My Tractor Forum banner

1976 Sears Suburban SS/16 Restoration

65989 Views 137 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  GT_80
It's official, I started tonight. Pic Heavy. Worked for about 2-1/2 hrs and got it stripped down from running condition to rolling chassis.
Here's what I started with, bought at auction

First order of business was the dang steering wheel rusted on

It wasnt coming off so I cut it off and am going to use the wheel and shaft off my ST-16 parts tractor. I am also going to use the dash off of it as it is in near perfect shape, where as my SS-16 dash is cracked all to heck.
Doner tractor:

Wheel cut off:

Starting to come apart

Engine lifted off

Making sure the ST-16 Dash would fit

Dash fits great

Piles of parts

The boss and one of my 4 legged helpers checking in

Supposed to have a chance of rain tonight, so I soaked her down in Simple Green and pushed it outside. Maybe mother nature will help clean it:thThumbsU

Random pic showing my tiny work space. 10 x 12 shed I built 6 yrs ago.

Thats all for tonight. More tomorrow evening after I work on her some more after work.
See less See more
1 - 20 of 138 Posts
Didn't she get mad when you soaked her with the simple green? :biglaugh: Oh you meant the tractor not the boss. :bannana: Nice pics. My SS16 looks about the same as yours, except, I don't have the Onan. It is long gone. Mine will be custom, with a Briggs L head twin, new paint scheme (the yellow/white is my least favorite) and maybe some 15 inch tires in the rear.
Thanks for the pics Randy. Keep posting more as the project continues. I'm thinking of doing the same with my other SS12 and can learn alot from your project. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.
the pix are great, keep 'em comin'!
This is a very familiar site for me when I started on my GT/18. Practically, same tractor. If you need any info, let me know. I went over that tractor with a fine tooth comb. It's beyond me why Sears opted for plastic dashes during those years. Couple that together with the shotty, weak hood hinges they put on them. I had to fix both. My dash was cracked around the throttle, not as bad as yours. Replacement looks nice! I never popped the shaft on one of these, post pics when you get around to doing that!

Whenever I'd be working on the tractor, my girlfriend would be studying(she was finishing college up this time last year). So having her come in to check on me was pleasant, but I also knew she was trying to lure me out of the garage! Good luck on your project, looks like it's coming along.

Despite what anyone will say to you if you post too many pics(like I did), the fact remains, you can never post too many pics, we love em!

PS: your can of PB blaster looks like it met the same fate as mine. I ended up backing over mine when pulling the tractor out for paint :biglaugh:
See less See more
Whenever I'd be working on the tractor, my girlfriend would be studying(she was finishing college up this time last year). So having her come in to check on me was pleasant, but I also knew she was trying to lure me out of the garage!:

Getting lured out of the garage is good too :bannana:

I can only work on mine while my wife is at work.. Honey do list is tooooo long, and i found out last week i am gonna be a daddy! :bannana:
Been their did that. Looks like your off to a good start. Your tractor is in pretty good shape. Your new fiberglass dash is 10 times better then that hard plastic crap.

I had a shed like that once.
Yeah that PB Blaster can was left sitting on the tire of my jeep. I backed over it with a 33" BFG Mud Terrian and it still sprays fine!
Yeah that PB Blaster can was left sitting on the tire of my jeep. I backed over it with a 33" BFG Mud Terrian and it still sprays fine!
bet my 35 BFG mud terrains on my Jimmy would have done it in ;)
Not alot of pics tonight, just finished tearing it down and trying to get all the old oil/grease/dirt combination off it.

I'm waiting till tomorrow to buy some sand for my sand blaster and plan to blast the whole thing, piece by piece. I managed to scrub clean and sand the rough stuff off the gas tank. Shined up nice with armor all and a new gas cap.

I got tired of working so I brought out the SS/18 and played in the dirt.

Hope to be able to show yall some pics of sanded and primed metal after this weekend:goodl: .
See less See more
I think those 4.80 8 ags need a new home... the front of my SS16!!
They would require the use of tubes, even then I doubt they would last. They're cracked on the sidewalls all the way through from sitting. I took them off a tiller and they held air for about 5 minutes.
nice progress Randy!!
Boy that tank looks great ! Where did you get the new cap ?
It was the largest cap that Tractor Supply carried in the section with all the lawnmower stuff (blades, belts, misc. parts and filters). Fits like factory.
Man wait till u get to the decal stage...Decals are hard to find....You gotta have someone make them!! So have them done before sanding them off!!!That dash ur using is a better dash than on that year...Not correct for restoration but is an improvement...
Yeah I'm going to take good pics of all the decals, but will try to mask them off and avoid sand blasting close to them. They are in really good shape. Yeah being the dash is not original I considered painting it black and silver like a GT as I really like that color combo, but will just stick to the catepillar yellow and ivory.
Nice pics Randy. Two questions. How much more blaster do you get otta the can by squeezing it when its MT like you do? Does anyone know a color number or name on the lower of the SS16 Randy has? It looks like Small Fry used more of a Cub yellow color. I think the Sears yellow is more of a P_ss green/yellow. I am beginning a resurrection of a SS16 and will probably include some ink. Just wondering if anyone knows a Valspar color number.

:thanku: for the tour Randy.
It's good to have all these totally gross ugly pix of tear down and rusty greasy parts :eek:mg: - reality pix - this is not what everybody displays. I really appreciate it. I have been learning lots of stuff; and this is like a great view of what it's like to buy rusty old junk and make it beautiful - at least I think that's where we are going - right? So, don't spare the graphic uglies - it's all beautiful. :congrats: Those details are valuable to sick and twisted :050: individuals such as myself - well, I am sure a few people here understand that this is the REAL stuff - :ROF not that everyone is sick and twisted. ;) Maybe a few are? :ROF I will let others speak for themselves. :hide:
I guess you have done this before - cos I don't see you labelling all the pieces or anything.

Thanx again. More please.
Well I've restored a few dirtbikes and an old Suzuki quadracer 250 and quadrunner 230, so this sears is a walk in the park with most of the bolts being the same size, so not much labeling needed. Sorry guys, I left my camera at work 45 minutes away so no new pics till monday night. I started sandblasting and got the top of one fender done and ran out of sand. The 4 bags of glass media I bought at Tractor Supply clogged my sand blaster so I took 3 bags back. The tool rental places here that you can buy actuall blasting sand are all closed today (sat.) so I won't have any sand till monday afternoon. I plan on have some pics of the frame getting sand blasted.

As far as the closet you can get to factory color is the Valspar Cattepiller yellow at Tractor supply (that I have found anyways, I think thats what Smallfry used on his, not sure).

I should have gotten the sand on friday but my father in law gave me a free bass boat so I've been working on that most of the weekend.

Again, not pics till monday!

Also the best thing I have found for getting all of that heavy grease off is to scrape as much as you can off, hit it with carb cleaner, then soak it with simple green overnight without rinsing it off. This morning, most of the grease had dissolved off of it. Worked really well.
See less See more
1 - 20 of 138 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.