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  1. September 2015: 1959 David Bradley Suburban

    I will nominate my 1959 David Bradley Suburban.
    This is a dream long in coming . I saw one of these sitting in my Uncles 'Car' barn years ago and fell in love with the 'style'. I happened to be out at the barn last summer to take pictures of a classic Mustang going up for sale and looked over in the corner and saw this.


    [attachment=167030:David Bradley Suburban 1.jpg] [attachment=167031:David Bradley Suburban 2.jpg]


    That started a series of events that led to a long search .
    I talked to my uncle about selling it . He never gave me a straight answer . I finally pinned him down and said I want it , what is the price . He gave me a number I wasn't happy with .


    So at that point I researched and started looking around - few and far between. Rare .
    But I was on a mission so I kept up on e-bay and craigs list , running searches every few days until this came along .


    [attachment=167032:David Bradley Suburban 3.jpg] [attachment=167033:David Bradley Suburban 4.jpg] [attachment=167034:David Bradley Suburban 5.jpg]


    What a Gem ! Not ... or is it. I looked very close and studied everything about the pictures , it was mostly all there . And it was within driving distance (150 miles) . So I made the deal and went and picked it up with my Uncle in tow. He offered me double what I got it for on the way home.


    But here it was in my driveway.
    [attachment=167035:David Bradley Suburban 6.jpg]


    Then off into the garage.
    [attachment=167036:David Bradley Suburban 7.jpg]


    After a long winters soak in penetrating oil and what little I could do in -10 degree weather and an unheated shop.
    [attachment=167037:David Bradley Suburban 8.jpg] [attachment=167038:David Bradley Suburban 9.jpg]


    I located the Engine cover Thanks to these forums , and found the tires I needed . I worked on these over the winter in the basement and when spring hit I took them to the other shop and sand blasted them .
    [attachment=167039:David Bradley Suburban 10.jpg]


    Soon I had a rolling machine.
    So off it went to my Uncles shop where we went thru the motors electrical - gas - controls . Plus a clutch refurbish and he fabricated a Pulley Guard !
    [attachment=167040:David Bradley Suburban 11.jpg]


    He is pretty good with a hammer!
    I spent a lot of time this spring and summer cleaning , painting , wire wheeling and doing a little at a time .
    I love this machine ! I am going to be using it to plow the snow off of my driveway this winter . But the fun of doing this project and 'bonding' with my uncle is priceless.


    I have some details to finish with the decals and it needs new belt and proper adjustments . But the hard stuff is done . It runs like a champ !!
    [attachment=167041:David Bradley Suburban 12.jpg] [attachment=167042:David Bradley Suburban 13.jpg] [attachment=167043:David Bradley Suburban 14.jpg] [attachment=167044:David Bradley Suburban 15.jpg] [attachment=167045:David Bradley Suburban 16.jpg]

    • Sep 02, 2015 07:34 PM
    • by MGP59DB
  2. May 2015: David Bradley Custom Electric Tractor

    Back on track----- I will nominate one of mine for this. My custom made david Bradley electric tractor, before you say anything this is only a show piece. I really cannot be used or anything other than to ride around on.

    This started as pipe dream and a david Bradley walk behind hood that my wife picked up for me at a swap meet, I liked the look of the hood but had no idea what to use it for, after awhile and looking at a calendar with a narrow john deer I got an idea. I started with the hood and some aluminum rails I had saved from an elliptical machine. the rails were fabbed into a T for the frame with a few mods here and there for axles and bushings and so forth. all the shafts and axles were cut by me at work on their lathes, I then decided to put a 24v drive motor from an electric scooter in the center under the hood. after all the measuring and figuring was done I got to work. removed the bottom part of the hood due to bad rot and welded an new piece on there with a flat bottom to allow it to set correct.

    Allot of time was spent putting this together and taking it back apart again, the steering box was salvaged from a mower deck, the steering wheel from a go cart and the rear seat, spring and fenders are from a wheel horse RJ. everything on this is made from salvaged or used stuff, even the tires, rears are dirt bike rims and the fronts are HI wheeled mower tires. when it was all said and done I couldn't go with john deer green I just couldn't bear the thought of it so I settled on oliver colors. all sprayed with automotive paint and re-assembled it was good to go.

    There are few things I am going to change, I had an electric drive controller on there I am going to ditch and just put a reversing switch on there with a hand clutch and the front tires need to be pneumatic, the hard tires are really noisy on rocks or blacktop. Otherwise I am really pleased with this.

