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Click here to view some before and after pictures of our work!

Click here to view a partial list of primers and paints that we use.

Tractor Restoration is the main part of our business. We have restored many tractors of different vintages and brands. Our process involves several main steps:

1. Assess the tractor
2. Perform mechanical repairs
3. Disassemble
4. Sand Blast
5. Body Work
6. Prime
7. Paint
8. Re-assemble

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A more detailed description of each step follows:


1. Assess the tractor

To assess the tractor, we have developed a spreadsheet that guides us through the many features of a tractor. From this spreadsheet, we can compare the results to previous tractor restoration jobs to provide an ESTIMATE of what it will cost to restore the tractor. This estimate is provided to the customer so that they understand what is going to be required in order to complete the restoration. Sometimes we encounter "surprises" as we are working on a tractor. When this happens, we contact the customer and let them know of the problem and what we recommend to fix it along with the cost to do so.

2. Perform Mechanical Repairs

It is very uncommon that a tractor restoration simply involves a "paint job". At the very least, some new gaskets, wiring, and radiator hoses may be installed. We usually recommend refurbishing or replacing the radiator, water pump, light bulbs, carburetor, ignition points, battery and spark plugs as well. Here is a carburetor that has its fuel bowl removed. The rust will be removed with glass beads in our blasting cabinet.

3. Disassemble

Depending on the extent of the work required, components are removed from the tractor. For painting, anything that cannot be completely painted in place is removed and painted separately. In addition, anything that is blocking access to another component must be removed. The tractor to the left is about to have the engine rebuilt, so the head is about to be removed.

4. Sand Blast

Most large parts are sand blasted with a "pressure-type" sand blaster. The abrasive blasting crystals that we use are able to cut through grease, grime, old paint, and rust to expose pure, bare metal. This is the ideal condition for priming and painting. To protect critical components on the tractor, we fabricate metal plates and bolt them in place and seal the surfaces with silicone before blasting.

5. Body Work

Dents and dings are inevitable with an old tractor. Even a tractor that looks perfect with old, dull paint on it might show dents once a shiny new paint job is completed. Therefore, it is important to go over the entire tractor and look for dents and dings. We use a combination of modern and classic techniques to remove dents and make sheet metal look like new. In cases where rust has eaten away metal, we can fabricate steel patches and weld them in. Once the welds are ground down and the piece is finished, the patch is undetectable. On some tractors, the dents are less subtle as you can see from the picture on the right.

6. Prime

We use several different primers depending on the application. For most pieces we use an epoxy primer to seal the bare metal and then paint it as soon as the epoxy is "tack free". This provides an excellent bond between the metal, primer, and paint. For sheet metal or other parts that require an extremely smooth finish, we first use an etching primer followed by a high-build, sandable primer. Once this dries, we can sand the part to take out any remaining minor imperfections. Sealer is then applied right before the part is painted.

7. Paint

We prefer to use single stage automotive paint for our restorations such as Martin Senour or PPG brand paint. Some customers prefer that we use implement paint from a dealership. This paint is less expensive but generally it is more difficult to get a perfect finish with it. All of the paint we apply has hardener added to it. This gives the paint a better shine and makes it more durable. We like to use the original colors for all of our restoration jobs and this research is always part of the restoration process.

8. Assemble

Once the paint has dried, the tractor is re-assembled and decals are applied. Great care is taken during the assembly process to protect the newly painted parts. Once assembled, bolt heads and other items are "touched up" with a small brush. The tractor looks better than it did when it came off the assembly line. The modern chemicals and processes that we use will help to keep it that way for years and years.


Copyright Lee J. Sackett 2007 Home