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Well the decal set came today and I had a little time so I installed them. Very nice product and adds that finishing touch to a restoration. For those that don't know how to install them I made up a wetting solution of water, dish detergent and a bit of rubbing alcohol. I just cleaned the panel that was getting the decal and then soaked it with a rag full of wetting solution. This allows you to slide the decals around a bit or peel them off and start over again if you mess up. I had a squeegee left over from my sign making days so squeegeeing out the excess solution was no problem. Once down tight and all the water is out let them sit and dry.. once the dash overlay was dry I used an exacto blade to trim out all the holes and trim the overlap (the decals for the dash are oversize and needed to be trimmed.) So that's the good news for today! The bad news is now I have no excuses about moving on to the Tecumseh engine..

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Awesome job with the dash decal Pat. I would like to use a couple photos on my website if it is ok with you.

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Awesome job with the dash decal Pat. I would like to use a couple photos on my website if it is ok with you.

I used to have a vinyl slitter and am adept at Adobe Illustrator so I know the work that goes into producing something like the decals you provide. I'd like to thank you for providing the service. It's the fine details that make the restoration of these wonderful little tractors. You are welcome to use any photos I have. If you would like all the pictures of the dash and decals I can send them as files to your regular email address.. provided lifting them off the site or from my photo bucket doesn't work out.

 

Looking back in retrospect I should have wet sanded out the primer to give a smoother surface. It still looks great but the aluminum/foil finish doesn't hide flaws.. This is in no way a fault of the product, just not as thorough a prep job as I could have done. Not that anyone is going to bend over to critique it! ha..

Edited by Patrick Reese

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A little more progress to report so far this week. We have the engine (Tecumseh HH60) on the road to recovery. We were toying with the idea of upgrading to a Kohler 8hp.. We bought one this week that is a running engine just in need of tune up and paint. It has a starter, it's not the starter generator type used on the Commando 8. We thought this would be good since there wouldn't be any dealing with finding a belt guard and the other things to convert to a Commando 8. Unfortunately something we didn't think of came up. The starter on the Kohler 8 HP we bought does not clear the battery box. Upon finding this out it's back to the Tecumseh.  It was running about a year ago until the PO let it sit. We found that all the gasoline in the tank and what was in the carb has all turned yellow and varnished.. Took it apart and after removing the head found that the cylinder wall looks great and putting my big fat hand over the hole there is plenty of pressure and suction.. The valves are all carboned up and could use a grinding though just to clean everything up. We got most of the parts blasted using very fine silica dioxide and a pressure pot with foot pedal. I can dial it down to a nice fine dusting that leaves a great surface for primer and paint. (having a blast cabinet is a real life saver!) and primed/painted waiting for the rebuild.

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Are those parts Coca Cola red??

 

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Edited by Patrick Reese

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Waiting patiently for it's heart transplant.. New Throttle and Choke cables came in the mail the other day. So officially everything is done on the body of the tractor except putting the motor in (once it's done) and wiring it up.

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this is a great post!  Have you thought about your son taking it to show the p.o. what you've made of it? 

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this is a great post!  Have you thought about your son taking it to show the p.o. what you've made of it? 

Thanks, we're having fun doing it and posting the progress.

The original owner lives near us and we are hoping to see him one day soon to ask him some questions about the engine and how it ran.

Edited by Patrick Reese

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This is probably an opportune time to relate the story of our purchase..

 

About two years ago we (my son and I) were driving to Home Depot and saw the little horse on a front lawn for sale. He asked if we could go and look at it.. to which I replied "let's go to the store first and then we can check it out on the way back".. well on the way back it was gone.!@ I got out and knocked on the door to ask the owner if he had just put it away. He told me it sold. He saw the disappointment in our faces. He then asked where we lived, when we told him he said that a neighbor of ours "Gary" bought it. Well we knew Gary as I sold him my old RJ and a Copar Panzer previously. Oh well, that's the way it goes. Fast forward to about a month ago and Gary asked us if we'd be interested in the Wheelhorse. My son beamed at the thought of buying it. We asked Gary how much he wanted and guess what? He wanted $100 for it, which was $150 less than he paid but it didn't run now. Gary had neglected it and let the fuel go bad. My son asked if he could buy it so I told him that he has the money if he wants it buy it and we'll restore it. So he made the deal and Gary even delivered it for us. We later went back and made a deal to buy back our old RJ and now my son has it in a big parts pile ready for restoration! I've created a monster..

Edited by Patrick Reese
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Patrick I did not realize you were in Warrington. I am in Trevose if you need any help let me know.

Jim

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Hey this is my first time seeing this thread and I have to say this is great work. My Commando 6 is in pieces now, I really need to get back to work on it. Personally I'll say don't worry about what you hear of the Tecumseh's reputation. Mine has worked great for years and I've never had any problems, even plowing 2 feet of snow up a 50% grade. The Tecumseh is great unless you are planning on seriously working the tractor, but then you'd be better off with a better tractor, like a Raider or even a black hood. I'm glad you are keeping another Commando 6 the way it was built. If you don't mind my asking, though, where'd you get the dash decal? Is that from Terry (Vinylguy)? I've been looking for a while for one. Also, did you have any trouble getting the steering wheel off the shaft? I can't get mine off for the life of me.

