Category Archives: tractor stuff

I fix up ,sell & use tractors.. love em

Old Cub 60 Mower

I don’t know how old..  Let’s say 70’s.

But I’ve had this little guy stashed away for 9 years.  It’s sooo cute !  Made by International Harvester..  Powered by a whopin 6 hp tecumseh  motor..  4 speeds..  both forward and backward.  And a stylin body like a little car.

It uses belts to go forward or reverse.  I found the sales flyer from when it was new..

Electric Start !  I wish… not this one.  There is no electrical system ..  to bad cause it needs lights.

I bought this off folks in Oliver for $50. (that’s their kid )  not running ..  Needed a head gasket..   So when I got it home we bought that and ..carb kit , spark plug and an air cleaner..  All of this for another $50.  So I’m into the little clown car for $100.  Ya “Clown Car”  That what it looks like..  So It’s a bit nasty outside so this is a good one to get running..  Also I did a big clean up in the Frankenport this summer and this got booted from it’s hiding place.

And now it on the lift table and I’m preforming surgery on the motor. Hay got the parts why not.  First  “Off with the Head”.   Yup a chunk the gasket was gone..  So here I’ve done some cleaning

Lot’s more cleaning to do before putting things back..  Also I checked the spark.. And we have good spark..  That’s one of the things needed.  The other is fuel.   so the carb is getting a good cleaning and all new parts.

Going to need new fuel lines as well.  And the pull starter needs a little help.

Went out to the shop this morning and the motor had strangely puked all it’s oil out on the lift table..  I’m guessing me spinning the motor with the drill to test for spark has caused something to happen.  The oil is all over the pulley under the motor …so main seal ?  crack on the crank case ?  Now you gotta think just how much parts or a new motor is this old mower worth.  The fuel tank is full of rust. Is it going to leak ?  Only one of the four wheels holds air..  Will the transmission work ?  I know it’s somewhat fun to work on these things.  And I’ve restored many many mowers.. But I don’t have the patience for motors I used to.   I think I’ll put the little guy back together and pass it on.



2001 John Deere 1420 Mower Page 2

Let’s fix the motor and get this puppy running !

And the root problem is the carb.

Carb being cleaned

And so a few parts have been ordered. Anew float needle valve, gasket, and new shutoff solenoid.  The last one is a pricey little thing.  The bad oil has been drained and a new filter installed.

Well new oil …carb all clean and back in… still won’t start.  Gone over and over the wiring , sensors and coils to try and find the problem.  Cleaned all the connections.  and then I found this.

One of the magnetic pick ups for the coil was bent back.  So that cylinder would not fire.  So I cleaned all of three of these and set the gap for the best pick up..  works all three plugs are working..  But the motor still refuses to start.   SO  I’m kicking the John deere to the curb for awhile..  Outside all covered up waiting for my patience to come back.

Jan 2021 … Update:

A friend of mine wanted to take the John Deere over to his shop and see if he could have luck with it.  And he did .. got it running  !  So I went over and helped him put some of the bits and pieces back on..  He bought a battery and we took it for a run outside.

Proof..   So I’m fixing up the seat..  The bottom cushion is at the upholstery shop..   All the hydraulics work perfectly.





2001 John Deere 1420 Mower

This is a new project for the winter !

Same model different mower deck

Not mine but same model…

Arriving in the shop a tad early for winter.. however you wouldn’t know that when you look outside.  We got a pre – winter blast of snow..  about 4 inches.  Enough to play havoc on the roads and catching us off guard.  I came home from camping early and avoided all the problems..  Some were not so lucky.   Any way back to the JD..  It was a trade..  Back in 2018 I bought home a Cushman front deck commercial mower.  Powered by a Kubota Diesel motor.. It’s the diesel that made it all worthwhile and taking a chance.  Did not know if it would run .. needs a bunch of work..  But it came with a few attachments .. snow blower , mower deck and a scoop bucket?

Old Cushman Front mower.. history unknown

And so I made a trade for this …..

Our JD1420… rear hood removed

He wanted the snow blower more than I did..  But I think I did ok.  Ya it looks good .. But !  back in August  Dave and I made a trip down to Richmond to pick up two things from the auction for the boss..  this was one of them..  Bought with only seeing photos … it was supposed to be a 2006…  and was supposed to be a diesel.. and it was supposed to be running. NOPE! Turns out to be a 2001 and a gas motor. NOT running.  So there was a settlement of sorts which I have no knowledge.  No mater.

Drivers controls

This is a F1420 model, Yanmar 28 hp GAS motor,  Hyrostatic drive,  62 inch rear discharge triple blade deck with hydraulic lift .  As you can see the steering column tilts , the seat has long travel suspension.  Commercial duty.  There was “City of Richmond” decals still visible.

Dave and I tinkered with the motor when we got it home this summer..  It was almost seized.. we managed to get it turning… and very briefly had it running. so long as we poured fuel down the carb.  Fairly sure that water got in through the open air cleaner and into the cylinders rusting the rings. There is water in the oil and the carb needs a good cleaning …for sure the fuel shutoff solenoid is rusted shut .  Bad fuel won’t help either.  And the first thing is to get it running .

