22573 Old 44 Drive, Palo Cedro, California 96073-8719
I acquired my tractor in July 1999 and started removing things: sheet metal, gas tank, carburetor, starter, radiator and on and on. Then came the BIG question. What to do now? I am not a mechanic, never tore an engine down, in fact never even worked on an engine. I walked away for a few weeks, then went back to the shed, looked at the disarray, and thought, 'I can't do this too much work and I don't know what I'm doing anyhow.'
Winter came and it was too cold to work on an old tractor, so it sat for a few more weeks. Finally I thought, 'The stupid thing doesn't run anyway, it is just junk like it is, what can I hurt?' Soooo, with the help of all the letters I received from tractor nuts all over the country, I started.
Off with the head, down with the pan, pound stuck pistons out, won't move, pound harder .... Hey, what fell out on the floor? (A rusted old piston.) Was I elated! All four pistons are out in one piece. Wow! Now I am a mechanic.
Next job, three stuck valves with broken-off heads. Tried to crank up and down with cam lobes. Uh-oh, broke two lifters, smashed one in little pieces. (Keep trying Bill, you're a mechanic now) pound here and smash there. Finally I got a little smart, cut the bottom of the valve shaft off with a grinder, pound them down with a punch, cut off another inch and voila! Pounded right out all three. Only broke two lifters and ruined three valve guides, but I'm getting there.
Things went better after that. I sent the block to an auto engine store and they boiled the block, put in new guides and new valve seats. I bought new rings. Pistons cleaned up pretty good. Now what? I had a hard enough time taking it apart, how in the world was I going to get it back together? I called a local guy who works on field tractors to help me (very reasonable). It was downhill from there on, after much scraping, sanding, and sand blasting, it was time to paint.
I had never painted with a spray gun. I checked into having it done expensive. After two months of trying to decide what to do, I went down and bought a $ 19.95 spray gun, practiced on the undercoating, and then proceeded to paint the frame first, then the wheels, then the sheet metal.
After 15 months I am a mechanic, and a painter. What a great feeling to drive my tractor around after all the ups and downs. If anyone out there is thinking about restoring old equipment, tractors etc., you will never be sorry. It costs plenty of $$$$$$$$$, but it is your baby and worth it.
Thanks to all the guys in tractor-land that wrote me; the encouragement kept me going. My next project (I started in September) is a Case 'RC' 1937. I love it already! Anyone wanting to talk about a Case RC, drop me a line or give me a call, I am waiting.(530) 547-5614.