my name is Mike and my son brought home a non running and rusted L120 tractor a few months ago.
so we made it a project to see if we could get it back running
the B/S engine was easy once we got it all de-greased and cleaned up. seems that the OHV head bolts had worked their way loose and a few years of oil and dust had left the tractor caked in a greasy dirty mess. took a few hours of cleaning with toothbrushes and de-greaser but we got it clean up. Carb look ok... i went a got a JD tune up kit and installed the new plugs, oil, air and gas filters and put clean oil and gas in the tank... new battery and it started up. ran rough for a bit but a couple of squirts of Gumout carb cleaner and it was purring like a champ! i was worried about pushrods being bent and valve stem issues, but its running fine
now to the issues we had.
1. the 48 inch mower deck was caked in years of grass trimmings that caked on the inside and rotted through. also the front tires and spindles/bearings were gone... i mean i think there was 1/2 a spindle rod left on each side.
i ordered a front end rebuild kit, new tires and sealed ball bearings instead of bushings. also ordered a new deck rebuild kit with new spindles, idler pulleys, high throw mulching blades and a belt. also got a new tensioner spring while i was at it. also purchased a new PTO and PTO switch off of Amazon. took a few days for all the parts to come in and swapping them out was easy.
now the deck...
well it was a problem. after i stripped of the pulleys, and other parts and pressured washed the deck, the front of it looked like Swiss cheese... called the local JD shop and they said that a new 48" JD deck was around $850/900... way out of my budget.
so i thought about welding patch plates but i was afraid the metal was too thin and that i'd blow a hole in the deck while trying to weld... so i got creative and tried something that i hope will last a few years... i got some fiberglass resin and fiberglass patch fabric and after i sanded the deck down i went and fiberglassed the deck. let it harden and then sanded smooth... primed and painted JD yellow. for a back yard garage patch job it turned out ok. i was able to re-assemble the deck and get it back on and adjusted. looks like a brand new tractor. neighbors cannot believe it is a 2003/2004 tractor. put a late model bumper on it and it looks like new ones (almost...)
i want to see if it gets me through the season and in the winter i want to do the following
1. new transmission drive belt and idler pulleys
2. new steering gears and rods
3. new high back seat.
4. maybe new rear tires... it currently has 22x9.5 -12 NHS on them... was wondering if i could go up a larger size... maybe 24x12's . might be too big i don't know... was wondering what the largest size rear tires we could put on an L-series with the larger 12 inch rims?