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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. wh500special

    Work truck choice?

    If I ever buy a full size again, it will likely be a Toyota. The resale value and reputation must be rooted in something. Toyota has been slow to update and innovate on the Tundra but they have a consequent reputation as being very solid. You wont have problems with your local brothers if you buy a Toyota and drive it to a jobsite, will you? My cousin, an ironworker, had to give up his toyota since it kept getting vandalized and having nasty notes left on it by his union mates who thought it being non-union built was a problem and conflict of philosophy. He went to a Ford then a Chevy to keep the peace. I dont know how widespread this is or if it was just a localized thing, but the bulk of his work is with laborers and other ironworkers and we’re not that far away from you. Just something to consider... Steve
  2. wh500special

    Wheel horse 208-4 models

    The wiring harnesses in all the Briggs and Stratton late series 200’s should be the same. Or, even if they’re not they should all work the same. There will be a couple of unused plugs on yours that would hook to voltmeters or hourmeters. “SB” was marketed as “Super Bagger” if you go back into the sales literature. I guess it probably meant “single blade” as well. There were 8 and 11 horse versions. A single blade, 30” mower deck was standard in these. And they had smaller diameter tires to make room for the deck since it was longer front-to-back than the 36” and 37” decks. All late 200-series were great mowing machines. Far more nimble than any of the classic series tractors. But they don’t get much love among collectors since they are less capable, and less versatile machines for heavier duty use than the others. I’ve written volumes here about them for the last decade. They’re good machines. Enjoy yours when restored! steve
  3. wh500special

    Headed to South Bend—help to find...

    Sorry for the loss of your friend. I wish I had seen this sooner, but haven’t been checking in. I love South Bend. My wife and I lived there for a few years and regret mowing away. It has been -by far- my favorite hometown. Most of the WH sites are vastly changed from the old days when Elmer and Cecil were chunking out future collectibles. The Ireland Road and Metalmation buildings are still there, but obviously have adapted to their new owners since closing the the 1990’s. The company I used to work for looked into buying the Ireland Rd plant when Toro put it up for sale. Apparently came pretty close to a deal. But there were some serious on-site environmental problems and they couldn’t afford to risk liability from them. Lockjoint is bigger with deeper pockets and I guess the risk was less for them. As as an aside, near Lockjoint’s old location in the northwestern edge of downtown near the river, legend has it that when the railroad abandoned one set of tracks they buried an old locomotive in place. The old Dixieway north plant was on the corner of Auten Rd and US31 (SR933). There is an osco drug (might be a CVS or Walgreens...don’t recall) on the location now. Still standing just to be west of the drugstore is an old building that was part of the Pond operation. Across the street on the south side of Auten is pond street where I think the old Elmer household and first garage is/was. Next door to he drugstore on the north side was Chandlers. The first Wheel Horse dealership. They closed within the last couple of years and I think Duke Horsefixer cleaned them out of several of their old treasures. I don’t know if he or someone else got hold of the Lever steer they had in one of the pole barns. Jim B, the most recent owner of Chandler’s, told me to “watch the obituaries and talk to my wife” when I inquired if he wanted to sell the Lever. 😎 when Toro moved from Ireland Rd, the bulk of the collection of their on-site museum went to storage at The Studebaker National museum. But about ten years ago Toro sent their trucks returning from the Indy Speedway to retrieve their artifacts. So, the Museum now just has a few privately owned WH treasures. A few blocks to the west of the Ireland rd plant is an old salvage yard. That was apparently the final destination for all the stuff Toro couldn’t haul to Minneapolis when they left south bend in the rear view mirror. Several guy related to me how many unidrives and d250 parts they pitched. The unidrives were evidently a bunch of warranty replacements from early troubles with the sundstrand Hydros. South Bend has a lot to offer. Aside from winter being a little long, the weather is great. Summer is wonderful and spring and fall are great. Lots to do and a lot of places to fish 🎣. With Notre Dame being there, there are great opportunities that you otherwise wouldn’t see in a 200k metro area. I’d move back there tomorrow given the opportunity. Again, sorry for the loss of your friend. Hope you had a nice trip. Steve
  4. wh500special

    Things you see at work

    It must have tried their patience too. 😛 steve
  5. wh500special

    No fishing till April

    Geez Ed, Glad you found that the way you did. Switching from steel to plastic for these fuel tanks has got to be one of the few times a manufacturer choosing a cheaper material was an all around win. Those old steel 6-gallon tanks clanked around in the boat and left rust stains almost from day one. The portable steel tank in our old aluminum jon boat dithered away a couple of rivits on the bottom of the boat after years of vibration. You saltwater guys put up with a lot more annoyances than those of us here in the middle of the country. We’re lucky. I don’t expect to wintetize this year. I might siphon out the bulk of the gas from the tank and refill it, but I’m betting on having run the carbs out of gas to be enough. That’s on the 4-stroke Honda. The E-tec does get fogged automatically. Just a few sequenced motions of the throttle before and after starting it and the computer does the rest. Awesome feature. Sleep well. Steve
  6. wh500special

