Oliver 550
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Thread: Oliver 550

  1. #1
    Senior Member Wi11y's Avatar
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    Oliver 550

    I know there is little that I can do to improve upon some one elses work. The tractor had extensive work done on it prior to my ownership. From a complete engine overhaul to having a loader installed per manufacturers design.

    I had to have a friend of five foot four come over and unload the tractor. Where I am tall I found just the act of lowering myself to sit painful.

    So I am six foot two inches and sitting on the tractor I find it very small and cramped. So I will be posting in this thread things I will be doing. So far I have only taken what is comfortable for me sitting in a comfortable chair to apply to the tractor. Dimensions like nineteen inches from bottom of the seat to where my feet need to rest on the floor boards of the tractor. To have a back rest that is 10 inches higher than where my tail is. To be able to set my hands comfortably on the steering wheel at the positions of 730 and 530, the steering wheel needs to be no further than 24 inches away than where my back rests.

    In perspective? A folding chair is 15 inches high from the floor and feels low to me.

    Granted the Oliver never came with a back rest and the original seat will be modified. Yet I will probably bolt the back rest on so that a future owner can remove it if they desire.

    What has been done so far is to remove the seat from its original location. I examined the way the seat was mounted and found there was no easy way to keep its originality. So grinding out the original track (part #two) for the seat to accept weld was a must. There was a "T" type tang that protruded up from the floor of the track that I was able to hammer back down and grind smooth. The original track is welded to a angle bracket that has been made in such a way to make it undesirable to remove and save for a future owner. So it is to this reason that I will modify the track. Attached is a picture below of how Oliver mounted the seat track.

    IMG_20170429_055342.jpg

    Next is where I try out different boards under the seat to see what feels comfortable. The above measurements are only a guide line. Yet nothing is in stone until I put the seat on and "see". The other small detail is that the seat needs to protrude over the spring that is exterior on the tractor used for draft control.

    More later today when I get back from shopping.
    If it isnt broken, dont repair it.

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    Senior Member Wi11y's Avatar
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    Sorry no pictures to post.

    The seat was a interesting headache. Found it was better to remove the seat and get a $30 boat seat from Walmart. Set it on a 4x4 and off I went to smooth the driveway.

    Good lord that thing drinks gas like it is going out of style! I ran the tractor for about a half hour and it slurped down the 5 gallons that was in the tank. It was only turning about 1000 rpm.

    I found that I need to alter the clutch pedal. Seems at present I have no way to get my foot easily from the floor onto the clutch. Looking at it I see where if I cut out about 4 inches of the arm it will move the pedal forward 4 inches and shorten the amount the pedal has to travel. At this posting the pedal travels about eight inches. When I set my foot on the pedal, the pedal is almost under my heel. And that is with my foot all the way back.

    The generator was charging when it was at the prior owner. Now the light is on. I am hoping it is the 30 amp fuse. I am thinking of getting some surface mount fuses with a twist lock head and put it through one of the many holes that are in the dash for switches that dont do anything. Toggling them didnt alter the generator either. The picture below is the type of fuse holder I will install.



    More later when I mount the seat and alter the clutch.
    If it isnt broken, dont repair it.

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    I think I would be checking the float level on the carb. That's a lot of fuel for that size tractor to use.

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    Wi11y (04-30-2017)

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    Senior Member Wi11y's Avatar
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    Ok I will look into it. Thankyou for the suggestion
    If it isnt broken, dont repair it.

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    You probably should check the air filter too, too high of oil level from dirt build up or moisture can really restrict the flow. an other issue with updraft carbs is the vent between the float bowl d the intake stream gets plugged and messes the mixture up.

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    Wi11y (04-30-2017)

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    Senior Member Wi11y's Avatar
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    All good points. I will look into them tomorrow. Tho I doubt it is carb related as I still need to choke it and use a little choke to get it going.
    Yet definitely it is consuming too much!

    I found out a second head ache. There is a tiny bell crank under the seat with a pin that is connected to a horizontal shaft? If that pin falls out? You cant lift the implement! There I was grading the driveway and unable to declutch unless I leaned way back and laid my self horizontally (seat is only sitting by gravity). I would try to lift the implement at the end of the driveway to no avail. Glad to find out that was all it was. Just a rogue pin.
    If it isnt broken, dont repair it.

