I've started repairing parts prior to the assembly.
The clutch shaft had worn down and needed repaired. The shaft was welded up and reshaped using grinders and files
The clutch pedal received a new bushing, drilled for a grease zerk, and the clutch linkage rod hole was welded shut and re-drilled as it was nearly worn through the casting.
I pulled one of the bearing retainers to inspect the bearings. This is a new one being installed, they are heated and dropped into place where they then shrink to fit. This is what holds the axles in the tractor.
The Sherman Overdrive was rebuilt. All the bearings are available new but the different shafts and gears are not. I had to replace the output shaft and located used one in PA. John Smiths web site was a useful tool for rebuilding the Sherman. Click here
for the best instructions I know of for rebuilding a Sherman Transmission.
The Sherman is installed in the rebuilt transmission. All of the bearings are available new for the transmission.
The clutch cross shaft bushings were replaced but the shaft was not. The hole for the Sherman lever was cleaned and primed. The Big rubber grommet will be installed later, The handle is on only for testing.
With the transmission done the tractor assembles quickly. In a matter of a couple hours this was assembled from a pile of parts, nuts, and bolts.
The hydraulic cover was disassembled and cleaned. Fortunately the lift shaft bushings were decent and didn't need replaced as that's a big job. The cylinder was in great shape and was just honed, the piston looked very good so I just replaced the 3 steel rings.
The hydraulic pump was installed followed by the pto shaft. Then the Hydraulic cover is lowered onto the tractor and the linkage attached to the pump.
The chassis was assembled and prepped prior to priming. Most of the original paint has now been removed. I use a combination of wirewheels mounted on 4.5" grinders and air tools. I was going to paint the tractor as an assembly but due to scheduling problems getting the motor finished I decided to prime the back half before it rusts. The primer is Val Spar restoration series primer.
After being primed. I've switched to using an HVLP (High Volume low pressure) gun which in theory and when used right produces much less overspray than the typical syphon cup sprayers that have been used for years. I'm still learning how to paint again but I'm improving. The gun is much less forgiving of paint reduction and air pressure settings and thin paint is trouble.
Engine overhaul has started. Check out the Tips and Tricks as I document rebuilding this motor.
Here the motor has been assembled and bolted back up to the tractor.
Work continues, the newly re-chromed parts are back which are unique to the early N's, The aluminum dash is quite noticible. I've started pre-painting areas that are hard to paint when fully assembled.
The tractor has been painted with PPG Omni acryllic enamel and asembly continues
Here the rear wheels have been sandblasted and primed with epoxy. I allow the paint to set 24 hours then scuff sand with 3m pads and fill any pitting.
The tractor was assembled and the motor started for the first time last week (5/25). Unfortunately it didn't go well and the oil pressure dropped the longer it ran. The motor has been pulled and there is extensive bottom end damage. The crank is at the machine shop being evaluated and I've started working on the sheet metal
After a month of evaluating parts, another trip to the machine shop, and another box of parts the motor was rebuilt again. This time it started as it should and after a few problems with cheap oil pressure gauges everything is well, or was. Shortly after running about an hour I found oil under the weep hole in the front of the transmission.
The oil leak was chased back to the counter shaft in the Sherman which is a press fit. The Sherman was removed, disassembled, new gaskets cut, and reassembled. This time a wipe of gasket sealer was used in the housing where the press fit shaft resides and so far no more leaks. After pulling the motor 2x and a second overhaul I repainted the motor. The back half of the tractor was taped off and the motor (only) was prepped with scotch brite pads and re-painted. You can't tell its been out (twice).
With the tractor running as it should its off to sheet metal. As of today the hood, doglegs, and CM Hall front lights are painted. An early set of riveted front wheels have been located with single rib Firestones. While a bit pitted they are a welcome addition to the restore and will appear soon. Its funny how strait a hood looks until you start working on it. I welded up 6 holes and braised a couple more. I am using a new to me product called glazing putty and don't know how I lived without it. Its like thin bondo that sets 5 times quicker.
The original front wheels I located were in typical shape and needed to be sandblasted and refinished.
Here a front wheel has been sandblasted and primed with epoxy paint. Minor pitting has been filled with spot putty and sanded smooth prior to the first color coat. I paint everything twice. The first color coat usually reveals something previously not found so I just plan on it. Then its wetsanded with 400 or 600 grit paper carefully so as to not sand through the finish then painted a 2nd time. This produces a fantastic gloss. I often use less expensive Alkyd paint as the first color coat as it makes a nice base and the 2nd color coat only requires maybe 2 or 3 coats max.
The finished product after much handwork filling and sanding (removing pits)
As of 7/13 the tractor is together and the hood is on altough not complete.
Wiring has begun for the headlights, tail light, and work light.
After a couple of startup issues the tractor is completed. One test run to get fuel revealed a loose wire on the ignition switch and a plugged carb. It's normal to have a few startup problems considering how many things were rebuilt.
The rear view shows the restored original worklight and taillight. The tail light is a TARUS light and aren't always wasy to find.
Consistent with the ealry N's this tractor has the aluminum front grill (replacement) and CM Hall Headlights.
And one last look. 6 months of work nearly every weekend and many nights.