1953 Oliver 99

Diesel Tractor RESTORED
Jerry McMillan
September/October 1988
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Homestead Farm, 9176 US Rt. 36 Bradford, Ohio, 45308

I have received only two issues of Gas Engine Magazine and I think it is a very fine magazine! Here are some pictures of my 1953 Oliver 99 Diesel tractor.

I found this tractor in western Ohio by the Indiana line. It had been in the 'bone yard' for two years, and looked very bad because it had been a stationary power plant in a sawmill for years. So, you can imagine what a mess it was in. Even the front wheels were gone so that there would be no interference with the drive belt. It had spun a rod bearing because of all the dirt it had run in. But, I bought it anyway. I didn't know it was rare, I just wanted this big Oliver.

Well, when I got the 99 home I put it on jack stands, pulled the engine, all tires, hubs and everything above the frame rails was removed. All metal was stripped down to bare metal. All the wiring was removed and thrown away.

I repainted this tractor with epoxy primer and acrylic enamel paints. It has a complete automotive finish.

I also completely rebuilt the engine. Oliver calls the six cylinder diesel a 302 but actually it is a 195 DLC Waukesha engine (Note: most all Olivers were powered by a Waukesha engine except for the 70, S44 and 440 which have Continental engines in them and the models that used Detroit Diesel engines). The 195 DLC has a 4' bore and a 4' stroke.

This tractor took 9 months to complete but the finished product was worth every hour it took.

There were 962 99's built in 1953, both gas and diesel powered. There were about 330 diesels made and from talking with different collectors there are only about 20 in the hands of collectors right now nationwide.

This tractor was the product of not having a tractor ready for the 1953 model year. The front half of the 99 is the same as the front of an S99 from the engine forward, which included a 6-cylinder diesel engine and the Fleet-line body style. The 99's from 1952 on back had 4-cylinder gas engines and they were unstyled, with just a flat radiator in front. From the transmission on back, this tractor is just like the 99's, built from the late 30's until 1952. This was a four speed transmission and a belt pulley. The S99 or Super99 made from 1954 to 1957 had a 6-speed transmission and the belt pulley was eliminated.

This tractor was rated at almost 63 horsepower which in 1953 was pretty big. It was also rated to pull a 5-bottom plow.

I've never plowed with this tractor but I have run separators both big and small and it handles them very easily.

Anyone wanting to know more about this tractor can call or write me. I will be glad to hear from anyone.








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