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post #1 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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1977 Economy Tractor Project Thread




This thread is dedicated to the resurrection, preservation and continuous enhancements of my newly acquired 1977 Economy Tractor. In it you will find in chronological order the beginning of when I first got it to other miscellaneous projects and updates that I will be doing, or, have already done to it. A lot of times you might find my writing style a bit long-winded but I like to document what I'm thinking as I'm going through each project to look back upon to remember each step of the way. Feel free to skim, or, follow along if you enjoy all the details.

My Previous Background With This Tractor:

I bought this tractor in May of 2013 from the family who bought it new. Growing up as a young kid, I used to watch across the chain link fence as they would mow and always thought that it was one of the coolest looking tractors. It was the loudest machine with the mowing deck on, as soon as I'd hear it fire up, I'd go running out to go watch it creep around in 1st gear. It has had an easy life of strictly mowing a 1/4" lot and was used on and off for that job until about 5-6 years ago where it hasn't been ran since. In fact, it was always stored inside their garage until it lost its space to a supercar of all things! I had always figured that if I had asked them about selling it I would get rejected but I realized that if I didn't, I would always wonder. My initial hesitations were turned around as in fact they were, possibly even going to sell it this summer and seemed happy to have the interest!

Inspection Time:





When I went to go inspect its condition, it was really neat seeing it up close again and remembering back. I was happy to find there were no dings or major rust and even all of the decals were still present. What I do remember though was the paint being shinier than it is now, more red in color... we're going to have to do something about that eventually. I was a little bummed however to find this machine is not equipped with a hydraulic lift, I would say the majority of 1614's that I've seen have this setup so I was going into it expecting that it would. At first it didn't bother me, and I will quote myself from another thread: "The bummer is that it does not have the second transmission, or, hydraulics- which in particular was really hoping that it had. Is this a deal breaker? Not even a slim chance!". BUT, after thinking it over more and what my intentions were going to be for it, it did. So much so that I actually took a few days to research my options before I committed to it. I knew above anything else I wanted an Economy Power King after seeing this one in person again, but I knew that I needed that hydraulic setup for a future blade attachment. I asked around on a few forums that have very knowledgeable members on these particular machines regarding the logistics of a conversion, and my concerns of finding the parts and being over my head were immediately put to rest. I learned there aren't a million and half little intricate pieces that make up the hydraulic system and for the most part, they are fairly easy to locate and some can even be bought new as well. The more I thought about it, the more it became obvious and clear that I should choose this particular machine over finding one that I had no history with. What was I thinking finding a whole different machine when I could have this one that I have had a past with? Isn't that alone worth it I asked myself? When I attempted to bring it home, something was seized as both rear wheels would not turn. It took starting it and putting it in to gear momentarily to break whatever was lose, free.

Here is a video bringing it home. FYI, we are tractor friendly of all colors so please refrain from negative comments about the John Deere pulling it if you feel the need to do so. I really don't think that will be a problem here but it sure was at some other places I posted the photos.




Back to Hydraulics

While I was doing research on conversions, a member referred me to someone who was parting out a 1976 1614, all of which had hydraulics. Just for fun to get an idea of what I'd be paying for a whole setup for reference purposes, I sent an email to him to see what he'd have to have for the complete system. After pricing some of the individual parts such as on Ebay that make up the system, I was shocked when he offered me what he did. He was super knowledgeable about these tractors and we talked close to 1/2" on the phone about them and how to do a conversion. So the big surprise here is that I bought a complete, functioning, hydraulic system for my machine and will eventually be doing a conversion! I am pretty darn stoked. What's funny is that even though this machine is a manual lift setup, the belt for a hydraulic pump is already stored in the machine where pump gets mounted!

I do have some other ideas drummed up that I have in mind as well. Some of them you may not like, understand or agree with some of them but the fun is to personalize your machines to your own liking. I partly bought this tractor as a means of a continuous project to tinker on, on the weekends. This means that not everything will be happening all at once so as I go along everything will get covered as the time comes.