AH HA !  tucked into one of those document tubes used on trailers..  Look what I found..  Proof !  2014 wasn’t that long ago.  This puppy was roaming the parks and other grassy areas of Richmond, BC.  Cast aside for newer fancy one I bet.  Parked in the back lot … un loved and destined for the auction.

Look what I found !

I couldn’t for the life of me understand why there was this ring around the fuel filler.  And what looked like a satellite radio antenna.  So I removed the front cover from the steering / dash pod.  ( needed to get to the warning lights )  And I find this all wrapped up.

GPS tracker ?  nope.  Looked it up.. It’s a fuel usage monitoring system.  Transmits data to someones computer just to track how much fuel is being used.  Seriously ! why not just keep a log book at the pump ?

Mystery ring around the filler

Think of the money spent on installing and signing up to this tech company for every vehicle in the Richmond fleet …  wow.  I’m sure these aren’t free..  Why not remove it to use on another machine.  Waste waste..

So let’s start a new page as we get to healing the motor….

Page 2



2013 Husqvarna Swedish Mower

I found a used one !

These are pricey little mowers.  And that’s why they didn’t sell very many in North America.  So finding a used one is great.  New ones are twice the price of a lawn tractor.  But they do mow better, turn sharper and maneuver around better.  And one of the best things is how the front deck pulls out and flips up for cleaning and blade changes…  very slick !

The other cool thing is the articulating steering…  just like a big loader these bend in the middle ..  Quite sharply too.

These mowers could be bought as an AWD or just rearWD.  The one I got is the later.  Three different decks were offered too.  I got the big 48 inch side discharge deck.  Most were mulching smaller decks like the ones in the photos.   Here’s mine….

I saw these many years ago at the equipment stores in Calgary…  And was impressed with everything but the price.  And now I’m happy to have one …  and this will take over the lawn cutting duties from the Kubota 1850 .   I hope it’s as reliable as the Kubota..   The Kubota has been having over heating problems when running the 52 inch mowing deck .. only..  everything else works great.

The power is a conventional Briggs 20 hp V-Twin..  And it drives a hydrostatic  transmission and a belt to the mower deck.  Easy to service and simple.  And I like foot pedal operation..

Yard work has begun !  And I have been using the Husky quite a bit..  Without doing anything to it ..  It’s running great !   I love it.   when the shop is clear I’ll get to sharpening the blades.


1999 Craftsman GT3000 Tractor Page 2

The Re-assembly / Restore:

If you are here and you didn’t read the first page..   then do that first..    PAGE ONE:


Let’s keep this photo of a nice one to see how I do..   I will be re-painting the body.. and I’m using what I have on hand.. .and that is the Civic Red that I painted the Suzuki Sidekick last winter.


So it’s a change of color..  a color that Sears would not have used.. but I don’t care..   I like this color.   Anyway..  back to the task at hand..


That means starting with the things that need repairing..  like the steering.   Here’s the steering all fixed with new bushings, greased and painted… good to go.   Hey it’s a start!  And other than the mower deck’s the only thing that really did need a fix.  I took the frame to the car wash and gave it a bath..  It’s now sanded and cleaned and ready for paint.  Going to be nice working on a clean frame.


Well that’s done.. But I don’t want to start messing with it till it’s had a few days to cure good.

Well I’ve painted most of the parts..  and the frame has had a few days to cure good.  In the mean time I’ve been cleaning and draining (all over the floor)  the transaxle.


It’s now back in place.. I need to find a filter to fit, and then refill the oil.  This transaxle has a separate pump from the drive..  and a spin – on filter too.  It’s twice the size of a normal lawn tractor.  The plan here is to get as much back together while upside down.

Jan 2017:

Well I finally got some ambition and I am getting back to this tractor.  Trying to remember how things went together..  And realizing that spring is just around the corner.. I have other important stuff that will need the shop..  and I will need this tractor come spring.

I flipped the frame back right side up..  I’m slowly filling the transaxle with oil..   and the steering is back in.. and working soooo nice.  I have no idea how much oil goes in to the transaxle..  so I’ll just keep filling till it comes out the breather..  Found a new filter.. turns out to be the same one used on the motors.

Got more done today…  motor is in,  the trans is working good..

and a lot of things are fixed and adjusted good..   Next the dash … wiring … and the fuel tank..

April 10 2017:

Finally got back to this tractor..   and a good thing cause the grass is growing..  and the plan is for this to be my main mower.

When I parked it over to one side of the shop.. this is what it looked like.  Rolling with the wiring mostly done..   In the last few days I had time to finish up all the “putting” back together.  Today it looks like this…

All the best parts from the two GT 3000’s . And that included some of the green painted body parts that were is great condition..  So no need for a paint job.  New seat.   Motor serviced.. and today we started it up for the first time in a while..  It runs great..   took it for a spin in the yard and WOW.  !  All the work on the steering paid off…  and this is a pleasure to drive.   The concerns with the transmission are gone..   We are calling it “Big Green Meanie”  It is much bigger than most lawn tractors.   Next the deck needs to be all rebuilt..

