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Rollerman

D250 questions

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Rollerman

Have some questions or like some feedback from those of you on RedSquare who have or still use one.

One of the higher ups at my work picked one up 4 or 5 years ago at an estate sell somewhere out east on the Chesapeak Bay....thats what he told me?

He knew I was a WheelHorse fan & teased me with it at first & also asked me questions about it.

I was always under the impression the 250's were the step child of WheelHorse & to stay away.

Recently I brought it home to fix a few minor things for the owner & even took it to Scott's M&G.

So...the owner has offered it to me & after playing around with it for a few weeks now & it's growing on me.

Just over 400Hrs, very quiet, steering is tight, trans works perfect, comes with a 50+" hyd angle snow blade, 60" deck, tiller, & has a 3PH.

From what I understand about the D250's it was the earlier mordels that had transmission issues.

This is a later model & has the dual hyd outputs on the front.

Other than a few minor things...hood straps are broke, fender has one crack in it, paint is faded (my coworker stored it in an outside lean to).

How well do these things work...you know mow, push snow, etc, etc?

I have around 5 acres to mow now & really appreciate the larger tires on this import Horse.

Are there any things to look out for?

The local auto parts place seems to have it pretty well covered on most maintanance parts as well as some stuff for bigger fixes.

Will the trans hold up, can parts be found for them if something does break.

Just looking for some input from any D250 users here.

2012-10-04_21-36-26_458.jpg

2012-10-04_21-36-52_765.jpg

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Lars

Hey Stephen..

Well it is a beast.. and ill guess it is hard to find parts for them also... the engine is french made by renault..

And the design of it comes from germany. Gutbord D2500..

so i have no idea on how they are.. lol

Lars

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midnight rambler

the only thing i didnt like about mine was the turning radius isnt very tight, and you cant get parts for the steering column. (318 power steering upgrade) other than that is about the only complaint i had. i still have a complete running engine from one that i picked up a while back. awsome machine otherwise

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brandon701

I have a 1976 D-250 and that tractor can do anything I put it up against. I use it to plow snow with every year, and it plows very will with the tractor style tires on the back. The only problem with mine is that the steering is very lose on it, but other than that I think they are great. Just kind of hard to find parts for. If you want to see my collection you can go to www.brandonswheelhorsestables.com .

post-5619-0-08906300-1350434028.jpg

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JackC

Those D's look like they are ready to go to war.

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btm1970

i have one and my father has two. they really should be treated with total care. they are a beast. they are not a good work horse. hydrolics are weak at best. plowing stinks, you spend all night shifting years. the steering with fail. im lucky to have a bridgeport and milled a new one for pops. they turn long and hard. the only tractor that takes longer to turn is a simplicity 9020. restore it,show it off and buy a large hp hyro wheel horse for working.

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Rollerman

Thanks for the feedback.

My post title was a bit general...so to be more specific.

I understand parts will be hard to find or possibly even have to be made from scratch.

What I'd like to know...

How well does the 60"deck belly deck work?

What is considered high hours on them?

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brandon701

I have a 60" mower deck for mine. They are a very heavy duty deck but i have never used it since i have something wrong with my front and mid pto shafts. The axle is riding on the shaft which is not a good thing. For hours, since the engines in those d 250s are car engines i would assume that they would go well over a 1000 hrs. Mine only has 640 on it.

Hope this information helps

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SNYFIX

For a "use" tractor we'd advise against it because of the parts issue --

Good collector piece if can be bought on the cheap -- --

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leeave96

I don't own a D250 or any D series for that matter, but I'd say it sounds like you need a tractor with a larger deck to handle your mowing chores and this tractor might be the ticket. If the price is right, I'd buy it and run it until it won't go another day, fix it some along the way and work the tractor until it ain't worth fixing anymore. The hours seem low to me. Simplicity made a tractor called a Sunstar and offered a 60 inch deck. IMHO, the Sunstar was kind of a funky tractor, but offered a bigger tractor/deck for larger mowing chores (and other chores too). So were it me and the price was right, I'd buy it and enjoy the ride!

Good luck,

Bill

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wh500special

Stephen,

I sent you a PM, but am reposting here. I hadn't seen this thread until after our conversation. Hopefully this doesn't start a war...

GO!

D250's are a strange breed. They were Wheel Horse's Edsel and were a true international effort. American specs, German design, French engine, Italian steering gearbox....

