GARDEN TRACTOR TALK

By Staff

Box 254 Brewster, Kansas 67732

In the September-October issue on page 14, you show a picture of
a garden tractor sent in by Carl Coburn, 3211 Betlou James Place,
Baltimore, Maryland 21207. This letter is meant primarily for him,
though I think there may be other readers interested. The kids are
interested and we must keep them that way as we old codgers
‘ain’t gonna last forever.’

I have restored a garden tractor almost identical in design. I
suspect all the casting numbers will coincide. However, my tractor
is called the ‘Utilitor’ made by the Midwest Engine
Manufacturing Company, Indianapolis, Indiana. Bore and stroke are
the same as Carl’s tractor.

The design is so unique that the two machines have to be
related. The outside of the main bearing bosses are the journals on
which the drive wheels bear. The crankshaft extends through the
hubs of the drive wheels and carries a flywheel on each side with a
crank built into the left hand one. The hubs of the drive wheels
are large cast internal gears, driven by pinions on a countershaft.
Each pinion is provided with its own independent clutch, controlled
by levers on the handle bars. The right hand lever pulled back
releases the right hand clutch. The left hand lever pulled part way
back releases the left hand clutch, then pulled all the way back
and latched releases both clutches. Presto, neutral!

This machine exhibits some mighty fine engineering design. It
certainly was no accident! Mine has a tool bar similar to
Carl’s on which is mounted a cute little 8′ plow or a
cultivator, both of which I have. Just a tip, Carl,-don’t ever
try to use it if you get it running. It is a lot easier to do the
work with a shovel and use the tractor for an ornament. Those
steering clutches were an excellent idea, but the designer forgot
one thing. If one wheel slips a little, you’ve got to be a lot
quicker than I am to keep her from heading for Joneses.

Incidentally, mine has cast in the crankcase what I am pretty
sure is a date 12/13/19.

Raised the subscription price I see-Well if that is what it
takes to keep G.E.M. coming, raise it again!

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