BEFORE & AFTER
(Page 3 of 3)
Bob also did all his own painting - 46 parts - in a paint booth he built just for this job and in his father-in-law's paint booth, too. They used one for the sheet metal and one for the smaller parts, which they hung. He did take the manifold into a man in Marshall who powder coated it so it now has the look of new cast iron.
The most nerve-wracking part of the whole restoration, Bob says, was putting all those parts back together again, especially the hood and the side panels. 'That's a tight fit, kind of a toughie.'
In the end, the only parts he couldn't find were replacement fuel and amp gauges. 'They're a square gauge with a square glass disk,' he says, noting he was able to find replacement water temperature and oil pressure gauges from an old MM dealer at Nashville, Mich.
The last part he needed turned out to be a battery cover, which is a very scarce item. 'I talked to an old dealer named Dave Hayward in Scotts, Mich., and it turned out he had some.' It was new old stock, and when Bob asked how much he wanted for one, Hayward said '5.'
'I didn't know if he meant $5 or $500,' Bob says. Hayward clarified that he meant $5 and explained, 'I like to see the Molines fixed up. They're pretty.' But when Bob inquired about buying a second cover, Hayward politely refused.
Once reassembled, the restored tractor ran really well, Bob says: 'Just hit the key and it would start right up. The man who bought it got a real good-running tractor.'
Bob says it took him almost a year to the day to finish it, 'and we worked on it pretty steady. That's a lot of labor.'
He notes he has been a Minneapolis-Moline man at heart for years, having caught the fever as a youth while helping out another farmer who also loved the brand.
The next time around, though, he says, he's thinking he'd like to redo a truck for a change. He has a particular 1947 Chevy pickup in mind, but he' still in the talking stages. FC
-Contact Bob about his restorations at 9885 B Drive So. St., Ceresco, MI 49033; (616) 979-1950.
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