Jack with Samson Tractor

Jack Thompson

Content Tools

102 Britannia Street, Stanford, Ontario, Canada.

I enjoy the stories in the Gas Engine Magazine about the history of the various makes of tractors and the experiences of the owners and operators, so I shall attempt to present my own story.

I purchased a Samson Model M, No. 23378 in 1938. The motor in this tractor was in bad condition. Instead of rebuilding the Samson motor I had Litts Garage of Sebringville, Ontario, install a six cylinder Chrysler automobile engine in the tractor.

This was not an original idea. I went to see a set-up of this kind, but it was more attaching a Samson gear box and rear wheels to an automobile. As a result, the outfit was too clumsy for my purposes.

In this instance the tractor front wheels and original wheel base were retained. The Samson flywheel cover was removed from the block and bolted to the gear case. The frame was Ford Truck Model B attached to the rear axle housings by U bolts and bolted to the Samson flywheel housing with wooden spacers. The Chrysler clutch was used as linkage provided to the Samson clutch pedal. The Chrysler transmission was sawed off by hacksaw retaining the clutch shaft. A grease fitting was provided to lubricate the clutch shaft bearing. A short piece of Essex drive shaft was fitted and welded to the clutch shaft. An extra bearing and cast iron housing was added to Samson bevel pinion shaft. This was held in place by the six bolts which hold the bevel pinion double row No. 309 bearing housing case in the Samson gear box.

The drive connection between the Chrysler motor and the Samson bevel pinion shaft was an Essex universal joint. The belt pulley had to be dispensed within attaching the frame. The front bolster was made by a blacksmith out of flat iron three inches wide by one half inch thick. The pivot pin was Ford truck spring hanger.

The Samson radiator and gas tank were used. I added a 1928 Buick steering gear and mounted the battery where the Samson steering sector was located. The Samson exhaust pipe was used to mount the Chrysler maze type air cleaner in a higher position. At first a hand throttle was used. I replaced it with a mail order catalog vacuum governor.

I used this tractor on our 100 acre farm to pull a two furrow twelve inch plow and to cultivate with three section of spring tooth harrow. We used it from 1938 until I purchased a Massey Harris Model 20 in 1947. I used it in the fall for plowing until I traded the 20 for a Massey Harris 30 row crop in 1949.

My source of supply for spare parts was the local scrap yard where I obtained them for 1 cent per pound.

This tractor did a lot of work for us and I gained a lot of mechanical experience in operating and repairing it. Perhaps there are others who have had experiences with this type of outfit.

Jack with his rebuilt Samson tractor.

Pictured is my son, Kenny, with my three Witte Drag Saws. The outfit on the right is a 2 hp. Witte engine, SN 76017. The outfit on the left is a chain drive job, the make of which I don't know, powered by a Witte engine, 2 hp. 600 rpm, SN B32303 and the one in back is a Witte 2 hp. 600 rpm, SN B21976.

I might add that I think your magazine is 'one of the greatest' and I enjoy it very much. You do a fine job.