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http://gardentractortalk.com/forums/topic/41800-4th-hdt1000-surfaces-in-the-states/

I must be dreaming! The nightstand alarm is going to surely sound, right?

That is what's going through my head.

I am excited, and in more unbelief than anything else, that I had the opportunity to purchase an HDT1000. Last weekend while using the 1886 for fall clean up, I was thinking how power steering would be a nice option to have. I sent Kevin (WrenchinOnIt) a text with a question or two about the diesel LFs and mentioned how I might be interested in finding one, more than likely an HT20D. Kevin mentioned to contact Dave (OldBuzzard) as he knew about a top secret HDT out there that was available. My head starting spinning and told myself not to get my hopes up, but I contacted Dave who provided me the contact info however stated he hadn't been in contact with the owner for a while. I initially tried calling during the specified times Dave said the owner is reachable but wasn't able to get through initially as it rang and rang and didn't go to a voicemail. I asked Dave if he had his email and he did and this time was successful at reaching the owner, who said..... He still has it!! We settled on a deal and I'll be shipping it from CT to WA.

The machine, as described to me, is in good shape aside from a few things. The owner said he found it stored in the back of a warehouse (I think at a location maybe where he worked) and found the original 22HP Mitsubishi K3D engine to have a spun bearing. He swapped in a 25 HP Mitsubishi K3E which is nearly the same engine as the original only with a slightly bigger displacement (979cc vs.1062cc). From the photos I've seen and how it's been described, it sounds like it was done cleanly. Second, the front bolster has been repaired in the center as you can see in one of the photos below. This issue sounds "common" among the two or three other owners of these machines. I'm guessing this part is a weak point when it comes to the heavier inline 3 diesel and wasn't 'upgraded' to something structurally heavier. I would probably, in the future, see about having a new bolster CNC'd out of stronger material. Third, he mentioned the top of the hood has some waves as something was likely rested on it in the past, but it was like this when he got it. Anyway, it's going to be all fixed up.

What does the future hold for the 1886?

It is truly a bittersweet moment. Sadly, it means the 1886 is going to be sold. When I mentioned all this to my family they couldn't believe I wanted to sell it, and I didn't think I ever would either. This opportunity doesn't come about very often and I am looking forward to putting another labor of love into this unique large frame.

More to come!

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:dancingbanana: :dancingbanana: :dancingbanana: :dancingbanana: :dancingbanana:

Glad that you made the deal.

I know that it's going to a good home :thumbs:

As nice as the 1886-Ht23 tractors are, this is definitely a step above them. It's the ultimate large frame.
 

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Mark J.
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Great score Austen!!!

I'll make you a deal Austen! You can store the 1886 at my house in beautiful Eastern Washington that way you don't have to sell it! I will even keep it well used and maintained for free!!
 

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Super awesome find, and going to someone that'll surely give it some love. Congrats.
Thanks, Ken! It'll be well taken care of.

:dancingbanana: :dancingbanana: :dancingbanana: :dancingbanana: :dancingbanana:

Glad that you made the deal.

I know that it's going to a good home :thumbs:

As nice as the 1886-Ht23 tractors are, this is definitely a step above them. It's the ultimate large frame.
Thank you, Dave! Means a lot. I agree, I just wish they had built more of them.

Great score Austen!!!

I'll make you a deal Austen! You can store the 1886 at my house in beautiful Eastern Washington that way you don't have to sell it! I will even keep it well used and maintained for free!!
Deal. :thumbs:

Thanks, Mark!

Congrats. After seeing the pic, I will lay money on you wanting to get the front bolster repair done soon.
Thanks, CAT! I totally agree about the timing of the bolster repair.

Congrats,this is going to the right place for sure,myself and Kevin were really thinking hard on this one,I'm sure it will be in tip top shape when it's done,anyone seeing your work will have to agree
Thanks, Rick!! Hoping the Johnson 25 loader deal will work out with you guys. :thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Way to work the network! (six degrees of Kevin Bacon and all that)
What a score! Congrats!
Can't wait to follow along with what you do to it!
Thanks, Clevis!

