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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello to all of our members and guests. I've been restoring a '66 110 that I brought home in Feb. '19 and after a long pause on posting updates I'm going to resume posting progress info and photos. I started posting photos in 2019 but due to my decision to try to do a first time correct full restoration on a garden tractor plus a long span of time helping my son with home repairs and remodeling, my time frame really became stretched out. I thought it might be best to start by re posting my original thread which may make it easier to re connect my member name, HD-JD110Fan, and my name, Kerry, with the face and project I started. As I near completion of my 110 I'd like to share the processes and steps involved with these efforts. As always your comments, questions, suggestions, and advice are always most welcome. My new posts will be from post #17 onward.

My original thread:

Hi to all, I'm a new member and glad to join you. I've been wanting to join for quite a while and finally came up with a name, signed up, and look forward to your help with info and enjoying contact with fellow John Deere enthusiasts. I have a family history with John Deere since my Dad had a dealership in Wisconsin in the '40s and '50's, was a good mechanic and had a collection of tractors spanning a '29 GP wide tread to 1950s models. We had a new 110 in '66 back then but sold it when we moved to California. I found a '66 110 in Dec. 2018 on Ebay, almost all original but needing work and restoration is now well under way. The photo with my member name is when I first hauled it home. I spent a good deal of time designing and building sturdy mounting brackets and it's now mounted between two engine stands 18" off the floor allowing me to rotate it 360 degrees like stands in John Deere service manuals, a big help in making it easier to work on.

I plan to do a good quality restoration as close to original as possible. I'll be painting almost the whole 110 using John Deere Classic Green and John Deere Yellow. The transmission works fine so I don't need to rebuild it for now and won't be removing it. I'll be rebuilding the 8 h.p. Kohler since it's very low on compression, has a slight knock, but amazingly wasn't burning oil; the spark plug was a good normal tan color. Thanks in advance for your help and for making this great web site available.
Thanks much, Kerry, HD-JD110fan.

Taking delivery of my '66 110 in Feb. 2019, a Happy, Memorable Day!

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My '66 110 before work began.

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Front mounting bracket designed and fabricated mounted to the 360 degree rotatable engine stand.

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Rear mount designed and fabricated bolted to engine stand.

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Setting the spacing between stands before mounting.

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110 mounted on 360 degree 'rotisserie' engine stand 18" off the floor.

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110 inverted for working on the bottom side.

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Cherry picker used to lift 110 for mounting.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks very much for the welcome and for the compliments. Your John Deere is certainly a fine looking machine and it looks well prepared for winter with the snow blower and a wagon load of fire wood to boot. I have a lot of fond memories of mowing lawns in the summer and blowing snow in winters in Wisconsin. It helped pay for the 110 back then. I have an L110 I bought new in 2003 I use for mowing. Once I get my '66 rebuild & restoration done I'll use it for mowing and will be selling the L110 which still runs great and only has 265 hours on it since new. The engine stand mounts I made took a couple of months to design and build but I felt the time was worth it since I had the heavy duty rotating engine stand. Having my own well equipped workshop helps a lot. I'm able to make special tools as needed and recently made a variator drive spanner wrench, muffler removal wrench, and I'm making a flywheel puller and also a steering wheel puller. I'll post some photos as I go along. It'll take me a while to get used to sending responses correctly & I hope this goes out ok. I'm only used to emailing and not to chat room type sites. I'll appreciate pointers on using the site and certainly restoration advice from the wealth of knowledge you fellows hold collectively. Thanks very much for your response Chaser, I really appreciate it, Kerry.

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Welcome aboard. Your garden tractor rotisserie is an awesome idea. That would come in extremely handy.
Hi ckjakline, Thanks for your comment and for getting in touch. The JD rotissery brackets took a while to design & build but are indeed handy and make it easy to acess any side. The JD 110 service manual I have had pictures of a service stand made by a company called Owatonna. Couldn't get much detail on the mounting brackets from the photos so I had to design my own. They're probably overkill design wise but I wanted to make them good & strong, better safe than sorry, hurt, or worse. My restoration is now well underway, a lot of cleaning, dis assembly, rust removal, parts inspection to see what needs to be rebuilt before painting. I'm taking lots of photos for assembly reference since this is my first tjme doing a 110 & have a lot to learn to be able to do things right. I'll post more photos as I go along. Thanks much.

