The Bolens hydraulic remote project

October 18, 2013

I now have the Bolens G174 tractor set up to tip the new dump trailer, and therein lies a tale. As I may have mentioned I lost one critical bolt from the remote hydraulic rig which I had Peter Myers remove from the tractor three years ago. Actually I lost the whole thing, but I found most of it a month ago and tried to re-install it.

Over a couple of weeks I stared across a number of parts counters at bemused clerks leafing through catalogues. Most didn’t even know what a banjo bolt is. (It’s a hollow bolt with cutouts to allow the passage of high-pressure oil, as at the end of a solid oil line.)

One guy on Tractorbynet found a supplier of the part he thought I needed, a Massey Ferguson dealer in New Jersey. The parts guy was hard to get on the phone, but when we talked he agreed to order the part number the Tractorbynet contributor had suggested. Five days later it turned up at Wellesley Island, N.Y. for pickup.

The bolt was about the right size, but the threaded end was way off. For example, it had 19 threads per inch. A guy at Baxter’s in Kingston informed me only BCS bolts have 19 threads per inch. That’s British Cycle Standard. Not metric. He pulled a BCS nut off a shelf and it fitted. But I needed the bolt to thread into a 3/8 pipe thread. That’s an 18 thread-per-inch about 5/8″ in diameter overall.

I took the whole thing over to Peter and asked him if he could cut the bolt down and thread it to fit. He said he didn’t have a die of that size, but he could cut the threads on his lathe.

An hour later he turned up looking pleased with himself. He showed me the modified bolt, and after lunch he wrenched it into place without drama. The Bolens produces 1250 psi at the remote, and that’s enough to raise the dump trailer when empty. Who knows how much load it will lift? The Kubota produces about double that pressure, and it had to work hard to dump a yard of gravel. Of course firewood’s a lot lighter than gravel.

Anyway, this toy project seems to be back on track. It would have had a very different outcome without the help of Peter Myers and his metal lathe.IMG_6863



Maybe I overworked the Bolens’s elderly drive line, but after a day of hauling firewood out to the splitter, something broke and I heard a loud scratching sound as it came to a stop. Much probing with a lighted camera eventually led to a stripped spline boss on the shaft that links the clutch to the transmission. It’s a shaft about the diameter of my finger, yet it and this spline boss have had to take all of the torque this machine has ever produced.

The good news is that the part is available, if expensive. The bad news is that I have to learn how to split the tractor in half in order to effect the repair.

Oh well, I was looking for a project for the auto shop this winter. This should do the trick nicely.

Meanwhile, my 1947 Massey Ferguson 30 is making short work of firewood hauls that strained the G174. All is far from lost in the hydraulic project: its purpose was to free up the Kubota B7510 for use on the block splitter throughout firewood season. The ‘Bota’s pump is much more powerful than the TAFE 35DI’s and it runs the spitter quickly and well.


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