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Submitted Article
Restoration Story
1964 JD 2010 Diesel - Part 3
by Jim Nielson

Part One, Part Two

Some Reassembly!

After what seemed a considerable wait, I finally received the precious parts I needed to complete the first reassembly stage in my John Deere 2010 diesel tractor restoration. I set about installing them in the following fashion.

Firstly, the camshaft bearings: I was keen to remove the old ones and install the new ones myself, but the 'press-fit' nature of them caused me some concern. Of the three cam bushings on the shaft, the middle one looked like it would be particularly awkward to extract or install without the proper tools. This convinced me to take the block back to 'Repco', my local engineering workshop and have them do it instead. I'm sure this was the right decision.

While the block was at Repco having the cam bushings fitted, I also wanted them to 'hot-tank' the block, a process that would clean it up very nicely. Before I could do this, however, I had to remove the John Deere serial number plate riveted to the side of the block. Without a doubt the caustic washing procedure used to remove all traces of oil and paint from the block, would also dissolve the serial number plate! The plate was held by two small rivets, so maybe five minutes to extract them - tops. My plan was to punch a small pilot mark on the surface of each rivet with a steel tool, then to drill them out. Well, let me tell you, those rivets must have been made of the finest carbon steel, because I couldn't find a punch that would mark them one iota! I then decided I'd just drill right on each rivet's domed head - not a good decision! My two attempts resulted in holes in the plate, as the drill bit spun off the hard rivet surface. Happily, my friend Mal was there and suggested we use the 'universal spanner' (angle grinder) to grind the hard surface of the rivet heads. This was a tricky-but ultimately successful undertaking and from there I was able to drill the rivets out without further trouble. Unfortunately, the serial number plate now looks a little worse for wear, but I'll repair it later. At least I didn't mark the serial number itself with that damn drill! This little drama out of the way, I loaded the block - minus the damaged serial number plate - into the truck, and took it into Repco. A few days later the block was done; its surface so shiny you could use it as a mirror! Once home again, I temporarily removed the camshaft bushings in order to install the cam followers and to check that Repco had correctly lined up the small bushing oil holes with the appropriate holes in the block - thankfully, no problem there.

At last, the part I'd been waiting for: the chance to actually put something back into this engine myself, rather than taking things out! With the camshaft now installed, and armed with a new set of 'main-bearings' I decided it was time to install the crankshaft. As the main journals had been ground down 10 thou, I had purchased 10 thou oversized main bearings to compensate. An engine stand really makes this type of operation easy, and it was simple enough to place the bottom of the bearing shells into the block, again making sure the oil holes were lined up. (It is worth noting that the rear main bearing actually has 'sides' because it is also used to control crankshaft endplay.)

Next, I placed the crank onto the new main bearings within the block. This task was really a job for two people, but with Mal home studying I undertook it myself - not without some difficulty! It was quite an effort to hold the heavy crank while also trying to line up the timing marks on the crank and cam front gears. Eventually I placed it correctly and could then turn my attentions to the top bearings. I inserted each of the bearings into the appropriate shells, then, following the recommended sequence, later tightened them down to the recommended 150 lb/ft with a torque wrench. At this point my greatest fear was that with the cam and crank installed, I wouldn't be able to rotate the assembly (don't ask me why I have these irrational fears!). To my delight, however, I was able to turn the crank / cam assembly which felt fittingly smooth and even!

It was time now to address the front and rear main oil seals. The seals on this tractor are quite unlike any I've ever seen before: the rear seal is pressed into a cast iron carrier, and then the carrier is bolted onto the block. In this picture you can see I'm using a spray-on compound called Hylomar, a thin, non-hardening gasket sealant, it's supposed to stop gaskets from hardening and make them easier to remove later. I used 'vise grips' to remove the old seal, and a small piece of wood and a hammer to press the new one in. The new seal proved difficult to install; it needed to fit very snuggly onto the rear end of the crankshaft and, given it contains a spring in the rubber seal, getting the seal on square while not tearing the wet gasket was quite a challenge! Prior to installing this seal, I'd noticed that the old seal had made a slight groove in the rear end of the crank, so I cleaned the thing up with a little 1200 grit wet and dry abrasive paper. I also made sure not to press the gasket in quite as far as the old one, so that the rubber seal contacts the crank one 16th of an inch or so from the mark made by the old seal.

Next I looked at the front oil seal. It was much smaller than the rear one, so I thought it would be a piece of cake. But...no. (Are you beginning to see a pattern here?!) Before installing the front seal on a 2010, you need to reinstall the front timing gear cover. I checked everything under the cover had been attended to correctly and then, with a little trepidation, sealed the timing gears into their tomb. I'm sorta hoping I won't see them again soon because if I do, it will mean I'm disassembling the damn thing again because it doesn't work! I cleaned up the cover a little and mounted its gasket. The good thing about having the front seal on the outside of the front timing cover is that you can change the seal without removing the crankshaft - and this is not the easiest of tractors to remove the crankshaft from! After attaching the cover I set about removing the old seal (again, using visegrips) from the front seal carrier. Trouble was, I only succeeded in bending the seal and I could not move it at all. After a lot of bending and twisting I managed to break out a hunk of the old seal. I then used an old hacksaw blade-wrapped in cloth for use as a handle-to gingerly cut through the seal until I could pry a piece up with a small screwdriver. I then tore the old seal out with the visegrips - about an hour's work all told!! Finally, I installed the new seal in the carrier; again, not quite as far in as the original one, so that it doesn't run in the small groove made by the old seal.

