I Built a Traction Engine

Gould Shapley Muir

Courtesy of western canadian Pioneer Museum, wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada.

Western canadian Pioneer Museum

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R.D.4, N. Delsea Drive, Vineland, New Jersey 08360

I am sending several pictures of my 7 HP Hercules stationary type gas engine with which I built a Traction Engine with no modification to the engine whatsoever, It took about two years of my spare time to build. I collected parts from South Jersey and Eastern Penna. The rear drive wheels are six inch wide 40 inch diameter with a fifty four tooth sprocket attached to each wheel. These are driven through (one inch pitch chains) by twelve tooth sprockets that I made which are on the differential shaft. The rear axle shaft is 1 7/8' diameter carried on roller bearings which had to be made. The differential shaft is (1? inch) diameter. The differential is constructed of two Model T Ford ring gears and three pinion gears.

The transmission is from an old Dodge car with slight modifications such as removal of the floor shift lever and extending the shifter shafts in the cover. These were then, through linkage, connected to two large shifting levers.

The clutch is an expanding shoe type made from a Model T Ford truck brake drum and shoes. All but about two inches of lining had to be removed from the shoes, in order that the clutch would function properly.

We took the tractor to a show at Frank Kler's place in Franklinville, N.J. on a rainy day, and found the clutch slips badly when it gets wet. Some other type lining would probably solve this problem. I am using the original lining that was on the shoes.

The clutch is attached to the engine fly wheel by an adaptor which is bolted to the spokes. The front axle is an old wagon axle which I bought complete Steering is by roller and chain.

1911 Gould Shapley Muir 35-22 hp. tractor made in Brantford, Ontario. They know of no other tractor with a two cylinder opposed engine with open crankcase. The long rod held by Mel Zimmel in the photo is the camshaft. We would appreciate hearing from anyone who has parts and or pictures of any similar tractors.

The frame is made of five inch channel iron. The rear wheels have fenders from an old planter, which were cut to fit. I put a canopy over the engine and operators platform. I am 6 ft. 4 in. tall and have plenty of room on the platform.

I have not as yet been able to put the tractor on a scale. I estimate it to be a-bout 2,300 lbs. So far, I have pulled quite a few stumps with this engine and am very pleased with it. I hope some day to build a trailer for the tractor and take it to Kinzers.

Three views of Barry's engine. (See story - I Built A Traction Engine).