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1.  Acquisition March 02, 2011
Acquisition March 02, 2011
    1961 Wheel Horse 701

This is the restoration archive of the 1961 Wheel Horse 701 acquired on  March 02, 2011. I have decided to perform a 100% restoration on this machine as the subject was a "transitional" machine which contains many parts not found on any other Wheel Horse model. The pictures below were taken upon the machines arrival on "The Ranch". As done in previous articles I will continue the restoration including the decisions made, and problems overcome, as the restoration progresses.



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Front ViewRight Side ViewLeft Side ViewRear ViewLower Dash Hoodstand
Incorrect EngineIncorrect Engine DecalsFront TireRear TireClipped Fenders
Dash PanelToolbox/Fender SupportsSteering SectorBrake AssemblyIncorrect Hood Latches
Correct Steering WheelCorrect Fuel CapIncorrect Throttle AssemblyIncorrect Hood MountingIncorrect Steering Joint
STEP 1rn



If I can give the budding restorer any advice at all it would be the following;

  1. First and foremost: "Do Your Research and Learn Your Subject" before you do anything else. You will save yourself plenty of time, a whole lot of heart ache, and plenty of money.If you're not sure, then don't do anything until you are sure. Ask questions, look at restored machines, then ask more questions.
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  3. My second word of advice is to take as many pictures as you can along the way, BEFORE you take things apart. More times than not the manuals don't show exactly how things go back together. The pictures come in very handy, especially if the reassembly happens months after the initial tear-down.
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  5. Third piece of advice: Tear it all down, and restore the parts like you are building the machine. Even though you want to do a particular piece first, deny the urge to do so. Start with the wheels/Rims, work to the frame, then the tranny, then the front end. By the time you get this far you'll have a "Rolling Frame". Continue the restoration in the order the parts will be installed. You'll thank me later.
  6. rn

When thinking about performing a restoration of any piece of equipment you should always perform your first step BEFORE you buy the machine. This step requires you to have a very high level of knowledge beforehand, even before you start looking for a new restoration subject. Make sure, as certain as you can, you know exactly what you will be required to procure in order to complete this machine. Some machines, like this one, have parts that you will only find on one model year and many times only on a single model tractor. Even as certain as you should be when you do buy it, you will ALWAYS find more things wrong as the restoration progresses. 


What follows is my detailed assessment of the machine as it was acquired on March 02, 2011.

March 03. 2011rn

So far, close inspection of the machine has identified several items which must be addressed in order  to return this machine to original mechanical configuration:

  1. STEERING: The steering cluster has been modified to a newer style. The gear at the end of the steering shaft should be square shouldered, the existing gear is a newer style round shoulder model. This will need to be changed. The steering wheel is in good shape and will only require a few cosmetic repairs and full restoration to bring it back to life.The grease fitting lug on the right steering arm will need to be acquired and replaced.
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  3. HOOD: The hood has had headlights and latches installed which have been drilled and pop-riveted to the forward hood verticals and  on the tank flare. These will need to be removed and the holes closed. Also, knurled thumb-screws are on order and will arrive shortly. The lower front of the hood has had a hinge added (welded). The original design was a flange which was thumb-screwed to the front of the machine. The existing hinge will be removed, the hood repaired to original configuration, and refurbished.
  4. rn
  5. FENDERS: The fenders are installed backwards, and the fender points, which should point towards the rear have been "clipped" off. New fenders will need to be located and installed in the correct orientation.
  6. rn
  7. DASHBOARD: The dashboard is original but is NOT in restore-able shape. There are large pieces missing from the top-right, lower-right sides and the lower-right corner. The dash is also missing the correct throttle pull, and the original 2-prong key switch. Both parts will need to be located and installed. The original gauge is still functional and in very good condition, as are the remaining dash-installed items including the starter button.
  8. rn
  9. ENGINE: Obviously the engine is missing. A Kohler K161S-28622E. This engine is rather unique iin that it predates Kohler's "Compression Release" technology. In order for the starter generator to overcome the compression of this engine, it was required to have a dual-belt installed between the flywheel and the pulley on the starter generator. This further required the K161 to have a double-deep belt cover installed over the belts. The correct belt cover, and the engine itself, will be hard to find but required for a 100% complete/correct restoration.
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  11. WHEELS: All of the rims and tires appear to be original, except the front tires. They are unusable and will need to be replaced.
  12. rn
  13. SEAT: The currently installed seat is incorrect. The correct seat is a square-pan seat. A replacement will need to be located and restored.
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  15. HITCH: The correct sleeve hitch and associated lift cable is missing and will need to be located and restored.
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  17. FUEL TANK: The fuel tank, aside from extra holes on both sides in the flange areas, is in good condition. The filter bowl will need to be replaced along with its associated fittings.The fuel cap is restore-able. It has some dents and scratches which should be able to be removed and the assembly buffed to a high shine.
  18. rn
  19. DECALS: A reproduction set of decals will be procured and installed.
  20. rn
  21. MISC.: The existing running boards bolted to the sides of the frame are not original to the machine, and will need to be removed. The foot rests are original and will be retained. Any holes which are not original to the frame will be welded closed and the metal resurfaced.
  22. rn
  23. TRANSMISSION: Something is sticking internally on occasion. I learned this when I attempted to move it after it was unloaded and the pictures above were taken. Because this is a full restoration, I had planned on the transmission coming down completely. So that process will identify what is wrong there.
  24. rn
  25.  More to come ...
  26. rn

Owners Manual (WH manual number: 6155-P)


Transmission Service Manual (WH manual number: A-1392 )


Engine Owners Manual (Kohler manual number: ENS-593-F )


Engine Service Manual (Kohler manual number: TP-2379 )


Engine Integrated Parts List (Kohler manual number TP-1053-A: )


Wheel Horse Reproduction Decal Source: Midwest Custom Graphics ("Terry the Vinyl Guy" - Redo Your Horse dot Com)

 Tractor SpecsProduct Brand: Wheel Horse
rn Model Number: 701
rn Serial #: 48317
rn Model Year: 1961
rn Chassis Type: Garden Tractor
rn Deck Swath: Deck Optional
rn Deck Discharge: Deck Optional
rn Engine Manufacturer: Kohler
rn Engine Model #: K161S-28622E
rn Engine Size: 7 hp
rn Engine Type: 4 Cycle
rn Engine Starter: Electric Starter-Generator
rn Transmission Manufacturer: Wheel Horse
rn Transmission Type: Gear
rn Transmission Speeds: 4 Speed
rn Transmission Model #: 5007


Last Updated: 2011-07-01 00:16:10 (13443 views)