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alan
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Quote alan Replybullet Topic: 1972 Mowett Mustang
    Posted: 03 Sep 2007 at 10:28am
Yes, I know it looks like someone made it out of a few scraps of steel and a spare engine in a late-night garage experiment but it really is a genuine garden tractor. It's a Mowett Mustang from the US.



The wheels, seat, engine and steering wheel are genuine original parts although they appear to be bits that have been used from other machines.
The gearbox is the bit in front of the seat and has Forward-Neutral-Reverse. To go faster you rev the engine a bit more, obviously it goes as fast in reverse as forwards. It's chain driven and really is quite a dangerous machine as there's a distinct lack of safety guards and no brakes and it's only 40 inches long so not the most comfortable of machines. But it's great fun!

There's a mower deck that bolts under the chassis - blade bolts straight onto the bottom of the engine drive shaft.

----------------------

Update: It's now been painted and awaiting a new exhaust and decals:















Will 'Number 5' come in please...... (5hp that is - there was also a 7hp and an 8hp.....)






Edited by alan - 28 Oct 2007 at 5:20pm
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 16 Mar 2008 at 12:51pm
Is the yellow/silver/white livery the original? Or was the green the correct colour?
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Quote alan Replybullet Posted: 18 Mar 2008 at 9:46pm
Hi

The green paint it was covered in was like treacle! The original colours were yellow and silver as the tractor is now. It is International Harvester yellow, Silver Smoothrite spray, and white radiator enamel for the engine. It looks pretty good.

I'm sure that most of the tractors were yellow when new, I've seen a few pictures of red, blue and white Mustangs but they appear to have been painted at some point.
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Quote jonny7995 Replybullet Posted: 25 Jul 2008 at 10:23pm
Hi, can you tell me if the box on the rear axle is a differential gear? I have seen an almost identical Mustang mower for sale but it seems to have a fixed rear axle with a toothed cog welded directly to it. I am thinking this will cause serious problems with cornering but it may not be a problem as the wheels are so small and it runs on grass anyway. Thanks.
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Quote alan Replybullet Posted: 26 Jul 2008 at 10:26pm
Hi,

You are right! There is a rear diff on the back axle, however it was apparently an optional extra and so some won't have it.

I have never had any problems with it cornering as the wheels are small, I guess  that it would be an advantage when mowing lawns as the wheels wouldn't then damage the grass on cornering.

Thanks. Alan
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 13 Aug 2008 at 1:30pm
hi there ive just got a mowett mustang and in the process of restoring hope you could tell us a few things about it it runs an go's  good im sanding it down hope to hear from u cheers
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Quote alan Replybullet Posted: 14 Aug 2008 at 1:09pm

Hi Nick, When i first got the Mustang I did a fair bit of searching on the internet for some info, however there isn't much available on these little machines.

The company apparently ceased trading eventually (no idea why, when or how) and the remainder of the parts etc were sold off to a private individual as far as I could make out. They were made in Odessa Missouri and guess there must have been a small factory of some sort (anybody know?).

There was just one model made (again anyone know anymore?) and it's the one that you will have!

I did find some sales info on the internet that sheds a bit of light on them. I found that most people think that the machines were 1960's  but I rather think that they were more probably early 1970's to the mid 1980's. The sales info (in a magazine) was dated 1985. Mine was said to be 1972 but since it had a replacement engine cover (code date 1981) I'm unsure but guess it will be later than 1972, may even be early 80's.

They were available with 5hp or 7hp engines, and electric start as an option. The battery fits beneath the seat somehow in photos I've seen. Someone somewhere said that an 8hp was available too.

When delivered (or bought or whatever) they must have been in a crate of some description as the steering wheel was separate and had to be bolted on when unpacking.

Mower decks were 24 inch with obviously a single blade bolted to the bottom of the engine, so in effect when the engine is running then the blade is running too, must have been a bit dicey driving across a gravel drive to get to a lawn then, guess there would be a few chippings flying about. Cutting height of between 1.5" to 3.5" and the height is altered by adding extra spacers (washers I'd guess, but may have been specially supplied 1/4" nylon rings) between the blade and engine shaft to make the blade closer to the ground.  

Top speed of approx. 3.5 miles per hour. Single speed forwards and single reverse.

Nylon bearings used on the rear wheels and no lubrication required here. About twice a year the drive chain should be oiled.

The best bit though is all the attachments, I wonder though if anybody bought any of the following: Snow plough, dual rear wheels, grass collector, luxury padded seat with spring mounting (would be a good investment on these tractors actually). Also a high-speed cog to make it go faster, also a trailer, a powered lawn rake, lawn sprayer and pneumatic tyres.

