John Deere Model AH
RUSTY ACRES RANCH
1951 Model Year
Thia Tractor is one of 246 gasoline A High Crops built.
It was shipped on August 3, 1950 to San Francisco branch. I bought
it in the late 1980's from a collector who lost interest. It ran,
but had a bad engine knock, so I put it into storage. On January
1, Matt and I pulled it out of the barn and decided to restore
1 January 2008: This is how the tractor looked after
many years in storage. The previous owner did some work on the
sheet metal, which is in very nice condition.It also had Kileffer
cultivators on it when I acquired it. I still have the cultivators
and would like to complete the restoration for reinstalling them.
3 January 2008: Matt stripped the tractor down to this
point over the last few days. Note all the buckets of watery oil.
We drained lots and lots of it out. I think most of the water
was from condensation over the years. Also there is some pitting
and rust damage, mainly in some governor parts and in the main
bearings. The pistons, head, and cylinder bore look surprisingly
good, though. The head and block are at the machine shop for magnafluxing
7 January 2008: We finished stripping the engine, powerlift,
and other components. This is a view when we stripped some of
the paint off with oven cleaner and paint stripper, then pressure
washed. Inspection of the transmission and final drives revealed
them to be in very good condition, so they will be cleaned, but
not disassembled any further.
11 January 2008: Front end was disassembled, cleaned,
and rebushed. The tractor was stripped from the block forward
and primed.Also the oil pump, filter, and oil lines were reinstalled.
15 January 2008: Matt spent much of the day cleaning
the back end of the tractor after we removed the rear wheels and
wheel centers. Front half is covered to keep it cleaner. Also
the gear shift and transmission cover was put back on the check
out the transmission to make sure all is working okay.
16 January 2008: Today the transmission was flushed
with solvent. The crankshaft and new main bearings were installed,
as well as the first reduction gear and cover. The lower photo
shows why new main bearings were needed. The old one are all pitted
26 January 2008. The radiator shroud was rusted away
at the bottom edge and another one that I had was okay on the
bottom, but cut out on the side. Matt cut out the good parts and
joined them together by wire welding them together and smoothing
the outside. Beats paying $95 for a reproduction.
28 January 2008. The rest of the engine is back together.
Also the rebuilt steering pedestal, governor, fanshaft, and radiator
have been installed. The Powerlift, Powertrol, and Baker valve
has been finished and installed, too. The new tires have arrived
from Miller Tire in Ohio, so time to get the old tires off and
get the wheels cleaned up and painted.
14 February 2008. Since our last report, the wheels
have been removed, cleaned up, and painted, first coat last Friday,
second coat on Monday. The sheet metal and other assemblies not
yet back on the tractor have all been stripped, rebuilt if needed,
and prepped for painting. Yesterday Matt painted the first coat
of green and some of the painted pieces has been reattached. The
goal is to get the engine stuff back together and try to get it
running. We want to do this before the wheels and sheet metal
are reassembled so that the tractor can get a second coat of paint
first. All the sheet metal will also need to be wet sanded and
repainted, probably at least two more coats.
25 February 2008. Well it does not look too different
than the last set of photos, but we've done a bit more work in
preparation to start up the engine. Note the temporary gas tank
on the radiator and the battery on the platform. And we did have
success today as we started it and listened to it run for about
two minutes until the gas was gone. There are some water pipe
leaks and tuning up to do yet, but so far, so good. Matt discovered
the source of the engine knock- the flywheel had loosened up some
time in the past and hammered on the crankshaft splines. We will
attempt a shimmed repair of the splines, which may work. If it
doesn't, remplacement with another crankshaft and flywheel will
March 1, 2008, Since last time, most of the final assembly
has been completed, plus the final paint job.
March 11, 2008. It was a job to get those rear cast
centers back on the tractor. We lifted up the entire rear end
with the forklift, then manuvered the centers into place with
an engine hoist. There was a small manifold exhaust leak, which
we repaired with a relatively new product- Permatex high temperature
filler. It will be interesting to see how well it works. Today,
I put on the decals. All that remains is to change the water coolant
to an antifreeze solution and check all the fluid levels. All
the motor oil and gear oil that this tractor requires gets expensive
with today's oil prices!