13923 State Highway 8 Titusville, Pennsylvania 16354
The C. L. Best Tractor Company introduced the Model 60 crawler
tractor in 1919. The tractor initially was equipped with a two
speed transmission and was rated at a maximum drawbar pull of
11,000 pounds. By 1924 the transmission had been modified to a
three speed model, its engine output increased to 72.5 horsepower
and had its drawbar pull increased to 12,360 pounds. In April 1925,
Best and the Holt Manufacturing Company merged to form the
Caterpillar Tractor Company. The Model Sixty was continued in
production after the merger nearly unchanged until 1931.
In the book Endless Tracks in the Woods, authors James A. Young
and Jerry D. Budy discuss the Caterpillar Model Sixty: 'What
may be the all-time classic track laying tractor was introduced in
1919. This was the Best 60.' 'It was one of those rare
technologies that carried existing knowledge to a level that had
not previously existed. It was a balanced tractor where power,
suspension, and design blended together to produce a machine better
than it should have been.' They further state, 'It was one
of those uniquely balanced creations of mechanical design, where
the parts fit together to produce a machine capable of
accomplishing tasks far in excess of those envisioned by the
designers.' 'The 60 became a legend in its own
The price of the tractor in 1925 was $6,000, and by the end of
production, in early 1931, the price had dropped to $4,175. The
tractor was produced in both Peoria, Illinois (the 'PA'
series) and in San Leandro, California (the 'A' series).
Records indicate that a total of approximately 18,900 units were
produced in the two manufacturing locations.
The subject of this article is Caterpillar Model Sixty serial
number PA 6330. The age of this tractor has been identified as
1928,1929, and 1930 by different serial number lists. I usually
identify it as a 1930, but take your choice. It belonged to a
series of owners until I purchased it in 1968, in Ulysses Township,
Potter County, Pennsylvania.
This tractor weighs about 21,000 pounds without any accessories.
The track pads are 20 inches wide and run on a five roller
platform. The track ground contact surface is 7 feet 5 inches long
and produces ground pressure of 5.4 pounds per square inch.
Steering is by multiple dry disc clutches and band type brakes. The
engine is a four cycle, four cylinder, valve in head, in line
engine with babbitt bearings and positive pressure lubrication. The
engine has a bore 6.5 inches and a stroke of 8.5 inches, displaces
1128 cubic inches (18.5 liters) and develops 72.5 horsepower at 650
rpm. Oil capacity is about 4 gallons and the cooling system holds
about 22 gallons. The transmission holds six gallons of 90 weight
gear lubricant. Overall dimensions are: Length overall: 12'
8?', height overall: 8' 5, height to top of radiator:
6' 6', width overall: 7' 11', ground clearance:
I first saw this tractor when I was about 7 years old when it
was driven to my family residence in the early 1950s to move a 75
year old horse barn. This 'bulldozer' seemed to me to be
the biggest machine in the world. I was absolutely fascinated by
it, and I can remember to this day the sights and sounds and even
the smell of this machine.
I could not imagine at that time that I would ever own and be
responsible for a complete refurbishing of this machine. This is
the story of the mechanical part of the process of bringing this
machine back from near destruction. The following description does
not necessarily reflect the order in which the work was done, but
does accurately describe what was accomplished in this project.
Many people who saw this tractor were sure that it would never
move again on its own. They considered it an impossible project
that would never be completed. I was known as the guy 'with the
bulldozer tracks in his front yard.' I eventually moved the
tracks behind the shop to keep myself convinced that progress was
being made, and that I would soon be installing them on the
The decision to rebuild this machine was easy. Nothing else in
the project was. Carrying the work out would spread out over 18
A review of the condition of the tractor before starting is
necessary in order to get an understanding of the magnitude of this
The radiator, which is composed of 120 copper finned tubes, was
seriously damaged in a rollover, including breaking both side
plates and the bottom tank. Multiple tubes were cut as the radiator
pushed back into the moving fan blades. The tubes had been repaired
by driving fired 30/06 rifle shell casings into the top and bottom
of the tubes.
