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.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!
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No 2 came off a bit easier.
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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.
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Wheels cleaned up pretty well!
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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.
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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.