OK, I made some more progress on the 1855 today. I got the running boards and rear fender pan and seat slider tracks removed and picked up some paint for it. The rust and years of crappy spray bomb paint made a few of the bolts hard to remove, but none of them broke..............yet (luckily). I thought it was pretty interesting, this is a Snapper 1855, but most of the bolts I removed had "MF" written in the head of them. Maybe they were leftovers from when they were branded as Massey Ferguson tractors or something? They were certainly some good high quality, USA made ones, because I put some torque on them and like I previously stated, none of them snapped or broke off. The screws, nuts, and bolts that are seen on the outer frame rail and side panels will be replaced with stainless steel ones (which I'll polish up a little too) for some "bright" effect, but tasteful. I like adding a few polished stainless steel or aluminum pieces to my projects, but just subtly. I think they'll really pop against the gloss black on the frame rails that I'll be doing. Here's the 1855 wearing a little less sheet metal. I also unscrewed the hydraulic filter to inspect the oil. It was light brown with a hint of some very fine metallic particles. This leads me to believe it hasn't been changed in quite a while and it may be why it isn't achieving top speed as well (thanks for your helpful suggestions on this issue, everyone!). Next up is to get the side panels off and get the bodywork cleaned up, get the few small dents and dings filled, and have them sandblasted to get the many coats of splattered and sprayed on incorrect paint and the rust and imperfections off the metal.
Every time I clean this tractor up and undo all of the townie cob job corner cutting I feel so much better. Looking at the horrible spray bomb paint, things like that bent up steering wheel, the over-spray on the plastic, and careless half-ass fixes on such a beautiful machine sickens me. I'm bringing her back to her former glory though......she'll be looking good again soon, slowly but surely.