1948 Allis Chalmers C

By Staff
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Chuck Eaton, 180 Hope Valley Rd., Amston, Ct. 06231, spent four of his eighteen years restoring this 1948 Allis Chalmers C. Look for this young man's.
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1948 Allis Chalmers C in an early stage of restoration.

180 Hope Valley Road Amston, Connecticut 06231

I am always glad to read articles written by younger people. I
have been collecting and restoring tractors for about four years
now: I am eighteen.

Five years ago the little 1948 Allis Chalmers C, serial number
64967, had no hope. Its owner had become ill and too sick to farm
with it. He had then passed away, and the little Allis was left
sitting outside under several pine trees, as he had left it. The
tractor was covered with pine needles and leaves, accounting for
the dreadful condition of the sheet metal. Almost no paint was
left, and everything was pitted. In many places, especially the
fenders, it had totally rotted through. Our East coast weather does
wonders to these poor tractors, as many of you know.

With the left rear wheel gone, the tractor rested on a tree
stump. The wheel was later uncovered not far from the tractor,
buried under leaves; the rim was totally rusted away. It had no
lights or radiator shutters (which I still need). The hood was cut
and torn up to accommodate a new muffler. The battery had frozen
and cracked, spilling acid in the battery box and on the frame.

After much serious consideration, the man’s wife, a friend
of my mother, sold me the tractor. She said it was her
husband’s favorite tractor and she was glad it was going to
someone she knew. I definitely had my work cut out for me!

My father and I rented a U-Haul trailer and we brought the
tractor home. Engine-wise, everything was covered and secured, and
with very little cleaning of the carburetor, by the next day it was
running. The engine was surprisingly very strong.

I was able to save enough money from my part-time job to order
some new things. With another rim, and the original tire, I was
able to drive it around. It was fun to use the tractor, but it
looked like it had been through World War I!

I decided to restore the tractor, and I began to take it apart
with the help of my father. I was young and I learned a lot, right
along with my father! The sheet metal took the longest time to
restore. I got another battery box and rebuilt the rest. The
electrical system had to be changed from 12 volt to 6 volt. The
radiator needed to be repaired and I needed two new front wheels,
as both the tires and rims were bad. The left front wheel bearings
were found to be bad, and were replaced. I restored the muffler
that came with the tractor because I liked it better than the
original and I thought it would get the exhaust further away from
the driver. Everything on the tractor was cleaned and the pits
filled with body filler. Slowly the tractor began to resemble its
original condition.

When I was almost finished with the restoration, I became
involved with a tractor club. The club pulls and shows tractors at
several fairs around Connecticut. We finally designed a good set of
wheelie bars, to keep the tractor from flipping over. (If anyone
would like to copy them, I would be glad to give out the
design.)

The tractor pulls great, but as is true with anything, not
without its own share of problems! I broke the other rim and
because of this, the tractor has remanufactured rims. The original
rims would slip out of the clamps that held them in place. Later in
the summer at another pull, the steering box got sheered in mud;
ironically I still won my weight class! After pulling the tractor
several times, the valve springs were replaced and the tappets
adjusted. Other than usual cleaning, this was all that was done to
the engine.

The restoration took a little over four years. My Allis is very
competitive in the club, and it brought the daughter of the former
owner to tears when she saw the tractor totally restored to the
original condition as she remembered it. In 1990 it won the Best
Restored Pulling Tractor in the club, as well as several pulling
prizes.

I would like to thank Ed Hodge, who helped me and encouraged me
to become more involved in the hobby; Mark Maikshilo and Don
Spragg, who helped me when I needed it; and my parents, who not
only help me, but put up with the ‘yard ornaments,’ as they
call them. I am now the proud owner of ten antique tractors, all in
various stages of restoration. However, there is still room for
expansion!

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