I painted the Mustang in International Harvester yellow as it was a very good match. The rest is silvery/grey as the original base colour paint was under the later paint coat. I know that some were white instead of grey too and that the wheels were the same white. I painted the wheels yellow as it looks quite good!


If you've got any more info then I'd be pleased to know. Any photos as well would be great.

Alan


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Quote Dodgeboy222 Replybullet Posted: 05 Nov 2008 at 1:09am
Hi, I have a mowett mustang no. 7 in the process of being restored.  I got to run but not for long.  i have to clean out the carb. any tips for cleaning it? and also, where did you get the decals for it?
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Quote alan Replybullet Posted: 05 Nov 2008 at 5:33pm
I recall that the my mustang possibly had a Pulsa-jet carburetor and although I never dismantled it, there are quite a lot of parts so be careful that none get lost, think there's a couple of internal springs too.

It's possible to get some carb cleaner which is worth a try before resorting to  taking the carb apart. There is also a thin rubber diaphragm as part of the fuel tank/carb setup and this can get worn and lead to problems. Most Briggs engine parts are easy to get.

The website   http://www.small-engines.com/  is worth a look.


I had the decals for the mustang made by a local car graphics company. The originals should say 'Manufactured by Mowett Sales Co.....'etc but this is hard to replicate so mine just said 'Mustang' much easier! The decals for the engine may possibly be available on the internet now but I couldn't get any and so I found some pictures of the vintage Briggs logos on an engine website and then had them printed on adhesive waterproof paper and they look great.












Edited by alan - 07 Nov 2008 at 4:57pm
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Quote Dodgeboy222 Replybullet Posted: 07 Nov 2008 at 12:17am

Hi Alan,

I just wanted to tell you that the no. 7 mustang doesn't have a pulsa-jet carb. or a diaphram. the carb is on the oposite side of the where the gas tank is.  But thank you anyways for the helpful tips!


Edited by Dodgeboy222 - 07 Nov 2008 at 8:47pm
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 01 Jan 2009 at 10:59pm
hi their i would like to know if u could buy these mowett mustangs in australia and how much one would set me back (cost) thanks
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Quote alan Replybullet Posted: 02 Jan 2009 at 11:24am
Hi

I recently sold my restored yellow Mustang (that's the one in this forum thread). I sold it to a racing boat restorer (think the boats will go a bit faster than the Mustang though!) and I got 180 GBP for it which I thought was a good price. That is about 375 AUD using the rates conversion calculator today.

There isn't a lot to them. Very basic mechanics and it would actually be possible to build your own similar machine if you needed to since it's only got one forward gear and so apart from reverse there's little need for a gearbox, although some gearing or speed reduction would be advisable between the engine and driven axle.

I have had quite a few messages from people about the Mustang, but none from Australia so not sure if they were ever shipped there. 

Since I have many photos of the actual construction of the Mustang (to help me rebuild it!!) here is how it works. The engine is connected by a single belt to the pulley beneath the gearbox. A belt tightener on an 'L' shaped bracket is pivoted - you can see where it attaches just under the top left under the gearbox pulley, this tightener is connected by a long shaft (with the red arrow) to the single pedal - remember there are no brakes on Mustangs. At the other side of the belt tightener bracket is a return spring.

The drive from the gearbox pulley is transfered directly through the gearbox to the top side of the tractor then the drive is chain driven back through to the rear axle.



The steering is very basic too, but ingenious all the same! Note that the frame is just steel channel construction (very lightweight) and were reinforced with wood sections to give it some rigidity.






Edited by alan - 02 Jan 2009 at 6:19pm
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 07 Feb 2009 at 3:51pm
Been reading through all your comments on the MOWETT MUSTANG.
                      MOWETT SALES CO, INC
                            110W. MASON
                            P. O. BOX 218
                         Odessa. MO 64076.
There is a very good sorce of information on assembly and settings for these machines.
The book or books you want are published by
     PRIMEDIA Information Data Products.      primediabooks.com
CLYMER ProSeries. Riding Lawn Mower. Volume 1 & 2.
For all American made Ride-On's.
                                           or
CLYMER ProSeries. Yard & Garden Tractor. Volume 1, 2 & 3.
For all American made Lawn Tractors.
These books cover all the American made or derived machines avalable in the 'UK' and Europe.
I found my copy's on AMAZON
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 09 Mar 2009 at 2:42am
Howdy Namez Austin, i have a pair of these myself and was wondering if you could just remove the blade and blade deck, my grandad said it might act as a kind of 2nd flywheel but i still want to bring it to a tractor show we go to often and to do so i need to remove the blade. hears a picture of my 2



the one on the left was bought at a yard sale and the right was found in a neighbor's shed and given to me as a pet project. i still have yet to do any major work to it thats just how i found it.

