Restoring An Industrial Tractor


[Nickolas] dropped us a tip about a Youtube channel where [stevewatr] documents the restoration of an Oliver 770 tractor through no less than 133 videos. These videos span the last year, starting with finding the tractor in fairly dense undergrowth. He spends quite a bit of time troubleshooting the engine, explaining his thought process, and showing all of the steps he takes to get the tractor running reliably again. He also delves into fixes for the electrical and hydraulic systems.

In his tip, [Nickolas] said he just couldn’t stop watching, and we agree, this is really a fascinating series. One of the things we love about these videos is that [stevewatr] doesn’t filter out his mistakes. That means we get to see his failures and successes… Everything from how jump starting wasn’t possible with a small jumper wire, to getting the engine to start cold without a primer. That’s the beauty of our fail-of-the-week posts. Absorb it all, and you’ll be prepared when you run into related problems yourself.

[stevewatr’s] last video doesn’t show a completed tractor, so we look forward to seeing what happens as the project progresses. Even if you aren’t interested in having a tractor of your own, you can certainly use some of this information while building your own personal mech. Give it a try!

12 thoughts on “Restoring An Industrial Tractor

  1. Old farm equipment is where i first learned to hack and DIY, growing up on a farm in central IL. THere was no “pick one up”, you either made it, or you didn’t function; worse case , didn’t eat if the crop didn’t come in

    1. Making junk, workable junk but junk all the work is how many got started. This is a different era with more money, picking on up gets you back to work faster now. While I assume the intent here is to put this machine back to work earning money so far I’m up to episode 15) it’s mix of picking something up if available & affordable & hack.

  2. Excellent. He bit off quite a bit with this project. e has done a great job documenting it — hope he gets it up and running perfectly, but rescuing a tractor abandoned in the woods and getting it home to work on is a great accomplishment!

  3. Generally I don’t like video build-hack- repair documentation, but I’m enjoying this one. Perhaps I’m see the same sort of shit I gone through to get something working.

  4. I am at about 80% in restoring an old Ferguson tractor (a TEF), built in 1954. We disassembled every part, cleaned, repeaired or replaced where needed, overhauled the (diesel) engine and are currently painting. For me, as an electronics and software guy, this is one of the most enjoyable and informative things I did in years. My respect for the ingenuitity and knowledge of the engineers that created this tractor grew every day I worked on it.

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