don’t need a deck and prefer a 3 pt over a sleeve hitch.

Wood Hand tool Tool Saw Metal


Never seen this much tread on this style of tire. Those chains are definitely too big. Maybe 26/12x12 size. Have to see if I can subtract some links and make them fit because they are a really nice design for ice, which is a problem for me.

Arthropod Automotive tire Seafood Marine invertebrates Chiton


The Onan is running but not very well. The fuel system is gummed up and the carb likely needs a rebuild or replacement form sitting for many years. I’m really looking forward to working on this, collecting some more attachments and using it around the property.
 

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Fixer of Broken junk
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Just shy of 420 hours? (No Comment lol) Wow Brian, you did good with that one.

I really like the transaxles in those. The range of speed with 3 hi and 3 low and 2 speeds in reverse is Very versatile to use with attachments. The Splined hubs are a pretty big upgrade from the older keyed hubs and older split hubs. And they used needle bearings in those transaxles instead of the bronze bushings. They run and shift alot quieter and smoother than the older sears transaxles.

Do yourself and the tractor a favor and replace the fluid in the transaxle and the shifter boot. It will be dry rotted and torn up from age. If it's disintegrated like all of the ones I've had it will let water and moisture into the transaxle especially if you use it in the winter months. Water will run rite down the shifter and into the transaxle. The seal is Sears part # 8105r or Sears new part # 532110542. Shift Seal 8105R parts | Sears PartsDirect or $12 including shipping off of ebay. Message the ebay seller and see if they will ship to the Great White North before ordering. AYP Sears Husqvarna Jonsered OEM SEAL SHIFT part# 532110542 | eBay

lol true story I was using my old crusty SS16 plow/tug tractor and went to throttle it up to plow some of that nasty, wet, cold, heavy crap that we get in the winter and the throttle cable was a little stiff. I had oiled it with one of those cheap cable oilers off of ebay and 30wt oil in an old Eagle #58 pump oiler a few months before winter and the oil had thickened up. Should have used a thinner oil like PB Blaster. Went to throttle it up and I ripped the whole leaver out of the dash. I ended up getting an aluminum dash for it off of a 1969/72 suburban 12. Hood shape didn't quite match and dash but it was "good enough" to use. Old brittle plastic that sits outside year round like that thing did, gets super super brittle in the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Eric! I couldn’t believe my luck in getting this. I drove over 200 miles round trip to get it and narrowly avoided snow and a heavy rain storm. I just managed to sneak through before the driving would have gotten tricky. I took a chance and got it ASAP because this time of year driving gets pretty sketchy here with rain and snow and flash freezes etc and I was using a utility trailer to get it which I do not like towing, even in good conditions. I’ll check that shift lever boot. It may still be OK given that this tractor has been inside most of it’s life but I will purchase a new one anyway to have it in hand. I think the transaxle takes 30w non detergent oil if I remember correctly. I intend to give it a thorough going over before putting it to work. I have a bunch of trails through the woods here that are gravel and about 5 ft wide. That rear blade will be a nice attachment to maintain them. I’d like to get a front blade and a blower for it. I have seen some videos of an SS18 with a single stage blower on it and it seemed to be a real beast. I’m not sure if they ever made a 2 stage blower that would fit it. I have a small workshop that is insulated and has electric heat, so this winter I can take my time going over it, doing all the maintenance and get it running properly. The previous owner seems to be really good at finding tractors and attachments and he is going to keep an eye out for me. You probably get more snow in the winter than we do here. Our biggest issue is temperature swings above and below freezing. A recipe for ice buildup on my gravel driveway and tricky driving. In 2015 we had record amounts of snow, just crazy like over 20ft and that year it stayed cold throughout Jan to Mar. I could not plow my driveway because the snow banks were too high. Ended up putting the loader on and moving back the snow banks with it. Lots of crazy stuff happens when you are doing snow removal. Equipment breakdowns are always bad news. I try to keep my machines well maintained to help reduce the surprises.
 

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Mark J.
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Very nice, clean, rust free example. Clean up the fuel system and change out the fluids and it should last another 45 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks guys. I need to put on new front tires right away. One is leaking down overnight and they are both badly cracked. I pulled the leaking one off to see how hard it would be to remove. It didn’t fight me much at all. There was no wear to speak of on the front spindles, just the tiny bit of clearance that is there when new. The chains came off pretty easy although it looks like a too large set of chains were used and sort of folded over. it was strange. A lot of welding was done to make them fit. They were rubbing the 3 pt hitch lever probably because the bungee cords tightening them had lost their bungeeness! I’ll sort those out for next winter. The wheel weights are another story!:mad:
 

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Oh how I wish we still had the edit button! Auto spell check sucks. Bungeeness not bungee nests!
We do have an edit button. It's hidden in the 3 vertical dots at the upper RH corner of your post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks Kenny! Now there is no excuse for having spelling errors in my posts!

