Restoring antique tractor

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by dragunovsks, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    The other day I was helping my fil cut up and load some firewood for the winter and he mentioned that he wanted me and my wife to have this old tractor he has. It was bought new by my wifes grandfather who has been dead since she was 7 and it holds a lot of sentamental value to the family. My wife and I are thinking of restoring it to new condition and I have no idea how difficult the project will be or even how to begin. It's a 1947 Farmall Super H with tricycle front end. It does currently run though its been a couple years since its been used.

    Any suggestions, resources, guides?
     

  2. rifleman1

    rifleman1 New Member

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    we restored a 1952 ford 8n about 7 years ago we have long since sold it but it was alot of fun.
    i wish i had suggestions for you but i have a friend that owns and runs an automotive store and he does all my ordering of parts and paints all i can say is have fun,and post pics if you can.
     
  3. orangello

    orangello New Member

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  4. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    Those are nice tractors, my fil also has a 51 Ferguson 30 horse I think. I've been told they are almost identical to the 8n's. We were actually using the Ferguson to pull a little 4x6 trailer we loaded with wood.

    I went to high school with a guy that has restored a few old tractors but I haven't been able to get hold of him.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  5. Davyboy

    Davyboy New Member

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    Have restored several classic vehicles. Be advised every one is a money pit. Do not take it on unless you have sufficient funds to complete.
     
  6. ellis36

    ellis36 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How difficult (and expensive) depends on the condition. If it's in good mechanical condition and doesn't need internal engine and transmission work but just looks bad, it can be enjoyable if you like that kind of stuff. Pressure washing, painting, maybe replacing leaky gaskets, changing the filters, wiring…all that stuff is relatively cheap. Decals are usually after-market but available.
    Tires are expensive. First thing is to find a copy of the parts manual. I got mine at Jensales, Inc…... e-mail
    jensales@jensales.com Phone 507-826-3666 for info. Good luck on the project!
     
  7. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    He says it needs a water pump but will run long enough to drive short distances or load on a trailer. It looks rough as it is rusty but its in good mechanical shape, he said it also needs a coil and could use a set of plugs and wires.

    Ive heard tractor tires are very expensive but the tires are decent as well.
     
  8. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    Tires are expensive but last a long time if the tractor is cared for properly and not run miles down the blacktop, and if the tires are loaded with that old chloride crap you probably need rims soon, I just went through that with mine. As mentioned earlier this kind of thing is costly and no matter how much you put in the tractor you still have an old tractor, not really much value even with all the fix ups, I don't know what it looks like but if it were me I would just make sure it has decent rubber and rims and runs good and use it, unless you are the type that enjoys doing body work and tinkering. I have an old Allis Chalmers C, it isn't the best looking tractor but it runs and does what I want, thats good enough for me for now, maybe some day when I have time I will do a little more fixing but I won't put in the money to fully restore. There's a lot of places to find parts, I have used Steiner and All States Ag Parts. Online forums such as Tractorbynet are also helpful.
     
  9. ellis36

    ellis36 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    These old tractors are fairly simple to work on. I cleaned up an International 856 diesel a few years ago. Still use it.
    Water pump shouldn't be complicated…coil, plugs and wires easy. Everything hangs out in the open pretty much. International still has a surprising number of parts for these tractors. My dealer ordered anything I wanted. Very few parts weren't available..they usually arrived in four days or so. Strip off the sheet metal so you can clean it up and paint it. Pressure wash or steam clean the main ***'y. If you can run a spray gun, the 'official' paint is available at the dealer. They also have aerosol cans. Replace the hoses and external oil lines, battery cables. Fix any leaks. Replace worn parts where possible. Re-pack the front wheel bearings. Electrical was the only problem. I never found any data on the electrical system on mine. I ended up making my own wiring harnesses. These old tractors will run another 60 years! :) Tractor Supply usually has some books on restoring tractors with listings of after-market suppliers, etc.
     
  10. Coyotenator

    Coyotenator New Member

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    These kinds of projects do end up expensive in time and money, but there will be the satisfaction of putting a piece of family history back into shape as well.

    If your tractor needs any major mechanical work that you aren't comfortable doing for yourself, you might ask at the local Community College.I know several people that had old tractors ,who took them to the Prof. training the kids taking mechanics classes, and they did the work at the College shop for the cost of the parts.It took all year sometimes but the price is right.
     
  11. levelcross

    levelcross New Member

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    Check it out and see what it needs. Figure out what you want it to be like when you are finished. It can be a money pit if you let it, or a good time with the family if you keep it simple and stick to your plan.

    I have done a lot of custom mods to cars and trucks, the biggest money waster is changing their minds half way thru the project or after you have finished it. Water pumps and a tune up is just maintenance so if you can do it, it is cheap, drain the gas tank and run something like sea-foam mixed with gas thru it to clean out the moisture and crud. Good luck.
     
  12. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    You may be surprised at what you can find locally... I think Case is the current owner of International Harvester/Farmall, your local Case tractor supply may have/order many of the parts you need..
    I can usually get whatever I need for my 9N from the New Holland dealer (I guess they have the rights for the Ford tractors)

    If not this place has everything!!! http://www.steinertractor.com/
     
  13. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    I'd really like to restore it to new condition but I fear it is a money pit and/or more work than I can under take. I mean I'm somewhat mechanically inclined, meaning I can normally get myself going again if I breakdown, I can change plugs, wires, water pump but I don't want to bite off more than I can chew so to speak. I may just change what's broken and wore out and tune it up and use it like it is.

    I do know that about 3 years ago the rear rims rusted out due to that stabilizing fluid being in them. He had a friend down the road patch them but didn't put the fluid back in.

    Next time I'm over there ill take a couple pics as it currently sits.
     
  14. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    new rims can be gotten fairly cheap I have replaced all 4 of mine, if you do use the tractor pulling stuff around you may find that fluid in the tires useful, it really helps my Allis, nowadays they have different fluids than the old chloride which aren't corrosive, beet juice is supposedly the best now. I just picked up a new Kioti 4x4 50 HP this year and want to get that loaded but those tires are larger than your Farmall, it won't be cheap.
     
  15. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    I requested a print catalog from stieners so I can look up and order parts, anyone know if there are any repair manuals available like the Hanes manuals for cars and trucks?
     
  16. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    I&T makes them... You should be able to find them about anywhere that has tractor stuff... :)
     
  17. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    before ordering anything you may want to search around, I found All States Ag Parts cheaper than Steiner on the stuff I was looking into, also there's other online sources. Steiner did have a couple things that I didn't find easily on other sites.
     
  18. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    check out Ebay also. i bought a lot of parts for tractors off Ebay. Stieners has a good selection of parts and their customer service was top notch.
     
  19. ellis36

    ellis36 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have an International 856 with the big tires and find that fluid in the tires to be almost essential for any real traction. I have the fluid in the right tire up to the level of the top of the rim. The fluid in the left tire is to the bottom of the rim. Doing it this way off-sets the tendency of the right tire to spin first. On level ground, under load, the slippage of both tires is pretty much the same.