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  1. #1
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    Default The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project

    A few days ago I picked up my 9th garden tractor, a 1977 Montgomery Wards Hydrostatic 16. This is my first M-Wards so a lot of it is new to me however I am very impressed with how well built this thing is. I believe it has a shaft driven transmission (which is serviceable), hydraulic lift, and of course has a hydrostatic transmission. At one point in time it had the factory rototiller however the previous owner sold it meaning it no longer has any attachments. It was in non-running condition when I got it (still is too ) but I have been working on getting it up and running.
    The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0820.jpg
    One of the things that really sold me on it was the back tires and since all the guy wanted was $50 for the whole thing I basically bought a set of tires and a free tractor.
    The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0828.jpg The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0825.jpg
    First matter of business was cleaning the carburetor. Fortunately the previous owner drained the fuel when he removed the bad battery therefore the carburetor was in really good clean condition. I also flushed out the fuel tank which was dry thus all that really came out was some surface rust and whatever debris had accumulated over the years which was very minimal.
    The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0827.jpg
    Now that I had the fuel system in better shape I turned towards the electrical system. Since the M-Wards does not have a battery at the moment I used jumper cables hooked to the skid steer to see if I could get it to at least turn over.
    Test 1: hooked to the battery cables = nothing, not even a solenoid click
    Test 2: Cleaned a few connections and did the same test as #1 = still nothing
    Test 3: I consider this to be the farmers test, I did a direct jump to the starter just to see if it would turn over = It did turn over
    Now knowing that the starter was good I turned my attention to the ignition switch and the starter solenoid. After pulling the fuel tank out of the way I discovered how horribly rusted the terminals were on the ignition switch, no wonder it wouldn't turn over. I did use a test light on the multiple connections however I do believe the ignition switch may be the issue, thus I ordered a new one.
    The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0830.jpg The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0833.jpg

    Now on to yesterday's problem. I went back to working on the M-Wards and all of the sudden the starter will not turn over. Made a trip down to Napa and they wanted $250 for a new starter. Being cheap I went to a buddies place and was able to get 2 used starters, one from a slightly less hp Briggs and another from an identical 16 hp briggs mounted to a 1970's Simplicity garden tractor. Once I was back in the shop I bench tested each starter (the original yet again). Of course the only working starter was the smallest of the 3 so all I could do was swap the mounting bracket and give it a try. Bolted up the smaller starter and tried to get it to crank. It managed to turn over the engine a few spins but eventually it just ran low on power and could only spin it over without the spark plug in, the compression of the 16 hp Briggs proved to be a little much for this starter.
    The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0865.jpg

    Now with nothing to lose since both of the 16 hp starters were shot I decided to take them apart and see how one works. I did attempt to make 1 good one out of the two but the attempt failed. The original starter must have had a hairline crack in the outer magnet and it must have just collapsed within the starter from moving it around. The other starter had a hairline crack at the base of the positive terminal and did not want turn over, even with the old battery from my skid steer behind it. They are quite delicate electric motors however it was a good experience to see how one works. I was able to locate a new starter for $90 thanks to a good friend and should have it within the next week. In the mean time I will just have to work on other projects I have accumulated over the past 6 months. More to come soon!
    The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0861.jpg The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0864.jpg The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0863.jpg

    A few pic's of how the M-Wards currently sits....
    The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0869.jpg The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0868.jpg The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0866.jpg
    My Fleet:
    2004 Deere 317 Skid Steer Loader
    66" Construction bucket, imatch QA adapter, CU72 Jake Rake, Middle Buster, 60" Landscape rake, 54"x 48" Pallet forks
    2005 John Deere L118
    42" deck

    Check out my rakes: www.Jakesimplements.com

    Member of the TBN "Young gun" Club

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project

    Good luck with it. The starters usually crack from people smacking them when they dont turn over. Same with
    automotive starters.

  3. #3
    Padawan Tractor Learner
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    Default Re: The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project

    Sox3- very true.
    On another note I picked up my new starter today, hopefully this weekend I can get the ol' Wards up and running.
    My Fleet:
    2004 Deere 317 Skid Steer Loader
    66" Construction bucket, imatch QA adapter, CU72 Jake Rake, Middle Buster, 60" Landscape rake, 54"x 48" Pallet forks
    2005 John Deere L118
    42" deck

    Check out my rakes: www.Jakesimplements.com

    Member of the TBN "Young gun" Club

  4. #4
    Padawan Tractor Learner
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    Default Re: The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project

    Bolted on my new starter and hooked up the new ignition switch to see if the starter would turn the motor over. Hooked it up and turned the key, nothing. Before doing anything else I drew up a diagram (that I can understand) of the whole visible wiring system just so I knew where things went if I had to replace a few wires. Now I turned my attention to the starter solenoid which has yet to make a single sound ever since I got it. I pulled it off and noticed that one of the terminals looked bent to the side a bit, plus when you gently shook it I could hear stuff rattle around inside of it. So needless to say a new one was necessary at this point. Took a trip down to Napa and they located a new one in Illinois for $36. Then I asked if they had anything on hand that was similar. They brought out a solenoid for a Ford truck and it was identical in looks and specs to the Briggs and Stratton solenoid, plus this one was $10 cheaper! Bought it and hooked it up to the ol' 16. Hooked up my battery and the starter spun over, but the motor did not turn. After closer inspection the new starter came with a spring that pushes the starter gear back once the motor was running, however this spring was also keeping the gear from turning the flywheel, in fact it never moved from the disengaged position. I removed the spring and finally the ol' 16 turned over via the ignition switch. However I still was having troubles with the battery as it only would turn the motor over 1 crank and then send the solenoid clicking. I charged it multiple times but still had no luck. Then I tried something different, the battery I had been using was way to much power for this electrical system, 750 cold cranking amps was way over kill. Hooked up to a 655 cca battery and it spun over great, just like it was supposed to. Now I did my next test, the spark test. Of course it had no spark, so after some research I learned how to adjust the points. I have adjusted the points on the GT to 0.02" from 0.03", hopefully that will get me spark but if not I will be converting to an automotive ignition system. I am hoping I can get this tractor up and running soon, I am hoping to pick up a new battery in the next few days. More to come soon!