They were extremely advanced for their time, but were sales flops. In 1976 1000 units were imported and sold over the next two years. 1978 brought in another 500 of a revised model, then 1979 brought another 500 of the improved version. WH listed them in the product listings into the early 1980's, so they weren't flying off the shelf. They even began to promote special credit terms, freebies, and rental store sales to move them.

Anyway, the 1976 model is distinguished by its generator (as opposed to an alternator), single action hydraulics, and weaker transaxle. The 1978/79's had dual action hydraulics with 4 couplers on the front under the grille, an alternator, and a slightly revised transaxle mounting and linkage that greatly improved reliability. The dashboard on the 78/79's was also revised and improved and the engagement for the PTO moved from a foot pedal to a lever.

The three point hitch on the 76's was not fitted with spherical bearing "eyes" on the draft links. Instead the lower hitch arms were just punched to accept the pins from the implement. Later model hitches had the eyes that were standard on every other three point hitch ever made...

The 1976's in particular were plagued with self-destructing transaxles...especially when used for tilling or heavy ground work like plowing or loading. I don't reacall the entire set of peculiars, but the general explanation is that poor lubricant or low levels combined with excessive load caused the internal axle bushings to wear. The axle/differential would sag or move around a little bit and the worm gear teeth wouldn't mesh properly. Catastrophic failure would then result since the worm gear was made (as are most worm gears) of relatively soft bronze. The teeth would shear and the whole tranaxle would fail.

Warranty replacements were apparently a huge cost for WH and Gutbrod. A real nightmare according to guys who were there at the time.

In 1978 the revisions were slight - and again I don't remember everything - but the improvement was significant. I think the linkage was improved to make shifting more positive and engaged the gearing better. But the bottom end benefitted by a revised mounting angle of the transaxle housing to the frame that caused loads to be transferred internally differently. So the trans was much more durable. But still, if used too heavily they too were prone to letting go.

One of the really critical things about their problems was the location of the oil fill plug in the transaxle housing. Going from memory, I think it's on the right hand side of the transaxle behind the right rear tire. To check the fluid, you almost have to remove the wheel. To fill the fluid, you might as well tip the tractor on its side since the framerail immediately above the check/fill port basically blocks access to the thing. So, many people neglected to check and maintain the transaxle. Coupled with the marginal design and high precision...you get the idea.

Would I mow with one? Yep. Just be very anal about transaxle maintenance.

Would I plow/blade with one? No.

Would I run a tiller? No. Loader? No way!

Apparently the tiller, which is pretty hard to find anyway, really was rough on these things. I'm not sure mechanically why, but I guess the constant pushing and pounding was hard on the axle and exacerbated the problems. In the old days before Redsquare, it wasn't uncommon to find random internet posts about blown D250 rears on tiller-equipped tractors.

Really, the D250 was a precesion engineered piece of equipment. Unfortunately it was introduced into a market and dealer network that lacked the finesse required to keep 'em going and didn't even have the metric tools needed to work on them. The combinations of the machine's fussiness and bad maintenance and abuse probably did most of them in. I'm under the impression that dealers hated them.

And man were they expensive. Like $5k in 1976.

Charlie (Charlies D250) used his D250 extensively and even ran it in tractor pulls (I think). I know he complete disassembled and rebuilt his prior to any of this, so perhaps his was in perfect tune, a good one, or he was just lucky. Maybe he made some mods. Anyway, he ought to be on your contact list.

Now, I really like the Edsels. They are very smooth running, quiet, and extremely powerful. The Renault engine used was rated at 19.9 hp, but the same engine configuration in other applications (Groundsmasters, forklifts, etc) cranked out 35+ hp. Same carb, timing, governor, etc. So the 19.9 hp rating was probably just a lie to get around the regulations that required seatbelts and ROPS.

The 60" deck from the JD 400 used on these tractors mows beautifully and pumps a tremendous amount of air.

The original intent was for the D250 to be an "estate" tractor. All it was supposed to do was mow and clear snow. But the size and power meant the desire to use it heavily was too great. So they got used as compact utility tractors.

Fuel pumps on the engines tend to go bad over time as any mechanical/camshaft driven pump is apt to do. The Renault replacement is (or was last time I cared to look) hard to find and expensive, so replace it with an electric one if it dies. Other than occasionally on ebay, I've never seen a rebuild kit for the Solex carburator. Points, cap, and rotor are hard to find but I think Charlie has a source. By the way, I think one

of the spark plugs cannot be taken out without removing the distributor...if I remember correctly.

