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Discussion Starter #1
My son (and I) are restoring his greatgrandfather's 1964 1010 RUS.

I've had a lot of fun tinkering with it and figuring things out. It was still in pretty good shape, as in no major mechanical problems.

We, should, have all the major stuff taken care of. Now it's mostly little things and making it pretty.

My problem is the bug bit me and I'd like to find me a tractor to rebuild and maybe restore. I'm not as interested in making it show ready as I am getting it work ready and looking presentable. I even have a wild idea of possibly starting a "Tractor Club" at school to rebuild old tractors (and get kids interested in using their hands for something more than a game controller). That idea is still simmering and at least a couple of years away.

This is where I could use your help. I could buy an old tractor that is running and just needs some TLC but I like the chivalrous idea of rescuing one from the sticks. I may wimp out but I'd like to at least give it a shot.

What is a good price point to start at on a tractor that is obviously put out to pasture? Scrap? Higher? Lower? I know there are other factors but I thnk I can wing that part if I know some sort of jumping off point.

Is there a way to tell if the engine is locked up before haggling? With the 1010 I turned the fan blades until I felt the engine turn over (and man that was a good feeling).

Is there any way to check the other vitals; transmission, finals, pto? At least to give some indication of their state? While I am a trusting soul I know that the farmers version of the truth may not match my interpretation of the truth.

Are there some basic tools or gadgets that I should take with me to use, with the owners permission of course.

I know that it's always a crap shoot to some degree. I am just hoping you'll share some things for me to look for so I can make a reasonable decision and stretch my penny-jar a litte further.
 

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Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

It is cheaper to buy one in nice shape and running good than to make one that way. No where as much education or fun.
Really unless it is a really rare high dollar unit it costs more to restore than you can sell it for. Goes for cars, pick-ups and tractors. Oh I left out motorcycles.
Ask me how I know.
 
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Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

If you look hard enough you can find one in fair shape that runs for about the cost of a scrap one. Keep looking and tell alot of people what your doing and looking for. You'd be suprised at what might come up. I just recently picked up a good running Farmall C with like new rear tires for $650. Needed front tires and repairs on the gas tank. I'm going to give it a good re-do for under 1k. They're out there. I mentioned to one of my customers that I played with old tractors and she said her step dad was selling his. Now its mine.

http://www.antiquetractorsforum.com/vie ... f=12&t=331
 

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Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

If your a gambler go for scrap price or a little under. Im a sucker for a challenge so I try to find a bargain :shock:
Do a little looking and see what your trying to get,. PICS help us if you dont know make or model
Parts can be easy to get or hard to find. I love the help from friends and encouragement to go deeper (the only way to learn is from mistakes) :lol:
 

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Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

A school tractor club is a great idea. The local high-school has a little tractor pulling club in their FFA Ag mechanics course. If you get a club started you probably wouldn't have to look for project tractors. When I was in high school all of the projects we built were actually paid for by local farmers that we were building the projects for. Most kids that would be interested will probably have a grandpa that would love to supply an old piece of iron for his grandson an his buddys to work on. If not, you can go to the local coffee shops that the farmers frequent and put up fliers. There are lots of farmers that have an old tractor that they've always wanted to fix up but never found the time. Just having to pay for materials and not the labor is a good incentive for those farmers to get those old irons out of the weeds. After the kids do their work, take their projects to the county fair, and win some ribbons the owner will usually toss a couple hundred bucks their way as a nice surprise thank you.
 

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Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

bikerdave said:
It is cheaper to buy one in nice shape and running good than to make one that way. No where as much education or fun.
Really unless it is a really rare high dollar unit it costs more to restore than you can sell it for. Goes for cars, pick-ups and tractors. Oh I left out motorcycles.
Ask me how I know.

ditto that. starting with one that needs minor work, is cheaper. starting from one that is worth scrap, will cost 2-3x more than starting with a runner that has leaks and a bit dirty.. etc..

have done both.. drug some home that needed a power wash, paint and a re wire... have brought some home that I changed every part on except the chassis.. paid at least another 2x of what I paid for the base tractor...

doing the latter you get more hand time and learn more too..

soundguy
 

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Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

Just a quick thought.......If a tractor starts in the woods, does it really make a sound?

Sorry for the interruption, but when I read the thread title that popped into my head.
 

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Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

Look for cracks, welds, and anything that could easily get water in it. Water over time will not only reek havoc on internal parts but will freeze and crack blocks, trannys, rear ends, etc...

