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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I became the owner of a Jake park 30 today. I answered an ad on CL for an engine and it came attached to a complete, working mower.

The engine decodes as a January of 1953 Wisconsin ABN.
It runs perfect, idles perfect and will start with the slightest pull.

It don't look to have had much use, or, its had a lot of care over the years.
There's no sulky, not sure if it had one or not.
Even the blades look like they were sharpened, the fresh edge has a light sheen of orange rust just starting on them.

I'm not sure what I'll do with it but I figure a fresh paint job is in order since its badly faded, but other than paint, and an oil change, it really don't need anything. I can't see taking the motor off it after its survived all these years untouched and in working order.
I think I'd be more apt to use it if I found a sulky for it, what are the chances of finding one these days?
I've already considered building one for it as well. I did a search on line and found two different style sulky carts, one with a single bar, and another with twin rods, What did the twin rod version do different?

Is there any literature online for these? It would be nice to find a service manual for this so I can make sure everything is properly lubed and adjusted before using it.
 

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Now that's neat. Let me take a look, i believe I've got a manual for that. I could make a pdf of it for you if you'd like.

Take a look for the serial number on the mower itself. You can find the year of manufacture for sure on this site. Just scroll down the list until you find the Park 30, pick the model number and enter your serial number.

http://hmfind.com/JAC/JacobsenSerialNumberFinder.aspx

The single bar sulky just pulled like a trailer. The double bar added additional steering and made them almost a zero turn. The sulky wheels turned the opposite way of the mower wheels. Here's a video of a fellow with one going around incircles until he got so dizzy he almost fell off!

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think I'm better off making a sulky since I'm a big guy, at 300 lbs, it needs to be pretty heavy duty. Maybe a pair of 5.70x8 trailer wheels on a shortened trailer axle with a 1x1" tube for a tow bar with a foot rest?
I suppose it'll end up more a conversation piece then a regular mower but the sulky would certainly make it more fun.

A PDF is fine, I'd like to know how to lube this thing properly and how to get things like the wheels off so I can properly paint everything and make it look right.
Who ever painted it in past did a great job but the paint faded badly, its almost pink now. The old paint showing through is still bright orange. Since none of the bolt heads or other moving parts are painted, My guess is they completely tore this apart to paint it. The blade reel and cutting edge needs to be cleaned so the surface rust that's started won't become a problem. I'll probably paint all those parts rather than leaving them bare steel.

To give an idea of its size, the trailer its sitting on measures 8' wide and 9' long. The guy that had it said he used it last summer to cut his grass.

I looked up the serial number here and it shows as a 1954 model. The motor serial number shows as Jan. 1953.

I guess for 59 years old its in pretty good condition. I wonder how many of this model they built? I've been around mowers and small tractors my whole life and never run across one of these before, let alone one that still works.
 

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The manuals I have are in a large book from the mid 50s. There's stuff in there about the Wisconsin engines too. It's that one on the left in the picture.


I got it off of ebay, but I'll open it up and make copies if you want to get you started until you can get your hands on the real thing. Jake manuals come up on ebay fairly often.

Sulkies can be kind of hard to find, at least around my neck of the woods. I looked a long time before I found the single bar version for my Lawn King.

 

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That's awesome!!!

Congrats on your new new purchase. :ThumbUp: It's amazing how heavy duty those machines are! I'm sure you're going to have a lot of fun with it.

Keep us updated with photos! :cool
 

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That's a really neat find and for it to be all together and running is a real bonus. Are you going to post progress pics of your restoration as we like to follow along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The main thing I'd like the manual for is so I have some idea as to how to remove the reel for cleaning and service. I suppose sharpening is done by lapping, the blade and cut edge are pretty sharp right now. The hard part will be cleaning up the rust on the raw edges without either damaging the reel or my hands.

When I answered the ad I was expecting a much smaller machine, I had no idea they even made a reel mower this big. The hardest part to believe is that a motor that size is only 3hp. Its physically as big as a 10hp Kohler, maybe bigger.

I'm real curious as to how much pulling power it'll have to pulling a sulky around with a 300lb rider.
 

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I'll get the manual out today and make a pdf of it. It's from 1949, but should cover yours, they didn't change much. I'll warn you ahead of time, the manuals aren't what you think they might be. There was a lot of credit given the customer for having some mechanical sense back in the day, and I guess they figured everybody knew which end of the wrench to use. They didn't have 20 pages of cautions preceding two pages of actual maintenance information back then either.

Besides the sulkies, they also offered up additional reel set ups that attached out to the sides to mow wider areas. I'll run off a copy of a sales sheet too.

It is amazing that it's rated at 3 HP, isn't it, but that was back in the day before everything had to be bigger to be better, and I'd guess it would out do most engines today. I don't believe I'd worry about it's pulling power. You could probably hook it up to a truck stuck in a ditch and pull it out. It would most likely run out of traction before it ran out of power, and that would be at idle!
 

