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Father son project
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GTtalk's Featured Tractor Of The Month Of May 2012!featured tractor
2009 found me unemployed and laying around the house nursing a back injury unable to do much. I decided this project would motivate me, stimulate some brain activity, and take my mind off the pain.
Everything came off the tractor until all I had was the frame and transaxle. I positioned the engine as far back as I could and cut off the front of the frame to shorten the chassis. The engine is wider than the frame so I ran a V-belt drive down the right side to a homemade jackshaft assembly that transfers power back inside the frame for the stock Roper drive. I still have the stock hi/lo and three speed gearing for six forward and two reverse. The clutch has been converted to hand operation but uses the stock linkage from the Sears foot clutch. Release is go, half way back is clutched, and all the way back is brake.
The rear wheels are from a Case horse drawn manure spreader that a good friend unearthed while bulldozing. Its a nice touch that they have the Old Abe eagle embossed in the hubs! I cut up a pair of Simplicity two wheeler clicker hubs and nickel rod arc welded them to the wheel centers to give me the correct five lug bolt pattern. The Sears seat spring was used however I mounted it farther back on the frame where the Sears three point hitch would go and changed the angle some to give the seat the correct position. The seat is very bouncy and that is a good thing with steel wheels!
The steering box is from a Cub Cadet Original and was lengthened to get the steering wheel back far enough. The steering wheel is a V-belt pulley from a squirrel cage fan that was in an old furnace in the city dump. I heated a length of solid 5/8 inch steel rod and laid it in the belt groove so the outside of the steering wheel is rounded as it should be. When it cooled it shrank and permanetly attached itself to the pulley much like a starter ring gear on a flywheel. The fenders are one end of an old fuel oil barrel from my house furnace before I updated to propane. The rest of the barrel became a burn barrel.
The rear hitch and drawbar are also from the Case manure spreader that supplied the wheels. The radiator is an air conditioning condensor from a 1982 Chevy pickup that was scrapped. Of course the Wisconsin engine is air cooled so the radiator is just for looks. I built the hood from scrap 20 ga. sheetmetal left over from my full size Case orchard tractor. At the time I didn't know what the front axle was from. It was also found at the city dump and was complete with tie rods and drag link and was Ford blue. About a year ago there were four Jacobsen built lawn tractors on the cover of LAGT magazine and there was that axle!
The front wheels are from a depot cart I believe. A friend gave me those because they are heavy and the tractor was very light in the front. Those wheels weigh about four times as much as the wheels I had on the tractor at first. I used an oval shaped fuel tank that fit tightly under the crown of the hood and added a small external tank on the outside of the hood. The real case tractors had the small tank for starting on gasoline and once warm switched to kerosene.
Case tractors were a dark green until 1923 so I used Diamond Vogel Coat-All in hunter green with some hardener. I used to paint cars for a living. Cars are supposed to shine but tractors didn't have much shine from the factory back then so I didn't want a mirror finish. The morning after I painted the tractor I opened the garage and the shine was visable even before I turned on the lights. I took a clean cloth and lightly rubbed most of the gloss off as the paint was still tacky. This gave me the look I wanted and along with minor pitting on the rear wheels and inside the fenders where the barrel had lay on the ground for several years. It really does look like an old tractor that has been around for 90 years. I bought some decals from Jones tractor salvage in Nebraska and they worked perfect. The gal on the phone was most helpful in measuring the decals for me so I would know if they fit before ordering.
While taking the Case to its first show I had to stop for gas in my pickup and an old timer walking with a cane came over and leaned on my pickup. After giving it the once over he asked "What year is your old Case?" I said "2009! I just finished making it". Embarrassed, he quickly turned and headed for his car. I said "MR! I made it to look old and you just gave me a great complement. Thank you for your interest". He smiled and said "It sure fooled me"
Everytime I take this tractor to a show at least a few people say "I didn't know Case made a tractor that small back then. What would that have been used for?"
The rules say "completely custom or modified" and I believe this tractor fits that perfectly. It sure does not look like a Sears anymore! Thank you to all that read my entry and please vote your choice.
Picture 1 is mock-up stage, sitting on blocks. Picture 2 front axle mounted and all four wheels attached. Just after this picture the front of the frame was bobbed four inches, front axle was moved back four inches, and the engine was moved back four inches with some more modifications to the frame. Picture 3 assembly done -ready to disassemble for paint. These front wheels were replaced with heavy cast wheels as I found the front was too light.
Picture 4 shows the red "gasoline" tank for starting the engine - once warm the original tractor would switch to kerosene. The small red tank is from a two stroke Clinton engine. Picture 5 shows the modified Sears foot rests repositioned in front of the axle. There are also heavy duty strap foot rests mounted low behind the axle for tractor operation while standing. With the left hand operating the clutch/brake and the right hand steering it works very well. The steering wheel is offset to the right just like the real tractor. Picture 6 the Fabricobble with homemade car. The car body is an old one door refrigerator. The car has shine - the tractor is satin finish. Picture 7 has strange spots that are not on the tractor. ??
- Alleycat and aevansgatech have said thanks