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Restoring Old Finish To Almost New


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#1 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2013 - 05:10 PM

Today I was in the mood to do some polishing. So I dug out the '73 110 and decide to see what I could do to make it look better. This tractor was bought a few years ago from a fellow co-worker that is also a farmer, and frankly, he doesn't take care of anything. Anyway, the motor had a slight knock to it, so after he found out the price to rebuild the motor, he decided to sell it to me. I knew the transmission was good, so I felt $150.00 would be a good place to set an offer. Needless to say, the offer was accepted and the tractor is now mine. The so called knock in the motor, turned out to be a connecting rod bolt backing out. Easy fix! Anyway, here are pictures of right side of the tractor before I started polishing. As you can see, pretty dull and drab. No shine to the finish what so ever.

 

 

Play Concert and Tractors 042.JPG Play Concert and Tractors 043.JPG Play Concert and Tractors 044.JPG

 

 

Well, after a few hours of applying rubbing compound, polishing compound, and a couple coats of wax, this is how the tractor finish is turning out. Due to shadows in the garage, it was hard to get pictures of the shine and reflections, but I think you can see it turned out pretty nice for a dull original finish. 

 

 

Play Concert and Tractors 045.JPG Play Concert and Tractors 046.JPG Play Concert and Tractors 047.JPG

 

 

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the fiberglass hood. On the right, unfinished dull finish. On the left, one application of rubbing compound, one application of polishing compound, and three coats of wax.

 

 

Play Concert and Tractors 048.JPG

 

 

So, after the 110 was done, I still didn't feel content, so I looked around to see what else I could experience on, and found the '73 70. Here is a before, side-by-side comparison, and a picture of trying to show you the reflection I got. The big white thing you see in the reflection is my right sneaker.

 

 

Play Concert and Tractors 050.JPG Play Concert and Tractors 052.JPG Play Concert and Tractors 053.JPG

 

 

Still not content, I thought I'd see what I could do on the '54 50 farm tractor before it leaves. Not as good results as the 110 and the 70, but was still able to get some shine out of it. Again, the white thing in the reflection is my right sneaker.

 

 

Play Concert and Tractors 051.JPG Play Concert and Tractors 057.JPG Play Concert and Tractors 056.JPG

 

 

Ok, so why did I post all of this? Bragging rights? No, not at all. It was to prove that you can have good results in restoring the original finish if you're willing to put in a little time and effort. I see so many collectors buy nice original tractors, and then tear them down for restoration just because they think the finish is dull. Don't get me wrong, if you want a collection of all restored tractors, go for it, and please don't think I mean disrespect. But for collectors out there that like to see nice original tractors in their work clothes, and don't have the money for a full blown restoration, then this may be just what you're looking for. The 110 above will be my work tractor, and will most likely never get restored or participate in a tractor show. It wasn't bought for that, and I need to have something to work with. If you take the tractor apart and clean each piece like I did above, just imagine how nice your tractor will look in the end. You can still say that it's original, and you just saved yourself money from buying primer and paint. It's up to you. Either tear down a tractor, and spend lots of money and time doing a complete restoration, or tear down only what needs to be done, and spend just a few hours, or maybe a weekend, polishing the natural beauty of your recent investment.


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#2 Nato77 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2013 - 05:22 PM

Geez now all the rust spots show :D   A little elbow goes a long way.

 

I tried doing that on a few different things, but always seem to go through the paint down to the primer.

 

Looks great :thumbs:


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#3 Arti ONLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2013 - 05:46 PM

The 110 looks 100% better


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#4 IlovemyCub OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2013 - 07:11 PM

It looks great! And I agree, a little effort with compound can make a tractor look great. My dad did this to the John Deere 160 when we bought it, it was all faded and he put some compound on it and it looked new again! Thanks for sharing. Ian.


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#5 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2013 - 07:39 PM

Thanks for posting.  I guess I stopped too soon back when I was trying the same idea.  Patience and the ol' elbow will get it done every time!

 

Ben W.


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#6 larryd OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2013 - 08:20 PM

You are correct . I done that my 314 and it looked amazingly different. and I was satisfied. My son thought otherwisw as you know but cost was free so that was fine

 

larryd


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#7 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted May 20, 2013 - 09:32 AM

Geez now all the rust spots show :D   A little elbow goes a long way.

 

I tried doing that on a few different things, but always seem to go through the paint down to the primer.

 

Looks great :thumbs:

Yeah but even polishing the Rust gives it a nice Classic Patina !   Makes it look like a working tractor and not a trailer queen.


Edited by JD DANNELS, May 20, 2013 - 09:34 AM.

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#8 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted May 20, 2013 - 10:42 PM

Troy, Thank you for posting this. I have been thinking about trying the same thing on a couple I have and don't have the time right now to do a repaint. Results look great !! :thumbs:


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#9 A.C.T. OFFLINE  

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Posted May 21, 2013 - 12:14 AM

imagesCAI48YI9.jpg


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#10 TerryD OFFLINE  

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Posted July 15, 2013 - 09:26 PM

Troy is absolutely right. I'll take a clean well cared for worker over a parade tractor any day, but that's me.

And on that note I've had great luck with Meguiar's #7 Glaze. #7 has oil and cleaners that lift oxidation and feed the paint with oils that bring the color back to the finish. It will remove oxidation and give you a good base to apply wax without wearing down the paint with rubbing compound. I learned this years ago when working with single stage automotive paint on cars from the 60's and 70's. It takes elbow grease to work the glaze into the paint, and when it starts working you will see color coming off on your rag, but that is the oxidation coming out of the paint and it won't remove the good paint underneath the oxidation. Don't apply in the sun and leave on or you will have a hard time getting it off. I often apply in the garage and leave on overnight to soak in. The next morning start rubbing off and you will see the difference.

Almost foolproof.
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#11 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted July 15, 2013 - 09:35 PM

Thanks Terry, I have one to try it on in the next few days.


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#12 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2013 - 04:57 PM

Did you do it by hand or with a Buffer?



#13 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2013 - 05:16 PM

Thanks Troy. I've got to dig out the engine covers for the 317 and see what I can do with them! I think they may be splattered with grey paint like the seat was so it will be a good test! 


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#14 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2013 - 06:48 PM

Great subject to bring up, Troy, Looks like good results!


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#15 TerryD OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2013 - 07:38 PM

Did you do it by hand or with a Buffer?


I've always done it by hand. I think a buffer would require a lot of time spent cleaning the pad and waste product. The key is it keep working it in with a foam pad that will become saturated in time and take it off with an old cotton towel or similar. When you can't work more in then you have plenty on the surface and it will need time to absorb (like a couple hours to overnight). Apply like a heavy coat of wax and work it in really good.

Try a YouTube search, plenty of videos on it there. My avatar pic is of a 1976 JD that I had done followed by a couple coats of wax. When I bought it I don't think the paint had ever seen wax.
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