Due to mid-course correction on Allis Chalmers G project
Restoration on the Experimental Farm’s 1949 Allis Chalmers model G tractor is underway! It’s a tractor we grew up with as kids 60 years ago. (!) (More here.)
Cute as a lady bug. Hoping to get thumbs up to line up in the Orchard Ridge Independence Day parade. The big attraction is an all lit-up Madison fire truck sounding its sirens, followed by 40 kids wobbling on decorated bikes and parents pushing red, white and blue strollers. Probably ten paraders for every one spectator. One year county board member Blaska and our alder at the time (Cindy Thomas) rode as parade marshals on the rag top bonnet of an open convertible Caddy. (Blaska’s personal Palm Sunday. How soon they turned on him!)
Change of plans! Had intended to bead blast and professionally spray paint but too much dinero and too much running around southern Wisconsin pulling a $96 a day, rented tilt trailer. Not going for trophy show quality, anyway.
Instead, the Head Groundskeeper and #1 son are running sanding sponges and wire brushes over the critter. Already wore out one brush. Then smooth over everything with 400-grit sandpaper (so fine, it hardly seems like anything). Will wash everything down. Degrease the engine but unsure about trying to paint it. The thing runs and we want to keep it that way. Cover up what needs covering up and spray paint ourselves with a $45 spray gun. The thing involves twiddling three knobs; one for how much paint, another for the wide of the spread, a third for how much air. Keep the gauge at 35 psi.
Attending You Tube University body shop class. We welcome the participation of any sidewalk superintendents.
Gonna do everything outside
No paint booth; spraying only in a light breeze, early in the day. Hoping for low humidy. Got a cheap respirator from Northern Tool just the same. Never done this before. Thoughts and prayers appreciated. Will issue a bulletin to the neighborhood the day of the big spray so that small children and pets can be brought inside. Likely the DNR will issue air quality warnings on the new electronic message boards over the Beltline.
What we’re hoping for
Base coat of Omni epoxy primer with hardener. Finish coat with Persian orange #1. NOT Persian orange #2! Oh, no. Allis Chalmers went to Number 2 in 1960; we want to be correct! Spraying 2K single-stage urethane from Nason Ful-Thane. Guess the price of one quart?
One hundred and three dollars! Mix it 8 to one part activator ($52 right there) and two parts reducer ($16). (That’s the stuff that helps the concoction spray through the tiny nozzles.) Steve at Body Supply Shop on Greenway Cross in Madison was very helpful. Everyone says the professional paint will hold up better than rattle can so that’s what we’ll do.
Which means we spent $96 on 16 aerosol cans of Rust-oleum self-etching primer for nothing! (Make an offer.)
Removing the sheet metal covering the rear engine and the fenders. Otherwise, painting everything as is after taping newspaper around tires, steering wheel, etc. Wheel rims will be primed with Rust-Oleum rusty metal primer topped off with its smokey gray enamel. That gets brushed on. May boot black (verb transitive) the tires. Not paying for new rubber! Afraid to replace the straight pipe muffler with the correct pancake muffler we purchased on line; looks pretty rusted on to the manifold.
Already up to $816.62 in restoration costs, including stuff like new battery box, choke rod, and decals. Located serial number (hard to read) now thinking the machine is a 1951.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Pretty sure it’s still an Allis Chalmers model G.
See also: “Where are my beans?“