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I acquired this tractor a couple of years ago from a guy who thought it was a John Deere round fender. I currently have 31 lawn & garden tractors in my collection, all John Deere's, and nothing newer than 1973. I wasn't going to buy this tractor due to it being a Wheel Horse, however since it's an RJ and my youngest son's name is Ryan James, I figured I'd bring it home. Yes, this is the only "red" machine that I own.  Anyway, once it was home, I took the tractor completely apart due to limited storage space in my garage, never thinking to snap a couple of pictures first, so sorry guys, I have nothing for you to compare it too when it's done. I'm slowly finding all of the parts and pieces, so as I do, I'll update as I go along. Here is what I started with July of last year. Each piece is getting completely stripped, primed, and first coated for now. I'll get to wet sanding and additional coats of finish later when all of the parts can be done together at the same time. As you can see, this RJ was repainted green at some point in it's life time, however I'm hoping to make it look as good as it would have been off of the showroom floor. 

 

 

 

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I have the lift arm, front axle, rear wheel hubs, brake band, and a few other small little pieces stripped and primed. These pieces hung for a few days then were lightly sanded with a brown paper bag, and re-coated again with primer. I also spent the extra time tapping off the brake band. 

 

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:WRS: Glad you have added some "Red" to your shed!

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I'd keep updating this post, however the system won't let me add anymore pictures. Not sure what I'm doing wrong, maybe because I'm a new member here?

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There is a max limit on non supporting members that runs out rather quick with big pictures. You can go two ways, become a supporter for a reasonable price which gets you unlimited downloads and unlimited pictures, or you can host pictures off site on photobucket or the like and link them here. :handgestures-thumbupright:

 

I am looking forward to the restore, and I know that you will meet the nicest and most helpful fellows on here! There are no stupid questions... mostly. :D I can't guarantee that you wont get some good natured ribbing, but most people here have a few different brands themselves.

 

We even have an "other color/brand" section that I am sure many on here would like to see some of your collection.

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:text-welcomeconfetti: to the corral :greetings-clappingyellow:

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Here's the front axle and brake band with two coats of finish applied. These will hang for a couple of days, then I'll wet sand them with 400 grit and re-coat them again.

 

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I just signed up to be a site supporter, so once my payment clears I'll post more pictures of my progress. I'm a lot further ahead then what it appears in these couple of photos with the restoration. As you can see on the date stamp of the photos, I started this restoration July of last year. :(

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Welcome

Tractors are like Christmas lights

The look great all in one color and great in many colors

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7 hours ago, oliver2-44 said:

Welcome

Tractors are like Christmas lights

The look great all in one color and great in many colors

 

This is very true. Tractors are also like potato chips. You can't have just one!! :D

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Question for the group guys. What model Kohler is this RJ supposed to have and what is the horse power? I dug the motor out today, but unfortunately the ID plate is just a plate. All of the black is worn off and there is no model number to read. There is however a "T" stamped in the aluminum at the top of the plate, as well as the spec number and serial number. I think I read somewhere that this should be a K91 model and is rated at 4 horsepower? I downloaded a manual last night and after reading through it, it states the motor should be a K91 with 5 horsepower? When I went on the redoyourhorse website to look for an engine plate decal, they show a Kohler model K90 that is rated at 3 1/2 horsepower. Can someone straighten me out and let me know if the motor I have is indeed the correct motor? I know I don't have a lot to give you right now as far as information, but here are the spec numbers and serial number if it will help:

 

Serial Number:  "T" ------- 382227

Spec Number: 31307A

 

Thanks in advance for any help on this, and also a big Thanks for all of the Welcomes! 

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My 1958 RJ has a Kohler K91 original motor it's 4hp. I can post pics tomorrow if you want.

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That is a K91 with correct spec number for an RJ-58.  "T" is for recoil start.  The K-90 used on the RJ-35 and early RJ-58 is spec 27107D.  Your serial number is in the correct range as well.  It's the original engine. K91 is 4hp at 4,000 RPM and K90 is 3.6hp at 3,600 RPM.

Edited by evanloock
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Welcome to the group. A plethora of knowledge resides among the members this group. Of course you know that when you get the RED one done, your other 31 will be GREEN with ENVY. 

 

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18 hours ago, Wildhorse said:

My 1958 RJ has a Kohler K91 original motor it's 4hp. I can post pics tomorrow if you want.

