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Leaf Blower-Vac Restored To “Like New” Condition
“It holds more than most commercial baggers for garden tractors, so I don’t have to empty it nearly as often. And it cost very little to build,” says Billy Gilbert, Apex, N.C., about the leaf blower-vacuum he rebuilt to fit his 1974 Sears lawn tractor.
    “I paid $50 for the tractor many years ago,” says Gilbert. “It didn’t have a hood or dash panel but it ran good. I found a hood and dash panel for it on Ebay. The mower was in great shape and still runs well. Over the years all I’ve replaced are the battery, a few belts, and a brake band.”
  He got the Trac Vac leaf vac from a friend. “It was in really bad shape and looked nothing like it does today,” says Gilbert. “The box was rusted out, the bed was gone, and the Tecumseh engine smoked like a freight train. I worked in a machine shop at the time and was given some of the materials that I used to rebuild it.”
  He rebuilt the impeller’s engine and replaced the rusted-out flooring on the box with wood. He used 3-in. aluminum square tubing to make a new frame, adding slots to hold panels of rubber-coated wire mesh. He also replaced the 6-in. dia. poly hose with a new one. The flexible hose runs from the impeller to a hole cut into the front side of the box.
  “The tractor’s engine began to blow smoke everywhere so I replaced it with a new Briggs & Stratton,” says Gilbert. “The box’s wire mesh has fairly large openings so I do lose tiny pieces of ground-up leaves, but that’s okay because they make good fertilizer for my yard and I can use them as mulch in landscaped areas. I open a door on back of the box and then pull the leaves out with a hard tooth rake.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Billy Gilbert, Apex, N.C. (f18aochief@gmail.com).


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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #3