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How Old Is My Tecumseh Engine?

Posted by on Mar 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Old Is My Tecumseh Engine?

I have been asked to give the year on a Tecumseh dozens of times.  The great news is that not only can we figure out the year an engine was made, we can also find out the exact day!

First of all, these instructions only apply to engines using a five digit serial number code.  That would be a code with four numbers followed by a one letter suffix.

If it is an early engine (and I do not know when the cutoff is) it will have a long serial number, up to 8 or 9 digits.  These instructions do not applyThat style would have been certainly used in the early days of the Lauson/Power Products swap to Tecumseh, up until at least the mid 1960’s.  There is no hidden code there.  What ever we know would have to go by factory records that may or may not exist.

If it is a post 2004 engine, the instructions are in the Tecumseh Model Number Spec paper.

We are going to find out the age of an engine using a five digit serial number code.  Lets take a Tecumseh engine I have sitting on a tractor out back.  It is a OH160-160039B 9289E.

We know that the OH160 is the basic model family, and 160039B is the spec number that I always need to find specific parts like carburetors, crankshafts, and similar things.

The serial number is 9289E.

The first digit is the last digit of the year of manufacture.  That would be 9 in my example.  That could mean 1969, 1979, 1989 or (possibly depending on when Tecumseh officially dropped this style of code) 1999.  To go farther, you have to have some general knowledge of the Tecumseh engine line and model years to know the decade.  If you know about when the tractor was made and know that the engine is right for the tractor, you can probably narrow that down easily.  On my engine, it is a replacement on a Massey Ferguson so I’m almost out of luck.  But, since I can estimate fairly accurately going by the decal style and carburetor style, I am going to take a wild guess at my OH160’s year as being a 1979.

The next three numbers is the calender date of the year.  Since 1979 is not a leap year, date #289 is October 16th.

That means my engine was made on October 16th, 1979.

The letter suffix according to Tecumseh will tell you what line and shift the engine was made on.  However, from what an old factory supervisor told me that letter was the production number for that day.  The assembly line was small engine that they would never make more than 26 engines of a certain model and spec in a day.  Assuming that is true, that means my OH160 was the 5th engine made on October 16th, 1979.

 

Hunting for old, obsolete Tecumseh engine parts?  Don’t forget to search my website!  I have one of the best inventories of Tecumseh parts available, including parts no longer available for many many years.  Can’t find what you want?  Contact me and I will check my inventory: I only have 30% of my parts listed for sale. 

Classic Gravely Two Wheel Tractors

Posted by on Sep 13, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Classic Gravely Two Wheel Tractors

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By 1967, the old reliable Gravely T head was showing its age.  Although it still was very popular, the modern small engines had finally developed an equally powerful design with much better fuel economy.  Better still, the modern engines had built in electric starters, versus a large Delco starter hanging off the right side of the tractor, and an integral charging system, versus none at all!

Kohler engines were first used on commercial Gravely tractors in 1967.  The commercial models were produced for landscapers and those who were willing to pay the higher price for the different engine with higher horsepower.  1967 was also the first year for real Gravely four wheel tractors.  Kohler and Onan engines were both used on the four wheel models, while two wheelers used Kohlers exclusively.

The Commercial 10, made only in 1967, used a 10 horsepower Kohler.  It had the regular Gravely two speed transmission, and was the only Kohler equipped walk behind to use a large starter generator.

In 1968, the C-10 became the C-10A.  The same engine was used, but Gravely stole the L8 Swiftamatic transmission to give the tractor four speeds each direction.  The starter generator was also elemenated.

1969 saw the most horsepower to a Gravely transmission, a Kohler 12 HP, birthing the C-12.  It also had the Swiftamatic.

The Commercial 8 was an experiment to replace the Gravely L T-Head completely, giving roughly the same horsepower with all the extras a modern Kohler engine could provide.  However, Gravely decided it was still too early to do away with the “budget” 7.6 C series, and kept the Commercial 8 for the commercial markets.

1972-1977 marked the last period of commercial tractors only using Kohler engines.  It was also the final period of fresh manufacture for the Gravely 7.6 C series.  The commercial series for this era were 3 digit 500 models.  The 520, 521, 522, and 524 used a manual start recoil Kohler engine with 8 horsepower.  The 520 and 522 were both 6 lead worm intermediate speed tractors, while the 521 was the slow speed.  The 524 used the Swiftamatic.  The 526 had an electric start Kohler 8 horsepower engine, with the Swiftamatic.  The 546 and 564 used a 10 and 12 horsepower Kohler, respectively.  Each had the Swiftamatic and electric start.

