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Project Journal - D10 Restoration
Handle: YTSupport  
Project Name: D10 Restoration  
Tractor: AC D10  
Started: 05:52 11/22/17  
Updated: 20:22 11/29/17  
Expand/Contract all Journal Entries   Show newest journal entry on top

06:48 11/22/17


06:48 11/22/17

 06:48 11/22/17  Initial Problems
Kim bought a D10 and I bought a D12 respectively, to restore. This was not something to undertake immediately, because the first priority was finishing the rebuild of the Yesterday's Tractors D14. The D10 is a Series III and at first glance was an excellent specimen of an original machine, no mods at all, no paint jobs in the past etc. She plans to use it for bush hogging in the spring, and we decided we would hold off on the cosmetic and minor mechanical restoration items until the shop was clear. We simultaneously have the Oliver 1950FWA which needs a lot of work. My shop just isn't big enough for all of these machines at once. While the D10 and D12 await their turn, my son's job is to keep them running and exercised. In my experience with the probably 30 tractors I've had, if you purchase a good tractor and let it sit, it will become junk in short order.

In the course of keeping the D10 running, a problem with the electrical developed, a bad ground that would spark and generally keep the tractor from starting at times. We decided to roll it over to the shop and fix as few things as possible, not really start the restoration but just get the electrical connections cleaned up. As you know, it can be extremely difficult to do "just a little" work on a tractor you are excited about restoring. It's not only excitement that causes this, it's also that each little problem, is usually the tip of an iceberg, and very quickly, things can spiral into a larger project than you have time and space to deal with. I tried very hard to avoid this, but there were a few problems that screamed to be fixed right up front.

The electrical problem was a more serious issue that I initially thought. It did have a bad ground cable so that seemed simple enough. But putting on a new one, really didn't help and we got out the fluke and started checking just how good a ground we were getting from the bolts where the D10 is supposed to be grounded (one of the fender mount bolts). On closer examination, I couldn't find a good ground anywhere on the rear of the tractor. This led to disassembling fenders, mounts, operator platform, pulling the battery out, all cables, and seat. When we removed the battery and seat, we found the problem. The corrosion from the battery had seriously damaged all of these components. It was not obvious that this tractor was rusted until we pulled everything off, but the rot was severe. I didn't want to just create good connections with rotted parts, nor did I think it prudent to put expensive cabling in on junk. So all the components mentioned were sandblasted, the worst corrosion treated with soda, then POR-15, primed and painted in Persian number 2. While this was happening, the fenders, which are extremely expensive to replace, lighting, and mounts were removed and left off. Replacing the rotted sections in the panels will be a body work job of patch panel replacement, restoring the light cans and mounts will involve machining and maybe even some casting. I'm limiting the project by not putting those back on but keeping them in the shop where I can work on them when not working on other projects. We also had new tires for this machine, so it seemed a good time to replace those and one of the rims that was badly cracked. The last thing was that the seat mount and pan were far more damaged that we realized initially. The bushings needed replacement in the seat spring assembly, the bolt that holds the shock in place was bent, and the pan needed sand blasting and painting as the inside was seriously rusted.

Fixing the above problems, was how far we decided to take it this time, then once the tractor was back on the road and not clogging the main entrance to the shop, at leisure we'd fix a few other minor issues that can be done prior to the real restoration later this winter. These were a leaky pan gasket, leaky oil filter mount, gauge replacement (and thus a new wiring harness), filling the steering wheel cracks with epoxy, replacing the inappropriate sediment bowl, and rebuilding the carb since it has a leaky float valve. These can all be done as day jobs so the tractor can be brought from the barn and occupy the shop just for the short time required to do them. Since we have multiple machines to deal with, the D14 restore is taking up one bay of the shop, and the rest of the tractors need to share the other when necessary. I'm also batching together projects like the patch panels for the fenders on this one, with the more serious patch panels required for the D15D restoration (other than the fenders, this tractor is not due for a couple of weeks). That way, the TIG work necessary can all be done in one shot after practicing up. I haven't done sheet metal welding for 17 years, plus I always used MIG, and there will be just one shot to do it right on all four of these fenders, they are getting harder to find in good condition.