    The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0914.jpg The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0905.jpg The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0917.jpg The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0913.jpg The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0911.jpg
    My Fleet:
    2004 Deere 317 Skid Steer Loader
    66" Construction bucket, imatch QA adapter, CU72 Jake Rake, Middle Buster, 60" Landscape rake, 54"x 48" Pallet forks
    2005 John Deere L118
    42" deck

    Check out my rakes: www.Jakesimplements.com

    Member of the TBN "Young gun" Club

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project

    Sounds like that battery had a bad cell in it. The points gap setting is .020, condenser could be bad, coil could be bad. look at coil to see if split any where. Make sure you don't have 12 volts going to the coil since you replaced some wires and the switch. Disconnect the ground wire to the coil and check for
    spark.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project

    Sounds like that battery had a bad cell in it. The points gap setting is .020, condenser could be bad, coil could be bad. Make sure you don't have 12 volts going to the coil since you replaced some wires and the switch. Disconnect the ground wire to the points and check for spark. I dont know why the ground wire from points ties in to the light switch?
    The switch terminals are marked with letters.
    G=Ground, B=Battery,L=Lights,M=Magneto/points, S=Starter so you might want to look at that. May have wrong switch, just a thought

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project

    Tha spring you removed from the starter is to help return the gear to its park position.

  8. #8
    Padawan Tractor Learner
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    Default Re: The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project

    I finally got the 16 up and running today. I picked up a new battery earlier this week and yet again (after adjusting the points) no spark to the spark plug. So I went and picked up a Wells LU 800 ignition coil along with some 18 gauge wiring, a spark plug cable, and some connectors. Hooked up my new coil, buttoned everything up, fueled up for the first time in 2 years, and first crank she fired right up. Had to take a test drive, everything seems to work, tranny has a ton of power, hydraulics work, I look forward to making my first attachment for it. I did make a better wiring diagram for it today as well which included the new coil.
    The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-m.wards.wiring.diagram.original.jpg The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0924.jpgThe M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0920.jpg The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0926.jpg The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0931.jpg The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-img_0935.jpg
    My Fleet:
    2004 Deere 317 Skid Steer Loader
    66" Construction bucket, imatch QA adapter, CU72 Jake Rake, Middle Buster, 60" Landscape rake, 54"x 48" Pallet forks
    2005 John Deere L118
    42" deck

    Check out my rakes: www.Jakesimplements.com

    Member of the TBN "Young gun" Club

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor jinman's Avatar
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    Default Re: The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project

    Hi Kyle, are you aware that your mower is really a Gilson? Gilson made mowers for MW. Gilson was bought out by Lawnboy and is now owned by Toro. There is a Gilson & Montgomery Ward User Group on Yahoo!

    I have a Gilson Hydro-16 with mower deck. My dual spindle on the center blade in the deck wiped out a bearing and I haven't done much with it since. Right now, it's sitting under a hole in the roof in my barn and collecting rain/dust/rust. I do love that little mower, especially the hand operated HST lever and the hydraulic deck lift. I don't have a lot of documentation on my Gilson, but there are still new and many used parts floating around. If you have your engine running, what is the condition of the driveshaft to the transmission. I had to rebuild the torque damper on my shaft, but the HST fan and all other parts seem to be just fine. Here's a couple of pictures of my mower back around 1990 after I restored it as much as possible.

    The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-74gilsonhyd16.jpgThe M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project-gilsonhydrotran.jpg
    Jim


  10. #10
    Padawan Tractor Learner
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    Default Re: The M-Wards Hydrostatic 16 project

    Hi Jinman,
    I was aware that Gilson made the M-Wards but the history of Gilson I had no clue on. Your Gilson looks like it came out better than new, great job on the restoration! As far as parts go I pretty much sourced everything from my local Deere and Auto-parts stores. The starter solenoid I got is actually for a 1990's Ford pickup truck and the new coil was used in numerous cars and trucks in the 1960's. I was shocked yesterday when it started on the first crank, it runs way better than I had expected for sitting 2 years outside. I will have to check out my drive shaft today to really see how it looks but from what I have seen of it thus far it looks to be in good shape and the fan turns good. Since attachments seem to be hard to find for it around here I plan to fab a belly mount blade for it, plus I can see myself using a blade on this tractor way more than a mmm (have the L118 for that) or a tiller (can use the 317 to subsoil/till). I am also contemplating on making a ROPS for it since I would be working around some hills but the way that the fender pan tilts back would make it challenging to build a ROPS off the back, if I make one it may be mounted at the mid point like a vineyard tractor. Time will tell on the mod's I give it, but for now I am just happy I can drive it around, especially after spending a few hundred $ on electrical parts.
    My Fleet:
    2004 Deere 317 Skid Steer Loader
    66" Construction bucket, imatch QA adapter, CU72 Jake Rake, Middle Buster, 60" Landscape rake, 54"x 48" Pallet forks
    2005 John Deere L118
    42" deck

    Check out my rakes: www.Jakesimplements.com

    Member of the TBN "Young gun" Club

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