working on sears tractors

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working on sears tractors

Post  TKW on September 29th 2015, 2:53 pm

hope i'm not to off topic with this, never the less , working to keep our old worn out mowers / tractors running and going seems at times non stop. got me to thinking about what would be your TOP 5 shop tools you have and use to keep the green stuff cut ,the white stuff cleared and every other job needed done. this may be help to someone wanting to start working on their own tractor and ideas for us that want to add to their own tool box or shop  > tim

1 / quality wrench and socket sets
2 / multimeter
3 / vise
4 / drill and drill bits ( and if you can i have had excellent service with a drill doctor drill sharpener)
5 / a huge hammer

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Re: working on sears tractors

Post  spence on September 30th 2015, 4:48 pm

1.) Penetrating Oil
2.) Battery charger
3.) Jump box
4.) Portable air tank
5.) Ether/starting fluid

Of course a good tool set is necessary also. Most of my problems come from non-start situations resulting from the tractor not being used.

I am fortunate to have tractors that I leave set up for certain uses. So the one with the snow blade on it usually won't get used all summer. The one I use to tow the aerator around won't get used much past spring time. The one that tows firewood from the woods sits most of the summer also. And so on.......


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Re: working on sears tractors

Post  seattle smitty on October 12th 2015, 11:25 am

A 4 1/2" side-grinder for sharpening blades (and a million other uses, I don't know how people live without these).

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Re: working on sears tractors

Post  TKW on October 12th 2015, 3:02 pm

i agree , smitty , had great luck with harbor freight right angle grinders. buy 'em when they are on sale for $15.00 (in the past they was $10.00), have one with cut-off wheel , one with grinder wheel. and a spare on the shelf.

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Re: working on sears tractors

Post  seattle smitty on October 13th 2015, 11:00 am

Well, an HF grinder can work for you, but not THAT one, at least in my experience, and I'm a welder. Most welders, depending on the kind of work, live and die with their side-grinders, and I use them every day (and frequently on weekends, too; they are just so useful). I've been welding for forty years, and for a long time used Black & Decker's small grinders, then Dewalt's, and Milwaukie's big ones. But then the charming fellows running big corporations around the world realized they could cut costs and raise their own "compensation" packages to absurd levels by means of offshoring production to China and putting their fellow countrymen out of work. The result, despite loud denials by corporate PR types, was a marked drop in reliability. My fellow welders saw this happening even before we were aware that the tools, which looked the same as before, were now being made in China. The owner of my local welding supply store, after getting numerous complaints and come-backs of formerly reliable tools, and getting nothing but denials and back-talk from the company reps, had to drop the line of grinder that I had been buying. 

So I decided that instead of paying $90 for a Chinese-made 4 1/2" grinder with an old well-known American label, I could get four Chinese Harbor Freight grinders for about the same money. The HF grinders didn't last more than maybe several months, but at $20 at their usual sale price, that was acceptable.

BUT, a few years ago, Harbor Freight introduced a new line super-cheap electric tools, under the name "Drill Master." The first time I saw these little black grinders, on sale for $10 apiece, I bought three. Hey, they weren't even worth ten bucks!  I only used them a few times a week, and even then the best one only lasted a month, and the worst got smoked in about ten minutes. And I do not abuse tools, don't bog the motors down. They were so bad I never bothered to take them back for replacements.

So my strong suggestion is that if you buy a grinder from HF, step up one level to the somewhat bigger, slightly higher amp, and much longer lasting "Chicago Electric" unit (they were yellow, now seem to all be a sort of wine color), for $20-21 on sale now. I have had easily a dozen of them, and when they die I toss them in a box and strip parts off them to keep other ones running. I always got the ones with the thumb-switch; the only one I got with a paddle-switch cost a little more and didn't last as long (and it was the switch that failed). I think HF must get these made in more than one factory, because there are little differences, and some last longer than others. This might be why you've had better luck with the Drill Master grinders than I did, TKW, but I still would go with the Chicago Electric grinders.

My opinion is that Harbor Freight sells a whole lot of crap, but some of it can be made to work, at least for a while, maybe with light use, and ultimately can be a reasonable deal, especially for a non-professional who doesn't use it a lot or depend on it for his livelihood. My Makita grinders will outlast the HF stuff by a factor of at LEAST four, and are what I depend on. To compete price-wise with the offshoring American companies, Makita has had to offshore some of their tools to China. But unlike American corporate execs, the Japanese do not tolerate crappy work, and their usual response is to bear down and FIX reliability problems. For the Japs, having an unreliable product come out under their company name is deeply and personally embarrassing, whereas OUR companies have PR people going around denying that anything has changed since their production was offshored, and that, "We have good inspection, and nothing about the tools is any different!," which is a load of bull.  Chinese are not like Japanese, or Koreans for that matter, and Chinese company owners are not much bothered if their products come back under warranty, which to them is just a cost of business, and as long as they make money returns are no big deal. This is exactly the attitude of Harbor Freight as well. The problem is that it is gradually getting through to the Chinese that their reputation for making cheap but crappy products is costing them money, which is the important thing to them, so they are gradually upping their game, and the offshoring Americans and Europeans and Japanese are teaching them how to do this. I think it was John Kerry who, some years back, referred to American corporate leaders who were offshoring and outsourcing production as "traitors."  Absolutely right!! When I can buy an American product that I know is made in America with good old-fashioned American quality in design and manufacture, I pay more to get it (most recently, Goodyear tires).

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Re: working on sears tractors

Post  TKW on October 13th 2015, 1:24 pm

again i agree , smitty , my comment was meant for the non-pro ,do it yourselfer ,the most of us are that have these old tractors , was just giving my personal experience. at one time sears had a selling point of good ,better ,best on their own products. its the ying/yang that is the result of a consumer based world. > tim

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