The ignition switch on the 76's is goofy with a really special key...push the key in to enable the ignition. Pull it out to shut it off. Rotate it one click for parking lights. A second click for headlights. I think the 78's have a more conventional switch.

Waterpumps aren't a bad quality or bad design, but at this age they often go bad. I've been seeing them periodically on ebay, so somebody must have found a source. If you see one, buy it.

The front/mid PTO shaft also serves double duty as the front axle pivot. Bearings here often get sloppy. Duane Baerpath knows how to replace them and I thought posted a source on here at one point.

What else....

That's about the whole brain dump for now.

If you want to rely on one for a weekly chore tractor I think you need to prepare yourself to be patient and creative. These aren't supported by WH anymore, so parts aren't really available. Engine parts can probably be found since Continental picked up the Renault industrial line a while back. But transmission stuff is extinct. Deere probably still has deck parts. The only differences between a 400 deck and a 250 deck are the hangers. Everything else is carryover from the Deere.

I still have a 76 Edsel that I'm not sure what I'm going to do with. I wouldn't buy another 76. A 78/79, definately. Just a better tractor all the way around.

I see that the one you're considering is a newer one. Go for it. If it doesn't work out then it will probably be an easy resell.

End of sermon,

Steve

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dcrage

Geez Steve -- I swear you put out some of the most informative replies on this site -- Loads and loads of information!!!

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Shuboxlover

To add one tidbit of info....the D-250 that I have (79-81) had a leaking fuel pump. I found a replacement diaphragm on ebay....cost me $18 shipped.

I haven't had the guts to do anything with mine except drive it around :hide:

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Rollerman

Thanks for all the info, looks like I'll be picking this one up.

As per Steve's information I'll make sure to get the trans serviced with some fresh oil.

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Amanda

What is the size of the PTO belt..... i went to mow and SNAP

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gwest_ca

One belt listed as pto belt # 250105 (12.5mm x 1025mm) {HAx40.35"}

 

6840 Gates 1/2"x40"

 

4L400W Napa 1/2"x40"

 

Garry

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sparky6398

Stephen,

I sent you a PM, but am reposting here. I hadn't seen this thread until after our conversation. Hopefully this doesn't start a war...

GO!

D250's are a strange breed. They were Wheel Horse's Edsel and were a true international effort. American specs, German design, French engine, Italian steering gearbox....

They were extremely advanced for their time, but were sales flops. In 1976 1000 units were imported and sold over the next two years. 1978 brought in another 500 of a revised model, then 1979 brought another 500 of the improved version. WH listed them in the product listings into the early 1980's, so they weren't flying off the shelf. They even began to promote special credit terms, freebies, and rental store sales to move them.

Anyway, the 1976 model is distinguished by its generator (as opposed to an alternator), single action hydraulics, and weaker transaxle. The 1978/79's had dual action hydraulics with 4 couplers on the front under the grille, an alternator, and a slightly revised transaxle mounting and linkage that greatly improved reliability. The dashboard on the 78/79's was also revised and improved and the engagement for the PTO moved from a foot pedal to a lever.

The three point hitch on the 76's was not fitted with spherical bearing "eyes" on the draft links. Instead the lower hitch arms were just punched to accept the pins from the implement. Later model hitches had the eyes that were standard on every other three point hitch ever made...

The 1976's in particular were plagued with self-destructing transaxles...especially when used for tilling or heavy ground work like plowing or loading. I don't reacall the entire set of peculiars, but the general explanation is that poor lubricant or low levels combined with excessive load caused the internal axle bushings to wear. The axle/differential would sag or move around a little bit and the worm gear teeth wouldn't mesh properly. Catastrophic failure would then result since the worm gear was made (as are most worm gears) of relatively soft bronze. The teeth would shear and the whole tranaxle would fail.

Warranty replacements were apparently a huge cost for WH and Gutbrod. A real nightmare according to guys who were there at the time.

In 1978 the revisions were slight - and again I don't remember everything - but the improvement was significant. I think the linkage was improved to make shifting more positive and engaged the gearing better. But the bottom end benefitted by a revised mounting angle of the transaxle housing to the frame that caused loads to be transferred internally differently. So the trans was much more durable. But still, if used too heavily they too were prone to letting go.

One of the really critical things about their problems was the location of the oil fill plug in the transaxle housing. Going from memory, I think it's on the right hand side of the transaxle behind the right rear tire. To check the fluid, you almost have to remove the wheel. To fill the fluid, you might as well tip the tractor on its side since the framerail immediately above the check/fill port basically blocks access to the thing. So, many people neglected to check and maintain the transaxle. Coupled with the marginal design and high precision...you get the idea.