The tractor came with a set of those plastic cement filled wheel weights. I wanted to remove them to install my home built weight brackets that I kept from when I had JD GT’s a few years back. What I don’t like about those plastic weights is that you cannot remove the wheel without removing the 50lb weights first, can’t check lug nuts or do any maintenance on the rear axles or change trans fluid for example. I removed the mounting bolts and the weights would not come off the rim. I tried prying, but didn’t want to damage the rim, tried pounding then from the back side of the wheel with a 20oz hammer and with a dead blow hammer, wouldn’t budge. Tried torque to turn them a bit to get them to release. Broke the tool I made to do that and they still wouldn’t budge. I used lots of water to flush the dirt out between the rim and weight, lots of penetrating oil, lots more pounding from the back side and no go. Managed to gear up a puller to the back side of the centre of the weight and push on the axle. I loaded it up as much as I felt comfortable with, didn’t want to damage the axle, pounded them again and still no go. So I went for the nuclear option, got out the reciprocating saw and sawed them in half. I still had to pry them out of there even then. I think they may have been on there since the tractor was new. Anyway a few photos of the carnage and the brackets I will use to replace them. The brackets have to be clocked to the correct position to allow access to the lug nuts. So now when I need to take a wheel off I remove the weight plates one at a time and then can remove the wheel without removing the bracket.


First one off! Boy, that felt good when that weight hit the floor!


Wheel Tire Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tread


No 2 came off a bit easier.
Wheel Tire Automotive tire Tread Locking hubs


I didn’t know what these looked like from the back side. They were jammed in there pretty solid. Held in by the interference fit rather than the bolts.

Automotive tire Font Rim Circle Automotive wheel system



Wheels cleaned up pretty well!

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Locking hubs Motor vehicle


The brackets can be put on in 4 possible positions. You have to clock them to the correct position to line up with the wheel bolts. I forgot about that until I looked at this photo. I built these for a tractor that had 26x12/12 wheels so the weight mounting rod sticks out a bit further with the narrower Sears wheels, about 2 inches. I should be able to get 90 lbs on there 4x10lbs and 2 x 25. I have a pair of Marcy Grip 25 lb that are only 10 inches in diameter so they will fit into the first step down on the rim and another 25lb wallmart weight outside of that. Given that the Sears is only about 37” wide it’s about 8 inches narrower than the GT these weights were made for so I don’t think the extra width will be an issue. Tires have a lot of cracks in the sidewalls. The tread is crisp and almost like new. Remarkable that tires can be that old and still hold air. Need to plan to replace them soon though.

Tire Wheel Motor vehicle Automotive tire Locking hubs


In conclusion. If you are looking at a used GT and it has those plastic/cement weights on it, it might be a good idea to see if they will come off easily before you make an offer. I didn’t want to destroy them, but I needed them off there in the near future to replace the tires and I didn’t want to break anything on the tractor doing it. What do you guys think. Should I leave those weight brackets yellow like the tractor or paint them white like the wheels? When I retired them previously I cleaned them up and painted them so they really don’t need any paint.
 

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They look fine to me! Not gonna see much of the brackets when the weights are installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes, I think it would be a waist of time to paint the brackets. I picked up a set of front tires and will replace the one that is leaking tomorrow so I can get it rolling again. I got the gas tank off and rinsed out and new fuel lines and filter ready to install. I need to take the carb out and inspect and clean it. The whole fuel system smelt like old gas. I got an “extra brass float” with the tractor so it may still have the foam float in it. It’s been sitting a long time. There is a great Onan carb video online by a member here that really gives you a complete roadmap for getting a good working carb. I’m hoping someone else hasn’t been into the carb and messed it up. The Onan carbs are more like an automotive carb then a small engine carb like what is on a Tecumseh or Kohler. After I get fuel sorted I’ll check the wiring and when I’m happy with that I’ll check for spark and then it will be time to try to start it with fresh fuel. Oil has been changed by the PO but filter looks like it has been on there for a while so I have one ordered. It should be here by Wednesday.
The transmission on this thing is huge. It takes 5 quarts of 30w oil! It looks to me like the shifter boot is OK. If all goes to plan I hope to have it started sometime next week. Got some yard work that will cut into my tractor time. Also need to do an oil /filter change on the JD2320 diesel. Fall is always busy here.
 

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Great read Brian. I’m sure it will work great for you.

Did you get any damage from hurricane Fiona. ?

Noel
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Got lucky with Fiona. We had a few trees lose large branches and one oak that had grown out of a sucker from a stump and was leaning at about 45 degrees that split and snapped off. It was about 10” at the base and it’s cut and split and in my wood shed. We had a professional take down 2 large pines near the house last year. One was over 60ft tall and 2ft dia. at the base. Glad we did that before Fiona because that tree had a split in the trunk about 2/3 of the way through at 15ft from the ground. Rick, the guy who does our tree work noticed sap leaking from the trunk and I never would have noticed that. In halifax there was some serious damage with streets closed where huge hardwood trees in the older south end of town had come down along with power and phone lines and sometimes taking out cars and parts of houses. We got off easy and are only 25km from the city.
 

