English Fordson

| September/October 1989

  • 1938 English Fordson
    This is a 1938 English Fordson, Serial Number 830206, built in Dagenham, England. This Fordson was purchased by L. B. Lamb of Enid, Oklahoma in 1939 from the Oliver dealer in Enid after it was one year old and had plowed 80 acres
    Ian Cocker

  • 1938 English Fordson

1713 East Walnut Ave. Enid, Oklahoma 73701

Mr. Lamb used it to pull a combine on the harvest run for several years before giving it to a friend of his, George Fields of Garber, Oklahoma, in 1954. Mr. Fields used it for small jobs until his death. The little Fordson then sat idle for several years until I bought it from Mrs. George Fields in October of 1986. After buying the tractor, George Oller of Enid, Oklahoma, was good enough to haul it home for me.

After a month or so I removed the fuel tank, magneto and carburetor for cleaning and repairs. The fuel tank looked to be in fair condition until I sandblasted it and discovered it to be badly rusted through. A labor intensive job to repair. Restoration started in earnest in the fall of 1987 with the front half being taken apart before winter. All parts were cleaned, sandblasted and primed for inside repair and reassembly during the winter. Engine valves and guides were badly in need of repair but the babbitt bearings were in real good condition. The piston pins were badly worn and the rod bushings were not available. I made my own bushings and purchased new oversized piston pins which had to be modified for the English Fordson. After rebuilding the crankshaft and pulley for a proper fit again, the engine was ready for reassembly with new rings and gaskets.

In the spring of 1988 I started taking the rear half apart. After cleaning and sandblasting were done, the parts were all checked for repair or replacement and prime painted before being put in storage awaiting reassembly. Major parts needed for the back half were a drawbar cap, gearshift lever and an expensive new ring gear bearing. The tool box was rusted through and thusly replaced. Another labor intensive job was repairing the fenders, as anyone who restores tractors may know.

Reassembly started in June 1988 with assembling sections and component parts for painting before final assembly. All parts were painted with two coats of acrylic enamel before final assembly. The paint color seems unusual for a Fordson but I determined it to be the proper color after examining protected areas of the tractor. After painting, final assembly included all new tires and tubes and a new radiator core. I finished the tractor about two days before the Mid-America Summerfest in Enid, Oklahoma, in July 1988. Several compliments were received but they couldn't figure the orange color. Everyone in this area is familiar with the gray and red Detroit Fordson.

Restoration of this tractor would have been very difficult without the help of a few people, most of all, Jack Heald of Cave Junction, Oregon. He furnished me the printed matter that I needed and extra information. The boys at the Fordson House in Escanaba, Michigan were very helpful with technical information and, of course, the majority of the parts I needed. These fellows are really eager to help with what you need in parts and help. A few parts were also furnished by Ed Deis of Orwell, Ohio.


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