| October 2002

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.