In 1977, the Gravely C series, the last of the classic L, was dropped completely.  Gravely replaced the C T-Head and the 500 series with the 5000 series, all equipped with modern Kohler K-series cast iron engines.  The 5000 series was the most advanced of the Gravely models, and 90% of those produced are still in use today.

The 5000 series lasted for 10 years.  In 1987, the real Gravely tractor was finished, and up until 2002, when the last Gravely transmission was produced, the tractors were labeled “Professional.”  When 2002 saw the end of the legendary Gravely walk behind, Gravely lost a piece of their history and America lost access to a real workhorse.

Finally: Bush Hog Collectors Have a Home!

Posted by on Feb 2, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Finally: Bush Hog Collectors Have a Home!

If you are one of those inspired by the sometimes rare sightings of Bush Hog tractors, you have a kindred spirit gone public in Scott Culbreth.  Scott has taken hours to research the Bush Hog brand and work on his personal collection of rare models.

He is one of the men in the know on these sturdy old tractors.

Scott is working to build up an inventory of parts and information that will make a big stride towards saving Bush Hog tractors.  He has a passion for them that really shows.

If you need parts, information, or just want to learn more about the legacy of a garden tractor that was made to last, you need to skip over and visit Scott at his webpage, the Bush Hog Garden Tractor headquarters, bushhoggardentractor.com.

Identifying your Gravely L Series Tractor

Posted by on Dec 15, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Identifying your Gravely L Series Tractor

Early L tractors, 1937-1966, had the serial number is on a tag riveted to the fan housing, immediately above the gas tank.  Later Gravely tractors (7.6 and Commercial with Kohler) had the serial number rived to the left side of the advance casting, below the front wheels.
GravelyL3
Unfortunately, many times, Gravely tractors loose their serial number.  As a result, identifying absolutely which model you own can be impossible.  However, here is a simple breakdown of characteristics for the three main variations, that can date your tractor to a few years.

GravelyL4

5 HP L, 1937-1955.
~Slanted spark plug.
~The end of the camshaft is visible on the carburetor side of the engine, towards the front of the tractor.  It sticks through the housing about an inch.
~The oil pump (behind the belt start pulley) is low pressure.  L-103 is stamped in the body. The inlet and outlet ports were located on the engine block side of the pump.
~Oil bath air filter
~Cast iron carburetor
~Only models to use Fairbanks Morse magnetos

GravelyL26.6 HP L, 1955-1966
~Slanted spark plug.
~The end of the camshaft is not visible, compared to 5 HP tractors on the intake side.  It is covered by a freeze plug.
~The oil pump (behind the belt start pulley) is high pressure.  L-850 is cast into the body.  The let and outlet ports are in the oil pump housing, not the engine crankcase.  Gaskets are on both sides of the pump.
~Around 1961, the cast iron Zenith carburetor was replaced by aluminum models.
~A dry type air filter canister replaced the antique oil bath style on standard models.

gravelyl5

7.6 HP C, 1966-1976
~Vertical spark plug.
~The end of the camshaft is not visible, compared to 5 HP tractors on the intake side.  It is covered by a freeze plug.
~The oil pump (behind the belt start pulley) is high pressure.  18073 is stamped into the body.  The let and outlet ports are in the oil pump housing, not the engine crankcase.  There are also no gaskets on this pump.
~Aluminum Zenith Carburetor
~A dry type air filter canister.

The main variations reflect engine horsepower and outer design.  However, Gravely made three other variations for the 6.6 and 7.6.

LI, 1955-1966 and CI, 1966-1976
~Bolt on the left side of the axle housing.
~Internally, the tractor has a 6 lead worm gear versus the normal 8

GravelyL1
LS, 1955-1966 and CS, 1966-1976
~Internally, the tractor has a 4 lead worm gear versus the normal 8

L8, 1963-1966 and C8, 1966-1976
~Small handle to the right side of the gastank, operator’s side.
~Pin and toggle on the inside of the right wheel, connection runs to the small handle

Long Reign as King: Gravely Model L

Posted by on Nov 3, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Long Reign as King: Gravely Model L

gravely_l1The Model D was showing its age in 1936.  Produced for 30 years, the market was nearly full, since Gravely made their machines to last nearly forever with proper maintenance.  In 1937, Gravely decided to drop the model D completely in favor a new, more powerful, more adaptable design.  The L was a completely new design that incorporated the basic design of the D’s engine with the stability and power of two wheels and a five horsepower engine.