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Welcome to the site, nice to have some new blood here the sight has been dyeing off slowly.
I am watching with much anticipation your project,
as that set up you have built is very well done. One Question if I may how did you get the tractor lifted up in the air once mounted to the brackets?
The 66 also looks to be in very good shape and a great find.
Very sorry top hear about your paint issues as I am a big Tallmans believer in their green and not so much in the Rustoleum green.
The Tallmans yellow has not been to my liking still believe in Mother Deere for that one but the price hurts.
I also have a 66 that's partially restored with a snow blower mounted on it.
Thanks again for posting keep the pictures coming as we really like those and I wish you good luck with your project.
So in the one pic there appears to be an HD hidden under that plastic. A sporty perhaps? Would love to see that pic if you have a chance.;)

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Hello and I'm really pleased to hear from you and was hoping I would and thanks much for the welcome. You're one of the long time members of the site and rightly looked up to by many others. I've seen many of your posts and you've always been a big benefit to all with so much valuable information. I know I'll have plenty of questions as I go along with my project and look forward to the great source of info this site provides. I hope it keeps going for generations to come. I'm still not up to speed navigating this web site so I hope everyone will be patient until I get more things figured out. I've also seen the Weekend Freedom Machine site and have been wondering if a lot of you guys are also on that site.
Regarding my mounting brackets for the 'JD rotisserie', I spent a long time trying to decide if I really wanted to take the time to design & build these and probably delayed the start of my restoration a long time as a result. I finally went for it and put the time in and since I had an engine stand capable of 360 degree rotation I'm now glad I did since it's definitely making work easier. Getting it up on the stands was a challenge in itself and took some good careful planning. I used a cherry picker a good friend of mine generously lent me and got some strong lifting straps on Ebay for the job. His cherry picker also had a load leveler which helped a lot. It still was a time consuming task because the legs of the picker interfere with the connecting tube joining the 2 engine stands. I bought some additional square tubing to make shorter legs which worked out but had to be careful of the tendency to tip. My son & I got the lift points finally worked out and got it mounted but the whole process took us a couple of hours. The cherry picker can be seen in the background of the last photo in the group of photos I first posted. A chain hoist and overhead lift set up would have been the easier way to go but the cherry picker was available and we 'gottr done'.
I was looking for '66 110 for a long time like the one I had 'back in the day' and finally found this one on Ebay. I was fortunate to find one so complete and nearly all original except for a few details, even had what looks like the original Firestone Traction Turf & Garden tires though the fronts are pretty bald. Probably won't be able to find good front replacements so I'll probably get a complete set of Carlisle high flotation tires, always like the look of those a little better anyway. The Kohler is real low on compression and will get an overhaul soon though it surprisingly wasn't burning oil, the spark plug is a nice normal tan color. My trans seemed to shift fine so I won't be removing it at this time. I'm thoroughly cleaning the 110 & removing most linkage to inspect & repair as necessary and will prime & paint the whole 110 over time. The hood needs fiberglass work which is something I haven't done much of and will take some time. I'm going through the variator and installing a new needle bearing. I made my own spanner wrench to dis assemble the variator, it would be hard to do without it. Seemed to be a much better way to go than using 2 punches & pry bar like the JD service manual showed. I also made a muffler pipe nipple/split clamp type/removal wrench which worked great. Learned the hard way on that one, tried to remove the muffler with a strap wrench and only accomplished putting a small dent in it. I have a plan for removing the dent which isn't too bad and hopefully I can save the muffler otherwise I'll get one from Hapco. I'm also currently machining my own steering wheel puller and flywheel puller so plenty to keep me busy with this project. Hoping to finish it by next summer but that's a pretty tall order. I bought an L110 new in 2003, has only 265 hrs on it, runs great & will be selling it once the 110 is ready. I'll kind of miss the convenience of the hydrostatic but I mow for fun and can't wait to have a 'new' 110 round fender again.
I do wish I could get Tallmans paint but CA restricts a lot of products you guys get to enjoy back east. I used Rustoleum on my Harley trailer years ago and its held up well. I know what you mean about Mother Deere's paint, really great paint but it takes awfully deep pockets. John Deere Classic Green and John Deere Yellow factory paint will be my choice for my restoration.

