The restoration of old farm equipment is a task that requires a commitment of time, talent, and finances. Often, an old tractor is brought back to pristine condition as a business venture. Sometimes the restoration is a labor of love. In any event, there are a few things to keep in mind if you have an old tractor that you wish to restore.
One of your first tasks when restoring old farm machinery is to assess the current condition of the equipment. This includes checking the condition of the frame, the control panel, the steering mechanism, and the motor. The condition of the tires, rims, and axle system is also very important. Taking the time to thoroughly inspect the old tractor makes it possible to determine if it is even possible to restore the equipment and if so what will be needed for the job.
After determining what will be needed in the way of replacement components, your next step is to secure everything you need to complete the project. Fortunately, the Internet has made it much easier to locate authentic components for many different makes and models of brand name tractors. Finding parts for old John Deere® and Farmall® tractors usually requires nothing more than spending some time looking through salvage web sites and spending some time on message boards devoted to antique tractors. You may even be lucky enough to find what you need at an online auction site.
While waiting for your replacement components to arrive, it is possible to move forward with cleaning the existing components on your old tractor. As part of the process, wash the frame thoroughly to remove all dirt and other residue that may have built up over the years. This will allow you to identify any rust on the frame and take care of that problem before sanding, painting, and sealing the restored paint job on fenders, panels, and other painted surfaces of the equipment. At this point, you can also take the time to break down the engine and thoroughly clean each of the parts, restoring them to a condition that is like new.
Once the parts are on hand, you can move on to the most labor-intensive portion of the restoration. This will involve removing the components that are no longer usable and integrating the new parts into the used tractor. Hopefully, you were able to acquire period components that are contemporary with the make and model of your tractor. This will help to keep the value of the tractor higher in the minds of collectors, which may be important if your plan is to sell the restored tractor.
Keep in mind that restoring an old tractor is not a one-weekend project. In most cases, you can plan on spending quite a few hours in each stage of the process, beginning with the inspection and moving all the way to completing the restoration. However, it is important to take your time and pay close attention to many small details, such as using the right color and shade of paint for an authentic look. Restoring tractors, like restoring any cherished item, is a task that must be completed on its own time and not rushed. Taking your time will not only produce a higher quality restoration, but also provide you with many hours of satisfaction in the long run.