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wh500special

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About wh500special

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Wheel Horse Information

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    111

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

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  1. Farewell old friend!

    These were good trucks. Somewhere along the line the F250 designator disappeared and they called them F150 7700's. Still same thing. For 99% of the truck, they shared parts with the F150's. But the axels and brakes were differnt. No alloy wheels were offered. I know the master cylinder for the brake system was unique to the 250 because I had to replace mine and there weren't any junkyard parts or rebuilds available at the time. The truck was underpowered with the 4.6 on the highway. It did a lot of shifting between 3rd and 4th when unladen. Loaded, it just hung in 3rd and made OPEC smile. Below are pix of the black Honda I replaced it (and a Ford Edge) with and a weird contraption I just saw at Menards a half hour ago. Both are certainly not mainstream pickups! Interesting comments. Keep em up! steve
  2. In November of 1997 I bought my first new vehicle. Today, that old friend no longer belongs to me. It always was a bit of an unusual truck. You don't see many of these 7700 lb gvw Fords out there with their bizarre 7-lug wheels. Heavier than an f-150, but lighter than a heavy duty 3/4. I guess it was more of a 5/8 ton. It was a 1997 F-250 light duty 4x4 with the 4.6L v8. I paid extra for the automatic transmission thinking my then fiancé (still my wife today ❤️) who couldn't drive a manual would drive it periodically. It was the first vehicle I ever drove with an automatic transmission. In 20 years, she probably drove the truck 5 times. the things we do for love! It could carry 2700 pounds and it did that and more many, many times. It probably has hauled over 100 separate wheel horses in its 8-ft bed. Until 2003 it was my daily driver until I grew tired of the 17 mpg it gave. Since then I added another car and only used the truck as a truck. So the last 50000 miles or so were usually loaded with something...rock, dirt, tractors, drywall, etc. or pulling a trailer. In reality, it's worked pretty hard when called upon for the last 14 years. It moved me and my belongings from Illinois to Missouri to Indiana and back to Illinois. A friend borrowed it to move his stuff and ended up making multiple back and forth trips to West Virginia. its its been registered and titled in three states all under the same name -mine. Never an accident and until a hailstorm last spring that claimed the headlamps and windshield it was still 100% factory. It's going to be weird not seeing it around anymore. Hopefully it doesn't get crushed soon as I think it has quite a bit of life left in it. I'm sure it's bound for an auction as the next part of its life. age was starting to take a toll and rust was making weird things happen. The engine and transmission are still sound but it had been decaying around the edges. The exhaust manifolds are both rusted, the 4x4 system only works 75% of the time, the AC is dead, and general rust was making it somewhat unreliable. I had good luck in the last 20 years with this truck, but it did make me pucker the time the brake line ruptured at a rail crossing with a train careening across the road. Had I not got that sucker to stop by throwing it in park and flooring the emergency brake the day would have ended differently. Another er time it wouldn't start after launching the boat with the trailer still in the water. That was fun. And there was that 10-degree winter night between Decatur and Springfield Illinois when the heater core blew leaving me with no heat and a puddle of coolant on the floorboards. Thank god Home Depot was still open that night so I could cut the heater hoses and isolate the heater core. That last 120 miles to mom and dads house was cold and my poor dog kept looking at me with confusion on why we were freezing with the windows open a crack (to keep from fogging up)instead of running the heat. But it was still a good truck for me. Some time ago it hit that valuation that made anything beyond regular maintenance an undesirable investment for me. Filling the 30 gallon tank increased its value by 25% The new battery this spring kind of broke the camel's back so I kept it through the summer to get some work done around the house and decided to sell it before the plate expired in November. No regrets letting it go, but it's going to be missed for a while. replacing it and my wife's car is a Honda Ridgeline that better suits our current needs. We're back to two vehicles which just makes more sense. I'm sure others have old trucks or their first cars with which they parted and it might be neat to hear some stories. Farewell old friend! steve
  3. D200 W/ loader BIG project

    Was that the one in Brighton? If so, I saw the ad and thought twice about giving him a call. Nice find. Steve
  4. unknown front bracket

    Holy cow, this one stumped Jason AND Eric? Mark this in your family bibles, boys! I've never seen that one either. It doesn't look like Ireland Rd. quality to me though...looks more robust. Gary is probably on to something. I've never seen in person the Fairbury unit, but that sure seems to make sense. There was one on eBay many years ago in Illinois around Rantoul; not sure who bought it. I thought long and hard about it at the time to go with the other styles. Steve
  5. Will you "Black Out" on Monday?

