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My 1989 Mtd still ran but was getting tired. I decided to put in the Predator 212 when I saw the reviews and the price. Next well it was apart might as well change the belts,bushings and friction disc. Got paint and new Xtrak tires will be in Monday. My question is when does it end? I've already lined up a sweet 8 horse Ariens for $100 from a lady who's husband just passed away and am planning to rebuild this one too. This is turning into a fun hobby.
 

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What do you call a total rebuild?

Speaking for the machine...I have had Gilsons all the way down to the weldment and put them back together with repairs and fresh parts as needed. Then you need to decide if you are stripping/sandblasting, repainting and even doing decals. If this is going to be a working machine you are wasting your time at some point. Of course if this is what you love doing so be it.

As for the engines, unless abused **** usually freezes over before the piston/bore needs anything. Valves need clearance restored with a good head lean-up, ignition needs service or upgrade to SS and the fuel system wants to be refreshed with fresh hose, filter and maybe a rebuild kit if it's not happy.

Unless someone really knows what they are doing the short block is best left intact.

Pete
 

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My 1989 Mtd still ran but was getting tired. I decided to put in the Predator 212 when I saw the reviews and the price. Next well it was apart might as well change the belts,bushings and friction disc. Got paint and new Xtrak tires will be in Monday. My question is when does it end? I've already lined up a sweet 8 horse Ariens for $100 from a lady who's husband just passed away and am planning to rebuild this one too. This is turning into a fun hobby.
I have done TWO OF THEM...:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What do you call a total rebuild?

Speaking for the machine...I have had Gilsons all the way down to the weldment and put them back together with repairs and fresh parts as needed. Then you need to decide if you are stripping/sandblasting, repainting and even doing decals. If this is going to be a working machine you are wasting your time at some point. Of course if this is what you love doing so be it.

As for the engines, unless abused **** usually freezes over before the piston/bore needs anything. Valves need clearance restored with a good head lean-up, ignition needs service or upgrade to SS and the fuel system wants to be refreshed with fresh hose, filter and maybe a rebuild kit if it's not happy.

Unless someone really knows what they are doing the short block is best left intact.

Pete
Naw I mean rebuild it to the point of having a tired machine like mine and getting it cleaned up running and looking good. I did usual maintenance but after 20 some odd years it needed refreshing.
 

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I have done 2 major rebuilds. One on a Craftsman and one on a Toro. Of course these were the heavy duty machines with the thick metal. I wouldn't invest my time repainting and doing a total repair on the cheap end machines that are made today. I can tell you its a fun experience if you like fixing things for sure. Plus after its all said and done you know exactly how the machine ticks so if you have a future problem you know how to to take it apart and repair it easier.
 

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Have you had your 1989 Mtd since new? Does it have sentimental value? If it does, then it is worth the effort. I know I wouldn't hesitate restoring my low end 1997 MTD when the time comes. It was my first machine and it certainly has sentimental value.
 

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Total rebuilds on older machines are only worth it if you plan on keeping the machine and passing it on in your will when you're gone. Same thing for restorations, which are even more labor intensive. Clean and tune and touch-up paint only, for machines that will be sold. MH
 

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This is about the level of restoration I reccomend to turn a tired old machine into a solid runner.
Mechanical restoration of my 1973 Ariens snowblower. - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information

Just make sure bushings, belt, friction wheel, skid pads, scraper bar, gear box and impeller shaft bearing are good or replace as needed. If you can get your machine to a point where this is all properly functioning then it's worth a repower. If you have major deficiencies like a bad gearbox you might want to look for another machine to refurbish.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Have you had your 1989 Mtd since new? Does it have sentimental value? If it does, then it is worth the effort. I know I wouldn't hesitate restoring my low end 1997 MTD when the time comes. It was my first machine and it certainly has sentimental value.
Yes I'm the original owner. Sentimental no. But it's never been in the shop. I love messing with stuff and know exactly when somethings not right and how to fix it. This old MTD is pretty basic. It did four driveways for the past 20 some odd years so it deserves a facelift. All in all it's been a great machine. In all that time if memory serves me correctly about the only problem I've encountered was a drive belt and the heat shield that vibrated loose.
 

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This is about the level of restoration I reccomend to turn a tired old machine into a solid runner.
Mechanical restoration of my 1973 Ariens snowblower. - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information

Just make sure bushings, belt, friction wheel, skid pads, scraper bar, gear box and impeller shaft bearing are good or replace as needed. If you can get your machine to a point where this is all properly functioning then it's worth a repower. If you have major deficiencies like a bad gearbox you might want to look for another machine to refurbish.
Your thread is the reason why I decided to do a rebuild of mine plus sticker shock on a new one. So I thank you.
 

