Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Stuff Is Like GLUE....

I'm getting close to the point where I NEED to put the front end together on the Farmall F-20 Project Tractor.

I say NEED because - I NEED to get it rolling so I can clean out the barn when spring does finally arrive for good. It won't be RUNNING, but all four feet have to be under it so it can be moved. The thing about F-20's is - they weigh close to 4500 pounds - just the "chassis" (rear-end, front end, transmission and frame) weigh in at well over a ton and 1/2.

This makes them very stubborn to move without being able to roll them without wheels....

Well, the ONE thing that has been holding me up besides warmer weather so I can "spot paint", is the little "Dust Shield" that goes on the front axle between the front legs. The one I took off was CAKED with 80 year-old mud and crud. Besides, it has mysteriously been torn asunder sometime during it's long lifetime - only about 2/3 of it remains.

Worn Out

I thought about cleaning it up and using it, trying to make one, and trying to BUY one, and even just plain leaving it off. I quickly became convinced I didn't want to use it, I didn't really WANT to make one, and I couldn't afford to buy one, if one could be found.

I didn't REALLY want to leave it off, either - I'm giving the Originality Police enough to lock me up and throw away the key as it is.

Then it occurred to me (actually, it had been gnawing at the back of my brain housing unit for some time, trying to get in, but I was efficient at ignoring it) - I have the old front end that came with the tractor, why not take the one from it?

It had been ignored for good reason. It's a ROYAL Pain in the you-know-what, to get that thing off of that shaft - you need to take apart the ENTIRE thing to get at a stupid piece of tin.

OK, I couldn't stand it any longer, so I went out today and just decided to take the thing off. My project was nearly halted before it was begun, though - water had seeped under the door of the barn, and had frozen the thing to the floor.

Not to be deterred, I grabbed a nearby 8' piece of pipe, and leveraged it (rather easily...) from it's icy bed. After removing the three or four parts that need taken off, the hard part began. I don't know what kind of lubricant they used in the 1930's, but that stuff is like TAR when it's cold out (and even when it's warm). It will stick ANYTHING together like Superglue.

It's the "Tarhesion" effect.....and aggravates old iron addicts world wide. It causes two parts to "bond" together, forming one fused piece. Mix a little "crud" in with it, and you have something that a chisel has trouble with.

I like to cal it "Tin-Crud-Chi" - the metal and crud have found their "Inner Chi", and become "one" with each other....

There was no way I was even going to try and lift the whole front end off of the ground, so I chained it to the door post, then used a "come-along" to PRY the shaft out of the casting. I was actually amazed at how well it worked. Of course, it DID help that one of the front rims was still in good enough shape to help things "roll" apart.

In about 45 minutes, I had the shaft out, and the dust cover ready to come off - except for the front rims. I still had to remove one rim, and loosen the other so my prize could slide by.

Now came the REALLY hard part - cleaning the dust cover and removing the "Crustation" that had built up over the years. A little soaking, a LOT of scraping, and chiseling, then a wire wheel treatment, and I FINALLY had something I could primer. Here it is beside the "old" cover.

Good, Bad (AND Ugly)

In the end, I did a lot of work, for not much gain. Oh well, it needed done, and at least I can go ahead to the next item on the list....

1 comment:

  1. That sounds EXACTLY like something I would do, tear apart a whole tractor to get a part I need for another one!



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