Garden Tractor Forums banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
New Member
Joined
·
1,467 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had never ever disassembled any sort of gauge and attempted to repair it. If they didn't work or were in bad condition, I simply replaced it. I have two Bolens oriented amp gauges that were extremely erratic while in use. The needles would bounce rapidly, and you couldn't get much of a reading as to exactly was going on. I believe I read that the movement [sort of like the innards of a clock] was worn and that caused the bouncing of the needle. The gauge in my mutt tractor functioned well but the glass was rather fogged over, and it was difficult to read. So, I figured possibly I could take a gauge apart and possibly reassemble it, and if I was lucky it might even work. If I failed, I would just buy a replacement. I started with the grubbiest looking of the bouncers. They have SW on the faces, and I assume they were made by Stewart Warner. I started by working my way around the crimp on the chrome bezel with a small screwdriver. Slowly, carefully prying the edge up till the chrome ring lifted off the main housing. I found a cup that rests in the housing with a narrow rubber gasket, the round glass and another rubber gasket. I discovered that the "movement" is a small shaft that fits inside a U-shaped bracket with the needle on one side and a small flange on the other. I believe that magnetism must attract, repel the flange to move the needle,I suspect that is how it works anyway. I tried pinching the U-shaped bracket together a smidge with my smallest pliers and was able to tighten it up on the small shaft. I tested my "repair" and with 2 tries I got the gauge to actually function without the needle bouncing around. Amazing! I figured I would probably just destroy it. So, I cleaned up the main housing, glass and chrome ring. I substituted 2 flat faucet washers [ plumbing parts] for the crumbling original rubber washers and got it all back in one piece. Gave it a coat of Rust Reformer and will put some silver color on it later. The clouded over gauge from the mutt got taken apart as well but I only removed the chrome bezel and glass. After cleaning those pieces, I put them back on and got the edge crimped as well as I could. I am sure the Stewart Warner factory had/has special tools for assembling their gauges. It still functions and looks a bunch better than it did. I'll buy a new or good used one if I have to. We'll see what happens.
Hand Automotive tire Finger Tire Wood
Product Material property Gas Auto part Circle
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Automotive lighting Bicycles--Equipment and supplies
Electrical wiring Electricity Cable Computer hardware Gas
Grey Font Circle Recreation Pattern
Watch Black Grey Clock Flooring
Gauge Wood Gas Measuring instrument Font
Watch Hand Gesture Gadget Clock
Motor vehicle Audio equipment Gauge Gas Steering wheel
 

·
A Little Off Plumb
Joined
·
9,703 Posts
Looks like you did a very nice job and the amp meter should now be very easy to read. I removed the bezel and glass on the hour meter on my HT23 years ago - use a small pair of vise crips that I modified the jaws on and it did not too bad a job. Not sure I would attempt a repair like that now as my eyesight and hand steadiness are not what they once were. Could this be the start of a sideline hobby business for you? Years ago there were companies that would repair car gauges and speedometers but not sure if very many are left anymore.

Hour Meter Repair Attempt On A Bolens HT-23
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,760 Posts
Great looking job. Now you got me wondering. I’ve got a few that do that shaking back and forth. I might try that fix.
I’m the type that will take something apart and see if I can fix it. Have done that to many ignition switches and cleaned up the points and lube up stuff. They then work. If not then I buy one, maybe.
Took the selector switch on my dryer apart because of trouble. Just points in there. Cleaned them up and it’s working fine. That was about 5 years ago.

Noel
 

·
New Member
Joined
·
1,467 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the vote of confidence! My dexterity and vision aren't exactly what they were when I wore a younger mans clothes. At least I only had one cup of coffee this morning and didn't shake too much. And I don't think the results were because of any great knowledge on my part. More like dumb luck! It's quite a pain to get the crimp started back on the chrome bezel and if you look close its not quite as neat as how Stewart Warner did them. I'm sure there was a special die that went over the gauge assembly that put a nice uniform crimp in the bezel piece. I also suspect that it probably wasn't intended that the gauges would ever be disassembled either. I can get a working used one right now from good old eBay for the sum of $12.99 and free shipping. I might have to do that yet. We'll see if my "shade tree" fixes hold up or not first. I have cleaned and reassembled a couple of the Bolens light switches and so far they still function. So far. LOL
 

·
A Little Off Plumb
Joined
·
9,703 Posts
So in a nutshell I messed around half the afternoon and saved myself $12.99! Maybe. 😂
12.99 X 50 = 649.50 which could help purchase another tractor, attachment or parts - 49 more afternoons to go. :whistle:
 

·
New Member
Joined
·
1,467 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Looks like you did a very nice job and the amp meter should now be very easy to read. I removed the bezel and glass on the hour meter on my HT23 years ago - use a small pair of vise crips that I modified the jaws on and it did not too bad a job. Not sure I would attempt a repair like that now as my eyesight and hand steadiness are not what they once were. Could this be the start of a sideline hobby business for you? Years ago there were companies that would repair car gauges and speedometers but not sure if very many are left anymore.