April 24 th  2017:

It’s taken a lot of time to get the deck set up with new belts and the one new arbor.  Lining things up..  figuring out which spring goes where.  It was messed up when I got it..  so I needed to get it right again.  There is very close tolerances for the two belts.  The first try I got the wrong size belt from the motor …and it was rubbing on the metal.  Last night I got a shorter belt and that solved all the problems.   Also I had to make a whole new wiring harness.   All the safety circuits were giving me problems ..  So I took everything away except the clutch & PTO interlock for starting.  So yes you could get of the seat while the mower is engaged..   but would you !  if the PTO is just a simple button !  And using the parking brake is a must ..unless you want the tractor to wander off on it’s own.  Just like all the new cars these days ..  they presume you are stupid and should not be allowed to operate a machine.

So here we are..   ready for duty.   and hoping it does ok this summer.

1999 Craftsman GT3000 Tractor


This is what it should look like…


Not the same one..  but you get the idea.. I always find a photo of the same tractor from a google search to show what it looks like in good condition.

This is the first of many projects for the winter..  This came to me as a package of 2 1/2 tractors..   the others are just for parts..  this one is complete..  and runs.  the 48 inch deck needs work.. and the tractor is a real mess.   Been sitting out under the trees.


Lot’s of great things about this tractor.. the best is this triple blade 48 inch deck.  This is a deluxe deck !  needs an arbor, and a good cleaning..


This is a heavy duty tractor..  large 12 inch rear wheels , hydro transmission,  electric PTO for the deck.  20 hp twin motor..   I like it..   wp_20161207_004

But what a mess..   I’m thinking it’s worth the full treatment..  So First thing we did was run the motor.. yup.. good motor.. smooth.  even the battery charged up ok..   Time to start taking it apart….  The plan is to strip it down to the frame .. repair all the worn out bits, like the steering.  I’m even going to remove the rear axle / hydro unit.


Alrighty.. the motor is out and the very old oil drained.  That’s going to be a happy motor when it gets fresh oil & filter.  I gave the bottom half of the motor a bath while it’s hanging out.   Now all that’s left is a rolling chassis.


Everything is very sturdy for a small tractor.  The hydro unit has a separate pump from the drive.  Interestingly the hydro pump has a horizontal drive while the motor drives vertically for the mower deck.  So the drive belt does a twist..   One of the parts that I need to fix is the steering.  It’s very loose and defiantly worn bad.


Here it is out and in my vise.  I’m disappointed to see that they use those darn nylon bushings for the two shafts.  It does not take long for them to wear out and become sloppy.    I’m going to concede and buy new ones..  at least they lasted more than ten years.  However I could not get a new upper bushing


I made one..  In my hand is the worn plastic one.. I took a 3/4″ nut and drilled it out and added a grease fitting..  Welded in place…   New and improved ! This part of the steering takes all the force of the operator yanking on the steering wheel.   So it needs to be strong.


This is where I’m at..   stripped down to just the frame.   Now starts the cleaning and restoring process..    I’m thinking a new page..  so


1989 Suzuki Carry mini truck

Poor man’s side by side.. Work Truck..  4×4..

1989 Carry

Soo..  I actually bought this little truck for my business.  I’m doing a lot of running around picking up repairs and getting parts..  Using my big truck with the BIG motor is costing quite a bit.   so now I can buzz all over the valley for cheap.  The little truck has business insurance on it.  On the first day of having it I went out and picked up a lawn tractor for repairs.

suzuki carry

Look at that..  actually fits with a bit of room to spare..  but shows how small the truck is..  Both Dave & I with the tractor.. no problem.   so for the business Perfect !

Side by Side ?

Ya.. It can be.  This little truck has a 550cc motor with a low geared 4 speed manual transmission.  4×4 with hi / low range,  diff lock,  auto hubs.  It’s lifted two inches.  Has 12 inch wheels like my quad..  but they are skinny..  The whole truck is only 54 inches wide..  Narrower than some of the side by’s in our club.  So fitting on a trail.. no problem.   Now here’s the bonus ! cab heater !  licensed for the street !  Rain is no problem..  No one wants to steal it daily..  Yes that’s a problem with ATV’s.

Poor Man’s ?

Ya..  With side by’s costing 14 grand and up..  and even a used one is more than $6000.   This little truck is a bargain.   These are quickly catching on with the hunters..  because they carry more.  It’s fun to drive too.. and does not need a trailer to pack it home.

