Homemade Mini-Tractor


| February/March 1989



Tractor

317 S., Main Mall, Suite 400, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103

Old gas engines have interested me since about 1946. The first engines I observed closely about 1951 were two large (25 HP) engines still in operation on a Sinclair Oil and Gas Company lease in the Glenpool oil field just south of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Sinclair had several still running and I believe they were Superiors and Cooper-Bessemers. I was working for Sinclair at the time but did not run the engines.

In 1971 I bought my first engine. It was a 5 HP F & M. I still have it. At that time I was not aware of 'engine shows'. I just enjoyed running it in my backyard. A friend, Jack Slankard, told me that they had shows for old engines and in 1978 I cleaned and painted my old F & M and took it to the first engine show I had ever attended., It was the Pawnee, Oklahoma Show. I have returned each year since (except when I had to work) showing various engines including my largest, a 7 HP Hercules on a drop frame wagon.

One of my big interests is in Maytag engines. Maytag engines both singles and twins run well and make good show engines that are easy to carry. However, with a few exceptions they are usually set on the ground and don't power any equipment. Recently some exhibitors have been bringing washing machines and I have seen a Maytag powered light plant. Not having a light plant and not wanting a washing machine (too big to haul) I needed something that used Maytag power, so I built a Maytag tractor. Maytag built a small go-kart sized car but I don't believe they ever built a tractor.

First Fall Festival and engine show at Catoosa, Oklahoma.

As you can see from the pictures the Maytag tractor project turned out very well. This tractor was built from scratch in about four months with considerable help and criticism from Roy Davison (another old engine nut). I want to say here that several people including my good friend Roy told me that a Maytag was not strong enough to pull a tractor. However, as you can see from one of the pictures it pulls itself along with the driver and a trailer load of kids. It has pulled the same trailer loaded with four adults. Even though Roy doubted the success of the tractor he stuck by me and was a great help in bringing this project to completion. Roy furnished the trans axle and I furnished the Maytag engine. The rear wheels are Honda 8' mini bike wheels with the center cut out and replaced with ?' rod spokes. The front wheels are 4 'with fake spokes welded on. The seat and back rest came off of a couple of junked motorcycles. Fortunately a friend owns a small foundry and they cast the brass steering wheel and brass Maytag signs on the hood. The Maytag signs were made from the washing wringer release. The muffler is made from a section of a Dodge van drive shaft and a brass drain pipe. The 'radiator' is a piece of an auto air conditioning condensor coil. The gears on the steering shaft came from a riding mower differential.