yes the 8hp models exsist because i saw one at a tractor show last year. quite the fun thing to mow a lawn actualy, unless the wood has rotted out from between the frame and it twists all the time.

my cousin desided to try and pull it backwards with me on it, and sucseeded.
lol it was hilarious.

do you have any information on what colors they came in origanaly?

and did they use any other engine's than Briggs's?

mine are both Briggs 7 but i am just curious.

oh and on a side note, they have 2 different geer box's on them, and yours has a different one two now that i look, i will get a picture for u soon if you are curious.


Edited by Viperviolist - 09 Mar 2009 at 2:46am
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Quote alan Replybullet Posted: 09 Mar 2009 at 12:15pm
Hi Austin,

I'm actually amazed how many Mustangs are out there! I wonder if their main attraction was the cheap price as they aren't the most technically advanced machine.

They are really good fun to drive around on, bit frightening as the engine is between the knees and a blade beneath the feet. Vague steering too, and a flexible frame if the wood supports have rotted!! Those were the days before 'Health and Safety' mattered!!

I think that all the Mustangs were yellow. I may be proved wrong though! The wheels and frames were either white or silver, although some did have yellow wheels too.  I also think that they used Briggs engines and nothing else as I've not heard of any others being used.

I ran mine without the blade and mower deck and it was perfectly ok. Although I think the deck may have given some support to the machine. I'd take it off as it will be ok.

My Mustang has the rear diff on the back axle, but I never knew that there were different gearboxes too. Learn something new everyday!

Great to see your tractors!

Alan


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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 11 Mar 2009 at 4:39am
I'm gonna take one of mine and make it mean.

custom pipe (prolly an old exaust tip) added on and bent to go up and outward at a 60 ish degree angle

bigger rear wheels that i will rob from an old junker at my grandad's shop.

if i can find one i will attack a slightly quicker geerbox unless the bigger tires make it run quick enough for my likeing.

re-line the fram with wood (or whatever i have lieing around)

add a starter, i already got an alternator asembly and flywheel (with starter teeth) from a different briggs 7, now i just need a battery and a starter.

and headlamps, got to have headlamps on a mean little mower.

i'll send pics, i'm just trickin it out, not boreing engine or putting a bigger one on it, just makeing it a bit more countryfied because thats how we do things hear in virginia
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Quote alan Replybullet Posted: 11 Mar 2009 at 9:18am

That sounds like it will be fun!

We actually had an Atco ride-on-mower with a bad engine and I managed to fit a 6hp Robin engine into it. Changed the gearing a bit and fitted a speedometer from a bike.

The Atco was designed to do 6mph when new but we managed to get it to do 27mph. It was quite frightening as there was no suspension and the steering wasn't very good at high speeds. Also the brakes didn't work at all when it was going fast, just had to change down gear and hope nothing broke!

Painted it bright red and sold it in the end before I had an accident!

Would have looked great if we had spent a bit more time on the paint and done some other cosmetic bits to it.

It was a great summer project and we had great fun too.





Alan
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 15 Mar 2009 at 3:47am
cooooooool! But, i would never race one of these mustangs without serious work first.

actualy i doubt a mustang would even hold up to the kind of stress from going even 15mph, there just not built for it, specialy sence they don't have brakes u know.
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 28 Mar 2009 at 2:34am
I just bought one of these Mowett Mustangs for $80. it is in really good condition and runs great. I don't think it is the original engine though, it has a 3.5 HP Briggs and Straton. Anyone know if they came with this engine?
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Quote jonny7995 Replybullet Posted: 13 Apr 2009 at 11:07pm
Hi, these Mustang mowers are quite similar to the Huffy range of very small ride on mowers built in the States around the 60s and 70s. I think the main difference is the build quality, or rather the build complexity. The Huffy mowers had lever adjustable decks, multiple gears, brakes and pnuematic tyres etc.
There is, however, a certain attraction in the sheer simplicity of the Mustang. I am considering making my own tiny ride on mower based on the simple design of the Mustang. The only thing I am having trouble locating is a small forward/reverse gearbox with vertical drive input and horizontal output and a small differential for the axle. If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them. The rest I can fabricate myself but machining gears is beyond me! I have thought about using a friction drive system as used in the early Snapper rear engine ride-on mowers, which could also incorporate an element of variable gearing, but the differential gear problem remains. I also had the idea of incorporating a grass collection system under the bonnet, as there is a considerable amount of unused space under there with the engine being so far back. Any thoughts on gearing would be greatly appreciated.
Jonny
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Quote alan Replybullet Posted: 14 Apr 2009 at 10:28am

Hi

Just to reply to Scott first (above post), As far as I know they only came as 5hp and 8hp. Looks like there's been a 3.5hp lawnmower engine put in yours but it should work perfectly ok!