In a mostly sequential order that is more than likely subject to change, here is what I have planned to do so far:

1. Clean up/degrease entire machine
2. Clean fuel system
3. Replace sparkplug, air filter
4. Install a battery box and new battery
5. Change out all of the fluids; Engine oil, transmission, differential, gear cases, steering box. Grease zerks.
6. Replace front tires with next taller size
7. Space out front and rear wheels 1-1/2"-2"
8. Sharpen blades
9. Repaint front steel lower grill guard
10. Buff out paint- It was shiny!
11. Install rear LED spotlight won from MTF's April 2013 MOM contest
12. Hydraulic conversion
13. Locate and install a rear grader blade on the 3 PT.
14. Have seat recovered
15. Locate and install the optional second transmission feature

The photos seen below were just as I got it, original dirt and everything.























"We donít look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." - 2 Corinthians 4:18 1958 Eclipse 32" Speedway l Restored Eclipse Sulky l 1947 Jacobsen 26" Lawn King Jacobsen 36-A Sulky Restored 1949 Jacobsen 20" Lawn Queen l Honda HRB215 l 1977 Economy Tractor l 1971 Bolens 1886-01

Last edited by Austen; 05-13-2013 at 09:16 PM.
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post #2 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Today was the start of working on it, the object was to get it all cleaned up and degreased.

I used a full can of degreaser on it and the majority of it is done including cleaning the deck, however, below the tractor around the gear cases specifically will need more degreasing. I scrubbed the whole top side down. It's now ready for a polish.

I pulled the fuel line off of the inlet of the fuel pump as I wanted to see if fuel was even flowing from the tank. As soon as I began to pull the hose, it crumbled and broke a part in my hand. At this point I knew I had to replace the hoses so I removed the gas tank and pulled off the second fuel line that goes from the fuel pump to the carb. They are hard as a rock and the one leading from the tank to the pump is all broken down inside. I attached a straw to the fuel pump blew the it out and quite a bit of yellow varnish gas squirted out.

While I had the tank off, I took the liberty to polish it as it had lost its shine. I flushed out the inside of it too and also cleaned the fuel screen on the shot off valve, but they both didn't even really even in need. The tank is super clean inside.

Tonight I'm going to order a sparkplug, air filter & pre filter. I've got a marine style battery box on the way and once that comes I'll purchase a battery, fuel line, engine oil, carb cleaner, more degreaser and lots of gear oil. I'm not sure why those metal strap plates where mounted on top of the engine cover as you saw in the first photos of it above, but they're not going back on. I'm guess that it possibly vibrated and they put those on there to cure the noise. If that's case, I'll figure out a way to absorb it.









"We donít look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." - 2 Corinthians 4:18 1958 Eclipse 32" Speedway l Restored Eclipse Sulky l 1947 Jacobsen 26" Lawn King Jacobsen 36-A Sulky Restored 1949 Jacobsen 20" Lawn Queen l Honda HRB215 l 1977 Economy Tractor l 1971 Bolens 1886-01

Last edited by Austen; 05-11-2013 at 11:28 PM.
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post #3 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-12-2013, 02:36 PM
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Nice Find

Someone took care of that or stored it inside for a long time.
For a steal tank to look that good after all those years is amazing.
The whole tractor looks amazing.
I use to sell a few of those when they went to the Power King name.
The big sell was all gear drive.
I had a 1617 for about 20 years with the front end loader and rear tiller and snow blade that fit on the loader after you took off the bucket.
They built a state of the art factory way back then and a few years later went under.
Anybody with a steal tank that has rust in it is put rocks in it and shake it to death in hopes to get most of it out of there.
If still some in there you can spray or put some muriatic acid they use to clean brick.
Try and not breath the fumes tho. After that give it a good clean out with water then soap and water or whatever you like.
My clutch went out on mine like 20 years ago....found a old dealer who still had a clutch for it fixed it then sold the whole thing for $1600.
Told them at the time that power king went under and parts were hard to find then......but he wanted it and it look as good as yours did.
They are a great pulling tractor for the day.
Hope you enjoy your brand new tractor.
I have a Kubota BX23 with front end loader and backhoe.
Has Hydro tranny....That old Power King could pull my new BX23 all over the place if you hooked them both together as the hydro only has so much pulling power before it just sits there.....lol
For parts today I guess ebay would be my first place to look hopping a old dealer still had some parts in stock.

