Parts Needed For Lawn Tractor

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Old 02-15-04, 11:20 PM
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Parts Needed For Lawn Tractor

A couple of months ago I was posting comments as I was repairing a 16hp Tecumseh OHV engine on a Sears lawn tractor with a snow blower. Well, that project actually was finished (sort of). The other day I fired the blower up and was actually moving some snow with the machine and it's ready for service. There is one problem, however. One of the front tires goes flat every week because the side walls are in really sad shape and, really, both front tires need to be replaced. That, it turns out, is the problem. The tires on this machine, made in 1973, are 16X5.50-8 which, it seems, is an odd-ball size today. I've been out to my favorite purveyor of lawn & garden power equipment looking at tires and have found that a lot of equipment today uses 16X6.50-8 tires. I've been sorting through my options for fixing the problem. The primary one now seems to be:

1) Replace the existing tires with the 16X6.50 tires.
2) Replace the existing rims to match the bigger tires.
3) Replace the axles to match the rims.

Now, the existing axles are just bent 3/4" diameter rods with one end treaded. I only have a 3" clearance between the threaded portion were the nut is screwed on and the bend and if I'm forced to go with wider tires I'll need about 3.25" because of the wider rims. Some of the newer tractors, like the Cub Cadet seem to also use the same 3/4" bent axle construction so it looks like replacing them is a viable option. My biggest problem at the moment is coming up with part numbers for a complete set of matching parts. My internet search so far has yielded some later model tractors, but when I try to find a parts list for them (like on the sears parts site) I get a negative result, probably because Sears doesn't get the newest machines on the parts site for a while. Finding an adequate description of the parts will be difficult as well. If I buy parts I want to make sure that I'm dealing with a 3/4" axle size, for instance. There are adequate sites out there that have tires & rims for sale but you have to add bearings to the rims and the bearing have to match the OD of the rims and the ID of the axle.

Perhaps you can understand my quandary and complete state of perplexity. There is no doubt that my objective can be accomplished and suitable tires can be found and they can be mounted to the existing machine, but I'm sure the aggravation level will be high. I hate to set fire to a perfectly fine piece of American engineering even though it is a junkyard fugative.

Anyone have any other ideas that have so far gone unthought-of my me?? If so please pass them along while I pump out the bucket of tears that were caught in my keyboard as I typed this sad tale.
 
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Old 02-16-04, 01:12 AM
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Hey Jugead!...

What about installing 16 x 6.50 - 8 tubes in the tires?
 
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Old 02-16-04, 06:13 AM
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If you're handy with a welder, here's what I'd do. Since you're only trying to gain 1/4" or so, just buy some 3/4" allthread (threaded rod), cut off the threads that are on the axle now and weld a longer piece of allthread to the end of your axle so you have enough thread showing to accommode the wider wheel. Grind a bevel on the end of the axle and the allthread so you get good penetration and don't have too much to grind when you're done. A welding magnet makes it much easier to keep the piece in line with the axle for tacking in place.
 
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Old 02-16-04, 12:26 PM
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Well I may have had the seeds of a solution at hand and didn't even realize it. First of all here is a picture of the axle from the Sears tractor.

<img src="http://ronj48.home.mchsi.com/axle1.jpg">

You can see the L shaped axle. Also you can see that if I went with a much more available 16X6.50 tire size with the required rim I would run out of threads because the rim would be wider than the axle. There is also a hole in the axle shaft where a pin is inserted that would get covered up and would need to be redrilled. An all-thread extension is an option, but I prefer a cleaner solution. I can find a inner tube for a 16X6.50 tire and that may also be an option but, still, the tires themselves have pretty ragged sidewalls from being flat for years and are begging to be "retired" (you can LOL now) and a new tires put "on the job." My, at hand, solution is a Monkey Wards lawn tractor I'm also in possession of. I checked the wheel size on the Wards and it has what looks to be a 3/4" axle size complete with 16X6.50 tires. Those tires are also flat and have cracked side walls, but it looks like, upon first inspection, that the axles would fit the Sears. I could do an axle/wheel transplant between the Sears and the Wards and have a Monkey Sears tractor with a snow blower attachment. Currently, I don't expect to launch into an operation like that this season because I expect to build a new garage/shop in the spring, but if there was a quick solution to the parts problem I would get what was necessary. If I have to do some fabricating it will have to wait until the new facility is available. Changing axles could involve some minor cutting/welding because the steering arms would most likely need some minor modifications between the two lawn tractors.

I would still want to get some use out of the Monkey Wards cross breed with the Sears tires as well so I would only be putting off the final solution of finding the parts to change between 5.5 and 6.5 inch tires.
 
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Old 02-22-04, 04:07 PM
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re: tires

Hello Jughead:

I have to agree with Cheese. If money is tight you could just do tubes at about $7.50 each. I had a persistent flat problem on my garden tractor so did a tube and all is well. I had replaced the tire but the issue was sealing with the rim.

Otherwise, you could buy new tires but they are about $25 to $30 each for that size in this area.

From what you say about the condition of the tires I'd go with new ones if you can afford it. Just remember nothing lasts forever.

Cheerio,

Snowman53
 
  #6  
Old 02-22-04, 04:15 PM
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re: tires, again

Hello Jughead:

If there is a Wal-Mart in your area you might want to pay them a visit. I just called the one closest to me and they have the tire you need in stock at $15.97 each (USD)

Good Luck,

Snowman53
 
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Old 02-22-04, 07:39 PM
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No, in my case, money isn't an issue. I want to buy new tires for the front because the side walls are badly cracked on the ones I now have. Thank's for the tip about Wal Mart. I have another tougher question: Name me a place where WalMart isn't. I'll check at the TWO walmarts in our town to see if they also have the 5.50 X 16-8 tires.
 
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Old 02-25-04, 01:21 PM
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There isn't a WalMart in Cave Springs, GA. But there is one within 15 miles north and sourth.
 
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Old 02-25-04, 02:23 PM
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re: tires

Hello Jughead:

I hope Archie and Veronica are OK *lol*


Anyway, back to the tires....

I was at a local tractor supply today and they say the original size you are looking for is no longer available--in spite of what I was told by Walmart.

I'll trust their opinion as there are a lot of guys around here who restore VERY old tractors and this outfit supplies tires for most of us. If they can't find a certain size of tire I'd not be hopeful.

That said, he advised that a 16 x 6.50 x8 will be fine if the wheels are clean and not rusty. Mike the counterman did tell me they will "crown" a bit but will work and not leak if the rims are CLEAN, especially in the area where the bead contacts.

Good Luck,

Snowman53
 
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Old 02-25-04, 04:25 PM
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Thanks for the info, Snowman. My work schedule will make it impossible to get anything done until the middle of next week on the tires. I'm not surprised that the tires aren't available. There are some websites on here that say they have "everything" in tires, but they didn't have the 16X5.5 size. I'm not worried about keeping this piece of equipment stock so putting 16X6.5 tires on doesn't bother me. The old rims may or maynot be usable. My medium term plans are to change tires, rims, and axles to match the newer, wider tires of today. In the mean time I'll just keep pumping up the tires when I need to use the blower until the snow season passes. It won't be much longer now.
 
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