    [attachment=153418:David Bradley Custom Electric.jpg] [attachment=153412:David Bradley Custom Electric 1.jpg]

    [attachment=153413:David Bradley Custom Electric 2.jpg] [attachment=153414:David Bradley Custom Electric 3.jpg]

    [attachment=153415:David Bradley Custom Electric 4.jpg] [attachment=153416:David Bradley Custom Electric 5.jpg]

    [attachment=153417:David Bradley Custom Electric 6.jpg]

    • May 05, 2015 06:09 AM
    • by petrj6
  3. Restored David Bradley Garden Tractor

    Garden tractor restoration can be accomplished with a little bit of mechanical knowledge, a lot of will power, and a passion to bring things to life. Stephen dives into the world of garden tractors, with the restoration of a 1949 David Bradley. Whether you are an old farmhand, or the news about how our food is grown disturbs you, and you want to get started- Stephen's experiences may be of interest to you. Read on to learn more, and for Stephen through the entire project.

    A couple of years ago, I decided to get back into gardening. As a young boy in the mid-west, I grew up with a John Deere 110, and lived on a 3 acre yard- 1/4 of which was garden. My parents were both teachers, and I had 5 brothers and sisters. So, how do you feed a crowd like that on a teacher salary? Well, you grow it yourself in the garden. After growing up and moving to the city, the thought of gardening was the remotest of thoughts. We grew our garden with no artificial anything- nowadays people call it 'organic' but we just called it food. Well, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out these days that our food now is over hybridized, genetically modified, loaded with chemicals and preservatives- and everyone is getting sick. Who ever heard of someone being gluten allergic?

    So, I decided it was time to return to gardening. Plus, I felt that as Americans, we are far too reliant on those 18 wheelers that roll into our grocery stores every couple of days. So- I had to find me some equipment to till the soil with. Sadly, my yard is waaay too small for any sort of riding tractor (thus, no John Deere 110), but I wanted something more than a rototiller. I went looking and found these great old garden tractors, with implements to do all sorts of things. I thought this would be perfect! Well, I live in Texas, and walking tractors just didn't seem to catch on here, and I couldn't find any locally. I really liked the David Bradley- it was so cool looking, had a good reputation, and they were made with 60+ attachments. I thought this would be perfect!

    After much looking, I found a pair for sale in the same town that my uncle lived in up in Massachusetts- they are still very popular in the midwest and the east coast. I thought this would be a good excuse to visit my relatives, made a deal for 2 broken down tractors for $100. Plus about $500 to go get them! Well, I was excited to get them and to make a good project out of it- and I decided to use it to start a DIY show- The American Garage. Well, I got the tractors, and started in on the project. As with all of my projects, I did it with pocket change and budget leftovers. I never go into debt for a hobby. I tore down the 1949 model, and proceeded to sandblast, prime, paint, repair- until I had a complete tractor. I did upgrade the Briggs & Stratton motor (1hp) to a newer 3hp motor.

    It was difficult finding parts until I found Bob's Small Engine Repair- he was a great help with all the right parts. But, I wanted to keep the original carb and intake- it looked so cool, plus the gas tank on the new motor would not fit under the hood. And, I wanted to use the old gas tank too. So begins the fun of modifying- and the trial and error that is involved. It ran terrible. I made an adapter for the intake manifold, as the screws were 90 degrees from where they needed to be for the new engine. I had to scrap the adapter, as the engine would run great so long as it had no burden on it whatsoever.

    It could not even pull itself- the lengthening of the intake with the adapter took all the engine's torque. Bob found me an acceptable intake manifold, and I also had to modify the carb, drilling out the holes on the jet to provide enough fuel for the bigger engine. Finally, I had a good tractor that would pull itself and cut through the dirt. Success! I made video episodes of the whole project, received lots of advice from members here, and had a bit of fun along the way.

    Now, I have this great garden tractor, and I planted my first garden in 30 years with it this past spring. I used all heirloom seed so I can keep replenishing it, and had some measure of success. Now it is time to plow it in and start getting ready for a fall garden- yes- in southeast Texas, we can grow 3 times a year if we plan it right. And now I have the coolest tractor in the neighborhood to help me with it. A 1949 David Bradley! Thanks to all that helped make it possible, and fee free to look at the video series I made of the complete restoration project. Check it out at www.theamericangarage.net

    [attachment=105672:DBfinal1.jpg] [attachment=105673:DBfinal3.jpg]

    • Mar 28, 2014 04:24 PM
    • by sdevine