My first "restoration", and a little about me

Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:05 pm

I couldn't figure out a better place to post this than to put it in this topic. I hope you all agree.

I'm still learning my way around, and trying to get familiar with this great forum. I'm not totally new to cubs, as my Dad used to have a 67 and I used it some. I mainly just mowed and scraped the driveway with it.

My ebay and email handle is "Signalyard" because I used to have railroad signals as a hobby, and I had an old restored train signal in my yard. Well, the opportunity presented itself for me to actually turn my hobby into a career. So now, while I no longer have the signal in my yard, I have a railroad job working on signals. Because I work with the stuff, I don't have the inclination to do any railroad relic restorations at present, so I have all that old stuff stored away. Maybe when I retire I will do something with it. Right now, I'm just not that interested.

I am however, interested in Farmall tractors, and Cubs in particular because they are the correct size for my needs, and I do know a little about them.

Which leads me to a story. My first "tractor restoration" if you want to call it that, was a little 6hp Huffy lawn tractor. My Dad picked it up after seeing it setting near a barn near Danbury, NC. He brought it home with the intention of making me a go kart out of it. We didn't have a lot of money, so he was being creative. It was the perfect thing for me.

He reworked the idler pulley and belt so I had to push the pedal down to engage the transmission. If I let up on the pedal, the thing would stop. Since we lived on a hillside farm lane, the brakes got used alot too. Luckily, they still worked. He took the rusted out mower deck off of it, and thus I now had a rusty little lawn mower that I referred to as my "Go Kart". However, it was not without its problems.

I remember when I was 12 an old and very brave (or crazy) fellow came to my Great Uncle's farm near my house with a Farmall H tricycle tractor and bush hog on the back and cleared off a very steep hillside. It was sheer terror to watch him backing it up the hill into the briar patches and it sounded like he was destroying the bush hog. Anyway, he got it cleared off. I was impressed with his old H, and wanted to make my little tractor look like that. So, I sanded it down and painted it Farmall Red. I bragged about how I had "restored" this little tractor. However, this didn't really qualify as a restoration as I soon found out.

The little old Huffy had been left out in the weather for years before I got it, and the 6HP Briggs and Stratton engine had suffered for the neglect. I would quite frequently be riding up the hill at its top speed of about 3 mph when the thing would just DIE! I would crank on it until I was exhaused, and end up coasting back down the hill home. As I got older, and earned a little income from helping stack hay and wood, I finally got the money to go get the parts to fix the engine. After fixing the engine, the transmission stripped out all the forward gears. I could not find another transmission, so I eventually junked it.

I have to say that the little Huffy got me started with working on machinery, and I learned how to tear things apart and fix them and put them back together again. But, I also learned that you need not abuse parts that are hard to fix or find. That little transmission was something I just couldn't find a replacement for. I was trying to pop a wheelie like a pulling tractor when I stripped it out. I had put a hundred bucks into that engine and threw it all away by stripping the transmission out. That was a hard lesson to learn for a little fellow earning 5 buck a week stacking fire wood.

So, here I am now ready to get at working on a tractor again. I don't yet know exactly what I want except it should be a Cub, and probably the late 40's to early 50's variety. I can fix a lot of stuff, and I have a place and the tools to do most of the work. I used to also help Dad with his cub repairs and implement changes, so I'm not totally new to them.

One big thing I remember about my ol' Huffy; when I got done restoring it, it looked really great. But, most of the time it would NOT start. I will never call something "restored" again unless its been put back to almost new and runs like a top. 25 years of life experiences have changed my opinions a great deal.

So, when I get a Cub it will probably be one that will need my attention before its ready to work. And, that suits me just fine. Restoring it will come later. I'll make sure I get it running and working first. :D

Re: My first "restoration", and a little about me

Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:10 pm

Great intro and welcome to the forum. The right Cub will come around before you know it. In the mean time enjoy the forum and read up on some of the posts. They will come in handy when that Cub gets to you.

By the way, you posted this exactly where it should be.

Re: My first "restoration", and a little about me

Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:03 pm

Great introduction!!! Enjoy the ride.


Re: My first "restoration", and a little about me

Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:26 pm

Great Introduction- Welcome to the Forum. :) Johnny J

Re: My first "restoration", and a little about me

Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:26 pm

Great introduction! :D I am sure I speak for many in looking forward to your future participation in the Forum. Welcome!

Re: My first "restoration", and a little about me

Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:15 pm

I enjoyed reading your intro. Sounds like you have a good plan. These things are addictive and they are a blast to play with/work on/work with, so I am sure you will get lots of enjoyment out of the one you eventually get. Happy Hunting :D

Re: My first "restoration", and a little about me

Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:00 am

Welcome to the Forum! Just remember, no wheelies with the CUB :wink:

Re: My first "restoration", and a little about me

Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:22 am

excellent intro, i too had a "little tractor" my dad made for me as a youngin. i also tore up the transmission. 30 some years later, i have put a new engine in, as it was shot, put some new gears in the transmission, new shifter knob (had to have that machined) and she runs as good as new) ... 20Tractor/

Re: My first "restoration", and a little about me

Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:57 am

Thank you everyone! I appreciate the welcome I've received. I've never seen anything like it. :{_}:

I also enjoyed the photos of the little tractor. I really wish I had kept mine. The reason I got rid of it was because a lot of the pieces were missing because I had made a last attempt to restore it in high school but lost interest. The parts got scattered and lost. I do hope to find another one. Every now and then I see similiar models on ebay.

Thank you all again for the welcome. I'm really excited about being a cub owner one of these days! Hopefully here soon!

Re: My first "restoration", and a little about me

Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:21 am

Great story Signalyard, thanks for sharing.

I would imagine many of us started tinkering with riding mowers :D I talked Dad into buying a riding mower to cut the grass, was also a Huffy, but had to be the bottom of the line, it was 5 HP also, had solid tires, just had 1 forward and reverse, blade was a direct hook up to the engine shaft, you adjusted cutting height by changing spacers on the blade! Well wasn't long and I figured out a 3-speed trans would bolt in and if you changed the pulley size ratio it related to speed :D I could out run a Honda mini trail 50 at the time :D oh the good ole days! Perhaps that is why I had a fasination with a '63 Springfield 36 I recently purchased... :?:

Best of luck on your Cub quest,

Re: My first "restoration", and a little about me

Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:22 pm

Today my oldest son, age 11, decided to clean up my 112 riding mower. So, I pulled it out behind the garage, and he and got out my car cleaning stuff and went to work. I went out to check his progress and he's got it all cleaned up now. It's painfully obvious to me that it needs a coat of paint. He wants to "restore" both my lawn mowers. And, his idea of a restoration is a coat of paint just like mine was at age 11. I told him we would paint it sometime. I purchased the paint a while back, but I've been waiting for warmer weather. It will need to be sanded down and have the fiberglass repaired first.

It looks like the tractor "bug" is rubbing off on my boys too. Poor kids... :D