About This Truck:

The odometer shows 24700 , but there is no sixth digit. And since no one drives these much on the highway, we will presume the worst would be 124,700 kms.  That makes sense due to the motor needing new rings.  The motor is a three cylinder 550 cc  Suzuki  ( not a motorcycle engine)  but similar to what was in the Sprints and Swifts.  These little motors rev very high to produce the power needed..  So the rings tend to be the first thing to wear out.  The motor uses a carburetor and simple points ignition.  NO electronics ! not even a warning buzzer for seat belts or key left in the ignition.  Very simple to work on..  I would say the only complex parts are the tons of vacuum hoses from the carburetor and the relays / solenoids that activate the differential lock and front hub lock.  YES push button hub lock..  don’t have to get out and turn in the hubs.  And it all works perfectly.


The interior is in perfect condition..  Just the way it came from the factory.  I will change out the “mono” AM radio for a better “stereo” and two speakers instead of the one.  I’m going to change the cigarette lighter out for a proper power point plug.  Also I’ve added LED day time running lights to the front with a switch on the dash.  Not much room in the cab.. so have to be careful what I add..  cup holders would be nice..  but I haven’t found a place yet.   As far as the body goes.. there is very little rust..  nothing like the rust holes in a Sidekick..  or any of the north American models.  These seem to be better steel.  Just a bit of surface rust that rubs off..  Not bad for something 26 years old.   I have a few dents to take out too..   So away we go….

A bit of Fixing :

I had some spare time ..and I wanted to polish the doors and box sides before I put decals on.  But I got a bit carried away and did some touch up painting too.  Just to get rid of the rust.

May 24 2016:

Time for a Motor Makeover:

I’ve been driving around for a few weeks now.. I love it.. fun to drive.. And it runs great.   I’m getting used to the right hand drive.   But It smokes  ! a lot.  and I don’t want to plaster my name all over a smoking truck..  So now that the shop is free.  and clean..  Time to fix the motor.


There are two ways to get the motor out of the truck..  Fastest is to use a hoist and drop the hole shabang out the bottom.   The other is to remove the box, and remove the transmission and slide the motor out the back.   Since I have no hoist in my shop…  I’ll remove the box.


And that is just what I did..  Look at how easy it is to get at stuff..  Plus I want to clean the dirt and the rusty bits while I can..  even throw some paint on the frame.


Even though the truck is simple compared to newer vehicles.. there is a rats nest of lines to deal with..   Next step is to give this mess a bath.. And some short videos too.

I’m not the fastest mechanic by any means..  so I expect the truck to be out of commission for a least two weeks.  I have other things to do.

May 27 2016:

All the bits are here now.  The new 13″ alloy rims, the gasket set for the motor.  The power keyless locking system, The stereo too.  So I’m not waiting for anything..   Right now the transmission is out on the floor.. and the motor is coming out in a day or so.  I’ve also been thinking about some painting.  My logo will be on the truck..  and I would like to improve the look.  And be unique !  So I’ve come up the idea of following the Kubota color scheme.  Orange and grey.   I’m leaving the cab mostly white..  But I’m painting the frame and it’s parts grey.  Then running an orange stripe down the side .. which includes the lower part of the box.  Here’s a mock up of the idea.

Carry Color5

I haven’t drawn the frame in the picture .. but it’s the general idea.  I also included some wood side boards.  I would like to do that too.  So add to all this the nice new rims.. and we are stylin !

I’m thinking the motor work should be on a new page.

PAGE 2 Motor Work:




Lawn Tractor Fix’n

Mowers 001

As a part of my new business I’m doing Lawn tractor repairs & servicing.   It’s full on spring now so I had to kick the Sidekick out of the shop and make some money.  The photo above is from back in 2008 when I still had quite the collection.  The second one from the right is my 2003 Craftsman DLT3000.  I bought it new when we signed the papers for this home.  Knowing I would have a lot of grass to cut.  I chose that tractor carefully for it’s features.   The bagging system on it came along in 2006.  And started my whole fixing up tractors thing.  Because to get the bagger for $100 I had to take the broken tractor that it was attached to.  Dave and I fixed that tractor and sold it for $300.  That started the ball rolling.


This was the first… and then there was a steady parade of mowers..  too many to count that went through the shop.

Well a few years back I sold off or gave away most of the collection of un-finished ones..  I still have two.  And as you can see from my other posts I’m into lots of different stuff now.  but the tractors are back.. One good one…  I retired the 2003 Craftsman back in 2010.. and passed it on to my Brother.   He used it till the deck was not working anymore..  and he has now passed it back.  I had to replace a bunch of parts on the deck and service the motor.. and it’s back in action.


Here it is with a new seat and all fixed up..  I removed the snow blade mount from the front..  and cleaned it up..  cuts grass like new.  I really love this tractor ..  I chose it for the features..  like foot pedal hydrostatic drive. deluxe deck with all the rollers for anti-scalping.  22 hp V-twin motor.  Gets the job done without even slowing down.  They don’t make them as good as this one anymore.

Currently in the shop is a very sad 2007 Craftsman YT 4500.   I’m restoring it for a customer.  Not near as durable as the 2003 DLT.  This one was used and abused.


