BEFORE & AFTER
(Page 2 of 3)
They took a trip to the Rockwell Tractor dealership in New Miami, Ohio, to buy a new grille, side panels and fenders because the old ones were shot. 'Luckily, they had a very nice set of used, original rear fenders; for the side panels and grille, we just ordered new,' Charles remembers, adding that fitting the new side panels on the original hood was a challenge, 'but we got the job done with a little bit of welding and grinding.'
Floyd Rockwell, owner of the New Miami dealership, was especially helpful in locating other hard-to-find parts that he didn't have in stock. 'In one instance,' Troy says, 'we had to purchase a coupler that extends to the pinion shaft. Floyd did extensive research to find the part by calling many people and dealerships. Eventually he found it for us. Floyd also found the original stock rear fenders in a hayloft, which was important because they are embossed with the Ford name in the steel. Reproductions do not have the Ford name stamped into the fender.'
Other parts needed for the restoration that the Bakers found through Rockwell included rear axle bearings and seals, new tires and tubes, all new gauges except for the RPM gauge, and a new steering wheel.
A makeshift paint booth was constructed in Troy's three-car garage out of 2- by 4-inch wood beams and plastic covering. Charles says it was a lifesaver with the priming, sanding and painting that the restoration required. The tractor's panels were painted Ford Gray and the tractor body red. New tires were mounted on the wheels and taped off, then the wheels were painted gray in the booth to match the paneling.
After the painting was finished, Charles and Troy took down the paint booth to give them more room in the garage to reassemble the tractor. 'It was really enjoyable to watch everything come together,' Charles says.
After getting the Ford back together, the final job was to fit it with some new gauges and some new wiring. 'When it was time to do the electrical fixing, we switched the tractor from a 6-volt to a 12-volt system,' Troy says. 'We had to improvise on a couple of things like switching the 6-volt, which had a positive ground, and changing that to a negative ground. The good thing about these old tractors is that they're not too complex. They are made as clean as possible and that's how we did it.'
This was the first Ford tractor model to utilize an overhead valve; all previous models - the 8N and 9N - were flat-heads. Not much is known about this particular tractor's history, except that it once had a front-end loader on it. 'That is probably the reason that the ring and pinion were so mauled up,' Troy says. 'If you can imagine this tractor back in the old days, it didn't have too much horsepower, so whatever it was trying to scoop up it had to run into. If it repeatedly was running into something, that might have been enough to mess up the ring and pinion.' Charles and Troy know it was definitely used in its lifetime; it didn't just sit in a garage.