Straight From the Horse's Mouth - The final chapter

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dtallon last won the day on July 30 2013

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About dtallon

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  • Birthday January 10

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    854, Lawn Ranger, PP-8 Plow, AC-6 Cultivator, Rear/Mid Cultivator, 40" Mid Grader, Disc
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    Peoria, IL

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  1. I hit the axles with a wire wheel and both sides cleaned up pretty well. The RH side was a little loose before I took it off. No one part looked significantly worn. I didn't look inside the LH hub after I got it off, but as tight as it was on there, I don't think the keyway was worn at all. Dave
  2. Good suggestions from all of you, but I'm happy to report I finally bested that hub, and fortunately didn't break it (or anything else) in the process. I decided to throw the kitchen sink at it. I had been going at it with the LH of the transmission still bolted to the tractor, so I took it the rest of the way off and put the RH half back on to better support the axle. Then I bolted it to a spare frame I had sitting around, but upside down so I could put weight on it to keep it from moving. I set it back up using the RH hub and a 7/8" bolt as a puller. I heated it up with the MAP torch like I had been, but then got myself an early Christmas present of an Oxy/MAP kit. It's more set up for brazing and cutting, but so long as I kept moving it around it heated up the hub without damaging it. Finally, that got enough heat into it that with a 3/4" breaker bar and a 4' cheater pipe it started to move. Once I got it to move about a 1/2", it started moving easier, although I wouldn't say it moved easily until the last 1/8" or so. It was quite a satisfying feeling to get that hub off. Still a ton more to do, but it was a nice little victory to cap off the weekend.
  3. I'm not totally sure I have solved the mystery of the clicking, but at least have a theory. As I said, I didn't notice it when I was driving, but did when I was pushing it around the shop. That moving it around and turning the motor by hand was after I had drained the fluid. The Charger wasn't as noticeable under the same conditions, but as I started taking things apart further I found out that the Charger motor had more fluid left in it, whereas the GT was mostly empty. I'm wondering if it isn't normal "gear noise" (or at least normal for a nearly 50 year old hydrogears) when the noise isn't dampened by fluid. Progress has been a little slow on the GT14 project. I'm still fighting with the LH hub. I've fought hubs before, but I'm not sure my little Propane/MAP torch can put enough heat into the the bigger GT14 hubs to persuade them to budge. The pulley on the Charger hydrogear was also even more stuck than the one on the GT14. Soaking, heating, pulling for a few days still didn't generate any movement, and then I tightened the puller a little too much and the fan part of the pulley actually broke off the hub. At least once the fan broke away it was easier to just cut the hub off. I hate to destroy a good pulley, but sometimes they just won't budge. With both the GT14 and Charger hydrogears off, it was interesting to compare the two. I know they are different models, but I was surprised that the GT unit has a different body casting than the Charger. The GT14 casting had a partition along where it would meet the top edge of the transmission. The Charger did not, so material could get down in there and pack the pockets between the motor and transmission. I also noticed the GT had regular hex bolts on the pump instead of 12-point bolts on the Charger and other piston/piston WH hydros I have worked on. I could also see the gasket for the pump on the GT14 had more excess sticking out than the Charger. It makes me wonder if the GT14 pump has been removed before. There were also other differences in the GT14 valve body in some port locations and sizes, and the acceleration valve caps did not have set screws, where the Charger ones did. I decided to take apart both pumps to see which one looked in better condition. First was the Charger. I was glad to see the slippers didn't look too bad. Some scratches, but none so deep that I shouldn't be able to remove or improve them with some polishing. The GT pump was definitely worse than the Charger. The same could be said for many other parts of the GT14 hydrogear, not a total disaster, but definitely worse than the Charger unit. So, the plan is to swap the Charger hydrogear for the GT14. Of course, that requires swapping the drive gear from the GT to the Charger unit, plus the hydraulic lift parts. Oh, and that stubborn hub still needs to come off. I've heated it up enough that I'm sure the axle seal on that side isn't good anymore, so just leaving it on there probably isn't a good option.