Jonny, I think it would be a great project to build a small tractor. I'm actually considering building one myself. I had wanted to create a minature version of a David Brown tractor we once had, but then technical details set in!

I came to the conclusion that I can fabricate the steering, the framework, stick an engine in it and get drive to the rear axle but then I'd need a gearbox. The easiest solution for me is to get a ride-on mower (Atco I guess - see above post with red mean machine tractor) and then build the tractor shell around it. BUT...it would be much more fun (and taxing) to start from the ground up and build it all.

I think that I'm going to have to get a Peerless gearbox from a ride-on and then work back from there at least I shall be sure that I have gears and some element of brakes. It may also be possible for you to get a gearbox from a John Deere lawnmower (JX80 or similar) some of these have a small gearbox and are powered by 6hp Kawasaki engine - just a thought.

I do have a 1992 Toro rear engined rider mower which has a pretty smart gearbox/clutch set up and would be great to copy.

Let me know how you get along.

Alan



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Quote jonny7995 Replybullet Posted: 14 Apr 2009 at 5:44pm
Hi Alan, certainly the easiest solution is a ride on mower transaxle gearbox. Most of them include a small disc brake and are set up for easy connection to a horizontal shaft engine. The gear ratio to the gearbox is obviously easy to adjust with the size of pully used. I too thought of making a small garden tractor with larger rear wheels with proper cleated tyres. The bonnet and wings would be very easy to fabricate. Perhaps one of the various rotovator or powered wheelbarrow setups would be a good donor. I must say I prefer the idea of manufacturing the entire machine, but the advantage of a transaxle, with the gears, differential, axle and brake all in one unit is just too good to ignore. I suppose for a true garden tractor that is built to work the ground you could get by with a fixed axle and single pulley or worm gear drive. It would give great traction but be a pig to steer, and no reverse, although I have seen a simple device for the old Merry Tiller rotovators that reverses drive quite simply, but that would mean using a horizontal drive engine. I will continue to ponder!! Might even build something one day!
Jonny
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 22 Apr 2009 at 4:04am
Hey, Im glad I found this. I also have a Mowett Mustang Witha 5 horse. I even live in the town they were made in. Odessa,Missouri 64076. I even know where the old factory it was made in is located.
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Quote Deadeye Replybullet Posted: 21 May 2009 at 6:52am
I have a yellow 7. I've had it for years. I also need some info about the tranny. I'd like to the repair the original gearbox.

I've do a google search every once in a while about this mower, and this is the first time i've found a real discussion about this mower..

I had the owners manual at one time, but I think it got away from me.


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Quote alan Replybullet Posted: 21 May 2009 at 10:08am

Hi

It's amazing how many of these Mustangs are out there!

Unfortunately I don't have a manual or any other printed material about this machine but I'm sure somebody out there has and it would be really good to put some on here.

I never took my transmission apart (which is unusual for me as I like to know how things work) although it did have the small cog welded back together so must have been damaged at some point and it also had a crack on the casting near one of the mounting bolts.

I'm guessing it should be easy to take apart and repair. Not sure who the manufacturer of the transmission was.

If you ever come across the manual then it would be great to see it.

Alan

Does anyone on the forum know if this transmission was used anywhere else? It's only got single speed forward and reverse and must have been a generic part. It just bolts onto the top of the chassis and chain-drives the rear axle.




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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 22 May 2009 at 4:42am
What's up

First post here so if I mess it up go easy on me.

I have a Mustang 7. I purchased it from my grandfather about 2 years ago. It has been in the family forever and it was just sitting there rusting away.

Unfortunatly, since I have had it the transmission has gone out. I am trying to find a new one but so far everyone I ask in my area just gives me a dumb look and tries to give me a car part.
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Quote alan Replybullet Posted: 22 May 2009 at 8:45pm

Hi Mattman

I've yet to discover the manufacturer of this transmission. It's probably an already existing part that Mowett borrowed from another application and used on their machines as I wouldn't have thought that they'd go to the expense of having a specific one made - but we never know!!