For this entry, I'm just going to show the before and after of this interim project, and will make other entries for the individual projects to this point. Then after the first of the year, hopefully we'll be ready to start the full cosmetic restoration and I'll include that here too as separate journal entries. Note, the "After" picture is not really after, this was a mock up before I drilled and installed the new battery box or ran the new cabling. The seat is also not mounted on there because while we are working on it, that beautiful white and black seat, will get dirty from our grimy work coveralls. As this stage completed, we have just the old seat cushion back on it. Also note that in this picture, the new battery box is backward, when I drilled it and installed, it's was oriented appropriately for the Series III.


20:18 11/29/17


20:18 11/29/17


20:18 11/29/17


20:18 11/29/17


20:18 11/29/17


20:18 11/29/17


20:18 11/29/17


20:18 11/29/17


20:18 11/29/17


20:18 11/29/17


20:18 11/29/17


20:18 11/29/17

 20:18 11/29/17  Restoration Begins
The D10 is really not supposed to be restored yet. It on the list, but the list is long. Nonetheless, when one day it wouldn't start and the battery connections just threw out fireworks, we had to do something. In a way, that work is the beginning of the restoration.

We decided to tear down just what was necessary to clean up the ground connections, and as we pulled off parts, plus since it was stuck in the shop while we did that, we tried to get as many small issues out of the way now. We pulled off the hitch so we could remove the fender supports. That meant fenders, tool box, operator platform, and what was left of the battery box. After pulling the battery out, and exposing the rotted 1/8 inch steel around the battery box, not to mention the rotted 16 gauge that once was a battery box, we knew we had more work to do.

At this point we decided to replace the cables with the quality wiring we'd purchased from CE Auto Electric (Yesterday's Tractors only sells wiring for a minimal number of tractors, if you are working on an Allis, the place to buy wiring is CE Auto, they have very seriously high quality wire, and you can get it in lengths that match the job, most high quality wire is only purchasable in spools, and unless you are wiring 10 tractors, it's impractical). This meant pulling the side covers and that meant pulling the steering arm first.

After everything was disassembled, we used a baking soda paste on everything that had been damaged by battery acid. It wouldn't do to prime and paint if we didn't stop the reactions. Before that, everything we pulled off had to be heavily wire brushed at a minimum and in some cases, sand blasted. We made good used of the Skat Blast cabinet since there are not parts on the D10, that won't fit in the cabinet.

When it came time to paint, I decided to try POR-15. It is supposed to stop rust dead in it's tracks and I'm hoping it will do that. The downside is that it dries very slick, but it also had a tendency to ball up in spots. By the time we start the real restoration, I should know how effective it is. Those parts that got the POR-15 treatment and the rest of the parts, received primer and Persian #2. It's a bit frustrating to limit oneself to just a part of the tractor. The contrast between the original and newly painted parts is striking, and to my mind, not a nice contrast. Reassembly of the painted and cleaned parts, involved removing the paint from the specific areas where the ground connections needed to be good.

Meanwhile, since the tractor was laid up, we pulled the rims off, replaced the one that had a crack in it, and after sand-blasting and treating the inside of the rims with POR-15, we painted them up, and put the new tires on. That of course meant cleaning and painting the hubs too, which since I didn't pull them, that will be a future job.

Finally we put it all back together with the new wiring. Since we were using very high quality wire, we put the best loom on it I could find, and ran the wires for the future fender lighting that will go on with the restoration. We also used battery, ground and starter connections that were pressed on rather than the screw on type you get at the auto parts store.

When it was all together, the work was worth it. All the grounding problems were gone and it started and ran like a top. Now we can put it back to bed in the barn until we are ready for it.

A lot of parts stayed off it, so I could work on them in my spare time. The rot had progressed to the fenders and tool box, and those will require patch panels. The light cans were damaged and the rare bolts that hold them on stripped, those had to be cut off. We did managed to clean up years of hydraulic oil and dirt sludge, and the tractor will be quite easy to finalize for painting when it's time comes.

I was happy with this turn of events because now I can keep the D10 in line and the second bay of the shop clear for work on the current project, the D14.
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What are Project Journals?

Project Journals are a place where YT Community members can document their tractor and farm projects. Each journal created, can have many photos and accompanying text entries. You can also enable comments to allow other members of the YT Community to comment on your journal. If you do enable comments, it is up to you to moderate what people enter in your journal according to the site policy of Yesterdays Tractors. Journals may also be used as photo posting area, to post your photos of your farm, tractors and related photo topics. If you would like to create a journal, just be sure you are logged in to the Classic View of the forums, and a link will appear to do so when you next come to this page.
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