1906 Rover

A guide to 6HP Rover cars


Photographs of modifications to a Bolens H14XL Lawn Tractor

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

These photographs illustrate a number of the modifications I have made to my Bolens over the years in order to improve its performance and reliability.

Original fuse

Replacement fuse

The original bi-metal strip fuse is not fail-safe, especially in the event that the diode on the rectifier fails.  A 10 amp fuse is adequate for all operations and will, of course, be fail-safe.


A relay unit had to be fitted as an ignition cut-out when I fitted a V-twin engine.

Rectifier for the old, single diode Briggs and Stratton engine

A home-assembled rectifier for the early, single diode Briggs and Stratton engine.  This looks a bit crude, but it has long outlasted the original unit as it is far more robust.  Note also that this has an in-line fuse in case it should fail.

Modifications to chassis

Modification to chassis to fit the oil filte

Slight modifications to the chassis had to be made when installing a V-twin Briggs and Stratton engine.  Part of  the upper edge of the chassis had to be bent outwards a little to accommodate the starter motor. The body of the starter motor had to be turned 180 degrees to allow the battery terminal to be fitted.  Also, to prevent another rectifier failure, the rectifier has been spaced away from the engine cowling using a couple of washers.  This stops it getting over-heated.

After an oil filter extension had been fitted it was necessary just to remove a small portion of the chassis, also a small potion of the chassis had to be bent outwards to make room for the oil pressure switch.  Note that the original engine mounting brackets and the rubber suspension units have been discarded, allowing more room round the front of the engine and giving easy access to the electric clutch. The engine is now mounted rigily to the front axle frame, which has had two flat steel strips welded to it.  The V-twin runs so smoothly  that it doesn’t require rubber suspension mountings, which needed regular adjustment as they sagged  and caused misalignment.

Lemon shaft

This shows the portion of lemon shaft fitted to the PTO shaft that drives the hydrostatic unit.  This allows sliding movement, which is necessary when the flexi-coupling unit is loctited to the hydrostatic shaft.   The mower has done over 15 years service since I fitted this and has shown no signs of the coupling breaking loose.

Original belt tensioner

Modified belt tensioner

Because the original tensioner was supported on one side only the more it wore the more it bent the adjustment screw, which would eventually break.  This happened on a number of occasions and the problem was more pronounced after I fitted a 16 HP engine.  I turned the single-sided bracket into a two-sided yoke, which eliminated the problem.

Modified roller

Strengthened deck

The roller bearings and shaft needed frequent attention.  By making the rollers turn as single unit and fitting greasable bearing units to the height adjustment mechanism I have  almost eliminated the need to overhaul the rollers and, as an unforeseen side-effect, I have found that the end rollers self-clean when turning a corner due to the speeding up of the inside roller which tends to unwrap any accumulated grass.

The side-discharge decks tend to crack.  I have eliminated this problem by fitting torsional tubes and additional bracing .  To reduce the amount of corrosion I have had the deck hot-dip galvanized.  Just visible in the photograph is a chain for lifting the deck up and down, this was to replace the original Bowden cable and is much cheaper and longer lived.

Assorted replacement and discarded parts

The black blades are Oregan replacements, which I find are cheaper and more easily obtainable in the UK.

All the blue pulleys come off a scrapped combine, they have slightly larger bearing units.

Bottom left is a scrapped air-conditioning clutch, which can be modified to fit the existing clutch unit.

Other bit have been discarded through wear or as a result of modifications.

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