Next I decided to then do some re-assembly work on the head I picked up from Repco some time ago. Unlike the Massey Furgeson 185 tractor I have, the JD 2010 has an "indirect" injection style of diesel engine. As such it has these very weird things called 'turbulence chambers', which sound more like something you'd experience on a United Airlines flight! Anyway these are basically pre-combustion chambers into which the 'glow plugs' are inserted. I reinstalled them onto the head using new copper washers and rubber o-rings from the 'complete engine' gasket kit that I'd purchased.

Except for the engine, the tractor is still in an almost fully assembled state. I want to be able to paint the tractor later as a simple engine / transmission / axel assembly, so I decided it was time to take off the main components still attached to the chassis. To begin with, I started to unravel the rats' nest of wiring that had found its way into the tractor over the years. I didn't worry too much about the way it was wired up (no doubt I'll pay for this later...) but I did manage to remove the wiring harness virtually intact, including regulator and switches etc. The wiring is all very worn and oily, so I'll construct a new wiring loom later. Once the engine is reassembled, I'll probably make a simple wiring rig-consisting of a glow plug and starter motor wiring-just to test the engine. Next I removed the 'saddle' sheet-metal, including foot rests etc, then the main instrument panel and cowling, complete with gear shift mechanisms. Later that day I also removed the steering column and throttle links, seat, rear light, and lastly, the fenders - very rusted up and another job for the trusty angle grinder!

Without so much bulky equipment in the way, I was now able to clean the chassis up fairly well. I do plan to clean it more thoroughly using steam, once I can get the engine going well enough for the chassis to be driven the few feet out into the yard. Having almost completed the day's "degreasing" I eyed the manual steering box. I knew I shouldn't open it up, but the cover looked like it would be easy to get off, and I couldn't resist a quick peek inside! I undid the top bolt used to add grease to the steering box and peered in with a torch. A bad mistake! Instantly I could see this was another thing that would have to be fully disassembled and 'fixed'. The grease I could see from my quick peek had been badly contaminated with water and looked much more like a light curry paste than grease. I removed the steering box and disassembled its component pieces so that I could clean them properly. The steering box is held to the chassis by four large bolts which came off smartly enough, but when Mal and I got the box onto the workbench we discovered that it was held in place at the top by a six-inch lock nut. Well I didn't have a socket big enough; even my BIG visegrips wouldn't span that distance; the BIG wrench almost fitted. Again Mal saved the day. He had made a special tool (which looked a bit like a square 'G' clamp) for removing vale springs from his Alfa Romeo car. After attaching the steering box back on the chassis to stop it moving about, we were able to get the big nut off with this contraption, surely showing that necessity is indeed the mother of invention! After complete disassembly and cleaning, I then reassembled the system, refilled it with new grease and reinstalled it on the tractor chassis.

Next followed a myriad of small but important jobs. I decided to give the sump, head, and block a quick coat of green engine paint, not exactly John Deere green; that will come later and a lot more expensively!! The paint will protect the parts rather than letting the bare metal surfaces oxidize any further, and it will be much cheaper to limit the real John Deere "agricultural green" to a top coat only. Besides, it's easier to give all the nooks and crannies a quick paint with an aerosol can, than it is to paint it assembled. I've even been cleaning all the damn bolts that this thing has--VERY tedious work, but I don't want to be painting greasy bolts!

Speaking of expensive (and it seems I always am with this tractor) I took the radiator to a few local repair places today. It was not good news. The radiator core has a number of big holes, and both the top and lower tanks need some repair as well. I'd really hoped to get by with a quick clean and a bit of black paint, but the consensus was that the core wasn't worth repairing and I'd have to get a new one. Well, JD doesn't make them anymore, and the 3rd party ones I located which are supposed to fit the 2010, appear to be about 1 1/4" too tall. It looks like I'll have to have one specially made-damn another $400 USD! Well, it doesn't look like I have a lot of choice!

Lastly I am taking the injectors to a local diesel mechanic tomorrow to have them tested (at least that part is free) and hopefully they won't need major work. While I'm there, I'll also have them test the diesel injection pump. I know it was working-because the tractor used to run (sorta)-but I've heard stories about how it's very easy for this style of pump to leak diesel fuel down into the crankcase. I suspect this may have happened because the oil level on the dipstick was WAY over the full mark, and the last owner of this beast sure didn't strike me as the kinda guy that would make sure that the tractor had any oil-let alone too much-so I'm suspicious that the pump may have been leaking. The only problem is that I don't want to hear the word 'overhaul' spoken anywhere near this injector pump because I'm sure I couldn't afford it, now that the radiator has left me penniless.

I've now ordered from John Deere, the last of the main components I need to complete the engine:- the conrod bearings, sleeve plate, conrod pin bushings, pistons and rings! Maybe next installment I'll actually have this baby running. I sure hope so! And hey - remember I'm new at this! If you want to leave me some helpful information, please feel free to email me at jim@nielsen.org.

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