780 - Victor safety frame

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780 - Victor safety frame

Post by John_Allen » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:59 am

I realise that the 780 has been mentioned many times - with pictures of various parts in other posts, but it has never had its story told!

I bought it eight years ago as I had almost finished the Fergy rebuild (which I finished last year - and sold the tractor this year). The clutch was "on its way out" and the steering was interesting to say the least. However, it was cheap and a DB, so had to be bought!


Not a good photo, taken the day I collected it!

After sorting the steering and adjusting the clutch, a long drawn out running resto followed, the first priority was the cab - painted with black mastic and rusting too quickly. However, it was Christmas Eve when I sprayed it and the paint didn't shine very much - and the whole thing rusted through very quickly!

Having "sorted" the cab, the bonnet was the next job. I read somewhere that pressure washers are best for sandblasting sheet metal and it certainly did the job - but needed painting with rust remover straight away!


In 2006, I was taking it to work to collect some scrap (to take to a local scrap dealer) when there was a strange rattle from the engine and a heck of a lot of oil from the breather! By the time I got home again, the noise had stopped but I thought I should check it anyway (they all breathe a bit when they get old)


I took the head off but couldn't see any damage on the top of the piston. A closer look at the bore showed a scuff and, on the edge of the piston, by the scuff, was a slight mark. I took the piston out and found two and a half piston rings and the erosion on the side of the piston! I glazebusted the bores and, in a moment of daftness, fitted three new pistons! As it was well stripped down, I sprayed the chassis at the same time. It was rather annoying as I had just spent all my money on new back tyres - you could see the inner tubes on the old ones!

Having sold the Fergy, I was able to get on and finish the 780 this summer (or so I thought - caring is a strange job...). I did manage to get the safety frame stripped and new cladding fitted for the wings (a neighbour made them three or four years ago as an "urgent" job). The lights are as per original - the cab is an aftermarket fitment, which used the original lights (though the plough light was missing). I don't intend rstoring the rest of the cladding - the side window panels were completely shot and the rest wasn't much better. I kept the frame because it does, very occasionally, work on farms, so I wanted it to be safe - and it has saved me from one or two low branches :oops:


I heat the (enamel) paint with no thinners in a pan of boiling water before spraying it. The picture shows the wing top as sprayed - not polished or rubbed in any way:


All that need doing now is the front axle (the front wheels were done with Tractol paint mixed with 75% white - and still look yellow! Then there are little jobs like sorting the fuel gauge and tryign to get a proper steering wheel....

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RE: 780 - Victor safety frame

Post by calvin » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:52 am

john interesting story lol nice to no someone who has a victor cab my question is is there cladding in the inside of the cab as when i was stripping my 990 i rip the old stuff out but is it ment to be there ?

cheers calvin
3 pot , 4 pot and the MIGHTY 6 POTT!

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Post by John_Allen » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:06 am

I'm not sure about insulation - I don't remember seeing any when they were new, but I can imagine that I saw there was a lump of foam in the roof. However I worked with and on so many tractors around the time that it could just have been an IH 454 or something that I'm confusing it with!

I kept the frame for two reasons - it is practical (and legal if used as a working machine) and it came with the tractor, so is a big part of it's history. It annoys me that so many people take the cabs off - even though they may have been fitted from new! Who would take the cab off a 1594 and fit shell wings? It is just the same "crime"!

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Post by tdickson » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:02 pm

The 780 looks a treat.
You mention that you used a pressure washer for the sandblasting. How is this achieved? How do you get the high pressure water to mix with the sand? Do you use the same sand as sandblasting with compressed air?
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Post by John_Allen » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:43 pm

There is a sandblasting attachment for Karcher washers, I bought a new washer at the same time (my old one was passed on to a friend and it died a month later!). At the time, the new machine was the most powerful domestic model available from them and has high flow as well as (at the time) high pressure. I suspect it was designed for nice "fine" sand to clean up a patio or something similar. I used some shot that the friend gave me in return for the old washer and it did surprisingly well.

They are certainly not as aggressive as a good air-powered blaster (the friend has a Ford-powered industrial compressor that he used when restoring his house), but that is an advantage with sheet metal! There wasn't any warping and, with the sand being wet, I could blast it in the garden without annoying the neighbours - you can just see their wall in the top RH of the photo of the blasted bonnet (and new "Granny flat" in the pictures below). I suspect the nozzle is rather worn on the blaster now - and that it would be cheaper to buy a new gun than try to get a replacement nozzle. One outfit reckon they retail at £105.00 - I wonder how many are sold at that price!