The engine had not run for many years when I purchased the
tractor, but it had been covered with an oil soaked canvas and the
valve trains had been packed in heavy grease. The original
carburetor had been destroyed in the rollover, as had the air
cleaner and all associated piping. The carburetor was replaced with
one from a Buick automobile, the air cleaner by an oily rag wired
All of the controls, such as for the flywheel clutch, steering
clutches, and the brake pedals, had been broken off or bent and
crudely been brazed, welded or wired back together. The seat bases
were broken off, and the seat consisted of four broken, rusted out
coil springs and two rotted planks..
The fuel tank was battered in, rusted out and leaking with the
addition of a thirty caliber bullet hole two inches from the
The right track had rolled off the front idler, taking the right
front top track idler with it.
The engine, while it had been running when the track came off
for the last time, started with extreme difficulty, and blew smoke,
oil, mouse nests, acorns, small dead animals and raw gasoline out
the exhaust stack.
All of these conditions were recognized early in the restoration
process. Many others were lying hidden to be discovered as the
It was clear from the beginning that this could not be a
'paint restoration' but would require a true 'off the
frame' rebuild of all components (actually, the frame itself
was taken off).
The short space of this article cannot begin to detail the
number of different operations necessary to accomplish the total
restoration of this tractor. This machine is truly a simple machine
compared to any modern tractor. Until one has the opportunity or
the need to completely disassemble a tractor do you have any true
comprehension of the complexity of even a 'simple' machine
An advertisement in the nationwide construction equipment
magazine Rock and Dirt, led to the discovery of an additional
tractor of the same model and close to the same age, about fifty
miles from home. This second tractor had been used for many years
for road maintenance by a rural township in Forest County,
Pennsylvania. It had been abandoned in the early 1950s and left
uncovered in the woods. The radiator had been stolen and probably
sold for the scrap value of the copper tubes. The engine was set up
solid, and almost every moving part was rusted solid.
No paint what so ever remained on the tractor. After a lengthy
process of sale by sealed bid, I purchased it and moved it home.
This machine, even in its extremely poor condition, provided many
parts for this project.
The purchase of an operator's manual, parts manual, and a
reprint of the factory service manual was essential in the
successful completion of this project. A copy of the photo archive
book on the model Sixty was a valuable reference on many items that
were difficult to visualize.
The reconstruction of this tractor was done in many stages, and
each assembly and subassembly was dismantled and rebuilt one at a
time. Not one single nut or bolt was stripped out or broken off
during the rebuilding process. Major wear shows on many parts, but
none appears to have failed due to inadequate design.
A total rebuild of the damaged radiator was required. Removal of
120 packing nuts from the top plate and an additional 120 from the
bottom plate was the first step, followed by the careful digging
out of packing material under each nut. The plates were then jacked
apart, using four hydraulic jacks. Each tube was removed, tested
and cleaned. Usable tubes were saved and placed on the outer rows.
Plain 5/8' rigid copper pipe, cut to the
correct length, was substituted for the finned tubes on the inner
The top and bottom plates were placed over the 120 tubes, and
after many, many, many attempts, were properly aligned and each
tube was repacked, top and bottom and 240 new nuts were placed.
The radiator side panels were brazed and carefully ground to
make the repairs as invisible as possible. A new radiator shroud
was fabricated, to replace the remains of the existing shroud. A
new bottom guard and 1 iron pipe plumbing were also installed.
The overhaul of the engine was begun by a complete tear down.
The engine was covered by 65 years worth of rust, grease, and
filled with pounds of acorns, nuts, mouse nests, and other
creatures' homes. The engine was torn down until nothing but
the crankshaft and flywheel remained attached to the engine block.
The engine was steam cleaned inside and out, and components that
did not have moving parts were sandblasted. After the cleaning and
painting, the engine was reinstalled to the frame, and the
procedures outlined in the service manual were used to line up the
engine and main clutch.