  4. Ron - I did not. I thought maybe they got stuck in my spam folder, but not there either. My email is in my profile, or you can private message me through here.
  5. One step forward, one step back... Work on the GT14 continued yesterday and tonight. The right hub came off with very little trouble. The hub actually would turn just a little on the axle, but I don't see any obvious wear on the hub or axle, so hopefully a new key will tighten things up. The left hub, on the other hand, is being very stubborn. I'm alternating heating, pulling, and soaking with penetrating oil, so hopefully it will give in sometime this week. While waiting on the left hub, I decided to pop open the transmission case. The little aluminum fan inboard of the pulley sticks out just far enough to interfere with taking the right half of the transmission case off, so I had to pull the pulley/fan off first. On my first attempt, my gear puller took a small chunk out of the pulley. I think I could probably get by with still using it, but I will see if I have any other pulleys that will work. With a little more finesse, I was able to get the pulley off without any further damage. With the fan/pulley out of the way, I was able to take the transmission apart. I was glad to see the screen still in good shape, and no metal pieces lurking in the bottom, but when the intermediate shaft came out, so did some needles from the bearings on each side. So, obviously both of those will need to be replaced, but I think the needles stayed in there until I took the shaft out. In checking the bearings for the input shaft, I turned the shaft, which was still engaged with the motor, and noticed a sort of ratcheting, pulsing sensation coming from the motor as it turned, which I think may be the "click-click-click" I heard before. The motor out of the Charger doesn't seem to do that, but I'm not sure which is the "right" way it should behave. For sure the parking brake needs to be repaired/replaced. I'm 3 for 3 on transmissions of this style being worn down. Work will continue as the week goes on. I'm pretty sure the pump/motor will have to come off to replace that intermediate shaft bearing, and it will probably be easier to replace if I uninstall the other half of the transmission from the chassis. Why do I feel like I"m going backwards on getting this project completed?
  6. Ron - I will let you know on the screen once I get it apart to see what the GT14 one looks like. Would also be interested in a B/C style parking brake pawl if you have one. Not a good weekend for doing anything outside, but the rain did stop long enough yesterday to get the GT14 out to try the new valves. It works better but still not sure it is 100%. It had no problem backing up the hill it couldn't back up before, although it still didn't seem like it was as fast in reverse as it should be. I noticed a few times after a directional change it would start to move slowly and then after a second it would fully kick in. It also still "groans" when going downhill and the pump/motor are trying to slow the tractor down. My Bronco doesn't do that, nor did it seem like the Charger did, or at least they aren't nearly as noticeable. Curious if anybody has any experience with that. I also noticed a "click-click-click-click..." coming from the rear end when I push around in the garage. It's more than just a noise, the transmission vibrates with each click. I haven't noticed it when driving the tractor, just when pushing it. I jacked it up and it does it when manually spinning the rear wheels. I wonder if it is something related to the limited slip diff? I was reluctant to start the next phase of work on the GT14 last night (I have a bad history with working on Horses on stormy Sunday's in November) but thankfully today it looks like we aren't going to get any bad stuff. I started taking it apart to fix the brake pawl and inspect the inside of the tranny. After I got the RH fender off I noticed the dual fan setup on the pump. It looks kind of hokey, but the parts book does show them stacked like that, so I guess it was made like that. Taking the belt guard off also revealed a secret, there is no tensioner pulley! The belt just runs direct from the engine to the pump and the tension is what it is. I didn't hear any belt squealing or see any smoke, so it seems like it worked OK, but it won't be going back together like that. We'll see what surprises are in store as the work continues.
  7. 12” Rims

