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expeatfarmer

Ransomes MG2 number 137

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Today I began dismantling 137 the oldest known MG2 motor cultivator dating from 1936.

Amazingly every bolt has come undone without any brutal activity other than a big bar on one of the implement frame pivots.

Some bolts have obviously never been touched in 80 years, once the bolts are out the holes are still shiny metal, quality stuff theses old Ransomes.

I spent an hour or so last week giving every bolt a squirt of plus gas and it has obviously paid off.

The final drives are all in good order and should just need a clean up and new seals, the drive rollers are both shot so I will cut them off with a plasma cutter and weld on new rings. Although rusty the body has very few pits, I think I will power sand it rather than shot blast, there are a couple of wear scars where the tracks have cut into the body, I am going to cut these out and weld in donor steel from the half MG2 that came with it. Two of the load rollers are good and still full of oil, the other two need new bushes.post-292-0-71055900-1429117412_thumb.jpgpost-292-0-29599800-1429117431_thumb.jpgpost-292-0-66829600-1429117468_thumb.jpgpost-292-0-57445700-1429117591_thumb.jpg

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post-292-0-38301000-1429259732_thumb.jpgI am amazed , so lucky with this machine, I now have it completely stripped as far as I am going, the only force applied was an element of heat to the taper that holds the gear lever. All the diff and final drive bearings are good, machine date is February 1936 and as a bonus the chassis number 137 is stamped into the underside of the alloy gearbox cover. The steering brakes are a bit oily but nowhere near worn out.

The bolts on the pto gearbox were covered in what I can only describe as clay marl a really thick soil which is like putty, once scraped off the bolt heads were like new, the same material is all over the underside of the tractor. I can only assume that very soon after new the machine was bogged in clay which was never washed off. Stripping out the brakes today and then time to draw up a list of spares I need.


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Both main drive wheels are badly worn outer rims are available but the wheel centres are not, I decide to use two repair rims on each wheel and cut down the wheel centre with a plasma cutter so that I can then weld on a repair rim. 

Repairing or replacing the engine cowl might not be so easy.post-292-0-86101900-1430160251_thumb.jpgpost-292-0-22030200-1430160279_thumb.jpgpost-292-0-29692400-1430160356_thumb.jpgpost-292-0-14719000-1430160383_thumb.jpg

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post-292-0-22844700-1431627779_thumb.jpgpost-292-0-73852000-1431627804_thumb.jpgpost-292-0-92913500-1431627821_thumb.jpgpost-292-0-41276200-1431627834_thumb.jpgProgress has been slow for the past couple of weeks, I have been busy setting up a blasting cabinet and today I built an electroytic de rusting tank using a 45 gallon drum, a sheet of reinforcing mesh and a plastic manhole cover, I bought an ex MOD controlled power supply which is probably ott for this job but I intend to have a go at Nickel plating on the restoration project so it will be good for that. Washing soda at 18gm per gallon of water ( 1 tablespoon ) will be the electrolyte. I also have a large strip of lightning conductor which I plan to use to clean up the weld mesh by reversing the current and collecting the crud on the copper strip which should then just wash off. I will keep you posted re. progress. Main reason for such a big tank is so that I can clean up the forged steel idler wheels for 137 which would take hours with a blaster. As I have grandchildren tank needs to be gremlin proof yet vented as it will be outside also don't want the cat to fall in! 

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  By 'eck, Jonathan. We were only talking of that a few days ago. I do like the manhole cover/weld mesh idea. Proper job. :thumbs:  I must remember to get a plastic barrel from the farm, to make a bigger one than my dustbin one.

