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Tech Nerd Tractor Convert
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Discussion Starter #1
Driving to work this morning, this was sitting out at the end of a driveway, upside-down. I stopped immediately and crammed it in the back of my little crossover and ran it home. Talk about a no-brainer.

Seems to be missing a few rods and brackets but probably nothing I can't replace or fabricate. But would help if I could find a manual for it so I know specifically what's missing.

Can anyone identify the manufacturer and vintage of this? The "canvas" (more like reinforced heavy plastic) seems in good shape so I'd guess it's less than 10 yrs old. But there is no writing or labels on it anywhere, except for a non-descript warning label on the inside of the roof (see pics).


Yeah, it's pretty dirty.. needs a good wipe down:




Side view... easy to inspect while hanging from my winch (more on this below).




Front...

The windows are just thin flexible stiff plastic, like the stuff they make report covers out of but a little thicker. Of course they're all scratched up. I may replace them with some plexiglass (maybe even lexan) but that will require some work for proper mounting. Right now the thin plastic windows are actually stitched in.




Back:




Right door open:




Looking down inside the cab at the part of the frame that mounts to the tractor footrests:




Here's one of the door latches.. basically it's just a spring catch that you jam one of the doorframe rods into. I'm showing this detail because this may help someone recognize this cab or narrow down what model it is for me...




A shot of the roof of the cab. Feels like heavy plastic or fiberglass with an orange-peel texture:




Here is the only bit of writing anywhere on this thing, and of course no identification of the manufacturer. This label is on the inside of the roof near the front windshield:




Here I've got it suspended over the tractor (not yet attached) by my newly mounted Harbor Freight 3000lb 12v winch used as a hoist. Purple towel is there just to avoid scratching my hood while I'm fiddling around with this.




And a shot from the back:

 

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Looks like $750 base price so ya did pretty well. Hopefully you can adapt it to fit. Now if someone near me would throw one out.... I'm pretty sure they list on the big auction site too.
 

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Has anyone seen ChimChim?
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Yep that's an Original Tractor Cab. Looks the same as the one on my JD that I paid a "little" more for :)


 

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Tech Nerd Tractor Convert
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Discussion Starter #7
Looks like it could be an Original cab http://www.originalcab.com/
slkpk
Wow that was quick! Thanks slkpk... certainly looks like their product.

I haven't been able to find this exact configuration on their website though. I'm guessing either it's been discontinued or they just aren't showing it in the gallery...

So I downloaded a couple manuals for models that looked close, but so far no match for the shape of the frame in this one.

I suppose even if I had the manual and completed the frame it probably won't match my tractor anyway so looks like I'm in for some frame or bracket fabbing regardless.


Looks like $750 base price so ya did pretty well.
Cool... I thought maybe it was a $400-500 item like the Bercomacs but at $750+ (new) I feel even more lucky to have found one for free. That's almost in full metal cab territory. This one must have been made with that "luxury vinyl".


Yep that's an Original Tractor Cab. Looks the same as the one on my JD that I paid a "little" more for :)
Nice! Yours is quite a bit cleaner too. What is your cab's model number? It looks pretty similar (although not exact) to this one.. maybe if I download your model's manual I might get lucky and find that the frame is similar too.

Also do you happen to have any pictures showing where the frame attaches to the tractor that aren't hidden by the outer canvas? That could be helpful as I'm fabbing something up.
 

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Has anyone seen ChimChim?
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Wow that was quick! Thanks slkpk... certainly looks like their product.

I haven't been able to find this exact configuration on their website though. I'm guessing either it's been discontinued or they just aren't showing it in the gallery...

So I downloaded a couple manuals for models that looked close, but so far no match for the shape of the frame in this one.

I suppose even if I had the manual and completed the frame it probably won't match my tractor anyway so looks like I'm in for some frame or bracket fabbing regardless.




Cool... I thought maybe it was a $400-500 item like the Bercomacs but at $750+ (new) I feel even more lucky to have found one for free. That's almost in full metal cab territory. This one must have been made with that "luxury vinyl".




Nice! Yours is quite a bit cleaner too. What is your cab's model number? It looks pretty similar (although not exact) to this one.. maybe if I download your model's manual I might get lucky and find that the frame is similar too.