Check out the seat.. and the Flintstone bumper..  oh what a mess.  At first I passed this by.. cause they wanted too much for it.  But then they came back to earth and I bought it for the right price.   The 21 hp V-Twin runs good.. so there’s a big thing.   and the hydrostatic drive is good too..  so the bones are good..  The deck is hurting for a rebuild.  So I’ve got new arbors, a belt and blades.   The weak part of these years was the lower dash tower.  It holds the steering up.. and the thin metal is not good for that stress.  I’ve fixed these before so I know what to do.


The only way to fix these  Tractors good is to take it apart.  It’s easier to clean and replace the drive belt, adjust the brake,  service the transmission…  etc..  But I leave the motor on.. no need to go that far.


Well it’s looking a bit different now.  A bit of polish on the body,  and a clean motor.  As I put things back..  I’m fixing the boo boo’s.  One of those is the mounting holes on the lower dash cowl.


well they are just not there any more.. gone.  and someone’s solution was to use big washers!  Like I said before this is a weakness of these newer tractors.  I have fixed this before.


And there you go.. new and improved.  Wider flange = more stable.  Thicker metal = less chance of breaking.   This is half of what it takes to fix the loosy goosy steering.  The other part is….


This plate that mounts under the dash.  It has a bushing to hold the steering shaft ..  a PLASTIC  bushing  ( seen on the left) .  Ya that’ll work good !  for a few years if your lucky.  I made up this METAL bushing & plate to hold it.  It’s 3 ” long and can be greased.  Here’s a video explaining.

It’s all back together now..  The steering turned out very sturdy..

Lawn tractor

I even got the new rubber foot pads on..   The seat is not finished , can’t decide on which cover..  And of coarse the deck is still a work in progress..

Craftsman YS4500

But it’s running great..  and I took it for a spin around the yard.. stopping for a photo…  So while I work magic on the mower deck..  I put out the call for broken lawn tractors..  and got lot’s of response. Too much.. so I had to pick and choose.  This is what I now have for free.

  • A mid 2000’s Craftsman 15 hp Hydrostatic , 42 ”  ( good cond.)
  • A 42 ” deck..  same as the above tractor..  ( good cond. )
  • A bagging setup for the Craftsman.
  • A 2004 Craftsman Mid Engine rider 13 hp Automatic, 30 ” cut..  Rear dump bagger.. ( Motor seized. )
  • A 6 hp Honda push mower ..  ( broken drive)  GOOD MOTOR.

And that’s enough..  The two Craftsman can be restored..

Craftsman mid engine mower

This is the mid engine mower. Deck is off.. but it’s a single blade 30″.  It’s a cool design too.  Just pull the lever to dump the grass.. no need to get off the mower..  Needs a motor transplant and the tires resealed.. then it’s good to go.


Here’s the other Craftsman . this is also hydrostatic.  And has a good deck..   Not sure what it will need.

2007 Craftsman

Here’s the finished 2007 Craftsman , Cuts great , runs great..  ready for it’s new home.

2019:   Not doing this anymore..





Kubota B2400 Tractor Project

Sept 2014:


Here’s a photo of a 1997- B2400 tractor.. not the one I just got..  nope.. this is what it would look like if it was in better shape not in pieces.  And if it had a mower deck.. (I do not).  Here’s the one I have…

As is where is
As is where is

And this is where I found it ..  Way up a rural road.. Way up..   Truth is this is the second time I’ve seen it .. The first time was the winter of 2012..  and it had a lot of snow on it and it was down at a shop in the Kettle Valley.


And I was not very impressed.  However the owner dropped the price .. a lot..  And I hemmed and hawed.. for a year and a half..   What the heck.. I can’t really lose..  The motor runs.. and it’s a Kubota !  would be a great winter project just like the Kubota F2400 was.  This too has been sitting for years .. because something went wrong in the gears… locking up the rear wheels..  The owner did not want to pay thousands to fix it here I am.

Ride home
Ride home

And there it goes… great way to try the new trailer out..  This photo was taken quickly at the Midway Scale..  Yes this is a small tractor.  And fixed up it will fetch $6000. to $7000. so hell yes I’ll fix it..

LA 351 Loader
LA 351 Loader

The Loader alone is worth quite a bit..  But the loader & tractor together has more value.

It’s more than just the gears.   Cosmetically this tractor is a hurting unit..  Needs new tires too.  So it’s not a cheap fix.   But !  This is a Kubota.. and I know how hard they work and how durable they are.  This was a very nice one ..  with lots of good features.  :

  • Hydrostatic Drive with Hi / low range
  • 4 wheel drive
  • Bi- Speed Power steering ?
  • Separate wheel Brakes for fast turns
  • Two Speed PTO.
  • Mid PTO..  so a Mower deck can work to.
  • Legendary 24 hp 3 cylinder Kubota Diesel

What more could you want..?  Maybe someone to figure out where the pieces go.. Naa I’m good at that. But there is a lot of levers and no labels.  But I’ve got the Operators manual… and the Shop manual on my computer.

