Waterloo Boy Restored

Waterloo Boy

Content Tools

2718 CR 120, Craig, Colorado 81625

I was looking for parts for an Alamo engine that my dad gave me. I decided the best person to ask would be Val Fitzpatrick as he was the oldest 'old timer' that I knew of94 or 95 at the time.

Val didn't know of any Alamo, but he did know of a Waterloo Boy tractor. He hadn't seen it in about 20 years.

About this time I got in touch with Bob Arembell, a large land owner in this area and he drew me a map of where he thought the old tractor was.

After taking a bunch of wrong turns and starting over a number of times, I was thinking the junk man must have beat me. We finally made the right turn and there the junk was. What was left of it.

One big mistake I made at the start was I didn't have my camera. You should always have a before and after picture. I can't begin to describe the condition of my tractor.

The tractor had been cut up with a cutting torch about 1966, 14 years before. They must have just bought the torch as almost every bolt was cut. They had used the frame and other parts to make a gold separating machine.

What was left was the motor with the cover removed the transmission with the covers removed, the rear axle and wheels and the front axle and one wheel and the front casting.

The motor and transmission were filled full with pack rat nests and blow sand. Pack rats incorporate cactus in their nests to keep other varmits out.

A few days later I got my daughter and son-in-law to go with me to help load part of it. We had a tripod and come-along to load with. We set up the tripod and lifted the motor as high as we could. It still wasn't high enough so we took off the flywheel and crankshaft and finally got the motor loaded.

Next came the transmission. We got it as high as we could and found some old 4x4s and pried it on in. What a struggle.

A couple of days later my wife and I went to get the rest. I had to take the wheels off the axle. We backed the pickup to a bank and rolled the wheels in. We then loaded the axle, front axle and wheel, one fender and other small parts that were scattered around.

When I got home I called a neighbor who has a gin pole on the back of his pickup to unload the wheels. He estimated the rear wheels weighed about 400 pounds apiece. We made several more trips with a metal detector and found several more small parts. I sure wish I had taken a picture before I started to load anything!

Now comes the letdown. I have a Waterloo Boy tractor. Part of one, anyway, and where do I get parts?

I ran several ads in GEM for a frame and other parts. I wrote a lot of people who had Waterloo Boy tractors. Sean Callaghan sent me a drawing of a frame.

About this time I received a phone call from Clarence Criswell in South Carolina asking if I still needed a frame. Boy, I sure did! He gave me Lloyd Bellin's name in Minnesota. He also gave me Jack Parkhurst's address in Encampment, Wyoming. Jack also has a Waterloo Boy.

I made a deal for the frame and an extra carburetor. Lloyd was going to California after Christmas, so he brought the frame and carb to Wyoming and we met him at Wamsetter and had a nice visit. He also gave me a bearing box for the con rod as mine was missing.

I sent the bearing to a friend of mine in Indiana, Bob Stiger, and he had another one cast for me. A neighbor of mine has a small lathe and he machined it for me.

The wrist pins were so loose you could slip a .020 shim in beside them. Must have had quite a knock! I had to have some oversize ones made.

Bobby Robinson, another collector from Hayden, widened the ring grooves and we put in wider rings as the grooves were badly worn. Bobby also machined the valve guides as the old ones were in awful condition. Things are sure looking up now!

I have made several trips to Encampment to see how things go together and Jack has loaned me parts so I could get some cast. It sure is nice to have friends in this business.

I wrote Berton Blazek in Innisfree, Alberta. He had a Dixie magneto for a Waterloo, but I couldn't afford it at the time.

The next summer we went to Canada as chaperones for the 4H kids. I asked Chip Large if he knew where Innisfree was and he said it was only about 50 miles north of where we were.

We went up the next day and I bought the magneto. You should have seen us in the airport. I had the overnight case with about fifty pounds of magneto in it and the wife had the big suitcase. I bet people thought I was something else. We sure enjoyed Canadathe people were so friendly.

All this time I am brushing, cleaning and sandblasting parts. It is starting to look like a tractor but it still has a long way to go.

I located a radiator in Iowa. Dwight Strofle had it, so I had some of the hunters who were coming from Indiana bring it out for me.

Clarence Crisswell had extra gear shift levers which I needed badly. These completed all the major parts. I have had to make a few parts which I will change when I can find new ones.

On the 25th of September, 1983, we hooked a chain on it and gave it a pull. It sure was a thrill to hear it go bang for the first time in about 25 years. (I didn't have a muffler.)

It didn't seem to pump much oil so I have reworked the oil pump. I also have a problem with the ignition but as soon as warm weather gets here I will get it worked out.

I hope this will encourage others who don't have much to start with to go ahead and fix them up. It takes a long time (I was a little over three years in restoring this one) but it is sure a lot of satisfaction when you get done.