  11. #7
    Senior Member Wi11y's Avatar
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    Very hard to work on a tractor outside when it keeps raining. The garage has the mower inside until I can fix a few last issues. Otherwise the clutch pedal has been sortened to a manageable length. Finding an awful lot of clevis pins with out the cotter pin. Since it has yellow paint on it I can only blame the owner x2 ago. Looks like everything had been disassembled then on reassembly he never rechecked his work. So now it is my job.
    If it isnt broken, dont repair it.

  12. #8
    Senior Member Wi11y's Avatar
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    An update on the 550:

    I put 5 gallons of gas in her this afternoon. At first the needle stayed below the one quarter to empty. It wasnt until I had her out on the road did the gas gauge come alive and then it showed a little over three quarters tank. So it appears it is a flaky sensor. When the tractor points down hill slightly the gas level plummets. Going up hill I get a full tank.

    Found out she has a fair amount of power. Nothing like the JD 60. Yet it is doable. Or at least it has better power in the mid to upper RPM's. 6th gear is definitely for going down the road. The other gears crawl, thankfully they dont howl or try to pop out of gear. Tho the gear shift needs to be bent as where it is under my leg is most uncomfortable.

    Getting on and off the tractor is still quite a trick for my size. Granted it will help to have the seat bolted down. I feel the need to modify the rear fender to facilitate being able to get on the tractor. I would keep the old part and weld it back on should I feel the need to replace her in the future. Just not enough room for my wide bod to get on her easily.

    All sorts of pins are missing and finding leaks all over her.

    Anyone know if I can use the bucket hydraulics on the steering? The reservoir for the steering is very hard to access and the generator has problems with charging. The light is on solid all the time now. I did find one inline fuse (10 amp) in the wire bundle that tries to fall out on a regular basis for the lights. Still unknown what the extra 3 switches are for.

    I replaced the missing pin with a bolt on the hydraulics. Went to smooth the driveway and ping the bolt with no nut was gone and so to was the ability to raise the implement. When I got the tractor back to the garage and dismounted the tractor did I find the bolt that had popped out. No, the original pin is still gone sadly.

    The shortened clutch is much more usable now.

    More updates later as I delve into it. Have fun everyone.
    If it isnt broken, dont repair it.

  13. #9
    Senior Member Wi11y's Avatar
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    Well I was out working with the tractor this afternoon. Good Lord that tractor can dig! There is a section of my driveway that has needed to be expanded for some time. So that was what I was working on. I had moved about 2 yards of earth when I had this notion I should go the long way around the turn around to work at the other side. Well I got near the garage and the tractor started making a noise that sounded alot like a key cutter. So I dropped rpm's which seemed to help. Parked the tractor near the garage and thought the steering felt like it was getting tight. So I figured the leak I hadnt thoroughly traced near the power steering was the culprit.

    Yes it was of sorts.

    Well I topped off the power steering and the noise went away. Ok that was good, yet where was the leak? The front axle is dripping from oil. Well I went to checking all the stuff there and realized that the lift cylinder was leaking at the seal. Checked the reservoir for the hydraulics and it was rather empty. So now I must park the tractor for a while until I can get the money to get a pail of hydraulic oil for the lift arms (maybe in 2 weeks). Isnt life wonderful?

    I should mention. The leak is a drop of oil once every 5 -10 minutes. Something I must watch, but not necessary for me to rebuild the cylinder yet. I will need to check the hydraulic reservoir at least once a month from now on. It cant be trusted. sigh
    Last edited by Wi11y; 05-13-2017 at 02:43 PM.
    If it isnt broken, dont repair it.

  14. #10
    Senior Member Wi11y's Avatar
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    Well I was going to post a picture of the metal drawer. Apparently it is the forward extension of the radiator area. Yet if you want I will instead post a picture of the oliver with the bucket.

    Tell me what you think of the weed burner exhaust. You can see the exhaust pipe going down the lift cylinder. I might extend this more to at least the rear axle.
    Last edited by Wi11y; 05-16-2017 at 02:27 PM.
    If it isnt broken, dont repair it.

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