February 20, 2015

Family Tractor: A Different Type of Restoration

1959 International 460 Utility Tractor
221C Gas Engine

This International Tractor has been in the same family for the entirety of it's existence. Although there are some missing parts, and a few repairs that are anything but "original", it has served the family well and they hope to have it re-painted and restored to it's former glory in an effort to preserve the tractor for use around the family farm for many years to come. It was still in use when we first met  the owners. It's primarily used for mowing, and this International still runs like a top! The side panels were removed somewhere along the line and are hidden in the depths of the property. One of the control levers is sheared off and held together with a bolt and hose clamp, and the upholstery on the seat is almost completely gone, but this tractor is a staple of it's home farm. 

We are going to help make sure it stays that way.

Please enjoy these photos of this International tractor as we progress down the long, winding road of our shops first ever tractor restoration

international 460 utility tractor at home
The International 460 Utility tractor, ready for delivery to our shop
for a complete restoration. It was still in use when we saw it for the first time in September of 2014, and it needs to be ready for spring 2015 mowing!


Cleaning the International 460 Utility
Degrease #2 of the International tractor
Tear down tractor
Dis-assembly is under way with draining fluids and sheet metal removal

International 460 Utility tractor strip down
Dis-assembly continues. More dirt and grease under every part we take off! Several 5 gallon buckets worth of grease were scraped off this tractor

Cleaned and stripped International 460
Parts removed and completely de-greased...4 times. Every time a part was removed, a new layer of dirt had to be removed through scraping, power-washing and eventually we could see the codes and stamping on almost every part on this 1959 tractor. Considering it's age, it's in pretty good shape and runs great!
International 460 utility tractor steering box
Stripped off all "removable" parts to access the steering box which is in need of a re-build
sandblasted tractor parts
Paint is stripped from the grill, side panels and other existing sheet metal. Sheet metal straightening and repair will begin shortly to ensure proper fit and a great looking finish!

Tractor paint stripping international 460
1959 International 460 Utility Tractor after sandblasting of the major parts of the frame and engine. We've discovered a few parts that will require repair or replacement including the rear tire tube on the back wheel shown here. If we let it keep leaking there's no way our fresh paint would stick!
International tractor paint red
International Utility tractor in it's fresh coat of paint. We used hardened single stage paint to ensure a long lasting finish on the tractor and matched the color to the original paint codes. 


tractor_assembly
Assembly is underway.
All mechanical aspects of the tractor have been checked and repaired as needed. The steering box was removed and rebuilt and the drag link ends were replaced removing the play from the steering wheel


International_tractor_paint
As Mechanical assembly continues with the last of the parts painted and ready for install(shown above), we move on to complete the sheet metal repair and straightening. The tractor is also completely re-wired, and a couple new pieces are fabricated for the battery box

The original seat has been re-covered and the seat frame and brackets were repaired and refinished. A new steering wheel, tachometer, cigar lighter, and all electrical components top off the refinished instrument panel and we replaced the long missing and forgotten knob on the gear shift. The broken shift lever was also replaced with a used on purchased from Maine Tractor Crossing. 

With the grill in it's final stages of assembly with the correct screen behind it, here's a peak at the front emblem. This international hasn't been this perfect since the day it rolled out of the factory! It's nearly ready to return to the family farm! Did we mention it's been owned by 1 family since it was new? There is a neat history behind this one. 
Restored_1959_international
Here is a taste of how far this tractor has come. We brought this beauty back from broken and missing pieces, a mixture of at home repairs and make shift parts, and mostly grease and dirt covering the whole tractor. The final product will be revealed soon. Needless to say she is beautiful, clean, straight and fully repaired. A true beauty. 

Final touches are happening now, emblems, fluids and a final test run.

Final photos are coming up soon! Stay close!