My Sattley Simplex No. 30

Sattley Simplex Tractor

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Burr Oak Farm, 3832 Columbiaville Road, Columbiaville, Michigan 484211

I built this replica gas powered tractor during the winter of 1995.

I have always wanted to own an Oilpull tractor, but could never quite justify the cost. In 1994 we were at a farm auction and the owner had a small replica of a Rumely Oilpull for sale, which he had built. He used a small LB engine. I must admit that it looked a little crude, but it sparked my interest in doing such a project.

I had a Montgomery Ward 3 HP Sattley engine sitting in the shed, which had been there for years. I decided to start with this, and other junk parts which had been lying around, also for years. About the only thing I really had to buy was the 5' channel iron for the frame. I also used square head nuts and bolts to add authenticity to the project.

I started by cutting the 5' channel iron to length and then heating it and bending it outward approximately 15' to form the rear platform, while the front part of the frame remained the width of the engine.

The rear axle is early Jeep (because of its narrower width and lower gearing). I had to make ?' adapters to weld on the axle ends to accept the iron wheels. All the wheels are from an old Oliver Superior manure spreader, as is the front axle which used tie-rod steering.

I used a double matched V belt drive from the engine to a right angle gear box located under the frame (off an old Case combine). The clutch is a belt tightener affair with a brake pad incorporated to stop the pulley from revolving while shifting gears (similar to an early John Deere pulley brake). The clutch is activated by a hand lever.

The transmission is driven by sprocket and chain from the right angle gear box. The transmission is from a 1940 Chevrolet pickup truck, a three-speed stick shift. The high gear is locked out to keep the speed within range. From the transmission to the rear axle input is another set of sprockets and chain, which effectively attains the gear ratios to produce the low speed required.

The brakes are on the hubs of the rear iron wheels external bands activated by a cultivator control lever taken from a Farmall H cultivator rig. The lever has the handle controlled locking teeth which can be used to hold the tractor on a slight grade.

The steering gear is from an early Jeep, and is connected to the front tie rod with an extended drag link.

I made a cover plate for the water hopper on top of the engine. It vents both into the false radiator tank, as well as straight above the engine. The exhaust, also, runs into the false radiator and vents through the smoke stack. The false radiator tank is formed of 22-gauge sheet metal.

I built the canopy out of clear white pine which I had stored years ago. The canopy is covered with the same 22-gauge sheet metal as the radiator tank.

I installed a three gallon passive air pressure tank behind the radiator to operate a small steam whistle which is located just above the top bend in the radiator tank. It is operated by an overhead lanyard from the operator's seat.

All the art work was done by my wife, LeDora. She has always lettered my trucks and equipment and has a real talent for this type of work. The reason for the name 'Sattley Simplex No. 30' is because of the Sattley engine of 3 HP. We were going to use Rumely Oilpull decals and lettering, but decided to go this route instead.

All in all, it was a fun project, and I now have a couple more projects in the works helps to keep me busy now that I'm retired.

Bob Rhode, 26 Lakeview Drive, Stansbury Park, Utah 84074, sent the photograph above along with the following description: 'Here is a photo of our 'Miss Blue,' a 1937 Twin City MTA, that I got on an auction three years ago up in Idaho. She won the gold medal in the heavyweight antique class (7500#) at the world pull in Des Moines in the summer of 1995. My wife Cindy took the picture.'