The Harley in the background under the plastic is a 1954 KHRTT 55 cu. in. flat head racer I restored, the rarest of its breed. Had to build that one from the ground up starting with a bare set of engine cases over a 35 year span starting in 1981 & finishing in 2016. I'll send you some photos of it soon, I see you're also a Harley fan.
Please forgive my getting so wordy with this reply but I'm really enthusiastic about restoring my 110 and will post more photos soon of work that's been done.

Thanks much again for your post for me. I look forward to hopefully hearing from many more fellow JD enthusiasts and know I'll benefit greatly from the vast collective knowledge that this great web site provides.

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Some progress I can report on my '66 John Deere 110 restoration: I began the clean up of my 110 shortly after I got it mounted on my rotating stands concentrating first on the underside which had a heavy multi year coating of oil encrusted dirt. I spent many hours scraping and brushing and although I could have pressure washed it I preferred not to get water into places where it could do harm and also to avoid a big mess on my driveway or in my shop. I've included some photos of the before and after to give an idea of where I'm at up to this point. There's still a good amount of thorough degreasing, rust removal, and paint removal before any serious paint prep can begin but at least I've got a fairly good start on the clean up. Along this part of the journey I machined some needed tools; a muffler removal wrench, a variator sheave spanner wrench, a steering wheel puller, and just finished a flywheel puller. I'll post some photos of those in a separate thread to keep the photo file more manageable to send. I had most of the material I needed to make these on hand in my shop and having the time to do the machining, wanted to make these to make the jobs easier and avoid any damage that I'd be sorry for later. As the old saying goes, "why is there never enough time to do it right but always enough time to do it over?" I guess we can all relate to that from at least one task or two that we've done in the past. I think this especially applies to the disassembly method for the variator pulley assembly shown in the John Deere shop manual. The photo shows using two punches with a pry bar in between to unscrew a sheave from the inner hub. I suppose this removal method does work but I didn't want to chance damaging the holes in the pulley or try using a hammer and punch and beat it to death which some claim will do the job. The spanner wrench was easy for me to make since I have a Bridgeport mill and is the right way to do the job in my book. I know not everyone has the luxury of a milling machine but a spanner wrench can still be made on a drill press if careful hole location is laid out on a piece of bar stock. I'm at the point where I can now pull the engine and do the tear down to see what it'll need and get parts ordered so I'll resume work toward paint later on. I'll be taking the variable speed, lift linkage, and steering linkage out of the tractor to inspect everything and make access to the frame easier for paint work. I'll try to post more photos as work goes along.

The underside before cleaning.

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Dirt plus rusted/corroded area caused by battery acid.

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Underside after partial cleaning.

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inside of pedestal before cleaning.

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inside of pedestal after partial cleaning

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Disassembly work started.

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Found out where all my engine compression was going, YIKES!!

