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mg_rob last won the day on February 5 2016

mg_rob had the most liked content!

About mg_rob

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 02/18/1973

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    Northern Ireland

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  1. With the clutch now free I couldn't wait to get it back together. I gave the end of the crankshaft and inside the clutch a light clean and reassembled everything. Using the manual I checked the position of the brake pad and then fired up the engine. Pulling on the clutch lever I was glad to see the drive to the gearbox stop turning, low, high and reverse gears all worked as did the rotor drive. Time for a play (I mean test run). Given how hard the ground is it worked very well. I will change the engine and gearbox oils next before putting it to work. I asked my father how long the 350 has been parked up for and he said he couldn't remember, we've been trying to work it out but the best we can come up with is somewhere in excess of 15 years. My father bought this Howard 350 new when I was still at primary school and I have fond memories of watching him working it every year. It's nice that after a bit of tinkering it is still capable of a days work.
  2. I downloaded a manual for the 350 to get some info on the clutch. In the section on the clutch it said to open the clutch cover and then pull the whole clutch assembly off the engine. The clutch on this machine did not want to budge, with a bit of bar in through the bearing to rest against the end of the crank shaft I got a set of hydraulic pullers onto it. Putting as much pressure on with the pullers as I dared I was glad when there was a crack and the clutch moved forward a few mm. It didn't come off easily and it took the pullers to get it off even the last few mm. Now with the clutch off I needed to see if I could free it up. I soaked the splines with penetrating oil and left it for a couple of days. Putting a socket over the shaft at the back of the clutch and a piece of wood across the alloy cone at the front I gripped the clutch in a vice. After a lot of light hammering around the outside of the cone the clutch started to free up. At first all I could get get was a few mm movement, with the end of a bit of flat bar in one of the three slots at the back I hit the side of the flat bar and got the outer cone to move a bit more. Carrying on backwards and forwards like this the clutch soon freed up and was soon spinning freely on its bearings.
  3. I cleaned the points and checked again, still no spark. I took a few photos of the coil and was going to post on here to see where I could get a replacement. I started in to removing the coil and noticed that the mounting tag was quite rusted. I gave this a clean up as well as where it bolted on to the engine, bingo the spark was back. Put some fresh petrol in and amazingly it started after just a few pulls. A stuck throttle linkage meant the engine kept trying to over rev and while pushing and pulling the throttle lever the end broke off the cable. Freed off the throttle linkage, repaired the end of the throttle cable and tried again. One running Kohler engine. High on my success in getting the engine running I pulled the clutch lever with the intention of trying it in gear. No amount of pulling on the clutch could get it to disengage, the break pad was pressing against the outside of the cone but it wouldn't stop it. I remembered reading before about people having trouble with the cone clutches on these Howards and it looked like I was to join them. Off with the guards and the clutch cover so I could have a look.
  4. Over the summer I've been doing a lot of clearing and levelling around the garden. There is a large mound of soil that I've been working my way through and using to fill up a few low areas. A few weeks ago my father suggested using his Howard 350 rotavator to go over the areas to break the ground up a bit and make levelling it easier. That sounded like a good plan at the time. First problem was just getting it of of the shed where its been resting, the hinges on the door were rusted solid so had to remove the screws. Once out I pushed the 350 down to our workshop to give it a once over. I drained what old petrol was left in the tank, removed the spark plug and checked for a spark. Nothing, this was going to be a bit more work than I'd hoped for.
  5. mg_rob

    Bolens owners Northern Ireland

    Hello Sam, fellow member from Northern Ireland here. No Bolens in my collection, mostly small crawlers. I've sent you a PM. Rob
  6. mg_rob

    The Beast is alive and well

    That's a really impressive looking machine. I've seen a video on Youtube some time ago of a tracked Honda like this fitted with a front dozer blade. Does the lever at the rear allow the plough to be rotated from side to side so that you can plough left and right handed?
  7. mg_rob

    Ransomes MG40 and HR4 discs

    Thanks Chris, we could do with more working events over here.
  8. Good photos. Nice lineup of Ransomes, not a common sight to see two ITW machines. As for the crawler conversion, that's the running gear and frame from a Cletrac HG, it would have originally had a Hercules petrol engine. The Fergie engine would be a good mate size wise for the Cleatrac.
  9. The Mini Tractors NI club held a small working show on the 26 August. One of the club members had told me before about their working day but I had never managed to get round to going to it. This year I was given a flyer for the show and decided to keep that date free and take my Ransomes MG40 and discs down for a play. We don't seem to have the same number of exhibitors for garden tractors or horticultural machinery as you do in the rest of the UK so it was good to see such a good display of machines. Changing the colour and re-branding a certain make of red tractor seemed quite popular. There were a couple of interesting home made machines that caught my eye.
  10. mg_rob

    NYS Pageant of Steam 2017

    I love the little Lennox crawler. Looks a very interesting show.
  11. mg_rob

    Ransomes MG40 and HR4 discs

    Earlier this week I set about getting my HR4 discs dug out ready to use with my MG40. The cover that had been over them had come off and they were looking a little green thanks to the surrounding trees. Put the turbo nozzle on the power washer and they soon cleaned up. I'll put some photos up in the Show Pics section of the show I took the MG40 and discs to.
  12. mg_rob


  13. Before getting into horticultural machinery I collected stationary engines with my father. Of the engines we own this Ruston Hornsby APR 2 1/2hp model from 1928 is our most rallied engine. The last photo shows it driving our Evans water pump.
  14. mg_rob

    Ransomes Sand Skimming Tractor

    Are these skimmers steered by your feet? Looking at some of the original skimmer photos posted on the forum it looks like the hand levers are for controlling the skimming head. From the above photo it certainly looks like it turns handy enough on gravel.
  15. mg_rob

    Ride ons at Rosemount 2015

    If you enter your machine into Rosemount you could take it up to the working field. I'm sure they would not mind you joining in. I'm not sure if they are doing something similar this year though, it would be a shame if they don't. We don't tend to have much over here for our size of machines. My Ransomes MG40 was down in with the stationary engines. Rob