    My home in O’Fallon, IL was just outside the band of totality, so we decided to head just bit south to Baldwin, IL to watch the event. I had been planning to take a vacation day for almost two years for this. I know different people have different opinions and feelings about things, but this was by far the most impressive thing I have ever seen in my life. Where we were, totality came seconds after T-MO saw it in Bonne Terre at 1:18 (CDT). A couple of minutes before and after total coverage the daylight shifted from being a nice, warm light to seeming like a wavelength was missing or something. Like the blue colors were missing perhaps. It was still quite bright, but the coloring was a bit off. And the cicadas and crickets started singing in the middle of the afternoon. At the moment totality commenced, it got dark VERY quickly. This wasn’t like the sun going down, it was almost like flipping a switch. The stars became visible and a few planets shared the same portion of sky as the moon and sun. Clouds had been threatening to shroud the show all morning, but when the climax came we had a crystal clear sky where it mattered most. The sky and clouds in every direction off to the horizons was glowing the colors of an evening sunset. Remarkable. It was breathtakingly beautiful and quite an emotional experience. The corona around the sun and the “bailey’s beads” and “diamond ring” were amazing. Watching the sun reemerge from behind the moon was such a sight to see and just the inverse of what had happened 2 minutes before. Somebody flipped the switch again and the lights came back on as quickly as they were extinguished. I had no prior appreciation for the rapidity of the transition from daylight to dark and back again. After witnessing this, it makes you wonder how previous generations who didn’t know an eclipse was coming were able to cope. You can imagine in less enlightened times how startling this rapid disappearance of the sun must have been….bright one second and moments later darkness falls and you’d look up to see a black spot in the sky with a ring of fire burning around it. Makes you think of Mark Twain and his Connecticut Yankee. My "Cosmos" loving 10-year old daughter has a deep interest in physics anyway, and I think this really made a mark on her. Even my 13-year old son with Autism seemed to appreciate how unusual of a moment this was. This wasn’t a life-changing event, but it was easily the most remarkable phenomenon I’ve ever seen or expect to see. We were really blessed in southern Illinois to have up to 2 minutes and 42 seconds of totality. And generally we had great weather across the bottom of the state and at least into Missouri too. Had it occurred an hour later in the day it would have been raining! We’ll be doubly blessed in April of 2024 when ANOTHER full eclipse returns to the area and sweeps through from its trip from Texas to Maine. That one lasts 4 minutes! https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2024-april-8 The intersection of the path from yesterday’s event and the one 7 years from now happens around Carbondale, IL. Consequently, Carbondale drew a large crowd of people who plan to watch TWO full eclipses from the same spot. http://www.eclipse2017.org/2017/overlap.htm Mark your calendars for April 8, 2024. I already told my boss I’ll be out that day! Steve
  6. Lawn-Boy M Series Brought Back to Life

    520's sound great, no doubt about it! I don't remember well enough to know how it was executed. it certainly wasn't my uncle's fabrication since he wasn't the least bit of a tinkerer. I want to say the whole height adjust quadrant was on a pivot with a spring holding it in place but it's been too many years. My uncle is the type that takes fanatical care of his belongings and he only bought the best of everything. I haven't been to his house in years, but I should make an effort to ask if he still has the LB's...he probably does. Steve
  7. Interesting Auction in Virginia, September 16

    Window shopping only!!! I need to get back on the herd shedding mission. I think I've seen about 20 leave the place in the last couple years. Still lots to go!
  8. Lawn-Boy M Series Brought Back to Life

    You mentioned the tracking issues with the staggered wheel arrangement... I just remembered that an uncle - who always had a pair of lawnboys and a Wheel Horse in his garage - had a LB that had a spring loaded wheel on that far right corner by the discharge chute. Although I'm sure the one he had wasn't rare, I'd never seen another that had that feature. I'll bet it was to keep it from wandering. One of my neighbors made a comment after my first mowing with my new mower this spring that he noticed I had something new because of the sound. My new mower is a 4-stroke and is more "conventional" sounding I guess. I miss the 2-stroke buzz. Ole Evinrude would be proud. Steve
  9. Interesting Auction in Virginia, September 16

    Wow! Next time my wife wonders aloud how many tractors I have, I'll show her this and how much worse it could be. I suspect this will be a bargain hunter's paradise. With so many run-of-the-mill models and so many duplicates I think this will be a great place to be a buyer. And, I think the right crowd might help the selling family on a few of the special models like the RJ35, 1054, and backhoe equipped D-auto. I like the looks of a couple of those green ones and the old Case models. Looks like a great time. I just might be in that neck of the woods on the 15th...I wonder if a detour could be in the works. Good luck to all who go! Steve
  10. DON'T GO TO THE CHIROPRATOR

    Darn it, Duke. Hang in there! I'm sure you're in good hands there at Memorial. That's where my wife worked and son was born when we lived up there. Good people. Rest up and do whatever they tell you to do. Steve
  11. Lawn-Boy M Series Brought Back to Life

    This is my first mowing season since about 2000 without a lawnboy in my garage. I've had several and loved every one of them. One I bought new in 2001 and it was the last to go. In all those years they required such little maintenance and started right up each time. Great, lightweight, and powerful mowers. I was really just ready for something new, but I justified getting rid of them because one of them needed a $30 coil. In 17 years, that was the only failure I had. Outstanding reliability. Thanks for the info on the m-series. I had no idea they had automatic oiling. It's too bad that old-school two strokes are so dirty...what a practical and power dense little package they are. Nice story. Steve
  12. WHEEL HORSE FINISH MOWER

    Is that a 5-footer or the 6-footer? It looks to be the larger version. Steve
  13. What's in His Mirror ???

    Thank T-MO. Darn thing is upright on my phone. Drove it on the trailer. First time I rode that sucker in at least a decade.
  14. What's in His Mirror ???

    Bye bye D250. On on the way to the corn husker state. Steve
  15. carb soaking fluid

    The methyl groups on the one end do offer some solubility for non polar molecules...not great, but still somewhat universally functional as a general purpose solvent. I'd imagine the old cleaners were chlorinated solvents, as are some brake cleaners too. Nasty stuff and unequivocally harmful to your health. Always use sparingly and follow the labels. Steve
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