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Park 30 manual and sales sheets.

Here's the manual that's dated January 1, 1949 and covers serial numbers 1730-2101 and up.

The second one is three pages out of the 1954 Jacobsen sales brochure that cover your Park 30 and attachments for it.
 

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I'm with Bruce.

These old engines never run out of torque.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That manual will work fine, at least I can see how its supposed to work.
I was pretty much guessing at the controls.
I'm not sure I see how the two bar sulky worked, or why.
I'm also not sure how valuable a snow plow would be in a hard tire mower like this?
I've got several large garden tractors with heavy wheel weights, tire chains, and snow plows that struggle for traction at times, I'm sure that the Park 30 with a plow was more or less a walkway cleaner for light snow at best.
Towing two extra mowers behind though must have been a big plus for those mowing huge lawns back then, it had to be one of the widest cut width mowers sold back then.
 

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I agree with your thoughts about the plow application and hard rubber tires. I thought the same thing.
 

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The two bar sulky works with sort of a scissor action. Then the mower was turned one way, the wheels on the sulky turned the other, shortening up the radius of the turn. It shows up pretty well in that video of that fellow making himself dizzy when he changes directions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
After rewatching that video it looks more like the two bar sulky pivots at both ends, the axle pivots on the two bar as well as the tow bar pivoting at the mower. The second rod crosses the main tow bar going to the left axle for steering. The second rod both steers it and prevents it from just folding up when turned that sharp.
For my purposes, a plain straight towed sulky would be fine.
This will be more toy than mower here I guess, or maybe it'll get traded for something I want or can use more here. Its a neat machine but since I don't have any manicured type lawn to cut, it won't see much grass cutting use.
Most of my grass better justifies a Brush Hog than a reel mower.

Any idea as to paint color on these things? I took a quick look around locally and so far the only orange I've found is either Chevy engine orange or Persion orange for AC tractors. Both are too orange compared to the old paint showing through on the wheels. This is more of a red/orange color than straight orange.
 

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There ya' go, that's how that two bar works. If you happen to find one of them, I'd suggest grabbing it because I can't imagine there's too many of them out there.

Yes, the Chevy engine and Allis Chalmers colors are often suggested as close matches. Austen can tell you better than I can about that, having restored a Lawn Queen. You could probably contact Jacobsen/Textron customer service about color matching also.

Jacobsen/Textron's customer service has been very helpful to me in the past with providing manuals for models of mowers and equipment that have long since gone out of production. If they had it in their archives, they provided me with a pdf, and if they couldn't find it, they told me that too. To me, that's customer service above and beyond what they needed to do. I emailed them the model and serial number of what I was looking for. You could give them a try for information also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I had been that route with other older mowers and tractors in the past, something I found out was that there's several older paint colors that can never be duplicated due to the fact that so many modern elements of paint have been banned nowadays.
I ran into this with several outboards and tractors. The exact match to Simplicity red and AC orange on their small tractors is no more, metalic dark blue on Evinrude from the 80's is no longer matchable, and several other shades of blue and reds are just gone. (I've had dozens of paint shops try but never have gotten a modern match either).

On this mower, it won't need total disassembly to paint, I'll pull the main pieces for painting and touch up the rest. If I go too far it'll never get used.

How long did the make the Park 30? I see brochures for 1949, and mine is a 1954, that's the range I have seen so far. Did they make these later than 1954?
If they did, what changed? I'm under the impression that the ABN Wisconsin was done after 1954, at least the manual, printed in 1959, gives 1948 thru 1954 as the range for the ABN models.
 

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Chevrolet Orange is a pretty close match. Something to keep in mind is that the original paint has faded over the years which tends to be more of a red than the orange they once were.

If you would like to stick with a little more red, than you might like Chevrolet Orange-Red. You can compare the two below. From the research that I found and the suggestions that were provided to me by folks who know more about the original color than I do, it all seemed to suggest that the original color was actually more on the orange side of things than red and that Chevy Orange was very much an acceptable replacement.

Regarding build dates, I am not sure how long the Park 30 was built. You might contact 'Andrew' about this on SmokStak. He has quite a bit of literature dating back to Jake and just might have this info or contact the folks here. Hit & Miss Model's Jacobsen serial number lookup for products made before 1975

Like Bruce suggested, Jacobsen/Textron may even have this info too..



 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The orange paint under the current paint is more red, it more matches the old Scott's orange paint on their wheels, or Chevy red/orange that they used in the 1970's on some engines.
The paint on it now is faded Orange, like the 956 orange above, or similar to Kubota orange.
I looked for something suitable at Tractor Supply but all they had was AC orange and Kubota orange, their AC orange is more or less Persian Orange like used on the old AC tractors.
My guess is this was painted the same color they painted their garden tractors. Which was more a red/orange than yellow or peach/orange color.
 
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