    I run John Deere rims on my C-160 Auto for mowing and "Bronco 12" full-time. I like the look of the tires pulled in closer, and they take up just a little less storage space that way. On the C-160 I have Carlisle 23x10.5-12's on rims made for 8.5's. The narrower rims pull the tire in just enough to clear the hydro motor by about 3/4". It probably wouldn't work with wider rims. Figuring this out was purely accidental. They came on a Deere I had for a while, and I put them on the C-160 to try and it worked. For plowing, I put on 23x8.5-12 Firestones on Wheel Horse rims to allow more space for mud buildup. The picture of the Bronco is deceiving, but there is a little over an inch between the tire and the hydro motor with 23x8.5-12's. Now that I think about it, the rims on the Bronco were originally off of a Montgomery Wards, but the backspacing was the same as a Deere. Dave
  8. The woodgrain styling IS kind of growing on me. Unfortunately, I am at max capacity for tractor storage, so it is either the Charger or the GT14, and I've already mentally committed to the GT14 project. I do feel remorse when I part one out, but find solace that the parts will help revive another one. I did say it was too early to declare victory, right? Removal of the pump/motor on the Charger revealed only remnants of an inlet screen. Thankfully the screen cap was still inside the transmission case, but I'm assuming that pump/motor had at least some screen material and shards of the typical non-functional parking brake pawl go through it. It also wasn't a total surprise based on other abused parts that the axle and hub keyways were heavily worn. At least when the axles can spin inside the hubs, the hubs come off easy. I put the Charger valve parts in the GT14 valve body to give them a try. I still need to drain and split it to fix the parking brake, and see if it has a screen, but figured it doesn't hurt to see how much improvement the valves make first. Hopefully this weekend I will get a chance to test it again.
  9. It's far too soon to declare victory, but I do feel like I should buy a lottery ticket... I debated the best course of action for my GT14 hydrogear. Option A was replacement parts I found from local sources, but they weren't exactly cheap, and there was a risk I would put them in and find something else wrong. Option B was try to find a parts tractor with the parts I needed that was cheap enough that I could sell the parts I didn't need and recoup all/most of my expense. I took the gamble and decided on Option B. I scoured Craigslist for a parts tractor and settled on a well-used Charger. As seems to commonly be the case with these, the seller had sentimental attachment to the tractor but started using something newer and after going a season without using it, decided to sell it. Although it had the right parts, it wasn't running and the condition was kind of rough. I noticed some issues with the tractor overall, but it had good resistance trying to push it in either direction with the tow valve closed, and did what it was supposed to pushing it with the tow valve open. I decided to take a chance that at least the parts I needed were good. I don't know if I am the only one that does this, but as I started working on the tractor, I began to construct a bit of it's life story. The seller mentioned something about a front weight his dad used with the snowplow. I pictured a counterweight on the front of the tractor, but gradually pieced together from the lift handle extension and the brackets on the plow they mounted it on the blade. Not surprisingly, the additional weight and associated forces caused other issues. The hole cut in the hood for gas tank access wasn't just for convenience, the pedestal was cracked in several places, and pulled forward to the point that the hood was pinched closed. Also, I've seen cracked transmission mounting plates on frames before, but this was by far the worst. The tractor also had it's share of cracked sheet metal, brackets, and guards, and (yikes!) a makeshift cover on the air filter that clearly let unfiltered air into the engine. Aside from the abusive operation, the tractor revealed a few other interesting details from it's past. The Charger was missing a number designation from it's decals. It had a K301 on it, so I assumed the "12" had simply worn off over time. I noticed the oil drain was sticking out from the front of the engine, but assumed the engine had just been removed at some point for a rebuild and the oil pan just got put on backwards. Then I noticed a rectifier bolted inside the pedestal, which seemed odd since the engine had a starter/generator on it. Looking up the model number from the serial tag revealed that the tractor started life as a Charger 9, and the engine, or at least the engine covers, from a Charger 12 got swapped in at some point in it's past. So, back to the opening line of this post... In spite of it's appearance, with a good battery, clean points, and a new spark plug, the engine actually ran pretty well. The hydrogear functioned better than the one in the GT14, but still not as strong in reverse as some of my other hydro tractors. I wasn't sure if it was something internal, or similar to a thread I recall on here were flexing from a cracked trans mounting plate affected hydro functioning. After finding all the abused, broken, and worn parts on the tractor, I feared the acceleration valves would be no exception. To my surprise, I pulled them out and found all the parts intact and moving freely. Success! Of course the fun is only beginning. I now plan to pull both hydrogear units off the tractors and inspect the pumps/motors to decide which set to use. The GT14 pump seemed strong, but with the acceleration valve parts in so many pieces, it surely has had a fair amount of debris go through it. If I go with the one from the Charger, I understand I will have to swap the transmission input gear, but have already seen some good instructions on here for that part. I will post another update when I make some more progress.
  10. It's a wonder it even moved at all! I got the valves removed for inspection last night. The check valves were in good condition so I cleaned them and put them back in. The acceleration valves however, are a different story. Since my problem was with reverse, I checked the reverse valve first. The most obvious problem was the small spring was broken. Inspecting closer, I could see the spring seat was slightly bent, and the cone had worn a lip into the seat and didn't want to come out. Feeling a sense of satisfaction in finding what I thought was the problem, I figured I should go ahead and check the forward valve while I was at it just in case. Oh my! The piston didn't want to come out by itself, but fortunately the sleeve did. Once I got the sleeve out, I could see the piston was hung up on a lip it had worn into the sleeve. The springs were both a jumbled mess, with parts of them and the spring seat packed into the valve seat. I ran out of time to do any further inspections, but it's already aparent that most of these parts are pretty bad. I'm concerned what collateral damage might have been done elsewhere in the system. Going forward, I have three options at my immediate disposal that I could consider. Option 1 is I have a complete pump/motor unit from a C-160 Auto. I bought it from a guy who said he was using it and he heard a pop and then it wouldn't move in either direction. He took it apart to try to fix it, and taking it apart was as far as he got. I'm not sure of compatibility, but it is available to steal parts from, or see if I can find the original problem and swap in the whole pump/motor unit. Option 2 is a complete pump/motor/trans out of a C-120 Auto. It came out of a tractor I parted out and I know it works other than the tow valve being stuck, but I kind of was keeping it intact as a back-up for my main mow & snow C-160. Option 3 is to go with the Richie plan and install a 520H pump/motor/trans I got out of a tractor with a blown motor. It seemed to work OK before I parted that tractor out. Of course Option 4 could be to punt and go hunting for parts and/or a whole different pump/motor/trans. I've been toying with the idea of ditching the 15" wheels and swapping in 5-bolt hubs to use 12" rims with some Interco Interforce 27x10-12 tires, so shorter axle length might not be a deal breaker for me. Suggestions and opinions are welcome... Dave
  11. I'm still a little conflicted about modifying it the way I plan to. It's definitely a restorable tractor, but it's condition also is what makes it a good candidate for what I want to to. For the most extensive changes, I plan to remove the original parts and make new ones to bolt on, so if my plan doesn't pan out I can put it back to stock if I need to. I started the process of inspecting the valve last night. It's amazing how Wheel Horse could make the GT14 bigger, but yet there seems like there is less room to get to parts to work on them than the smaller models. It's definitely a different animal than the rest!
  12. My GT14

