Similarities Between Rumely Oilpull & Poppin' Johnny

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1102 Peach Street, Abilene, Texas 79602.

Most of my tractor experience has been on John Deeres, LeTourneau Tournadozer, and Caterpillar, but I have interviewed some old timers on Rumely Oilpull and I believe them when they say Oilpull was an excellent kerosene tractor.

The late Buster Hatchett, of Callahan County, Texas, would set aside modern tractors to plow with his Oil-pulls. He used Oilpulls into the 1980's.

I have noticed in the Rumely literature a few similarities between Oilpull and John Deere Poppin' Johnny. They were both two cylinder valve-in-head engines with parallel and horizontal cylinders, neither vertical nor opposed. Both used the 180 degree crankshaft.

The Rumely and the Johnny both used a high temperature cooling system. The Oilpull accomplished this by using oil as coolant and a special exhaust induced draft radiator. John Deere accomplished this with thermo-siphon water circulation plus a radiator curtain or shutter.

Both the Oilpull and the John Deere Popper used a big bore-long stroke-low r.p.m.-high torque engine. The Rumely used bores up to 10', while the Johnny used bores up to 6?' and Poppers up to 7 inches. The larger Oilpull ran 375 r.p.m., while the larger Johnny ran 900 r.p.m. Both exhibited high torque and good lugging characteristics.

The Pull and the Johnny both used a pressure lubrication system. The Johnny used a low 10-15 psi oil pressure so the oil passages must have been ample because they were well lubricated. Oilpull used Madison-Kipp force feed lubrication to mains, rods, pistons, and pins plus the rods dipped into oil and churned up a heavy mist of oil to all moving parts.

Long before the Environmental Protection Agency's emissions requirements were effected, both tractors had positive crankcase ventilation. I always thought they used positive crankcase ventilation to extend the life of the lube oil and the engine.

Both tractors delivered belt power directly from the crankshaft. Both used all-spur gear transmission and final drive running in enclosed oil bath on roller or ball bearings, and both tractors used a high-tension magneto ignition system.

Now we come to their fuel systems. There have been good articles on the Oilpull fuel system; I do not have enough hands-on experience with Oilpull carburetion to amplify upon what has already been written, but it can be said safely that it was a kerosene-vaporizing/water-injected fuel system. None of the John Deere Poppers I ran had water injection, but the vaporization of the kerosene was aided by running the intake manifold through the exhaust manifold.

Dissimilarities may outnumber similarities, but I think the success of the Poppin' Johnny was the result of a wise selection of successful and proven features from prior makes of tractors, including the Rumely Oilpull.