NO ONE KNOWS How This General Got To California
9345 Lemon Avenue La Mesa, California 91941
I acquired my General from Bill May. Bill found it on a ranch
east of San Diego, California. It was in bad shape. The engine was
frozen, one wheel fell off while loading it on a trailer. Nobody
knows how the General got to San Diego. I don’t think any were
sold in California.
My General, serial #1FA090, is the 45th tractor made. Generals
had only even serial numbers.
Cleveland Tractor Company (Cletrac) started making Generals late
in 1939. They sold for $595 F.O.B. Cleveland. They were made in
1940-41, and in January 1942. Tooling and parts were sold to B. F.
Avery & Sons, and moved to Louisville, Kentucky. In April 1942,
Avery started making Generals. They were painted red.
Soon Avery made some improvements and the General became Avery
(A). The General had a Hercules IXA engine, thermal-siphon cooling,
magneto ignition, Borg Warner clutch, Clark transmission and rear
axle, hand brakes, no spring under the seat. Rear tires were 9.5 x
24 with 5.50 x 16 front. It had 14 draw-bar HP18 belt HP and weight
was 2200 lb.
Bill did a ring and valve job. I dropped the pan; checked the
bearings and oil pump. I put in new front and rear oil seals,
installed the new TSXU-828 Marvel-Schebler carburetor. I replaced
the clutch, and for those slow moving parades, I installed a
lifetime throw out bearing, relined the brake bands. I took apart
the transmission, and rear axle to replace all oil seals. The right
side axle housing was broken. John Ault of Waverly, Ohio, found an
axle housing for me.
The paper belt pulley was saturated with oil from a leaking oil
seal. I soaked it in solvent for six weeks to get all the oil out.
The radiator had a rat nest in it. The core just needed minor
repair. The 41/2 diameter Vortex air cleaner
was rusted out. I have not found a Vortex so far.
With wheels and sheet metal removed, everything was sandblasted.
Hood and gas tank went to an auto body shop for repair. The fenders
had big rust holes and they went to Batson Sheet Metal, Santee,
California. There, the rust spots were cut out. New metal was
formed and put back. The sheet metal was painted inside and out.
After the chassis was painted, the sheet metal was put back. The
lettering on the hood is computer-cut vinyl. Gear shift lever boot
is from a John Deere garden tractor, part number N 803082.
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