Art
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post #4 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-12-2013, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Art,

Thanks for the reply and kind comments. That's really cool that you used to sell these! I can only imagine what they looked like when new. What year was it when they transitioned over to the Power King name? I think mine was in that transition period because while it says Economy on the sides, there is long decal on the top of the hood that reads Power King. I'm guessing this was similar to the Datsun/Nissan period here in he states back in the '70's.

For parts, there's Ebay like you mentioned and also a really good Yahoo Group for these machines where many of folks have spares or know of a reference that have them. I also found a couple of parts sites too dedicated to these machines which seem to have a good supply of them.

Power King Tractor Replacement Parts and Accessories

Power King, Economy, Jim Dandy parts

"We donít look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." - 2 Corinthians 4:18 1958 Eclipse 32" Speedway l Restored Eclipse Sulky l 1947 Jacobsen 26" Lawn King Jacobsen 36-A Sulky Restored 1949 Jacobsen 20" Lawn Queen l Honda HRB215 l 1977 Economy Tractor l 1971 Bolens 1886-01
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post #5 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-12-2013, 11:26 PM
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Never thought about looking for parts online.....well internet was not here back then when I needed the clutch......lol
I bought mine as a demo from my sales person and a few others in the early 80s before they went under in the middle 80s I think.
After that hard to find clutch I new it was time for it to go.

Glad you can still find parts for them.

Art
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Austen,
I must say that this tractor is EXCEPTIONALLY clean and unabused. There does not appear to be a dent on it! It sure is nice to start out with a good clean machine, and I see that you are already gung-ho about adding all of the factory bells and whistles to it! After seeing how nice your Jacobsens came out, I would not be shocked if this tractor looked better than it did new when you are done with it!

Keep up the good work and pictures,

Chris
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post #7 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-TRON View Post
Austen,
I must say that this tractor is EXCEPTIONALLY clean and unabused. There does not appear to be a dent on it! It sure is nice to start out with a good clean machine, and I see that you are already gung-ho about adding all of the factory bells and whistles to it! After seeing how nice your Jacobsens came out, I would not be shocked if this tractor looked better than it did new when you are done with it!

Keep up the good work and pictures,

Chris
Thanks for the kind and encouraging words, Chris!

I'm certainly going to do the best that I can on it.

"We donít look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." - 2 Corinthians 4:18 1958 Eclipse 32" Speedway l Restored Eclipse Sulky l 1947 Jacobsen 26" Lawn King Jacobsen 36-A Sulky Restored 1949 Jacobsen 20" Lawn Queen l Honda HRB215 l 1977 Economy Tractor l 1971 Bolens 1886-01
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post #8 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 11:21 PM
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I new A guy close to me that use to sell them also......he bought one for himself and left it in the crate till he died about 20 years ago.....somebody got a great deal out of that one.
Never did know what happen to it cause his wife was still alive after he passed. My saleman told me about it....he tried to buy it off of her after he passed as he was his saleperson as he was mine.
She would not let it go......am sure she is gone by now as I have been buy the place like 10 years ago and the place does not look the same. He sold outa his house and shop like I did.
I bet he had a lot of new parts for them when he passed.
Mine was the 1617 Power King with the 4 speed tranny....I think I still have a hyd. pump for it as I wanted a spare...it may be in the shop yet or I gave it away with the tractor.
At one time you could buy it from Northern hyd.....now called tool and equipment.
I don't think power king made it themselves
My four speed was a power King case but with peerless gears inside the case made by....peerless gear was owned by tech. at the time.
They had a plant near me which I worked at for a few months in the summer.......long gone by at least 30 years here.
Proabaly made in China now.....lol

Art
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post #9 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 11:30 PM
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Mine had the KT Twin cly. kohler engine in it which did give me a few problems...why I really don't care for the twin cly. kohler engine myself....fixed more than a few of those....the best was there single cyl. all cast iron engine.
I seen by yours the fines on the engine are still orange.....like it was hardly ever used....unless someone painted the engine.

Art
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post #10 of 120 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 11:44 PM
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Have some pictures of it but don't know how to send them on here.
You have to resize image or what or what size can you send?

Art
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