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Bolens Ride-a-matic

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The 1962 RAM has been on my list for a long, long time, but I have never found one in good order. As most know I'm a collector of later garden tractors, but this one calls to be. Iain, I believe your wife maybe fairly proud (and surprised) of you lasting until October, even if she would not say so. Had you not came up a little short on your promise, she would have not been able to make her handbag purchase. I am fairly sure she was the one that was getting worried that you would make it and that handbag would slip by. The '62 is beautiful, nice to see the original lift back on it.

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2 hours ago, HeadExam said:

The 1962 RAM has been on my list for a long, long time, but I have never found one in good order. As most know I'm a collector of later garden tractors, but this one calls to be. Iain, I believe your wife maybe fairly proud (and surprised) of you lasting until October, even if she would not say so. Had you not came up a little short on your promise, she would have not been able to make her handbag purchase. I am fairly sure she was the one that was getting worried that you would make it and that handbag would slip by. The '62 is beautiful, nice to see the original lift back on it.

 

Alain, when I bought this RAM in October 2014 I did well not buying any tractors for a while however since then would you believe I have bought another 20 tractors. She is less than impressed so I am trying not to buy any more. The '62 RAM is a bit of a marmite tractor, BTW Marmite is a spread available in the UK and the company's marketing slogan is "Love it or hate it".

 

I have two '62 RAM's and they are both in very poor condition, this one has been pulled apart and badly repainted before reassembly using most of the essential parts, the others presumably discarded. Also for no good reason a number of holes have been cut into the cast grill. So may even call it a restoration, the other tractor is a lot more honest.

 

The '62 RAM is a good size for my son to use and as it is shiny, it has caught his eye. As such I want to get this one running and then do a running refurbishment over time. We are doing the work together so progress will be slow but hopefully we will both learn something along the way.

 

In addition to adding the original hitch we are also looking to get the clutch/brake to work. We have identified the parts that are missing and are investigating how to make replacements.  

 

This is a picture of my other '62 RAM, which some may recognise as it came from John's collection. Affectionately this is known as "the dragster" due to the modified Land Rover back wheels 

 

Iain

 

IMG_2781.JPG

 

 

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19 hours ago, Chris said:

As mutch as I love bolens. This one is quite ugly:(

 

I remember that one at Johns

That is why I like it so much. No other Bolens featured this wonderfully modern and futuristic Brooke Stevens design. To me it is a work of beauty in its design and functionality. I will get one and will be "chuffed" beyond belief. 

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26 minutes ago, Wallfish said:

There's one for sale up by me. But isn't $700 a bit over priced? it can always ship to OK fairly inexpensive using Fastenal.

The price is not objectionable for a nice complete '62, unfortunately this one has some issues. The belt guard is missing, as is the rear lift and chassis cover, looks like it was removed. Also some kind of wire hanging out front for somthing, probably a plow lift, missing plow. The steering wheel shows hard wear. The front axle looks like it might have been replaced, again hard wear. No attachments. I saw a restored one with deck rear lift, front finger mower, and snow plow for 1000.00, I should have bought it, but I was and am still buying accessories (limited funds) of other tractors. I would bet the owner would negotiate on this '62, but I have a strict rule I follow, that if it isn't worth the asking price, it probably isn't worth the sale price. I want the one that is the one, it's always out there. I really appreciate you letting me know about this one, everyone I see I learn more about them. I use Fastenal as well and find it is a better deal for a whole tractor than a set of wheel weights. Thanks

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7 hours ago, HeadExam said:

The price is not objectionable for a nice complete '62, unfortunately this one has some issues. The belt guard is missing, as is the rear lift and chassis cover, looks like it was removed. Also some kind of wire hanging out front for somthing, probably a plow lift, missing plow. The steering wheel shows hard wear. The front axle looks like it might have been replaced, again hard wear. No attachments. I saw a restored one with deck rear lift, front finger mower, and snow plow for 1000.00, I should have bought it, but I was and am still buying accessories (limited funds) of other tractors. I would bet the owner would negotiate on this '62, but I have a strict rule I follow, that if it isn't worth the asking price, it probably isn't worth the sale price. I want the one that is the one, it's always out there. I really appreciate you letting me know about this one, everyone I see I learn more about them. I use Fastenal as well and find it is a better deal for a whole tractor than a set of wheel weights. Thanks

 

Alain, finding a ride-a-matic that still has the belt guards is always a challenge, someone could make good money pressing out replacements. Two of the RAM's I have I bought as parts tractors specifically because they still have the belt guards fitted, although I can't bring myself to break them up and one day I hope to get at least one running.