How does this Kubota Differ from My BX :

Aside from the size..  And the B2400 is a bit bigger, both the wheels and the motor.  There is some more conventional tractor stuff.. a clutch, split brakes,  also a cruise control..   Missing stuff..  well even though there is a mid PTO all the mower deck hook ups are missing.  The BX has turn signals.. the B2400 just has hazard flashers.

I’m not thinking this tractor ever had a mower deck.. Given that all four farm tires were filled with calcium for weight .. this was just a front end loader tractor..

Into The Shop :

No good just sitting on the trailer..   There was a break in the rain so I figured it was time to get the poor thing in out of the weather.

Unloading with help from the BX
Unloading with help from the BX

First I took the chains off the rear wheels..  Then with the BX I could lift the rear..UGGG.. well I guess there must be calcium in the tires.. because it’s heavy.  The little guy could only bare some of the weight.. but enough to move it.. And that lifted my rear wheels off the ground.. Good thing for 4×4 !  Once I had it in the middle of the driveway.. I used the BX to lift the loader off.. and set it aside.

LA 351 loader
LA 351 loader

Then I picked up the rear again and into the shop..

Ready for working on
Ready for working on

The Work Starts:

I’m actually starting this project kinda early.. so there will be a lot of time when nothing is done..  and I’m playing with other stuff..  No hurries.   Better stock up on brake cleaner & penetrating oil… there is a lot of rusty bolts.  I putzed a bit on it after getting in the shop..  The rear wheels need to come of .. But the nuts won’t budge.  I removed the remaining fender..  motor covers..  the very dead battery..  Peeked into the top of the differential case.. hmm  The mechanic had taken some stuff a part to see if the problem was obvious.. so all the covers are off the transmission and diff.. and some leavers are hanging there too.. oh fun..

wheels off.
wheels off.


Dave got home from the coast and was really wanting to check out the tractor.. last time he saw it was when it was buried in snow. So curiosity got the best of us..   And here’s an example of how good Dave and I are at diagnosing a problem when we put our heads together.   First I have to say that the mechanic that looked at the tractor and said “big job to fix”  did not raise the rear wheels off the ground..   AND may or may not have noticed that the floor boards where the return springs for the foot brakes are attached…  were so beat up that those springs were gone.. (I have them in a bucket of parts)..  Not that he is not a good mechanic.. no I would not say that.. I think he just wasn’t interested in the job …. SO with the wheels in the air we are able to turn shafts and try different levers… to see what was stopping the wheels..   One of those things was the brakes..  Dave was able to wiggle the wheels just a bit.. and so I thought I’d try the brakes to see if they worked..  Well there was not much movement in the pedal…  but they seamed floppy.  so I pulled back on them and …. the wheels turned !   The freak’n brakes were on!   Just the weight of the big brake pedals was enough to hold the wheels from moving !   Wow are those good brakes.   So the cause of all the problems is the poor condition of the floor boards.. They are seriously bent up and the metal is broken in lots of places..  They are interfering with the operation of the brakes as well as the forward & reverse controls.


See how beat up they are.. the bottom one in the photo is the one that caused the most grief.   It even has a hole worn in it..

Left & Right Brakes
Left & Right Brakes

In the above photo you can see how the weight of those big pedals and their arms can pull on the brakes.

SO  now I need to put those covers back on the transmission..  Move the tractor back outside and give it a good bath..  Then replace the filters and new fluids..  and see how it runs.

Covers on
Covers on

Ok I got the three covers back on the Transmission..  Had to sort out which bolts go where.. and Clean everything good.   I use Permatex silicone gasket goo.. for sealing thing up.   It now makes sense what lever is what.. and where it goes..   Looks like I’m missing the control knob for the rear lift.  Considering all the bits & pieces were in a soggy falling apart box.. I’m doing good.

Rob Puttith together… Rob Takeith apart:

Dash Removed
Dash Removed

No not the stuff I just put together..  I want to clean up the tractor.. One hidden area was behind the dash panel.  So I took that apart.. And look at the crap there..  Plus after I pulled the steering wheel off I noticed a missing bearing or bushing ?  So that needs a fix..  Also the wiring is back there and that needs attention.  Oh ya..

Light Switch
Light Switch

The Kubota light switch is a weak spot.  I had to fix the one on my BX.  They are not very water proof.. and tend to stop working..  Good thing I made sure to check this one out.. Look at the wires they are melted ! In fact there was a bit of a fire in the dash.. because a few things are melted.. Mostly wires .. no real damage.    Now that switch would not have worked well.. or at all.  and could have caused the meltdown or fire..   I’m thinking that replacing this with two sturdy toggle switches would be wise.

Got most of the parts:

And I’ve also given the tractor a much needed bath..


Now that things are clean will be easier to work on.  See the difference in the fuel tank.

Clean Motor
Clean Motor

And the motor too..  Next step is too change the oil , the filters and run the motor… test the drive & hydraulics .