    Thanks for all your posts on this project. I came across it looking for some info for my GT14. I'm really curious to see how it turns out. It seems like your customizing ideas nicely address some of the shortcomings of this model. Keep up the good work!
  13. What have you done on your WH today?

    Took advantage of a beautiful Fall day Friday to turn the garden over with the B100. Conditions were just about perfect for plowing. The B100 handled the 10" plow with ease. Glad I got it done when I did. Raining today and (gasp!) calling for chance of snow showers next weekend. When it was 90 a little over a week ago we said we were ready for some Fall weather. I think we may have just gotten our week of Fall and now heading to Winter.
  14. Seeing some other GT14 threads on here inspired me to get started on my next project tractor. It was neck and neck between this and a Lawn Ranger 8-speed project, but this one has been waiting it's turn longer, so I figured I should get started before I loose my motivation. It's hard to believe, but I've had this GT14 for almost 2 years already. It was going to be my project last summer, but other projects kept coming up and taking priority. My plans for this are to use it for a custom 1/2 scale tractor project. I don't want to reveal too much yet because to do what I have planned will push the limits of my skills, and probably my patience, so there is a risk that part won't pan out. Before getting into the customization work, my focus is on getting the base tractor healthy. I changed the fluids and got it running shortly after I first got it, but I'm almost embarrassed to admit it had been long enough ago I forgot the specifics of how it ran. Fortunately, the engine started this weekend remarkably quickly after an almost 2 year slumber. There seems to be no issues with the engine, but the transmission is another story, and where I could use some guidance. Going forward is no problem. It won't quite pull the front wheels off the ground, but it will snap your head back a bit if you quickly switch from reverse to forward. At half throttle it will spin both tires pushing against a fixed object. Reverse though, seems pretty weak. Reverse speed seems only about half what it should be, and it will just barely, even at high idle, pull itself up the slope in my back yard. On the fixed object test in reverse, it just stalls out. I tweaked the neutral adjustment to try to get more out of reverse, but it only improved things a little. It also seems to want to coast forward downhill pretty easily, although it is hard to push forward and reverse with the tow valve closed. I saw a suggestion on here to use the hyd lift to help tell if the pump is OK. I stood on the 3-point with a 50lb. weights in each hand (~300 lbs total) and it lifted me without any trouble. I plan to check pressures once I get a gauge to test with, but since my problem seems mostly isolated to reverse I don't think it's the pump or motor. My next step will be to go through the valves and see if something is bound or if there is a broken spring. I'll need to split the trans eventually to fix the parking brake pawl, but would like to rule out the "easy" stuff before I get to that point. Any other suggestions would be appreciated. Dave
  15. Finally got a sickle!

    I thought I would post a follow-up to my sickle mower experience from this Summer. I put it all back together with a new bushing and the repaired yoke. It cut through some tall grass and weeds pretty well. Most of my cutting was over the edge of a slight drop-off, so I was running it with the chain supporting it. With the chain on there, the cut material didn't flow over the bar very well, so I had to stop regularly to clear it. I think next year if I do it periodically instead of just once at the end of Summer it will work better. After mowing again at low idle to keep they sickle speed down with the original B100 PTO pulley, I decided I needed something different. I found a smaller pulley in my parts stash, and the foot clutch that came on my 854. Installing the foot clutch was easier than I thought it might be. I just had to drill a hole in the foot rest peg for a cotter pin for the pedal lock. While installation went better than I expected, operation wasn't quite what I expected it to be. The smaller pulley did do what I hoped it would. I could easily operate at half throttle, which allowed the hystat to perform much better. Unfortunately the chain I was using to hold up the sickle interfered with where I needed to put my foot to run the clutch. I could make it work, but it was kind of a clumsy setup. So, the final verdict on the sickle mower is it did the work I bought it to do. I'm not totally convinced there isn't a better tool to do the job, but until I find that tool, the sickle will work just fine.