My Witte 'L' Tractor

| January/February 1994

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!