*The Tractor & Associated Projects*
18 January 2010
Dad and I decided that we wanted a tractor for snow removal and fire wood hauling. Ideally it would have at least a bucket for moving snow. We spent a few months looking at Uncle Henry's Swap/Sell it book, Craigslist etc and couldn't find anything affordable. We also wanted one that wasn't a rolling computer like the new machines are. If it breaks we don't want to spend $2,000 on a new fuel pump like one guy I know did. Being able to cheaply and easily fix your equipment is worth a lot.
One particular day I was heading for the scrapyard when I found this beauty on the side of the road. I stopped and looked it over and called the phone number. It was just a tractor, but it had a good rugged cab. We can eventually find a bucket and back hoe attachment. Even one not built for it can be adapted. The guy was asking a very reasonable price so I made an offer and he accepted at $250 less than he was asking. A couple days later my g/f and I went and bought it. It fired up and ran fairly well. I stole my bud's big trailer to haul it home on......which is an adventure I don't want to do again with my Tacoma. Next time I steal bigger vehicle to go with trailer. :)
"Ain't she a beaut?"
It's a John Deere 300 Industrial and was built somewhere between '65 & '73 from what I can find. It needed some work, but nothing too serious. The front tire was blown out, the battery was junk, the plug wires badly needed replacement, the old wiring was working, but it was rewired anyway and the carbuerator needed a rebuild.
The cost of a tire was astonishing, $175 for it. The only 9.00x10 the tire shop could find was a 10 ply aircraft tire. Well, that sucks, but I'm not worried about blowing a 10 ply in the woods. I guess if I ever go insane and decide to buy a jet, I've already got one wheel. :) heh
My local NAPA, at which I have a good rep, can get parts for the motor so that's helpful. For 3 spark plugs, wire kit, distributor cap and rotor button I had about $50 spent. I removed the original alternator because it had an external regulator and I didn't want to have that headache to deal with so for $65 I had a 48 amp rebuilt one with an internal regulator. The carb kit cost $23.
Every piece of wire was stripped out and I completely rewired it so that *I* know how it's done. Now if it dies in the middle of a blizzard due to electrical failure it's easy to fix. The carb was a mess and I really don't know how it ran in the first place.
Dad built the tire chains. The side chains came from an old set of vehicle chains and the cross links are 5/16's chain. They work great. They don't rattle my teeth out while going down the road and they grab the slippery ground good.
We rigged up the plow which only has a total monetary cost of about $90. That was for some grade 8 bolts, nuts, washers and the winch to lift the blade. The rest is built out of the junk pile. We also built the 3 point hitch fork lift and the only monetary cost was 3 grade 8 bolts, nuts and washers. There's articles on the wiring, plow and lift projects.
"Junk yard special"
This rig also has power steering and juice brakes. You can't beat that. Now that the motor's had vital parts and pieces replaced and rebuilt it's got some guts. I took a plow full of heavy wet snow up hill with it and it never skipped a beat.
It's a good snow moving machine and I think it's going to do real well in the woods. After we take the sand box off the fork lift I need to do some mods and make it able to hold wood. We can lower the forks to the ground, load up the wood and take it out to the trailer. Then we can adjust the forks to desired height and not have to bend over to pick up pieces from ground level. Pretty slick.
I've had a heck of a good time with this thing. It's been a fun project and now it's a well running machine.
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