Crankshaft Pulley and Hand Starting?

Wed May 12, 2004 7:31 am

Two years ago, we bought a 1953 Cub that had a threaded bolt through the center of the crankshaft pulley preventing us from hand starting the Cub. As a Cub neophyte, I didn't really undertstand why a bolt would be located there, so I didn't think about it too much. Having learned more about Cub tractors through this forum and other sources, I finally decided that all the bolt was doing was preventing me from hand starting the tractor. So, yesterday I held the fan in place and removed the bolt easily. I then inserted my hand crank and was able to turn the engine over. When I reversed direction with the hand crank it pushed out of the slot in the pulley as it should. So, my question is, what was that bolt there for, and is the tractor safe to start without it in place? The guy we bought the tractor from lived in a heavily populated suburb of Boston. My only guess is he installed the bolt to prevent theft of his Cub? Or am I way off here?

Thanks in advance.
Blair Mahar
Savoy, MA

Wed May 12, 2004 7:52 am

The crank pulley on the cub is normally a very tight fit, that has to be removed with a sturdy puller, and reinstalled with a bolt and spacer or something similiar. The only reason I can think of for a bolt still being in the pulley would be that if he had used some emory cloth or something similiar on the shaft to make the pulley easier to reinstal, and he was afraid of it backing off. If you decide to leave the bolt out, try getting soemthing behind the pulley and see if you can pry it out some. Get it as close to the center of the pulley as possible, the flange will break easily if you pry on it. If you can move it, put the bolt back in. If you decide to run it without the bolt mark where it goes into the cover and check it every so often to make sure it isn't backing out.

Wed May 12, 2004 7:53 am

How far was the bolt sticking out the front?
Perhaps he forgot to take it out after installing the fan pulley during a rebuild, but that's a stretch.

It would certainly stop someone from hand cranking, but I know of no other reason or usefullness of leaving the bolt in.

Wed May 12, 2004 8:00 am


No other good reason than the one John just mentioned :roll:

Like he says they are a tight fit, but I have heard of some guys having problems of the pulley "migrating" from it's station. This may be your case, especially if the bolt is washered and snug up against the pulley.

Wed May 12, 2004 8:23 am

One other possibility is that the previous owner noticed the threaded hole and just assumed that it needed the bolt to keep the pulley on. As was said before, I'd attempt to slide the pulley and watch it for movement.

Thu May 13, 2004 9:52 am

Thanks to all who replied. I did just what was recommended and cranked the Cub over on the first try. So far the pulley seems to be holding tight.