Last Summer, my son Caleb (jdelfjunior) bought himself a 1971 John Deere 70 lawn tractor on ebay for $100.00. The tractor didn't have a motor, but did come with a mower deck and front blade. When we went to pick up the tractor, I saw right away that the blade wasn't a John Deere blade, and wouldn't work on this tractor without some modification. As I was checking the tractor over, Caleb was telling the seller how excited he was, as this was the first tractor he ever bought, and how much he was looking forward to restoring it and taking it to tractor shows. The seller thought it was great that Caleb was taking such an interest in garden tractors, and turned around and gave Caleb $40.00 back. So Caleb got the tractor for $60.00.
Well, Caleb decided he wanted to restore the tractor, and then changed his mind and said he wanted to keep it original. He went back and forth like this for quite a while, until recently he finally made the decision that he wants to restore it. We searched ebay for a couple of weeks, and attended a couple of tractor shows, hoping to find a 7hp Tecumseh motor for his tractor, but unfortunately, we had no success. However we did come across some NOS decals, such as the grille decal, both hood decals, and one of the frame decals, that he won on ebay, and bought some miscellaneous items like a new muffler, air filter, three piece knob set and seat cushion from Hapco, and a new rubber grip for the deck lift handle. This year for his 13th Birthday, all he asked for was cash, as he wanted to purchase new tires and tubes. So we made contact with a seller on ebay, and Caleb purchased new 20/10.00x8 bar tires and tubes for the rear, and new 13x3.50-6 tri-rib tires and tubes for the front. He had a little money left over, so we headed to the local hardware store, and he purchased four cans of John Deere green paint, two cans of John Deere yellow paint, and two cans of gray automotive primer.
Finally, last Saturday we starting taking the tractor apart. He worked right along side me, and anything that would come apart, came apart. It's all in pieces, and everything is boxed up and ready to go to the local speed shop for acid dipping. I had a little trouble getting the left rear wheel off the axle, but after making a homemade wheel puller, we had it off in no time. The frame and all four rims will go to the sandblaster, hopefully the end of this week, or beginning of next. One of our fellow members Kenny (littledeere) donated a parts tractor to Caleb, so he now has a good, original, 7hp Tecumseh for under the hood. A big THANK YOU to Kenny. You're a lifesaver Kenny! The motor has good compression, but I'll have to work on the starter a little, as it's frozen in the engage position.
Here are pictures of the tractor before disassembly:
Caleb would like to do a detailed post of each step he accomplishes, as he always enjoys reading everyone else's posts, so I told him I'd get him started and help him out as needed. As for restoring the tractor, the only help I will be giving him, will be painting the rims and mounting the tires, as I hate overspray!!!
Everything else will be done by Caleb, as he wants to do this himself. I agreed. I want him to learn what it takes to restore a tractor, and I'm eager to see him learn how to have patience, and to see just how much of a detailed person he really is. This will be a test for me, but I'm willing to put my perfectionism to the side, and just be proud of the results that he accomplishes. I hope you guys enjoy, and will encourage him long the way.
I'll try and post pictures of all of the disassembled parts tomorrow night, so you all can compare the before and after parts later on down the road when he gets the tractor complete.
Edited by johndeereelfman, June 11, 2013 - 09:25 PM.