A TALE OF TWO RESTORATIONS


| June/July 1986



Wheatland tractor

RR #1, Atlanta, IL 61723

My Oliver '80' 1941 Wheatland tractor was found right here in my neighborhood, with stuck pistons, flat worn-out tires, banged up fenders the usual condition of an abandoned tractor. The first task was to strip the tractor of all sheet metal. Then I sandblasted and put two coats of primer paint on. I was lucky to find a local dealer who happened to have a new set of sleeves and pistons. After getting the pistons replaced I was ready to reassemble the engine. I ground the valves, put new gaskets and seals on and put the engine back together.

The radiator was pulled and checked and found to be in good shape. I located 6 volt light sockets in Kansas and rebuilt the entire wiring harness as well as the generator, magneto, starter and of course the carburetor. My local Oliver dealer also was able to find a new push pull light switch (original part) and an oil pressure gauge with Oliver name on the dial. The sheet metal was in pretty good shape except the fenders. I had a sheet metal shop in Dubuque, Iowa build me 2 new fenders and make a battery box with cover. After all of that work I gave the tractor 3 coats of Oliver green, bought 4 new tires and I was ready to go. It took about eight months of working between my shop jobs to get it finished. While it is not an extremely old tractor1941it is in original show room condition and attracts a lot of attention at local shows. This tractor is in a good enough condition to go into the field and put in a good day.

The 25 HP type 'Y' Fairbanks-Morse oil engine pictured was found in the Bearsdale Elevator just outside of Decatur, Illinois. The elevator is owned by Mr. and Mrs. George Trump and Mr. Trump used to run this engine when he was 16 years old. I sent a letter to the Fairbanks-Morse Company in Beloit, Wisconsin, and gave them the serial number. They told me their production records showed the engine being built May 10th, 1919 and shipped to Decatur, Illinois. They also photocopied their only file copy of the operators' manual and installation instructions and sent it to me.

The shipping weight on the engine is 7600 pounds and one '60' flywheel weighs 780 pounds. The engine was located in an engine room mounted on a concrete base. The elevator had been destroyed by fire several years ago but the engine room was located far enough away and isolated well enough that it wasn't damaged. It was connected to a long line shaft which ran through a small window out and under the elevator proper where it drove the elevator and a conveyor. It also drove a corn sheller located in the elevator basement.

The engine was cooled from a cistern located just outside the engine room, with an upright piston water pump which was belt driven from the line shaft.