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I have always wanted to restore a tractor. Well a friend of mine has a JD model 70 diesel mid 50s vintage that doesn't run cus the head has been off for years. He thinks he has all the parts but not sure. Now for the good news, he said I can have it for free. Just haul it off. Now my question is, what am I in for on this restore? Will it be a money pit and working full time how many years will this take? I may sit for another year before I can start on it. Thanks in advance.
 

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That would be a fun project for sure. Be forewarned, it will definitely cost more money to restore than it'll be worth when you're done. It's a sad fact. I know my 60 will cost me around 5k when it's all said and done. You can buy a really nice 60 older restore around here for about $3k. But I'm ok with that. It belonged to my grandfather and won't be for sale.

I'd love to have a 70D myself. Nice tractors. Did you have any pics?
 

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Its FREE- Your alread ahead of the game. And yes, you could end up spending more than what its worth as mentioned earlier. But your in control. Spend as much or as little as you want. You can just get it a level where you have it running or take the restore all the way to factory or show level.

And remember it's a hobby of pleasure. If your looking to do it for a resale & to make a buck, that's ok too but it will be very difficult to do. If it were I with this opportunity, I would take it, Get it put together & get it running. Then decide how you want to go from there. You're one lucky guy. A FREE Deere- Antique status- It's a no brainer.
:mocking:
 

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That's a nice friend you have.

It does sound like it may be a challenge. I own a 70 gas that was converted to propane long before I ever got it. It hasn't run in about 20 years and the motor was locked up from sitting too long in a barn without use. Finally got the pistons freed up and have the engine apart now. This project has cost more than I estimated, but I have no plans to sell it for profit. Just a fun project.

The main expense, unless you are lucky, might be the pony motor. Hopefully it is in good shape and won't need much. From what others have told me, that can be a real scary expense.

If you could share some pics, that would be great.

Hope it works out for you and can get it all going again.

Did your friend happen to mention if it was torn down to repair or was this a restoration project?
 

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I have always wanted to restore a tractor. Well a friend of mine has a JD model 70 diesel mid 50s vintage that doesn't run cus the head has been off for years.
There are two kinds of "head off". The good kind is the one sitting in a covered shed or garage with the head off. The bad kind is the one sitting outside under a pine tree with the head off. The bad kind can get expensive real fast, mainly because if the head is off laying around somewhere and the tractor is just sitting outside rusting, I tend to find a lot of other stuff is off and missing.
 

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This could still be a very good candidate for restoration. There was two different versions of the 70D. One had the pony motor, the other was a factory electric start. If the tractor isn't in too bad of shape, as in if it has a pony motor and it turns over and has compression, than you could probably get it running with a fairly reasonable amount of time and money. But as mentioned before, the pony motor can be the most expensive part to get running again. If it were a pony motor version, I might look into an electric start conversion. The asking price for the tractor is extremely reasonable, it's the cost of restoring it that's up in the air. Can you give us more details on the tractor?
 

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The 2 cylinder 70 D did not have an electric start factory option. The first electric start option was available on the 720 D during model year 1958.. black dash models, beginning with serial 7222600. In recent years..a number of kits have been available to convert the pony start to 12 volt electric start for all the 70, 720 & 730 Ds. The 70 & model year 1957 720s essentially had the same/similar engines. The Model year 1958 720 and 730 had a newer version that couldn't run backwards.
 

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The 2 cylinder 70 D did not have an electric start factory option. The first electric start option was available on the 720 D during model year 1958.. black dash models, beginning with serial 7222600. In recent years..a number of kits have been available to convert the pony start to 12 volt electric start for all the 70, 720 & 730 Ds. The 70 & model year 1957 720s essentially had the same/similar engines. The Model year 1958 720 and 730 had a newer version that couldn't run backwards.
That is FANTASTIC information to know. Thanks!!
 

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G-mann, I have several two cylinder diesels and two 70s, 1 row crop and 1 standard. They are great functional tractors. The best piece of advice I can give you is go to deeres website and buy both the service manual and operators manual. It will be the best 80 ish bucks you will spend and save you a lot of headaches. You can also download the parts manual for free on deeres website. The second is take your time. These diesels with the pony motors are different animals. Be armed with patience and latex gloves....you'll be cleaning diesel oil outta your fingernails for months haha best of luck
 

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The 2 cylinder 70 D did not have an electric start factory option. The first electric start option was available on the 720 D during model year 1958.. black dash models, beginning with serial 7222600. In recent years..a number of kits have been available to convert the pony start to 12 volt electric start for all the 70, 720 & 730 Ds. The 70 & model year 1957 720s essentially had the same/similar engines. The Model year 1958 720 and 730 had a newer version that couldn't run backwards.
I love answers like this:thumbup:

Sent from my XT901 using Tapatalk 2
 
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These pony motors started the main motor right? Seems like a complicated way to get an engine started on a tractor. Pony motors must generally have low hours on them?

Sent from my XT901 using Tapatalk 2
 

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These pony motors started the main motor right? Seems like a complicated way to get an engine started on a tractor. Pony motors must generally have low hours on them?

Sent from my XT901 using Tapatalk 2
Yes. Back in the day this was very common to use a pony motor. In fact, it was the first choice for equipment operators in Alaska until recently. When it was super cold outside you could take a propane weed burner and heat the pony motor up. You'd start it up and let it run for 1/2 hour or so. During this time, it's heating the big motor up by warming the coolant and in some cases the oil too. Exhaust manifolds were routed through or next to the big motor's intake manifold to heat the incoming air. Then you'd come along and throttle up the pony and engage the pinion to start turning over the big motor. You'd have the fuel off and the decompression lever engaged. After about 1/2 to an hour, the big motor was warm, oil pressure was good and warm, transmission oil had been circulating, and she was ready to start. Throw the decompression lever and give her some fuel and she'd pop to life!

So the pony motor may have low hours, but it has a tough job. Usually they get started and then loaded up really hard relatively quickly, then shut off. Kinda the definition of "rode hard and put away wet.":lol:
 

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These pony motors started the main motor right? Seems like a complicated way to get an engine started on a tractor. Pony motors must generally have low hours on them?
And from what I've heard, they don't like it when they get high hours on them from guys trying to crank a broken engine for hours on end. :laugh:
 

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Not to derail the thread any further, but here's a video I took that shows a pony motor in action on an old John Deere R.:thumbup1gif:

 

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I love to listen to them. Thanks for posting diesel.
 

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Pony motors weret born for pre warming a motor, they were born out of necessity. Back then on these type of big cube diesels they didnt have starters big enough to crank them over. Besides, the first starters were 24v, two 12v batterys in series. Cat used them long before deere started using them. Big cat motors had ponys on them to well into the 50s. Deeres 4 cylinder pony was about 14 hp. Cats 2 cylinder was close to that. In the big scheme of things its not that complicated. ..start small motor...push decompression lever...engage motor clutch, start big motor, shut off small motor....easy peezy..
 

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i have never restored a john deere but I would like to. i am restoring a 1949 oliver 77. it was running when i bought it and supposed to just be painted and put back together, easier said then done. ended up having to tear down the engine, repainting, and fixing things that didn't need fixed before i started. it does take some money especially if the engine isn't in good shape. It all depends on what it looks like when torn down. my advice is to completely tear it down if you want it to look really nice. if just to get better looking than it is now tear down as little as possible. i hope this has helped. and i hope it goes easy, it can be frustrating but don't give up it is definitely worth it.
 
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