Just the first thing that came to my mind. ;)
 

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Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

The local voc. center restores many a old tractor. Some are ones local people bring in and pay for the parts and such, some are what the students find and bring in and at least one every year is some thing they have bought restore and sell at the end of the year.

:D Al
 

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Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

seen some good stuff come out of a student class.. lotsa free labor!
 
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Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

soundguy said:
seen some good stuff come out of a student class.. lotsa free labor!
Cockshutt Matt had one done by a shop class. I'll see if he can re-post it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

Thanks all for the advice. I will probably pick up one that runs and tinker on it. Now I just have to decide which? I know it will have to be a JD (son works for the JD dealer). He has the 1010 so I may see if I can find a 1020. Then again those 2 cylinders do call to me. Oh well, I'm not in any hurry. I'll just keep saving my pennies and when the right one shows up I'll have the cash to snatch it up.

As for the school tractor club, I'm just kicking it around right now. I'm sure I could get tractors donated. My biggest hurdle, besides getting it approved, is getting a shop and tools. Our school doesn't have auto shop or anything like it so it would have to be built from the ground up...literally. It would take me at least two years working my fund-raiser to get enough to build a basic metal building shell. I figure I can get some donations but I can't go to the well too often.

I do hope I can pull it off. It would be a kick to get an old tractor up and running, put on some shiny paint, and let the kids show it. But more importantly I'd love to get them on it, driving it, using it, and get them a little of the experiences that they are missing out on.
 

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Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

And to think they waste money on football and junk like that!!! :shock: Seriously though, When I was in high school, way back when, we had an ag mechanics class. District cut it in 90. The auto mechanics teacher, and the agriculture teacher got together and went to the school board and asked for extra funds for the 2 classes to combine and reinstate the ag mechanics class. It worked!! I help out with ag mechs 1 and 4 classes when I can, as in class 1 when they are covering history and such, and the class 4 when they do a restore project. If they can get a slight break in the action, Im taking a Cub up there for them to work on. Hope it works out for you!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

To top it off...I'm a science teacher with no Ag/mech background other than my own tinkering. :shock: I have some verbal support but I know how far that will get me when decision time gets here.

What I'm hoping to do, after I get a shop, is to get a few donated tractors (or pick a couple up cheap). Maybe part out one or two and fundraise to get the better restored. Sell it and use any proceeds to fund the next tractor. I may be working at a deficit but with a little fund raising I should be able to offset most of the costs. I'm pretty sure I can get most parts at cost from my JD contact so that will help.

It will be a long row to hoe but with a little help and His blessings it can work.
 

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Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

With the school funding cut so drastic here in Michigan many schools are going into the red big time. Some have totaly cut sports because even with the boosters they don't have the fuel money to go to away games. One district near me even stopped bussing the kids to school so parents had to make arrangemnets. Isn't any way your project would get off the ground here. You would have to set up a totaly off site program fully funded with donations.
It's a sad state when a minor leage sports team has better funding in an area than a school for children.

:D Al
 

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Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

I teach at a small private school so there has never been any money. Tuition doesn't cover everything so we have everything from full-blown capital campaigns and benefit dinners to the 4th graders having bake sales every Thurs. About the only thing I can hope that the school will do is allow the club (not really a problem since it is extracurricular with no budget), give me a piece of land to build on (the biggest variable), and pay electricity.

This isn't the first, nor will it be the last, project to be funded outside of the school coffers.

And it is a great place to work with great kids and the Lord has blessed us.
 

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Re: Any tricks or hints for buying a tractor out of the wood

All of my tractors live outside, that in itself is not a problem for most. The main problem is the exhaust so if it faces up, is not covered and the manifold is intact look for cracking or water in a cylinder or the crank. Check the oil dipstick and look for a high oil level and or a brownie white colour. Both can mean water in the oil which generally means one seized cyl at least. If the oil colour and level is good and there are no visible cracks in the block I would guess the engine will be free or will unseize easily. Other than that rear tires and rims are expensive and everything is a crap shoot. I would prefer a non runner myself and the price would be scrap price minus the pick up or moving charge that would apply if any. You might get it cheaper if they know you are not looking for scrap since many people are sentimental about tractors. While rare tractors are desirable and a bit more valuable at all stages the average tractor has many available used parts at a reasonable cost. A parts tractor or two is a beautiful thing.
 
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