This has been a great time for me restoring the old WC. It turned out to cost a lot more than I thought it would, but there are much more expensive or wasteful things one can do in a midlife crisis. The final tally of expenses was enough to shock me, as I was only keeping mental tabs on the big items. I donít think Iíll divulge the numbers but I suppose anyone who has done a complete restoration of an old tractor could guess pretty close. I am now convinced there is no profit in restoring old tractors after spending probably twice what the tractor is worth. The cost of equivalent therapy would have been far greater though so call me crazy but Iím thinking Iíd like to do another one.
I purchased the WC on January 15th 2004. Then after a cold Minnesota day trip out to the farm with wrenches I found a cutting torch would be in order as the bolts that had held the rear rims on were not going to cooperate. My brother in law was kind enough to bring his fire wrench out to the old barn. Itís tough to beat working on an old rusty Allis in January in Minnesota in a barn that the wind and snow blows right through. I ordered rims on the 20th and had them sent to the tire store in my hometown where tires were installed. Then on the 6th of February a friend and I made the 160-mile trip out to the farm with a trailer. My cousin that farms the place had cleared the driveway so we could get in; it was blowing so the drifts made it look like we could have filmed it for a truck commercial. With new rims and tires and new bolts all set we were able to mount the tires on the tractor without getting frostbite. One of the front tires still held air from the trip out a couple weeks earlier so the tractor wasnít too tough to push up on to the trailer.
With it home in the garage I felt like a kid with a new toy at Christmas. I tore down the top-end and freed up the one piston that was stuck and changed the fluids. It started up nicely on the 20th of February two weeks after getting it home. It filled the garage and most of the neighborhood with smoke but I was all smiles and ready to drive it around proudly. There were many things that needed work so I started teardown on the 12th of April, the more I tore apart the more I found worn out or broken Ė exactly what one should expect from a 60 year old work tractor. I decided a complete teardown would not only be fun but necessary.
I needed to buy a welder, a sandblaster, a bigger air-compressor, a bunch of air-tools, lots more wrenches, etc., etc. Ė those are not included in the cost of the restoration of course. There were hundreds of hours sandblasting and many late nights in the garage, but my family knew where to find me. It was eight months later on the 28th of December when it fired up again this time no smoke either. Many small details took lots of time, and on the 10th of June the starter was the last item to be functional and the tractor could be called complete again.
I couldnít have done it without a lot of help from other folks that either supply parts or knowledge from having done it before. A big Thank You to all those that helped me out, I found Allis Chalmers enthusiasts to be very friendly and helpful. Iíll list some here that I highly recommend if you find yourself needing help on an Allis:
Tony Carbaugh: http://www.tonystractors.com/
Manuals can be found here: http://3000toys.com/allis/item_seek.asp
Steve at B&B Custom Circuits: firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Cylinder Heads, Andover MN.
Bill Deppe Ė old Allis bone yard in Maquoketa, Iowa
Brake & Equipment, Minneapolis MN
The Clutch Doctor, North Branch MN
John's Auto Electric, Rogers MN
Paint used was PPG Delstar DAR60080 Persian Orange
Links for Old Tractor Nuts
http://www.allischalmers.com/ The forum here is very good for getting answers of all types, a great bunch of people and no matter how obscure the question there's always someone with knowledge for all things Allis Chalmers.
All praise and glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for making all things possible.
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