Tractor Weather 
Would anyone believe that the reason I've not blogged since October was that the weather was too bad for tractoring?


Okay so the truth is I did quite a bit at the end of the year and just never got around to updating this page... Still no photos I'm afraid but hopefully I'll remember to take some in the next few days.

Since I last blogged I have sorted out my piston problems - some more cleaning revealed that the number 1 piston was utterly ruined. Who put it in the engine and why is a mystery but I'm almost certain that it was already scrap before it went in as it has huge lumps gouged out of it (all obscured by carbon before) but there's no corresponding damage to the engine. The other three pistons actually had very little wear so the new rings fitted very well. They're all back assembled in the engine with one shiny new piston and the head back on and torqued down.

Today I've been stripping paint off the sides of the block and going over the metal with a course sandpaper to provide a key for some primer, hopefully I'll get that on in the next day or two. I also need to etch prime all the alloy covers, the inlet manifold, the sump etc and get those bolted on properly with the new gaskets in. Once all that's done I should be able to (finally!) put some oil in and turn the engine over. I ran plenty down the cylinders etc when I re-assembled but it's been sitting dripping away into an old rug since then. The sooner I can get the sump back on the better!

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Opening the engine 
Well still no photos I'm afraid, I really must remember to take some next time the sun comes out!

I've finally opened the engine and seen the extent of the carbon deposits. Cylinder 1 is worst, number 4 is bad, with 2 and 3 fairly clean (in comparison!). There is a good 5mm thick layer of hard coke covering everything in cylinder 1, I've not removed any of the valves from the head yet to see what state they're in but the cylinder liners are visually fine, there is no deep scoring and all the piston rings on number 1 are intact. I guess it is just even wear all over and probably a poor seal around the valves.

There's a lot of cleaning to do to remove all the black sludge from the sump etc so there's plenty of jobs to keep me busy until I pluck up the courage to pull the pistons out.

In other news I got my seat pan back from my dad's friend with the big hole patched up. I've ground back the welds, filled all the biggest gaps with epoxy and given it a first coat of primer. Just need to decide how I'm going to fit it back onto the seat hinge now. It was riveted rather than welded but I may find some small nuts and bolts I haven't decided yet.

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Steering again 
I finally got around to acquiring a replacement steering casting to replace the cracked and crumbling original. I bought it off J. P. Bell of Scunthorpe. His shed is an Aladdin's cave with tractor parts from floor to ceiling so I'm sure I'll be visiting him again!

I removed the steering shaft from the "new" casting and just like on mine the top bearing immediately disintegrated scattering rusty rollers everywhere. I suppose this is because the bearing relies entirely upon being kept well greased, there is no way for oil to work up to it. Luckily my original lower bearing was in good condition so the pair of lower sets of rollers gave me a complete set of parts. I used the "new" steering shaft as my old one was bent and the threaded part pretty smashed in from removing the totally rusted on steering wheel.

The casting is in fine condition however the dashboard fixing bolts were sheared off at the rear which took some effort to knock out. Also the rusted remains of the four pins which secure the serial number plate were wedged in their holes. Three knocked out with minimal effort but one was stuck fast. I ended up removing a fair amount of metal from the inside of the casting around the hole before it finally came free. I filled this crater with steel epoxy and re-drilled the hole before finally giving the whole thing a coating of primer.

The steering column is now fully rebuilt and back on the tractor so I can finally move the tractor without the fun and games of front wheels that point in different directions!

No photos for now unfortunately because the old "broken" camera that I use to take pics out tractoring has finally given up the ghost completely. I'll have to remember to take some photos with my good camera next time I'm out there before I get my hands dirty.

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Squidgy Muck 
Today I cracked open the back end and removed the pump and lifting parts. The inside of the back end was in a terrible state with thick muck in every crevice, it's no wonder the hydraulics weren't very effective. After flushing out the muck with petrol and a very thorough hose down it's looking much much closer to being "scrupulously clean" as demanded by the manual!





Now I just need a sunny day to dry it all out again so I don't end up with water in the oil again! (when I opened the drain tap below the gearbox I got a fair bit of water before any oil appeared...)

The pump has scrubbed up very nicely. I opened one of the valves up to check the condition inside and there's no muck in there at all. I don't think I'll bother stripping the pump down any further because there doesn't seem to be any wear or damage. With some good clean oil it should work as well as the day it left the factory



The lift gear is unfortunately not so pretty... I can't get in to clean the sludge out properly, and there's been a lot of corrosion and damage to the top link parts. I can't get the yoke part to unscrew so it's soaking in WD40 overnight and I'll try lots of heat and leverage tomorrow.



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Topless Oil Wrestling 
Man vs Machine

Today's job was supposed to be taking the left wheel off, but those rusty wheel nuts aren't playing along. Yesterday I found I was bending the tommy bar trying to shift them, so today found a much bigger and more solid bar to get some leverage going...

Something had to give, but unfortunately it wasn't the nut. BANG! the socket snapped clean through.

okay then, forget that for now... Yesterday I also took the pressurised oil take of pipe off the tractor, as it is bent and just won't fit where it should. I left a washing up bowl under the hole when I finished for the day because it was still dripping a little bit.

Well today the drive was covered in oil. The bowl full to the lip, too heavy to move, and oil still dripping. I guess that proves that the seals in the pump are leaky. I found another bowl, and pushed the tractor backwards 1.5 tractor lengths so I could clean up the mess I'd made. Then once the drive wasn't swimming in oil I set to draining the rest of the oil. Every time I thought I was done I found another drain plug to open, and got another soaking in filthy oil. Three washing up bowlfuls of brown slime later I put all the plugs back in and gave the underside of the tractor and the sides of the rear castings a good going over with degreaser followed by a hose down.

The back end is now empty so I suppose the next job will be to crack the hydraulics open and clean it all up (new seals, replace worn parts, etc). Seems silly to fill it all up with new oil and then have to drain it all again in a couple of months, besides, the castings need to be thoroughly cleaned out otherwise the new oil will get just as bad as the old.

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