Fairbanks-Morse Lawn Roller

By Staff
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III 9304 Flint Circle Frederick, Maryland 21702-2025, e-mail:

The first antique tractor show in Middletown, Maryland was 1993.
1994 was the second show, with an auction Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

One item was the Fairbanks-Morse 2 HP 1917 lawn roller. My wife
and I bought it. It did run, but I had to learn how to start and
operate it. Sunday afternoon it did not start, because of the
rotten gas left in the tank. We had to push the roller onto
Dad’s trailer; we needed help because the roller weighs 640
pounds. When at home, I wanted to clean the gas tank and clean up
the valves. When the head came loose from the block, water came
out, too. That was when I found out about a wet head.

I have put in new valves, valve guides and rings, too. The rings
were only $9.75 each and the valves $18.00 each. I was glad to find
the parts. The parts were purchased in Buckeystown, Maryland. In
1998 the mag had to be charged and cleaned at a cost of $25.00.

The antique tractor shows start in April and run until November.
I can go to one or more shows a week.

One of my best friends is Joey Roop, who is six. He likes to
ride in his wagon, I like to ride, too, so I hook up Joey and his
wagon and away we go! Joey takes naps in the wagon; great picture

I’ve been to shows at Denton, North Carolina; Penn State, in
Pennsylvania; Easton, Maryland; Portland, Idaho; Clarksburg, Ohio;
and Sistersville, West Virginia, on the Ohio River.

In 1999 I rode over 500 miles at the shows on the lawn roller.
Made 38 shows parades that year. The roller is my transportation,
as my walkers do not work too good, as I have cerebral palsy.

Some exhibitors shell corn, grind feed, pump water, wash
clothes, run bailers, run boats, run generators, light plants, run
ice cream makers, and pump oil. The spectators really turn their
heads when I ride by!

October 1999 had to replace a drive chain and 2′ drive gear.
Chain #60 and parts were found in Frederick, Maryland. I found
Dad’s pipe tripod and the come-along to hold up the roller
while I took off the front drive wheel. After that was off I had to
use a pressure washer to get the dirt and grease off.

I did not know how much needed to be replaced, so I took the
front axle with differential drive gear and chain to a bearing
shop. The chain and 2′ gear drive had to be replaced, which
came to $44.00.

Now the lawn roller is covered up in the shed waiting for the
year 2001.

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