 

Your spot on with the wire hanging out the front, this is for lifting the front attachments which is very crude compared to the sophistication of the rear lift. The earlier RAM's had a chain as a front lift mechanism.

 

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Today Joseph and I had a day in the workshop and we did some work on the 1962 RAM. The original plan was to fix some of the bodges and make up some missing parts. The more we looked at it the more problems we found. We ended the day with the hood, grill, fuel tank and engine off.

 

The blue wire was the fixing to hold the top of the grill

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I was surprised how heavy the cast grill was

 

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Then the hood came off which is was fiddly

 

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We ended the day with most of the front apart

 

IMG_1322.JPG

 

The fuel system was dismantled and cooked in the ultrasonic cleaner, all the missing fixings were replaced and a few other jobs. It's now ready for reassembly.

 

Iain

 

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Iain and Joseph your RAM looks fantastic and I will be very interested in seeing how the carbs cleaned up in the cleaner. Again I am struck at how much of a quality and well built machine these RAMs are. I would love a '62 (?) RAM myself as I do like the front design  of it.

 

You better secure it Joseph when I pop in sometime.....;)

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We got the tractor back together today and running. To enable the Versamatic to work correctly I made this bracket from some scrap

 

IMG_1331.JPG

 

To complete the planned work I needed to make a bracket to hold the grill. I cut all the parts and then my very expensive and not very old MIG decided to break. It is still under warranty so not the end of the world, but not helpful. A temporary fix was put in place so we could test the tractor.

 

I did a quick video of the test run on my phone and yes it was cold

 

 

 

Iain

 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Triumph66 said:

Fantastic update and good to see it running well. The engine sounds sweet too even though it's a tad noisy! Your welding is looking spot on !

 

You guys got to be on the home straight now on the RAM?

 

Thanks Andrew, I have just ordered a replacement exhaust. We are planning to move on to something else today.

 

14 hours ago, Chris said:

Mini Iain does look like he can steer:hide:

 

Needs bigger exhaust systemB)

 

I will have to venture up to try it soon :D

 

I was unsure if he was going to steer away, you may have noticed the nervous camera shake. You welcome anytime Chris it is always good to see fellow GT collectors.

 

Iain

 

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8 hours ago, slf-uk said:

 

 

 

I was unsure if he was going to steer away, you may have noticed the nervous camera shake. You welcome anytime Chris it is always good to see fellow GT collectors.

 

Iain

 

 

Iain,

 

i did noticed  the camera shalke at the end but put it down to the vibrations from the RAM"s echaust ! ;)

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We had a bit of tractor time today. A replacement exhaust was fitted, the fuel system sorted and a rear closing panel and tow hitch on the chassis.

 

For the hitch a couple of Bolens buddies in the US sent some parts over and I borrowed a couple of small bits from my other Ride-a-matics. I now need to copy all the parts for the other tractors.

IMG_1660.JPG

 

Lots of jobs still to do but it is now a useable tractor

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We decided to use the tractor to tidy up some old pallets. Not sure if the cat was happy but it kept Joseph warm :)

 

IMG_1662.JPG

 

First tractor time since the Christmas break which was great.

 

Iain

 

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21 hours ago, Stormin said:

Judging by the look of that rear tyre, Joseph's put a bit of weight on over Christmas. :D

 

Ah, you noticed one of the outstanding jobs :). A previous owner fitted a TR13 tube and the wheel is designed for a TR15 tube. The inevitable has happened and the valve has disappeared into the wheel. It goes against my religion to put a sharp instrument through a good tube in order to get the tyre off so I have been waiting a couple of years for it to slowly deflate, then I can get the tyre off without damaging the tube. We are planning a tyre day soon which will see new tubes for the rear tyres and the tri-ribs installed on the front. The existing rear tubes and front tyres will be fitted to another tractor.

 

Iain

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We had some tractor time on Saturday afternoon and decided to attack the tyres. Tri-ribs and new tubes fitted to the fronts and new tubes for the rears. The job would have been more fun if Joseph had not driven over some cat poo last time he used the tractor.

 

IMG_1681.thumb.JPG.accd3a7d585ba8d515fe51e95b97d0ad.JPG

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My Granddad created a video for me using a lot of the clips and pictures we have on this tractor. Some of this you will have seen before and if you get bored the really new stuff starts at about 5mins.

 

If you have a YouTube/Google account and you like what you see, please hit the like button and subscribe. We are working on a video about one of the other tractors but dad is slower at the editing than Granddad

 

 

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