Restoring the Steering Box 
Yikes, almost another year without a blog post... I've haven't totally abandoned the tractor though!
Since the last entry I have been restoring the steering box casting and taking loads photos at each stage to present all at once showing my progress from start to finish.

First the all important "before" photo:


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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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the next brick wall 
The good news is that my dad's friend managed to undo the wheel nuts with his hardened steel socket and huge bar. The bad news is that now I've got the wheel off I'm stuck again. I can't shift the set screws that hold the drum on, they're rusted hard. I guess I'll be drilling those out, that'll be a long and annoying job with our blunt drill bits.

In other bad news the welds to the broken casting didn't hold, so I'm still looking for a replacement for that. Oh and the steering shaft itself is bent and mangled too so THAT needs replacing as well.

And it's been raining all day, so all I did was fiddle about in the garage getting the ki gass pump to bits. bah.

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A Grey Fergie 
Yesterday I attacked the tractor with the hosepipe, I've now got rid of most of the oily grass clippings that were matted on the engine, and the mud around the back end ready for degreasing the engine.

This is how filthy it was:

And this is it it all washed down:

As you can see I've got the dashboard and steering column off. I noticed a problem yesterday and had to wait until I'd got it clean today to investigate the extent of the problem...

uh-oh, that doesn't look good...

yup, definitely not good! Looks like I need a new upper steering housing then... my wallet feels lighter just thinking about it.

On a happier note I've been looking at some lovely grey paint. Turns out that under that black grimy mess I have a grey tractor!

here's the dashboard before degreasing:

and here's the result, it still needs bending back into something like the right shape, but it's a start:

Lots of nice grey tractor bits:

and something to get on with today:

I also need to find something big enough to stand the fuel tank in for cleaning. It also has a bit of diesel in that I need to find some way to get out (preferably without pouring it all over the garage floor)

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