From all I can find, that was the 11th HDT1000 off the line in 1984, which was the first year that the 2388s was built.

There were HDT1000s built in 1982 and 1983, but they were 'non s' models.
Good stuff, thanks Dave! :thumbs: Have you found in your research a ballpark estimate of about how many were built in total? It goes without saying that I wish there was more info out there about them, why they weren't produced here, etc, etc. It seems there really isn't much information at all even from those overseas. The HDT1000 is certainly a unicorn.
 

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As far as I know, we really don't know how many tractors of ANY model were built. It seems that Bolens never released those numbers.

Why wasn't it released in the States? Only someone at Bolens Marketing would have been able to tell us. My guess it was one of two things. The problems with the HT20D left potential buyers leery of a Bolens diesel, or the public just wasn't ready for diesel GT's at the time.

OH, something else I might caution you about the HDT1000.

If you plan on mashing down on the "Go pedal". Make sure you have your hat on tight, as it is one fast puppy. It's top speed in high range is 13.8 MPH. Compare that to 8 mph for the 1886-HT20, and 10 mph for the HT23 and HT20D.
 

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Tractorfanatics.com
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As far as I know, we really don't know how many tractors of ANY model were built. It seems that Bolens never released those numbers.

Why wasn't it released in the States? Only someone at Bolens Marketing would have been able to tell us. My guess it was one of two things. The problems with the HT20D left potential buyers leery of a Bolens diesel, or the public just wasn't ready for diesel GT's at the time.

OH, something else I might caution you about the HDT1000.

If you plan on mashing down on the "Go pedal". Make sure you have your hat on tight, as it is one fast puppy. It's top speed in high range is 13.8 MPH. Compare that to 8 mph for the 1886-HT20, and 10 mph for the HT23 and HT20D.
Dave kinda gave another reason for why it wasn't sold here with his last paragraph. It was specifically designed for the European market.
 

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As far as I know, we really don't know how many tractors of ANY model were built. It seems that Bolens never released those numbers.

Why wasn't it released in the States? Only someone at Bolens Marketing would have been able to tell us. My guess it was one of two things. The problems with the HT20D left potential buyers leery of a Bolens diesel, or the public just wasn't ready for diesel GT's at the time.
Sounds very possible, Dave, thanks for your thoughts.

OH, something else I might caution you about the HDT1000.

If you plan on mashing down on the "Go pedal". Make sure you have your hat on tight, as it is one fast puppy. It's top speed in high range is 13.8 MPH. Compare that to 8 mph for the 1886-HT20, and 10 mph for the HT23 and HT20D.
It sounds speedy, alright. I'll probably have it in low range most the time then for doing slower tasks.
 