 

If you don't mind, I'd appreciate it. Once my supporter membership goes through, I'll post pictures of the motor from mine. Unbelievable how clean this motor is. No carbon build up on the head or valves, in fact, the valves looks awesome! Dropped the oil pan and found the internals to be very clean and tight. No markings on the piston, so I have to assume that this motor was never rebuilt. I'm starting to lean towards just buttoning it back up and taking my chances with it. 

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31 tractors in a guy's collection is ipressive regardless of color nonetheless nothing newer than '73!! I got a feeling you know as much about JD's as some guys here do about horses!

 

What brand of paint/method are we using?? Looks nice! :handgestures-thumbupright:

17 minutes ago, Johndeereelfman said:

supporter membership goes through, I'll post pictures of the motor from mine.

:woohoo::greetings-clappingyellow: you better!

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I use nothing but rattle cans Jim. I use a brand called Tallman's Agricultural Paint. It is formulated just for main brand tractor manufacturers and with a little effort, it gives off a great finish. It's not sold in stores everywhere and is only available online or through certain distributorships. It goes on very nice and smooth, and is only $4.58 a can. As soon as I can upload more pictures, I'll show you some of my results, and will let you guys judge for yourselves. I'm not perfect by any means, and my finishes may not be quite as nice or as expensive as some out there, however I do the best I can and I'm very happy with my results. 

 

IMG_20160803_192054570_HDR.jpg

 

Edited by Johndeereelfman
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Thanks Wildhorse, I appreciate the help! My motor didn't have the recoil, it is just an aluminum rope wind. I did however, find a NOS Kohler recoil to fit this motor a year and half ago at a local rummage sale for $15.00. It's not the same teardrop shape as yours, but if this is the only non-original piece on the tractor, I'm fine with that at least until I can find an original. 

 

Another question for the group. At the back edge of the hood, just below where the shift pattern decal goes, there is roughly a 1/2" hole. What is this for? I'm assuming a kill switch but not sure. If it is for a kill switch, what type am I looking for, and where is a good place to find them? My next question will be, how does it get hooked up? Would anybody be willing to draw out a sketch of the wiring so that I can use it for reference? 

 

I don't have a Paypal account, so I had to send my sponsorship money, by way of money order, out in the mail.  Karl should hopefully receive it tomorrow. I can't wait until he does so that I can start posting pictures again! :(

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That hole is for a kill switch Troy, And Its just a basic on-off toggle switch, I usually pick them up at a auto parts store or a hardware store. If you get a self grounding switch the wire just has to go to the condensor, and if you get a non grounded switch you can run the wire wherever you choose. I usually attach it to one of the points cover screws.

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I started working on the steering shaft/column. It has numerous cracks throughout the steering wheel, so I filled them with JB Weld, then I will sand and file down all of the areas in a couple of days. The shaft also had quite a bit of small rust pits, so I applied numerous coats of primer (letting dry between coats), as this is my way of filling in these little voids, as I don't use Bondo anymore than I have to. Once the primer is completely cured, I will sand down the entire shaft so that all of the pits are filled and smooth and un-noticeable once the finish coats are applied. 

 

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Next will be stripping the gas tank, the fenders, and the seat pan. After being stripped, they were coated with two coats of primer.

 

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When the primer was cured, I started applying finish coats to the gas tank and fenders. Here is one fender and the gas tank after the first coat of finish:

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Then wet sanded with 320 grit:

 

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After a second coat of finish is applied:

 

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And now after being wet sanded with 1500 grit sandpaper, and another coat of finish applied:

 

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And the gas tank so far:

 

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Oh, here is the seat pan after being stripped and primed:

 

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Started on the transmission, getting it stripped and primed. I wasn't going to take it apart so I started applying a finish coat. However, after applying the first finish coat, I figured a restoration to actual factory specs wouldn't be accurate if everything wasn't gone through 100%, so I decided to disassemble the tranny. After getting it torn apart and could finally see what the inside looked like, I was quite surprised to find that all of the internal gears look really good with hardly any wear whatsoever. I thought I'd find at least a couple of broken teeth somewhere, but nothing. Even though the bearings all look good and spin freely, they will be getting replaced as well as the bushings and seals. Should be an easy fix Thanks to my Friend Jake Kuhn for getting me all of the parts. :)

 

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Started replacement of bearings, seals, and bushings:

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