It’s the thanksgiving  long weekend.. and I can’t get the new filters till Tuesday..  So I did two things..  Cleaned and repaired the fuel filter..  The shut off was not working so I took it apart and found the handle just bent enough that it would not make contact with the valve in side.. FIXED.  and the new fuel filter was installed.  That’s one step closer to starting the motor.  Clean Fuel !   Also I did the cleaning and checking of the dash..

Dirty melted dash
Dirty melted dash

You can see the damage done to the back of the dash panel.. none of that is seen on the front.. Lucky me !


See it’s now clean and no damage..  Almost 6000 hrs on the tractor..  It’s 17 years old.. but hasn’t moved for at least 3 years.. so 14 years and that would be about 430 hrs a year..  That’s a lot..

Ready to go..
Ready to go..

I polished the lens and painted the bezel..  so it’s ready to go.

While I was waiting for the oil filters .. I thought I’d hook up the battery and see that the starting circuit was working..  Well that’s where I found out the Fuel shut off solenoid has failed.. went through all the tests and it’s hooped. The rest is good .. the motor turned over , the glow pug light is on..  So with a new solenoid we should have the diesel running in no time..  ( I’ll be working alone now that Dave has gone hunting so he will miss that starting up of the motor) .

Shut off solenoid (Hooped version)
Shut off solenoid (Hooped version)

Oh and no you can’t run the motor without it .. cause when you turn the key on powers the solenoid  to open the fuel injector.  turn the key off, no power ..solenoid shuts off fuel.. that’s how this diesel  stops. Some diesels have that the other way .. power needed to shut down the motor.. those motors will run with no battery too.   So add a solenoid to the list of parts needed.   Ordered and on the way..


Went and got the new filters today.. but still can’t test the motor.. So I turned my attention to the seat support..  which also holds one of the levers .. the Bi-Speed steering control.

SIX levers !
SIX levers !

Yes SIX..  here you can see the rear seat mount (blue) and how it holds the Bi-speed select lever (red knob).  Now all the levers are in place and proudly functioning they way they should.  They look kinda weird .. but when the fenders are on and the guides, it will make sense.  See the very first photo to see what I mean.

Seat mount parts (painted version)
Seat mount parts (painted version)

These seat slide parts were badly rusted and a weld was broken.  So with a liberal amount of liquid wrench..  and the impact I got everything into a pile of pieces.  Not sure about salvaging the seat..  one of the bolts broke off..  The seat has a slider for back & forward adjustment..and it was locked up tight too..   The seat mounts help hold up the fenders.. witch help to hold up the floorboards..   everything is connected..  so it’s important to fix these parts and making them stronger is my goal.

The new box of parts came and they sent the wrong solenoid !  so I need to go to Kelowna and exchange it.  Good thing I’m not really in a hurry.

Ok I got the right parts now.. and put things back together.. air filters, solenoid..  Filled the motor oil.  And I thought it would be good if I turned the motor over a few times to get the oil moving…  and Bam! the motor started.. WTF..  there is no diesel in the tank.. or fuel lines..  But there must have been some in the injectors !   It ran for less than 30 seconds and I turned the key off..  Well I guess the motor is OK.

I put some fresh Diesel in the tank and ..this time ran the exhaust out the door…


And here’s a short clip… proof that the motor runs.. and good too !

But the wheels still won’t turn……

Nov 11 2014:

By running the motor I could test the drive train..  and found out the the PTO’s both work fine. The clutch is working good.. The three point lift arms go up and down..  We already know how well the brakes work 🙂  .  But the hydrostatic moaned and did nothing..    So after alot of studying so as to understand how that unit works .. we tried to get the hydro motor to turn using the rear wheels..  and that took a lot of pushing on a big bar & socket on the axle..  But we did get it turning..  Maybe Buddy kept tromping on the hydro drive after the brakes locked on.. and heated things up … and we are hoping no damage was done.   Oh and to do the test we needed to drain the tranny and remove the top cover to see make sure the shafts were turning..  And of coarse that meant dropping a part down into the tranny..   No today I’ll fish that out clean the filter screen , reseal the covers and refill the fluid.

Also of interest … I made a trip to Salmon Arm just to get a three point hitch setup for this tractor..  so now I have these much needed parts..

Well not so good news… The HST is pooched..  so it’s rebuild or replace ?   Makes a lot of not good noises..  This could be a pricey part..  so some thinking has to happen here…

Ok thought about it..  I put the Kubota up for sale as is.. and see if I can at least get the money back that I’ve spent..  and I sold it within two days..  to a local fella..  Actually same guy I bought the tandem trailer from..   And I used his old trailer …now improved to take the Kubota over to his shop..  GONE  SOLD…  on to better things.


