I Wish It Were Still Mine...

Model T Ford Tractor

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560 Twilight Trail, Chippewa Lake, Ohio 44215-9798

I was very much surprised to turn to page 12 of the 1997 Show Directory and see the photo I took of my tractor. It now belongs to George Corey. I thought you might want to know more about it.

My friend Jim Rytel painted it for me, and I thank him for it. Then at a show, George Corey saw it and wanted it. In a weak moment I sold it, but I now regret it. I bought it in 1952 and I think it was in my family until 1995.

But, let's start way back in 1942. It was used to mow an orchard with a sickle bar on the right side that was 42 inches long. I got a plow and cultivator with it. The sickle bar shook so bad I didn't use it. I'd plow, cultivate and work it with a dirt blade that we made using the cultivator. We worked it so hard we cracked the frame! In the photo, if you look closely you can see a seam the length of the frame. That is the extra angle iron we added for strength. When I say we worked it so hard, some think, 'How could you work it that hard?'

Let me explain how it was made and how they got so much power from a Briggs and Stratton 6 HP (I think). The front wheels are cast iron with a hole drilled in them, no bearings. I used to show how badly they were worn by shaking them sideways by hand. The rear wheels, we mounted on an axle that passes through a housing with a bushing on either side and a big gear inside the housing. The bushings were so worn from hard work, and maybe lack of oil, that the wheels leaned in at the top and were re-bushed. The small gear that turned the big gear was worn on one side so we reversed it and used the good side.

This tractor has a Model T Ford differential installed upside down to turn the rear wheels forward. The small gear I spoke of is on the end of the shortened Model T Ford differential. This is only one of five ways they geared down to get power. They loved Ford, because ahead of the differential is a Model A Ford transmission, three speeds forward and one reverse. The one and two gears were two more ways to gear down.

The clutch was a double V pulley, two different sizes, one inch wide (V belt). The engine and the differential pulleys faced each other. A belt from the engine went to a larger pulley on the clutch (or idler pulley) and a belt from the rear side of the clutch (idler) pulley (smaller) to the other side to a pulley on the transmission.

Therefore the clutch was also a double reduction, giving the five reductions. You may think with five reductions and 6 HP was it real slow? Not so. It would move faster than you could walk and still had a lot of power.

I tried to load it several times under power, but steel wheels slip too easily, and to unload it, it would get away part way down the plank because the front wheels wobbled so badly.

Now George has the problem, but I wish it were still mine!

I forgot to tell you that when I bought the tractor in 1952, it was on its second (at least) engine. I put a new engine on it, but took it off and used an engine like it. It was made with a Briggs and Stratton Z. That would be its fourth, but it didn't wear out the B and S 23. It also is steered by a tiller, a bar on the right side.