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Proud to be Deplorable
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29,904 Posts
I was told an interesting story yesterday. A friend of the family was part owner of a Massey Dealership back in the heyday of Massey. We got to talking about different machines, eventually I got the conversation steered to my favorite topic. We were talking about the different machines and the changes to them, and I lamented the fact that they gave up on the Aluminum dashes.

He said they couldn't afford to keep using them. I was confused and he explained that about half of the dashes they got from the company making them were unusable (way warped beyond tolerance) and the ones that they did use all had to be hand fit on each tractor. He said most of them received at least an hour of TLC, sanding, shaving, and tweaking before they were close enough to be called good.

I always assumed it was because plastic was cheaper, but he said they wanted to stick with the Aluminum Dashes so they continued to be built like their bigger brothers, just couldn't get reliable pieces and couldn't afford to keep doing the custom fit jobs. Dealers that called to complain about a fit were directed to "Make alterations as necessary".

Anyone else ever hear anything like this? It is the first explanation I've ever heard like this.
 

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Another Classic Tractor
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2,496 Posts
Thanks for the info! It seems like we assume changes(plastic) are made to save money. Not always the case.
 

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Tractor Whisperer
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1,473 Posts
hmmm, I guess if there was only a limited number of suppliers thay could pretty much tell them to "make changes" and not worry bout losein th ebusiness because of it. I always like learning things from history....thanks for sharing.
 

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Super Moderator
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54,363 Posts
Guess that would explain the change!
 

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Accumulator
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13,481 Posts
That's quite interesting,Alan.
 

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Super Moderator
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14,167 Posts
The plastic ones have held up pretty well unless they were physically damaged by a mishap of some kind. i just finished painting the dash for my 75 MF8 and it was in very good condition. The plastic seems to have stood the test of time as far as basic integrity goes. The nose pieces are more fragile and more likely to be damaged. I see lots of tractors for sale with broken or missing nose pieces. That doesn't stop people from asking ridiculous prices for them though!
 

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Tractorholic
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1,182 Posts
That definately seems like a logical explanation.They were paying for the parts and then also had to pay the factory workers there hourly rate to do the alterations.However long it took them to custom fit the pcs.I had recently bought four alum nose pcs that are reproductions and if these are anything like they were back then i can see why they stopped using them.They are going to need alot of sanding.
 

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Tractorholic
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866 Posts
What is really sad is that minor changes to either the dash, or the dash tower would of keep 90% of the damage down. There is just too little for the dash to sit on.
 

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Member
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60 Posts
I remember reading about the older Jags (cars) that were built out of aluminum (most body panels) they had same problem everything had to over bent and hopefully would go into place when die was released but they said they scrapped alot of parts so i believe it about dashs not quite as expensive parts just ship it.
 

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Elf guardian
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7,712 Posts
The cast aluminum grill on the Elf, also has a slight twist to it, and I tried for quite
some time to tweak things. I just couldn't get the hood to fit to it nicely, and have good
looking seams, so I "made alterations as necessary". I added a small pie shaped
piece to the side of the hood, on one side.
 

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Super Moderator
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54,363 Posts
No pics? You're falling down on the job here, Will!
 
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Super Moderator
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54,363 Posts
Sure, it'll take a couple days, but I'll git-r-dun!
 

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Tractorholic
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507 Posts
The cast aluminum grill on the Elf, also has a slight twist to it, and I tried for quite
some time to tweak things. I just couldn't get the hood to fit to it nicely, and have good
looking seams, so I "made alterations as necessary". I added a small pie shaped
piece to the side of the hood, on one side.
Got a woodburner in that tractor mansion of yours? Lay the grill on top and prop the corners to where you want them to end up. Apply weight to the corners and wait for spring. It'll gradually straighten out a bit every time the stove gets hot.

I do my cast aluminum griddle every few years like that. It goes wonky with use until one corner is about a 1/2" higher than the other 3. The griddle takes about 25 lb of weight and about 1.5 months to straighten out with normal fire in my small airtight. Your grill will probably need more weight because it's thicker.
 

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Elf guardian
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7,712 Posts
Thanks for the tip Bob, but somehow, I just can't see myself cooking that grill for that long.
Elf needs to be driven.
 
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