    No fishing till April

    Sad sights to see. 😢 I didn’t get to fish enough this year. But, I refuse to put my boat away just yet. Should still have open water for a good while. I live in an awkward weather area. We are between a “real” winter and a “southern” winter. We get ice, but usually it’s too thin to walk on and too thick to push the boat through. Although that has been changing the last few years with warmer weather and more open water. Thank goodness for power plant lakes. It’s fun to be out in the boat on a 20 degree day and still be casting for bass or dabbling for crappie. Dumbest thing I ever did (debatable) was have the boat out on a day where the high temp was 2 degrees. The water coming out of the outboard’s pee hole had formed an icicle and putting the boat back on the trailer was an adventure since it had crusted over in ice. I left the motor running the whole time we were on the lake since I was afraid it might not start a second time. Didn’t catch anything either...line froze to the reels after a couple casts. Winter sucks. Don’t give in early! steve
  7. wh500special

    RV Questions for national parks

    Thanks. We've been looking into this a little more and I think we are leaning toward the separate trailer and tow vehicle camp. It would allow us to do day trips and just operate out of a basecamp. In looking at the smaller motorhomes I noticed that while some of the rear seats do have seatbelts, the seats themselves generally seem to be shoddily constructed of wood that I can't imagine holding up well in an accident. Plus, the amount of stuff flying around inside might make for an interesting scenario. I don't plan to crash, but I think I'd feel more comfortable in the cage of a normal truck than in the motorhome. Of course, there IS trailer sway... Rental wise, the trailers look to be more economical too since they don't track mileage on them. And after ditching the thing daily we'd have full freedom to go anywhere the park service would allow a normal car to go. I'm pretty excited about this. At first I thought it would just be headache after headache, but the more I thought about it that's really how MOST family trips go anyway. This would break us out of our shell for a different kind of trip. Thanks again for the input, Steve
  8. wh500special

    RV Questions for national parks

    Thanks for the comments so far guys. As usual, I think I muddied the waters with my loquaciousness. I’m principally interested in opinions of navigating the various national parks in a MH versus a small travel trailer. I’ve not been to those places, so don’t really have a feel for what’s practical out there. I think mows4three and I are synced up pretty well, on this but I truly appreciate all the comments so far. I dont see us being serious RVers in either the short or long term. But who knows. One of my kids has special needs and tent camping isn’t really a great option for us anymore as a group of four, so the semi-private space of a small R.V. might prove more conducive to his quirks than a string of unfamiliar hotel rooms. I make no pretense about the economics of any choice. Renting either a trailer or truck is doable and not unreasonable. We figure it’s time we take the kids on this sort of trip since the window where our teenagers can handle being with us for long periods of time is rapidly closing. It might be fun. Or a disaster. Either way, it’s an adventure. Steve
  9. I know there are RV’ers here, so I have a query… My wife and I are kicking around the idea of a trip with our two kids (who will be 12 and 15) to Yellowstone or similar parks next year. We have never held any interest in RV’s or Motorhomes, but think that for this trip it might be a decent option for us. Camping isn’t new to us, but bringing along a mini-house is. We are light travelers (don’t take much with us) and are pretty easy to please. I realize the bulk of the differences, pros, and cons of dragging around a short trailer versus piloting a smaller motorhome. I’m interested in hearing from this forum if those who have been to parks like Yellowstone see any functional limitations of either style versus the other within those parks. Planning to be there a few days. I’ve been trolling RV forums and camping websites and see that most people seem to conclude that their personal choice is the best fit for this application. No surprise there I guess. Like tractors, they also tend to think that their selected brand of RV is the best. Again, so surprise. But I’m not really looking for which specific vehicle is the best fit, I’m interested in suitability for the task of style of camper. There are notes that since these parks are so big that it’s nice to have your bathroom and rest home with you throughout the day as you tour (motorhome). An equal number say a trailer is better because it can be dumped at a basecamp and a smaller vehicle will have an easier time pulling off the road and finding parking at the various congested tourist spots. But you’re pretty much forced to dump it somewhere and return to that spot each day. I’m sure there is truth to both, but there might be things to consider that I’ve missed. I’m not going to tow a car behind a motorhome. That implies a bigger rig than I have interest in and a small car that I don’t own. I’m curious about the experiences of those here. We would try not to go during the summer peak, but who knows. I don’t have a horse in this race and don’t own either type of conveyance. Rentals are plentiful and thanks to the abysmal quality and multitudes of used RV’s and trailers available, used ones are generally plentiful and pretty inexpensive. So getting my hands on something shouldn’t be a big deal. My truck is limited in capability so trailer-wise I’m looking at a max of about a 20-footer (ideally, I’d go as short as possible since the intention isn’t to spend much time inside the thing). In the self-propelled version I’d be looking at the smaller class-C’s up to maybe 24-feet. No interest in bigger, despite appreciating the wonders and comfort of extra space (I’m just not interested in dealing with it while driving). We went looking at trailers and class-C’s last weekend (just window shopping to get a feel for how much usable space is in a given footprint) and can see there is a dizzying number of manufacturers and models available that run the gamut from things I like to ultra-luxury models. It is disappointing to see so many new (and used) pieces of equipment with poorly-aligned cabinet doors, trim that is falling off walls, and general lack of attention to detail by the manufacturer. And why must most of them be decorated by folks who like country oak cabinetry and ugly sofa patterns? The upside to this is the obvious economy of things. I’m surprised that very few manufacturers look like they put any engineering into these things and are using heavy and cheap materials like wood, particle board, and even ceramic tile (seriously?). It looks like the only weight concessions some make is in their flimsy construction methods. But that’s the way of the world I guess. The sweet spot for us from what I have seen is a 16-foot trailer or a 22(ish)-foot class C. So I’m not talking big here. Before we commit for such an adventure, we’d rent something for a local trip a weekend or two to get a better feel for the annoyances and benefits of having a piece of equipment like this at our disposal. Right now, I have no plans to buy anything. I’m sure to generate more functional and practical RV/TT related questions if we decide to put ourselves though this experience. But I am first interested in hearing opinions about the logistics of the two types of options in these types of parks. Thanks, Steve PS (edit) - I forgot to add that I see the false-economy in scrounging up an RV for a single trip compared to using tents and hotels. That's not really the point of the trip since we are thinking the RV thing would be a fun experience.
  10. wh500special