Not sure how hard they'll be to dismantle and repair, shouldn't hurt giving it a go!

Alan


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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 23 May 2009 at 1:12am
Hey,
Thanks for the greeting.

This will be my first mower to restore as well as my very first riding mower. I would love to try and rebuild the transmission but I am not sure if I should.    It isn't the original one that came on the mower. If I can't find one in the next month or so I will probably rebuild it as a temporary fix.

Matt
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 01 Jun 2009 at 12:59am
Hello first time posting.
 
I have taken it upon myself to restore my great-uncle's Mowett Mustang for my grandfather. He got it when my great uncle passed. Unfurtunately my uncle was storing it & had it in a few peices when I got ahold of it. The steering wheel, throttle(to include everything that doesn't bolt directly to the motor) , gas cap, and fuel line are MIA. The "hood" was pretty mangled and the bottom brackets on it were broken of. I have smoothed out most of the "hood" and the break in the brackets appears clean enough to weld back on. I think the gas cap and fuel line I can get by looking up the motor, but I am having trouble figuring out where I can get a replacement steering wheel and throttle that looks stock. Any suggestions? Does anyone know if the gearbox needs to be serviced?
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 02 Jun 2009 at 6:28am
I just stumbled across this site while looking for info on this little lawn mower I have...
 
I saw one when I was a kid at a lawn mower race event.  I thought it was just a custom jobber.  Then, several years later I realized my brother in law's parents had one, and I got to ride it around (it actually mowed grass then).  A few months later, my brother in law noticed the crankshaft pulley was cracked, so he took it off (and lost it, of course) so it sat under a tree for years on end.  I told him I wanted it for a project, and after a few months of bothering him about it, he reluctantly gave it to me.  After I got it, I looked closely and noticed the word "Mustang" barely visible on the factory yellow paint.  It had been painted before, but someone taped off the "Mustang" logo.
 
I got it running, (5 HP model) but the crank pulley and blade was still missing.  I ended up finding a generic pulley at a tractor supply store, but it kept throwing the belt.  The tensioner pulley came off of the bearing, and the gearbox pulley was slightly bent.  At that point, I pretty much lost interest in it, and it just sat there in the garage.
 
A few days ago while doing some pasture shredding for a friend, I noticed he had what looked to be an 8 HP Mustang under an old shed.  I didn't ask him about it, but it did spark up some interest in mine again... so here I am.
 
Now that I think about it, I can recall gathering parts to build a go-kart many years ago.  Someone gave me what they thought was a front end for a go-kart, but it was actually the front end for a Mustang.  It is laying somewhere around here... possibly good for parts.
 
 
Before I forget: While I was doing some google-ing, I came across this.  Maybe someone could grab these before they end up being scrapped??
 
(not mine)
 
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 06 Jun 2009 at 7:48am

I was looking through the pages of my copy of the Clymer ProSeries RIDING LAWNMOWER                    ( scroll back up 18 items ) for reference to something else and after read through the section on the Mowlett Mustang.

There is a small reference to the Transmission saying that it is a FOOTE one or two speed Transmission and refer to the transmission section for repair.

Referring to the transmission section it says that it is a FOOTE Type '35 or 3500' One or Two Forward Speed and Reverse Transmission and is as complicated as a two piece jigsaw.

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Quote alan Replybullet Posted: 06 Jun 2009 at 11:30am

Thats excellent info as I did think it was probably made by another company but had no idea.

I have never seen anything like it before or since either on the internet or on another machine, have never heard of FOOTE before so will perhaps do a search.

Thanks for that.

Alan
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 07 Jun 2009 at 7:26am
Alan
Foote made the gear box for the WHEEL HORSE B 111 Six Speed and became part of peerless
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Quote Guests Replybullet Posted: 10 Jun 2009 at 2:11am
Update on my grandfather's Mustang.
 
Got the wrong gas cap.Cry 
  -But it fits an older rotortiller with a Briggs motorLOL
The fuel line is on after cleaning the output from the tank and input to the carb. put oil in it, cleaned off the sparkplug & its cord, and it fired off after a few tries. Not bad for sitting in the elements for a few years.
 
Float may not work as gas continued to drip out the back of the carb when I stopped the motor.
 
----Float and bowl needed to be cleaned off but now need to get a new gasket


Edited by David - 10 Jun 2009 at 4:11am
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Quote Deadeye Replybullet Posted: 12 Jun 2009 at 5:46am
I remember seeing those transmissions on some Tillers back in the 70's.. Heck they may have been 60's tillers. 
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