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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up a 1970 Howard Gem Rotavator G20 today for free. It sat outside uncovered for more than twenty years behind a barn and underneath a tree. The engine spins free with no compression, and the transmission is stuck in 1st gear. None of the shifters, levers or guards move. The quadrant lever is stuck and the clutch lever does not move. The rock guard is rusted in the down position and does not move. The lower rock guard is missing. The fuel tank is very rusty like the rest of the machine, but surprisingly the cap still shines! The inside of the tank is very rusty, and may need to be repaired if the rust eat through the steel. The blower shroud on the Wisconsin AENL engine is so rotted that it pulls apart and crumbles when you touch it. The flywheel looks intact, but the engine will need a lot of work. The intake manifold does not fit the carburetor, and the fuel line is hard and cracked. Other than the missing rock guard, it is surprisingly complete. The tines are in really good shape, nice and thick. I do not think the machine was used very much, as the rock guards and tine covers are practically dent free!!! The tires are not original, they are Goodyear implement tires, which surprisingly still hold air! Despite the tires holding air, it took me about 3.5 hours to crank it across 2 acres of land in 1st gear, before I could winch it into the back of my van. I wish I had three other strong guys to help me move it, but it was just my brother and I. An 850lb machine does not move easy when stuck in gear! All in all a great day! I am glad I snagged it for the amazing price of FREE. Attached are some pictures of my new G20 gem and my running 1973 Series V Howard Gem Rotavator G24.



Christopher Kouttron
 

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Looks like you've got a Gem there Chris.. :bag: (I'm so sorry)

It looks like it's going to need a lot of Work and WD40! I'd try Marvel mystery in the transmission to help it free up and some down the cylinder of that Wisconsin.. The rings could just be stuck.. You don't know!

-Stan
 

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"There oughta be a law" to prevent people from allowing an old piece of equipment to sit and rot...
But its better this way......a labor of love to restore a lovely antique roto-tiller - a "real" one.
Great pics...
 

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Nice find Chris, looks like you'll have a good project for the summer. We look forward to the progress reports and of coarse, pictures.
 

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Nice find Chris, looks like you'll have a good project for the summer. We look forward to the progress reports and of coarse, pictures.
:ditto:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As much as I am excited, I know from working on my 1950 Allis Chalmers G and 1949 Oliver 88, (both of which were left outside for countless years) that every nut and bolt is thoroughly rusted and seized up. Instead of wasting time with an impact, drill, taps and extractors, I am going to soak all of the exposed nuts, bolts and linkages with PBlaster once a week, every week for about 3 to 4 months. My shop is rather full right now, I am rebuilding a Detroit Diesel 4-53T for my GMC 7000 truck, a Wisconsin AHH, AGND, and AENLD, 4 Briggs 11000 series engines, and the 4.3 Liter Waukesha 190 in our Oliver farm tractor. Lots going on, and this Gem is not going to make it inside for a while. I need to check my Howard manuals and see if they ever used an AGND on the G20 series. I may swap engines, as I have a really nice electric start AGND which has quite a bit more horsepower, torque and weight than its current rustbucket AENL! I hate to stray from factory, but if it was an option, why not! I do dream about picking up a Series V Gem with the 30" rear, and duals so I can put a VG4D or VR4D Wisconsin engine on! Imagine that a 4 cylinder tiller :)

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I powerwashed my Howard Gem two days ago, it sure looks a lot better. After I dried it off, I dribbled 2 gallons of Liquid Wrench on every nut, exposed thread, and linkage that I could find. So far, after sitting for just 36 hours or so, the shift linkage and clutch linkage have free'ed up. It now shifts into all gears properly, but not smoothly. Lots of adjustment will be needed, and is only possible when the machine is running. I did notice that the handlebars are bent and the handlebars have been pulled down with excessive force. The handlebars are so incredibly strong, that this did not happen by human force. This Gem must have fallen off of the side of a truck, and landed on its right side, bending the handlebar, then flipping upside down crushing the handlebars. Luckily all of the metal is still there, so I can still straighten out all of the parts with an acetylene torch and a hydraulic press. The blower shroud on the engine is far gone, and the tiller guard needs some patch work, but all in all I was surprised with how much original paint this machine has. I may just clear coat it once I get it working and fine tuned!











Chris
 
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