BCS 850 new to me.... Maintenance help

   #1  

Hiptfarms

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I just picked up my first two wheel tractor- a BCS 850 with the Briggs 14 hp engine. It came with a 30" tiller, a 38" mower, a furrower, a plow, dual wheels, wheel weights, mowing sulky, and quick connects on the implements. The guy also designed and built his own counterweights for balancing.

As I said, this is my first two wheel tractor. I have taken it for a few spins around my barnyard and noticed that the brakes do not appear to be working although they did work when I tested it out at the previous owner's house. I have looked through the owners manual and have not seen any information on how to adjust them. Thought I'd ask here before I just started trying to guess on my own. All the cables seemed slow on retracting. What's the best product for lubricating them? Also, the operator presence control red lever thing cracked. So I guess that will be my first parts purchase. Thanks or your help.
 
   #2  

farmerboybill

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Now the brakes aren't going to stop this beast with the clutch engaged. They're steering brakes. With the differential lock disengaged (lever forward), do you feel the machine trying to turn when one brake is grabbed? With a slow return, I'd say it'd be good to do a little maintenance.

First, check the cables. If they slide easily, I'd just leave them alone after lubing them with your favorite skunk piss. I like fluid film, but it doesn't really flow the well down the cables. You can only shoot it up one end and down the other and hope it makes it most of the way in. WD40 isn't the best but it will make it all the way through.

If they're tight, you'll have to get them loose. Sometimes you can pull the cables right out of the sheaths to clean them up. That is, if the cable clamp didn't booger up the end too much. Once they're out of the sheath, I wipe the cable, pour WD40 down the sheath to flush it, and apply Fluid Film the length of the cable as I reinsert it. Often, the sheath is just too far gone with rust or the cable is too boogered at the end. Then you're in for a $15ish each pair of cables. You should still pull them apart and apply fluid film before installation. Cable adjustment is immediately in front of the brake levers. Turn the screws out to make the sheath longer to make them grab more, and in to make them grab less.

Another place to check is the brake assemblies themselves. Dismount the wheel and pull the brake drum off. The wheel nuts hold it on, so it'll just pop right off with a tap of a hammer. The little cam that actuates the brakes can get seized up with rust. If you can turn the cam with a pair of pliers easily and they come back with the springs instantly, you're in good shape. Apply fluid film to the hinge and the cam and button it back up.

They must have found some pretty low grade plastic for the OPC. That is a VERY common replacement part, especially if left outside in the sun much. they're very easy to replace.
 
  
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#3  
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Hiptfarms

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Spent a little time this afternoon with my new acquisition. I tried to shoot some penetrating oil down the cables. I uncoupled the tiller and had my first experience attaching the 38" mower with the quick connect. Not exactly flawless but not too terrible even tough the mower wasn't quite siting level. I walked it over to the house from the barn and it ran just fine. But, when I tried to increase the throttle it choked down. I got it started again (which seemed a bit iffy at first) and it ran okay until I tried running the mower. The engine started surging and continued surging until I stopped the engine.

So, what do y'all think? Carb cleaning, or what?
 
   #4  

leonz

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You need Sea Foam to treat your carburator and fuel.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
   #5  

farmerboybill

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That engine is finicky. A carb cleaning (along with changing all the oils) may not be a bad idea. How long had you run the engine? Was the gasoline fresh, or whatever was still in the tank from the PO? When I had one, I remember it being a bit cold blooded and needing to be half choked for a while, even when mowing with that 38 inch mower in the summer. I also remember it like very fresh, good quality gasoline. I would add a little seafoam to every tank to stabilize it. My fix was to buy a new Lombardini diesel, but that's pretty extreme.
 
  
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Hiptfarms

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I appreciate the mention of Seafoam. I just got fresh ethanol-free gas yesterday and plan on emptying the tank and replacing the fuel with fresh Seafoam enriched gas tomorrow, weather permitting. I ran the unit again yesterday with the mower. I ran it for probably five minutes before trying to engage the mower. It mowed okay in 1st and 2nd but would cut off if I tried to increase the throttle very much. Also when just running the unit without engaging the mower it would cut off if I tried to put it in 3rd gear. I noticed the surging initially but it did even out some after a while. I mowed for probably 15-20 minutes. Even so, it cut off again when I tried to put it in 3rd gear to take it back to the barn. I had to take it back in 2nd gear.

How far up on the throttle do these tend to run? Seems like it barely allows me to rev it before just shutting down. Two wheel tractors are totally new to me. I have owned tillers and tractors but not a two wheel tractor. So any guidance on use would be helpful. (I have read the manuals, BTW).

Thanks
 
   #7  

farmerboybill

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It sounds like you'd better get the carb cleaned. Mine was never as finicky as that. It was a powerful, smooth, heavy beast, though a pain when it wanted to be. I had no problem mowing in regularly mowed lawn in third with 20 inch tall tires. Now, if you're hitting 6 inch tall stuff and taking 4 inches off, you'll need to go a LOT slower.
 
  
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Hiptfarms

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Will do on the carb cleaning. FWIW, I was cutting over grass that didn't need to be cut simply to bag up the thin coating of leaves. It may have cut an inch or so off the top. It did a good job sucking up those leaves, though.

I'll let you know how the carb cleaning goes.
 
   #9  

Ford850

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I have an 850 with that same Vanguard engine. As others have said it can be touchy and needs to be choked for a bit. Sometimes it does surge some like you described. But mine likes to be run hard and at wide open throttle. I keep up with regular maintenance (clean air filter, change oil, and replace spark plugs) and it treats me right all year long. It started right up a couple weeks ago when it was below 0 here, and ran the snow blower for hours.
 
  
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Hiptfarms

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Thanks for that info. I'm glad to know about your experiences. The hugh amount of rain we have been having has kept me from doing anything with the BCS lately. I hope to get to it this next week since we are suppose to dry out some.
 
 
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