The L models were equipped with a Gravely designed engine.  This engine was a massive: it had two flywheels and one large piston.  The valves were of the T head design, which one valve is on each side of the cylinder in a straight line.  The oil was shared from the crankcase with the rest of the tractor.

The first L was known for five horsepower.  It was produced for 18 years, with about 95,440 tractors produced.  This model spanned World War II, but since the Gravely was considered a farming tool, unlike many small equipment manufacturers, the company was able to continue producing tractors even in the midst of steel shortages.

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The second L was updated with 6.6 horsepower.  Produced for 11 years, approximately 138,774 were produced, making it the most commonly found Gravely tractor.  The oil system was updated in this model, giving more pressure.

The popularity of the Gravely created a need for special models.  The regular two gears on the L were fast.  The was caused by an 8 lead worm gear in the transmission which allowed the tractor to book along under full power.  This was too fast for plowing, which needs full power at low speeds, or delicate operations such as cultivating.  As a result, old 5 hp L were offered with gear reduction wheels that slowed the transmission to crawl.  However, the gear reduction wheels took time to install, and also sucked power from the engine.  However, as Gravely’s plant expanded, the solution was to add extra models.

gravely_l3
The LI was the intermediate speed speed model.  Using a 6 lead worm, instead of the 8 lead, it is probably the rarest of the three variations.  You can know if you own an LI by an unusual bolt on the right side axle housing.  LS stood for L slow. It used a 4 lead worm.

Gravely’s best innovation was the L8 Swiftamatic, first produced in 1963.  The Swiftamatic gave an extra two ranges on the axle, similar to a truck, that provided an extra low speed.  It gave the tractor four speeds in both forward and reverse.  It is safe to say that the L8 Swiftamatic is the most popular of the L models today, with many still in use.

The final L edition was produced for only 10 years, 1966 through 1976.  This tractor was named the C, standing for Convertible.  The engine was tweaked one last time to gain 7.6 horsepower.  The C was produced with all of the 6.6 L variations: CI, intermediate speed, CS, slow speed, and the C8 Swiftamatic.

Gravely Model D: First of its Kind

Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Gravely Model D: First of its Kind

gravely_d

The Gravely Model D was ideal for cultivating and garden work.  It was equipped with one steel wheel for its entire run.  The D’s competitive advantage in its day was the gear drive transmission, with a big machinery style clutch.  The industry standard at the time for small, one speed, garden tractors was belt or chain drive.  The D had the extra pulling power that only gear drive can give.

The D was equipped with a 2.5 horsepower engine which gave the one speed machine throttled speeds from 1 to 3 MPH.  It was started with a strap.  Bore was 2 1/2 with a 3 inch stroke.  Spark was provided by a Bosch magneto, while Zenith provided a stock carburetor, a 24 T-2.  Like many antique 1920’s engines, the D had a seperate oil tank.  This was called splash lubrication.  Today’s operators must remember to turn on the oil when they turn on the gas!
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The D had quite a few attachments, setting the standard for Gravely’s later unlimited adaptability.  Beginning with a bottom plow, you could cut up the sod to create a garden, harrow the soil, and furrow it.  All those implements attached to the front.  Once you were ready to plant, you could attach the Planet Junior seeder (sold by all Gravely dealers) to the rear.  Follow the seeder with a Planet Junior fertilizer, running in front of the D.  After the plants were up, Gravely provided a very adaptable cultivator toolbar which could care for unlimited row sizes with a wide selection of shovels.  Cultivating was the D’s speciality, and with only one wheel, its footprint was small and could easily fit inside narrow rows.

But you couldn’t just use the D for your garden.  Equipped with a sickle bar mower, you could tame your lawn or tame a field.  The D also had available a reel type mower.  This attachment was for those who wanted a manicured lawn.  It holds a title for one of the earliest power reel mowers.

gravely_d2

The D sold well.  Always the salesman, B.F. Gravely estimated in a letter that twenty million people in the United States could use the new tractor.  Gravely claimed in the same letter that he had received 31 new tractor orders alone that day.  For the mid-twenties, that was a windfall, and it proved the market for little tractors was strong and sturdy.

The D was manufactured with nearly the same design for 30 years.  Beginning with B.F. Gravely’s patent in 1916, up until 1936, the D was the only model sold.  The D made Gravely a major player in the new garden tractor market.