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Got Sum
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Happy for you Austen it's getting a good home ! I have a stockpile of good used bolsters if you need one. I priced having one cut (CNC) complete from a solid block of a HSLA like a 942 or a 950 and the price was ASTRONOMICAL ! we dropped back to 4140 and to be made in 4 pieces with the strengthening rails machined in on the front and the PTO mule drive engagement slot ears also, rather than weld all those individual pieces on, I was going to weld the front, back and sides then. You may not need the original strengthening rails with a steel piece... I'm pretty fussy about looking original, but that's me. Even with family in the tool and die trade buying the time for a one-off in a CNC macine was cost prohibitive, like I could buy another nice LF, real nice. I'll match my L.F. broken bolster replacement prowess against anyone's and hold my own :) as I've talked to some of our part recyclers I now believe as Bob Hill indicated to me when I posed the "why do they break" ? question to him . I believe there has to be better than 1000- 1 ratio of non failure to failure. Bob's theory is that's why the addition of the front axle stops came to be, keeping them in tight adjustment is paramount especially with a FEL, any extra weight to the front, throw in axle pivot pin bushing wear ( most L.F.'s had the bushings) and the stops not in contact with the axle would allow unwanted side flex on the center pivot pin. EVERY one I encountered that were cracked, ALL of them were cracked from the axle pivot pin mounting holes in the bolster minimum . I've changed out over a dozen.
I asked Rick Show to pose the export only question of the HDT to the gentlemen who's father was a engineer for Bolens and posted stories on Facebook, as of now yet to hear anything.
My theory is as Bolens did with every redundant model ,they wanted to work with what they had, the expense of importing the European Ducati ,skepticism of an air cooled diesel, inherent problems with the Ducati, expense of exportation of the unit to Europe, maybe combine a lukewarm reception, lack of marketing strategy the project was doomed anyways. I'll also surmise someone had enough pull with the project and sold the idea they should look east to the myriad of inexpensive water cooled small displacement units coming out of Japan thus the Mitsubishi experiment . I think with the cheap importation of the Iseki diesels ,import (engine)then export of the complete HDT tractor, FMC bean counters pulled the plug on the project, ultimately in my opinion the Iseki's along with the scare of product liability lawsuits led to the demise of the Large Frame.
It was a relatively short amount of time for the diesel powered large frame 1987 was the end of the Large frame and also around the time FMC ended its tenure as Bolens parent company, leaving the short lived employee buyout of the Port Washington facility,I don't believe they had enough operating capital to pursue foreign markets. If memory serves Japan wasn't allowed access to the European union markets nor their products even if via the USA so the Iseki's weren't headed in that direction. The Iseki's did well enough here to fill a void, Garden Way took over and the beginning of the end was on.
I think you did very well Austen, I agree with Mr. South as it is the Holy Grail of the Large Frames , kudos to Dave (Old Buzzard) for letting me in on it, and keeping his promise to stay active here, he is a wealth of knowledge, a champion of the Bolens brand and a pretty good guy ( damn good actually !) Thanks Dave .
 

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Awesome Austen! Can’t believe the 1886 is gonna be on the selling block! That 1886 is one of my favorites! Everything you’ve done with it has been top notch and like art work to me! Wish I had the coin to even fathom making you an offer on it! Sad to see it go, but I look forward to watching you clean up and make improvements on your new toy!
 

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I had another question. Was there any brochures or dealer literature floating around for this tractor?? Anyone have any original dealer pricing on one of these tractors? It be really cool to know what one of these cost back then and what it equates to today...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow, thank you for the very informative post, Kevin! It gives me a lot to digest and consider. From one enthusiast to another, I enjoy reading and appreciating your thoughts and theories on the history of the Bolens brand and this particular model.

I priced having one cut (CNC) complete from a solid block of a HSLA like a 942 or a 950 and the price was ASTRONOMICAL ! we dropped back to 4140 and to be made in 4 pieces with the strengthening rails machined in on the front and the PTO mule drive engagement slot ears also, rather than weld all those individual pieces on, I was going to weld the front, back and sides then. You may not need the original strengthening rails with a steel piece... I'm pretty fussy about looking original, but that's me. Even with family in the tool and die trade buying the time for a one-off in a CNC macine was cost prohibitive, like I could buy another nice LF, real nice. I'll match my L.F. broken bolster replacement prowess against anyone's and hold my own :) as I've talked to some of our part recyclers I now believe as Bob Hill indicated to me when I posed the "why do they break" ? question to him . I believe there has to be better than 1000- 1 ratio of non failure to failure. Bob's theory is that's why the addition of the front axle stops came to be, keeping them in tight adjustment is paramount especially with a FEL, any extra weight to the front, throw in axle pivot pin bushing wear ( most L.F.'s had the bushings) and the stops not in contact with the axle would allow unwanted side flex on the center pivot pin. EVERY one I encountered that were cracked, ALL of them were cracked from the axle pivot pin mounting holes in the bolster minimum . I've changed out over a dozen.
That's good to know! It sounds like you've already explored that avenue then. I agree, a replacement would need to replicate the original from an aesthetics standpoint. I will plan to take you up on your offer to purchase a good used bolster. It sounds like with proper care and common judgement, these shouldn't have reason to haphazardly break.

