Ford Golden Jubilee tractor
Jubilee's restoration cause for celebration
By Scott Hollis
Charles Baker of Maineville, Ohio, says many of his memories consist of either 'learning to drive a tractor or working fields all day long on a tractor.' So, it was no surprise that for nearly the last decade he had been wanting to buy an old tractor. Finally, his wife, Sue, convinced him to do it; in July 2001 he bought a 1953 Ford Golden Jubilee.
After getting the 31-hp tractor home, Charles discovered it had some serious problems in the rear end. His son, Troy Baker, a mechanical engineer who lives about 10 miles away from Maineville, in Pleasant Plain, Ohio, told his dad to bring the tractor over for a 'check up.' Beginning in August 2001, the two began to diagnose the problems and perform routine repairs on the vintage machine.
The 49-year-old tractor was mechanically sound, except for the rear end. 'I redid the carburetor, but that is pretty common for these old tractors,' Troy says. 'But once I opened it up, routine repairs like the carburetor led me to redo other things like the axle bearings and seals, and then one thing lead to another and I started to pull everything out.' Pulling everything out, Troy says, convinced him and his dad that a total restoration would be the best thing since the tractor was in pieces anyway. Before they could begin, the rear-end problems needed to be addressed.
'The most obvious problem was a loud noise in the rear of the tractor as it was being driven, so we began to disassemble the rear-end portion of the tractor, hoping it was just a brake shoe hanging up or an axle bearing,' Charles recalls. 'But sure enough, the ring and pinion gears were totally wasted.' Troy adds, 'This wasn't a problem that you can go on ignoring. This was major; these parts were shot.' The father-son team replaced the parts.
Next, they addressed a minor hydraulic problem: the hydraulic rear bars wanted to raise every time the tractor was started. The problem was corrected, Troy says, by replacing the hydraulic relief valve.
'Now that we had the tractor mechanically sound, we began to take the rest of the tractor apart piece by piece, hoping we would remember where everything went, cleaning and sandblasting each part as we went,' Charles says. The two kept track of everything by doing the restoration in stages and by separating everything within those stages into similar piles; butter containers were used to hold the smaller parts. They took apart all of the bolt-on parts and cleaned and restored those things first. After that, they moved on to the bodywork, separating that also. Then came the tractor's engine.
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