Remember the Old Gravely's

Thu Oct 06, 2005 9:07 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: On the main forum someone mentioned how the Gravely's used to leak gas all the time. That wasn't all they did. I can remember after a couple of hours running one I couldn't open my fingures for about 15 minutes from the vibration. Got another good story about them. If you remember the exhaust came straight out the side of the engine. Well, if you were riding on the two wheeled seat they made for them back then the exhaust blew right back in your face. I had the great experiance of being over come by the fumes while mowing with the rotary attachement on the front. I passed out and the old Gravely came to rest trying to climb a tree. Thankfully, I fell backwards off the seat and didn't get hurt, except for a heck of a headache for the next couple of days. Some friends of ours bought the old place and we went for a visit last year. Believe it or not, the scar from that experience is still on that old tree after about 40 years.

Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:55 pm

Brent; I'm a Gravely inthuisest myself and I have a fair amount of experience working on the L models. People either love em or hate em. They can be quite handy for some things, but you got to respect em also. My father in law won't touch one. There always somebody that had or knew someone who had a bad experience while running one just as you had. Earl the machinst loves em and has owned one or several his whole life. He now must have at least 8. He still mows with one I bought him a couple of years ago at Portland. We push snow, gravel, mow, till, and bush hog with them. Plus a couple of customized attaches are used. I think they are quite a neat piece of equipment.

Thu Oct 06, 2005 6:44 pm

A brother-in-law (my lovely wife refers to him as an out-law) brought over a Gravely LI after my Crapsman mower gasped it's last heaving breath. Wow, it was love at first sight! Needless to say, I now have a small collection of Gravelys and attachments.

I primarily use them for grass cutting, snow blowing and scaring new neighbors. No problems with leaking gasoline but they do seep oil. Most mechanical problems stem from neglect or abuse, unless they're just plain worn out. Gravely built nearly 1 million walk behinds and riding tractors all based on the 1937 design, updating and improving the design until Ariens (now the owner of Gravely) decided to discontinue it last year.

Many Gravely owners tend to have Cubs or many Cub owners tend to have Gravelys. They are well designed machines, easy to work on and most parts are readily available - just like the Cub. And there is a fantastic internet group interested in Gravelys - just like the Cub. Most of all, Gravelys are plenty of fun - just like the Cub.

Fri Oct 07, 2005 5:55 am

As a child I was fasinated by my uncles neighbor's Gravley. He had a rotary plow that I loved to watch work.

Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:40 pm

I have a Gravley with a snow plow, rotary mower, sickle bar and one of those sulkeys Mike fell off of. Any one that wants it the whole kit and caboodle is yours. It is located in central NY town of Franklin. Let me know and next time I am there you can have it.

Bill Sorensen

Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:12 pm

Lurker Carl was the first to respond so it is his. We have to work out how to get it to him but maryland and NY are not that far apart.


Mon Oct 24, 2005 6:05 am

Back in 1956 when ol' Country was a mere Dad bought a Gravely L with a rotary garden plow...a snow plow and a rotary mower. I can still remember that leather starting belt whippin my knee every time I started it and the way that rotary garden plow whipped up rocks the size of hay bails :wink: . Yes...I too remember my hands, white knuckled with the vibrations of that awesome machine :shock: . It was the most powerful lawn & garden tractor I ever walked behind :D . I was so disapointed when Dad traded it all in for a Wheel Horse riding model in 1959 :cry: ...plowin snow was never as much fun again! :cry:

Tue Nov 01, 2005 2:32 pm

just wondering does anyone have any pics of the gravelys to post

Tue Nov 01, 2005 5:49 pm

I wish their was a site similar to this one devoted to Gravely's. I know they have quite a following and there is one Gravely site but the traffic is real slow on it. If someone started a format like this one maybe it would spur interest.

Tue Nov 01, 2005 6:51 pm

Plenty of links, even a manual server much like Rudi provides for us here. Lots of pictures are available of Gravelys, implements, accessories and user modifications.

Very friendly and helpful bunch of guys, pretty much the same as here. Join the group and you'll have access to the photo gallery and more.

Tue Nov 01, 2005 7:55 pm

Thanks Lurker- The gravely club of America site seems idle. My google search didn't turn up those sites. Thanks again

Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:16 pm

Carl can post some pictures of the one he is picking up from me the middle of the month. I am going to meet him at my place in the country. We finally got a date set. Any one else wants to stop by then is welcome too. He has dibs one one bed room. There is still the one set up like a dorm sleeps 4.


Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:53 pm

WKPoor wrote:Thanks Lurker- The gravely club of America site seems idle. My google search didn't turn up those sites. Thanks again

Yeah! a bit dry, on the first page, lots of "NO" things to do, none of the welcome come on in, lurk or join, enjoy with us attitude that the best forum on the web has

Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:52 am

Hey Brent and guys,

I had an L1 for years. It had DUAL AG Tires on it and was an awesome machine. My senior year at HS, I custom fabbed a 48" snow blade for it in shop class. It was just like all the rest of em I guess....fwd/rev on one side of the handle, and hi/lo on the other. The throttle on those things was interesting to say the governor on mine at least. I got mine (in 1976) for hauling it away ......with all the STUFF !!!!!!! It had the finish mower; the 30" bushhog; sickle bar and rotary hoe. The thing didn't run and had been outside for a spell. Well, got the valves unstuck; changed the oil; overhauled the carb, and one giant spark plug later it breathed life!! ...I also eventually piped the exhaust as far up and out to the front as I thought I could go. I used the sickle bar once! The bushhog some; the finish mower tons. I used the rotary hoe I think only 2 times...that attachment is NOT SAFE !!!!! hehehehe
By the way, mine was "strap start", with the steel grommet at the end. 2 things those gravely's needed.....a governor.....COMPRESSION RELEASE !!!!!!

My funny? gravely story: like I mentioned, I made that snow plow for it, and man would it plow snow!! But, as many a gravely owner knows, one does NOT get himself BETWEEN the handles if'n it's under power right?? my 1st wife's sister and her hubby move in 3 houses down from us....and he's always seen me using this thing doing whatever...during all seasons....but never ever asks to help or anything of one day I'm down there snowplowing their gravel drive and he wants to try it.....I say naw....I'm 1/2 done anyhow and there's more to it than it really looks like ...blah blah blah.....he's gotta do I give him the crash course which includes telling him 3 times not to get between the handles OR, lock it in reverse. ok he's going going...going up towards the house...gets between the handles...going... going...the right end of the blade hits the edge of the sidewalk, jerks the machine to the left....knocks Jack right on his keyster!!!!...well, it was more like a** over apple cart but who's really keepin track :lol: !!!...and the thing is still going mind you....I really shoulda been right behind him it's physically impossible for me to run that fast in all my winter wear before it goes right thru the picket fence into the backyard....gets to the swingset, the blade starts to ride up the pole.....flips to the left into the slide bending it at a right angle to where it should be before I finally reach it to flip the clutch lever!!!!! I killed the motor, meanwhile, Jack's wife is laughing her buns off, Jack is getting the snow out from between his face and his glasses...I'm trying not to join in the laughter (yet ) till I know he's ok, what a hoot !!!!! He had a bruise from where the handle whacked him he said...DUH !!!!

I sold it when we moved into the city with a posage stamp sized lot. :(

Sure would be nice to have now that I'm back where I belong !!

Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:25 am

Marion, Thanks, what a lovely story, thanks so much for sharing it, a real chuckle muscle excerciser :lol: my sort of laughter