A Brief Word

Ford Conversion


Doug Norman

Content Tools

As always happens this time of year, the volume of mail decreases, due largely to the many shows and other activities of summer. Also, ye old Reflector finds himself squeezed into a corner to meet the coming deadlines. As we put this October issue to bed, we also will have the November column to compile in late August, since we will be attending some shows when it will come due. Thus, we have attempted to shuffle the material in such a way that neither column will be slighted too much; however, if your query doesn't appear in this issue, it will come in the following issue. We're sorry for this, but there is no other way to meet the publishing schedules, that is, unless we are to be in the office at the right time, and as the saying goes, 'That ain't likely.'

We extend our thanks to all those who sent material regarding our query on a Kohler Light Plant. We also got two or three phone calls in this regard. To those kind enough to call, our apologies...we wrote down the phone numbers from the answering machine, but then I lost my little 'important book' and in it were the phone numbers. By then of course, the answering machine had eaten the messages. Call again, or drop me a line, and again my apologies.

As many of you might know, we are already working on a comprehensive history of Oliver, Hart-Parr, Cletrac, and related companies. Our thanks to all who have sent materials, information, or other kinds of help. From the response we are getting, there appears to be a tremendous interest in these companies. With the material we now have on film, plus a number of things yet to do, we should be able to compile an interesting history of these firms. So, thanks again!

We have some interesting items this time, and we'll begin with:

26/10/1 Ford Conversion

The July GEM called for information on tandem tractors. See the photo of a tandem I built in 1962 with two 900 Ford tractors. A beam runs down from drawbar to drawbar. The clutch and throttle controls are in front of the radiator. I fastened a mirror by the gauges to watch them from the front tractor. I drove by two vacuum gauges to synchronize the engines.

It was very easy to operate. The back tractor just followed along like a little trailer. A feature I liked about it was that I could pull a pin, unhook some hoses, and I had one tractor for other jobs.

I had all eight tires full of fluid, and it handled a six bottom plow and a 21 foot tandem disc. It was our main power for three years. In 1988 the tandem tractor was restored to showroom condition. I also have fifteen other Fords, all restored. Doug Norman, Route 3, Box 141, Montivideo, MN 56265.

26/10/2 Stover Engine Q. What is the year built of a Stover engine, s/n 262850? Gerald D. Fagerlund, PO Box 253, Rolla, ND 58367.

26/10/3 H.M. Sciple & Others Q. See photos 3-A and 3-B of an engine marked 'Gleason, Bailey & Sciple Mfg. Co., Seneca Falls ,N.Y.' The back of the cylinder is marked 'H.M. Sciple, General Agent, Philadelphia, Pa.' This engine is about 1 horsepower. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Also, Photo 3-C shows a large gas engine mounted on a barge; can anyone identify the engine in this original photo? G. Constantini, 8 Linden Ave., Bordentown, NJ 08505.

A. This is the first time we've heard any mention of the Sciple engine. Also, we've got our own ideas about the barge engine, but we would rather hear from some of you folks with a knack for identifying old iron.

26/10/4 Pocket Guide Q. Will your forthcoming Pocket Guide have the approximate weights of various engines included? Sometimes, one travels a long distance, and knowing ahead of time the approximate weight of an engine would be most helpful. Rob Moore, 602 Langston Lane, Falls Church, VA 22046.

A. See our ad elsewhere in this issue, but to answer your question, the First Edition won't carry as much material as we would like. It will have an extensive list of paint color info, serial numbers of numerous engine makes, and detailed Webster magneto information. Even that took us to 80 pages! In order to squeeze in more material and still stay within a reasonable size, we'll have to typeset the entire project in an entirely different style and size. It's sort of like calling the cows from the back forty-it takes time! Rather than delay publication any longer, we decided to go with what we had for the 1992 Edition. It's easy to get caught up in research, and the trap is that without some caution, the research goes on and on, with nothing coming in print. Besides, if any errors show up the first round, we're quite confident that we'll hear about it in all degrees from soft spoken letters all the way to bull moose bellowings!

26/10/5 JD Power Unit Q. I've recently restored a John Deere Type W Power unit, shown in the photos. This motor has no gas tank or hood. It has an oversized flywheel. I would like more information on motors of this type, and would appreciate hearing from anyone with information on same. Jimmie Davis, Rte 2, Box 160, Abernathy, TX 79311.

26/10/6 Sendling Engine Byron Boike, 2280 Co. Rd 5 SW, Willmar, MN 56201 would like to hear from anyone with information on the Sendling engine shown in the two photos. It was made in England.

26/10/7 Cleveland Tractor Thanks to Calvin Baas, 210 Park St., Falmouth, MI 49632 for sending along some information on the early Cletrac crawler. Originally, this was the Cleveland Motor Plow Company, but by about 1917 they changed the name to Cleveland Tractor Co. Their little 12-20 crawler of 1916 retailed at $985 plus freight from Cleveland, Ohio.