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Refurbishing Of The Ford 120


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#1 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2014 - 07:18 PM

So, I started on yet another project...but this one isn't entirely my fault, I swear!  :D

 

After some pretty hefty expenditures came out of the woodwork, including over $1,100 in parts for my trailer thanks to the guy I loaned it to a while back (can you tell I'm still salty over how he returned it to me?) all of my bigger projects have been put on hold waiting on more $$$.  Having to shelf the 145 project for now as well as a few other things I had going was a little frustrating so I started poking around looking for something cheap to work on.

 

Enter the Ford 120...

 

This is the tractor I bought at auction last spring and used all summer, she mowed faithfully every time I turned the key and has become one of my favorites by far.  I'm not going to restore it as I'm happy with how she looks in her work clothes but there are a few things that needed to be gone through.

 

I started with the mowing deck as I knew the lift mechanism and belt tension mechanism had some pretty serious wear and although it worked ok it liked to bind up when trying to lift or lower and was sitting too low in front.

 

(I should mention I have a spare deck that's in really good shape, doesn't look like it's been used much.  It's missing a couple of small parts but I could've robbed enough off of it to repair the deck I'm using... Where's the fun in that?  :D  )

 

The mechanism they designed to slide back and forth as the deck was raised and lowered to keep tension on the belt I think is pretty neat:

IMAG0158.jpg

IMAG0160.jpg

 

The center pivot pin in the scissor on the lift was seized in place and seized hard. I tried pressing it out, no go.  Then I tried heat and pressure, I had it glowing red and about 8 tons of pressure on it, no go.  As I heated more and more it actually started ballooning the center section meaning it was airtight and inflating so I gave up before it popped...

IMAG0163.jpg

 

Cut that whole pin out, fitted a new one in place.  This time I went a little bigger and added a grease fitting to it.

IMAG0171.jpg

 

While I was at it I cut out and replaced the front pin that the latch on the tractor catches

IMAG0172.jpg

 

Here's the well worn remains of the old pin (surprisingly the latch mechanism on the tractor shows very little wear, I'm starting to wonder if this deck came off of a different machine?)

IMAG0173.jpg

 

Next I turned my attention to the slots where the bolts in the bellcrank ride, as you can see they have some, ummm, wear...

IMAG0164.jpg

IMAG0166.jpg

 

I made a reinforcement plate to add in behind the original plate

IMAG0165.jpg

 

Here it is welded up and cleaned up

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Had to do the same with the other side of the slide mechanism...

IMAG0178.jpg

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BTW, where the slots don't quite look straight or even that's really just a camera trick, they're not like that in person...

 

Oh yeah, one more little goody, a bearing that will run inside those slotted areas.  Instead of just steel on steel that should reduce a lot of wear and friction...

IMAG0182.jpg

 

 

Also decided to replace the worn pin that the bellcrank rides on and add a bushing I can replace in the future

IMAG0174.jpg

IMAG0175.jpg

 

That's about all the progress for now, found out I need a few more odds and ends before it can go back together.  Maybe I'll run out tomorrow and grab 'em, then again I may not as they're calling for snow and that means I get seat time on the Sears :D


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#2 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2014 - 07:30 PM

I don't know much about Fords but I think when your done this one it's going to be better than new. Good Stuff :thumbs:


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#3 sacsr OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2014 - 07:36 PM

Agree with Doug, looks like your improvements will last a long time, much better than the original set up. Nice job!


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#4 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2014 - 07:55 AM

Thanks guys, this is just something to keep me occupied out in the shop until I can get back to my bigger projects. If I have nothing to work on I go stir crazy in a BIG hurry...plus if I can save this one then it leaves one more original still in play, a.k.a. my spare one :D
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#5 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2014 - 08:15 AM

That looks like it should last a couple more seasons! LOL Great job on the repairs!


