By Brandon Byers
I know I'm half a year ahead of schedule!
I picked this 1974 D-180 up early last year. It had a pretty hard life, and the previous owner gave his best attempt at keeping it alive. Hydro was strong so I serviced it and put it to work mowing all year. I decided if it would make it through the season then it would get some TLC. By fall it was burning about a quart of oil an hour but it made it. I have no clue how many hours are on it, every hole, bushing, bearing on this tractor is pooched. If you look closely, somebody used two 1" NPT Pipe Flanges to rebuild the mounting points for the upper 3 point cylinder. Hey it works!
I rebuilt the steering gearbox and re-bushed the front axle along with making new spindles.
I had the 482 Kohler bored .20 over (it was .10 over already) and gave it a rebuild with the intention of putting it back to work on snow duty.
I then dawned on me that this tractor will be 50 years old next year - and these old D's are becoming harder and harder to find anymore. So I decided to customize it a bit and go for what a maybe a dealership would offer for a 50th anniversary model if Wheel Horse was still in business today (In another universe, maybe!)
As D's aren't known for their looks - and I can't leave anything alone. I took approximately 2 Inches out of the grille and bezel.
I updated most of the wiring and lights. Gave it a new set of Carlisle Ags along with Vredestein front ribs. It got a new seat and I painted all the accents aluminum.
I patched, rebuilt the 48" deck and put new blades, wheels, and hardware on it. The Blade & 3 point scoop somebody adapted to it also got some attention.
Lastly I stripped it most of the way down and painted it with IH red acrylic urethane enamel.
I always forget to take pictures during my projects but here's a few:
Thanks for reading!!
By Crazy Old Red Horse
Barn find 1975 D180. 608 original hours. Tractor and 48” belly mower look to be still in their original paint. Rear 60” finish mower looks like it has had one coat of new paint added at some point. Open to trades. Please email me with any questions or for additional photos. 35 miles north of Pittsbugh.
I have a D-180 that broke an axle I have got all new parts and have removed transaxle from machine. The 2 parts I am missing for re assembly are the metal screen with magnet for inside trans and a new gasket from transaxle to pump. I have done some looking and can not find these parts. I have the old screen but the rubber gasket on the end of it has some rot and is apart from the screen. The gasket is still in place but i would feel better putting in a new one before re build. Thanks for your help
Fast question ...
Per the IPL for the 6-1141 and 6-1131 54" & 56" blades - how is everyone pinning the rear blade lock arms so they can't unlock the blade ? I've ran into problems with this thing before wanting to unlock itself and drop the blade half off the tractor. It seems when back dragging rough pavement, especially if I back into a snow bank the thing is moving those locks out of position and allowing the frame to drop off. The only reason it stays at least somewhat under the D is the lift arm , but getting it back into position is no fun due to the weight of this thing and especially out in the snow/cold weather. Last time I had to drag the thing back to a clear area so I could wrestle it back into position, lift the frame and lock it again. I did wire them shut for now, but don't trust it and I use it to back drag quite a bit on rough areas I don't want to ram the cutting edge against and risk damaging the rear axle differential or anything else. Mine has been rebuilt with a new cutting edge of 1055HC and the frame is highly beefed up - most of it is now boxed in and the thing has gained nearly 50lbs of steel. It cuts great, almost too good but that random dropping it off is starting to irritate me - need some ideas here...
The smaller 42" and other frames lock from the other direction - so to speak. The brackets are also drilled to accept large hair pin cotters to keep those locks in place - I see no way the bigger blade frame is designed for that, unless I'm missing something ?
Ok - the UL-1 batteries won't cut it for turning over the big cast iron Kohler twins - got one that is only 6mo old and it's basically shot already . One start cycle and if it doesn't fire it's done - needs to be jumped . Since it's mounted above the Sundstrand pump and so close to that thumper engine I'd assume the vibration is just killing the plates . At a rate of 2 batteries per year - that doesn't work out very well and the rotating mass of that engine just draws far too much from the battery - even with a new starter .
From the BCI group number chart and some dimensions of what can fit in the tractor physically I come up with a Group 26 battery - what is everyone using in their twin cylinder D's ??
I see an equivalent Deka runs about $80 - anyone tried that size on one of these D's ...?