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Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

Re: Sears early 70s garden tractor

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Author  [Modern View]

11-13-2013 16:58:42

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Sears produced two series of garden tractors during the sixties and seventies. The CUSTOM series which began as the Custom 6, (6 HP) through the Custom 10, (10 HP). IIRC ten hp was as high as the Custom series went. They were a slightly smaller unit than the Suburban
The Suburban began IIRC, at about 7hp. and eventually went to 18hp, although by that time I think they had dropped the Suburban name and went to Craftsman. As JT Britt stated, you likely have the 10hp cast iron engine. Many service manuals had a cross reference list to help identify the Sears model numbers. The prefix 143. on Sears engines indicated that it was a Tecumseh engine. A prefix 500. would indicate Briggs and Stratton. The model number of the tractor itself should begin with 917.
The problem with Tecumseh mfgd. engines is pats availability, as the company is no longer in business. You can try SearsPartsDirect, but I seriously doubt if any parts are available there. There are any number of small engine parts houses on the internet, some of which have some parts still available. Both series of tractors were almost bullet proof and great little workhorses. If the tractor is in good shape otherwise, You could likely replace the existing engine with a Briggs if necessary.
Most of this information comes from my personal experience, hope it helps a little.

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11-15-2013 13:57:24

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 Re: Sears early 70s garden tractor in reply to ShadetreeRet, 11-13-2013 16:58:42  
Thanks again for the information. The tractor is in what seems to be really good shape, is now running and seems to run well. All gears work including the creeper or high-low range. The only problem so far seems to be an oil leak somewhere which could be from the valve cover on the side of the engine or from the joint between the crankcase cover and crankcase. We have since found a good manual on the internet that covers the 8 to 18 (or there abouts) hp engines and it does have the number crossover lists. Thanks again. Tom

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