Gravely 'Professional 5665'

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by rickfrosty, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. rickfrosty

    rickfrosty RF in Western Mtns.of ME Supporter

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    Jun 19, 2008
    Location:
    N.W. corner of ME by both NH, & Quebec border.
    Any Gravely fans ? Just bought a 2 whl. walk-behind heavy duty little tractor which will accept all kinds of implements. Mine has a brush hog & I found a big rototiller & a gang mower deck in my little town for $150 for both.
    The attachments tend to be pricey because they are so heavy duty & long lived.
    This has a freshly rebuilt 12 horse Kohler, plus wiring was gone over.
    Anyone tell me about what year this would be?
    Anyone in ME w/parts/implements for sale?
    Anything to check out, be aware of/watch out for on these things ?
     
  2. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2002
    Check oil level in the gear boxes on the implements. Seals go and so does the gear oil.

    The Gravely 2 wheel tractors were so over engineered that if you keep everything lubed they last forever except for engine rebuilds.

    Most of them were destroyed through neglect. Plus the old L models used Gravely's own proprietary engine which was designed in early 1930s. Pressurized oil system and quite nice for time. Engine expensive to rebuild and work on. Not easy to adapt a modern small engine so many of the "L" models over the years ended up rusting away in farm fencerows. Even the Kohlers which they started offering in mid 70s on consumer models used a special Gravely only crankshaft. But at least they were more economical to rebuild with available parts, though parts for these old flat head Kohlers are getting harder to find, Kohler discontinuing support. They also briefly used Briggs flat head 10 and 12hp engines. And Onan engines on their bigger models. And last of the Gravely 2 wheel tractors used Subaru-Robin engines.

    For brief time, guy in Australia made high quality adapter to mount a stock 11hp/13hp Honda engine to the old "L" model. Match made in heaven. Unfortunately for him the market for such was here in USA and it was a pain for low volume one man buisiness like that to export. He stopped production.

    There are Gravely user/collector websites with lot info. Dont have links handy but Google can find it fast I imagine. Amazing all the implements over the years. They even had a backhoe setup at one time. Mower with single blade and the rotary plow were by far the most popular. I bought my first Gravely in 80s, an old L made in 1954. Got it for the rotary plow, but it also came with a snowblower attachment that worked well but I didnt have room on truck to move it here and didnt need it here, just left it in weeds as nobody wanted it. Sure one of the amateur scrap guys of recent years has sent it on its way to China by now to be made into toasters or something.

    I'd got my first Gravely cause I'd seen one of those rotary plows plowing a garden and wanted one. Engine went on it, I got shell shocked on price of rebuilding it. Set for few years, then I adapted an 8hp Briggs and used it couple more years. That engine was kinda old and weak. Saw Gravely in local paper with factory 8hp Kohler that had been rebuilt with few hours on the rebuild. Bought it and used it ever since. Even 8hp Kohler with fresh rebuild is underpowered, the old Gravely engines were 6hp and 7hp, but they were long stroke engines with lot more torque than modern engine of simular horsepower.

    Got a new 13hp Briggs cheap that I was going to put on the 1954, but never did it. And I have another old Gravely L that friend gave me with a disassembled Gravely engine that I thought I might put an 11hp Honda clone on. Had notion I would do it the slick professional way like the guy in Australia, though my more Rube Goldberg method with the 8hp Briggs worked fine.
     

  3. rickfrosty

    rickfrosty RF in Western Mtns.of ME Supporter

    Messages:
    846
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Location:
    N.W. corner of ME by both NH, & Quebec border.