A Rare Tractor WD-40

WD-40 tractor

Content Tools

8705 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197

Many years ago, more than I like to think about, in the late '30s and early '40s, whenever I could get away from working at home, I worked for a neighbor, Lee Kubin, who had two WK-40 McCormick Deering tractors, a blue one and a red one. He also had two separators, two silo fillers and shredders. I really liked working around the machinery at his place and thrashing at other farms in the area.

Those WD-40s were very good tractors with six cylinder engines. They were good at plowing or on belt work. A few years later I was able to buy this WD-40 from a friend who decided to sell it. The tractor was in excellent condition. We used it mostly for fitting ground. Over the years I made a grill for it to protect the radiator and I put on a cab for shade. The front tires were 750-20 which I changed to 1000-20 to give it more flotation and ground clearance.

About 1975, the WD-40 was parked in a corner of the barn and was almost covered up with baskets, bags, rags and dirt, until a year ago, when I decided to get it running again and give it a new paint job.

A friend who does sandblasting cleaned and primed it for me. Then it was a year before I got around to finish painting it.

As far as repairs, the tractor only needed minor work such as a new fan belt, cleaning the filters, cleaning and checking the injectors, oiling and greasing it, and it was restored. I rebuilt the injector pump about 1972 so it is in top shape.

The tractor is a late 1940 model with factory tires, high speed transmission and 45 degree injectors. It easily pulls a four-bottom plow or a 16 foot spring-tooth and cultipacker. It's very economical to operate.

There are not many of these tractors left in the Midwest. They were mostly used in the western wheat lands. When I go to the dealer to get parts, I have to take my own parts book. I also have the original owners manual with the original owner's name and phone number written on it.

I really enjoy the Gas Engine Magazine, reading about others' experiences with gas engines and tractors. Years ago I had a 16-30 Rumely Oilpull that was a very good tractor, it pulled 3-16' plows. It used as much water as it did fuel oil. When it ran out of water you could hear it knock a mile away!

One day a man drove in the yard and offered to buy it. At the time it was just in the way. The offer was good, so goodbye OilPull, I guess I have enough old things around here to fix up anyway.

Thanks for listening!