I was one of the first people to attend a Kew (now Alto) washers training course in the early 80's. They had some very impressive stuff - and one nozzle they supplied would cut a finger off in no time at all. They used that to clear the floor of wagon grease when they took over an old wagon depot. It was rather impressive to see it working!

I bought a large compressor and a sandblasting pot last year, so I have the best of both worlds! I built a cabinet earlier this year - the neighbours are happier about that (I don't think they like the compressor running all day though)



My cabinet will take a Weatherframe cab side (I hope - that's what I made it to take) and cost about £50 for parts - mostly the waste pipe dust extraction bits and the timber for the frame! That friend is a heating engineer, so the sheet metal came from scrap central heating boilers!
Last edited by John_Allen on Tue May 14, 2013 10:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by broadsword » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:31 pm

Lovely tractor and a good job restoring her John.

Bought it 8 years ago - I suppose the Mk1 Fiesta in the background has rusted away by now mores the pity :cry:



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Post by jimc1390 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:42 pm

what sand/grit do yo work with in the washer, its new to me but looks ideal
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Post by John_Allen » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:40 am

According to the blurb, kiln-dried sand from a builder's merchant was supposed to be the stuff to use. I did try a bag and although it went through the system OK, it didn't remove high quality DB rust and paint very well. My friend has some "shot", though I can't remember what it was - not silicon-based though; that was much better, but was wearing the nozzle out rather quickly. I would suspect that something about 60 grit would be better - obviously, the expendable stuff is better as there's no way it can be reused! Annoyingly, ordinary sharp sand can't be used as it still has to be sucked up the hose - like an air-based system.

The only problem is serious flash-rusting - I had to leave the job overnight with some of the underside to finish off! Perhaps I should have sprayed some rust remover over it straight away!!


I sprayed the bonnet in the garage with two heaters and three IR lamps over the top of it (and heated paint of course!). I was pouring with sweat afterwards! Our dog was annoyed - she wanted a game whenever I was in the garden (and still does seven years later!). She's a little slower now the arthritis has set in - and not so keen on tractors either (and is terrified of cars).


The bonnet looks better after blasting than it was. I think the previous owner got a stick welder for Christmas - and had used it in several places, leaving some quite interesting holes!

I think the Fiesta was about shot when I was there - the 4-pot 880 in the background was tempting though, the engine was as sweet as a nut and the only snags were the missing radiator filler flap (the hole had been cut away too), the electrics needed work - and the battery was on a wood block beside the starter. I wish I could have afforded both of them!
Last edited by John_Allen on Tue May 14, 2013 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by belldesign » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:50 am

The 780 looks brill John, very smart. I can only dream of the finished 885... Got the glass rubber etc delivered from Neville Porter this week, so slowly moving along.
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Post by danfindy » Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:36 pm

Nice job, im soon to start my own 780, what type of paint do you use ??

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Post by John_Allen » Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:11 pm

dan, that is a leading question! The simple answer is a synthetic enamel.

The long answer is: B&Q "Peat" for the front of the engine and front chassis - it was an almost perfect match and all that I had at the time as I wasn't intending painting it when the water pump started leaking! I would have done the whole tractor with it - it is wearing well and was good to spray. However, B&Q discontinued it long before I bought the tractor, so I had to find somethign else!

When I sprayed the engine and gearbox, I had a litre of Tractol Chocolate - a nice shade too but perhaps slightly dark. Again, I hadn't intended restoration, I only sprayed it because the engine was in several pieces after the piston failed!

The back end is Case-IH's own chocolate brown and, to my eye, is a perfect match.

The safety frame is Vapromatic and nearer the Tractol shade.

There was some "Farm Line" paint somewhere among the browns too! I also sprayed the bonnet with Farm Line and it was a good match for both colours. I would use it again, but the place where I bought it (ex Case-IH main dealer) is now the Claas main dealer and doesn't seem to stock the DB colours now.

The cladding is sprayed with Vapormatic paint. Again, it's personal opinion, but it seems very slightly yellow to my taste. I used Vap paint on my Fergy last year and that shade is certainly wrong - their "Ferguson Grey" is nearer "Massey Ferguson Grey" - far too much blue compared to the green-grey of most Fergys. However, I found that it sprays well and gives a good finish and, importantly for me, is easy to get online!

Note: although I did have a can of Tractol "DB Orchid White" (with no mention of Case on the label - supposed to be DB only), I only used a little on the front wheels - and it was mixed with 90% brilliant white. It was still far too yellow and I don't recommend it to anyone! The remainder was used on the back of the sandblast cabinet!

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