A TALE OF TWO RESTORATIONS

Oliver

Content Tools

RR #1, Atlanta, IL 61723

My Oliver '80' 1941 Wheatland tractor was found right here in my neighborhood, with stuck pistons, flat worn-out tires, banged up fenders the usual condition of an abandoned tractor. The first task was to strip the tractor of all sheet metal. Then I sandblasted and put two coats of primer paint on. I was lucky to find a local dealer who happened to have a new set of sleeves and pistons. After getting the pistons replaced I was ready to reassemble the engine. I ground the valves, put new gaskets and seals on and put the engine back together.

The radiator was pulled and checked and found to be in good shape. I located 6 volt light sockets in Kansas and rebuilt the entire wiring harness as well as the generator, magneto, starter and of course the carburetor. My local Oliver dealer also was able to find a new push pull light switch (original part) and an oil pressure gauge with Oliver name on the dial. The sheet metal was in pretty good shape except the fenders. I had a sheet metal shop in Dubuque, Iowa build me 2 new fenders and make a battery box with cover. After all of that work I gave the tractor 3 coats of Oliver green, bought 4 new tires and I was ready to go. It took about eight months of working between my shop jobs to get it finished. While it is not an extremely old tractor1941it is in original show room condition and attracts a lot of attention at local shows. This tractor is in a good enough condition to go into the field and put in a good day.

The 25 HP type 'Y' Fairbanks-Morse oil engine pictured was found in the Bearsdale Elevator just outside of Decatur, Illinois. The elevator is owned by Mr. and Mrs. George Trump and Mr. Trump used to run this engine when he was 16 years old. I sent a letter to the Fairbanks-Morse Company in Beloit, Wisconsin, and gave them the serial number. They told me their production records showed the engine being built May 10th, 1919 and shipped to Decatur, Illinois. They also photocopied their only file copy of the operators' manual and installation instructions and sent it to me.

The shipping weight on the engine is 7600 pounds and one '60' flywheel weighs 780 pounds. The engine was located in an engine room mounted on a concrete base. The elevator had been destroyed by fire several years ago but the engine room was located far enough away and isolated well enough that it wasn't damaged. It was connected to a long line shaft which ran through a small window out and under the elevator proper where it drove the elevator and a conveyor. It also drove a corn sheller located in the elevator basement.

The engine was cooled from a cistern located just outside the engine room, with an upright piston water pump which was belt driven from the line shaft.

The water pump was made by the Gould Pump Company. The pump mounted on the engine platform in the photo is not that pump. The water pump in the picture was found in an old farm home basement where it was used to fill a water tank located in the attic to provide water pressure to the household.

It required a day to get the engine ready to be moved. First I slipped both flywheels off and rolled them outside the building. Then I removed the exhaust pot and pipe which extended up through the roof and was 14 feet long. The exhaust pipe is 7' diameter.

I then removed the nuts from the anchor bolts and placed a jack under the cylinder and raised the front of the engine enough to cut the bolts off flush with the concrete. Then I placed a section of 3' pipe at the center of the base and let the jack back down. This raised the engine at the rear end and I cut the bolts at that end. Then I placed two or three more pipe rollers under the engine base and let the jack down leaving the engine resting on the rollers.

The next day I went back to the elevator with lots of wood blocks and scale planks. I formed a ramp wrapped a chain around the engine base and very easily rolled the engine down the ramp and out the door with my come-a-long anchored to the railroad tracks outside.

After getting the engine back home and in the shop, I knew the piston was stuck. I disconnected the rod at the crankshaft, removed the head, then unbolted the cylinder from the crank-case and hoisted the piston, rod and cylinder up and set it on blocks in an upright position. I let it sit that way soaking in penetrating oil for about 3 months. Periodically I would go over and place a 5 ton hydraulic jack on the piston but was never able to move it. I finally made a quarter inch steel plate to fit over the cylinderdrilled and tapped a hole in the center and installed a grease zerk. I first filled the cylinder cavity above the piston with gun grease, then placed the steel plate on and bolted it down with the head bolts and using an ordinary hand grease gun forced the piston down and out the bottom of the sleeve. This was a 10' diameter piston 23' long with the rod still in it.

I tried to remove the 4 rings from the piston but they were so brittle they would break trying to get them out of the ring grooves. So I found a ring manufacturer in Texas and ordered 4 new rings.

I took the cylinder over to Peoria, Illinois and had it honed. There were, hanging up in the elevator engine room, 3 or 4 new cylinder head gaskets, an extra injector nozzle for the fuel and various other spare parts. I put the engine back together after having the parts all sandblasted and gave it a coat or two of primer paint then two coats of New Idea green. Before doing that I had to make a new pin and bushing that the governor weights pivot on and press it into the hub of the flywheel.

Then I had to build a set of engine trucks heavy enough to carry the 7800 pound engine because I wanted to be able to exhibit at some of the area shows.

I found a pair of wheels and axles in this county that had been used under an old Minneapolis corn sheller. I bought those and welded up a frame from 7' Channel iron and mounted the engine. I had a sheet metal shop construct a screened water cooler tower and tank with some scrap sheet metal I had and mounted it on an oak platform on one end of the engine; trucks and then mounted the water pump just to the side. Locating this particular water pump was important to me because it had a built-in jack shaft to cut the rpm's down and not damage the pump.

The engine is rated at 325 rpm but I have it cut down to around 215 rpm. To do that I turned an adaptor on my lathe to fit a 4 inch pulley I had on hand. I've got the pump running at about twenty strokes per minute There is a thermometer located in the water return pipe above the cylinder and I can control the water flow through the engine with the two pipe valves in the water line just above the pump. The pump is always pumping. If the engine doesn't need cooling I adjust the valves and the water bypasses the engine and is returned to the supply tank.

Since the fuel supply tank at the elevator was underground I mounted an F20IHC tractor tank on the engine for its source of fuel.

I did the painting and pinstriping on the engine and have had it out on exhibit one time. It sure attracts a lot of attention.

My next project is to clean up a 22 inch Advance Rumely separator I have that is made of wood and bell the engine to it.