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Details - Is It Important Anymore?

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#1 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted September 11, 2014 - 10:30 AM

While attending tractor shows, do you look at the nice looking tractors only, or do you admire all of the tractors no matter what shape they are in? While walking through shows, I like to watch "non-tractor" people as they approach a display, and just study what they do or how they react. Almost 80% of the people, will stop and look at the nicely painted tractors, and will just walk by the unpainted, rusted tractor, without even making a comment. I understand most of us can't afford to restore their tractors, and a lot of us admire the original looking beauty, as these tractors are only original once, so don't think I'm criticizing these guys or their collection, as I'm not.


What I am trying to point out though, is I've seen so many guys spend time in "painting" a tractor, but so very few give attention to the small little details. If we are going to claim a tractor is restored, shouldn't we do the best we can to give a professional result? Although the tractors I see aren't mine, it still frustrates me when I see a beautiful looking paint finish on a tractor, but then after checking it out a little closer, I find the belts are painted, the serial plate painted over, over spray on each of the tires as they weren't masked off, decals that weren't masked off neatly so now they are covered with paint along the edges, grease or oil that wasn't cleaned from the spindles, engine head, or wheel hubs, but were painted over anyway, ect, ect, ect.


I feel that if we are going to tear the tractor completely apart, or even just down to a rolling chassis, why not spend a little extra time in paying attention to some of the finer details before reassembling the tractor back together? Remove the belts before painting, tape off the tires before painting the rims, clean the grease and oil off of the engine head before putting all of the tin work back on, maybe check with your local sign shop to see how much it will cost to have the decals reproduced, clean off the over spray from serial plate before the paint dries, try to fix the rear axle leak before you paint, so you don't have gear oil running down over your new finish, and maybe put some time into fabricating a new wiring harness if a replacement isn't available.


Again, I'm not trying to step on toes, as I know we all come from different teachings and circumstances, but I think a little extra effort can really go a long way. Wouldn't you rather have the public ooing and aaing over your display, rather than just walking right past without giving you the time of day? 


Be proud of what you have, by presenting it the best that it can look!  :thumbs:

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#2 dthomp17 OFFLINE  



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Posted September 11, 2014 - 10:54 AM

I totally agree.  Details do matter and if it's worth doing, then do the best job you can.

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#3 Auburn David OFFLINE  

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Posted September 11, 2014 - 11:03 AM

I am a tractor user,not a shower,I can appreciate all the work folks do for shows and such,but my tractor is like my truck...its gonna get used for what it was made for.

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#4 KennyP ONLINE  



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Posted September 11, 2014 - 11:10 AM

I can't do a 'restore' as I find myself 'fixing it' my way. So I just refurb them when possible. I want to get the FF's painted sometime soon. And I now have the AC 416 and Jake to think about. They both need cleaned up soon.

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Posted September 11, 2014 - 11:26 AM

I guess that is why I keep mine as "workers". I'm not sure I could do a restoration to satsify myself.
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#6 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted September 11, 2014 - 11:59 AM

When I do a restoration, to me that means that eery part the whole tractor was taken apart. I inspect, repair, paint and then re-assemble. I also have my working class tractor that are mechanically repaired and rebuilt, but may not look the best because I didn't take the time and effort to do a complete restore just to use every day. Now I have also got some show tractor that are original, like the Bush Hog D4-10 that I have completely taken apart and all I am doing is cleaning and buffing paint with maybe a clear coat over the original paint to protect it. I also have a few that are in nice enough shape to just show as they are, but by no means are they show quality, I just show them to give folks an idea what is still out there to be had.


Troy, I hope that is what you wanted to know, I believe if your restoring one, it needs to be done completely, if it isn't then it's just a paint job on a average tractor. I can't stand to see over spray on decal and tires and such.

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#7 jd.rasentrac ONLINE  


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Posted September 11, 2014 - 12:10 PM

I've seen LANZ caterpillars here in D, w/ brass screws and other bs, that had no basis to the tractors that were manufactured in Mannheim - but this people like their Bulldogs. Let them! I, for example, don't like botox lifted old ladies and gents.

But most people without an own taste like what the advertising teached them they have to like - and so it's with every thing. Doesn't matter if people or tractors...

