1191 Swailes Road Troy, Ohio 45373
I am writing for my son, Chris Kitchen, but without his
knowledge. He and I recently completed building a four engine
homemade garden tractor to pull in local garden tractor pulls and
exhibit in steam and gas engine shows in our area.
Each engine is controlled by a separate throttle and ignition
switch and drives through its own hand lever operated belt clutch
to the jack shaft located between the frame rails. Each engine can
be operated independently or in any combination with another. A
common foot clutch pedal also activates the selected hand levers to
allow the tractor to drive and operate the same as any single
engine standard shift tractor. The jack shaft couples directly to
the Crosley transmission which in turn hooks up with the shortened
implement driveshaft. The driveshaft couples to the John Deere
right angle gear box which is double belted to the Wards axle
assembly. Braking control is with a homemade internal expanding
shoe inside the Wards cast iron drive pulley rim which was bored to
suit the size of the homemade brake shoe.
The engine next to the driver is started from the seated
position with the recoil starter. Each engine is then started, in
turn, by turning on its ignition switch and engaging its hand
clutch. The tractor will operate on one, two, three, or four
engines or any combination thereof. The foot clutch is then
depressed, gear selected, clutch released and you are under
Slow speed operation, such as for demonstration, is controlled
by the driver through visual and audible engine speed
synchronization of the four throttles. High speed or pulling
operation is much simpler as all throttles are opened fully and the
engine governors do a great job of synchronizing engine speeds and
the engines pull together very well. The tractor digs holes and
throws much dirt on a dead pull and all engine throttle cams can be
observed adjusting themselves to the load.
First gear speed is about 6 mph with a top speed of 15 mph in
third gear. We wanted plenty of wheel spin for pulling (like the
big guys). The homemade brake system will lock up the axle on coast
down but will not overcome the engines under medium power.
The entire design was our own and all work was performed in our
garage at home. I must admit though that the time my son spends
watching the big multi engined tractor-pulling videos influenced
our project in some small way. Our original idea was just to build
a small tractor for transportation at the shows when showing our
1939 John Deere B, but as you can see by the photos that idea was
As of this writing we just completed demonstrating/exhibiting
the tractor at the Clifton Old Timers show held at the Xenia, Ohio
fairgrounds. The tractor was again very well received and
photographed. Everyone wants to see the tractor run and is amazed
at the simple operation of the clutch (s) and the ease with which
the tractor is controlled.
We put the tractor to the real test at the Jamestown, Ohio show
by entering the garden tractor pull there as well as exhibiting it.
This was our first opportunity to pull the tractor due to its late
season completion. Chris pulled about half the distance and the
rear tires went up in smoke due to our lack of experience in proper
weight distribution. This we will correct over this winter and be
ready for next year’s competition.
Owner – Chris Kitchen.
Designers – Chris and Nick Kitchen.
Engines – Four 5 HP Briggs horizontal shaft
Power Link – Four ft. long jackshaft, 1′
dia. on four ball bearing pillow blocks.
Transmission – 1948 Crosley three speed.
Trans. Link – Shortened implement PTO shaft
through a John Deere right, angle gear box and double belted to the
rear axle pulley.
Rear Axle – 1950’s vintage Wards garden
tractor axle assembly.
Front Axle – From a riding lawnmower.
Steering – 1981 Mercury Lynx rack and pinion to
bell crank on front axle.
Brakes – Homemade internal expanding mechanical
Frame – Welded wedge construction of square
& rectangular tubing.
Rear Wheels – 14′ Ford spokers with mud
Front Wheels – 10′ semi-pneumatic.
Wheel Base – 78 inches.