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Your thread is the reason why I decided to do a rebuild of mine plus sticker shock on a new one. So I thank you.
Thank you. It feels better and better every time someone tells me that my thread encouraged them to do a refurb/repower. That was the whole point. I am really surprised that I haven't seen an in depth restore thread here on SBF in the short time that I have been a member.

I've considered copying mine over here but I feel like it would be a little braggadocios.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thank you. It feels better and better every time someone tells me that my thread encouraged them to do a refurb/repower. That was the whole point. I am really surprised that I haven't seen an in depth restore thread here on SBF in the short time that I have been a member.

I've considered copying mine over here but I feel like it would be a little braggadocios.
Do it! You inspired me maybe more to follow. It was a great write up. If I end up with a total cost of a bit over $200.00 versus $1,000 to $2,000 for new it was more than worth it.
engine-$102.00
belts,bushings,bearing-$45.00
tires $40.00
friction disk $20.00
paint $10.00
Total $217.00
Satisfaction of doing it myself. Plus I sold the old engine for $30.00 on Craigslist
 

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Naw I mean rebuild it to the point of having a tired machine like mine and getting it cleaned up running and looking good. I did usual maintenance but after 20 some odd years it needed refreshing.
Yea that's pretty open ended definition and there's no wrong answer. Maybe it's semantics but for instance,

Restoration... The works mechanically and cosmetically. Why do that to a working machine??

Refurbish or perhaps Overhaul tear it all down except the short block unless there is a known need to do so. repair any worn or damaged systems so it runs like new and nothing is even close to a service limit. Refinish / repair any metal with consequential rust/paint damage. The tear down lets you really examine stuff and find things.

Fix, Refresh Get everything working fine, repair any apparent weakness.

Any of the above is going past typical maintenance.

Rebuild as I have hear it used could be any of the above so context ends up telling the real story. It's all good.

Pete
 

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Rebuilds

I've done a few, some to sell and some to keep. IMO you get a better machine than the new stuff with a better life expediency that is likely better than many of the new machines. You have the basic requirements: gas, air and spark to run a motor - you don't have to worry about things like electronics etc getting in the way.
It's also great to see things like abrasive blasting taking off crud and rust to solid metal then painting it like you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yea that's pretty open ended definition and there's no wrong answer. Maybe it's semantics but for instance,

Restoration... The works mechanically and cosmetically. Why do that to a working machine??

Refurbish or perhaps Overhaul tear it all down except the short block unless there is a known need to do so. repair any worn or damaged systems so it runs like new and nothing is even close to a service limit. Refinish / repair any metal with consequential rust/paint damage. The tear down lets you really examine stuff and find things.

Fix, Refresh Get everything working fine, repair any apparent weakness.

Any of the above is going past typical maintenance.

Rebuild as I have hear it used could be any of the above so context ends up telling the real story. It's all good.

Pete
I here what your saying. Maybe rebuild was a bit much. Refresh/refurbish probably was a better choice. Much more than just maintenance though. Way more.
 

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As far as what you call it, its all symantics. I just like to go over every system and make sure it performs like new. A half worn friction wheel or a bushing with a little play that is still intact does its job. Something more involved like the axle bushings or impeller bearing you do want to do during this tear down of they show significant deficiency.

Like I advise all too often on this forum, if you understand the issues at hand then you have all the tools you need to make your best decision.

For example, I wouldn't do any cosmetic restoration on a machine I consider a tool ever, for any reason. There are many, many people who go the other way on this one. You have to decide what your priorities are and you can call it whatever you want, as long as you are happy with your work.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As far as what you call it, its all symantics. I just like to go over every system and make sure it performs like new. A half worn friction wheel or a bushing with a little play that is still intact does its job. Something more involved like the axle bushings or impeller bearing you do want to do during this tear down of they show significant deficiency.

Like I advise all too often on this forum, if you understand the issues at hand then you have all the tools you need to make your best decision.

For example, I wouldn't do any cosmetic restoration on a machine I consider a tool ever, for any reason. There are many, many people who go the other way on this one. You have to decide what your priorities are and you can call it whatever you want, as long as you are happy with your work.
Agree but if I'm doing all this work I might just as well give it a touch up in the paint dept. Nothing fancy but there is a touch of rust I can cheaply cover up. I really don't believe I was considering a new machine. Now I basically have one.
 
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