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1954 David Brown Cropmaster


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  #1  
Old 12-31-2018, 11:13:41 PM
cobbadog cobbadog is offline
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Default 1954 David Brown Cropmaster

In the beginning.
We bought this Cropmaster late in 2011. We had been looking for years for this style as we wanted a 2 seater so both of us can travel together on the one tractor on treks. When we did find this one it was about 8 kilometers from home.
We used David for about 2 years and over that time the oil pressure was dropping to a level I was not happy with so I went online and started inquiring about engine and clutch parts. @ suppliers came to light for the engine parts and after I sent a parts list along with engine part numbers it was like pulling teeth to get an answer on the price delivered to my door so I went to wwwdavidbraownparts.uk and had a firm answer inside of 2 days. With payment made the parts were here in 10 days from the UK. A local clutch place supplied the new clutch and thrust plate and also machine the flywheel.
I found that the head was missing the cooling tube to direct the coolant towards the valve guides and after much discussion online and at Rallies I decided to buy one from a bloke in the Hunter Valley who made them himself. It was a perfect fit and after dressing the ends of the tube over into the head to seal it properly that was the end of that issue. As you can see in one of the pics you can change the clutch assembly on these old boys with out having to split the tractor. It is a bit of a juggling act at times but it works.
Once the engine was out I had to test the oil pump. A retired D.B field service man gave me the tip on checking these. He said strip it, clean it and reassemble. Then put it in a bucket of fuel and spin the shaft. If it pumped fuel it will pump oil and it did. So I set the relief valve to they way the manual said to do and I get a steady supply of good oil pressure hot and cold.
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2018, 11:22:39 PM
cobbadog cobbadog is offline
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Default Re: 1954 David Brown Cropmaster

Putting David back together was an easy operation and went together very well.
So this was done in 2014 and once assembled went back to trek duties. In time it was planned to strip again for paint work to be completed. The original right rear mudguard had more hits than Elvis and was rough to be nice about it but an opportunity came along to buy another Cropmaster with excellent tin ware so home it came. I swapped a few things over from to the other to get the best parts onto our David and still leaving us with a complete spare and running tractor which went up for sale and went to Queensland to live.
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2018, 11:42:39 PM
cobbadog cobbadog is offline
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Default Re: 1954 David Brown Cropmaster

Next major repair was the brakes. What a job to take on by yourself on these tractors. The brakes are inboard and you have to remove the reduction box assembly with the main axle as a unit. So to lighten the load I removed the stub axle and bull gear from the reduction box. You might think this was not very much to remove weight wise but it is a bloody heavy gear and stub axle so it was worth the swearing to undo the nut and lock tab to get them out.
Once the brakes were exposed you can understand why the brakes were less than ordinary, oil everywhere. Then you find the blocked drain hole at the bottom of the housing to let any leaking oil out and onto the ground. being blocked it just lubricated the linings and everything else inside there. I was offered a tip from the field service man here too. Where the main axle goes into the diff there is a seal there. Replace the old seal and fit 2 of them in its place. This gives you an added protection so if you look closely in the pic of that area there is 2 seals waiting to do their job. The new linings arrived but they came with standard length rivets. These Cropmasters use 4 longer rivets top and bottom to the standard length and I could not seem to find a supplier locally anywhere. Then a guy suggested to find someone with a lathe and make them out of aluminium. Well this is when the penny dropped. only a month before I bought a 3' bed metal lathe to start and learn how to machine stuff in. So after a good kick up my own bum I bought some rod and made the missing rivets required and they worked a real treat.
After doing one side it was time to start the other. Apart from the bloody heavy lifting it went very well and the other side came apart good but didn't I have trouble putting it back together. It would slide almost all the way back into place except for the last 3/8" then it would lock up. I knew I had the end of the axle in the diff and I kept checking the gaps between brake drum and shoes and drum and backing plate and all were clear. After a couple of weeks and a lot and I mean a lot of bad language and with my arms now another 4" longer the thing just slid into place as if to say what is wrong with you!
Even typing about it now brings the pressure up and the words are being muttered under my breath yet again.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:47:07 PM
cobbadog cobbadog is offline
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Default Re: 1954 David Brown Cropmaster

So here you can see how close the assembly came to being back in place but for an unknown reason it simply locked the rear end up, mean you could not rotate the pinion gear which was connected to the diff centre where if you pulled the assembly out an 1/8" it would turn.
Home made rivets and in place with the new linings
this is the pic of the double seals for the main axle. Originally there was a round plug that was pushed in behind the single seal to hold that seal in place. The plug was wider than the seal so 2 fit perfectly.
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  #5  
Old 01-01-2019, 01:59:09 AM
Scotty 2 Scotty 2 is offline
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Default Re: 1954 David Brown Cropmaster

Quote:
Originally Posted by cobbadog View Post
After a couple of weeks and a lot and I mean a lot of bad language and with my arms now another 4" longer the thing just slid into place as if to say what is wrong with you!
Even typing about it now brings the pressure up and the words are being muttered under my breath yet again.
Great story Cobba. It's a shame Dee has Sara now. You'll just have to find another Christopher Columbus to go on treks with you. (just don't tell Dee I suggested that please. She may yell at me).

I've found a nice cup of tea works wonders with the bad language and tanties.

Cheers Scott
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:20:21 AM
cobbadog cobbadog is offline
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Default Re: 1954 David Brown Cropmaster

Your safe Scotty, Dee hasn't finished yelling at me yet!

Only problem is that you do need to be very good friends with any passenger on David as you are always playing with their knees and thighs changing gears. That is the part Dee like the most I think.

As much as I do like a cuppa of tea or coffee it does not stop me from cursing!

The next stage is to take some more pics of David taped up and ready to go to the blasters at the end of the month. So next on the list of 'things to do today' is to start drilling holes for the tail lights I am fitting to the guards, then I have to make a small simple die to make clips to hold the wiring in place. Original clips on David for this were small "P" shaped clips made from light sheet metal. I may just make a simpler one which will be a flat piece of slightly heavier gauge sheet metal with a small notch at the end being the diameter of the wire cabling. So this will go a bit quiet once I post the pics of the tape job.
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