Would I mow with one? Yep. Just be very anal about transaxle maintenance.

Would I plow/blade with one? No.

Would I run a tiller? No. Loader? No way!

Apparently the tiller, which is pretty hard to find anyway, really was rough on these things. I'm not sure mechanically why, but I guess the constant pushing and pounding was hard on the axle and exacerbated the problems. In the old days before Redsquare, it wasn't uncommon to find random internet posts about blown D250 rears on tiller-equipped tractors.

Really, the D250 was a precesion engineered piece of equipment. Unfortunately it was introduced into a market and dealer network that lacked the finesse required to keep 'em going and didn't even have the metric tools needed to work on them. The combinations of the machine's fussiness and bad maintenance and abuse probably did most of them in. I'm under the impression that dealers hated them.

And man were they expensive. Like $5k in 1976.

Charlie (Charlies D250) used his D250 extensively and even ran it in tractor pulls (I think). I know he complete disassembled and rebuilt his prior to any of this, so perhaps his was in perfect tune, a good one, or he was just lucky. Maybe he made some mods. Anyway, he ought to be on your contact list.

Now, I really like the Edsels. They are very smooth running, quiet, and extremely powerful. The Renault engine used was rated at 19.9 hp, but the same engine configuration in other applications (Groundsmasters, forklifts, etc) cranked out 35+ hp. Same carb, timing, governor, etc. So the 19.9 hp rating was probably just a lie to get around the regulations that required seatbelts and ROPS.

The 60" deck from the JD 400 used on these tractors mows beautifully and pumps a tremendous amount of air.

The original intent was for the D250 to be an "estate" tractor. All it was supposed to do was mow and clear snow. But the size and power meant the desire to use it heavily was too great. So they got used as compact utility tractors.

Fuel pumps on the engines tend to go bad over time as any mechanical/camshaft driven pump is apt to do. The Renault replacement is (or was last time I cared to look) hard to find and expensive, so replace it with an electric one if it dies. Other than occasionally on ebay, I've never seen a rebuild kit for the Solex carburator. Points, cap, and rotor are hard to find but I think Charlie has a source. By the way, I think one

of the spark plugs cannot be taken out without removing the distributor...if I remember correctly.

The ignition switch on the 76's is goofy with a really special key...push the key in to enable the ignition. Pull it out to shut it off. Rotate it one click for parking lights. A second click for headlights. I think the 78's have a more conventional switch.

Waterpumps aren't a bad quality or bad design, but at this age they often go bad. I've been seeing them periodically on ebay, so somebody must have found a source. If you see one, buy it.

The front/mid PTO shaft also serves double duty as the front axle pivot. Bearings here often get sloppy. Duane Baerpath knows how to replace them and I thought posted a source on here at one point.

What else....

That's about the whole brain dump for now.

If you want to rely on one for a weekly chore tractor I think you need to prepare yourself to be patient and creative. These aren't supported by WH anymore, so parts aren't really available. Engine parts can probably be found since Continental picked up the Renault industrial line a while back. But transmission stuff is extinct. Deere probably still has deck parts. The only differences between a 400 deck and a 250 deck are the hangers. Everything else is carryover from the Deere.

I still have a 76 Edsel that I'm not sure what I'm going to do with. I wouldn't buy another 76. A 78/79, definately. Just a better tractor all the way around.

I see that the one you're considering is a newer one. Go for it. If it doesn't work out then it will probably be an easy resell.

End of sermon,

Steve

 

Stevw, This is really GREAT info you have posted here, Thank You!!

 

Now I have a few questions to ask about my newly aquired D-250.  When I bought it, it has an ARK 500 or 550 loader, haven't checked the loader tag yet, I couldn't find the tractor ID tag. I was hoping to find it under the front support for the loader upright arm, but all I found was a series of numbers stamped into the frame rail. After reading your post about the front remote quick connects, I only have 1 line on the left side mounted on the side of the radiator support, not coming out under the grill in the front of the tractor. Also mine has the foot operated PTO control mounted on the left foot rest running board and had the push/pull ignition switch and starter button. With all I have seen on this D-250 and from what you wrote, I believe it's a first year, 1976? Here's a few photos and can get more tomorrow if anyone lets me know what to take. Thanks everyone for your help in advance..