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Hi COMMANDO6, going to be posting a few pics momentarily.. got the old Tecumseh apart to determine what we have to do to it. Sometimes folks don't like a particular thing because they don't understand it, there might be some of that going on.. This is why I have it torn down and plan on going over everything on it to make sure it's in like new condition. This little tractor is going to be more for show than go. No doubt the most use it will get will be my son wearing out the grass. The Vinyl Dash overlay did in fact come from redoyourhorse.com. It's a nice product. Take the time to prep your dash well before applying as the chrome vinyl will show any imperfections beneath it. I put my dash in the blast cabinet with a very fine media, primed and painted it so there would be a nice substrate to bond too.. it worked out well. I also used the wet apply method, I wouldn't try it dry. As to our steering wheel, well we got it off with some PB blaster, time and a little pounding. The original wheel wasn't worth saving so we didn't worry about it much.

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This is probably an opportune time to relate the story of our purchase..

 

 I've created a monster..

 

Alas...another  :wh: monster...excellent work you've done.    :handgestures-thumbsup: 

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Today our new rocker switch for headlights came in the mail so my son and I wired up the lighting.. that's all ready to go now. After that we moved on to the Tecumseh HH60. I cracked the cases to see what was going on inside. Up top the valve and valve chamber were pretty well loaded up with carbon. I'm sure this was creating a hot spot or spots. The head gasket showed signs of leakage in that area too. It wasn't blown out but it was definately leaking. I used the blast cabinet to clean up the head of carbon. With a fine media and the pressure down low it did a nice job. I took a wire brush wheel to the valves and surrounding area. Initially the bore looked good and plenty of compression. With my hand on the bore and turning it over, the suction was really good. My son was saying he thought we ought to leave it be. So after a chat I pulled the piston out to inspect it and after that he can see why we did that and that going with new piston and rings would be a good idea. The bore is good, however there was a carbon ridge near the valve side of the bore that tore up the top edge of the piston. The skirt also showed some wear as well as the rod bearing area. The bore and crank are good iron so fortunately it looks like the aluminum is the only thing that suffered. Cam shaft looks good. We are still going to take the valve out to clean the carbon from underneath the exhaust valve and then once clean we'll lap them into their seats again. Provided the valve guides aren't worn.

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This is probably an opportune time to relate the story of our purchase..

 

 I've created a monster..

 

Alas...another  :wh: monster...excellent work you've done.    :handgestures-thumbsup: 

 

Craig, this is a great monster though. These guys are reasonably priced, easy and fun to do.. I've done too many cars and motorcycles in the past and these are just a walk in the park! Love em..

Let's hope the goof balls that are only interested in money don't start gettin' on them, that'll ruin it for sure. We're doing it out of love. :banana-wrench:

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Nothing much to report this week except that we ordered a bunch of parts. New piston, rings, rod, seals, gasket set, points and condenser, and new ignition coil. When the parts arrive we are taking the block to a local shop that is going to do a valve job for us. The valves look good, but since it's all apart having the valves ground and putting a new 45degree face on them will also allow for a valve adjustment procedure. This way the valve guides can also be checked for tolerance. Since they are cast into the block the only way to handle worn guides is to ream them out to a larger size and use larger stemmed valves. The way valve adjustment is accomplished on the Tecumseh by grinding the end of the valve square to fit. With all of the controversy that the Tecumseh seems to have we are leaving no stone unturned in rebuilding it. I have a feeling a lot of the stuff out there about these engines might also have to do with some folks doing a rebuild on the cheap or only a partial. My Commando 6 is a 1968 and it ran up until a year ago.. that engine can't be all that bad!

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It's been a while since we had an entry to our thread.. We have been waiting for the machine shop to finish up with the valve job and new ring and piston installation. As luck would have it one of the compression rings broke during the install process. We had to order a new set on line so that was an additional holdup. We got the engine back this Friday and tonight took some time to start the process of piecing it all back together. The timing marks were almost impossible to see but after a light cleaning with a fiberglass brush they seem to have appeared on the mounting post. We have all of the ignition parts installed including a new coil and points. After installing the flywheel a hand spin produced a nice spark! We have opted for a "ground pounder" exhaust rather than a stack. Tomorrow we will finish assembling the engine and who knows with luck we might get far enough along to get it running.

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:woohoo:

Looks like someone can't wait for me to get back to work tomorrow..

Looking great. Keep it up.

Thanks! We're coming down the homestretch.. it's sure going to be exciting to get it running. We never had it running. Bought it and tore it right apart.

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Tractor looks great!  Are you into prewar Lionel trains? 

Edited by Horse Play

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Tractor looks great!  Are you into prewar Lionel trains? 

Hey Thanks! No not into prewar Lionel Trains.. BUT I am into Prewar American Flyer O Gauge 3/16" scale trains manufactured by A.C. Gilbert. If you were flipping through my albums on photobucket that's what you saw. Very rare and only made for 3 years. I also have been collecting American Flyer S gauge trains since I was a preteen.

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Well today was the big day. We got the engine mounted and ready to go. Didn't hook the throttle up yet and running open headers (adding the muffler tomorrow). Joe was anxious to see if it would fire. After a few problems with the carburetor float here are the results! Can't wait to get the details finished and we will be buying a new carburetor.

 

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Edited by Patrick Reese

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We've almost come to the end of our road. The horse took it's first test ride tonight. We found a used muffler to throw on for now and attached the throttle cable, hooked up the drive belt and installed the belt guard. In the beginning the clutch was hanging up a bit but after a few minutes it loosened up enough to work on it's own. Left to do is hook up power to the lights and add a battery then cut the choke cable to length and install.

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