Don's Farmall Cub Restoration

An adventure to realize a boyhood dream...

This journey started in a hay field behind my grandparent's cabin in Salisbury, Pennsylvania in the mid 1950's. When we were small, my cousin Bill and I would spend most of our summers at our grandparent's cabin, roaming the nearby woods and fields. Behind the cabin was a fenced hay field and beyond that was the neighbor's house and barn. One late summer day, when I was about 8 or 9 years old, we walked past that hay field in our daily travels. In the hay field was a small red tractor, with a sickle bar mower attached, cutting hay. I was fascinated by that little red tractor and immediately made up my mind that, someday, I would have one, too.
 
As is usually the case with most boyhood dreams, my hope of owning a tractor faded into the background as seemingly more important things like college, a career and a family began to fill my life. I would occasionally see one of the little red tractors, which I came to identify as a Farmall Cub, and the dream would come back. But then the dream would gradually drift away again, replaced by more pressing issues.
 
Then, in my early fifties, with my career well established and our daughter out on her own, I decided that I had earned the right to have my very own little red Farmall Cub. So, with the assistance of my friend Roger, I began the search for one that would fit my abilities and budget. We found one at the Diffenbach farm equipment auction in New Holland, Pennsylvania. With Roger's encouragement, I bid on and won the tractor.
 
During the next four and a half years, the project suffered a series of fits and starts. The tractor was dismantled and sandblasted. The radiator was recored and some of the required body work was accomplished. I acquired most of the replacement parts that would be needed to bring the Cub back to close to original condition. It was at this point that I decided that the project wasn't progressing fast enough with me trying to do the bulk of the work. I did some research and through Brian Piersol, contacted Clark Thompson of Hubbard, Ohio to help me complete the project.
 
What follows is the story, in photographs, of the restoration of my Farmall Cub to match the image in my mind of that little red tractor in the hay field, almost fifty years ago.
 
This project took five years, a lot of effort on the part of Clark, Brian, Roger and I, and a good deal of patience and cash. But, I'm already looking ahead to another restoration project in the future. In particular, my hat goes off to Clark. Without his outstanding skills and hard work, this restoration would probably never have been completed.
 
I hope you enjoy the story.

November 14, 2003
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Bottom of engine showing mis-matched bearing caps and homemade brass shims.

November 25, 2003
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Looking into the front of the transmission at the bad bearing. Note the missing balls.

November 25, 2003
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Transmission is rebuilt and ready to go.

December 10, 2003
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It's starting to look like a Cub again!

December 24, 2003
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All the mechanical work is done. All together and ready for a test drive. What a Christmas present!

July 26, 2004
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After disassembly again, the chassis is primed and ready for paint.

August 11, 2004
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Generator, starter, coil and wiring harness back on.

August 16, 2004
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It took five years to get to this point, but here it is. All finished.

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The Cub is at home on Paradise Point Road.

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Brian's Cub, also restored by Clark, was my inspiration during the project.

August 13, 1999
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Loaded up and ready to bring home from the auction in New Holland, PA.

September 1999
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That's me on the Cub behind Roger's barn, with the cultivators still installed.

September 2003
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After initial disassembly, sandblasting and priming. Loaded and ready to go to Clark's.

November 14, 2003
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Top of engine with cylinder head removed. Lots of carbon and scored cylinder walls.

November 14, 2003
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Throwout bearing. It's a little hard to see, but it's cracked.

November 25, 2003
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Rear axle housing with badly pitted bearing. Both sides were like this.

November 25, 2003
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New short block, necessitated by all the problems with original engine.

December 1, 2003
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Engine running for the first time after rebuild. Note good oil pressure.

December 28, 2003
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It certainly feels good to be back driving it again after more than four years.

July 26, 2004
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Wow! That's red!

August 13, 2004
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Just about everything's done, except the decals!

September 5, 2004
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Clark and me prior to loading the Cub for the ride home.