Restoration - Page 4
This is the point where your exhausted, and interested in getting it
DONE ! But, rushing it will only bring future problems. You
really need to take it a step at a time, making sure that you complete
each area. Everything needs to be tightened to specifications so things
are not falling off the tractor for the next six months.
If your doing a similar project, I sure hope you remembered to order
your new dash decal and control handle bushings a month earlier because
its one of the first things you are going to need ! If your not a Case
garden tractor expert yet, I also hope you have some notes as to what
order things came apart so you have some guide to go by. For those of
us who have had many of these apart, we find that these tractors are
some of the easiest to work
on ever made.
My first goal is to get the tractor basics done... Front and Rear axles
in place and secure. I already had the rear axle in place, so the
temporary front axle comes out and the one with the new bushings gets
installed (this photo was taken later as you can see the oil cooler).
Note that my main pin is now held in place by the setscrews in the
shaft collars. Small dimples have been drilled into the main pin for
added assurance. If your taking a tractor apart, use caution when
grinding the paint off just to the upper right of the main pin. Many
tractors have the actual build dates stamped into the steel in this
area. If you find it, you can write it down.
Next up is the spindle installation, followed up with tie rods. Don't
forget the needle thrust bearings between the axle and the spindle
kingpin ! This tractor had these tie rod ends on it when I got it.
While they do not look stock, they were still like new so I decided to
use them. As you can see, I still have the wheels to paint.
May as well get the fuel tank installed and the rear fenders on.....
Don't forget to install new fuel line !
I decided to use a clear tank from a newer model. When your
fueling, you can see the fuel nearing the top BEFORE it runs all over !
Once the tractor can be rolled around, I move to the travel valve,
hydraulic motor lines and brake parts.
May as well get the shift lever in place......
Somewhere along here you need to replace the dash decal, then the
control handle bushings can go in. I will advise you to PURCHASE the
installation tool for them. I made something I thought would work, but
I wrestled with it.... Also, buy a few EXTRA ones... these really are a
challenge to get right. While your here, you can also work on
reinstalling the neutral safety switch and choke/throttle controls.
Here I have slid the control handles in place to get the feel of how
its going to look.
Sadly, I couldn't find someone near me who would anodize my control
handles, so, I had to resort to using silver wheel paint, then a think
layer of clear urethane over the top. All in all, they look pretty
good. I hope they hold up. The above photo also shows the angled recess
area necessary for the steering reduction. You can see it in the bottom
edge of the photo... the two larger bolts in the inspection cover. Note
too, the use of stainless hardware rather than painting a zillion bolts
and scratching them up anyway, a voltmeter rather than an ammeter (darn
ammeters are near useless when you want to know how long you have left
to run in a no charging situation), and also you can see that I do NOT
use those small carriage bolts for the neutral switch, nor the throttle
and choke handles. Why would I want to wrestle nuts off of carriage
bolts when I could access it from the top to start with ?
Next up, you have to get the steering
gear mounted back into the frame, the steering reduction system in
place, all the lower control handle mountings, the PTO handle.
Eventually you get the rockshaft installed with brake pedal, the lift
cylinder and hydraulic lines, the main hydraulic return line and before
things are really starting to shape up ! note that when you get
this far, its time to install a wiring harness. I have never once seen
an original harness worth reusing, so i just make my own from scratch.
There's little to them, and making your own also lets you parallel in
some of the new feeds you desire. In my case, I have learned not to
overdo it. I run one spare to the front, One to the rear for a work
light, and a heavy single fused lead ends up under the seat for a Cab
feed. From that single plug, additional wiring happens in the cab
rather than have numerous wires between the cab and tractor.
I put some assembly tape on the top of the frame rails in preparation
for setting the engine in the frame, but, I have to get the engine
ready first. In this case, that was not exactly an easy task. The
original engine was pretty weak and rattled bad. It was either rebuild
the one I had or buy a used one that hopefully ran good. After asking
around in some of the forums, I was lucky to find a brand new left over
B48G. This was a 19.9hp rated engine often used on the John Deere
garden tractors. A "48G" is essentially the same exact configuration
size of the 48M, other than it uses a different oil pan so the starter
on the opposite side, and it has a Nikki carburetor and square shaped
The oil pan that is going to be used in any restoration must be
examined. Remember that an old pan has been rubbing on the frame rails
for years, and it like the frame is going to be worn, some too worn for
reuse. I flipped the oil pan I was going to use upside down, clamped it
to the table on a CNC machine, then used an end mill to fly the
mounting points off such that they were once again parallel with the
good side of the pan. As I recall, I had to remove .060" to clean
things up. At the time of this writing, I was not able to locate my
photos of the work I did to the oil pan, nor the photos of the sheet
metal work necessary regarding air cleaner/exhaust clearance. After
reviewing both the stock round air cleaner and the new square one, the
better results would arrive from modifying the square one to work. It
turns out that this took a fair amount of time, and if I dig up those
photos, I will get them displayed here. Note that you essentially have
to use ALL the B48M tin on this "G" series, so there is quite a bit of
modification and adjustment if you want it all to look rather stock.
Here you can see the engine painted satin black with the pump bracket
and pump. The round ring flange welded to the front shroud is necessary
to keep the air intake hose from drifting too close to the exhaust pipe
on that side.
With the engine ready for re installation, it can be moved into place.
Below I have already located the engine to the frame. Note that to make
up for the .060" I removed from the bottom of the pan to true it up, I
put 4 large diameter, .060" PTFE washers between the pan and the
engine. I think that this will eliminate much of the wear between the
frame and the pan in the years to come. PTFE is somewhat slippery, and
these engines will always move around some on the frame. I guess I will
know in 30 years if it helped or not...... if I live that long to
rebuild it again !
This is also the time to fit new throttle and choke cables. Take the
time to find new ones that are the same quality of the originals. Some
of the new stuff you buy today is too thin for this application and
will give you grief down the road.
Moving right along, all the next items seem to fall into place. The
exhaust, the exhaust shields, the air cleaner, the oil cooler mount and
cooler, new hydraulic oil return hose. By now too, all the handling
marks and dust start showing up.
Once you button up those last few wires and mount a seat, you finally
are to the point where you have a complete,
runnable rolling chassis, ready for fresh oil, fuel and a test run !
And finally, you install new decals to the hood (I used 3M reflective
for the white on this one because I do a lot of night time snow
removal), paint the rims and install new tires and put it outside for
its first finished photo !!! This is the point in time where you
finally realize that it was WORTH the effort !
Here it is in turf tires....
I was able to finish this just prior to the fall tractor shows I like
to attend. So, I was able to show it off before it received any routine
battle wounds. This is a working tractor for me, so I assure you, there
will be some. Its unavoidable !
Here the tractor is displayed at the Luxemburg, Wisconsin show
September 2010. I was able to get the 3 point hitch painted and hung on
And I spent a day at the Vintage Garden Tractors of America's 2010
regional meet just south of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Here it is with its new winter snow shoes, ready for a blizzard.
Next up ? Winter Preparations. I
mechanically went thru my blower a few years back, but it looks awful
and really can not be allowed to bolt up to this tractor looking the
way it does. Also, and with some regret, this old man has come to
appreciate a WINTER CAB. So, it is somewhat unfortunate that I will be
covering up the beautiful lines of the most attractive looking garden
tractor ever designed with a Cab. Oh well......
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