The cylinders are cast separately on this engine and were
removed to a diesel engine shop for boring to insure a round,
vertical hole without grooves and rust pits. It proved quite
difficult to locate a shop with capabilities to handle such a large
bore. Most were unwilling or unable to handle any bore in excess of
six inches. After careful measuring and test cuts, a bore of
+.060' was required.
The pistons were removed, along with some complete and many
incomplete broken rings. The top rings in cylinders number one and
four were broken into pieces approximately one inch long, and had
run up and down so long that they had worn to nearly a round cross
section. The pistons were shipped to a shop specializing in piston
resizing and the manufacturing of custom piston rings. The pistons
were 'flame sprayed' to the proper oversize and ground to
final tolerances, in this case .007' smaller than the bore
diameter. The ring grooves were enlarged and matching custom rings
were manufactured to the proper oversize, top and end
New bronze bushings for the upper ends of the connecting rods
and wrist pins were manufactured at the same shop to replace the
existing ones that showed extreme wear.
The crankshaft sits on three poured babbitt main bearings. Each
was accessed, cleaned and polished, and sufficient shims removed to
regain the required clearances (.012' maximum, .003'
minimum). While this was being accomplished it was noted that the
oil line to the front main bearing was broken off at the angle
fitting. It is unlikely that the bearing would have lasted much
longer without severe damage. Each connecting rod babbitt bearing
was disassembled, cleaned, shims removed, and scraped to final
clearances. Each of these bearings took over eight hours of work to
bring it to an acceptable bearing surface and clearance.
The resized pistons were cleaned to insure that no material from
the machining and resizing process remained. The bronze bushings
were installed in the connecting rods. Each piston required the
installation of five piston rings. Each ring was first inserted
into the appropriate cylinder, the end gap measured, and then
removed and filed to the correct end clearance (each ring, top to
bottom had a different clearance). Each ring was then installed in
the proper piston groove, using metal shims and great care. After
the rings were all in place, the piston was oiled, and installed
into the cylinder and the connecting rod attached to the
crankshaft. Plastigauge and Prussian blue was used to insure that
the correct clearances and bearing surface were maintained.
The manifold system consists of six castings, one control rod
and control, plus bolts and nuts. The exhaust manifold and
connection box were usable from one tractor and the intake manifold
from the other tractor was in excellent condition. The parts were
disassembled, sandblasted and shipped to a local machinist for
repair of multiple cracks, surface planing to insure a flat
surface, and fabricating a new control mounting. Shims were made in
order to allow all of the parts to fit together. All stud bolts
were removed and replaced. New gaskets were made for all surfaces.
The end panels on the connector box were heavily rusted and warped
from heat and from the rust. They were heated, pressed back to
shape, and then built up, and then machined down to final
dimensions. The mating surfaces on the connector box were machined
to match the end panels. The repair on the manifold system was one
of the most involved, difficult repairs in the entire project.
The oil pan, made of cast iron and weighing nearly 50 pounds,
was cleaned of nearly two inches of sludge that was built up on the
bottom. The oil pump was removed, cleaned and the pressure relief
valve set at about halfway on its range. New gaskets were made for
all sealing surfaces.
The Ensign carburetor was sent to a repair shop for a total
rebuild and refurbishing. It was done expertly, with one exception,
which will be detailed later in this story. Prior to shipping, a
total disassembly was undertaken, and every screw, nut, washer, and
part was removed, cleaned, and replaced to make the rebuilder's
job simpler and quicker.
The air cleaner assembly had been replaced by the sleeve of a
flannel shirt soaked with oil and wired over the air intake side of
the carburetor. The tank/filter combination was rebuilt using the
few remaining parts left on the spare parts tractor as patterns.
This project was technically difficult due to the various
requirements of size, both in diameter and length, and the
orientation of intake and output connections.
