Massey Harris 22 Restored

By Staff
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3616 Flag Avenue, N, New Hope, MN 55427

Here is a picture of a Massey Harris 22 tractor I restored. I
became interested in a 22 Massey after seeing one at the White Pine
Threshing Show in 1988. I ran an ad in the Sunday paper that covers
the state of Minnesota in January 1989, and was surprised to get
three calls. I had only seen a couple of 22’s in my whole life,
and by February of 1989 I was the proud owner of one.

It was very cold when I went to look at it-the owner said it was
a good tractor that his uncle had bought new, but it wouldn’t
start. I assumed it was because of the weather. When I came back to
pick it up later (I never take a trailer with me when looking at
something, or they think they have a sure sale and don’t like
to negotiate!) I took a fresh battery and a can of gas with me.

The former owner said he was sure it wouldn’t start and
didn’t show any interest in trying, and at about 10 below zero
I wasn’t much interested either. We pushed it on the trailer
with a front end loader on a tractor.

When I started working on it the first thing I did was clean the
gas tank and the carb-it seems like every tractor and gas engine I
buy has to have this done before it will run. When I looked in the
distributor I could see why the former owner knew it wouldn’t
start: that was the worst set of points I have ever seen-one side
of the points was burned away and the arm had turned blue.

Mechanically, the tractor was pretty good. It was all there
except one piece of sheet metal was missing, and it had a ’38
Chevy steering wheel on it. I called every junkyard in three states
and had no trouble finding a steering wheel, but no one had the
side panel to cover the motor.

The 22 doesn’t look like much without this in place. I
copied the piece from the right side and made one for the left.
That was the piece with the louvers in it, and I couldn’t find
anybody with the right size tooling to put the louver in for me, so
I ended up making a die which will probably never be used again.
One fellow told me the reason people took the side panels off was
that the tractor ran hot in the summer with them on. But, I think
they got in the way for working on the tractor, and people took
them off and never got around to putting them back on. You know how
it is when a person is busy and has a lot of work to do! They
wouldn’t seem very important at that time!

I bought the paint from a MF dealer and the decals from an ad in
GEM. I started working on the tractor in March and had it done to
drive in the parade at the Rogers, Minnesota Threshing Show in the
middle of August. Now I would like to restore my 33 and 44 and run
all three in the parade at the same time.

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