Gas Engine Magazine

My First Tractor Restoration

By Staff

Route 2, Box 407 Bahama, North Carolina 27503

I am an 18-year-old collector and I would like to tell you about
my first tractor restoration. I looked at different tractors to
restore for over a year. Finally I purchased a Farmall Regular,
serial #QC5665, in April 1988. A 1926 model, it was purchased by
the owner of a large dairy farm near my house in early 1927.

After several years of hard work, it was sold to the family
living across the road from my house. During the time in which they
used it, they replaced the cast iron seat with an upholstered one,
available from I.H. on special order. After WW II they had the
steel wheels cut off and replaced with rubber tires. Finally the
tractor was parked in the woods in 1967. While it sat, it was
passed down through three generations.

When I purchased the tractor, only one tire would hold air. The
brakes had frozen and one front rim was rusted out. The right rear
tire had a four-foot section rotted out of it. Luckily the mag had
been kept covered and the motor was occasionally turned over.

After the tractor was brought home, my father and I put tires on
it and tuned it up. Next we hooked a belt to it and found out that
a couple of valves needed unsticking. After a little carb work the
old girl fired up and ran pretty good. It had its problems though.
The rear end leaked everywhere possible and then some! The radiator
was leaking at about ?-gallon a minute. The next few months were
spent doing general mechanic and restoration work.

Next it was time to clean her up. After much scraping, two
gallons of cleaning fluid, and eight cans of oven cleaner, most of
the grease was off. The next month was spent cleaning the rust off,
using ten different power tools and a lot of elbow grease.

The night before it was painted, my father and I worked until
quarter-to-two to finish priming it. Six hours later we sat down to
breakfast. We worked all of the next day and until 9:30 that night.
Over the next two weeks we made the seat, reassembled the tractor,
and applied the decals. On Thanksgiving morning, we fired her up
for the first time after painting it. Dad and I were undoubtedly
the two happiest people on earth as I drove it out of the shop.

Two days later, on Saturday, the old girl made her big debut at
a private antique showing for a few invited guests. For a few hours
that day the Hall farm stepped back in time 60 years with my
family’s antique equipment doing its job once again as it had
done for my grandparents in years past.

  • Published on Oct 1, 1989
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