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The Chief--Dad's 149

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joshua donald stertz

Thanks for that power steering info . I have to give this some more thought . I had my spindles on my 1290loader cut off and replace with trailer high speed 2500 lb spindles and would like to keep that mod ; Because of the weight the front of the loader must carry. I have to study this but I think I just need the spindle tops from a 1862 and then use them to attach the ram for the steering. I thought I might be able to cut off the top of the spindle and weld on the top of the 1862 spindle and use the 1862 top parts and still keep my stronger spindles. I hope this makes sense and you can tell me if you think this will work . Thanks Don T
Hey Joshua, any progress on the chief,
All right! For those of you who were convinced that we left this project hanging or that we lost interest-au contraire! Being a full time residential framing contractor and a youth pastor, plus raising a family of four keeps me on my toes.
So I don't always have the time that I would like to have to contribute to our Cub community.However, the project has made some serious headway and I can't wait to fill you in. I'm gonna try to get pics and posts up over the Labor Day weekend--please stay tuned.
I'm staying tuned,
, I haven't had much time to post all summer either
Joel--Thanks for hanging in there. I'm bored of watching my Green and Gold getting beat up by the "Ocean Birds" and so I turn to the yellow and white, which for me is much more rewarding!

So, lets recap..We have been in the very labor some process of cleaning parts, straightening sheet metal, and painting. During this process, we also must decide which parts need to be replaced and which ones could be restored or refurbished and reinstalled.


Here is a cache of some of those parts ready for assembly.


Here you see some of the mower parts!


Notice the decal still on the dash tower. Dad elected to keep that one on since it was in "like new" condition. Unfortunately, the left hand side was shot, because of the continual use of the SR lever. That would actually make an interesting and funny thread in the sandbox...I could challenge you guys to send in pics of your left hand tank decal on any original cubs from the 123-169. Once the QL series hit with the SR redesign that makes it a non factor.

Anyway, back to the project...Take note of the super steer axle. We decided to use the center caps that are prevalent on the cyclops series tractors. However, I told dad that he needed to paint them yellow to make it look a little more like the original bolt and washer painted yellow. You'll see how it looks soon and you can decide for yourself what you think.


This is one of my favorite parts of any refurbish project, the assembly. However, it is the tedious detail stuff that makes the difference in the end result. If you don't take care of the details, the end result will never look as good.


This is one thing that my dad came up with to detail his fasteners. By writing what it was on the cardboard, he keep his stuff organized. By "threading" the fastners to bottoming out on the cardboard, he protected the threads from overspray. Good thinking dad!


Now it was time to drop the fluid, clean out the housing, attach the hydro, install the gasket and back plate, and then...


This is one of my favorite pics. As you know from the beginning of this thread, my dad worked at Chief Equipment when I was a kid. He owned and still owns the WH 875 which was the first Hydrostatic GT made. So, naturally when it came to change the fluid in it, he opted to go with the best, GENUINE IH HyTran! I grew up seeing this half full "liquid gold of the GT Hydro gods" bucket on the shelf next to the oil and gas cans. I never put two and two together until I found that pail a while back. It is in beautiful original condition and is now in the rear end of a tractor that was sold, bought back, and sold again from the same dealership it came from over 38 years ago! Stay tuned. I promise that it won't be months and months before my next post. I want to get this thing together!!!
Well, I'm on a roll! So, lets get this thing together and running for you!
Guys, thanks for the thumbs up. I sure like how it is turning out and dad does too. I guess that is what is really important. In the end, it is about a three generational project coming together that bonds us, a machine that hopefully is better than new, and one that serves the purpose for which it was built and now rebuilt!

Now it was time to get the front axle and the rear end on to the frame.


Because we had done all of our trial fitting and testing when the machine was "in the rough", it now was a simple method of getting the right fasteners and putting it together, IN THE RIGHT ORDER! I'm sure none of you have ever started putting one of your Cubs back together when you realized that you had missed a part or put something on before a critical piece had to be installed!!!! Anyway, the front SS axle, Cyclops series wheels and tires, front "yellow" center caps (how do you like that little touch bythe way?), and hydraulic ram are all in place.

Before I go any further, I must comment on our suppliers at the top of this page once again. They came through every time that we needed them. Whether it was parts for the mechanical PTO, decals, new wiring harness, steering linkage, seals and gaskets, you name it they stepped up to the plate and hit a home run! This is only my second resto/refurb but I can't say enough good things about our sponsors and the help that they are in a project like this. A great big

to all of you who make this site possible and who support this hobby so well!

By now the three of us were really starting to get excited. I laid in the new wiring harness, dad bolted the hydro to the rear, and we got it placed under the frame for the first time in months!


While dad and I were bolting that together, Caleb was practically begging to do something. We had finished decarboning the head the other day and so I showed him how to properly torque the head bolts down after installing the new head gasket and the important of the correct sequence from the service manual.


He did a great job and his attention to detail was impressive. He wanted to make sure he was doing it correctly. I'm looking forward to restoring his 125 CubZ someday as a father/son project but that is a different thread for a different day!

