Old Iron Under Every Other Tree!

By Staff
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Edwin R. Lemmer, 3280 N. Co. Line Road, Farwell, Michigan 48622 tells of finding this 1958 Bolens in 'Old Iron Under Every Other Tree!' inside this issue.
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1958 Bolens before restoration.

3280 N. Co. Line Rd. Farwell, Michigan 48622

My story begins on a service trip to Akron, Ohio. While at lunch
with the plant manager and talking old iron hobbies, he said his
father had an old iron wheel garden tractor or two. We decided to
check them out after work. After an anxious 20 mile trip, we drove
up a shaded drive to an old farm that had old iron under every
other tree. It was like a dream come true. I was introduced to Dad
and we started to hunt the tractors. After about an hour, it
started to get dark, and we still hadn’t found the tractors.
They must have been taken to the scrap yard. Disappointment was
short lived though, as going back to the truck, behind a chicken
coop, I spotted the Bolens. It didn’t have iron wheels, but it
looked like it had promise.

Looking it over, it was missing the Versa Drive system and
starter. The hood was rusted, and the engine had no compression,
but the tires were up and looked like they were hardly worn.
Agreeing on a price, we pushed it to the truck and loaded it. The
service call went smoothly, and I was on my way back to Michigan
the next evening, not believing my good luck.

A complete dismantling was in order, and with a can of Areo
Kroil, every bolt was removed without breaking. Areo Kroil is
manufactured by Kano Laboratories in Nashville, Tennessee, and
works well on rusted bolts, nuts, and shafts. Every part was
sandblasted, primed, and painted with a good match of DuPont
Acrylic Lacquer.

Finding parts was most disappointing. Writing to Bolens, and
receiving a good news/bad news letter, I kept the faith. The good
news was that it is a 1958, with a 6.6 HP Kohler engine. The bad
news, no parts available. After three years at many engine shows,
and talking to everybody who would listen, still no parts. Then, at
a small engine repair shop not five miles from my house, I found
another Bolens. It was in bad shape, but it had the parts I needed.
Bringing it home had my wife shaking her head, but a few hours more
and the Bolens was moving on its own power. What a feeling of
accomplishment!

My Bolens is now 99% complete. I am still looking for the Versa
Drive belt guard. I also have a 1921 3 HP International M; a 1926 l
HP K Model Stover; and a couple of Maytag ’92s’.

I would like to thank George Carr, of Salt River Gas Engine
Show, and Gas Engine Magazine for the inspiration to this wonderful
hobby.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines