5I66 S. Vine Wichita, Kansas, 672I7
I attended an engine show at Pawnee, Oklahoma about a year and a half ago. While there I noticed a small John Deere tractor powered by a Briggs and Stratton engine. This tractor really appealed to me and I thought it would be possible for me to build one of those. I don't get as excited about green tractors as some of the guys in our club (the K & O Steam & Gas Engine Association, Windfield, Kansas meeting) so a nice red colored tractor was chosen. I settled on a Farmall F-12 for two reasons. First, I had an F-14 at the time to scale from; second, the un styled configuration would be easier to build. After some thought a scale factor of .4 was decided upon. Rather than build an accurate scale model, what I call 'fun scale' was used. The wheels I had also fit a 'fun scale' configuration better. At our show last year the flea market produced two 10 inch dia. wheels for the front; these are balloon type tires with no tube. If they ever go flat new wheels will be in order. On the back are Goodyear 5.00x12 tractor grip tires. These were hard to find; after ordering them it took four months for the tires to arrive.
The rear end and transmission are a transaxle from a small riding lawn-mower. I found the steering wheel on an old go-cart my nephew had thrown in the trash. A Briggs and Stratton 2HP engine was used for power first, but wasn't strong enough. A 3HP Briggs is now installed. Two inch channel is used for the frame and radiator sides.
Whenever someone sees the F-12 for the first time the first question asked is 'Where did you get those steering gears?' I reply they are from a forward and reverse gear box used on a cheap riding lawnmower. Most people then reply, 'I have one of those in my junk box!' My daughter Karen made the Farmall and F-12 decals; it helps to have a graphic designer in the family!
After running the tractor for a while I felt it was too light in the front, so 20 pounds of lead were added under the engine. This brings the total weight to 200 pounds. A cart was made to pull behind for kids to ride in.
This has been an enjoyable project to build. I have also had fun riding the tractor in shows and parades.