An update on my '66 JD 110 restoration. I've torn the engine down and found the cause of low compression, a burned exhaust valve. There was an unbelievable accumulation of dirt and debris under the engine shrouds around the cylinder and head fins rendering the cooling fins practically useless as the photos painfully reveal. No wonder the exhaust valve eventually overheated and burned yielding 'the old washing machine' performance it had when I bought it. The photo of the exhaust valve shows the valve head burned thin and uneven near the cylinder side. The pile of dirt in the photos was just what was removed from the cooling fins. Must have been many years in the making! Moral of the story, don't let your engine fins get this dirty... The good news for me is the engine was surprisingly not burning oil, the cylinder and crank are both in beautiful shape and are both standard although I can tell the valves were reworked at some point and not ground very square on the ends of the valve stems indicating a so so valve job. I've since gotten the engine torn down completely and will post more photos as work continues. My rebuild kit is on the way (Christmas present to myself, lol) so I've about turned the corner toward being near the re assembly stages. Thanks and Happy Holidays to All !!!
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Burned exhaust valve and thin valve margin caused by over heating.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah that was a grungy engine!
Yeah, its amazing what can be hiding under your engine shrouds. I only drove this 110 around my yard a couple of times before starting my restoration noting how low it was on compression. I'm just glad that the rest of the engine is in as good a shape as it is. I guess I was lucky too, to find a 110 still as close to original as this one is. Thanks and have a good weekend.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah that was a grungy engine!
hot spots, lack of air flow to air cooled engine.................
devastating results. Easy fix thanks for sharing hope project is progressing
Yeah, the lack of cooling certainly took its toll on the exhaust valve. I'm lucky things weren't worse but amazingly most other parts are fortunately in good shape. My rebuild kit arrived and I'll be doing a careful and thorough rebuild. I have a John Deere factory 110 service manual and have downloaded the Kohler K181 factory service manual that they so graciously offer as a free download, both great info as well as all of the info Brian Miller has on his gardentractorpullingtips.com website. He offers exhaust valve rotator components which are a good idea to install as well. I'll be keeping busy with my engine rebuild for a while and look forward to this part of the restoration. Thanks and have a good weekend.

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hello again to all. With this posting I'm finally continuing updates on my '66 110 restoration after a long pause. I've updated my original posting at the start of this posting/discussion and you might like to review it from #1. Please pardon that a few of the photos in this thread #17 being repeats. I think this will be the best way to start continuation of my restoration postings after my 110 was initially mounted on my 'rotisserie' engine stand. The custom mounting brackets that needed to be designed and fabricated are shown in the earlier photos.

The engine at the start of restoration

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My 110 was low on compression when I acquired it so engine removal and a complete rebuild began. It wasn't burning oil and the spark plug was a nice normal tan color but it was very low on power. The photos below reveal the incredible amount of dirt accumulation that had completely clogged the cooling fins.

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After removing the cylinder head the loss of engine compression was easy to diagnose. The loss of adequate engine cooling due to the clogged fins caused the burnt exhaust valve as can be seen; the thin, distorted valve margin/sealing edge on the side of the valve facing the cylinder. The moral of this story is to periodically remove your engine baffle/tins, check your cooling fins and never let them get this bad... :eek:

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Since I didn't have a flywheel puller tool I made one which was an easy tool for me to make since I'm fortunate to have a good machining background and a well equipped work shop. After removing the flywheel nut and bolting up the puller the flywheel came off easily with a tap from a hammer.

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Engine dis assembly and inspection began. Fortunately the cylinder was in remarkably good shape, not badly scored nor too out of round and still standard bore size when carefully measured for bore size and bore taper. These were still within factory specs. The crankshaft was in good shape as well as far as crank rod journal surface and still standard diameter though a little worn.

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Crankshaft measurements showed that the connecting rod journal was still basic standard size but was .001 out of round. I was able to correct the out of round condition by polishing it with abrasive cloth. The oil seal surfaces at the ends of the crank had pitting and some wear and I polished them in my lathe as best I could.

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I bought a rebuild kit for the Kohler K181 which included a new piston, piston pin and rings, gaskets, exhaust valve, main bearings, and connecting rod. I wasn't happy with the excess clearance of the main bore the rod had since it came with a bore size with more than .002 clearance. Since the crank was also worn .001, re machining the rod was a must. The rod cap was removed, the mating surface milled down .015 and then torqued back to the rod to enable re boring. The photo below is the milling machine set up with the boring head used in the process of boring the rod main bore back out to factory specs.

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At this point there was still a long way to go with the engine rebuild but the most critical part regarding the crankshaft reconditioning and rod fitting was done.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Starter/generator Rebuild and I.D. Tag Replacement

This post will show the steps taken during the starter/generator rebuild and I. D. tag replacement. The rebuild kit I bought on Ebay was very reasonable and included 2 ball bearings, 2 carbon brushes with tension springs, and the o-ring that fits into the end cap/casting opposite from the drive pulley end. The exact sequence to follow for a rebuild is very well shown in videos on You Tube and on the isavetractors web site. I'll go over the basic steps I took along with some photos of the process. A thorough cleaning after disassembly showed that the armature commutator copper segments were in good shape, not badly worn or grooved so it only required polishing with a strip of #600 wet or dry sand paper. The new ball bearings were a loose fit on the armature shaft ends so a very small amount of light duty Locktite was carefully applied on the bearing contact areas of the armature shafts at assembly. The carbon brushes and springs looked good as is and the new o-ring was installed in the end cap/casting

The generator body stripped for painting, mounting bracket painted, end cap/casings painted with bearings installed, polished armature copper segment, and the I.D.tags down below.