Also do you happen to have any pictures showing where the frame attaches to the tractor that aren't hidden by the outer canvas? That could be helpful as I'm fabbing something up.
Yours will clean up nice too, all you need is some armor all for the vinyl and a product for the windows which are actually thin lexan. You can get polish kits for these types of windows from Boat shops, you can go on-line to West Marine and I'm sure they have probably 15 different products for rejuvenating these windows, as most boats have "Isenglass" as well.

I don't have an OTC Model # as JD has the official rights to the cab (thus the reason it was $969.00 and not $700 like all the other cabs they make). But here's the JD Part Number and the JDParts diagram!



http://jdpc.deere.com/jdpc/servlet/com.deere.u90490.partscatalog.view.servlets.HomePageServlet_Alt


I don't have any great photos of how it goes on, but basically it bolts to the floor pan under the foot tread plates.



And the back parts of the frame mount where the grab handles go

 

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Tech Nerd Tractor Convert
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
But here's the JD Part Number and the JDParts diagram!
Awesome... thanks for the frame diagram and add'l pics (that camera takes great shots btw). I'll print this out and go out and study my frame.. I can tell it looks a lot like what I've got already.

Yours will clean up nice too, all you need is some armor all for the vinyl and a product for the windows which are actually thin lexan. You can get polish kits for these types of windows from Boat shops, you can go on-line to West Marine and I'm sure they have probably 15 different products for rejuvenating these windows, as most boats have "Isenglass" as well.
Like this?

You're right, there seems to be a lot of choices. Any particular polish product you prefer or would recommend? This is the first thing I've owned with soft plastic windows.

Isinglass... heh. Is that made in Isengard? Sounds like mythical material produced by elves in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Actually I looked it up.. originally made from dried fish bladders. Okay...

A funny observation... reading some of the Original Cab manuals that I downloaded it seems OTC wants you to treat the windows like a baby's bottom.. don't wash them with anything but warm water and only use your bare hands (?), no cloth of any kind. I don't know what kind of hands the manual writers have (probably very soft ones) but mine are kinda rough.. not sure the windows would like that.
 

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Yeah my cam takes decent pics, the first pic was my Blackberry and it sucks at taking pics.. But sometimes when I am working on something it's faster just to snap a pic with the blackberry, I usually drag out the real camera when I'm done! :)

I don't have any particular recommendations on the Isenglass polish, I've never used any as I treated all my boat's canvas with kid gloves! :)

You do have to handle this stuff delicately as it will scratch just by looking at it the wrong way. I'm not real impressed with this cab considering what I paid for it.. But I had no point of reference before I ordered it, just some photos on the net. It will get the job done, but a hard cab, it isn't! :)

And the JD instructions were horrid.. I swear there's 50 pieces to the frame and I had to go solely off that stinking diagram posted above! :)
 

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You're right, there seems to be a lot of choices. Any particular polish product you prefer or would recommend? This is the first thing I've owned with soft plastic windows.
I`ve gotten good results with Meguires 2 step. One is a cleaner, 2nd is the polish. Used it on conv. top windows and plastic headlamp covers. YMMV
 

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Tech Nerd Tractor Convert
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Discussion Starter #12
Update...

I actually finished this project a few months ago and took a lot more pics but forgot to come back and post them. I was reminded when another member asked if I had ever finished... so here they are. I've been using this cab several times with my snowblower and it's great staying out of the blowback.

These pics are primarily of fitting the cab frame (yet another attachment that wasn't designed for my model) up to the tractor, and of polishing the thin lexan windows of the cab to remove/reduce scratches (using Meguiar's PlastX.. links below).

I also gave the softside material (stoprip vinyl) a once-over with fluid film inside and out to help keep it supple. It also gave it that armor-all sheen for a few days until it was fully absorbed (or evaporated, not sure which).


As a reminder, here was the starting point, as garbage picked:




The business end of the cab.. front hardware which attaches at (sort of) the footrest. Cab is upside-down in this pic.




Same upside-down shot but of the rear attachment hardware (which didn't reach the rear of my tractor.. I had to extend the frame.. more on that later.




Used my overhead winch-as-hoist to suspend the cab frame over the tractor to make it easier to line it up and work with it. Was handy not having to fight gravity.




Used some chain and a threaded link at the four corners of the cap frame to keep it roughly level while hoisted.