Proud Survivors: The Gordon Hydraulic Tractor

Posted by on Aug 24, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Proud Survivors: The Gordon Hydraulic Tractor

Old Paths Equipment is pleased to publish the painstaking research of Jamie Trojek.  Jamie has accomplished what few can even dream of: talking one on one with the original designer, Don Gordon, and knowing personally Don Gordon’s right hand man who made the finished tractor a reality.  Jamie is from where the Gordon tractor was tested and produced.  It was a privilege to read all the detailed information Jamie put together.

This is part two of a two part article.  The first section can be found here: http://oldpathsequipment.com/2013/08/one-of-a-kind-the-gordon-hydraulic-tractor/

In 1963, Frink put together parts for 18 production machines for an initial pilot run, using the new hydraulic drive.  They also made a few other, more minor changes from the prototype (mostly cosmetic refinements, as you can see in the pictures).  The machine was available with either a single or a twin cylinder engine.  They put one of the production machines on a trailer to take to shows, as well as to show various people, but it was not well received.  Most likely this was because of the $1424 price tag of the tractor, plus $250-$400 per attachment.  It was a steep price, but that was because the production costs were so high.  It is a very unique and costly machine to produce.  A secondary cause of its failure may have been because its use of a hydraulic drive was quite ahead of its time.  There were only a few garden tractor producers using a hydro drive in the early 60s. That may have also scared people off.  In the end, the production costs were too high and therefore the cost to the consumer too high, so the project was pulled.

Of the 18 production tractors built, only two or three of them were built by Frink, while the rest of them were built by Don.  After building the two or three at Frink, the plug was pulled and Don took the remainder of the parts to build the tractors himself.  So, as many as 18 or so tractors were built (although the actual number may be less than that), but who knows how many survive today.
Now back to the prototypes and their fates.  So, when the plug was pulled, the first prototype machine was destroyed by Frink.  They had begun to dismantle and destroy the second when my friend bought the second prototype machine for $1.  He took it home immediately, but the sulky had already gone to the scrap heap.  He went to the scrap yard and was able to get the sulky before it was scrapped. My friend was also able to get the mower deck for his machine, as well as the snow blade.  The mower deck is specific to the gear drive system.  While my friend was able to procure some of the missing pieces, he was not able to get his hands on all of them.  He had to fabricate a fuel tank for the machine because it was missing already when he got it.  He also ended up modifying the steering a little bit, although you can’t see his modifications because they are inside the machine. The steering, he said, was really sloppy, so he improved it.  He also improved all of the linkages inside the tractor for all of the controls, making them work better and simultaneously making it easier to change from one tractor configuration to another (see pictures).  The linkages alone on the tractor are quite a feat of engineering, actually.  Because of the six different ways you can configure the tractor, you have to design a system that will allow all of the controls (steering, throttle, transmission, PTO, etc.) to work in a bunch of different placements.  So, whether you have the power unit in the front or the back, and the steering wheel facing forward or backward, you still have to be able to use the same controls to run the tractor no matter how you have it set up.  Also, whether the power unit is facing forward or backward, you still have to have four forward speeds and a reverse.  The idea was to make it work no matter how you configured the tractor, but it also had to be simple enough that you could switch to any different configuration in only 10 minutes using basic tools.  To me, that’s a lot of engineering.  Going to the hydro drive would have alleviated some of the complications, but still, it’s amazing to me, and that’s just the linkages and the transmission, let alone the rest of the machine.  My friend also said that they tried to make brakes for the machine, but he took them off because they worked very poorly – too much of a difficulty trying to engineer the linkages to that as well, making them impractical.  In all, my friend only worked on bits and pieces of the tractor, but still, he knows a whole lot about the tractor because if he wasn’t working on it himself, he was still watching it being made because he was interested in the project.  Also, while he has made some small mechanical changes to the tractor, I dare say that there is no one in the world more qualified than him to make those changes as that is what he was doing with it in the 1960s.

As for my next steps, I’m planning on trying to track down as many of the machines as possible to try to put together an inventory of where they all are. I figure that there are only 18 of them or less, so there will not be that many left to track down.  I know I’ll never find all of them, but I do have some leads on where some of them are, may be, or were once upon a time.  It will take time and some leg work.

Here’s a link to the online article on the Gordon:
http://www.autos.ca/classic-cars/motoring-memories-gordon-hydraulic-tractor/

Jamie is looking to find where the rest of the Gordon tractors are.  If you are the proud owner of a Gordon tractor and would like to get in touch with Jamie for any reason, please contact Old Paths Equipment and we will send along your information. 

Jamie, thank you for all the hard work you put together getting this article organized!