A Stewart Warner vacuum tank system is used to draw fuel from
the main fuel tank, store it temporarily, and then feed by gravity
to the carburetor. This unit was completely disassembled, cleaned,
the float sealed with gas tank sealer, all seats and valves
refinished, the main tank sealed with tank sealer, and new gaskets
installed. Shut off valves were installed to control the fuel flow
from the vacuum system to the engine. After mounting to engine, the
copper plumbing to the intake side of the manifold for the vacuum
source was replaced.
A standard fuel filter and sediment bowl were installed at the
base of the main fuel tank, and new 3/8'
copper fuel lines were installed. The fuel lines were looped to
reproduce the original installation at the factory.
The engine intake and exhaust valves (3' in diameter) were
in usable condition after light bead blasting and clean up and
surfacing at the machine shop. All four heads required new rocker
shafts. The new rocker shafts were turned, hardened, and ground to
final tolerances. One head required installation of an inserted
valve seat to replace the existing cracked seat.
All mating surfaces on the engine were cleaned and prepared to
accept custom made gaskets, which were made from varying thickness
of base material to insure proper spacing and clearances. Head and
manifold gaskets were purchased from a supplier in California.
Gasket cement and 'RTV' type sealers were only used in
areas that could not be sealed in any other manner.
The electric system on this tractor is extremely basic, with
only four spark plug wires and the wiring for the cut off switch to
the magneto. No other wiring, with the exception of the internal
wiring on the magneto, exists. One magneto was tested and was found
to be internally shorted and beyond repair. The other magneto was
sent to a local shop that expertly repaired it internally and did
an excellent job of exterior clean up. Timing of the magneto to the
engine was fairly simple, with the existence of timing marks and
indicator on the flywheel. It is timed so that the impulse from the
magneto fires at top dead center when cranking by hand. The
aluminum 'dog house' cover was cleaned and a new switch was
After the machine work on the heads, cylinders, pistons, exhaust
and intake manifold and connecting rods was complete, each part was
bead blasted if necessary, primed and painted before reassembly.
The interior of the water jackets were pressure blasted with hot
water and then sandblasted in as many places as could be reached to
remove rust and scale deposits. The completed heads and gaskets
were loosely placed over the head studs, then the new gaskets for
the exhaust and intake manifolds placed and the manifolds were
installed and torqued to the specification listed. After the
manifold was tightened into place the heads were then torqued to
180 foot pounds. This is the procedure specified in the Caterpillar
shop manual to insure proper sealing and seating of gaskets in both
of the manifolds and the heads.
The water line manifolds to the heads and cylinders were
replaced, radiator hoses were replaced and packing rings were
tightened on the water pump.
The main frame, equalizer bar and springs, and track frames were
worked on next, and tons of material from dirt and rust to over
five hundred pounds of set up asphalt paving material were removed.
The two track frames, which include the five lower roller
assemblies, the two top rollers and the front idlers, were removed
from the main rear casting that houses the final drives, steering
clutches, brakes, bevel gear, and transmission. These two pieces
are joined with the equalizer bar. This assembly was hauled to a
commercial sandblaster for final cleanup and priming.
The two main frames were unbolted from the transmission case and
removed. It is necessary to use a slotted drive to hold the shank
of the frame mounting bolts from the outside end while removing the
nuts. Access to the heads is very difficult due to their location
inside the transmission case, and the fact that they do not have a
conventional bolt head. The frame panels were cleaned and painted
as was the rear main housing prior to reinstalling the frames. Each
of the six frame bolts were cleaned and sealed at the heads before
replacement in order to prevent any further leakage from the
After completion of the work on the track frames and equalizer
bar, they were reinstalled on the main rear casting. These were the
two heaviest pieces and the most difficult to align and bolt back
together. The shop manual says that it may be necessary to weld
existing holes closed and then drill new holes in order to get the
frames back together. This did not prove necessary on this project,
but alignment was extremely difficult.
