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Garden Tiller Retrofit

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petcnc

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Note: Some parts of this were published some time ago in "what-did-you-do-in-your-shop-today". Here is the full story

I inherited an FMC Bolens 2230 Walk behind tiller model 1978!

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It was an honest and reliable little horse but, as most things in this life (I do not have any info for the other life) it got old. As a result a few of its parts (engine, chain, axle, bearings, oil seals & blades) needed replacement.

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First thing that got retired was the B&S 3HP engine. I replaced it with a ChinMade 6.5HP.

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For a couple of years it worked like new. Then the tine blades and the axle supporting the blades showed signs of ageing. Everywhere there were signs of deterioration!

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As the gear lube was leaking I decided to dismantle it and inspect the gear box.

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The shaft was in a bad shape the oil seals did not hold the gear lube and the bearings allowed too much play.

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Measurements of the different parts gave the following data:

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Instead of 31,75mm (1 1/4") diameter The shaft was 31.25 on the right side and 31.40mm on the left. This allowed excessive play and oil leak.
The chain driving the main shaft had too much wear
It was time for a new shaft, new bearings, new oil seals and new chains to make a proper repair of the gearbox.
Shaft, chains and oil seals were no problem to find locally. A 32mm steel rod for 5$ took its place on my lathe to be transformed.

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The bearings though had to be special order from Germany and took a week to arrive.

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Some minor cleaning of the bearing seats needed as the reinforcing weld (done in the past) deformed the seats slightly.

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After reducing the shaft diameter from 32mm to 31.75 (with the help of sand paper to achieve precision) I had to remove the sprocket from the old rod and transfer it to the new.

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I removed the old welding on my mini lathe

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Then it needed a press (that I do not own yet)! A 20 ton bottle jack did the job in seconds

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Old & new side by side

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Some welding and the new shaft was ready.

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Final thing was to assembly the gearbox again (notice the primitive chain tension mechanism!!).

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A new gasket was added as well and job done.

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New blades replaced the old worn blades

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After some paint, roto tiller fully assembled and functional again.

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Notice the antivibration engine mounts. That was a huge relief for operator’s (i.e. my) hands!

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Thanks for reading
Petros
 
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NortonDommi

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Nov 15, 2016
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Just have to say that is not old. I've just,(yesterday),replace a broken circlip on the worm shaft of my 1960 Masport Rota Hoe powered by a Clinton Red Horse 6.3 HP engine. It had been sitting for a couple of years as the main jet had pulled the thread,(it holds the float bowl on as well),plus it had a worn throttle shaft and I had been a bit slack on getting around to repiring it.
I made a new throttle shaft, built up the damage threads with Belzona and made a new drive engagement lever/shaft as the old parted in two from rust. Started first pull and did a good 3 hours work tilling the neighbors lawn.
P.S. I'm the second owner. I bought it from a semi-retired market gardener who at 73 bought a ride-on after 39 years of use, that was 20 years ago.
I'd like to see a modern machine match that.
 
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jdedmon91

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That is a neat job. Again it is rewarding to bring something old back to life.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

jpackard56

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Nice Job !
I salute you for taking what many would throw away and bringing it back to usefulness. :applause:
 

Superburban

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Great job, and write up. I'm amazed that chain tensioner is not all worn out.
 

petcnc

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Nice Job !
I salute you for taking what many would throw away and bringing it back to usefulness. :applause:
Well... I needed a tiller for my garden so I looked around for a new one. New tillers, compared to the old one, will not last more than a few seasons! Everything is so fragile today!!!!
So repairing it was the wiser move. Besides the joy of resurecting it!!!

Great job, and write up. I'm amazed that chain tensioner is not all worn out.
I was amazed as well but as I investigated it a) It works submerged in oil and b) the chain just touches it so there are no real pressure applied to it
 
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