Maytag Tractor

Content Tools

Rt. 1 Box 22, Emmett, Kansas 66422

Gasoline engines have fascinated me ever since I was a boy, and I have been collecting them for some twenty-odd years, but more actively in the last five years. So far I've obtained forty or more with a number of them being Maytags. I started collecting Maytags about three years ago with the idea of building a tractor using six two-cylinder Maytag motors.

I finally started on the tractor in December 1986. I first took the engines apart, cleaned them and checked to see what parts, if any, needed to be replaced. Rings had to be put in a couple, and new condensers were put in all except one which had a Wico magneto. Spark plugs were also replaced. Some had cast iron fuel tanks and some had aluminum fuel tanks. I switched around among the Maytags I have until all six had cast iron fuel tanks because of the way I wanted to mount the motors on the frame of the tractor. I governed all of the motors to run 1800 rpm.

The frame started with a Cushman 3-speed transmission and differential. I had to narrow the differential one foot. The frame was welded to the differential and then the front axle with spindles was added. The Cushman 3-speed transmission was mounted immediately ahead of the differential and connected with a flex coupler. Ahead of the transmission, I put a jack shaft which connected to the transmission with a Subaru flywheel clutch and pressure plate, which is designed the same as in a car. I took the hub out of the Cushman clutch and put it on the Subaru clutch so it would fit the splines on the transmission. This worked fine.

Six 9-inch V pulleys were put on the jack shaft, which gave it a 3 to 1 gear reduction off the motors. This came up with about the right speed. Low gear is only about 2? to 1 reduction. The rear end is a 5? to 1 reduction. Five-bolt Ford wheels were put on the back with 155 x 13 tires. The rear end originally had 500 x 8 tires. The bigger tires speeded it up, but it still came out with about 2? mph in low gear. The rear end has hydraulic brakes.

The steering sector was from the Cushman. I then mounted six 2-cylinder Maytag motors above the jack shaft belted to the pulleys on the shaft. Each motor was fitted with an individual belt tightener. The cranks were left on all the motors except one. Two or three motors are started with the crank, then the rest are started with the belt tighteners.

The exhaust from each motor goes into a single manifold that goes into a single 5-inch chrome stack. The noise and smoke are much greater than the power of the tractor; however, it will pull up a moderate incline with two people on it. The tractor runs about 7 to 8 miles per hour in high gear on the level.

The seat was upholstered by Karen Johnson, a neighbor, in a lime green. Then Darrel Carr, a neighbor who does some painting of vehicles, painted it for us with original Maytag dark green paint. A high school girl, Jean Karnowski, painted our signs for us. It makes a good looking tractor.

My wife, Carol, and I took the Maytag tractor to the Central Hawkeye Gas Engine & Tractor Association swap meet at Waukee, Iowa. It drew much attention from those at the meet.

We plan to take it to many parades this year, and I am already planning something else to build with Maytag motors this winter.