BEFORE & AFTER
(Page 2 of 3)
In the end, most of the parts they needed came from the Everett Brothers in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, in the southeast corner of the state. Bob also sent away to Duer Implement in Cadillac, Mich., to Minnesota and to Indiana for some things. 'It got easier over time,' he says, noting he used all sorts of resources, from the Internet and magazines to older farmers 'who knew where the old dealerships were.'
He and Dick rebuilt the tractor's gasoline engine. They had the block and head bored out to .185 of an inch, which Bob described as 'an awful big bore' but one needed to accommodate the engine's pistons. They redid the hydraulics and steering too, to cure the wobbling.
'I needed a new steering wheel because mine was in real bad shape,' he noted. A call to Steiner's in Holly, Mich., which sells steering wheels, seat cushions and other parts, didn't seem too hopeful; they told Bob they didn't yet carry the MM line. But then Bob got the idea of buying a John Deere steering wheel of the same size and welding the MM logo onto it, so he ordered one of those. When it came, he had a revelation. 'I got to looking at it and it was the exact same fit. There was no welding to it; it just fit right on.'
His tractor's transmission was the only thing on it that still worked right, and after he studied the subject a bit, Bob realized that was a very lucky thing. It is called a 'high and low,' he explains, which is almost like a torque amplifier on an International, and would have been very expensive to repair. Electrically, the tractor had a lot of splices in its wiring, so Bob rewired it, making his own wiring harness.
Bob says they were able to use the same wheels, but the rims were too rusted from the chloride solution used to add weight to the tires, so Bob ground off the old rims and welded new ones in place.
He also did the repair work on the dents and creases in the sheet metal fenders, hood and rack, and on the cast-iron grille on the tractor's front, which had a broken part. 'Johnny had the piece, so I just welded it back on, and now you can't tell it was ever broken.' Replacing the emblem on the front of that grille cost a pricey $150, though.