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Project Journal - AC D15D Restoration
Handle: YTSupport  
Project Name: AC D15D Restoration  
Tractor: AC D15D  
Started: 18:59 03/01/18  
Updated: 19:02 10/11/18  
Expand/Contract all Journal Entries   Show newest journal entry on top

19:30 03/01/18


19:30 03/01/18


19:30 03/01/18


19:30 03/01/18

 19:30 03/01/18  Beginning another one
I have the D14 and D10 restorations going right now, but I want a place to record the work I do on the D15D. I will be doing some things simultaneously. I don't think I will get going on the D15 Diesel until 2019. As small things are done now, I'll include them here. For example, today I received the replacement radiator shroud for it. It's a wreck, but it's better than what is on there. The one on the tractor, had over half of it cut away. I didn't feel I was up to fabricating the bends at the sides of the grill mounts, just not that talented. So, I picked up this one which only had the lower middle section destroyed. It looks like much easier fabrication job. When I bought the tractor, I wasn't phased by the shroud's condition, because I assumed wrongly that the D14 spares I have, would fit fine. But AC completely reworked the sheet metal. Every dimension is about an inch to an inch and a half larger, shroud, grill, hoods and center channel. It makes two tractors that seem totally alike, actually totally different tractors.

The photo is of my D15D and the D17D. It needs an engine rebuild, smokes so badly you have to run out of the barn when you put it away. I am going to use D14 fenders on it and I have the remaining pieces. I've never rebuilt a diesel and I'm excited about that. I thought I'd get my feet wet with the D15 and then take on the D17 6 cylinder diesel.

The shroud appears to be off of an industrial model. I chipped the brush painted orange off and found a yellow underneath, and it doesn't look like the yellow primer they used that year. I thought it might have been from one of the industrials made prior to the heavy nose they put on the I-600 later. You can see the level of damage to this piece, but it's workable. In the near future, I'll mount it on the tractor after straightening, so I can make the pattern and put that new TIG machine I have to good use. My only concern is that I have only the D14 and 17 to pattern the holes after, I don't know what the actual cutouts at the lower center were like on the D15, and all the photos have a grill there. I won't be able to duplicate the two knockouts so I will drill it as if a loader pump were going to be mounted.

Will probably be a few months before I continue with this blog. I would imagine I won't do the sheet metal jobs I have until late spring.

22:26 07/03/18


22:26 07/03/18


22:26 07/03/18

 22:26 07/03/18  Fenders
The D15D came with no fenders, but I had two shot fenders off my parts D14. Problem is that they actually are shot. I was working on the D10 Series III restore and realized one of the fenders was also pretty bad, not to the same level as these others, but still bad enough that it required patch panels. I decided to take the better of the two D15 fenders (ex-D14) and practice my TIG there first rather than ruin Kim's D10 fenders due to my novice TIG skills. I cut the area out and made a patch panel out of two slices of nearly identical sheet metal. Fitted it by making the patch panel larger than the hole and then slowly worked it down. After fitting it up finally, that was where the good stuff ended. My skills on TIG made even the tacking worse than what I can do with small 6013 on a stick welder. After a couple of days messing around, I got the amperage dialed in and finally had a steady enough set of hands (torch and feeding hands). It took all of two days free time but I finally had good enough beads to grind and hammer back into shape. It will require bondo by the time I'm done, but so far, it was a good practice experience that will net me at least one fender for the D15. The second one is much worse, it will be a quarter of the fender to put it back into shape, and even then, it will be nowhere near a show quality fender. The one advantage of the D14 fenders over the D10 fender is even though they look the same, the D14 fenders were spot welded and easy to drill out the welds, the newer fenders have no visible welds on the braces, so removing them is likely not possible.

The third picture is the stage I have it at as of today. It's amazing how bad my welds look, but I'm confident that the side shown, will be smooth when I'm done with dolly, grinder and bondo. The other side will have spots that show. I have a long way to go in becoming proficient with TIG. In fact, after the first day working on this, I was thinking about firing up the MIG or stick since I've done seamless bodywork before using those.

15:29 08/14/18


15:29 08/14/18


15:29 08/14/18


21:04 08/16/18


21:04 08/16/18


21:04 08/16/18


20:10 08/26/18


20:10 08/26/18


20:10 08/26/18

 15:29 08/14/18  Hood
I'm still not starting on the D15D in earnest, but since I just finished the D10 SIII and am doing a few other things that tie up the shop, I decided to straighten out the right hood. It's in awful condition, but nothing too difficult. The rounded protrusion on the side was smashed in plus below it and above it were warped. The muffler hole was cut out and parts of it bent up to hold some sort of oversized pipe. It also had numerous small dents and a couple of large ones. That sort of work is fun, so I'm doing that for a bit of relaxation in the evening. Already pleased with how much the warpage is straightening out due to elimination of the deep dents. You can see by the third photo, it's improving. The lower dent is almost gone, the sides are way less warped and the lip underneath is back where it should be. Nothing like a piece of sheet metal and a hammer to feel accomplished. I'm also restoring the badge while I'm at it.

Update: got the worst of the dings out of it, a little bondo and it will be perfect. I also took a hood clamp off a spare D14 hood I had and made a rivet to hold it on out of 1/8 inch welding rod. We'll see if that metal is too soft to hold up. Unfortunately, the fact that the hood had a large chunk out of it, and no front clamp, means it's warp pretty badly, the front bends out a ways so I'm going to try and compress it back, then weld the missing piece in. The rest of the warping from the channel dents and lower smashes, has come out of it, at least enough that when it's clamped down, it will look good.

Update: The hood is now good enough from a looks standpoint, but it's still too warped. When I fit it to the tractor, it takes a lot of pressure to get it into the upper channel slots. When I weld the missing piece in, it's going to lock it to the point where it will not go into it's slots. I tried shrinking and made no progress, so first I'm going to jig it up where it's supposed to be, weld the piece in, and then try to shrink with pressure on it. The last photo in this series shows how it's locked down to my welding table and stressed perfectly to fit in the slots. With it held by clamps, I was able to pull it in to it's correct position by 5/32nds of an inch, which was great, it straightened out the angle between the two halves of the hood separated by the slice the person cut out of the muffler hole. I made a patch panel to fit tonight and will weld it in then hopefully that will stop it from stretching out of shape and it will go right on the tractor. The need to still shrink then is cosmetic as these hoods tend to be stressed into place anyway (from my experience, none fit perfectly after all these years. I think it will come out so no one will be able to detect how damaged it was.

Update, the welding is going... okay. I have low spots to the edge of the patch that have to be dealt with which I'll attempt today. It also isn't perfect. It has almost an 1/8 of an inch out from a straight line along the inside where it clips to the center channel. That is good enough to fit though and isn't obvious when you look at it on the tractor. Getting the low spots out though, is always a problem for me, too much heat most likely. I have to replace the inner center strengthening channel since it was cut out too and the patch spot will be very weak without the 1/8 inch angle in there. Overall I'm tentatively pleased, I went from being warped out a couple of inches to an 1/8th. It will absolutely need some bondo to make it look perfect.

Update: I've been too busy to update my journals and for that matter, to even work on my tractors. The site is taking all my time. I did finish and paint this fender. It looks great on the tractor, but I never got rid of the warpage, when it's on the tractor, it's pulled in and doesn't look warped, but it is. I'll post a photo of the final product soon.
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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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