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R.D. 1, Box 224, Drums, Pennsylvania 18222

My name is Richard Ayre. I have two sons. Their names are James,
who is 15, and John, who is 9. This story is about the fun we had
finding and building a 1/4-size tractor.

We have a hobby of collecting engines and associated parts. One
day we came across an old Montgomery Ward 7 HP lawn mower. It
caught John’s eye. We talked about it and finally decided to
buy it from its owner. The owner thought it was very peculiar of us
to want this lawn mower that didn’t even have a motor.

Upon arrival at our garage, we already had big plans. Everything
seemed just perfect for building a 1/4-size tractor.

Our first project was to take off all the unnecessary parts.
Then there were a few adjustments we had to make.

We had to move the steering wheel back to make room for the
engine. We were contemplating on three engines to run our tractor:
one, an International LA, a 2 HP Witte and a 1 HP T & M. The
Witte and the International were throttling governor and we finally
decided the 2 HP Witte was the best choice.

After moving the steering wheel back, the seat had to be moved
back about four inches and a bracket was made to support the
steering wheel and seat. Now we were ready to mount the engine.

We decided to use a 1/2 angle drive to connect the Witte and the
M.W. drive train. We located a drive at a local junk shop. Using
this angle drive, we could use the same clutch and brake that was
on the lawn mower.

After building four brackets to hold the Witte just above the
angle drive, we slotted hole as to adjust the drive tension from
motor to angle drive. We then needed two sprockets and a piece of
#40 chain. One sprocket was bored out and a new key way used so
that it would fit on the crankshaft next to the flywheel.

Now the clutch and brake pedal were too close to the flywheel.
Henceforth, we had to extend the shaft about two inches. My son,
John, was still unable to reach the pedals so a hand lever was

Now we needed an exhaust pipe. We used a 1-1/4 inch galvanized
pipe, two 45 degree elbows and two close nipples to put the exhaust
out the rear of the tractor.

Jimmy had made a perfect-fit square gas tank in his school shop
class. We mounted this on rubber washers and added a short piece of
copper line to the Witte gas tank. I always use a Briggs and
Stratton brass foot valve because they are cheaper and have a nice
brass screen.

The lawn mower had a small compartment under the seat perfect
for a battery. We taped the coil to an Eveready 6 volt battery and
were ready to go.

With the tractor running, all that was left to do was paint it
and get a few bugs out of it.

Our biggest problem was the damper and spring in the Witte
carburetor. Until we remedied this, we sure were puzzled.

One week before the Stump Jumpers show in Mansfield, we decided
to paint our pride and joy. We disassembled the motor and parts of
the tractor. The wheels came off and were painted yellow. After
marking off all the parts that we wanted painted, we sprayed two
coats of green paint.

My boys worked very hard to get all done in time for the show.
We were sure proud of our 1/4-size tractor and every one enjoyed it
very much.

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