Looking Back

By Staff

302 Highland Avenue Plentywood, MT 59254

The very good story by Kevin Stephenson brought back memories. We had bought a 27-44 TC the year before and when the deal $1350 for a 22-36, used, came up $1350 compared to $2900 for the twin named ‘Big Bertha’ we got it. The work demanded of the ’22’ wore it out every year. When the shims on the rear axle were all worn out, we put a #9 wire behind the races and put the shims back in. I think the company replaced the transmission for $60.00. The ball bearing transmission gave no trouble. The company had a deal whereby they gave the crankshaft and bearings on the ’22’; we never replaced it.

One year in the ‘dirty 30’s’ my brother was going to save money by using ‘Powernap’ (distillate). I said, ‘You will have to get spark plugs too’. His answer was ‘a spark plug is a spark plug’. Needless to say, it didn’t work. The one thing we did learn from it was that 5 gal. of Power-nap in 30 gal. of gas made the valves go through the season and more. If you didn’t use the distillate in a few days you heard the disgusting ‘pfft’ when you shut them off. Sometimes when you added it, the valves came out of it. This was true on both the big Twin and the 17-28. We never did use fuel in the 17-30 Minny. Talking about that, the 17-30 Minny sure out pulled the 17-28 Twin. In all, we had three 17-28 Twins, never more than two at once. We kept trying to get one that could pull. They were ‘light weights’. Name any tractor you would it had more power.

The Minny, 1924 Model (not an A or B, just 17-30) outlived all of the Twins on our farms except Big Bertha.

But this is about the 22-36. Right. The replacement cylinder liners were available in ‘High Altitude’ and boy were they hard to turn over!

We were combining flax in December in very cold weather. We would build a fire with flax straw to warm the oil and engine but somehow a rod burned out. Well the old Minny finished up. Next spring we towed the ’22’ twelve miles with a ’29’ six-speed special IH truck. When we got stuck we started it up and drove it through the mud. A neighbor pulled his with a model A. About 35 miles per hour something let loose in the transmission. They stopped fast. There was a lot of damage.

A neighbor, when changing to rubber (he weighed 340 lbs.) looked over the fender to see if there was slippage. Of course, when he was on that wheel there was no slippage. He looked over the other side with the same results. ‘No she ain’t slipping a bit’, he said. But he soon got two 20-40 Case flywheels. They were sure neat wheel weights about 36′ diameter and a 7′ face and almost 700 lbs. I see many tractors of all makes where they fill the wheels with cement. Boy, when you want one of those wheels now you sure earn your dinner working the thing clean.

We had a 15-30. When we put the big high altitude pistons in it made quite a tractor. Not only was it a ‘no no’ to put large sleeves in the 15-30, it was a double no no to do either but both wouldn’t work! As long as you didn’t make her keep up to the 22 it was fine but it didn’t cool all that well.

The E4A-IH Magneto has to be the best. I know how to overhaul them, and have them on many tractors in my collection.

Many of you wonder why they put the 15-30 on the fender of the 22-36. Well, it seems there was an import tax on tractors in Canada over 15 HP, hence the nice trick. In England they taxed steam engines by HP so no motor was bigger than 8 or 9 HP.

An interesting thing one could get the rear wheels in pieces, hub-spoke rim and rivets, as long as they used the clamp on the hub. (They sold only complete wheels when they went to splined axle.) I had been under the impression they went to the splined hub and timken bearings in ’26.

We put a 12′ pulley on the 22-36 and it sure could haul a 32′ Rumely (wood) thresher as good as the 45 Mogul did.

We moved a big shop, on a 35 model Ford truck, plow wheels on the back. The rivets gave out on the ring gear of the 1 ton Ford. The 22-36 couldn’t haul it, so the 27-44 Twin was hooked on. One thing about the Twin it never had power enough to dig itself down. In all fairness we had (Road King) wheels on it.

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