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About wh500special

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    Senior Advanced Member

Wheel Horse Information

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  • Location
    O'Fallon, IL
  • Occupation
  • Interests
    In order:
    1. Fishing
    2. Fishing
    3. Fishing...

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  1. Missouri Mule-GT14

    That tractor is getting some miles on it! I got it from Jon in Centerpointe, IN as part of a trade years ago. I think it passed through his ownership without any tweaks from him. It ran great, but was an absolute bear to get started. Not just hard to start in the sense that some engines are stubborn. This one was tough. But once running, it did great. It had been sitting in our barn for quite a while and I figured I'd get to it someday. Someday never came. You'll note that the throttle linkage is assembled upside down, so "up" on the throttle control slows the engine. Unless Terry fixed it. Have fun with that beast! STeve
  2. Finally got the boat wet!

    Funny you mention that you convert them to console models. The boat below WAS a console steer model until I took it out and went to the tiller E-tec. It made a huge difference in usable room on this boat. It's 16' long and 73" beam. 1999 Lund 16-Rebel. Yes, I'm a Lund guy. Steve
  3. 512D arrived today..

    I like it! Would love to have had one. Those little 8.5 hp Robins are sweet little engines. Noisy suckers, but they are more powerful than you'd expect. Looks like it had a rear grass collection vacuum on it at one time (belt guard and weight bracket). Congrats, Steve
  4. Finally got the boat wet!

    I was concerned when I bought this rig since the biggest tiller I'd run was 40 hp, but you'd be surprised how easy it handles. But everything has to be j-u-s-t right with the setup. Getting the height of the motor on the transom is a big part of it. And once up and on plane it needs to be trimmed properly to not exert any torque. Some props work better than others too, and often you'll see a big tiller with a 4-blade wheel or something that helps lift the stern. This setup has been pretty forgiving thankfully, because Honda doesn't have the range of props available that Mercury, Yamaha, and Evinrude do. Where it gets tiring is in a hard crosswind, coming out of the hole, or when running with an unbalanced load in the boat. But 95% of the time when she's on plane, you could almost take your hand off the tiller...but better not! There was a golden age of big tiller outboards a few years ago when Mertens offered their hydraulic steering lock and power tiller steering Titan Tillers. He made kits to fit almost any outboard up to 200 hp. These are slick systems with hydraulic control valves integrated into the twist grip that engaged or disengaged a hydraulic lock or activated a power steering system whenever you steered. Completely natural system. Then Mercury bought the rights to the product and locked it down, so if you want a big tiller now (between 115 hp and 250 hp) you only have a choice of a Merc. I'm not opposed to Mercury engines and they make good equipment, but my preferences lie elsewhere. The Merc adaptation of the system are supposed to work seamlessly as well, but they did make some mods to the original system. They power the hydraulic pump differently and now most guys running one of their big tiller systems had to add another battery to the boat just to power the steering. Seems dumb, but it was probably a concession to reliability that Mercury demanded. Patents are due to expire very soon, so there is eager anticipation that Evinrude and Yamaha are going to release their big tiller systems when they can. There is another manual locking tiller system on the market called the Tiller Assist. www.tillerassist.com Said to work very well by the guys that have it. My boat seems to do fine without, so I haven't bothered. I'm not a fan of steering wheels in a fishing boat like this because they take up a lot of floorspace. No console means I have a virtual dance floor in there. And I troll quite a bit from the tiller, so find this works better for me. The downsides are obvious though...lower HP capacity, operator fatigue, reduced visibility, etc. The little Yamaha kicker on there isn't at all necessary on this boat for trolling at crankbait speeds, but we had it in the corner of the barn so I stuck it on there to play with. It will be handy occasionally and for slow trolling using the front auto-steer trolling motor to repeat trolling passes for white bass and sauger. Steve
  5. Salmon Fishing Lake Michigan

    Thanks for the report. Not something I know how to do. That plug lug kind of looks like a topwater Bagleys. I think we might have one like it or similar squirreled away. If I live long enough to retire and the lakes still have those fish in them I have some plans! steve
  6. Finally got the boat wet!

    Wow Craig! That is a beautiful setting. Where is that? finally got the big boat out last weekend. All’s well with the world. (No in-water pix, but trust me....it floats) 18’ Lund deep v with 90 Honda tiller. Fishing. Machine.
  7. Salmon Fishing Lake Michigan

    Jealous! Nice catch. I have got to do that sometime. Looks like a nice little 8 or 10 horse Honda kicker on there. What kind of speed do you run for those fish when trolling and how far down the water column is typical? Steve
  8. Finally got the boat wet!

    Don’t see many of those OMC trolling motors. Nice. 👍🏻 Those 2-cylinder Johnson/Evinrude 20/25/28/30/35’s are the Kohler k181’s of the marine world. Indestructible. I was lucky enough to spend a week in the northwoods fishing but that’s been it for me so far this year. My boat is still sitting sadly on the trailer. Steve
  9. Irresistible!