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Looks like a nice find.... Ive had two similar Sears thru the shop in the past year... a gt18 with snowblower and a gt19.9 with mower and 3pt/cultivator... I tried to stick some 25" ATV tires under them but they wouldnt quite fit so 24" is likely the max height without wheel spacers... they steer nice and turn fairly sharp... plenty of torque for heavy chores... the Peerless 633 transaxles seem pretty tough and the Onans are nice engines but can be a bit pricey to work on... the fuel pump integrated into the carb can be a problem but its pretty easy to put on an addon pulse or electric pump.

Good Score!!
 

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Thanks Kenny! Now there is no excuse for having spelling errors in my posts!

The tractor came with a set of those plastic cement filled wheel weights. I wanted to remove them to install my home built weight brackets that I kept from when I had JD GT’s a few years back. What I don’t like about those plastic weights is that you cannot remove the wheel without removing the 50lb weights first, can’t check lug nuts or do any maintenance on the rear axles or change trans fluid for example. I removed the mounting bolts and the wheels would not come off the rim. I tried prying, but didn’t want to damage the rim, tried pounding then from the back side of the wheel with a 20oz hammer and with a dead blow hammer, wouldn’t budge. Tried torque to turn them a bit to get them to release. Broke the tool I made to do that and they still wouldn’t budge. I used lots of water to flush the dirt out between the rim and weight, lots of penetrating oil, lots more pounding from the back side and no go. Managed to gear up a puller to the back side of the centre of the weight and push on the axle. I loaded it up as much as I felt comfortable with, didn’t want to damage the axle, pounded them again and still no go. So I went for the nuclear option, got out the reciprocating saw and sawed them in half. I still had to pry them out of there even then. I think they may have been on there since the tractor was new. Anyway a few photos of the carnage and the brackets I will use to replace them. The brackets have to be clocked to the correct position to allow access to the lug nuts. So now when I need to take a wheel off I remove the weight plates one at a time and then can remove the wheel without removing the bracket.


First one off! Boy, that felt good when that weight hit the floor!


View attachment 417976

No 2 came off a bit easier.
View attachment 417974

I didn’t know what these looked like from the back side. They were jammed in there pretty solid. Held in by the interference fit rather than the bolts.

View attachment 417977


Wheels cleaned up pretty well!

View attachment 417975

The brackets can be put on in 4 possible positions. You have to clock them to the correct position to line up with the wheel bolts. I forgot about that until I looked at this photo. I built these for a tractor that had 26x12/12 wheels so the weight mounting rod sticks out a bit further with the narrower Sears wheels, about 2 inches. I should be able to get 90 lbs on there 4x10lbs and 2 x50. I have a pair of Marcy Grip 25 lb that are only 10 inches in diameter so they will fit into the first step down on the rim and another 25lb wallmart weight outside of that. Given that the Sears is only about 37” wide it’s about 8 inches narrower than the GT these weights were made for so I don’t think the extra width will be an issue. Tires have a lot of cracks in the sidewalls. The tread is crisp and almost like new. Remarkable that tires can be that old and still hold air. Need to plan to replace them soon though.

View attachment 417973

In conclusion. If you are looking at a used GT and it has those plastic/cement weights on it, it might be a good idea to see if they will come off easily before you make an offer. I didn’t want to destroy them, but I needed them off there in the near future to replace the tires and I didn’t want to break anything on the tractor doing it. What do you guys think. Should I leave those weight brackets yellow like the tractor or paint them white like the wheels? When I retired them previously I cleaned them up and painted them so they really don’t need any paint.
I Love these Sears tractors. Truly amazing build except for a few easy upgrades on the strength of the steering tie rods and bars. I just last month had to replace the rear tires from my 1974 ST10. Who gets 46 years on tires? My unit has been in regular use but mostly stored out of the sun when not in use. They don't make them like this any more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I’m new to these tractors but I am impressed with the build overall. They have their weak points. The nose cone is one. It looked mint but on close inspection it has some fine cracks starting to appear. I should be able to deal with that this winter before putting it to work in the spring.
 

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Nice tractor! Seems like they used to make mower/ tractor tires better than they do now. The rear tires that came off my Cub Cadet 680 are like 40 years and still hold air. And one of the rear tires that came off my old Bush Hog tractor is about 52 years old and still held air. Only reason I removed these tires was because I wanted better traction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Front tires just don’t seem to last as long but even so, the Sears branded tires on the front were pretty shot, but one still holds air perfectly. The rears are cracked on the sidewalls but the tread is still in almost new condition. I had a 74 MF8 and the rears were still holding air in 2018 when I sold it. 52 years for your Bush Hog is the longest I’ve heard of for a garden tractor tire. I think keeping the tractor out of the sun and weather helps. I doubt that some of the modern bargain brand Chinese tires will last that long but I have confidence that Carlisle or Goodyear will still have a long service life. I’m seeing prices approaching 500$ For a pair of 23x10.5/12 AG tires. Yikes, maybe I can find a parts tractor with good rear tires for less.
 
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