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Agricat Garden Crawler


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#1 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 06:56 AM

I had posted the restoration of my Agricat crawler back in 2008 on other tractor forums but some of you may not have seen it yet.

I got the Agricat about 5-years ago and it ( and the Lindeman ) are mainly just for show now.
I do get them out an play a little once in a while but I don't work either one very much at all.

As far as how rare it is .. I have seen about 7 Agricats over the last 8-years ( this being one of those )
Most were the Model-F ( about a foot longer than this ) and a couple were the model-C like this.

These were made back in the 40's and 50's by Joost Manufacturing Company - Berkely, California.
They were sold by Earl H. Pence & Co. - San Leandro, California.
There were about a dozen companies that made small crawlers like this back then and most of them stopped building them when the rubber tired skidsteer/bobcat came out.

The most common little crawler is the Struck Minnie Crawler. They were advertised in Popular Mechanics and Popular Science as a kit that you put together.
Struck still builds a small steel track crawler today.

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Working on my 1949 Agricat model-C crawler.

I was really lucky when I found this because it still had all the manuals and paperwork with it.
It also had some letters from the original owner ordering some parts and responce from the company.

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The engine is very worn out.
Both front rollers need bushings.
Bushings in the left final drive and side plate are worn. ( the right final drive is still tight, so I'm going to leave that side alone )

The track chains are OK.
Transmission and drive chain are OK.
I already rebuilt the steering clutches two years ago.
Both track idlers are OK.

This is what it looked like when I bought it.

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To start this .. you had to lift a metal panel that covered the starter pulley ( under the lift arm for the front blade ).
Then you had to run the starter rope down between the blade lift arm and the engine and wrap the belt around the pulley.
Once you have it wrapped, then you have to stand in front of the blade and lean over it to pull the starter rope.

My old back muscles were not going to take much of that.
So before I started the restoration, I added an electric starter/generator.
This is making the shroud to cover the pulleys and V-belt

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The panel that holds the starter switch and amp gauge.

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Disassembling the Agricat.

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Undercarriage parts.

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I bought bushing with a standard outside diameter and a smaller inside diameter.
I've reamed the parts out to accept the standard outside diameter of the bushings. Then I machined the inside of the bushings to
fit the shaft diameter.
Reaming front roller for new bushing.

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Machining new bushing.

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Final drive cover back on.

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Stripping old paint off parts.

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Painting the crawler.

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Transmission, chain drive, rear axle and steering clutches.
Most of this will be covered by sheet metal.

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Tracks are reassembled and the interior and drive train are painted.
The holes in the fenders are for mounting rubber pads that fit on the foot rest, up the front of the fender
and on top of the front half of the fender.

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The engine is torn down and new parts have been ordered.

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Finished .. 1949 Agricat garden crawler.
6 HP Wisconsin AEH engine with electric start.
2 speed forward and 1 reverse.
Dozer blade and garden plow are raised and lowered manually.
Tool box relocated to the back in between the rear lift brackets.

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Here it is being used a little last spring to clean up the side of the road where the county snow plow had scarfed it up.

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#2 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 07:14 AM

Great job on that one Ray.

#3 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 07:18 AM

That's a very interesting Crawler you have there Ray! I have never seen one of those before. Thanks for the pics and the story! It's hard to believe that's a six HP engine, maybe the workbench makes it seem out of scale, but it looks huge in the picture. Great job on the restoration and the modifications too. It looks great! I'm guessing that someone repainted it yellow at some point in it's history, but I like the final color that's on it! Was that the original color?

#4 tyler OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 07:22 AM

that is cool, i want one

#5 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 07:33 AM

Very nice job on the restoration & thanks for the pictures.
I had my eye on one & waited to long, I don't know who bought it, but I hope it found a good home.

#6 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 07:43 AM

Thanks for posting this Ray.

I have never seen anything like that before.

#7 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 08:38 AM

It's hard to believe that's a six HP engine, maybe the workbench makes it seem out of scale, but it looks huge in the picture. .. I'm guessing that someone repainted it yellow at some point in it's history, but I like the final color that's on it! Was that the original color?


Actually the original color was yellow but I like the orange better. It makes a nice contrast when sitting nest to the Lindeman at the shows.
The old Wisconsin engines were really big for what little horsepower they were rated at.
I have a Briggs & Stratton 16 HP single engine from the mid 70's and it is the same physical size as this Wisconsin engine.
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#8 powerking56 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 08:52 AM

Thanks for the replay Ray, nice rig and great job on it.
Peter

#9 tractormike OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 08:52 AM

That sure is a nice crawler Ray! You did a super nice job on the restoring of it. Thanks for the pictures and story. :thumbs:

#10 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 05:21 PM

That's a great restoration. I have never seen one before. Is the plow an attachment that was standard with the crawler, or was it an option? Nice job.

#11 FirefyterEmt OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 06:18 PM

Great repost, looking at that rig never get's old! I also agree, the gray & orange looks great.

#12 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 08:21 PM

Thanks for the nice comments guys.
The dozer blade was a standard implement for the model-C crawler.
Other implements available were:
16" blade tandem disc
9 tooth springtooth harrow
12" garden plow
5 tooth scarifier

The model-F crawler was about a foot longer and had a 12 HP engine.
It had an optional hydraulic system and a front end loader.
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#13 dryrun OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 09:34 PM

Ray, you do awsome work. What a great machine, I think you can see where C.F.STRUCK got his ideas for mini dozer. I have always wanted to build a small crawler, but maybe with rubber tracks.

Again, great job on a great machine.

regards, George

#14 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 10:00 PM

That is one heck of a neat piece of machinery. You do some awesome work Ray. Now I want a crawler really bad, that pic doing the fixes to the road that the snow plow messed up is just awesome.

#15 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted December 22, 2010 - 10:08 PM

I promoted this to an article. It can be viewed here: Garden Tractor Talk - Agricat Garden Crawler




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