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Lazarus Rises Again

Lazarus Rises Again
This is the story of Lazarus, my 1953 Case VAC-14. I had looked at it several vears ago, the owner said it ran, but didn't want to sell. A few years later, he re considered. The tractor obviously hadn't run in years, rear tires shot, rear rims rotten. I told him about the stuck engine, and he told me if I could do anything with it to take it. It took me about an hour to unhook it from the half buried bush hog it was attached to (I later found out it had seized while mowing) I loaded it with a come along and took it home. I tried soaking it to free it up, no luck, removed the valve cover and loosened the valve adjusters, tried turning again, it moved. I pulled the head, the cylinder walls were clean and still had crosshatch. I drove the valves out with a brass punch, they looked new, so did the seats and guides. Apparently someone did a major overhaul on this tractor and never reamed the new guides, so when it got hot, it locked up. I put it back together, rebuilt the carb, starter and generator and gave it a tune up. I pressed the starter button and he hired right up (notice, no longer an 'it'). I replaced the rear tires and one rim (rebuilt the other), and the only other thing I've done is replace the dump piston on the loader. 'Lazarus', as he came to be known, was my first 'resurrection, ' I've owned plenty of tractors, but had only taken them from bad runners to good. I'm now 25 years old and have done a few since, but you never forget the feeling you get when you get one running for the first time.

Scott Kaplan, from CT, entered 2001-03-16

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