    How about a little help with this log splitter valve??

    I’ve never seen an arrangement like that where the hydraulic cylinder actually pushes on the control valve to stop the motion. Bizarre. Usually the detent function is triggered by the pressure in the system rising when the cylinder maxes out on the return stroke. And the detent relief pressure is typically adjustable. The builder of that unit probably went out of his way to make a valve that he already had work the way he wanted it to. Clever. But bizarre. Steve
  11. wh500special

    Ford 1520

    I forgot to mention... 1700’s did not have shuttle shift. But there are two gear shift levers - one for the 4 ranges, the other for gears 1-3 and reverse. Shifting the second shifter between reverse and whatever gear is right above it (can’t recall, but I think it’s 2nd) is fast and easy. Not the same, but close enough for me that mowing was easy. Steve
  12. wh500special

    Ford 1520

    FWIW: I have a Ford 1700. Have had it for about 17 years or so. Great tractor. Mine is 2wd with turf tires. I do not have a loader. It’s a 12 speed fwd, 3 reverse. Live hydraulics with one rear remote. Manual steering. Transmission driven pto with built in overrunning clutch. 60” Ford belly mower. 72” rear generic blade. Lift boom. I have a front pto kit. I can’t recall hours but I think it might be 1300 or so. Solid machine. Just don’t need it anymore. It’s for sale. If interested, send me a pm. Would like to see $3500 for it. The newer 1520 is probably a better tractor. Certainly more modern. But that one looks expensive. Steve
  13. wh500special

    Any recommendations

    Denny, I've only been to NO a few times and found it to be an interesting place. But it's always been for work so not any time to do touristy stuff. Seeing the lay of the land reveals why flooding is such a big deal to these people. I'm not much for nightlife, so avoided the Bourbon Street melee after dark. But it's an interesting place to visit in the daytime too. There is always plenty of music (and lots of drunks) pouring out of the bars. It's a long way from Pawnee but worth seeing. And fun! I have to admit there were times I didn't feel entirely safe. Obviously it isn't a bad idea to stay in groups if you can. We typically stayed on Canal Street (Sheraton I think = $$$) for conferences and seminars and walked everywhere, but you have to keep your wits about you and your eyes open. I feel more safe in NO than I do here in St. Louis, but be aware of your surroundings and maybe carry your wallet in your front pocket and split your valuables between your person and your hotel safe (like everywhere else in this world). It's been mentioned already, but Cafe du Monde is an icon. You HAVE to go there. You'll recognize the place immediately from countless TV shows and movies. The beignets are wonderful and the coffee has chicory in it which is a novelty. It is a must stop, and I don't even like coffee! It's right across the street from the french quarter and the St. Louis cathedral. I like to eat, and when traveling for work I'm doing it on someone else's dime. I tried a variety of things but one of my absolute favorites - and apparently a New Orleans staple - was the shrimp and grits. I had it at a number of places, but recall Drago's was really good. Theirs was "Shrimp with Grits and Tasso" and the sauce is soooo wonderfully rich you'll want to inject it directly into your bloodstream since that's where it's going anyway. As an aside, one of my frequent travel mates never ventures from chain restaurants...really. If you've been in one Applebee's, you've been in them all. It's always more fun to pick weird things because you never know what you might discover. I'm so rarely disappointed. NO has been the ONLY place I've visited where people on the plane ride were eager to share everything you should see and do (and eat!) while you're there. I was never able to make it happen (work, remember) but apparently some of NO's biggest restaurant traditions are the small, intimate places that are literally in someone's home. No advertising, no signs, etc. I wish I had written down the recommendations, but I'm sure your hotel host can help if you're looking for something off the wall and unusual. Clueless is right...eat Oysters! We don't have those here in the Land of Lincoln. Enjoy your trip! Steve
  14. wh500special

    Financing and cash flow,buy a car?

    I doubt many of us are equipped to offer really sound financial advice and I’m not either. Actually, it sounds like you might be better off advising many of us! You’ve already paid the bank all the interest on the loan for the house. I don’t see a reason to hurry to give them the rest of their money since there’s nothing more to be saved. Buying a a car is a money losing proposition. You just have to decide how much and what kind of risk you can live with and be sure that no matter what happens you can look back on that decision with no regrets. You’re obviously at a point in your life where you’ve earned some age and have created a situation where you don’t have money problems. That’s awesome and probably not a societal norm. My guess is that you and your wife have been “savers” all your life. That’s how you got to a point with an almost paid off mortgage and no other debt. And based on the land and rental property allusions you made, you have some other assets. You might just be at that point in your life where you have financial freedom many people will never have. But you’ve trained yourself -admirably- not to pee away your money. I’m inferring a lot from your comments of course. My parents and in laws are similar. They saved and saved for years and now have a hard time spending on even reasonable purchases. Anyway, if you think you want a newer/more expensive car this is probably your moment. But if you’ll regret it in any way ditch that Pontiac and get a 5 year old Camry or accord and run that sucker into the ground. My wife and I are savers. We have some debt but the cost of it is low enough that it doesn’t make sense to pay it off early. And we’re in a position that we could pay it all off tomorrow which is nice. There is “good” debt and “bad” debt. I’d lump a mortgage and college tuition into the “good” column. Other things are more case-specific and subjective. I had to buy two cars last year. That sucked. But it really felt good to get out from under a piece of junk Ford Edge that was by far the worst (reliability) car I have ever had. In the two years before I decided to cut it loose it took thousands in repairs...wheel bearings, radiator, air conditioning, alternator, battery, front axle shaft. And the transmission was no longer shifting like it should between first and second. It was maintained meticulously and was still crumbling beneath us. But it it was paid for, so I kept it longer than I should have and ended up plowing money into it that didn’t increase its value. No love lost for that junk pile. Paid for the other car outright. But that was a special case since I didn’t want two car payments and VW bought back my previous car due to their shenanigans. In hindsight I should have financed it since I could have gotten 1.9%. The $3000 incentive is nice if GM has something you want. It wouldn’t be enough to sway me into their fold 😎 Anyway, I urge you to do what makes you happy so long as you can live with the decision when you look backwards (I suspect that since old habits die hard you’ll end up with a used car). Steve
  15. wh500special

    You want a Hight Quality Zero Turn??

    Apples and kumquats is right. There is no comparison. I had a Kubota ZD-28 for a while which was a precursor to the 1511 you saw. It was a phenomenal machine. I wrote this a couple years ago: “Later, I had a Kubota ZD-28 with a 6' deck and loved it. The 28 hp diesel engine ran strong and smooth and was really pretty easy on fuel. What took me 8 gallons of gas to mow with an old 724/60" and 5 gallons of diesel with a utility tractor and 6' deck got done with a little more than 2.5 gallons of diesel with the ZD. As far as I know, Kubota is the only maker who makes the ENTIRE machine (in the top end series)...engine, transmissions, frame, deck, etc. Most ZT's are assemblies of other manufacturer's parts...not that there is anything wrong with that. But the Kubota really seems more like an engineered product than an assembly of parts and pieces. My 'bota had 3000+ hours on it when I got rid of it and still did a good job with acceptable reliability. If I ever find I need another monster mowing machine, it will be another Kubota diesel...or a Toro 16' batwing “ i still stand by my assessment that Kubota really knows what they are doing with those machines. They aren’t popular like other zero turns and they aren’t built like other zero turns. They’re monsters. Steve