I bought this early 70's IH LoBoy 154 a few years back. I've used it as cart/trailer puller mostly. It has aged a bit, but nothing serious. I did what needed doing to get it running real smooth. Nothing major, mostly fuel issues. I really like this tractor, and also have an early 80's LoBoy 184 and a '49 Cub. All have the little 9 to 18hp 4 poppers. Very unique sound. Very cool to hear on a smooth throttle up. Anyhow, closer inspection told me it was time to stop the slow downward slide condition wise. And that allows me to change/add some things that I think are an upgrade, improve the aesthetics or is just plain cool.
Major points of focus will be, that no matter what, when you look at the finished product you will still see IH LoBoy. You will know it's not stock, but you will still know it's a LoBoy. It will be as "lean" as possible. Anything that I know I won't be using, will be gone. Rear PTO, prime example. It will be a puller and snow plower. Fix the steering. I see the amount of linkage, and it's lack of component mass as a design flaw. Either improve it, or better yet make it hydraulic.
Aesthetics overall are to my liking. I think these are appealing machines visually. I do however think there is an imbalance upfront. The grill/nose dominates the tires, etc. I'd like to go with bigger treads upfront. Bring suspension into play. Also rework the headlight/grill configuration.
For me, the sound of these 4 bangers is classic. For a tractor this size to have that much sound is pretty cool. Trouble is, right now, this tractor is a RATTLE TRAP. The sound of the rear drive and rear PTO linkage drowns out the symphony. I think it's a bit design, a bit wear. That will change. Everything gets fixed, looked over, tightened.
It will be painted........yes Scott, painted. Not stock, but genuine IH.
It's a mild custom compared to some stuff I've done, but it will take time. I think and change my mind a lot. But, if you hang with me, she'll get done eventually.
Here's a photo from last night. She's the classic 30 footer. Looks fairly nice, right?
Let's get a little closer........