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Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

Gravely Tractor walk behind

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Farmall Bob

12-29-2012 16:32:13

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Hi, I have a Gravely Tractor walk behind L8 serial number 2M48813 Governor MA 1884 R5
I got it home and went through it, cleaned carburetor, removed shrouds, govenor, fan, starter, cleaned and re-assembled. Problem, it starts right up, but it ROARS louder than a lion, and I have to shut it down so not to burn it up, or ruin the engine. Any help much appreciated. Thank you.

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Farmall Bob

01-01-2013 06:56:51

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 Re: Gravely Tractor walk behind in reply to Farmall Bob, 12-29-2012 16:32:13  
I am a person that likes to pull something apart, clean it, oil it, hone it, and put it back together. Problem is I an"t as smart as I think cause now my Gravely is stuck in high range. Can not snowthrow very well. "Oh, by the way". "Happy New Year" !!

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01-01-2013 17:58:27

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 Re: Gravely Tractor walk behind in reply to Farmall Bob, 01-01-2013 06:56:51  
L8's have that issue often, just due to the design of the shifter. The later 5000 series improved on it to (almost) eliminate the problem.

Here's my usual plan of battle:

1. Disconnect linkage behind the right tire. Should be two lock nuts(one on a stud and one on a bolt through the shift pin) and the angle pivot will come off. Jack up the tractor so both tires are off the ground.

2. Pull the bolt running through the shifting pin so the pin can rotate free-er. Get more of that penetrating oil and soak the whole thing, especially where the pin works through the axle housing. Work the pin in and out and back and forth and around. These things get gunked up and frozen in place too easily. Keep it oiled and shiny, and you won't have trouble.

3. The shifting linkage can be adjusted at the gas tank. Something I always try is to pull off the nut closest to you operating the tractor on the same eye bolt as the over center spring. That helps guarantee freedom of action.

4. As you tighten things back up, make sure the pivot behind the tire that actually pulls the pin in and out doesn't bind. You have two locknuts holding it; don't tighten beyond holding it from wiggling sideways. It will not come lose.

5. You also have the spring there behind the tire to adjust if you need it. I can't remember without seeing one which side of the shaft does which range. I think the spring closest to the operator dampens high?? The springs "balance" the pivot, so be careful not to adjust yourself out of a high range.

All of these things are "non invasive" attempts. If these don't do the job, there's a high probability of internal damage. 90% are out of adjustment.

I'll be curious to know what works for you!

Ben W. in VA

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Farmall Bob

01-02-2013 01:42:42

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 Re: Gravely Tractor walk behind in reply to SuperABen, 01-01-2013 17:58:27  
Yes, I got into it last night after supper. Couldn"t leave it alone. I made the adjustments to the book and they didn"t work so disassembled enough to see what was going on down there. Cleaned and lubricated real well worked it manually by hand enough to find out that there is wear in the bronze bushing. Had to place extra pressure on it with adjusting the linkage on the top spring. Have to leave it in that low range position. Thanks!

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12-31-2012 13:42:13

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 Re: Gravely Tractor walk behind in reply to Farmall Bob, 12-29-2012 16:32:13  
Glad I could help someone, I'm usually the guy on the other end of the deal! :)

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12-30-2012 19:26:13

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 Re: Gravely Tractor walk behind in reply to Farmall Bob, 12-29-2012 16:32:13  
Some of those came out with out a govanor for being used with a special piece of equipment. I do not remember what that equipment was but I had one at one time and found what was on it a mower deck was not what it was made to have on it

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12-30-2012 08:35:40

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 Re: Gravely Tractor walk behind in reply to Farmall Bob, 12-29-2012 16:32:13  
You mentioned you rebuilt the carb. I rebuilt the carb on my JD 425 this year and I had the same problem. Check your throttle plate, if it is open more than just a little, this could be the cause. I accidentally put a stop screw in backwards that kept the plate open a little more than it should have, causing the engine to race. Good luck, you'll find it.

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Farmall Bob

12-31-2012 05:57:27

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 Re: Gravely Tractor walk behind in reply to Dan50, 12-30-2012 08:35:40  
Hi Dan,
You were right! I found the problem yesterday morning. I found excessive endplay in the shaft to the Baffel Plate and placed a washer on the shaft to take up the slack. Wrong move as it made the Baffel Plate rub and would not close all the way.

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12-29-2012 18:01:28

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 Re: Gravely Tractor walk behind in reply to Farmall Bob, 12-29-2012 16:32:13  
I have a Gravely L from c.1955 in my shop right now. They are well made machines and one of my favorites! Your Gravely was made in 1966; the official model is a C 7.6.

Old old L's (like mine) did not come with governors. They were an added cost option, but a bit nice when you have to do some work. They are a bit hard to find today reasonably; those who have them keep them just because they make your life that much better while in use!

Pierce governors aren't too bad to work with if you are familiar with centrifugal governors.

Check all your springs and connections to make sure they are working as they are a bit tricky to get correct, like all linkages, if you are not familiar with them. I had an early L retrofitted with a Pierce that had binding linkages. This PDF is very helpful in this area:

As John mentions in the PDF, probably the weights are a little tight if it runs like an airplane.

Gene Gull rebuilds them, as well as Rick Mathis of the Gravely Shop:

Ben W. in VA

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Farmall Bob

01-01-2013 07:10:18

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 Re: Gravely Tractor walk behind in reply to SuperABen, 12-29-2012 18:01:28  
Hi Ben,
I disassembled the governor, and it was a mess. Cleaned it, squirt a rust penetration lubricant to all the moveing parts, worked it real well,cleaned it again, then filled it with oil, and then reassembled it. It works like a charm. There isn't much inside of them, but swinging weights.
I just love these old Gravely's the engineering is just fantastic!!

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01-01-2013 17:59:19

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 Re: Gravely Tractor walk behind in reply to Farmall Bob, 01-01-2013 07:10:18  
That's all those governors usually need to get rolling again. The problem comes when you need parts for the things!

Glad to hear the engine is running well. Gravely engines were made by Studebaker. It takes more than rough treatment to destroy them.

Ben W. in VA

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joe csuti

12-29-2012 16:57:16

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 Re: Gravely Tractor walk behind in reply to Farmall Bob, 12-29-2012 16:32:13  
You might have a governor problem,goto link below & checkout/read owners manual/service manuals for the L walk behind tractors,also check out manual for M1884 governor at site,instructions in same for setting up governor.

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