| August 2002


John Blake of Elwood, Ind., got to know his 8,200-pound Case LA 'from one end to the other' during the two and a half years it took him to restore the tractor. 'I found it in November 1999 at Morris Hersberger's, at Lapel, Ind.,' John says. 'It was complete but stuck.'

Before he even addressed the engine problems, though, he removed 90 gallons of fluid - weighting in at 11 pounds a gallon - from each of the rear wheels. The extra fluid had been added to improve the tractor's pulling power, John says, 'but that was a lot of weight on top of the 8,200 pounds, so we took the fluid out and put in new tubes.'

John unstuck the engine by pouring three gallons of brake fluid into it and leaving the fluid to soak for about four months. 'That loosened three of the four cylinders,' he says, 'and then I had to pull the head to get at the other one.'

John, who has restored several other tractors, said he knew the fluid was working when he could feel it through the side caps.

While he had the head off, he also completely replaced the rings and installed new sleeves and new bearings. Recently, he replaced the head - after searching for six months to find a good used one. 'I've had seven and they've all had cracks.'