Gilson Super 8

Publicity Photo

I think it is this tractor, a  ~1974 Gilson Super 8, as in 8HP.  The scrapper who sold me the MTD found it.  Again the owner said it ran and was kept indoors but the tractor says different.

Engine is 190407 0800 01 74051610

19 ci
Series  0
4 horizontal crank
0 plain bearing
7 Electric Starter 12V Gear Drive With Alternator

1974. 5th month, 16th day 
plant and line 10

52037 44210

Still looking for the magic decoder ring for pre 78 Gilson Bros tractors.

The only other mention of this model on the tractor is a thread started in 06 with two post by the OP.  The only image he provided was his avatar.  It does not enlarge well.

I love this dash.

This tractor was really engineered.  It was only produced for a few years after which gilson switched to more conventional small tractor construction with vertical motors and peerless transmissions as shown by the image on the left.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The tractor is up on jackstands.

Yesterday I worked on the variable speed drive (traction drive) and the slider for the friction wheel now moves but the control seems slunky.  Made a video

I also removed the hood so I can cleanup and maybe pull the engine.  There is an ugly noise when I turn it but no idea if it is internal.  Thinking the 8hp trash pump engine might be used to replace it but theyare a different series.   Sent a request to join a BS engine group on

I wonder if this uses the same air cleaner element as the Kohler on the JD112.

The issue of the noise when I turned the motor had me interested so I took the head off which a bit harder then normal.  The two bottom shroud bolts were difficult to get to till I figured out there were holes in the frame for a socket.

The image of the head does not do it justice.  It looked very good with just a bit of carbon and no oil deposits!   If the noise is not coming from the bottom end this engine should run and run well.

At this point my best guess is that the noise from turning the engine is from the PTO setup on the rear of the engine.

It was somewhat reduced when I moved the coil away from the flywheel.

I put the head back on then removed the gas tank and its holder to get access to the crud under it.  To hold the nut on the one side I had to go through the slot fro the transmission level.  An exposed steering gear arrangement is under there and it was covered inches deep in stuff including bark.

To get at the cable that goes to the starter I loosened the dash and pulled the solenoid out from behind it.

It did not fire so I change the magneto to a magnatron.  Using the can of carb cleaner it would put put but not really run and took an ungodly amount of spray to make it do that.

Video of engine putzing goes here.

Maybe all the volatiles have left the can.  I say that because the JD112 did the same thing when I tried it.  If all goes well tomorrow they both get a carb clean.  If I can get by without parts I can try to start them.  I am happy the starter worked at all as it looked like it is missing the spring off the bendix.  But according to the parts list it does not have one.

I do not know what condition the gas tank is in.  The outside is good but I did not get a look inside.

If I get back outside I will try to remove both carbs and break them down far enough that I can cut new gaskets for them while it is dark or still too cold to work in the shop.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The carb bowl on the JD112 was clean so I opted to just clean the the super 8 carb. I cut a new gasket for the carb itself but reused the manifold gasket which looked good after ultrasonic cleaning with the carb.

Either it was missing the clip to hold the needle valve or I lost it so I grabbed on off an old mower carb.  The carb overflowed at first but once I ran the engine it seemed ok.  Need to keep an eye on that.

Added an article on rebuilding the flow-jet carb in dropbox/manuals/briggs and stratton/gilson super 8.

I used the tank from twirp to test the engine.  It runs but it the air from the engine is loaded with stuff from the fins.

The local carquest order an air filter.  They say tomorrow AM.  That give me some time to finish cleaning the tractor and put some of it back together.  I was hoping that the JD used the same air filter but it is slightly larger.  Need to see if the smaller will fit in both.  I expect not.

My current thinking is that unless there are unforeseen problems I will repaint the hood and seat pan this summer.  The rest is in good enough shape that I don't want to mess with it.


Monday, February 9, 2015

This is the service manual. S121 Gilson for the tractor but I am not going to pay $100 for it.  I only need chapter II.

My goal was the drive the tractor today  So I bolted the bits back in place including the gas tank which I swished out.  I swapped a little red button filter for the larger see through on the CC 682.

The gas tank is mostly good with what looked like a few small rust spots.  I will examine it again some time and if it is rust it will get electrolysis.

The front tires may be hopeless.  Maybe they are a candidate for foaming or tubes.  I grabbed the front wheels off the LT1000 to make this run.

Because of the larger amount of debris inside the tractor frame I had not taken it to the car wash.  That and it was very hard to move.  Now that it moves on its own the next stop is the car wash.

The steering is still hard, the engine surges, and the transmission is noisy.  I will look into these after it is cleaned.   Soon I will just bolt the rest back together and put it in storage while I get the JD112 to the point where it can be driven too.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

 A friend looked at the 2nd picture and said she was thinking the tractor was much larger.

They must have used a petite model in the first picture to make the tractor look larger.

Surging was just a misadjusted carb.  Unfortunately the screw for the main jet is hard to get to with a regular screwdriver and i did not have a stubby one.  The  leaky muffler shoots hot exhaust over my hand while I adjusted it.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

I have the tractor back together and in theory it should be running.  The starter was working just fine until I finished now the relay only clicks.  The relay is under the side panel and sandwiched between the dash and the back of the gas tank.  Not fun.

These images are from the bottom side of the hood.

I was thinking about restoration and was wondering what to do with the hood latches.  The company that makes them still exists and has this image on their site.  Online catalog.

It maybe one of these two latches.

Maybe the existing latches can be buffed out.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Last night I phoned a nice gent who is going to copy and send me the service manual for this tractor 52037.  The stuff from Toro should be in the mail soon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2015

Today the Gibson started fine.  Put a bit of oil on the variable speed sliders and took it for a spin around the long block

A bit of trivia.

Today I noticed differences between the 52037 PR images and Simley.

This PR photo shows a briggs with what looks to be an oil bath air cleaner.  More or less an out of the box engine.

Here you see Simley's setup.  A large sheet of tin with a large round dry air cleaner and a huge intake screen for the cooling air has been added.

The plates the axle pivot on are larger too.

Could be the PR photo was of a prototype or mine is a later model.

Used some black goo to seal the tire to the rim.  Seems to be holding air now.  Found the base for the high speed adjusting screw was loose.  Tried to better adjust carb.  Better but not great.

Pulled the back trailer to the roll off and back.