9145 Oberon Road #203, Arvada, Colorado 8004
About the time I retired in 1975, I ran across a couple of gasoline engines that started me on the road to collecting these antiques. Among the engines I had was a Fairbanks Morse 3 HP type Z. I decided that I would build a replica of an old tractor, using the Fairbanks Morse engine for the power.
I made some free-hand sketches of what I wanted it to look like. First, it would have to have iron wheels. Antique tractors did not run on rubber tires, and furthermore I was not going to use a frame from some other vehicle.
I drew to scale a general arrangement drawing, locating all of the parts I wanted on it.
I used a transmission from a Ford pickup truck that sits parallel to the crankshaft of the engine that is belt driven on the input side from the pulley on the engine. The pulley on the transmission had a brake drum that acts as a clutch, that can be operated by a foot pedal or a hand lever. On the output side of the transmission is a roller chain drive to a ten-to-one right angle speed reducer. A short drive shaft connects the speed reducer to the rear axle from a Toyota car, and roller chain drive to the rear wheels. The rear wheels are each on a stub shaft that is welded to the frame, as the floor of the cab is 10' above the ground.
The frame and all of the cross-members are of 3' channel. I made detailed drawings of all the frame members locating all holes and had these fabricated in a steel shop. I also made detailed drawings of all the linkage systems for belt tight enters for main drive, water pump, brake, clutch and gear shift levers.
All of the wheels, pulleys, sprockets, chains, etc. came from junk yards.
After I had all of the parts made and collected, I started to put it together. I had no problems and all of the pieces fit really well.
This tractor has three speeds forward and a reverse. The top speed is about 6 miles per hour.
I designed my own gear shift levers by using two levers, one for reverse and first and the other for second and third. These levers work in an 'H' pattern plate. When one is in use the other lever is locked into the center of the 'H' and cannot be moved into gear.
Just as an extra feature, I added a water tank above the engine that has a sight glass gauge. I used a water pump from a washing machine to circulate the water, taking water from the bottom of the hopper and pumping it into the tank above. The water flows by gravity back into the hopper. By use of valves I can control the amount of water being circulated.
I entered my first parade in July of 1978 and won a trophy. In October of that year I had a five minute showing on a TV station in Denver. They came to my place and interviewed me and took pictures for about an hour and a half to make up the five minute show that was shown twice in one day.
I have been in parades each year since 1978. Everyone on the parade route that has a camera takes a picture of the tractor. It sure has created a lot of excitement and comment!