The lower track rollers, top and front track idlers were
disassembled, cleaned and lubricated. They were all in excellent
condition and only show some surface pitting due to years of
exposure to the weather. All were free and did not require any
force to return to service.
Broken parts were repaired or replaced by substituting
components from the spare tractor. Hundreds of bolts and nuts were
replaced. Every nut and bolt and moving part that was replaced on
this project was lubricated prior to reinstallation. Each part was
scraped and sandblasted prior to being primed and painted.
The tracks from the spare machine, in addition to the top idlers
and lower rollers, were nearly new when the machine was abandoned.
Nearly fifty years of exposure to northwestern Pennsylvania weather
was not easy on the components. The former owner told me that the
tracks were extremely stiff when they were brand new, and I can
assure you that they had not loosened up any in the nearly half
century that they sat outside. They were loaded on my trailer and
transported to a commercial sandblaster/painter for a complete
clean up and priming. When I picked them up after the work was
done, he told me 'Don't bring anything like that to me ever
again.' Apparently it turned out to be quite a project for
The seat, operator controls (steering clutch controls, main hand
clutch, and throttle control), operators platform, brake pedals,
transmission cover, and main steering clutch/bevel gear compartment
covers were removed. Gallons of water, grease, oil, rust and more
small dead animals were removed from the various compartments. All
linkages were rebushed, straightened and replaced. What little
remained of the seat base and back rest were used to make a pattern
for an upholstery shop to manufacture replacements for the
While the cover was removed from the rear of the tractor, the
brake shoes were removed, soaked in solvent, and cleaned up of huge
amounts of grease and oil. The compartments were cleaned, and the
oil lines for lubricating the steering clutch forks were replaced
due to breakage.
The main clutch was removed and refurbished. The main carrier
bearing was completely worn out and only a sliver of the bronze
bearing material remained. The entire clutch was shipped to the
machine shop for a new bearing to be manufactured. The drive disk
was refaced, and lubrication channels were opened and grease cups
The full tank (75 gallon capacity) has two compartments, which
allowed a dual fuel system to be utilized (gasoline or kerosene
which was heated by the intake manifold and run through the
carburetor and fired by spark plugs). The tank was battered in and
out, leaked along the areas where it sat on the saddles, and had a
thirty caliber bullet hole two inches from the bottom.
Approximately two inches of rust, dried gasoline, dirt and more
small dead animals were inside the tank. Several attempts to clean
the tank through existing openings were unsuccessful. The tank was
cut into two pieces with a Sawzall under the band that is used to
anchor one end of the throttle control. This allowed unlimited
access to the main fuel compartment which was shoveled and scraped
out, steam cleaned, degreased and shot blasted prior to removing
all dents possible. The leaks were sealed, and the tank was welded
back together and ground down to original contours. Two coats of
gas tank sloshing compound were applied to the inside, and small
amounts of body putty were used to fill small remaining dents in
the outside of the tank prior to repainting.
The only 'body panels' on this tractor were four dirt
guards on the track frames, and two heavy fenders over the top rear
of the tracks, attaching to the operators platform and rear main
castings. The track dirt guards were purchased from a supplier, and
only required sandblasting to remove mill scale prior to painting
The remnants of the fenders were disassembled, battered back to
as near the original shape as possible, and carefully measured to
allow reproduction of the fenders as close to original as possible.
Drawings were made of the final shapes, and specifications drawn up
for rolling the angle iron side rails. There are four angle iron
side rails on these fenders, and each is different. They were taken
to several steel fabricators, none of which were able to roll the
angles in an acceptable manner.
A major steel supplier was found who was able to laser cut the
flat sheet 1/8') steel into the required
components and was able to roll the angles to allow further
fabrication of the side members (drawings and specifications are
available from me for anyone who wants to make a set of fenders for
their own project). Four steps were made of the same material as
the fenders to make it easier to get on and off the tractor. The
components were sandblasted to remove all mill scale from the new
steel, primed, and then assembled to the final product. The
original fenders were all hot riveted. I substituted self-drilling
fasteners for my reproductions.
