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About EricF

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 08/30/1966

Wheel Horse Information

  • tractors
    1996 520H
  • favoritemodel

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  • Location
    Concord, NH

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  1. The REAL Wheel Horse

    Half a lifetime ago, I worked with horses... believe me, good harness equipment and tack is cared for to last a lifetime, and repaired rather than replaced. Each owner tends to add their own personal touches along the way. I'm sure there's some interesting history there!
  2. Time to fix the brake

    Roll pins are kind of a holdover from an earlier era, and Wheel Horse stuck to its roots even after then Ponds sold the company. Actually, in all seriousness, roll pins are excellent for holding in spite of shock and vibration -- much better than set screws or screws on splined hollow shafts. There's a reason why roll pins are still the order of the day for holding semi-permanent assemblies together in firearms -- just no substitute for some applications. In the case of the Wheel Horse parking brake knob, it's just overbuilt -- typical Wheel Horse engineering. As for why the parking brake latch won't hold, is the lever under spring tension? if the spring that holds it "down" is missing or broken, it will flop up and down and won't keep the parking brake pawl teeth engaged.
  3. Craigslist find

    Bandaided PTO? Shucks, I can pick up the same kind of clip Wheel Horse used from my local Ace hardware store for a buck or less... " Got it on a trade and not what we are looking for. " The seller must not not be looking for good machinery, then, because that Horse looks like it's either repairable or a fine source of parts to combine with another Wheel Horse to make a machine that will probably outlast what they're "looking for"!
  4. It's a testament to how tough these machines are, when they can be abused and neglected and still be repairable.
  5. 520H for sale questions

    Loose cam / linkage on top of the hydro will cause problems with the motion control lever not being able to advance the hydro to full speed. Look under the seat for the linkage. If it's loose, you've found the likely suspect. Tighten it up so the cam doesn't wobble, so the motion control will work correctly. Then chain the tractor to a tree or solid object and see if the wheels will try to bite in and pull, or if the transmission slips. That will tell you if the transmission is good or not.
  6. Saved from going to scrap!

    The plastic PTO covers definitely started in the mid-90's, as a concession to newer safety standards. (Personally, I always wondered how Wheel Horse managed to go so long without having to put a shroud over the PTO -- every other brand with a horizontal engine seemed to have one by the 1970's unless they used shaft drive!) Maybe someone can correct me, but I don't remember any electric PTOs on the 1990's standard Wheel Horses, at least not on the horizontal-shaft engines. Seems like Wheel Horse was one of the first to introduce electric PTO clutches way back in the '60s, but they kind of moved away from them as everybody else picked them up. Although the 5xi series used them again since they had the mowing reverse lockout, but those are hidden away since it's a fore-aft shaft drive engine setup.
  7. Running higher octane gas?

    Another conundrum with fuels and engine performance vs. manufacturer recommendations is due to emissions ratings of modern small engines. Without any catalyst exhaust systems (yet?) they're dependent on narrow ranges of valve timing, spark temperature and carburetor characteristics to get the emissions to meet specs, and they do that based on whatever pump-grade gas is specced in the manual. So if they spec a requirement for nothing higher than 87-octane pump gas, it's probably because the burn characteristics of higher octane fuel throws the emissions out of whack, given the rest of the engine's operating behavior. Not that it matters in getting the grass mowed, or even much in the overall life and running characteristics of the engine. It's mostly about meeting emissions specs. There are other things that octane rating can affect, though. Octane rating affects the speed at which the fuel/air mixture burns. High-octane fuel delivers a short, hot burst later in the combustion cycle. Lower octanes deliver a slower, gentler (relatively) combustion which starts earlier and lasts longer through the piston stroke. (This is why burned exhaust valves can result from running lower-octane fuel in high-compression engines -- the fuel may still be burning when the exhaust valve opens.) Combustion characteristics can also affect cylinder temperatures, which is is a concern with any engine, but can be particularly important on small air-cooled engines. High octane fuels are often said to give cooler engine temps because the fuel spray initially cools the combustion chamber slightly, then combustion gets over and done quickly, leaving the exhaust cycle to fully scavenge the heat. Lower-octane fuels may result in more heat soak of the combustion chamber and cylinder since the duration of the combustion is longer. Theoretically, then, high-octane fuel is well-suited for air-cooled engines as long as there's nothing funny going on with the valve timing that would cause incomplete burning with high-octane gas.
  8. Buying New Garden Tractor