I asked Rick Show to pose the export only question of the HDT to the gentlemen who's father was a engineer for Bolens and posted stories on Facebook, as of now yet to hear anything.
My theory is as Bolens did with every redundant model ,they wanted to work with what they had, the expense of importing the European Ducati ,skepticism of an air cooled diesel, inherent problems with the Ducati, expense of exportation of the unit to Europe, maybe combine a lukewarm reception, lack of marketing strategy the project was doomed anyways. I'll also surmise someone had enough pull with the project and sold the idea they should look east to the myriad of inexpensive water cooled small displacement units coming out of Japan thus the Mitsubishi experiment . I think with the cheap importation of the Iseki diesels ,import (engine)then export of the complete HDT tractor, FMC bean counters pulled the plug on the project, ultimately in my opinion the Iseki's along with the scare of product liability lawsuits led to the demise of the Large Frame.

It was a relatively short amount of time for the diesel powered large frame 1987 was the end of the Large frame and also around the time FMC ended its tenure as Bolens parent company, leaving the short lived employee buyout of the Port Washington facility,I don't believe they had enough operating capital to pursue foreign markets. If memory serves Japan wasn't allowed access to the European union markets nor their products even if via the USA so the Iseki's weren't headed in that direction. The Iseki's did well enough here to fill a void, Garden Way took over and the beginning of the end was on.
Thanks! You'll have to keep us informed if/when you hear back a response from him.

Interesting, your theories about the small Iseki sub-compacts sort of phasing large frames out makes total sense. Dave also had the same thoughts on this as well. The recipe of a large frame with an inline 3-cylinder diesel still seems like the 'ultimate holy-grail' package. The successful Large Frame model line seems as if it was designed up to perfection, only one of the final (perfected) renditions was unfortunately not mass produced due to economics at the time and not due to being a deficient product. I have to think that if the the HDT1000 was produced in the 90s here in the states, that it would have been a success.

I think you did very well Austen, I agree with Mr. South as it is the Holy Trail of the Large Frames , kudos to Dave (Old Buzzard) for letting me in on it, and keeping his promise to stay active here, he is a wealth of knowledge, a champion of the Bolens brand and a pretty good guy ( damn good actually !) Thanks Dave .
Yes, I couldn't agree more about Dave. I signed on this morning and found a PM from him stating to give him a call and I had the pleasure of chatting with him for the better part of an hour or more this afternoon; I learned a lot! We have him to thank due to his tremendous amount of research on the HDT1000 model in particular; he's truly is a wonderful resource because of it. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him and hearing his enthusiasm for Bolens.

I look forward to the day I get to meet many of you in person. :thumbs: :thumbs:

Awesome Austen! Can't believe the 1886 is gonna be on the selling block! That 1886 is one of my favorites! Everything you've done with it has been top notch and like art work to me! Wish I had the coin to even fathom making you an offer on it! Sad to see it go, but I look forward to watching you clean up and make improvements on your new toy!
Thanks, Alfonso! I appreciate the compliments. It will be hard to let go of it for sure but I look forward to starting a new chapter. :thumbs:
 

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I don't know of any Brochures, literature, or pricing information.

All I've seen of it is it's listed for 1981 and 1982 in the 1996 Bolens Service Seminar. It's shown, and specs given in the 3-85 revision of the Bolens Large Frame Service Manual, and a page in the Engineering Changes stuff that I gave to Jerome, which he posted a pic of.

As for pricing, nothing. But I can give an semi educated guess based on the pricing difference between the HT23 and HD20D.

In 1980 the list price for the HT23 was 4500.00 and the HT20D was 5400.00, making the 20D 900.00 more expensive.

In 1981 the list price for the HT23 was 5155.00 and the HT20D was 6060.00, making the 20D 905.00 more expensive.

For the sake or argument, lets keep the same margin of difference between the HT23 and HDT1000.

In 1984 the HT23s version was 6450.00. If we add the 900.00 difference the HDT1000 would have been 7350.00.

Now plugging those numbers into a US Gov. inflation calculator shows the HT23s would be 15,166.86 and the HDT1000 would be 17,243.16 in today's dollars.

I'll also note that the prices above are for just the tractors. Any attachments: mower deck, tiller, front blade, etc. would have been extra.
 

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FMC was out of Bolens by 1982.
 
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