I've decided to move forth with the hydraulic conversion. Something about a full hydraulic system sitting in a box collecting dust was beginning to eat away at me.
To give some brief background on the hydraulic story, I purchased this package before I even got the tractor as the right deal sort of fell in my lap and was something that I was looking to do soon after I got it. The system is off a '76, so one year apart. At the time I purchased the system, I was very up forth with the gentleman in stating that I wanted everything, and that I mean every nut and bolt and hose, to mount the system up. Not that I would be re-using certain things like the hoses but I wanted those parts for reference purposes and something to go off of. In my opinion, purchasing the complete system in this case was more cost effective and simple versus piecing together an entire with parts that have never worked together before and may need modification here and there.
When I received the parts everything seemed to be there, and it pretty much was aside from one thing that I would have caught at the time if I had the eye that I do now. After a second time of spreading the parts out and really inventorying everything as if I was going to mount everything up right then and there, it didn't take long to realize the shorter implement arm was not included. The manual lift arm is much taller than the hydraulic lift arm and would be very inconvenient to use. Compare the shorter hydraulic arm on the machine below to the manual version on mine below.
I did some research and found a few used implement arms but I soon learned these are actually a high wear item on these tractors. The biggest thing is the mounting holes, most were badly warn and opened up quite a bit which would have caused slop in the arm and the fix would be to weld the holes shut and drill new holes. The second thing is that most were bent to some degree as well. I really wasn't looking to get into side project into fixing a worn out part. One of the things that I've learned over the years working on projects like this is that you can quickly get carried away by cutting corners such as throwing on used parts like this which will end leaving you with a bit of a "hodge-podge" in the end. In other words it pays to be picky sometimes. I contacted one of the most helpful folks who has given me a lot of answers along the way, Jerry Frank from powerkingbarn.com, who informed me that he can still get these arms brand new so after learning that it was a no brainer.
After studying some photos of similar machines with the hydraulic setup, I noticed that a lot of them had a foot guard that sits behind the hydraulic cylinder. Yup, gotta have that of course! It mounts on the same mounting points the cylinder does so I decided to find one before I did the installation so that I wouldn't have to take things a part a second time to install one. Jerry said there was ONE of these left brand new from his supplier for nearly the same price as purchasing a used one (apparently these are a fairly desirable part) and like a kid in a candy shop again, had to say yes.
I decided to have all new hoses made up as well. While the cost of this turned out to be more than expected, to me it is security and reliability. One of the key aspects about the revivement of this tractor is to make it reliable and it would drive me nuts if I installed the system and after a few months one of the 30+ year old hoses sprung a leak. Not so mention, a few of the hoses had some bad cracks. The fittings and everything will be new with the hoses. Oddly enough, the shop that I found that specializes in this work is a place that I pass all the time and didn't even know was there and existed before now.
What would it be without at least one of the hoses putting up a good fight? Had to cut the fitting off one with a cutting wheel so I could get my impact to spin it off.
The first and most difficult step to this project was the removal of these roll pins that held the manual implement lever on, it was essential these be removed. Let me just say that they were about as difficult, disgusting and time consuming to remove as they look and I'm not ever dealing with them again. It was the biggest relief when they came out as it literally felt like this project could actually take off and begin. The pins are getting replaced by bolts for ease of removal in the future when a full restoration happens. For sure.
The nice thing about this project is that it is allowing for a few other things to get taken care of and done at the time as well since things will be apart.
You may have remembered me mentioning a small rust area around the parking brake. It's the perfect time to pull the body off while the hoses aren't already wound all the way through it and take it to my body man who my Dad and I have always used for all of our vehicle projects in the past to cut it out and weld in new metal. I am also going to have him straighten a couple of spots on the leading edge around the hood, there are a couple of small creases in it that aren't that noticeable but are to me. Finally, he is also going to fix a couple of dents in the hydraulic tank.
A final degrease of the parts that I couldn't get before!
Degreased and the manual lift setup completely disassembled, now awaiting for the hydraulic parts.
I'll also install the rear LED spotlight that was contributed by Mobile HID from a contest I won, so it will be nice to get all of this stuff taken care of at the same time.
I expect to have the machine back together in about a month to month and half.
The very last thing will be to have the seat recovered but won't be for a few more months I plan to have it recovered in a nice black leather, something that is similar to say comes in say a BMW M5.
Below are a few other small things that I've been up to with it:
Changed the gear oil in the final drives.
This little pump has paid for itself time and time again.
Now that the body is off I'll be able to access the fill and drain plugs of the transmission and will service that as well.
Bought this special driver to remove the six square head plugs. Much easier than rounding them off with a wrench.
Been meaning to install a Battery Tender for the new battery. Got one for my B-Day, love these things.
And a couple of photos of it and I.
Edited by Austen, August 27, 2013 - 09:46 PM.