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Any Sears fan lurking about?

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Adam Olczak

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Since getting my 106 Cub to a reliable state, I've been working on getting a recently acquired "4 pack" of Suburban tractors back into running/salable shape.

Ended up with a horribly hacked up GT18, and three Super 12s of varying years that need some love, but are otherwise un-molested. Thankfully.

Though not near as easy to work on as the Cub cadet, the styling and drivetrain of the Suburban really interests me for some reason. I plan on keeping at least one or two along side of the Cub since I've got a mower deck and a snow thrower that fits them.
Opinions?

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This '67 Super 12 ended up being the first contestant on the operating table. A new head gasket, some carburetor tinkering and sealing, and wiring replacement yielded good results on Saturday.
Since the grille still needs to be welded, I threw the hood off of the '71 on it for now.
































































































































































Since my aunt stopped in for a beer, I put her on the 106 in case I needed a tow back to the barn on the first test drive of the Super12
 

Adam Olczak

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GT18 that was assembled by someone who shouldn't own tools.
Replaced fuel lines, corrected some wiring, put a proper ignition switch in, and put a new coil on it. Runs good for now. Really not sure what to do with the poor thing.

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Adam Olczak

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And lastly, this orange Suburban 12 that I thankfully will be re-homing on Thursday, without having to mend anything.
Contemplating on keeping the interesting seat and homemade weight box until then.

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The you tube channel "Taryl fixes all" did a series on the restoration of a sears garden tractor. I don't recall what model they did, but it might give you some insight for parts or tech tips.
 

PACub100

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Sears tractors are cool to me as well. Though IH rules, I like alot of the older machines no matter what brand - well, as long as they're not blue. 🤣
Other brands I would be interested in checking out would be Case and Simplicity...
 

Adam Olczak

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Adam,some of us think saving "old iron" is a worthy cause to others perhaps foolish..so what. Imagine if no one saved a model "t"
I gave up on worrying about irrelevant opinions years ago.
Some would say I have too much sympathy for old iron, but then again their free time is likely spent with their noses buried in a phone screen.
None of this stuff is getting any younger or easier to find. Saving the ones I can gives me a certain satisfaction.

That and for the size of the machine, they're pretty capable compared to the stamped-steel-frame junk they've been making since the mid 80's, and much cheaper than modern compact tractors.

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Adam Olczak

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Sears tractors are cool to me as well. Though IH rules, I like alot of the older machines no matter what brand - well, as long as they're not blue. 🤣
Other brands I would be interested in checking out would be Case and Simplicity...
My dad got this rough 222 on a trade deal back when I was in elementary school. Maybe 15 years ago.
When he wasn't using it to spray the yard, myself, my brother, and our friends would pull each other around on a sled behind it since it has a hilarious 11 mph top speed.

I retrieved it from a dark corner of the barn at the farm about three months ago (after it had been sitting for 8 years), got it running again, and now use it to sweep the yard and visit the neighbors here and there. Uses about a quart of oil per hour for now. It's a reliable machine otherwise 🤷‍♂️
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eweiss

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Sears tractors are cool to me as well. Though IH rules, I like alot of the older machines no matter what brand - well, as long as they're not blue. 🤣
Other brands I would be interested in checking out would be Case and Simplicity...
Simplicity's are blue
 

Adam Olczak

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With the rain we got last week, I wasn't able to mow the yard until yesterday evening. 4 acres of thick, ankle deep grass meant that I had a lot of sweeping to do. I used the Super 12 for the first half of the yard and the Cub Cadet 106 to finish for a comparison. Though the sweeper itself doesn't require that much power, some of the hills in my yard gave me this conclusion:

The 12 horse Tecumseh sears is a much smoother machine on the governor(as far as vibration), however the K241 Cub Cadet feels like a muscle car in comparison. It definitely spins more RPM, but it has much more torque from idle through WOT regardless.
The Cub does have a brand new (not a cheap china) carb, but the one on the Sears is probably at 85% health in regards to shaft play. I've got it tuned as good as it can be, and the cylinder is in great shape per my inspection when I had the head off last weekend.

Are these Tecumseh vs. Kohler results typical?
I thought the real bonus of any Suburban is the inclusion of a Hi-Low trans axle on all models(to my knowledge at least) But that's obviously going to be negated once I put the creeper drive on the Cub anyways.

It has me re-thinking about the number of Suburbans I plan to keep.
 
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gary noblit

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Adam, "opinion" at one time Sears and Wards led the box store wars ,they did not make products.Their brand was produced by other mfg.They pressured producers to continue to save $ by cheapening production hence less quality.The public buys bright and shiny without much regard for long life. The reason Tecumseh was the engine was cost..Tecumseh ,Wards, Onan,most of Sears are gone now.Therin lies the opinion I have offered. I,personally,don't want any Tecumseh or Onan engines,they are out of business so parts become the issue....Again just an opinion...
 

Adam Olczak

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Adam, "opinion" at one time Sears and Wards led the box store wars ,they did not make products.Their brand was produced by other mfg.They pressured producers to continue to save $ by cheapening production hence less quality.The public buys bright and shiny without much regard for long life. The reason Tecumseh was the engine was cost..Tecumseh ,Wards, Onan,most of Sears are gone now.Therin lies the opinion I have offered. I,personally,don't want any Tecumseh or Onan engines,they are out of business so parts become the issue....Again just an opinion...
Roper built the Suburban tractors for Sears as far as I know. They seem to be well built as a tractor aside from being a tad inconvenient to work on outside of regular maintenance.
The lack of parts availability for the Tecumseh is definitely an obstacle, but I don't see a lack of quality in the engine itself.
I'm thinking maybe I should adjust the governor on it and see what results can be safely yielded now that I'm reading more into it online.

Also for future reference:
Onan is still in business, now owned by Cummins INC. They're a leader in mobile power generation.

I stopped into my local Cummins dealer (where I coincidentally had been employed for 5 years prior to my current job) and by a huge stroke of luck they actually had a fuel pump, carburetor, and ignition coil in stock for the 45 year old B48M engine in the hacked up GT18 I posted above.
Though I only bought the coil for now. Big money for OEM Onan parts it turns out.
 

kmcconaughey

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Roper built the Suburban tractors for Sears as far as I know. They seem to be well built as a tractor aside from being a tad inconvenient to work on outside of regular maintenance.
The lack of parts availability for the Tecumseh is definitely an obstacle, but I don't see a lack of quality in the engine itself.
I'm thinking maybe I should adjust the governor on it and see what results can be safely yielded now that I'm reading more into it online.

Also for future reference:
Onan is still in business, now owned by Cummins INC. They're a leader in mobile power generation.

I stopped into my local Cummins dealer (where I coincidentally had been employed for 5 years prior to my current job) and by a huge stroke of luck they actually had a fuel pump, carburetor, and ignition coil in stock for the 45 year old B48M engine in the hacked up GT18 I posted above.
Though I only bought the coil for now. Big money for OEM Onan parts it turns out.
Onan parts are very expensive. I had an Allis Chalmers 620 with a 19.5hp Onan (rated as such to avoid regulations that applied to 20hp tractors back in the day...) I sold it partly due to the engine being so expensive to do even basic maintenance on and it seemed to develop a new issue every time I started it.

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