    Potato chips are the biggest ***** in my armor. That bag and that plate look wonderful. One of of my favorites are Old Dutch dill pickle chips. Only available in the upper Midwest which, thankfully for my blood pressure, does not include here. I’ve tried frito, utz, herrs, et al and none of their dill chips hold a candle to Old Dutch. When I travel, I always make a trip to a grocery store to see what kind of weird chips they might have. I was exporting the Old Bay and Crab Boil chips from Baltimore back to St. Louis every trip out there. Mike, you’re my kind of guy! steve
  10. Father's Day Storm Clean Up

    I hate to lose trees. Always a disappointment. But there’s no love lost for Bradford Pears. They’re pretty trees and are everywhere in suburbia, but they have their issues. Namely, weak branches and trunks that are very susceptible to wind damage. I snapped off an 8” diameter tree trunk when thI ROPS on my zero turn snagged in the branches. Didn’t even feel it and had no idea the tree was laying on the ground until I spun around for the next pass. The Bradford Pear also has become a bit of a nuisance invasive species: https://mdc.mo.gov/newsroom/avoid-invasive-trees-such-bradford-pear-landscape-plantings definately not horrible like those darn bush honeysuckle, but there are issues. Cut those suckers down 🙄 And remember, the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. Steve
  11. Can we discuss the C-171 again?

    C-171 decals have shown up on eBay many times over the last decades, so they probably made it into some dealer inventories as a "kit" of stuff dealers had to take. There have also been many 512-D decals stateside as well. The tractor in the picture looks to have a steel hood, whereas the C171 would have had the fiberglass hood needed to cram the bigger engine and muffler in. So i'd vote that this was just a replacement decal job. Steve
  12. Minnesota weather change

    I don't have a Youtube account, so I'll try to upload a video snippet here... Steve IMG_1250.MOV
  13. Minnesota weather change

    Actually, the fishing was really good. Lots of walleye, bass, bluegill, and pike. Kept some but we’re pretty selective with what we harvest. The smallmouth bass fishing is unreal. Dad kept a journal so I can confirm what we actually boated over the 6 days I was there, but I’d guess I caught and released at least 50 bass over 15” plus lots of smaller ones. Biggest this year was 19.5”. In years past we’ve boated 21-inchers. I like to fish topwater, so most of mine were on poppers. Also used a classic rapala minnow but had to remove one of the trebles to make dealing with the pike easier. We like to keep fish too. Even bass. Minnesota limit is 6 per angler (total possession, not per day as the morons in the cabin next to us insisted 😡) and we try to keep 14” fish. That’s actually a bit of a challenge when you set a tight tolerance. I’d guess the smb in the pic below is a 14”. Not a Lunker. I didn’t take many fish pictures for some reason. Walleye were still shallow. Found them in wood. We aim for 15” fish there and release those that are bigger and smaller. I think you’re limited to one over 20”, but we don’t usually keep that big. Bluegill were hot until the weather changed. Lots of 8”-9” fish. In years past we’ve lucked into fish to 12”. Couldnt find crappie this year. And I burned a day trying for lake trout with no luck. But for a southern Illinois fisherman it was worth the effort. Spring fishing is easy. It gets tougher as the summer progresses. Another favorite minnesota catch is pictured below. Wish we had old Dutch chips down here...Jason knows what I’m talking about! Steve
  14. I spent last week on a fishing trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northern Minnesota. The BWCAW is a huge wilderness area along the Ontario border about two hours north of Duluth, MN. Except for a few designated lakes with a 25 hp motor limit, the area -and the adjacent Quetico Provincial Park - is off limits to engines or motors of any kind. Access is limited by a permitting system and it’s completely realistic to spend several days in a row fishing and not see another human being. Truly one of North America’s treasures. Anyway, my family has been making annual trips up there since 1976. I’ve been going since I was a little kid, so over 30 years. Like anywhere else in this part of the world the weather can change really fast. Ice went off off the lake in the pictures you see below on May 11th. I took these pictures Tuesday after they had a couple weeks of weather in the 80’s. Surface water temperature was about 74 degrees. That’s a FAST warmup and spawning season for the various fish is all messed up. Tuesday evening a storm rolled in. I thought these pictures were awesome and wanted to share. First picture was taken at 7:46 pm. Water was flat calm but the storm was coming and the clouds were the same color as the lake. Wall cloud picture at 7:47. Notice the limp flags. Next wall cloud picture at 7:49. Lake still calm but the flags were fluttering. At 7:50 the dust was blowing and dad was holding on to his hat. 7:51 the Adirondack chairs blew off the dock into the lake. 7:53 the lake was boiling. And the temperature has plummeted at least 30 degrees F. Amazing. Steve
  15. 108-5 Bagger

    Before you remove those mounting bars you should check with your buyer...as far as I know the bars were standard equipment on every 100 series and serve double-duty as mounts for the bagger and "feet" that the rider stands on when stood up vertically (assuming you still have the pivoting battery tray or remove the battery). Steve