One of a Kind: The Gordon Hydraulic Tractor

Posted by on Aug 4, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on One of a Kind: The Gordon Hydraulic Tractor

Old Paths Equipment is pleased to publish the painstaking research of Jamie of Cambridge, Ontario.  Jamie has accomplished what few can even dream of: talking one on one with the original designer, Don Gordon, and knowing personally Don Gordon’s right hand man who made the finished tractor a reality.  Jamie is from where the Gordon tractor was tested and produced.  It was a privilege to read all the detailed information Jamie put together. 

First of the First: Prototype Gordon Tractor

First of the First: Prototype Gordon Tractor

My name is Jamie Trojek and I am an antique garden tractor enthusiast.  I live in Cambridge, Ontario, and have begun to put together a history of a little known tractor, the Gordon Power System, designed and built here in Cambridge (called Preston at the time, before the town’s amalgamation) in the early 1960s.  I have interviewed a friend of mine who worked at Frink and was involved in the design of and production of the prototype tractor.  He has been my main source of information.  His memory is excellent and his knowledge of the project is extensive.  I have also e-mailed Bill Vance, a journalist who wrote an article on the Gordon (more on that later), and I also contacted Don Gordon, the fellow who designed the Gordon.

My friend worked at Frink of Canada from 1948 to 1990.  Frink was one of Canada’s leading producers of snow removal equipment and road maintenance machinery.  He worked on a number of different machines creating many different products for the company, and one of these products was the Gordon tractor.  The reason that I’m using my friend for more of the information rather than Don is that my friend, who still owns the prototype machine, knows not only the design features well because he helped design and build the machine, but he also is incredibly talented mechanically and was able to offer a great deal of insight into the “nuts and bolts” of the machine.

Don Gordon began designing the Gordon in the late 1950s. In 1961, Don teamed up with Frink of Canada to begin working on the prototype, with the intention of making a production machine.  When Don first conceived of this machine, he wanted to use Char-Lynn hydraulic motors to make the tractor hydraulic.  However, Char-Lynn motors were expensive and they didn’t quite have the specific torque that he needed, so instead of using a hydraulic drive system from the very beginning, they decided to make their prototype machines using a mechanical drive and transmission, both built in-house at Frink.

In the beginning, there were two prototype machines made, both using the mechanical drive and transmission mentioned earlier.  Both components would be replaced with hydraulic drive for the production machine.  The two prototype machines were basically the exact same machine, except that they had very minor cosmetic differences on the sheet metal of the power unit part of the machine.  The machine pictured in the brochure is the first prototype machine, and it should also be noted that this means that the picture in the brochure is not a picture of the production machine.  You can see the differences between the two if you compare the pictures of the machine in the brochure to the picture of the production machine in the online article.  My friend is one of the ones who worked on the machine, although he only worked on it a little bit because he was involved in other projects at the time as well.  When they were working on the machines, they had floated around the idea of charging $900 retail for the tractors, a lot of money in the early 60s.  However, my friend and the others involved agreed that they may not make any money at a $900 price point.  The machines were very costly to produce because they were very complex, and much of the machine had to be hand-fitted

When the prototypes were completed, it was my friend’s job to drive the machine around all day for two or three days to test it out.  For the testing, they used the first prototype, the one pictured in the brochure.  To my friend’s knowledge, the second one, the one that he has, was not used for testing.  They took a metal weight and chained it to the back of the tractor to drag around the yard to help put the machine under load in order to help test it.  They had to also test the machine in all of the different configurations for the tractor.  As the brochure shows, there are six different ways that it could be configured.

After the days of running it, they took the tractor back into the shop to dismantle the transmission and gear drive system.  After having dismantled it, they noticed that the drive system was noticeably worn after only a couple of days use.  It was clear that that drive system would not be practical for the production models due to the signs of premature wear on the drive system.  It was then that they decided to go back to a hydraulic drive system for the production models, using a Webster motor instead of a Char-Lynn motor.

Humble Beginnings: Benjamin Franklin Gravely

Posted by on Jun 22, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Humble Beginnings: Benjamin Franklin Gravely

Old Paths Equipment is proud to present a series on the history of the classic Gravely Tractor Company.  We hope you enjoy the series over the next couple weeks!

BFGyoung_medium

America was 100 years old in 1876, and on a plug tobacco farm in Martinsville, Virginia, November 29th, Benjamin Franklin Gravely Jr was born.  Over the years, the Gravely family tobacco farm grew into a profitable tobacco store.  Even with his success, however, B.F. Gravely Sr was not rich enough to allow his children to attend college.  But Benjamin Jr did not believe in limiting himself.

