The first image shows the tractor as it sat on the day I bought it in 2007. The second image is the day I removed the engine to rebuild it just a few months ago. The original seat as you can see was the original low-back that I received with it.
In 1973 the Wheel Horse 3-Piece Seat
(WH model: 8-2010) was available as a "Dealer Installed Option
", as was the "Head/Tail Light Package
(WH model: 8-0813), the "Cigar Lighter
" (WH model: 5480), and a few other things. I have a tendency to make my restores "my own" so a few things were added over the years, as the need dictated. This particular tractor was purchased from a local seller, and was strictly my daily driver for the past 8 years. When the engine spun the rod, I had planned on refreshing the engine as required, once I got it apart and miked everything out.
To my surprise, the bore miked at 3.2505-3.2510 top to bottom (K241 tolerance is +0.003), was still round, and only required a standard piston/ring-set. Not bad for a 43 y/o machine. The crank was soaked in Muriatic Acid overnight to clean off the swiped aluminum, and the crank journal miked out at 1.4995 (K241 tolerance is -0.001). Again, a major surprise for a 43 y/o machine. So I ordered a standard refresh kit and, while waiting for parts, decided to sandblast the tins and re-paint the engine. There's where my problems started. LOL
Once the engine parts arrived and the engine was re-assembled, I couldn't bring myself to put the now pretty engine back onto the scruffy tractor. A few hours later the rolling frame sat, in exploded diagram mode, all over my driveway and was being repainted. The rest, as they say, is history.
The upgrades from the original machine consist of the following:
1) Three piece seat was procured some years ago at an auction. I did the seat covers myself, and sand blasted and painted the metal.
2) The Head/Tail Light package was picked up somewhere, and it was installed during this rebuild.
3) The cigar lighter was not present on the original. I had one lying around so installed that as well.
4) The original deck was a 42" Side Discharge (SD). I traded someone for a 42" Rear Discharge (RD) because the SD deck didn't fit between some of the areas on my property.
One of the interesting discoveries was that the entire wiring harness had been chewed over its entire length. I really don't know how the tractor was even running, as darn near every inch, of every single wire, had been mouse-chewed. How it wasn't shorting things out is anyone's guess. So ... one of my major tasks was to locate all the connector shells and associated pins, then reproduce the wiring harness with the addition of the head/tail lights and cigar lighter.
Start to finish it took 34 days (Calendar time) to complete, which translates into about 120 labor hours over 4 weekends. Something on the line of 18 cans of various spray paints (yes, the entire machine is rattle canned), and about $350.00 total (including the rebuild parts) out of pocket, to complete the project. Paint is Rustoleum Regal Red with Eastwood's 2-Part 2K Clear rattle can over the top of the Hood and Fender pan. Everything else, except engine block, is just the Rustoleum alone. The engine is painted in VHT Ceramic Chevy Red. All the black and red Vinyl is VHT vinyl dye. Muffler is done in A. W. Perkins 1200 degree Silver grill and stove paint. All decals, including the engine, were supplied by Midwest Custom Graphics (Redo Your Horse
Some time ago I wrote an article on restoring the dash plates. That always seems to get a lot of questions. Here's the before and after shots of the dash. Here's a link to the article: Tractor Restoration How-To & Tutorials - Wheel Horse Tractor Manual, Owner Manual, Part List, Wiring Diagram, Documentation, Forum and much more - The Wheel Horse Tractor Manual and Documentation Website - My Wheel Horse dot Com
The best part about all this is that all the "little things" our tractors possess; things like safety switches not always activating, rattling parts, stray noises, etc.; were all fixed during the rebuild. Rather a refreshing thing when you jump on, turn the key, and off you go with no fuss or muss. Nice, indeed. It's like riding a brand new machine. :thThumbsU