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#6 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2014 - 08:17 AM

Thanks Kenny! If it lasted 45 years as it was it'll probably outlast me now lol... I guess if it's worth doing it's worth over-doing :D
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#7 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2014 - 08:27 AM

Nice work. I also like your last comment. It is worth overdoing. Now you will never have this problem with this deck again. The other lesson is don't loan trailers. It has your plate on it and you are responsible for it. Obviously the borrower was not a friend. I do not loan tools because the person either broke theirs or don't know how to use the tool or both. Good Luck, Rick


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#8 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2014 - 09:04 AM

Rick,

The trailer thing was a hard learned (but well learned) lesson as it's ended up costing me thousands of dollars in repairs and probably over two weeks of downtime.  Not a cheap lesson when it's the equipment you make your living with.

 

The guy I loaned it to I had thought was a friend.  He's the guy I actually purchased the trailer from and I also get most of my outbound loads through his connections.  When my truck went down with head gasket issues last spring he asked if he could use the trailer to finish out the loads he already had booked for me and although I wasn't crazy about the idea I figured it would be ok.  Well, I was wrong.  He "fixed" the trailer for me (without bothering to tell me beforehand) by replacing all of the brakes with cheap imported stuff, throwing away the OEM parts that I had installed just a couple of months before claiming the brakes "didn't work".  Well, they worked when his guy picked it up from me and they generally don't just magically quit in 24 hours...  I bit my tongue on that one not realizing how many more things he had managed to screw up.

 

He's owned a transport company and worked on his own equipment for years so I thought he must have some idea what he was doing...nope.  When I finally got my trailer back I had to re-wire the brake system as he had screwed it up beyond all belief.  Went to grab my first load and realized that he had destroyed the brand new winch cable I had installed a week before he took the trailer and also broke the battery box on the trailer.  Fixed all of that (the battery box is the only thing he reimbursed me for btw) and headed out on my first run, within 50 miles all 8 studs on the left front hub sheared off, sending the wheel and tire into oncoming traffic.  Thankfully it was 3 am with almost no one on the road but it still narrowly missed a truck heading the other way.  After investigating it turned out NONE of the lugnuts had been torqued properly.  Limped it back home, replaced all of the hubs as I was worried the other ones were fatigued as well and may fail (never did find the wheel and tire) so that was about $1,500 there.  Needless to say I was already angry as I had nearly killed someone but he argued that it was my fault as I should've checked the lug nuts and perhaps he has a point but they were never tightened properly to begin with, I found out he installed them using a cordless, electric impact and that was it!  Having worked with heavy duty, 8 lug stuff all of my life that was enough to infuriate me as there is NO WAY that was adequate!!

 

I thought that was finally the end of it but once again, I was wrong.  Fast forward to now:  I've spent the last couple of weeks trying to find a "ghost short" in the trailer brakes that only showed up when it felt like it.  Pulled the entire wiring harness out of it (quite a chore on a 53 foot trailer) and went through every inch of it, found a few small things but nothing that solved the problem so I pulled the brakes themselves apart.  Those wonderful, cheap, imported brakes had fallen apart completely and one of the magnets was shorting out on the drum.  Problem solved except for the minor detail that the brakes failing had taken the new drums out as well :wallbanging:   So, $1,100 and days worth of work later hopefully it's done for good now.  And yes, I realize that I could've avoided this problem by replacing the brakes when I did the drums previously but money was extremely tight after the truck repairs and downtime, plus although they were cheap they were brand new; I figured they might wear out sooner than the better quality ones but I never expected total destruction like this.  

 

Very, very frustrating and hard lesson to learn but it will not be forgotten anytime soon.  Just wait 'til he asks to borrow it again! LOL!

 

Excuse the rant but I needed to get that off my chest...

 

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming :D


Edited by Walkinman1, January 26, 2014 - 09:05 AM.

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#9 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2014 - 10:02 AM

It is better to blow it off here, instead of giving the a**hole the beating he deserves. He was right that it was your fault (for trusting him). Lesson learned. To be optomistic, this lesson learned now, may save you alot more in the future. He is a hack (an most out there are). Don't trust any of his work or word. He will get someone killed someday. Don't let it be you.

 

You like many of the people here, seem to have a better grasp of reality. Most people dont seem to understand that there are consequences for everything. The mower deck improvements show that you look decades ahead. I do too. I used to build bridges. I overbuilt by 25% which only cost 5% extra at the time. When I used steel, I only used steel that was made in America because the foreign stuff is very inconsistant. I was criticized for being too carefull. My bridges are still doing fine at over 20 years old now.