    I'd probably lean toward a basic JD X700, if I were buying a new GT. (And had plenty of money burning a hole in my pocket...) You don't have to go for all the options either, to get a good, robust machine. Though it's a bit more complex in terms of the electrical system with modern safety features, and a fair bit of electronics too.
  9. 520H fuel line replacement

    Try removing the left-hand side cover. (The one just above the footboard) The parts diagram (pg.38) shows that it should be routed just behind this cover, so it's in front of the side plate for the tunnel where the lift mechanicals are. There is also a hold-down clamp on top of the transaxle housing or frame-to-transaxle mount plate; getting to that easily may require removing the fender pan. It is, however, a fairly straight run back to the tank. Note that the fuel line should form a low point toward the front of its run behind the side cover -- lower than the fuel pump inlet and lower than the rest of the mostly-level run back to the tank -- Toro's document shows it drops level with the bottom of one of the largest round holes punched in the inner plate that's below the dash tower. This drop in the line will help limit drain-back to the tank. In general, keep it nice and low before entering the pump to give gravity a chance to help with feeding fuel to the pump -- remember that the tank is lower than the carb, so anything that can help with the feed to the pump is good. You can find the parts diagram in the files section here on Red Square.
  10. Hydro vs. 8-Speed

    Sunstrands and the Eaton 1100 hydros are pretty tough and well-matched to the Wheel Horse rear end... Neither the manuals nor the hydros shy away from getting some serious work done. I've seen threads on Red Square on repairing and recovering from previous-owner abuse for both types, so neither one is immune. Manuals are probably easier for do-it-yourself rebuilds... The hydros have the advantage of providing for the hydraulic lift... I'd have both of I had more than one tractor, but with only one and the need for running the big snowthrower in the winter, the hydro and hydraulic lift makes the most sense for me.
  11. Oil filter on the 520

    I replaced mine with the Stens 120517 from RPCW -- it's plenty long enough to get a grip on and the rubber gasket is nice and snug on it.
  12. Trunk Tractor

    Pretty sure it's a Sears. Might be one of the lower-end ones that were made for them by Murray.
  13. Four WH Questions

    With a grease gun, you'll feel more a little more resistance in the handle as you squeeze grease through the zerk and into the bearing or cavity. It might be like pumping grease out in the open air for a few strokes if there wasn't much in the part you're working on to begin with, but it should get a little firmer. Generally, you want to watch the parts and look for old, dirty grease to be start getting pushed out.
  14. OEM or after market parts

    Agreed - non OEM parts are getting to be a fact of life. Some just aren't available any other way. Or I'll go with a reliable channel supplier, like Stens for some things, where they have a reputation for either using the same OEM contractors or parts specifically made by their contrators to meet or exceed OEM specs. (And even a lot of OEM parts like seals and filters and belts are made by external contractors, and not necessarily the same ones year-to-year.) At least with Wheel Horse, a lot of bearings and machine parts are just "standard" items that are available by size and application. Less oddball OEM-only stuff to have to track down.
  15. Followed Me Home Yesterday

    May have thought "only" 16HP wouldn't need the 1100... I agree, somebody at Toro thought they could shave some money. But I wonder if they didn't completely realize what would happen with hooking up the 700 to the Uni-Drive rear end -- it does too good a job of putting as much torque and power from the engine to the wheels, and the tractor is heavy enough that it won't lose traction and slip easily -- so the weakest link is eventually gonna let go...