Installation of all the components on the engine was completed
in May of 1996. Several people had indicated that they would like
to be present when it was started for the first time, but I
restricted it to only one guest. First time starts can be very,
very good, and they can be very, very bad. If they fit into the
latter category, the smaller the crowd, the better.
After carefully preparing the engine, and making sure that
everything (almost everything) was secured, and all fluid levels
were full, the carburetor was primed, the intake manifold primed,
everything was ready for a try at starting the engine for the first
time in 20 years. The throttle control on the carburetor was set by
hand as the full control system had not been connected yet. The
crank consists of a steel rod 1' in diameter 3 feet long that
inserts into holes machined into the flywheel. One side of the hole
is rounded over to allow the starting bar to 'kick out'
once the engine starts. It is a good idea to stay out of the direct
'line of fire' in case the engine should backfire and send
the bar into sub-orbital flight. There are many legendary stories
about the starting process for the Caterpillar Sixty.
I marked on the flywheel the two firing points for the impulse
of the magneto (top dead center), so I would know where to place
the bar in order to be sure to snap the engine past the firing
point, and not pull it through the firing point. The size and power
of an engine of this type is not to be treated lightly, as the
possibility of injury is always present. While I have turned this
engine over thousands of times during the rebuilding, I had never
started one, and had only seen it done once.
The third pull of the bar past a firing point was met with the
engine starting instantly and quickly settling down to a smooth
idle. No oil smoke was coming out the exhaust, all the bearings
were quiet, the oil pressure was at about 20 pounds, and everything
working just the way it was designed. Almost everything, the
exception being the copper radiator overflow pipe, which was not
fully anchored, that came loose and fell into the gear driven fan
and went for quite a ride. No injury or damage was done to anything
else in the area.
Once the engine was running, the project shifted into a higher
speed. A few minor adjustments were made, the valve clearances were
set per the manual after an initial setting. The throttle quadrant
and control cable were attached to the governor and to the
The engine was again started after everything was hooked up.
This time it was not an uneventful start. It went as planned
initially, starting on the third pull of the starting bar, but this
time the governor took the engine to full throttle instantly and
stayed there (inside the shop) regardless of where the throttle
control was placed. I was trying to hold the throttle rod closed,
trying to shut off the fuel, and trying to kill the magneto all at
the same time. Nothing was working. I couldn't reach the gas
shut-off, couldn't reach the magneto shut-off and wouldn't
let go of the throttle rod. The noise was tremendous, the exhaust
smoke getting thicker (only one shop door was open) and I was
expecting parts to start flying off the engine at any time. At this
point I clamped my hand down over the air intake, which seemingly
had enough suction to pull my whole arm into the engine, and the
engine finally quit.
After the smoke cleared, and I quit shaking, I began to try and
figure out why this had happened. Nothing was hooked up wrong that
I could identify, and no explanation as to why the engine had run
away. I checked everything, reset the governor by the shop manual.
The next try at a restart was with a great deal more caution and
from a different position. Again, the governor took the engine to
full throttle and stayed there regardless of the throttle control
position. I was ready this time with a remote shut-off for the
Several weeks of study on the governor and throttle operation
did not provide an answer to this problem. It was finally solved by
looking at the old Buick carburetor that was used on the tractor
after the roll over. The throttle plate on the rebuilt carburetor
had been replaced backwards during is rebuild and the governor was
taking it to full throttle rather than to an idle. About five
minutes work repositioned the throttle, and after it was installed
correctly, the throttle quadrant worked as it was designed.
