Restore a Tractor, Preserve a Memory

Farmall560This is the story of a restored Farmall 560 and the story that makes it all worthwhile.

Chad Colby grew up using 560s on their farm. In fact, there isn’t a time that he can think of that he used anything besides a 560. Which brings us to the 560 we’ll be telling you about today.

colby560Purchased in 1984, this Tractor was not in the best shape due to being kept outside, so it was given a nice new coat of paint. Fast forward 26 years and all of the wear and tear that goes along with it and you get a Tractor that needs some restoring.

This restoration all came about when Chad and his father, Dan, decided to attend the Heritage Tractor Drive in Hennepin, Illinois. This sparked the desire to get the 560 restoration going. Unfortunately, Dan passed away unexpectedly in July of that year.

The restoration was now up to Chad, and it became more than just that- it became a way to honor his dad and the memory that he left.

colby5602Forward to the summer of 2011, alongside Chad’s friends  Mike Unzicker, Chad Unzicker and Aaron Baer, the restoration begins. Now this was no small task, not one bit. The list of things to do was a mile long, but the determination was stronger. A glimpse into just what needed to be done looks like this: 

  • All sheet metal removed and “worked” to make much better than NEW.
  • Professional grade paint / painters
  • Rebuilt generator & starter
  • Replaced ALL factory electrical including the wiring harness and everything is NEW in ignition (coil, dest, plugs, wires, etc).
  • All hoses are NEW, including what and ALL hydralic lines. 
  • Tractor had recent engine rebuild, but we did sent head off to get reworked.
  • Rebuild carb
  • Radiator cleaned & new mounts
  • New hood hardware
  • Replaced shaft clutch & brakes mount on.
  • Rebuild PTO lever
  • Original rims, sandblasted & power coated.
  • Manifolds & muffler are ceramic coated.
  • Front & rear outside weights are sandblaster and “worked” to look SHARP
  • Many parts removed and blasted.

colby5601A couple years later, and that 560 is finally complete and is making it’s journey down memory lane. From the Heritage Tractor Adventure, where Chad drove it some 200 miles, to Bureau County Farm Bureau Foundation 2013 Tractor Trek, where it rode alongside many of Dan’s and Chad’s friends and former Farmers.  As Chad’s wife, Karen, put it: “this was the therapy he needed, the release.” The journey of this tractor is a long one, but it sure is a good one. 

Check this 560 out on the cover of our Illinois Edition 7 here.

See more of this tractor here.


4 thoughts on “Restore a Tractor, Preserve a Memory

  1. My father owns a large farm and has done that pretty much his whole life, he has this one tractor that is pretty special to him but it’s getting pretty run down after all of the years of work. I love that you suggest preserving a memory by restoring tractors because I know my father has a lot of good memories connected with that old thing. I guess it’s time to start looking for ways to get it like new again!

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