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Bringing an LGT 120 back to life

29741 Views 68 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  4x4_Welder
I recently picked this up from a fellow scrapper, in line about to be crushed:

1972 Ford LGT120, and aside from a bit of surface rust it's in quite good shape. It even runs!
All the body tub mounts were broken, so I ordered new ones from McMaster-Carr. The part numbers are 9376K48 for the larger rear ones at $1.93 apiece, and 9376K19 for the smaller front ones at $1.60 apiece. You will need four of each. These are a little softer than what I was going to use originally, but should hold up fine. I'll just have to make a mental note to not try and lift by the body.
I found that to pull the rear body tub off, you need to be able to rotate the brake pedal lever beyond it's normal range, and since it's welded to the shaft you need to loosen the stop. Mine had a rusted in roll pin, so I had to go to plan b, extend the pedal slot in the tub:

I cut the slot about 3" further forward with a torch, and once off I smoothed it out to look nearly factory.
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With the body off, I scuffed it up well with a sanding sponge, and removed the old stickers (except my foil tag, that's staying):

The paint actually looked much better once the rust staining was gone, but I was pretty committed by this point. After sanding, I washed it down with Simple Green. My steam cleaner didn't survive the winter (again) so unfortunately I had to hand wash it with cold water.
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I primed the whole tub, painted the underside and used a high build primer on the top:

Tomorrow I'll wet sand the top with a scotch brite pad, and paint.
I primed and painted the rear half of the chassis as well:

Not a full restoration by any means, but it'll look decent for a while in addition to running well.
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I sure do like these kind of projects! I have been following your thread since you saved it from the scrap yard. You're doing a great job!:thThumbsU
that ford should do everything you ask of it. Great machine.
Thanks, guys. I know I won't be able to line up the finished product against one of John's machines, but it'll still look and run better than just about anything you can get today.
Looking good, 4X4. Sounds like you are getting things fixed up pretty good.
Lookin good! I too have an older rig that needs to be finished. I am using it now, so it will need to wait until winter. But what did do is make sure its fit is spot on and everything works perfectly, now all I need is to disassemble and paint. I'm almost done with my diesel converted rig so I will looking for something to do ;)
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Well, I had a giant long post and my computer decided to refresh the page so I lost it all.
Pics of today's progress:
Tires loaded with three gallons each of windshield washer fluid, painted and installed:

Rear body tub painted and wet sanded. I wanted to just do one coat, but the wind here made the overspray so bad I had to wet sand and do it again:

Gratuitous shot of the Roper:

Since I forgot to paint the underside of the Roper's deck before the season started, I decided to do it now. Deck size comparison:
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the ford deck looks HUGE! what is it? a 48?
50", measured outer blade tip to outer blade tip. The Roper is a 36".
The deck looks to be in good shape.

My deck needed some patches welded in. After welding, I managed to procure some 2 part pourable roof sealant from a guy on the job. It works great and 10 years later, it's still in there and grass won't really stick to it.

Here's a pic of it's use on a Gravely deck I recently redid. Stuff is great and hardens to a pliable rubber that is quite durable on decks.

Mixing the 2 parts together:


Spreading with a plastic cake batter spatula:

Finished product:

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I bet that some hard stuff to find now days. Looks like it seals REAL good. Thanks, John.
That is pretty cool. Ford used a similar thing on the wheels of the Tempo and Escort to turn plain steelies into what looked like alloys. It was a bit heavy, but durable and resilient. My ex ran her Topaz into who knows how many curbs, and while trashing multiple tires she barely even scratched the rims.
I got my deck undersides painted today, and the body tub. I just need to let it dry and then I can bolt it back on. Now that the rear tires are back on, I'm going to haul it to the carwash so I can clean all the grease and gunk off the engine and paint that end. It'll probably be next weekend, though, since the paint is a bit pricey and I'm out of it.
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Well, another decently productive day. The wind died down long enough that I could put the second coat on the tub, and the sun and heat dried it quite quickly. I installed the tub with the new rubber pieces, it went together fairly easily.

I need to go get my heat gun out of storage so I can get the decals off the hood, then I need to fill a couple holes from what looks to be a snowblower chute crank rest. It's mounted on the left side through the decal.
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:crybaby: I have only started on my LGT 145, Yours looks great! I will be ordering the All the body tub mounts from McMaster-Carr also, Thanks for the part numbers.

Keep up the good work, and stay cool... literly.
Luckily it's not quite as hot here, but considering that it'll hit the 40s at night, 85 feels like 100. That and the fact that there was a frost only three weeks ago.
Does anyone have another steering wheel in decent shape? I want to pull mine to pull the console and trim ring but there is JBWeld and some sort of paper between it and the shaft. I don't want to pull it and be stuck.
I can get a new one from Messicks, but I don't want to spend $50 plus shipping.
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I made some progress this week, over the last week i masked all the warning and id labels and yesterday I painted the front half of the tractor. I painted the grille white and tomorrow I will mask that and paint blue, leaving the raised grid white. It should look pretty sweet.
I am going to just mask the front decals and paint around them, I will replace them in a few years when I re-do this thing properly.
How much tiller do you think this thing can handle? I have completely struck out trying to find the one for it, but I have most of the stuff to build a reasonable facsimile. The gearbox I have is more than capable of handling the power of four or five of these tractors, but is only a 3.9:1 ratio so I'll have to find another 5:1 or so in the belt between the PTO shaft and gearbox. It'd be nice to run a 48" wide path, but I doubt this thing would like doing that very much. Maybe a 36"?
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Well, I painted the grille today, and that was a pain. Next time I'm doing it differently.
After paint, I put the front tires back on, sorted out the wiring, put on new battery cables and threw in a nice new battery. It fired quickly and easily, and I took it for a spin. Without a seat these ride a little rough. It took a few minutes to figure out the shifter pattern, since I don't have a decal for it but once I did it was pretty fun. Good speed range, reverse is a little higher than I expected but not too bad.
The transaxle is a bit noisy, but I'm assuming that's due to straight cut gears. I did fill it with 90wt before starting.
Now to the pics:

It looks decent from this distance, but up close it's not all that pretty.
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Looks fine from Oklahoma. LOL Got to look better than it did. You might give Olcowhand (Daniel) a PM. He may be able to fix you up on the decals. Got my LGT165's from him, nice set. He's not around here much, but I can contact if necessary.
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