The tractor was still on heavy wooden blocks in the shop. The
engine exhaust was plumbed to the outside and it was 'run
in' for several hours. It remained quiet and tight with no
knocks or bearing noise. The oil pressure was initially about 20
psi, and as the engine warmed up it dropped to about 15 psi. A
small oil leak was noticed where the fan shaft left the engine. The
wind generated by the fan blew the oil back onto the engine and
made it look less than good. The radiator and associated plumbing
were removed to allow the fan assembly to be pulled, and then the
bearings and races pressed off and a solution to the oil leak
problem sought. The bearing and separate races were available from
a local supplier after only a three day wait. They were installed
and the major portion of the oil leak controlled.
The next major test was operation of the flywheel clutch,
steering clutches, transmission, and steering brakes. With the
tractor still on blocks, everything was tested, with only one
problem identified. The right steering clutch would not release
even with hard brake application. The case was washed with kerosene
and then drained and plugged, and another five gallons of kerosene
was put into each steering clutch compartment and the tractor run
for about 30 minutes with the clutch lever tied back. By the end of
the thirty minutes both clutches were free and working as designed.
The clutches were left tied back and drained overnight.
The final step was the installation of the tracks. This was
quite a project for one person. As a manner of comparison, the
tracks from this machine interchange with an early model D7
Caterpillar. It was necessary to use a backhoe to rotate and to put
pressure on a few links while heat from a cutting torch and
additional pressure was applied by a sixteen pound sledge hammer.
After this loosening up, the tracks were winched onto my trailer
and unloaded in the shop in front of the tractor. Using the winch
on the back of my truck, one track at a time was pulled up over the
sprocket, pulling the tractor forward at the same time. The track
was pulled forward until it was about halfway around the front
idler. A hydraulic jack and a come-a-long provided the final
alignment to allow the master link pin to be driven into place. The
tractor was started and eased back and the process was repeated on
the other side.
The installation of the tracks was the final step which led to a
first trip out of the shop and down the driveway and across the
grass. It was quite a thrill to actually have the machine running
and moving on its own. Everything was working the way I hoped it
would. The feeling of accomplishment on reaching this stage of a
monster project like this is amazing. The pressure on my lawn was
intense for several weeks, but grass grows back quickly.
After a few test runs, and the identification of a few problems,
the final cosmetic touches were added to the machine. Paint scrapes
were touched up, bolts and nuts that needed paint were repaired,
decals added and a few other surprises were repaired.
Of the many questions that I am always asked about this project,
the most often asked are, 'How much money have you spent on
this project?', 'Is it for sale?' and 'Did this
machine ever do any real work?' I always answer by saying if I
knew how much I spent on the project, I wouldn't tell anyone
because they would probably send me to the local crazy house, and
the second by saying 'It's not for sale, but it can be
bought' and the last by showing them pictures of the tractor
before starting the project.
The story is not complete without thanking William
'Bill' Ritts of Meadville, Pennsylvania, who did much of
the machine work and was able to transform the information I
furnished him into steel, brass and iron; Harold Seber of Cambridge
Springs, Pennsylvania, who did the extremely difficult work of
rebuilding the exhaust and intake manifolds; and to Charlie Walter
of Titusville, Pennsylvania, whose work on the electrical system
saved the day. Many more suppliers and workers all contributed to
this major undertaking.
Several people have asked me what my next project will be, and I
think it may well be something like the living room couch and the
remote control, or maybe something simple and light like my Cub
Cadet garden tractor. Anyone who owns a tractor of this age and
size knows that there will always be parts to work on, oil seals to
tinker with and other 'stuff' to fix.
The tractor has been to three shows in northwest Pennsylvania
and upstate New York in 1996 (Pioneer Gas Engine Show in Sager
town, Pennsylvania; Portersville Steam Show in Portersville,
Pennsylvania; and Western New York Gas Engine Show, in Alexander,
New York), and has been a real crowd pleaser at all three. If you
are at a show where it is located, be sure to stop and look it
over. You are welcome to climb up on it, sit in the seat, and if
you want I will show you how to start it up.
If anyone has questions, comments, or wants to talk big
Caterpillar tractors, give me a call or write.