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Posted September 11, 2014 - 12:28 PM

Troy, I agree with you about the full on restore if you're going to, but I have had different experiences at shows.
There have been a few situations where I have taken some big tractors in their work clothes, and without fail those were my busiest shows. There were a ton of people coming thru to see the old girl in her work clothes, and in more than one instance, to hear how well she runs even without the pretty paint.
I haven't ever take a restored GT anywhere, so my experiences may be skewed on those lines alone.

I have done restorations. They were fun because I did them with family. Now we are looking for good homes for those units as we need a little more elbow room for the work horses. Our best two working tractors are outside because we are housing ones that can't be parked outside.
Someday, I may get back around to it. There are a couple of tractors in the fleet that probably deserve it, but for now, I prefer to work mine and let them be shown as workers.
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Posted September 11, 2014 - 12:31 PM

I have some show tractor's which are done really nice and I have my workers that are just that

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#10 GTTinkerer OFFLINE  


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Posted September 11, 2014 - 12:49 PM

Our best two working tractors are outside because we are housing ones that can't be parked outside.
Someday, I may get back around to it. There are a couple of tractors in the fleet that probably deserve it, but for now, I prefer to work mine and let them be shown as workers.


I agree with you about having to leave the working tractors outside.  My JD140H3 has been outside all of the bad smowmobiling season except for about three days in the early spring when I had it in the shop for a major service.  I picked up a good used hood, grill and light panel for it and put them on but took the good parts off and put the old ones back on because too many folks were asking if I wanted to sell it.


My wife's lawnmower only comes in the shop when it needs service which is fine with her.

Edited by GTTinkerer, September 11, 2014 - 12:51 PM.

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#11 Talntedmrgreen OFFLINE  


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Posted September 11, 2014 - 12:52 PM

You will get a lot of opinions on this one...Like others, I have my workers and my garage queens.  It's mind boggling to some, that someone could redo a tractor completely...get it back to new, and then some are upset that the restorer won't use it, and others upset that the restorer would dare to put it to work and get it dirty.  I don't really lose sleep over what other folks do, but to your question, I do very much enjoy looking at the details in show tractors (restored or rusty).  

I like looking at the most worn or abused machines, just to see how they were used, modified, repaired, etc over the decades.  I also like looking at the queens, to see what 'finish' work means to other folks.  I see things I would never do, and other things I wish I had done to mine.  I think the fact that none of us work with or work on our tractors in exactly the same way, and share the same opinions, is what makes the hobby fun.  I wouldn't be able to stand it if everything I have, and the work I do, was right in line with the rest of the world.  I like feeling like I'm doing a bit more than others, or striving to better like some folks.  Gotta be motivated however you enjoy these, or it's no fun.


I think a big thing to keep in mind, is that machines are someone's property, and they can do whatever they like, and deserve the same respect that I would hope to receive myself.  Nothing wrong with considering someone's opinion, and nothing worse than being choked by it.

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#12 twostacks OFFLINE  



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Posted September 11, 2014 - 02:05 PM

Troy, I'm as much a people watcher at shows as I am a tractor watcher. I also have seen people walk past a real nice plain clothed tractor to see a shiny one and wondered if they new what they were looking at. I like them all but I prefer mine dirty and running well with me in the seat, versus all shiny and sitting on the sidelines. Gary

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#13 superspeedex OFFLINE  


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Posted September 11, 2014 - 02:56 PM

My theory...If its worth doing,  Its worth overdoing.

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#14 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 11, 2014 - 04:01 PM

I agree with you 100% Troy

In my opinion,a restoration should consist of a complete tear down , blast, paint, ect, no stone left unturned. There are also alot of what I call tractor "Refresh's" where the main parts of a machine are painted but the frame never comes apart. (Nothing wrong with that)


It does make me shake my head a bit when I see the painted grease and belts on the machine. The thing that really bugs me the most is when there is over spray on the tires which in my opinion kills the whole "Restoration" or " Refresh". Also another one I see alot of is painted wires and throttle and choke controls.

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#15 petrj6 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 11, 2014 - 04:28 PM

   I personally prefer the unrestored original machines that have been monkeyed with over the years.  Allot of the mods that are made over the years are very clever, there are some that are hacked to crap but lots of times I learn new things when I see old original tractors.  I do like to see the restored machines and appreciate the work that goes into them, I guess my only complaint would be the same as the rest, why do it at all if you aren't going to do it rite!!!!!!!!!!!!!  No sense in doing a half assed resto!!!  do it rite or don't do it at all.


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