My Witte ‘L’ Tractor

By Staff
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2 HP Witte drag saw engine mounted on early Sears garden tractor.
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2 HP Witte drag saw engine dismantled before cleaning.
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Early Sears garden tractor as we bought it.

6 Sherbrook Dr., Selkirk, New York 12158

In the late fall of 1992 my father told me about an engine that
was for sale. It was a 2 HP Witte drag saw but was missing the
parts for the saw. He also said the engine was missing some
parts.’ I told him I would think about it. I came over a few
days later and the engine was sitting in his garage. He said he got
it for a give-away price and said I was welcome to pay for half of
it and split the cost of parts to get it running.

We rang up a nice size bill for parts, but we had the pieces to
get the engine going without the drag saw. After a month or two of
scraping we started to wonder what we could do with our old iron.
After a couple of weeks of thinking, we decided a tractor would be
an interesting project.

We finished cleaning up the parts and had found an old Sears
garden tractor to mount the iron on. Because the engine was in such
rough shape we thought it would be smart to get the first couple of
coats of primer on it and try starting the engine like that so we
could get the bugs out of it. We mounted the primed Witte on the
tractor so we could pull those flywheels without it moving. After
spinning the flywheels a few thou sand times she smoked a little
bit. An other few spins and it let out a big pop after many years
of silence. Now a few adjustments to get it to stay running and we
could finish our project. After pulling the engine back off, it was
cleaned up, ready for another coat of primer and paint. We still
had to clean the tractor up, mount a gas tank, prime it and paint
it. While both pieces were primed we sat the engine on to set the
belting system up. After perfecting that, my father painted both
pieces and bolted them together. Perfecting a few more adjustments,
we have a 2 HP throttle governed Witte powering an old Sears
tractor!

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