It's alive! I fired up the little Kohler after 30 years of hibernation. All I did was rebuild a carb and put new ignition components in it. I did take a little drive, but I don't have a throttle cable yet, so I couldn't safely really see what it would do. It drives fine; doesn't feel tippy at all because it's 4' wide. The creeper drive is definitely a must, as even in 1st gear it's too fast and underpowered to do any work. I have a set of rear wheel weights (150 lbs. each) and I think in creeper drive, it would pull anything. I might consider wheelie bars, as it was very easy to pop the front end up taking off.
I have a throttle cable on order, and I'll tune it up and really test it out then. Then comes the hard part- take it all apart, and start cleaning and painting. Since it's basically a toy, it needs to at least look good. I'll probably put new gaskets and seals on it too, as it's 'marking its territory' a bit now. I don't think the engine or transaxle have ever been opened since new. I need to order a generic muffler, too, as it's a little LOUD with the straight pipe.
A couple more pics before I tear it down for paint. I have a throttle now, which makes it a lot easier to handle. I even drove it in third gear- it's fast enough to make a breeze! I was told the creepers are kind of fragile, and at what they're selling for, I don't want to blow it up. I drove on some fairly uneven ground, and it felt fine. The steering box is very loose and it steers easier than a stock CC, so you're pretty busy keeping it in a straight line at speed. I have a list of details to take care of while it's apart for paint. I imagine I'll be a long time cleaning it up and painting it- hopefully it will be together again by spring. If you look close, you can see the tread plate aluminum clutch cover and headlight delete plate I whipped up. Gotta have some bling!
John, nice work.
Midwest Super Cub makes a set of 20% underdrive gears that replace the 7:1 gear reduction at the front of the transmission. That would reduce the strain on the creeper and maybe allow you to use 3rd gear without blowing your hat off.
Well, I started digging, even though I know better. I drained the trans before taking everything apart. Fluid looked OK, but smelled pretty funky. Then- I took the rear plate off. There was about 2" of semi-solid gunk in the bottom of it, about the consistency of grease. As I started taking it apart, I realized that it would all have to come apart to flush all of the crud out of there. I got the differential out, and the bearings are in horrible shape, deeply pitted. I assume moisture sat in there for some of the last 50+ years. Luckily, it's a standard bearing; $30 a pair on 'bay. The gears look fine; no evidence of rust or pitting, and no wear to speak of. I need to get the whole thing into a cleaning tank now and flush it out. I may have to replace the other bearings in the transmission, too, but we'll see. The outer axle bearings are in excellent shape; just need new seals.
I can see that this toy is going to take some time to do 'right'. It probably would have worked just fine the way it was, but pitted bearings rarely get better on their own.
Now that I got most of the transaxle cleaned up, I found pretty significant pitting on the ring gear, and a bit on the pinion. I have another transaxle, and it's pristine inside, so I'll use that. I've had a heart-to-heart with myself, and decided that I'm going to just build one Model 70. It occurred to me that I could swap out the front end and the rear tires in an hour or less. So- I'll set it up as a Hi-Crop for tractor shows, then back to stock when I need a work tractor around the farm. Cleaning and fixing up the transaxle looks like a lot of work and a fair amount of money. I'm just going to part out what's left of the second Model 70, so check the 'For Sale' section for more info.