Here's where the cab hardware landed at the left footrest. Didn't exactly line up to anything convenient to attach to. Plus I didn't want to lose the footrest rubber gripper pad. Pics toward the end of this series will show how I bent the cab frame to fit up and where I bolted it on.

Parts of the cab frame were pretty rusty but I didn't take the time to clean them up and paint them. I just wanted to get it installed for now, and will go back (maybe in spring) and do all the cleanup and give it a fresh coat of paint.




Pretty much same deal with the right footrest cab frame attachment. Nothing lined up so mods were needed (more later):




I was worried there wouldn't be enough clearance between the steering wheel and the front of the cab for my fingers on the wheel and fist when using the spinner knob. Turned out ok.. there was about 2 1/2 inches of clearance.




Here's the rear of the frame. Kind of came up short.. didn't quite reach the tractor. Well, some of the bracket parts did, but not enough to provide sufficient support.. the whole cab would easily squat down with a little weight. I needed to extend the two main rear cab frame members.. more on this below.




One of the rear support braces was missing (the cab was garbage picked so I can't complain). So I fabbed one up from 3/4" flat steel stock.




I had to cut out some of the left (and right) footrest so the cab's lower bracket would fit.




Here's with the lower bracket in place. Picture out of focus.. camera decided to focus on the body of the tractor behind the frame instead...




Time to put the tractor up on dollies so I could easily move it around, changing it's position under the overhead hoist to cause the cab to lean one way or the other to assist with lining up various parts of the cab frame to the tractor. This is the box for the car dollies I bought at Tractor Supply Co.




The dolly (one of four.. came two to a box).




Here's the tractor up on the dollies. Used the ceiling hoist to get the front wheels up on the dollies and used a hydraulic car jack for the rears.




Here's the rear cab frame tubing where I needed to extend it. At the joint near the tape measure the vertical tube ends and connects to a horizontal tube (going off to the right in the photo) and a flat bracket going down diagonally which I assume was not intended to support weight, just to stabilize. So I needed to extend the vertical frame member straight down. It's 3/4" OD tube that widens to about 1" where flattened at it's end. This fit perfectly in 1" square tubing, so that's what I used.




This shot shows the square tubing installed (and painted). I also added the horizontal member (angle iron) that the square tubing is attached to at the bottom. What I hadn't done yet in the photo (and still haven't done yet) is drill a hole through both the square tubing and the round tubing inside it and install a bolt to fix the two together. Right now without the bolt it kind of acts like two gas shocks and it's fairly stiff so I left it for now.




Another shot from the right side looking back.




And from a little higher angle. That silver metal piece on the right side of the photo is the brace that I fabbed up shown in an earlier pic in the vise.




Cab frame fully fitted up to the tractor here, minus the cap. I'll have some closeups of the interior attachment points further down this posting...




At this point I removed all the softside material (ripstop vinyl with thin flexible lexan windows) and took them outside for a good washing down in preparation to buff out the scratches in the windows.

Here's my high-tech washing station.. old door on sawhorses, mild soap and water, paper towels.




I wanted to put something dark colored (but soft) underneath the windows when I was cleaning and polishing them so the dirt and scratches could be more easily seen. So I used the inside of my beater shop jacket.. worked pretty well, just wasn't big enough to fill the entire window so there was some moving around required.




I bought Meguiar's headlight restoration kit with included PlastX polishing creme (right) and an extra bottle of PlastX (left) just in case.

The headlight restoration kit included a 6 fl oz bottle of PlastX and the entire job all windows (inside and out) ended up using about 4 oz of the polish so I never tapped into the extra bottle I bought. But I figure I'll have other uses for this stuff. It did a pretty good job as you'll see in some of the upcoming photos.




Here's what comes in the restoration kit (drill not included)




Here's the recommended application amount of the polish.. about the size of a nickel. The area you can polish with this amount gets bigger as you go because in the beginning it gets absorbed into the polishing brush but later pretty much all of it ends up on the work. Later on when the brush is pretty loaded up a dollop of this size will cover maybe a 10" by 10" area.




You're supposed to hold the head at an angle when applying... not straight down at 90 degrees, and not horizontal so you're using the edge of the head.. more like a 45.