Hour Meter Repair Attempt On A Bolens HT-23
I read your thread about the repairs of the hour meter. I had never seen it before. I don't think I had discovered the GT/LT forums on the net back then. When I first found the Bolens forum over on MTF you were posting about your tube frame two stage blower build. Whatever year that was - my memory doesn't always give an accurate time line. Anyway- the vise grip tool you made would have been just the thing I needed yesterday. I could have easily done the hose clamp trick too for starting the crimp if I had thought about it. I believe if I decide to work on another gauge that a tool like or similar to your design ought to be on hand. At least the two gauges I puttered with weren't of great value to start with. They both look better but aren't going to win any prizes. Plenty good enough for a worker tractor as viewed from a few feet away. LOL
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,760 Posts
I took this hour meter apart when I got this Case 446. Was not operating. Just like a like clock in there. Can’t remember what I did to fix it, but it’s been working for two years now.

Noel
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,760 Posts
I’d like to get this amp meter working. But it’s in a place that requires a lot of stuff to be removed to get to it. I’m just not up to that yet.

Noel
 

Attachments

·
New Member
Joined
·
1,467 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just for grins look on eBay. There are several choices of used and new amp gauges up for bid/purchase right now. I almost hit the "buy it now" on one two days ago. That's when I waffled and got the bright idea to attempt a fix on one. I saw several gauges that were rated at 30-0-30 amps like yours is, if that's the capacity you need. Prices on used gauges ran from $9.99 up. Some offerings even offer free shipping. Might save you some time, but it sounds like you aren't afraid to tear in something and see what's inside. It's kind of fun actually.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,760 Posts
It might be just a wire off or not even hooked up Dave. It’s the getting to it that’s nasty. Hydraulic tank has to come out and not sure what else. The older Case which I have is much easier to get to under the dash. The hydraulic tank is at the front of the tractor in it.

Noel
 

·
A Little Off Plumb
Joined
·
9,703 Posts
I read your thread about the repairs of the hour meter. I had never seen it before. They both look better but aren't going to win any prizes. Plenty good enough for a worker tractor as viewed from a few feet away. LOL
The hour meter does not look perfect around the bezel either but it was good enough for me. I did find a new replacement gauge that looked identical as the one that Bolens used but it was about $100.00 which is why I decided to attempt and repair the old one.
 

·
New Member
Joined
·
1,467 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The hour meter does not look perfect around the bezel either but it was good enough for me. I did find a new replacement gauge that looked identical as the one that Bolens used but it was about $100.00 which is why I decided to attempt and repair the old one.
Well, $100 for a replacement, I can understand the motivation to attempt a repair. And to think my motivation was only $12.99! I must look like a total cheapskate! :unsure:
 

·
New Member
Joined
·
1,467 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It might be just a wire off or not even hooked up Dave. It’s the getting to it that’s nasty. Hydraulic tank has to come out and not sure what else. The older Case which I have is much easier to get to under the dash. The hydraulic tank is at the front of the tractor in it.

Noel
Does the tractor keep the battery charged? I suspect it must, or you would have torn into it by now to see why. Maybe the gauge is just stuck? Or like you said not wired correctly. Sounds like a good project for a cold weekend out in the shop with nothing better to do. Nice warm fire in the stove, beverage of choice, some good music playing.
 

·
A Little Off Plumb
Joined
·
9,703 Posts
Well, $100 for a replacement, I can understand the motivation to attempt a repair. And to think my motivation was only $12.99! I must look like a total cheapskate! :unsure:
I never judge someone trying to save a dollar - if the people in government thought about saving money there might be a lot less debt and also a lot less poverty. I was always taught to repair rather than replace if it made more economic sense, to learn about an item or if I wanted to challenge myself by my mom and dad who had both grew up during the 1930's when things were tight (things like shoes were an option during the summer). Nothing wrong with attempting a repair - sometimes it works out and sometimes it does not. While 12.99 seems like a small amount of money to most people to me it represents a value that can either be spent (in which case the money is gone and not available to purchase anything else with) or left in my wallet (in which case I can spend it later on something else) to hang on to - a small "common sense" logic that has served me well over the years. If you save enough small amounts they add up to a large amount that can come in handy on a rainy day - just my thoughts. If things keep getting expensive (like fuel and food) you may be glad you were a spend thrift at times.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,760 Posts
Does the tractor keep the battery charged? I suspect it must, or you would have torn into it by now to see why. Maybe the gauge is just stuck? Or like you said not wired correctly. Sounds like a good project for a cold weekend out in the shop with nothing better to do. Nice warm fire in the stove, beverage of choice, some good music playing.
Yes it does keep the battery charged Dave. Just something simple I’m sure. Some day I will get to it.
As Stew mentioned about fixing things, I learned from my father that you repair the part, make the part, buy a used part, go with out the part and only if you have to, buy a new part. I enjoy taking stuff apart an see if I can fix it. I figure, it’s already broke, I really can’t make it any broker. Hehe.
I’ve fixed a lot of stuff over the years.

Noel
 

·
New Member
Joined
·
1,467 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Agreed, my thoughts are pretty much in line with what both of you said. My parents were depression era children as well and their influence naturally rubbed off on me. Dad always had tools available in his garage and or barn workshops, so I learned to tinker at an early age. My poor Dad had fits over some of the things I tore apart when I was a lad. They weren't broke but I fixed 'em anyway!
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top