Kubota BX1850

Finally the tractor of my dreams.. !  And there was a used one for sale that I could afford.  These are the best of the best sub-compact tractors. Diesel, 4×4 , fully automatic, power steering… power everything.  If there was something negative you could say it would be the limits of being small.. it will NOT pull your house off it’s foundation… but that’s the price of fitting through a 4 foot gate.  Most of these come with the front end loader and a baby back hoe.. but the one I bought has the loader and a 54 inch mower deck , a vacuum bagger system and a 5 foot snow blade.. As an added bonus I got an extra set of tires & wheels Plus the three point hitch pieces so I could hook up other tractor stuff. 

Here’s a photo taken half way home from Vernon.. The spare rear tires are liquid filled and are heavy !  so I used the loader.. and I held down the snow blade with that weight too.  HA.  I can see that loader being handy for moving stuff.. In fact that snow blade was heavy.. so I put a chain on it and used the loader to move it to the Franknport.

 When I got home the grass needed to be cut.. so without hesitation I flew at it.. I filled those three bags up four times.. that’s a big pile of grass !  The blower has big pipes and is driven from the rear it “sucks” and won’t plug up. It’s much quieter than I thought it would be.. so was the deck.. I just needed to adjust the deck a bit for level.. and sharpen the get the cut perfect..and I’m thinking that I will remove the bagger for now and use it more in the spring and fall for yard clean-up. Also the loader comes off in minuets. Then I’ve got the best mower ever !

This is also going to be one handy machine this winter.. I’ll change to the calcium filled lug rear tires and the 5 foot snow blade will make short work of any snow that may fall here. 

Look at how new the blade is.. I doubt it was ever used.. I’ll change that.. A few small bit & pieces are missing but nothing that can’t be found, just pins & stuff. 

There is great visibility from the seat, and a ton of room for your feet too..  Hands down the most comfortable tractor I’ve ever tried.

I’ve now removed the blower, and I took the deck off.. (easy) and clean it good and sharpened the blades.  Also tweaked the level adjustments and now I have a perfect cut.. Wow is it ever nice to mow the lawn.  I’m getting the 3 point hitch on too and making a 2 inch receiver for trailer hitches.. 

 The front end loader comes on and off in seconds.. so no need to pack it around.

Cool how the loader has it’s own stand and you can just drive into it and hook up the 4 hoses and two pins and your away. I’m getting faster at it.  Once the mount for the snow blade is on the front of the BX you can just drive into the blade and it locks in.. so cool ! I’m looking forward to some snow ! Just Kidding ! 

I got it made.. and it’s very useful indeed.  Now I can move the trailers around (by my self) without the truck. I can see the ball to line up.. and then the tractor lifts it up so no cranking.. I moved the travel trailer too ! But I shouldn’t really do that heavy a trailer..  It exceeds the trailer limit of 2000 lbs.  

 Pretty cool EH.. Plus since it’s a 2″ receiver I can plug other stuff in.

Several Weeks of fun with the BX 1850:

Well there is some work too.. Love the things this little tractor can do.. I take the loader off when it’s time to cut the grass.. And back on for work stuff like moving the garden shed.  Picked up one side and put some rollers under it and pulled with the BX.  Also moving the trailers around with the BX so I’m not driving my truck on the lawn.  Digging some holes ..filling some holes.. I had to drain the liquid from the lug tires because it was rotting the tubes.. so I had the tire shop remount them tubeless. And I’ve ordered the lug tires for the front too.. So this winter I’ll run on all four lug tires.  

 Here’s the 4 ft box blade /scraper .. probably the only attachment I’ll be buying for a while.. after a lot of thought this is the most useful attachment I could think of. It’s good weight for the back at 300 lbs .. and it’s a grader / leveler.. and if you lower the teeth it will till the ground like a plow.  a great tool for driveways and plowing snow..

Above is a new photo ..moving firewood from out back.. but it shows the new tires I have for the BX .. they are called bar tread tires standard from the factory.. All summer I ran on the turf tires that were on the tractor when I got it.  They are great for cutting grass..but not so good for digging. 

Got the Kubota all ready for plowing snow now.. Bought an extra cylinder for the angling the blade and now I have full control of the blade ..

Had to fix the headlight switch.. and install the angle cylinder .. then it was back to the franknport for the winter.. in the mean time the cat thought it was a great thing to guard..  Those temple cat’s !  geez.. This winter while it was cold and I was plowing the snow .. the plastic rear fender got cracked , and one tail light too.. The fender is actually made from a cast resin.. quite thick.. but the cold makes it brittle.  And so in the spring it needs fixing..

Spring 2014:

Time for the yard work and raking the yards..  Done… and I piled up the compost.. mixed in the old chips & grass/ leafs..   Then it was time for some tractor love.. and fix the broken fender..  I used polyester resin & mat to repair and reinforce the cracks..  Then I added 3m gravel guard to the rear corners.. and changed the tail lights to LEDs .. Also moved the turn lights up higher on the roll bar.. better seen from there.

Nice !
Nice !

It’s now six years old and has 780 hrs on the meter..  I’ve put 45 hrs on the tractor since bringing it home last July.