KEROSENE ANNIE


| March/April 1985


1004 E Main Street Billings, Montana 59101

While on a vacation trip to Hawaii about 20 years ago with some 150 Flying Farmers, I had the pleasure of meeting a Mr. Bodine of Chesterton, Idaho who was also a flying farmer and an antique collector. In our conversation he was sure Kerosene Annie was still at the Allis-Chalmers LaPorte factory. Being an old A-C salesman, etc. for the Company for over thirty years in various capacities, I could hardly wait until I got home to fly to LaPorte. Sure enough, there she stood out in the yard under an elm tree where she had been since the 2nd World War.

I soon had the privilege of picking her up for a trip to Montana. To my surprise the trucker who was making a trip back that way agreed to haul her for us to the CX ranch, where I then lived, for $800.00, and he made the trip, he told me, without any Port of Entries. When they saw what he had, they just said go on to Montana!

Well, shortly after that, yours truly found himself in somewhat of a bind due to dry weather and low cattle prices. So nothing was done to Annie until this past summer when we started the long drawn-out overhaul to get her running once more.



First, the heads were off and the valves were ruined. We built new ones. Next the fuel tank was completely rusted out. We built new ones. Next the fenders were enough left for patterns of new ones. We put twenty tons by gauge on the pistons to get them out of the cylinders, each had five 5/8 wide rings. One cylinder measured 9' and the other 9 and 5/8' so we had twenty new rings made 5/16' wide to give us a little better fit. All the levers and clutch parts were badly frozen.

We made a special tank a few years ago where we had soaked all these parts for a couple years in a diesel solution to get them freed up. Both piston pins were very loose and we carefully ground them to round again and put new brass bushings in. After inserting the rings, pistons, rods etc. we belted the crank up and ran this assembly for some time to get it free and running smoothly.














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