I Love Tractors

Farmall A Tractor

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1291 Co. Rd. 18, Wauseon, Ohio 43567

Boy, was it good to see my story 'That Old Oliver' in the January '92 GEM. An old friend from church called and asked if I would autograph his copy, and the guys at work don't laugh at the old Oliver anymore!

Bet you wonder what's wrong with me. I was raised Red, work at a John Deere dealership and own an Oliver, and now send in a picture of a Farmall A that my family and I restored. Well, I can explain. I love tractors and fixing them. The shop foreman at Leichty Farm Equipment in Archbold, Ohio asked me one evening if I would come work for them, and if I would, they would send me to John Deere's own tractor repair school for nine weeks. Learn and get paid, what a deal!

My dad worked at an IH dealership from 1953 to 1975 and we like to talk tractor, but I found out quickly not to tell him how much better I think John Deere is, when he makes it quite plain that IH farm equipment fed and clothed me the first twenty years of my life. And I found out a long time ago, I like Dad in a good mood.

When growing up, my best friend's dad had Oliver tractors, and we knocked a window out of the school bus fighting over what was better, Oliver or IH! Now he works at the IH dealership in Archbold and I own the Oliver. I'm glad the school had insurance. I never did tell Dad about that, at least not 'til he reads this.

The Farmall A above, serial number 197107, a '47 model, was traded in where I work. It had a woods mower with it and we needed something to mow our lawn and orchard with, so I bought it.

We rebuilt the tractor in the winter of '88-'89, but didn't paint it 'til the spring of '91. We completely disassembled it and started putting it back together with the transmission case, replacing all the seals and gaskets, also replacing all bad bearings. I replaced the clutch and rebuilt the engine. The work was done in my shop at home with the use of the valve and seat grinder from work. I had to get a used oil pump from a salvage yard. I also had to get a camshaft from there because one lobe was half broken off mine; I'm not sure how that happened.

I installed new sleeves and pistons and had the crankshaft turned .020, probably because of the bad oil pump that was in it before.

I also rebuilt the front end and had the radiator repaired. I installed a water pump off an IH 130 and put a 150 degree thermostat in the top radiator hose. I drilled two 3/l6' holes 180 degrees apart in the thermostat, so that the engine would circulate some coolant with the engine below 150 degrees, and to get rid of trapped air. I put new front tires on it, but kept the old ones on the rear, hoping to change them later.

When we got done with the tractor we drove it up to work and put it on the dyno to break it in. She had 18 HP.

We use the tractor a lot, for mowing the lawn, going to the woods to cut firewood, and just to drive. It's more fun to drive down the road than the Oliver because of the speed. My son Ben and I drove the Oliver to town one day and got passed by a jogger. Boy, that was something. We left at 7:30 in the morning and got there at 10:00. Ben was glad we only had five miles from our house to town. We pulled it back home on a cart.

My wife and I teach our son's Sunday school class. We took the class for a hay ride on a Sunday afternoon, ending with a hot dog roast. We decided, we would do this at least once a year with some group or other.

We also took the A to the National Thresher's Convention last year with our Oliver.

I never did buy the John Deere A that I mentioned in the last article, but my dad bought a nice '49 Farmall M, so that will be our next restoration project.

I also bought an engine from a friend of mine who drives truck and gets around the country. The brass tag says THE FIELD TYPE W manufactured by THE FIELD-BRUNDAGE CO., 1? HP, Speed 550, No. 9277. I would like to hear from someone who knows about these engines. I think all parts I need are with it and I would like to start restoring it next winter.