This Years' Project Is. . .

This John Deere 40V Special tractor will be disassembled, cleaned and repaired as necessary, reassembled and painted.  I plan on restoring the 4550 Cultivator with 43 Side Dresser Unit on the tractor as well.  The Specal designation of tractor was designed to sit higher for cultivation of bedded and taller crops.
Disassembly is progressing.  Does not take long to turn a tractor into a pile of parts!  The trick is remembering how to put everything back together.  Bolts and small parts from different subassemblies (engine, transmission, hydraulics, etc) are all put in seperate containers and labeled for easy identification later.  The next major step is cleaning the rust, dirt, and grease off the parts.
The insides of the transmission were filled with a black tar-like ooze.  A thorough cleaning was in order just to begin examining all the internal parts to evaluate their condition.
Once the transmission case was flushed out a clear view of the gears/shafts/bearings was visible.  All gear teeth were accounted for and the shafts/bearings spun nicely.  All bearing load and backlash settings were in order so this transmission did not need to be taken apart for new bearings/shim settings.  All oil seals and gaskets were replaced.
The cleaned and reassembled transmission is ready for the final drives, bell housing, etc to be bolted back on.  The next step is cleaning/evaluating each final drive and replacing necessary parts.  The engine block should be back from the machine shop soon and progress can begin on its rebuild as well.
The hydraulic unit was disassembled, cleaned, and put back together with new gaskets, seals, etc.  The original seals used were a cork type and never did seal very well.  Modern Lip-Type oil seals were used in to keep the hydraulic oil on the inside!
The hydraulic unit is bolted on the transmission and the rebuilt engine is installed on the bell housing.  The block was bored .045 oversize and new pistons were installed.  The cylinder head will be coming back from the machine shop soon with new valves.  I will be picking up parts from the sandblaster soon and the next big step will be spraying some paint.
I was able to free up some time and the weather cooperated enough to allow some painting.  I started with the yellow pieces while Im still working on putting the main part of the tractor together.  I used a Sherwin Williams Polyurethane paint that provided a nice finish.  A few small bugs here and there (what I get for painting outside!) but otherwise happy with the results.

The painting process. . . it takes as much time to move everything outside and set it up as it does to paint it.  Surfaces are cleaned with a wax/grease remover and then prepped with a tack/cleaning cloth.  An epoxy primer is used over the bare metal before the finish color is applied. 

A picture of the main tractor just before I "roll" it back into the shop.  I use a System 35 polyurethane paint from the Big Sky line made in Orwell, Ohio.  The sales rep told me about a new line of paints that I may try on my next project, he says it is even better than what I am using now (even though I have always been very pleased with the results).  The fun part of bolting all the bits together and watching the tractor take form is up next;  I have one more round of painting to go for the cultivator parts.  More pictures to come.