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Mikman48's Suburban Restoration

11398 Views 182 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  MikMan48
Now that my other Sears tractors are coming to a close I decided to start a new project. Since I got into the hobby I had always wanted to try a restoration, and have the extra time now gave me a good start on it. This project is a lot of firsts for me, and once I get back to work progress will be slow (maybe even Ellis project slow :hide:.... his reason is for quality tho, mine it is hard to say). It will be a rattle can restoration and a lot of details of it are going to change as we go, so it should be fun :). It will not be a fully authentic resto but will have some modifications

The tractor itself is a '75 ST/16 that I purchased in a lot of attachments. It was a mostly complete tractor less an engine which had been taken apart and left in the rain. I have people give me engines quite often so once I get towards the end of the project I will decide on the engine. The 1st and 3rd picture is how I got the machine. The rear rims, weights and hitch got taken for other machines, my spare rusted set of rims were put on, and the front tires were replaced with the take offs from my Dad's Kubota as a spare set of rims having 16.5x6.5x8 6ply tires on it

I didn't take a lot of pictures of disassembly but have it pretty well broken down. The PO liked replacing parts with overkill, the large pulley was for the idler, and once tearing down the front end he had used an upgraded tie rod too. I will be replacing those items back to stock

The nose cone was bolted back together with a steel plate. All of the pieces are there, it is in 3 seperate pieces, so I have been watching videos online on how to fiber glass and plan to try my hand at it. I purchased a DIY kit made my Bondo and plan to try it in the next few days. It probably will be far from perfect, but I don't think I can make it worse :sidelaugh:. It's a nice little project to learn on! If anyone has any nose cone repair tips or fiber glass tips in general I'm all ears!

The transmission was the major part the tractor project hinged on. After pulling the shifter it looks good inside so the project is on. One bolt broke in the rear anchor point so we have been working to remove it. The PO had this rear end out at one point in its life, the shifter was freshly greased, shifter gasket was torn inside before I opened it, brake band bolts were lose, and washers were missing from the rear frame section

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Yeah I think it's going to turn out great 👍 👌
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Little more progress! Got the front tires mounted up and started assembling more of the chasis! Time to get back to painting small bits
Tire Automotive tire Wheel Synthetic rubber Tread

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Synthetic rubber Tread

Furniture Cabinetry Table Television Wood

Also a question for the think tank here, how does everyone restore the tractor steering wheels? This one is rubber coated and is faded pretty bad. Curious what everyone else does [emoji4]

Wood Rim Automotive wheel system Font Bicycle part
Glasses Brown Vision care Wood Tints and shades

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The V61s look good mounted up. I've never had to restore a rubber coated wheel. I would think that painting is out. I gave dye some thought but then started thinking that simply using a tire black dressing product should do the trick. You would probably need to re apply from time to time as you would on car tires, but it wouldn't take long to do. I'm sure you know that some leave glossy finishes and others matt finishes so you could choose between the two.
If you nothing to lose on the steering wheel try using a propane torch and very carefully running the flame around the rubber. It will melt the very outer layer of rubber and blacken it up. Try it on the underside of the wheel and see what happens. Just my thought.
I would just leave it the faded patina that it is...while out of the tractor I would separate the wheel from the shaft and clean it up, wire wheel the threads and the head on the nut.... and reassemble with some anti seize compound for future work on it it needed.
I would go with leaving it alone or the tire shine, because those rubber steering wheels don't like heat they tend to melt, and end up looking alot worse.
Thinking about it some more, vinyl paint dye may still be another option. I was skeptical but used it on the 140's seat and it turned out great. It hasn't faded or rubbed off either. It would probably work on your steering wheel.

Green Paint Liquid Solution Tints and shades
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Green
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Motor vehicle
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Nice looking 140 you got there (y), I've never tried that paint might have to give it a try myself.
Thanks again, Old&Rusty. Like I said, I was kind of skeptical but thought I would try it. I was surprised that it worked so well. I used SEM Vinyl Coat marine grade.
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Thanks for the suggestions guys! I will start checking out the options[emoji4].

On the steering wheel it and the shaft would be in for a nasty divorce so they will stay together. I ground the steering gear off the bottom to get the dash off as a lot of the Sears guys do that. Itll get welded back on once the project is finished[emoji4]

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Good decision to leave the steering wheel and shaft together. The steering wheel would definitely be the big loser if you tried to separate them, being "welded" together like that. Sometimes we have to work around things. I recall working around the 408's brake pedal being stuck on the shaft. I didn't want to try pulling it as it was cast metal and I didn't want to risk breaking it.
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Yeah it makes a little extra work but haven to work around the extra parts but it makes you appreciate the finished product that much more when it's done
Made a bit of progress! I started yesterday by touching up the rims where it got marks mounting the tires and got it assembled onto the tractor. I also put the transmission mount in the frame

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Motor vehicle

I then wire wheeled some of the last parts for the transmission so I can keep moving along with that and shot some paint. Pictured are the 2 clamps for the hi/lo rod to the frame, the belt keeper, and a small bushing for the mule drive engagement lever as it was in the pile

Wood Floor Flooring Hardwood Metal

I also gave the steering wheel a good bath tonight and put it out to dry. I'll let it fully dry and then try some back to black on it

Plumbing fixture Tap Sink Fluid Water

Wood Flooring Floor Rectangle Triangle

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It's starting to look like something, Mikey. The V61s, wheels and axle look good back with the frame. The back to black sounds like a good idea.
Thanks Dave! We're getting there

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It's starting to look like something, Mikey. The V61s, wheels and axle look good back with the frame. The back to black sounds like a good idea.
Made a little more progress today. I started by cleaning up the brake linkage, parking break cam, as well as a few small washers for the rubber bushing under the steering wheel and painted them. Next up was cleaning up the parking brake lever as well as the replacement front mule drive cover hinges and getting them in primer

I then took a stab at a few attempts of using Back to Black on the steering wheel as well as the rubber pushing under the steering wheel. I think it cleaned it up pretty well!


Pictures won't work correctly in that last post so I'll try again here
Wood Machine Hardwood Cable Wire
Fluid Road surface Drink Font Gas
Wheel Bicycle tire Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bicycle part
Household hardware Wood Auto part Fashion accessory Metal

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Looking good 👍
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Mikey, that Back to Black does a nice job. Good find. Your painted parts came out great. A little at a time, and you're getting there.
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Everything that Al said, Mikey! (y)
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