 

The new bridge that replaced the one in SF, CA that collapsed in the World Series Earthquake, reopened last spring. They are already finding big problems with fasteners breaking. They came from China. Big surprise. On an 11+ billion dollar project someone cut corners on the bolts, now everthing is compromised.

 

I hope you recover soon from the financial setback. Good Luck, Rick


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#10 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 26, 2014 - 06:22 PM

Thanks for all the kind words Rick, it means a lot!
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#11 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 27, 2014 - 06:48 PM

Made a little more progress on the deck today; the warmest it's gotten today was -5 F so after a little bit of cleanup this morning from last night's windstorm drifting snow all over the place (and frozen solid feet even in the cab of the Sears) I decided it was a great day to spend some time in the shop.

 

Here's the slider mechanism where it attaches to the deck, as you can see from the straightedge I put underneath it has some pretty odd wear on the one side.  Overall not as bad as the other slots I repaired but still could use from fixing...

IMAG0183.jpg

 

Here's after I welded it up and cleaned it up...

IMAG0184.jpg

 

Here's the bolts that hold the slider to the deck, they had some pretty severe wear as well...

IMAG0186.jpg

 

I couldn't find any bolts that matched the originals but since I've modified this so much by now I don't think it matters too much anymore :D  So here's the new shoulder bolts along with the bushings to go in, they're graphite impregnated (the same as the one for the bellcrank) so they shouldn't need much lubrication.  I'm hoping that'll help prevent too much dust and dirt buildup gumming up the works...

IMAG0185.jpg

 

I went ahead and polished all of the sliding surfaces while I was at it, I've also got some good graphite dry lube that I'll use on everything when I assemble it.

 

 

I took a quick video when I mocked it up to see how it all fit before I start painting.  If I've confused you with the pictures I've been posting this should clear that up.  Overall I think it came out pretty well.

 

 

Edit:  Can anyone tell me how to rotate the photos in the post?  I took them all with the phone oriented the same way and they all show up correctly on my computer yet when I upload them it decides for itself which way to orient them...it's confusing my little brain...


Edited by Walkinman1, January 27, 2014 - 06:50 PM.

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#12 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 01, 2014 - 09:22 AM

Sorry I haven't been on the forum much lately guys, to say things have been hectic would be an understatement.  It's either feast or famine in my business and right now is feasting time; plus with all of the forced downtime I've had lately it was time to make up some ground.

 

On a side note, just a friendly reminder to wear safety glasses!  Thanks to a tiny speck of metal so small it was nearly invisible when laid on a tissue I was more or less incapacitated for a couple of days.  It somehow made it's way into my eye on Tuesday but didn't start bothering me until Tuesday night; Wednesday it felt much better so I thought it would be ok but Thursday it turned into hell.  So, $300 and a trip to the eye Dr. later it was removed and I'm on eyedrop antibiotics for 9 days.  Another financial setback I didn't need but oh well, at least there was no real damage done.

 

In spite of all that I made a tiny bit more progress while I was on the hunt for paint that matched well enough to touch up the mower deck parts.  

 

The side panels were next on my list for attention.

 

As you can see the right one was quite cracked around the weld-nut that the seat pan bolts to:

IMAG0187.jpg

IMAG0188.jpg

 

After removing the damaged area:

IMAG0189.jpg

 

The patch panels:

IMAG0190.jpg

 

The underside panel fitted:

IMAG0191.jpg

 

The top patch fitted in place:  (as you can see I rounded the inside of the corner whereas the factory method was a square cut, I'm hoping that will reduce the stress and prevent future cracking)

IMAG0192.jpg

 

All welded up and ground smooth:

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The backside isn't so pretty but no one will ever see that... A little more sanding, weld on another nut, some primer and paint should make it good as new.


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#13 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted February 01, 2014 - 10:28 AM

Glad you are on the mend!

Nice repair on that panel!


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#14 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 01, 2014 - 10:45 AM

Thanks Kenny, the other side is a little worse off so this was good practice lol

#15 MH81 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 01, 2014 - 03:24 PM

Glad no permanent damage done, good reminder on the eyewear.

Nice repair, I want to get a spot welder for stuff like that, but the holes worked great.




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