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Resurrecting a Ford 3600

544 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Hawkins2015
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Another post that I have over on Tractor Forum, but it seems like this one is much more active.

I bought a 1978 Ford 3600 in January 2022. It belonged to a family member who has passed away, but bought it new. It has had a Ford 502 belly mount sickle mower it's whole life and was used to mow banks and ditches.

This thing has sat outside for somewhere around 25 years.

Upon hauling it home, I found the engine and clutch were both stuck, and it was going to need lots of work. I was willing to take on the task though, because I knew after I get done with it I would have a practically "new" all mechanical 5,000 lb 45hp work horse for years to come. It would be something that I could be proud of and pass down to the next generation.

I knew that I would be doing 100% of the work that I was capable of, which was everything but machining work. I was quoted $2,600 for a junkyard engine. No warranties, no guarantees. Heard from word of mouth that a reman was +$5,000. So I decided that this would be the first engine that I rebuild.

I began by trying to get the engine to spin, but after several failed attempts decided to just start taking things apart knowing that it was going to need it. I had lots of trouble splitting it, and later found out it was due to the clutch release shaft being SIEZED!

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Cylinder #1 had about 1/2" of water sitting in it. #2 had what looked like some kind of salt. #3 looked decent.


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The clutch looked bad, (as expected), and there was a bunch of wool looking stuff inside the bellhousing. Still not sure how it got there. 馃樀

The PTO input shaft has some rust pitting on it where it was enclosed for so long. I'm thinking that they are OK due to not being on the entire spline area where the PTO clutch will be grabbibg for power, and because the biggest PTO load on this will most likely be a 4 basket tedder.

Sent the block, head, crank and flywheel off to a local machinist. Head was nasty but cleaned up OK and got a new valvetrain put in it. Flywheel got milled. Crank was ground .010" under. Block cleaned up OK but had .060" rust pits in cylinder #1. Before I could give him an answer and could do some reading on the pinhole cavitation issue, he bore #2 and #3 .020" over and put a sleeve in #1 bore .020" over. So #1 has a sleeve, #2 and #3 were just bored. Over on the other forum, I was told this was a mistake. Guess we'll see. :oops:

Engine went back together with little issue.

I knew everything would need cleaned up, and I would want to paint everything just to primarily stop rust. So I wire wheeled, sanded, sand blasted, taped and painted everything as it went back together. Long process but I think it looks good now.

For a reference, everything from the double clutch assembly forward has either been replaced with new, or rebuilt. The rear tires and rims were junk, so those are new. Parts are coming to redo the rear axle seals, bearings and brakes.

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I'm keeping a video log of the progress I'm making, mainly just for myself to look back on. This first video is about all I have for what I started with and the condition it was in.

Resurrecting an Old Ford 3600: Part 1 - YouTube

I'm now into it for about what I could go buy a decent to good one for, but I know exactly where every piece stands and have an intimate respect for it! :LOL:

I can do a cost breakdown if someone is interested, but I'm assuming most won't care.

Ford 3600 Part 4, Going Back Together - YouTube
Resurrecting a Ford 3600, Part 6: Back to Blue - YouTube

There will be another video coming soon, but last night was the night I've been waiting for. Before I got too far into putting everything back together, I wanted to start the engine to make sure it ran and I didn't need to tear things apart again. After many nights of having dinner, helping put my wife and toddler to bed, then going back out to the barn to work until zero-dark-thirty, this engine came back to life! I only let it run for about a minute due to there's still no radiator or even any coolant in it, but it runs.
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Loved those old tractors. 3000 / 3600 series tractors were probably the best Ford ever made. I sold my old 3000 years ago and regretted it ever since. Must admit, I never saw one with water standing in the cylinder, just shows the importance of keeping a roof over your equipment.

I dare say, I don't think 50 years from now, we will be talking about modern tractors the same way we do with these tractors - too much plastic and electronics nowadays.
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Loved those old tractors. 3000 / 3600 series tractors were probably the best Ford ever made. I sold my old 3000 years ago and regretted it ever since. Must admit, I never saw one with water standing in the cylinder, just shows the importance of keeping a roof over your equipment.

I dare say, I don't think 50 years from now, we will be talking about modern tractors the same way we do with these tractors - too much plastic and electronics nowadays.
Lots can happen in 25 years, but everything was intact. Intake was on and complete, sheet metal was all on, and the rain cap was always on. So how the water got in, I'm not quite sure other than condensation and leaking around the cap.

I also agree on the tractors/vehicles/equipment being made today. I think long gone are the days of being able to pull start something and being able to run all day with no problem!
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I'm keeping a video log of the progress I'm making, mainly just for myself to look back on. This first video is about all I have for what I started with and the condition it was in.

Resurrecting an Old Ford 3600: Part 1 - YouTube

I'm now into it for about what I could go buy a decent to good one for, but I know exactly where every piece stands and have an intimate respect for it! :LOL:

I can do a cost breakdown if someone is interested, but I'm assuming most won't care.

Ford 3600 Part 4, Going Back Together - YouTube
Resurrecting a Ford 3600, Part 6: Back to Blue - YouTube

There will be another video coming soon, but last night was the night I've been waiting for. Before I got too far into putting everything back together, I wanted to start the engine to make sure it ran and I didn't need to tear things apart again. After many nights of having dinner, helping put my wife and toddler to bed, then going back out to the barn to work until zero-dark-thirty, this engine came back to life! I only let it run for about a minute due to there's still no radiator or even any coolant in it, but it run
Lots can happen in 25 years, but everything was intact. Intake was on and complete, sheet metal was all on, and the rain cap was always on. So how the water got in, I'm not quite sure other than condensation and leaking around the cap.

I also agree on the tractors/vehicles/equipment being made today. I think long gone are the days of being able to pull start something and being able to run all day with no problem!
I agree they don't make tractors the way they used to. I don't want to be impolite but I would be curious how much it cost to undertake a project like that.
Having done probably over 50 of the Ford 3,4,6 cyl the best way IMO/IME is to bore them out and press in thick walled sleeves (not the junk ones they sell online) then bore out the sleeves for stock size pistons.
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Thanks for sharing. Love seeing these restorations.

Just edited another video. For being completely dry and the throttle being at a very low idle, I thought it lit off pretty quick!

Without a muffler on it, that thing is loud.
So this should be a simple question, but looking for help. Most of the insulation for the wires on the tractor have either been wore away in spots, flaked off, or chewed. I'd like to replace wires were needed, instead of just cover them up because I can see corrosion.

Simple circuits like the water temp and oil pressure. Where do I need power going to and from? Is power coming from the gauge cluster and the wire from the sender just a signal to open/close at the cluster?
Bump.
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