| May/June 1982

  • Holt Model 60

  • Holt Model 60

13084 W. 8th Avenue, Chico, California 95926

This article tells of the restoration of a Holt Model 60, #1838, manufactured in 1913. It was purchased by the Hahn Brothers for field and belt use on their farm in Arbuckle, California. The tractor never left the farm until the estate sale in 1980; then it was brought to Chico to be restored. As near as can be determined, the tractor was retired in 1924 and replaced by a new, full track Caterpillar 60.

The decision to buy the Holt tractor was made after a close examination of all parts that would be difficult to replace or rebuild. They were found to be in acceptable condition and usable after a thorough cleaning. Fortunately the tracks and drive mechanism were in new condition with many pieces having been replaced just prior to retirement. The overall appearance of the tractor was rather poor as there were no traces of paint anywhere; this was understandable since the tractor was parked outside for 46 years.

After moving the Holt to shops, a decision was reached to rebuild the engine completely before any further dismantling of the tractor.

A little research on the history of the engine revealed it was not until the latter part of 1913 that Holt absorbed the Aurora Engine Company which had been Holt's supplier until this merger. The engine in this tractor is an Aurora without the common markings found on all later Holt engines. Usually, Holt is cast in all four crankcase doors and the Caterpillar logo is cast on the exhaust manifold and a small brass tag on either end of crankcase with nomenclature. This engine has none of these.

The engine was partially dismantled in the frame to gain clearance for removal without disturbing the canopy. The engine was entirely torn down and found to be completely worn out. The crankshaft was turned .010 undersize on mains and rods after being straightened. The main bearings were found to be in good condition. Our machine shop could not handle the next step; so it was sent out to a truck engine shop. Some main bearing shims were removed and bearings installed in crankcase, torqued down, then line-bored. The block was boiled clean, power wire brushed inside and out, then painted inside with an electrical sealing paint.