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The end cap/casting holes for the long pivot bolt in the mounting bracket were worn and oblong so these were bored out and steel bushing inserts machined to restore the original fit.

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Starter/generator assembled.

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The original I.D. tag had been painted over and was in rough shape. Good quality reproduction tags are available on Ebay for $10 to $15 already painted with the Delco Remy logo and data so I picked up one of these. The original tag was very securely staked on so the rivet/drive screws were carefully center drilled and drilled out with a number series, #39 drill, .0995 in diameter. The original hole locations worked out ok for me for the new tag. If you find that your original holes end up too large you can drill new holes slightly offset from your original holes if necessary for the new drive screws.

The original I.D. tag removed.

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An I.D. tag holding fixture was made in my milling machine which made the job of stamping accurately spaced and aligned numbers and letters with a letter stamp set, a fairly straight forward process in my milling machine. This is the first starter/generator I've restored and I don't really know for sure if the first three digit numbers, 110 actually refers to a John Deere 110 or not, nor if the last four digits, 1970 refer to the year. I stamped the new tag with the same numbers and letters as the starter/generator had that was on the tractor when I acquired it. This type and series of starter/generator as many of you well know, was commonly used however in a lot of other garden tractors such as Cub Cadet, Case, Simplicity, and many other brands.

I.D. tag holding fixture made for stamping the new tag.

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The fasteners used to attach the tags that many commonly refer to as rivets are called out in industry as drive screws. The size used for the 110 starter/generator I.D. tag are #4 drive screws which have a spiral grooved stem, 3/16" long. After drilling some test holes, a #39 number series drill .0995 in diameter produced a hole with a good tight fit and fairly easy to punch the drive screw into place.

#4 drive screws for attaching tag.

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The drive screws can be driven in place with a flat tipped punch. I like the look of the dome shaped head of the drive screw as is however so a made a punch with a concave tip to drive them in. This has a 7/64" concave radiused pocket in the tip of the punch and enabled punching the drive screws into place without flattening them but again this type of punch isn't absolutely necessary and a flat tipped punch will do the job.

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A close up view of the 7/64" concave radius pocket in the end of the punch used to install drive screws into the new tag.

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The original tags back in the day were most likely produced by the acid etching process that many manufacturers used. This produced letters and numbers that were about .003 to .004 above the rest of the recessed areas of the tag. Most reproduction tags produced today are made on CNC lasor etching machines which produce amazingly fine detail. Although the letters and numbers are not 'raised' in effect, like the original tags, I'm sure most of us would prefer the reproduction tag made today on thin aluminum sheet metal versus the stick on type I.D. tags so often found on equipment today.

The new reproduction I.D. tag mounted on the starter/generator.

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Great to hear from you Kyle, thanks very much for the compliments. It's the fine work that you and others demonstrate on our site that are an inspiration to us all. My love for the green and yellow goes way back to when I was a kid when my dad and his brother had a JD dealership. We got a 110 brand new in 1966 and after so many years I wanted to take on the challenge to recreate that. It's been a labor of love and I'm enjoying the journey in my retirement. My machinist background has certainly helped and I'm blessed to have a well equipped home machine shop. Although I have some good machining skills I've still learned a lot doing this restoration so you never stop learning even at my age. I'm pretty pleased with the progress I've made and how things have turned out so far. I'll continue posting photos on the project. I've enjoyed seeing your photos on your many projects. What have you been working on lately? Give us an update when you can. I know it can be hard to do things back there this time of year and I'm hoping you guys have all been ok. Thanks to all of you for making this the great website that it is.
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