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Different Colors/shades Of David Bradley Suburban Tractors


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#1 oldmanmopar OFFLINE  

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Posted May 05, 2014 - 08:37 AM

Hi my name is Steve. I am restoring two 59 suburban tractors. I purchace five so I would have all the parts I need.

  I first noticed not all were the same shade of gold. The 59 electric start was more of a copper color. the two 59 pull starts were a dark gold and the two others were a light gold. There were three different colors under the gold paint. The 59 electric start was red to begin with. The 59 pull starts were dark green a. I also had a frame that was light green.

 

    Were these the colors they were suppose to come to market with before they decide to paint them all gold for the anniversary?

 

 I never read or heard  this difference talk about before

 

 Here are some pics I snapped in the shop. Just something interesting I discovered maybe others would know something about. It would definitely be the cause of the the different gold shades I have seen in old sears pictures.

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#2 TimW OFFLINE  

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Posted May 05, 2014 - 11:16 AM

I have several also, my 59 is kinda dark gold, and green shows up under the gold when I cleaned it.  I also have a light blue "Special", a 62 I think.  My square hood 63 is a whole different shade of dark blue.  Also, I sure  would have interest in a hood and grill, or other parts if you ever want to part with some extras.

 

Tim



#3 Lauber1 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 05, 2014 - 06:39 PM

what are the serial numbers of your 5 tractors?



#4 oldmanmopar OFFLINE  

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Posted May 21, 2014 - 02:16 AM

Here are some pics I am restoring two and they should be done for June. Only 4 of them have tags. I took them apart and every part is being glass beaded to pick the best parts for The tractors I am doing. I took all the diffs apart also to pick the nicest axles. I polished them in the lathe.  I am picking out all the nicest original bolts also. I also included two pics of my GT/18 before and after.

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#5 oldmanmopar OFFLINE  

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Posted May 28, 2014 - 11:27 AM

what are the serial numbers of your 5 tractors?

917.606 02  1697

917.606 01  5308

917.606 01  6039

917.606 13  8363

 

 I only have 4 numbers the one tractor was missing the tag. I also have two others that were in parts only.


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#6 oldmanmopar OFFLINE  

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Posted May 28, 2014 - 11:35 AM

so far this is the 1959 pull start. The best parts are going on the oldest electric start 1959

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#7 Lauber1 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 28, 2014 - 10:20 PM

917.606 02  1697

917.606 01  5308

917.606 01  6039

917.606 13  8363

 

 I only have 4 numbers the one tractor was missing the tag. I also have two others that were in parts only.

1697 is a pretty low number, most of them are 2000 and up, before this I hadn't seen any numbers in the 6000's either. There was a theory made up several yrs ago by a bunch of Db collectors as to how many tractors were built the first yr. We based it on the number of days the plant was working, the serial numbers we were finding and some info found in the plant newsletters. We had guessed that there would have only been around 6 to 7 thousand made of the 601 and 602. No real way to figure out many were recoil and how many were electric start.


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#8 Lauber1 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 28, 2014 - 10:21 PM

so far this is the 1959 pull start. The best parts are going on the oldest electric start 1959

so what paint are you going with for the gold parts?



#9 oldmanmopar OFFLINE  

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Posted May 29, 2014 - 04:59 AM

The gold was matched to the paint found under the vin plate which had never seen the sun or elements. It is also the same as the gold found over the red base coat which was under the green base coat on the two earlier numbered 59's.  I took pics of the parts while they were being bead blasted so this could be seen. Two of them were painted red then gold. They were then painted green and gold again. The oldest 91760602 was painted red then gold only. The gold paint had more of a copper tint on the older tractor. I believe it was because it was over the red.

 

 I liked the shade of the early tractor so I matched that color. There was not enough area to get a color match. So how I did it was.  I bought several different rattle cans of gold paint and sprayed test panels to hold next to places where the paint was still vibrant.  

 

After I found the correct tone that matched the best I sprayed a test panel and had the paint color matched to that gold that I liked and seamed to look close.  I did this at my friends paint shop and mixed a gallon. 

 

  I did over kill on the amount I mixed but I like the color and decided to go with it on both tractors. The rattle can that was the closest was "VHT gold Flake" over green self etching primer.some of the small parts are rattle canned .  All parts have a light coat of cheap clear . The  tractors will be clear coated with euro clear as they are completed. 