Even though none of you helped me out with any recommendations on the late model mechanical PTO vs. the early style, we opted to go with it anyway since our parts tractor had one. It sure looks to be more durable and I like the mating surface of the large plate vs. the small thrust button.


If you look close in the pic you can see some of the clutch parts on the bench. The big moment had arrived! It was time for the heart transplant to conclude. Thankfully we didn't have to keep the Chief alive or he wouldn't have made it! It has been awhile since the "old heart was beating in his chest".


I had fit the dash while dad finished the last few items on the motor...


One last check over the plumbing lines and wiring routing and it is time to install the K321! Yes!


There were some moments where it felt like we would never reach this point but the day is finally here!!!


Those of you that have done this, know what a great feeling it is to get to this point. We are finally on the home stretch.

Stay with me now! In the words of the immortal Henry Jones Sr., "What are you sitting there resting for when we are so near the end?"!!!
Josh: I don't know who Henry Jones Sr. is, but I do remember the old Coca-Cola slogan, "The Pause that Refreshes." You deserve a break, and the satisfaction that comes from admiring one's handiwork (it's a guy thing).

Again, great story, wonderful pictures; I especially like the shot of your son Caleb. You're quite the Dad to let him torque the head bolts. As someone told me, you should delegate responsibilities, not tasks. Excellent work (delegating, that is).

The restoration is looking good too; the shot of the implement lift on the dash tower was especially intimidating, I don't know if I could ever get my 149 looking that good.

You deserve another thumbs up.
I am just beginning my 149 project Joshua. Over the past five years my dad in law has given me a Cub Lo-Boy 154 and just recently the 149. Your pictures are such a great help to someone who has the mechanical ability of a monkey. Thanks for going into such detail. Question... what color do I use on wheels IH white or Cub Cadet Beige? Thanks in advance in you answer.
Looking awesome Josh. Can't wait to see the finished project. I have one or two to "freshen" up. How's your schedule looking?
Jeremiah--Thanks for the kudos. Henry Jones Sr. is Indiana Jones dad! Classic line from a classic movie delivered by Sean Connery. As far as something seeming impossible, I have read enough of your posts and you seem capable enough to do anything that you set you mind to. Projects like this always seem overwhelming when you look at the whole. However, if you break it down into a piece by piece deal, before you know it you've done what you set your mind to!

David--Good luck on your project. Don't be afraid to start a thread in this part of the forum. It will be a good way for us to keep up on your progress and to help you with any details that you may have questions about. If you want the absolute correct paint for your 149 go to the FAQ's at the top of this page and then select number 5 and you will have the exact info that you are looking for. If you are asking what we did, we have a supplier locally that handles Valspar Farm and Implement paint. (A side note: if you are interested in using this paint and you have a Lowe's close to you, you can have them order a case in for you for about $50.) I have used it on four tractors now and love how well it works. It is easy to maintain a "wet edge" and about the best that I've seen without using a spray gun. If you are using a spray gun, their product still works well but you have to make that decision yourself. We used the Cub Cadet Beige from Valspar for the white.

Josh--The schedule is full right now. We are finishing the chief and then starting to restore my dad's 875 Wheel Horse. Maybe after that!!!

Back to the project...

Now it is just a matter of putting the details together that we've spent months preparing. The critical thing now is to keep from scratching stuff!!!


Dad is a stickler for details and it shows up in everything that he does. He detailed everything and left no fastner alone. Everything was evaluated, detailed, and prepared for reassembly.


Many thanks to our suppliers for the excellent, complete, brand new wiring harness. It fit just like it should and hopefully will keep us from those prevalent electrical gremlins in these older machines.


Again, I cant tell you how good it feels to see the Chief at this point! The pictures speak for themselves...


The headlights work and the tail lights too! It was time to start it again. We choked it, a little throttle, and he fired right up!!! It is looking sharp and running great. Now we just need cousin Mike to come down, letter it, and than we can finish the last remaining details! Soon...
Thanks Again for the kind words. Dad really does enjoy these types of projects. He has been doing them off and on my whole life. In spite of the fact that as a minister/missionary these days he is traveling a lot, I think he still really enjoys taking something that is old and making it new again. I must have the same gene!
However, I think he enjoys this even more because he gets to do this project with his two sons and his grandson. That makes it more of a legacy or heritage project than anything else. I, for one, won't forget this wonderful experience.

My Cousin Mike came down at 1:00 in the morning and lettered the Chief for us! He is now proud and mighty with all his war paint on!



Notice anything different from that last picture to this one...


We got the tractor finished just in time for a big local antique tractor show and so we took it there. I'm placing a link to a video I just uploaded. It is a short video but it is the first one that I took of the Chief in action. You will hear an old Johnny two popper in the back ground and you will see my Cousin on his White Knight Case first followed by dad on his Chief and then my brother Nate on another 149 that we purchased for the Cozy Cab and QA42A snowthrower. That is right, now that the tractor is done, we will be setting up a complete snow package for this thing and restoring the 48" mower deck.


So, please don't tune out just yet...
Wow, what a difference the decals make. It looks great! The last photo it has a mule drive bracket installed.

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