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post-292-0-91799000-1433063127_thumb.jpgpost-292-0-31547800-1433063160_thumb.jpgpost-292-0-69446200-1433063268_thumb.jpgFinally managed to get back to 137 and weld up the rims, I used the half tractor that came with it as a work stand that enabled me to rotate the wheel as I welded it. Tacked them first and then welded opposing segments inside and out and then ground the welds flush.I am going to dunk them in the de rust tank to take the rust out of the pits and then a light skim of filler before painting. Interestingly during the cleaning process a lot of the original paint has come to light and it is clear that the earlier tractors used a darker more caret red than is commonly seen on later models. I have sand blasted the galleried load rollers, these are all worn to below 7.5" diameter which will mean that I shall have to turn them down to a common size and then fit a shrink tyre on the wear edges to take them back to 8", Not worked out how to do that yet unless I can find some 8" o.d thick wall steel pipe and take off some slices.

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Roll some thick flat bar or are the edges a radius? In that case roll some round bar and weld on? Will they weld ok being cast?

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post-292-0-32607200-1434999453_thumb.jpgpost-292-0-31338100-1434999483_thumb.jpgBeen making steady but slow progress with 137, mostly de rusting and shot blasting parts with a few restoration jobs.

The final drive gears were absolutely solid with old grease that had gone hard as were the front hubs. I managed to remove it from the final drives by using a hot air gun and some degreaser on a stiff brush it still took about an hour each side. The front hubs were harder as there is a big reservoir are inside which was solid. The biggest mistake Ransomes made was to fit oil nipples that look like grease nipples, there is no part of an MG Tractor that should be greased all the hubs etc use 140 oil, if you use grease a) it blows the seals and B) it goes solid after time and lubrication stops. To remove the grease from inside the hubs I had to resort to placing each hub on a shallow tray covered in foil and place them in the hot oven of the Aga for an hour. It was like watching a volcano erupt as all the grease melted and belched out through the bearing seats. ( I even got permission!!!)Our Aga oven has a built in extractor fan that vented all the smoke to the garden.

I have cleaned up the barrel  and head off the engine sand blasted them and then fine ground the fins to take out the worst pitting applied a few coats of black engine enamel looking quite tidy now.

In between shot blasting ( letting the compressor have a rest ) I have started to weld up the scars in the side of the body where the worn hubs have allowed the tracks to rub against it. They must have been shot for a long time as in some places the side is worn right through. I ground out the rust and then MIg welded the scars. 

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Being cast I think welding might be iffy, I think a freezer/aga shrink fit is safest

 

I have used the Aga/freezer trick in the past, it works well but only if the boss is out. I mentioned to the boss last night that you got permission to put the hubs in the Aga and described the process you used. The response is not something I can't repeat, but it's safe to say I won't be doing it any time soon.

 

Iain

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Going to push my luck today and ask if I can put the cleaned hubs and final drives into the dishwasher  to make sure there is no blasting grit left inside, sun is shining so I may be lucky!

 

I am missing a part from the engine, it is the alloy cover that goes over the valve springs on the Sturmey Archer T series engine if anyone knows of one I would be grateful may be some old mowers out there that have the same engine.

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Slow progress waiting for local guy to machine the track load rollers, I managed to find some 8" dia. cast iron rod which was cut into 1/2" slices, the idea is to machine the original roller rims to a common size and then machine the centre out of the slices to achieve a shrink fit tyre. Just need a trip to Silloth to drop the slices off. 

Have the clutch in pieces, shoe linings are very good but oily so will fit new ones. In the past the clutch cover has been levered off damaging the fan belt pulley so I will have a go at welding it up and grinding back. Shame because proper removal method is so simple just two bolts inserted into threaded holes in the cover,tighten them through against the flywheel and the cover just pushes off unlike the later engine that requires a sophisticated fine thread puller. 

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Finally managed to get back to working on 137 today, pressure washed and degreased body. Cleaned all the crud out of the bottom of the gearbox. It took a chisel and a needle descaler to remove the Worcester marle from underneath but just look at the condition of these eighty year old bolts, just light brush with a wire brush to remove the mud. Interestingly I found that after the primer coat the tractor had been painted lawnmower green before it was painted blue. I wonder if they originally planned them to be green and then changed their minds? Tried to upload photos using shrinkpic but showing error file too big? Not had any problems before is there a gremlin in the works?

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