 

 I know they will be extra glossy but they are mine and that is what I want and what I am doing. All the decals are made even the warning and instruction decals. 

 

  The bolts on the oldest tractor all had TR embossed on them and were not zinc coated.  I am reusing them on the tractor I am keeping and they will be cleared after final assembly.

 

 The blue paint you see on the wheels is not correct none of the blue parts were painted yet. I will do them all at once when the decks are being restored.

 

 

 I will make a resto thread when they are done. It is taking longer then I thought due to other projects . I wanted them done for Jacktown show in June but my sons race tractor needs to get done for a race on June 14th. It will be cutting it close. The Little " Falls" is on the back burner and the fire is out for now


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#10 Lauber1 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 29, 2014 - 05:08 PM

Once upon a time, there were still men alive that woked at the DB factory in Bradley, who came to the TOTFS show in Kankakee. Over the yrs we got to know them well and asked about certain things like paint and other assorted details. One of the dumb things we didn't do was record the stories they talked about. There used to be some recordings made of the chainsaw guys and some with the walk-behind engineers,.  They told us of the paint.........that some things got dipped by mistake and other things like the riders were sprayed, which was new to them at the time. The final gold color to the riders paint was the result of spraying a gold over the top of a green primer, and the light would hit the paint, go down into the primer and be reflected back out. It was kind of a translucent thing. Blue parts were dipped and the gold ones were sprayed. At the time the paint used contained lead, which cant really be repo'd with modern paint. This is the best I can explain how they told me it worked, and I wished now I had paid more attention at the time, since these men have all passed on.

 

Your paint looks really nice and I don't see any problem with the gold. Also, as you stated, "its your tractor" and I would fully agree that  you make it any color you want it to be , or paint it at any level of paint shine that works for you. There is no way to restore something to original, as once that paint is gone, anything that happens afterwards is just a reproduction. I'm thinking on doing one in the walk-behind colors some time.  I've already done one in blue and gray, but then again I didn't set out to make it appear factory, when I made the high clearance model out of it.

 

 

618hc1.jpg


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#11 oldmanmopar OFFLINE  

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Posted May 29, 2014 - 07:51 PM

 I like what you did to your 600. I would like to find a blue round hood 600 to restore one day. I got my hands full with the collection I gathered and have to redo now. But I am always looking. I picked up a 68 SS12 Six Speed I am looking at a Hydro for its match. I have a patio 140 and a green one to match. I just like putting them back to how I remember them as a kid.

 

My uncle got a new one every two years.My dad wasn't as wealthy so I had to use a reel type two stroke push mower and that was an upgrade from one with no motor at all. I envied my cousins. But now I own what they wished they would have kept.. Things didn't come easy for me. If I wanted something I had to build it or work for it.

 

I am a drag racer from the good old days. My passion for old things that have engines lives on. I still have my Dusters and Demon. Every once in awhile I get one out and shake the neighborhood.  But Nitro  will always be in my blood. 

 

 One of my Dusters and some pics of my past. Yeah that's me a long time ago in the last pic. Now I watch my son

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#12 Lauber1 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 29, 2014 - 08:29 PM

nice mopars, my first car was a 66 Belvidere, one of the few with a hemi/auto. Dad made me sell it right before I went into the army in the late 70's. Wish I had that back, as it would have been my retirement fund.

 

The tractor in the picture is a 1961, model 618. the only oval hood to have just two hood parts and no DB on the nose. Someone else did a poor job of installing an electric start 10hp briggs, so I corrected its troubles, had of 12" wheels recentered for the front, took the hubs from a 135 model DB walk-behind, put them of the rear, then added the 16" rims and tires. The tractor hasn't been harmed, with only an inch added to the front of the frame and a little taller bracket made to raise up the hood over the huge engine. It crackles pretty good with the straight pipe on it.  Takes about an hour to put it back to stock. Just couldn't see painting it the normal color when its far from normal.



#13 oldmanmopar OFFLINE  

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Posted May 29, 2014 - 11:08 PM

here are some pics. you can see it was painted twice.  The first time the gold was over red on this one. the first layer of gold is what I matched. You may be able to see that it had copper tint in the pics. I can't wait to see it with the deck and correct paint on the wheels 

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Edited by oldmanmopar, May 29, 2014 - 11:17 PM.

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