Here's a shot showing what the polished area looks like compared to unpolished. The polished area is about the upper 1/4 of the window in view in this picture. The part where you see the reflection looking "smeared" is just where it goes over an uneven surface (my jacket beneath it). However it is possible to heat warp the lexan if you polish too agressively. That's something to watch out for. Just take it easy in the begginning and stop and check the warmth by feel periodically until you get a sense for how much speed, pressure and time you can use without overheading the work.



As the job progressed I figured out that it was quicker to pre-apply some dollops (and smaller than a nickel in this case) directly to the window instead of to the polishing head on the drill.




Here's the dull haze you get after polishing with the brush and before removing/buffing with the included chamois.




As I lost the light I had to move indoors...




Here's another shot showing the difference between polished and unpolished.. the little arced area in the corner where the head couldn't reach is the unpolished part.




Same corner viewed from inside the cab.. shows the difference more dramatically as you'd experience if you were in the cab with sunlight shining directly on the window.




Here's a shot of the rear window after polishing




Another closer shot of the rear window after polishing




Here's a sort of before polishing and after polishing comparison of the rear window. Lighting and angle weren't exactly the same so this is a little subjective but the difference was definitely noticeable so the effort was worth it in my opinion.




Then i started on the windshield. It had lots of overall scratches, plus some pretty nasty diagonal abraided areas where part of the front frame would rub on the windshield (I think the PO installed them backwards... I reversed them and this provided more clearance). This is the before shot.




Here's the after shot.




After all windows polished and the softsides back on the cab.




Here's an interior shot, left footrest area showing the little "tire view" window that was also polished.




Here's a before and after comparison of the left footrest area. In this shot you can see how I discarded the bottom angle iron part of the cab frame and put a pretty serious bend in the narrower vertical member, plus where I bolted them to the tractor. Seems with all these mismatched attachments I get I'm always drilling more holes in the tractor or cutting this or that.




Interior shot, right footrest, after clean and polish.




Another before and after comparison, right footrest area. Again, I discarded the angle iron and had to put a few bends in the frame pieces to provide hood relief and get the bolt holes at the ends of the frame members to end up where I wanted them for attachment points.




Interior shot, operator position.




After all the cleaning and polishing I also coated both the inside and the outside of all the ripstop vinyl with Fluid Film. Worked good, but man, that stuff smells nasty for a while until it fades.

Also note the extreme air gap between the cab side doors and the tractor fenders. No worries about CO poisoning in this cab.. plenty of air flow. Nonetheless i do carry this portable CO detector in the cab when I run the tractor.. and so far have not had an alarm.




Another angle, post-fluid film. I put the cab's cap on later.




And here's a recent shot of the cab serving it's intended purpose! (cap visible in this one.. wouldn't do much good in the snow without it)

 

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Cranky Motorsports
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Just as an FYI, I have that same Harbor Freight winch, and the instructions explicitly state DO NOT use as a hoist. Just be careful. Nice cab by the way!
 

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Tech Nerd Tractor Convert
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Discussion Starter #14
Just as an FYI, I have that same Harbor Freight winch, and the instructions explicitly state DO NOT use as a hoist. Just be careful. Nice cab by the way!
Yeah, I read that too in the manual when I bought this one. I kinda scratched my head and couldn't figure out why on earth not, other than the obvious (if you crawl underneath what you're hoisting and it lets go).. which I would think pretty much applies to any hoist even ones designed for that purpose.

But that's a good reminder to post here (thanks), so yes, use this winch as a hoist at your own risk.
:hide:
 

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Great thread! Super sequence pictures. You did right in how you handled the windows. Similar to the ising glass on boats. Thanks for sharing.
 

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you guys live in the land of dreams .come on send some of that elve magic up north.so me and deerlope can get some free.ya think. good one for ya.
 

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Paul,

That project turned out great! :)
 

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Looks good.
 

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That looks great :thThumbsU
Wish I had a cab too, the cold and I just don't get along.
The price was right and with a bit of modification and some elbow greese you've got a very nice looking tractor/cab combo.


Merrie​
 

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Coach John
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Great story, and photos to explain the work you did. Got a cab with my 6216 Simplicity, and "polished" the windows by hand. Like your method better. But cleaned up well and is in use this winter. DO like a frost free face. One addition I made was to mount a 4" 12V computer fan to the front bracket to help keep the front window clean. Works well, and a good $10 investment. Now you may never want to come in from the cold.....
 
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