Immediately after his course of study in high school was complete, Benjamin met a traveling photographer.  Photography was not as common in 1895, and Ben Gravely was hooked.  The salesman convinced Benjamin to take a salesman position with the newly formed Eastman Kodak corporation to learn photography.  Benjamin sold cameras, studio equipment, and negative plates to photographers around Virginia, and even into other states.  He cultivated his natural talent for salesmanship that would come in handy later in life.

However, Gravely tired of roving with a cart filled with cameras.  He had taken time to learn photography while selling the equipment to others, and he moved to Huntington, West Virginia in 1901.  Partnering with another photographer he had met, Gravely opened his first business venture: a full line portrait studio.

It was 1902 when, according to a story told by the locals, Elizabeth Downie came in to Huntington to visit cousins.  26 year old Benjamin Gravely snapped the photo of Ms. Downie, and he was smitten.  The couple married, and Elizabeth convinced her cousin, a Moore, to join the photographer business.  Gravely and Moore Photographers lasted up until 1963.  Even with Benjamin Gravely’s later success, he never lost his love of photography.

Benjamin Gravely was a dreamer, but not one of those dreamers who never can accomplish any of their ideas.  While snapping “exposures” of local West Virginians, Benjamin thought out a way to focus the camera, other than picking the assembly up and manually moving it.  In effect, it allowed the operator to turn a lever to zoom in or reduce the view.  Today’s cameras still use a similar concept.

The Gravely family had five children to support.  Benjamin and the older children spent their summer evenings walking behind a push plow cultivating the family’s garden.  It was 1911.  Like all inventors, Gravely thought that there must be an easier way to get a chore done.  Using parts from a junked Indian motorcycle that had been given to him, he strapped the air cooled engine onto a push plow.  Gravely sourced a steel wheel, probably from a horse drawn implement, for the drive wheel. Hooking the steel wheel to the engine’s belt drive, he had the true first motorized garden plow.
US1207539A(1) 1
The original design was unrefined, and Indian motorcycle engines were not commonly found, or cheap enough to buy new.  Gravely’s design showed enough promise to convince a machinist friend to allow Gravely to fiddle with the machine in his friend’s shop.  Gravely developed his own engine, learning as he went, and his own unique drive system.  Gravely received help from Eustace Rose designing the drive system, later to come to fame as the invented of the first automatic transmission.

US1207539A(1) 2
On December 5th, 1916, Benjamin Gravely received his first non-photography patent for his “Gravely Motor Plow.”  Gravely tested the waters with his motor plows by reminiscing back to his Kodak days: using a Studebaker touring car, Gravely loaded a few machines in the back seat and visited farms.  Six or seven hand assembled motor plows later, Gravely realized the potential and started getting help to produce the machines.  A few years later, the Gravely Motor Plow and Cultivator Co. was incorporated in 1922.  The company grew to where Gravely’s salesmanship convinced a few backers to invest money in an old tire plant in Dunbar, West Virginia.

Rebuilding the Lift-All Controls

Posted by on Apr 17, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Rebuilding the Lift-All Controls

After you have completed rebuilding the diverter valve, control valve, and lift cylinder, the controls are the easy part of the restoration process.

In terms of repairs, unless one of the two springs are broken (one on the handle and one under the fuel tank) there should be nothing needed.  I usually like to remove each cotter pin and clean up the mating surfaces to prevent binding.  I also replace corroded cotter pins.

If you are painting your lift, be sure that there is no paint on any joints or moving surfaces.  If someone else painted your lift before, they probably gummed up the connections with paint.  Clean those connections.

You’ll need to verify that the controls lock the pressure/diverter valve down.  Pull the control rod (#4) towards the operator’s seat until it latches in the bracket #1.  Once it is latched, adjust the #6 nuts (one on each side of the #4 rod where it connects to the #5 rod) until the #3 spring is compressed.  As the spring is compressed, the cotter pin on the #2 latching rod will be pulled away from the bracket on #4.  You want the distance from the cotter pin to the bracket to be exactly 1/4 inch.  This ensures spring pressure on the pressure valve.  Reference the illustration below if you need help. Faulty adjustment will result in poor lift operation.

You also need to check that the controls allow the pressure to escape from the cylinder.  Pushing the control handle in past the neutral stop should turn the rockshaft in the control valve.  When the handle is in this position, the flapper in the pressure valve should be open.

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