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Restoring a Memory

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Evidence of ability is the ripples in time produced from its inception. effects are measured by people touched throughout eturnity.

Tiller after 48 years of hard use

Tiller after 48 years of hard use

When my Father in Law passed, he left me his old rototiller. I thought it was really neat and was happy for a new opportunity. however before I began work I thought it best to get a little history on the machine and the manufacturer. ALl I had to go on was what was left of an old deal on the front and a label on the engine, A Briggs 3.2 hp.



restoring-a-memory

Over the years, the seal in the drive chain housing leaked, and the oil slowly drained out. Since the tiller was always in the garden the small leak was unnoticed. Soon the housing was empty, and operating the tiller brought internal damage and wear. After disassembly, inspection revealed the idler shaft bearings were fused in the casings and far below operational requirements. The bearings needed to be removed, the housings braised, filled and smoothed to original condition.

Cleaning and Preparation

After the tiller was disassembled, it needed to be cleaned, so repairs could be assessed, and a list of required parts list made (many impossible to obtain). The removal of the old bearings turned out to be more time consuming than I anticipated. after sand blasting the metal, holes needed to be drilled into the bearing retainers so they could be driven out from the opposite side. afterwards the holes had to be filled and both the inside and outsides ground smooth so new bearings could be pressed in, and the side plates could be refinished.



drive chain housing drilled to remove old seized bearings

drive chain housing drilled to remove old seized bearings

hammer and punch used to drive out old bearings

hammer and punch used to drive out old bearings

Internal damage from lack of lubrication

The Transmission (a double reduction gear and chain drive system) fell into disarray when the seal on the lower portion of it, gave way and the fluid inside the transmission drained out. It is unsure how long the tiller was operated with out oil, and the noise made from the gears banging together, may have been over shadowed by the noise of the engine.

As the tiller operated, the lack of oil had drastic effects internally on the bearings, gears and shafts. After seeking advice from a Master Machinist, it was determined that the gears, damaged as they misaligned when the bearings failed, were chipped and beaten up as they wobbled and ground against each other. However, continued operation would not be hindered from the damage, and needed only minor cleaning and smoothing.

The transmission components consisted of a drive shaft with a fixed small gear, an idler shaft with a fixed larger gear and a second fixed smaller gear identical to the one on the drive shaft, and a floating third gear with a bushing slid on the drive shaft, providing the double reduction. (See images)

the damage to the bushing of the drive gear

the damage to the bushing of the drive gear

drive gear and reduction gear inside picture

drive gear and reduction gear inside picture

functional image of reduction gear configuration.

functional image of reduction gear configuration.

wear and damage to drive shaft from lack of lubrication and operation

wear and damage to drive shaft from lack of lubrication and operation

Bearing fused reduction housing

Bearing fused reduction housing

inner bearing housing on left-hand side plate

inner bearing housing on left-hand side plate

Old bearing shown, removed from bearing cup on right-hand side plate

Old bearing shown, removed from bearing cup on right-hand side plate

Refurbishing the Idler chain drive bushing

The Transmission Idler gears and drive gear needed cleaning, and the Idler shaft filled and machined smooth. A new bushing needed to be hand made to fit inside the gear and slide over the Idler shaft. New Bearings were obtained (still available), leaving only a need to cut new gaskets from a cork sheet.

restoring-a-memory
restoring-a-memory
original Idle shaft refurbished and milled

original Idle shaft refurbished and milled

Reduction Gear and Housing Refurbishment Completion

After the gears and shaft were refurbished and the housings cleaned and made ready for refinishing the assembly was completed, ready to be installed

Drive and Idler shaft installed in reduction housing with new bearings and bushings

Drive and Idler shaft installed in reduction housing with new bearings and bushings

side view

side view

Painting and Assembly of the Drive Chain Housing

after the bearings were installed the next step was refinishing and assembly. it was a reward seeing the tiller going back together and fully functional.

restoring-a-memory
restoring-a-memory

Ready for anther 50 years of service, and Antique Machinery shows

The tiller assembled and all the labels and decals in place. the work seemed well worth the effort. Hopefully my Father In-Law would be happy with the finished product.

restored tiller

restored tiller

restoring-a-memory

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