 

post-7529-0-70134500-1389063794_thumb.jppost-7529-0-18913900-1389063848_thumb.jppost-7529-0-76678300-1389063907_thumb.jppost-7529-0-35219300-1389063961_thumb.jppost-7529-0-79300900-1389063985_thumb.jppost-7529-0-45069600-1389064038_thumb.jp

Edited by sparky6398

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clintonnut

Hi Guys,

 

I might as well take a week off work to tell you everything I have found on the one I used to own!

 

Some main points:

 

Keep front PTO shaft bearings lubed, the PTO shaft also holds the axle. 

 

A renault dauphine fuel pump can be used. It is what I did. Just make sure the one you buy has one inlet and one outlet. 

 

There are 2 weak points I found on the transmission, the first is the trans is a worm shaft style. The worm shaft is supported by a double-raced ball bearing that is held in place by two thrust washers. These thrust washers broke on my tractor and I ended up making my own out of two washers from a Chrysler 8.75 rebuild kit. I had to make them smaller but they were hardened steel. The second weak point is the differential worm drive is brass. You MUST USE a GL-4 oil because it is a "soft" metal.

 

Adjust your valve lash

 

Several things like the clutch pedal and hydraulic rock shaft are non greasable. I suggest removing the parts and drilling for grease zerks.

 

The hardest thing on the transmission is sudden impacts. Hitting big cracks in your driveway, curbs or moving piles of gravel are what killed my trans. When the worm shaft thrust washers broke, it shoved the PTO shaft out of the back of the transmission.

 

I highly suggest NOT using a rototiller. They are extremely hard on the transmission.

 

I ended up replacing the rusted muffler with one for a Ford 8n

 

The distributer bushings commonly wear out. I replaced my entire distributor with a new one off of ebay france.

 

Here are some pics I have:

 

D250beautysm.jpg

 

HPIM2817.jpg

 

HPIM2925.jpg

 

Oil pan off:

 

HPIM2927.jpg

 

Cub cadets used the same snowblower besides frame and gearbox:

 

HPIM3107.jpg

 

A lot of snow 4+ feet

 

HPIM3098.jpg

 

HPIM2919.jpg

 

I can't seem to find any transmission rebuild photos but absorb whatever you see on this site as well. It has been dormant for a while:

 

http://wheelhorseweb.com/

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sparky6398

Thanks Charlie, I had found that site a few days ago and learned all I could from it.

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clintonnut

Oh yeah, some little things:

 

Hood latches can be replaced with ones used on a simplicity tractor. I forget the number but they are nearly identical. You have to shorten them a little but they work great

 

The seat on mine was from tractor supply. I modified the seat a little to work with the original D-250 seat bracket.

 

Drive shaft U joints are the same as a BMW shaft driven motorcycle

 

My coolant overflow bottle shattered while mowing and coated me with hot antifreeze... I replaced it with one from a Renault LeCar. The LeCar one was nearly identical and was made of plastic.

 

Charlie

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shorts

Mercury Marine used the Renault engine for a while in an I/O package they may still have some engine parts available

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C-101plowerpower

since the d250's are pretty much the same as gutbrod 2500, parts can be found in germany

http://gutbrod-schrauber.de/ersatzteile-f-r-2500-s.html

http://ersatzteilhandel.jimdo.com/gutbrod-2500-getriebe/ if you open the pdf on that site you'll get an exploded view of the transmission

http://ardiehl.de/Gutbrod/Gutbrod_2500_Benzin_Motor.pdf engine pdf

hope this helps

 

Koen

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sparky6398

Koen Thanks so much, that will hellp a lot.

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1989520HC

Very Interesting topic....I love the looks of the D tractors. The smaller ones used the Omen? 

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sparky6398

I finally looked again at the number stamped on the frame and it's the same Model number as is located in the records here for a 1976 model..

 

Do you suppose that the "5340" is the Serial Number?

 

post-7529-0-82271700-1389645542_thumb.jp

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      SCA 10200
       
      Where can I get these items?
      -          Complete Lower Steering Box Bearing and Cup/Race Kit - Full Set. Includes two plastic bearing cages/ball spacers.
      -          9/16" Diameter Cam Follower (Steering Pin). 
      -          Flanged Sealed Ball Bearing to replace the insert at the top of the column.  Looks like it's a little bigger than 1 3/8" OD with a 3/4" ID 
      -          “Easy Steer" Upgrade Kit. For models with 3/4" diameter pitman arm stud.
       
      I have seen some of these parts on the auction site but was hoping for someplace I could order everything from.
       
      Thank You.
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