Gas Engine Magazine

English Fordson

By Staff

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.

After all this I now have a very nice 1938 English Fordson to
show off for many years to come. I am presently working on a 1939
John Deere D and a 1924 Fordson with a 1947 Oliver 99 finished and
a 1938 McCormick Deering W30 yet to be restored.

  • Published on Sep 1, 1989
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