How The Internet Fixed My Tractor


This is not one of those aliens kidnaped my mom stories, but a reflective view of the power at our fingertips for problem solving.

8 years ago money was tight and much of the machinery on the farm was as old or older than me, not born into farming I had to learn fast, I knew that talking to the right people and enough of them could lead to me working things out quicker than learning from my mistakes, I didn’t have time for mistakes.

We had a Ford Super Dexter on the farm which suddenly refused to start, knowing nothing about engines I spoke to Sues Uncle Ted, now 86 and a wealth of knowledge experience and sayings that he has amassed through a lifetime of change, ted identified that it seemed like a fuel problem and showed me where the fuel filter was, he predicted that it would be full of water and that’s why the fuel couldn’t get through. Teds insight and and encouragement allowed me to gain in experience and take on my first tractor restoration at the age of 36.

Turning to Facebook
Ford Dexters are built to last after a few years of good service again a second fuel problem developed, this time it was not the fuel filter, so I used facebook contacted Rob Curling who takes Land Rovers apart, rebuilds them and takes them off road, in his spare time he goes to work to fund his habit.

Rob identified that the filter that sits at the bottom of the tank may be blocked, a quick fix would be to replace this but a leaky diesel tank also needed to be sorted.

Google It
Dan helped to remove the tank after consulting google on removal of a Dexters Steering Wheel, which referred us to a number of forums where various options of prior struggles identified a range of solutions and the full problem was apparent, the filter on the bottom of the tank was clogged with rust, and years of water separation in the diesel tank had led to rust and pin holes on the bottom.

YouTube Leaky Tank
You can guarantee that someone somewhere in the world has experienced the same problem and had the foresight to YouTube it for others, I found an American guy who filled his tank with old nuts and a degreasing agent to remove the rust he suggested wrapping the tank in a blanket and sticking it in the drum of the tumble dryer, due to the size of the tank this would be difficult and extreme. The concept however was good, he then went on to say that a use or Redcote inside would give new life to the tank.

LinkedIn
Unable to find Redcote in the UK I contacted my social media trainer Tom Mallens who knew about polymers, this was outside of his experience which is better for a friend to tell you, than making out they can help and leaving you in a tighter spot than you started off at.

I knew that my friend Dave Phillips might be able to help with the next bit, before sealing the tank I had to deal with some big holes and some small holes with potential, he put me in touch with Ronnie a retired engineer who now builds repairs and maintains racing Cars.

Ronnie suggested using lead solder to plug the holes prior to using a tank coat which I had not yet found, he then added a word of caution fill the tank with water to minimise the risk of vaporising residual fuel and blowing me the workshop and the tank up, this was good advice and well understood.

Online Shopping
Purchased a good quality blow torch flux and lead solder from Toolstation.

The water not only reduced the risk of explosion but also helped to highlight all of the holes, the tank was still structurally solid.

EBay saves the Day
After much searching finally found a tank lining which would inhibit rust, seal pinholes and add new life to an old tank exactly what I needed. Order placed it promptly arrived the following day.

With my confidence of a solution now being possible a trip to Agriline of Bromsgrove allowed me to buy a number of parts and paint to bring the tractor back to life.

With the tractor re assembled re wired and looking better and sounding better than ever before she started and ran first time. She uses less fuel than a new tractor, is approaching the age of 50 and only has 8600 hours on her clock. Tractor restored as is the true power of the internet.

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