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Hey everyone! Finally getting around to starting a dedicated restoration/build thread for my 400. Does this make me a member of the black sheep club by chance?

Included in my purchase, I got a 60" mower deck, a cart, several wheel weights, chains, the old Kohler engine, a homemade front mounted bush hog (or something like that) that needs some serious work as the driveshaft is broken, a model 47(?) snowblower (single stage), a homemade rear blade, and I purchased locally a rear gearbox and tiller.

The rear blade is going to need some work as the replaceable edge wasn't taken care of and replaced when it should have been, so it wore down into the bolt holes to replace it. Not sure if that can be fixed or not.

I'm in the market (generally) for a front 4-way blade or a FEL and possibly a rear box blade. Eventually I want a FEL, but time will when that happens.

Here is a picture shortly after I got it:


I have since replaced the homemade 3ph with one from Ruegg Mfg.

I also need to replace the tires all around and while I'm doing that, clean off all of the rust and repaint the rims. I'm debating about which tires to go with. Leaning towards V61's for the front and possibly WT300's for the rear.

When I purchased it back in March, it seemed to run fine and idled well. Not sure if it's the gas or that letting it sit without much running while I figured out the 3ph and did other things (like coating the garage floor and installing cabinets in the garage) resulted in some sludge to build up.

For today's issue let's take a listen to how the 23HP Kohler is running...

More to follow as I get into things further.

'75 JD 400 workhorse
 

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Yup you're a Black Sheep Squadron member now. A video of the Secret Handshake will be emailed to you after you have successfully change the oil the first time :D

What's the orange-ish stuff on the tires?

I will be following your thread as you go along. My restored 400 is a '75 model but is not exactly original now.
 

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Welcome to the "club". Black Sheep Squadron is just a polite name for the Masochists Club. Just kidding. Proud member here with a 1981 model-heavily modified. Good luck with the restoration!

The shop heat is on this weekend to finish the restoration of a 37A snowblower for my son's 212, so I'll use the occasion of warmth to put the cab on the 400 today after enough coffee. Conveniently, the garage is only 30 feet from a bathroom for coffee relief. Grandma gives me grief if she catches me over by the woods contemplating.

Surfing the net looking longingly at those Chinese diesel cab heaters.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yup you're a Black Sheep Squadron member now. A video of the Secret Handshake will be emailed to you after you have successfully change the oil the first time :D

What's the orange-ish stuff on the tires?

I will be following your thread as you go along. My restored 400 is a '75 model but is not exactly original now.
The "orange stuff" is good'ol southern red clay. I live along the western line of the sandhills in NC so I have a mix of sandy loam and that oh-so-fun red clay.

Around here, we don't really get enough snow for using a snowblower. I think in 24 years we've gotten over 6" once. My wife thinks that if I sell the snowblower we'll then get hit with a snowstorm of the century and will need it haha. But I have debated about selling it since I don't want it sitting outside rusting away (don't yet have a barn or other place to conveniently store it yet).

'75 JD 400 workhorse
 

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Now is a good time to sell a snowblower, though.

Here is my "key" for the clubhouse:

261027


261028
 

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Don't tell me that is what is needed to drain the oil on this thing...

Now I wonder what the previous owner has "done" to do the oil changes... The oil was fairly clean when I got it and didn't feel too degraded, so I haven't yet changed the oil myself and maybe only put a total of 5 hours on it since March. There also doesn't appear to be much in the way of oil or hydro fluid leaking, so I think it's been decently well maintained.

I also have an old paint can filled with spare/broken bits and pieces such as steering link sockets.

'75 JD 400 workhorse
 

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The "orange stuff" is good'ol southern red clay. I live along the western line of the sandhills in NC so I have a mix of sandy loam and that oh-so-fun red clay.

Around here, we don't really get enough snow for using a snowblower. I think in 24 years we've gotten over 6" once. My wife thinks that if I sell the snowblower we'll then get hit with a snowstorm of the century and will need it haha. But I have debated about selling it since I don't want it sitting outside rusting away (don't yet have a barn or other place to conveniently store it yet).

'75 JD 400 workhorse
Thought that may be clay. Remember working Georgia and see that on cars.
Not a member of the club, but love those black sheep. Good luck with and keep us informed. Guys here will help you out.
 
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Been running these V61's for 10 years on this 400. Got them from a WFM member in NY state. I like them a lot. Traction is really good and they clean up easily.
261046


I also need to replace the tires all around and while I'm doing that, clean off all of the rust and repaint the rims. I'm debating about which tires to go with. Leaning towards V61's for the front and possibly WT300's for the rear.
 

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That's the same clay that gummed everybody's wheels up in the movie 'My Cousin Vinny' isn't it? If you've never watched it you should. It's pretty good. Joe Pesci at his best (y)

Thought that may be clay. Remember working Georgia and see that on cars.
 

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She's right! Model 50's and other vintage throwers and blowers aren't scarce yet but are getting harder to find. One option is to put it on a pallet and oil the snot out of it periodically. Use a brush so it goes on nice and thick.

My wife thinks that if I sell the snowblower we'll then get hit with a snowstorm of the century and will need it haha. But I have debated about selling it since I don't want it sitting outside rusting away (don't yet have a barn or other place to conveniently store it yet).

'75 JD 400 workhorse
 

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There's a tool for that oil drain??? I struggled with mine for almost an hour about a month ago when I was taking care of my 400. Very irritating
 

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I used a small jack handle with a notched end first time I drained a 400 engine ..but not till I tried a few dumbass ideas first. Sometimes I start off assuming the exact opposite of Occam's Razor.

There's a tool for that oil drain??? I struggled with mine for almost an hour about a month ago when I was taking care of my 400. Very irritating
 

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I have one hanging on the work bench door I made out of a spare 3/8 drive deep well socket. The socket was big enough to fit over the round part of the valve, then I cut the slots in it with an angle grinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I have one hanging on the work bench door I made out of a spare 3/8 drive deep well socket. The socket was big enough to fit over the round part of the valve, then I cut the slots in it with an angle grinder.
Good idea! Several years ago I actually bought a cheap deep well socket set from HF to intentionally cut an opening into a 16mm socket in order to rebuild the head of my old motorcycle. Looks like it might be time to find another socket from that set to modify for this purpose.

'75 JD 400 workhorse
 

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I have a John Deere 9/16" half inch drive socket that might work. I don't have any other JD sockets and I don't recall where I got that one. I actually ended up making a tool using a piece of black pipe and an angle grinder with the appropriate disk thickness. I should put a T handle on the outer end but so far I've just clamped onto the end of the pipe with vise grips. Also made a better jack handle for my 3 ton cherry picker the same way.
 

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It's been sitting on this shelf for several years. I'm hoping it will be worth a crazy price some day to a JD collector.
261070
 
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IIRC, There was a JD kit to make draining oil easier and much less messy. I installed one on my first '77 when fairly new. Just a long thin screwdriver to open a needle valve and a tube to direct oil into drain pan. Nice. David
 

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Hey everyone! Finally getting around to starting a dedicated restoration/build thread for my 400. Does this make me a member of the black sheep club by chance?
'75 JD 400 workhorse
Yep, I think you are a member now. The 400, 420 and 430s are my favorite tractors. Keep us posted with lots of pics as you go along.
 
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