Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Friday update on My Tractor acquisition

Today has been a busy one around here. I have moved a lot of dirt using my tractor, blade and root rake.   I have been laying sewer line and hope to complete the job today.
But now to continue with my acquisition of the International Tractor 384.  After meeting with the previous owner, Mr. Wilson and driving the tractor one more time I told him that I had a 4 wheeler that I would like to trade in on the tractor. I described the 4 wheeler to him and he said that he would take the 4 wheeler and $1500. for the tractor.  I told him deal.  I took delivery that same day.  He delivered it to my house and took away my 4 wheeler, which by the way was in very clean condition.

I began getting familiar with my new tractor.  I checked the fluid levels and drove it around my place. I will tell you up front that the tractor stopped smoking, so I guess the ring became unstuck.

Now I am making this tractor earn its keep.  I hooked my 5 foot bush hog behind it and finished the mowing job which I began with my 9N.  What a difference in performance between the two.  The 384 has more power and other features that make mowing and pulling the various implements that I have acquired much easier.  One drawback which is robbing me of pulling power is the turf tires which came on the tractor.  Here is a picture of them.
The tires are in very good condition as you can see, but they spin when a load is too heavy.  I like the fact that I can drive around my yard with the grass being destroyed.  I plan to buy regular AG tires as soon as I can locate some used ones.  New ones are pricey.
I will let you know when my tires are changed over and also post pictures of what I found.

Me and My International 384 Diesel Tractor Stuck in Gear

Yesterday while using my tractor to drag some brush to the burn pile, the tractor stuck in gear and would not go into any other gear. I could move the shifter into what appeared to be neutral and the tractor would move, when I moved the shifter into another gear it went dead and would not move. 
I tried moving the shifter to get this thing unstuck, but no luck.  It also would not go into reverse.  So what did I do?  Well I came inside and went to my computer and began to google for a tractor forum that would help me with my problem.  I was able to locate a forum where about ten other people who had the same problem, wrote in for help.
The solution was to remove the pin that holds the shifter onto the top of the housing and lift out the shifter and line up the three movable rails inside and put the shifter back on being careful to place the bottom piece of the shifter into the slot that was formed when the three rails were lined up.
After this the tractor worked fine.  I was also advised in the forum to not lift on the shifter when changing gears, but to move the shifter to neutral with the palm of my hand and then move the shifter to the gear that I wanted. 
I am now careful with my shifting. 
Bottom line, when a problem develops, before dragging your tractor to the shop go to a forum and see what fellow tractor owners did when they encountered the same problem. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Day 2 of Me and my International Tractor

Ahh, what a difference a day makes. To continue with how I acquired my Tractor, I stopped by Wilson's Tractor in Elkhart and told him that I was looking for a tractor and explained that I had a Ford 9N that no longer met my needs.

He began by asking a few questions to determine what I had in mind. He told me the prices on a few of the tractors that he had parked up front by the highway. They were nice looking tractors that he had made ready to sell, but the price was more than I wanted to pay.

 He then told me about another tractor behind his shop that he had not gotten ready to sell and that he was in the process of going over it to determine what it needs. He said that he was willing to sell it in the condition that it was in, at a reduced price if I was interested.  So I started to take a closer look at the tractor. I walked around it and observed that the tires were in good shape. The rear tires are turf tires that don't have much wear on them. The front tires have one new one and one that is cracking and has a couple small chunks of rubber missing. I looked at the hour meter and it showed 1048 hours.
I then got up on the tractor and was shown how to start it up. It started up quickly. I put it in gear, drove it, stepped on the brakes and to my surprise the brakes stopped the tractor quickly. I had been used to my 9N barely stopping and then requiring you to stand up on the brake pedals to get it to stop completely.

I was immediately interested. I then checked out the gears. This tractor has a Hi and Lo range for the gears, so it gives you 8 forward gears and 2 reverse gears.  As I drove it around the test drive area I also noticed that the steering was very easy. It seemed like power assisted steering.
I was told that it did not have power steering.

So at this point there were three thing that I liked about this tractor. Mr. Wilson told me that he had replaced the starter because the starter was dragging when he tried to start it up.  The starter looked new. He then told me that the tractor smoked.  As I was driving it I noticed some smoke, but not much.  He told me that he thinks that maybe a ring is sticking and allowing the oil to get onto the piston and then is being blown out of the exhaust pipe.

I asked what he wanted for the tractor and he said $3500.
We talked more and he told me that he thought that the tractor was a good tractor and that he had also changed the oil in it hoping that would stop the smoking. He said that the ring might unstick as the tractor is being driven, if that is the problem.
He had not opened up the tractor to actually see what caused it to smoke but he thought that it was a stuck ring.

I told him that I was interested in the tractor and asked how much for the tractor if I trade in my 9N tractor on it.  He then said $3000. He explained that he has a 9N for sale up by the road and was asking $1750. for it and that it is ready to go with no mechanical problems, but it has not been sold and has been sitting out there for a while.

 I then told him good by and that I would be back later.
Speaking of later, I will be back with the next installment...later.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Well folks, let's get this show on the road.  To the left and below is the tractor that will be at the center of most of the writing that I will post to this blog.  I have been doing various things to this tractor to make it mine. So far I have painted the hood and covered the front grill with some material until I am able to get the proper grill which includes headlights.

I have been online reading different tractor forums and have found one that has provided lots of information that has been useful or at least informative. 
Tractor by Net has become my favorite.

I will now provide some history about this tractor.  I started getting the tractor fever after I started working on my property clearing brush and trees. After paying to have a couple of trees cut down and moved to the burn pile I decided to find a tractor to assist with moving the heavy stuff and keep the weeds mowed down. Hiring someone to mow my 15 acres had become expensive so I thought that I would find an inexpensive tractor that was able to operate a bush hog and not take me to the cleaners while doing so. There is a radio  talk show that comes on twice a day where people call in with things to sell. One day a guy called in with a 9n Ford tractor for sale for a thousand dollars.  I contacted him and went to take a look at the tractor. This is the tractor that I found.
The owner tried to get it to start to let me check it out, but he could not.  He told me that he had started it up and it ran good. We tried a few things to get it started, but were unsuccessful.  He finally offered to sell the tractor to me for $100. and a couple of guns that I had brought to trade in on the tractor. I said ok and we loaded the tractor on my trailer and I hauled it home. I took it to a ford tractor dealership to let them look at it and try to get it started. He checked it out and $300. later it was running. The distributor cap was cracked and the carburetor had to be removed and cleaned and adjusted. I took the tractor home and began using it. Later I changed the fluids and it worked well for me. 
Time passed and as I used the tractor I saw a need for a more powerful tractor.  I started looking and located the International pictured at the top of this blog. 

In the next installment I will take you through the steps taken to acquire the International. Till then.