Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:18 pm

Well, I finally was able to go out and pick up the old VAC. The kids at school have been asking and waiting to get started on it. It has sat in a barn for several years. The two brothers that owned it started to restore several years ago and they only got as far as tearing it down and stopped. I hope this turns out to be a great experience for the kids and they I hope they all get an appreciation of the history or agriculture and how far it has really come. We will start tomorrow night with our first meeting to diagnose and make a plan of attack as what we will do.

Please chime in as to what we should do first, I want to make sure I don't miss anything or go to far at first step. I plan to start with compression tests and then diagnose the inside of the motor, don't really want to try to start it first, it needs all new wiring for a start anyway.

Thanks, I'm sure I will have more questions to come.




Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:04 am

the first thing i do is take a complete inventory of the machine, to see what there and whats not there. Next you need to figure out where your going to get the missing parts and make up some kind of budget for replacing them. Then i make it moblie so i can move it around easy. Nobody want to deal with something that has flat tires all the time. You might even have to make a stand(s) to get it moveable if the tires are shot. Make sure you get bunch of boxes, coffee cans, and the like to put bits and pieces into so you dont lose them, and mark the containers so you know what items are in them. Now you can take it part. I'd take off all the sheet metal and other items that you dont need to fire up the engine. Strip it down and scrap all the dirt oil, and other junk off some you can get down to the tractor it self. remove the valve cover, and the oil pan and inspect the engine for damaged parts.Remove the plugs and look them over, turn theengine over by hand. clean, clean and clean some more. At this time you should be able to get a pretty good idea of state of things and decide if you just need to freshen stuff up or if its going to be a major overhaul. I alway try and get my power plant and attaching parts working first, then reassemble the tractor for a test run or two, before i worry about repainting or rewiring stuff to the finish product. You will probally find that the engine will smoke some, or that the radiator needs to be cleaned, or maybe the fuel tank and carb are full of junk. If you get it all working properly, then things like overheating, or plugged cooling systems, or major oil leaks can be fix before you do the finishing work.

dont know how many kids your working with, but you could divide them into teams that have a specific part of the tractor to repair, like one group could do the fuel system, another could do the engine, one could be in charge of say the transmission and operators station. They could all keep notes and report what they find and the problems with it to the group at large. Sounds like a fun project on a tractor small enough its easy to work with.


Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:05 am

I agree with jwl. He has given you some good suggestions. Whenever you acquire something in pieces, a few pieces are always missing. Try not to leave any of those discoveries for when the piece is needed for assembly!

Dividing the workers into teams is an excellent suggestion. As I'm sure we have all found, any more than about 3 is too many to be working on one individual item. Having each team report back to the group as a whole will result in some valuable classroom time. When a team hits a major problem or decision, it should be brought back for the whole group to discuss and you can guide them to a good choice. Questions for discussion might include things like reface or replace valves, rering or rebore, patch a rusty rim or find a replacment etc.

Oh yeah, involve them in the team selection and team assignmments. They should learn about how to plan and run a multi-person project. Let them learn what a Gantt chart is. Have the whole group decide how to progress when a team misses a schedule (you know somebody will!).


Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:16 am

I like the team idea, will get something together on that. This project will be done after school hours so who shows up when will be a big "IF"? I have 3 parts books coming, IT, and Operators Manuals. I plan to copy them for each group to have. I will have my first meeting this weekend to pop the wheels off and set the machine on rollers so it can be moved easy. I will then inventory all parts and lable them. I do know I will need a lot of new nuts and bolts as the owner said they threw them all away.

I have worked on several myself but this is the first one with kids. I got this tractor given to me which is great start to organizing a club to start doing one a year. I have had so many community members offer help and support and wanting to buy raffle tickets already it is amazing.



Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:38 am

Jason (IL) wrote:This project will be done after school hours so who shows up when will be a big "IF"?

There will be some that show up the first time or two then are never seen again. You will probably have to do some shuffling of the teams after you see who has dropped out. Another project planning learning experience.


Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:07 pm

you will need some kind of motivation, since its an after school thing. Without some kind of leverage, you will end up doing way more and they way less. These projects are alway fun at the start, but after a couple of months the new wears off and cool factor goes down.