Weekend tractor restore project


Phillip Rankin
 

   I’m in the process of restoring an old Massey Ferguson 35 Tractor (Circa 1960). During the tear down I broke the bolt (5/8”-18) that held the pivot pin for the front axle in place. I got the threaded hole cleaned out, but the threads were pretty rusty. I didn’t have a tap to chase the threads with, so I purchased a reconditioned one on eBay for $4.00. Figured I couldn’t lose at that that price. The tap turned out to be a very nice, and sharp Greenfield plug tap. Can’t complain about that.

 

 

   

   When it came time for reassembly I dug around in my “this might be useful one day” scrap, and came across a piece of one inch hex long enough to make the needed replacement bolt. I started off by using the tap to make a thread gauge out of another piece of scrap, and then proceeded to make the needed bolt.

  

   The threading gods must have been with me on this one. When I made my first test fit with the gauge I had the fit I was looking for (light drag, no wobble). I’ll probably never get that lucky again. Parted it off, turned it around, and dressed the hex.




    I cleaned the bolt up a bit more, and give the bolt a cold blue treatment. Time to drive the pivot pin into place. It’s a two man operation, so I enlisted the help of my 15 year old. I let him swing the hammer since the impact doesn’t always agree with my carpal tunnel problems.




   Since I hadn’t planned on using a lock washer under the bolt head I cut the shoulder to be a snug fit, and applied Locktite 242 to the threads on assembly. My son is a little heavy handed, and not a very good aim with a 4lb hammer as per the hammer marks left on the flange, but it was a good learning experience for him, and the help was much appreciated. The front axle pivot is now ready for another 60 years of use. Job complete.

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