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The Linn Tractor

Author Photo
By Staff

President Hudson Valley Old Time Power Assn. 434 Millbrook Road,
Hudson, New York 12534

In the summer of 1995 our club received a 1929 Linn tractor. Ed
Golden of Chatham, New York, a member of our club, donated it to
us. It is a model L 628D, serial number 1696. It has an AB48H
Waukesha engine, serial number 203289. It has an all-wood cab and
dump-body that was lined with steel plate. It had plows and
wings.

The Linn was built in Morris, New York. It had been sitting in
the bushes for several years and needless to say, the cab and body
were in pretty bad shape. Also, the motor needed work. It is a
six-cylinder engine, two cylinders cast as a single unit. The heads
were removed and some valves were stuck and rusted. One valve guide
had been going up and down with the valve. The mice had gotten into
the motor through the exhaust pipe and had made nests in and around
the valve ports. The valve guide that was going up and down was in
the third and fourth cylinders. The motor was turned over so the
pistons of the third and fourth cylinders were at the same height.
Then we put a 4 x 4 across the snowplow frame above the motor and
attached a come-along to it to lift the cylinder. The cylinder
bolts to the crankcase were removed, and we lifted the cylinder up,
leaving the two pistons protruding above the crankcase. After
cleaning the cylinders and removing the valves, we found that the
valve guide could be knurled and pressed back into the head with
the help of Loctite. All of the valves were cleaned and re-faced
and used again. The motor was reassembled and adjusted, and now
runs fine. After getting the motor running, we discovered we had to
replace the radiator core at a cost of around $700.

At our show in August of 1995, we ran the old cab and chassis
around our field a few times and we found that one more board would
fall off the chassis each time we went around the field. Thus we
had to build a new cab and dump body. In the winter of’95 and
’96 the tractor was put in our shop and eliminated of all
wooden pieces. We have what is known as the ‘Tuesday Gang’
that gather every Tuesday at the club grounds and work in our shop
during the winter. The gang averages four and sometimes five
people, with the coffee pot going and our lunch buckets lined up.
We then tackled the job of rebuilding the cab.

In the summer of ’95, John Leck and Son cut down some oak
trees on our property, and another member of our club, Rich Curry,
brought in his Wood Miser sawing outfit and cut all the white and
red oak into board dimensions. We took some boards to club member
Joe Skoda, who builds furniture as a hobby, who planed and cut some
round bows for the roof and cut some other pieces for the cab. By
spring the cab was finished. New safety glass was installed in all
windows, the cab was painted, and then a new roof and fabric
installed.

Since we have numerous things to do outside in the summer, we
did not start the dump body until the fall of 1996-1997. We did,
however, show the Linn at our ’96 show with the new cab and
snowplow. We also took it to the Columbia County Fair in Chatham
and displayed it there. I also interviewed some of the older
generation, some who actually operated this tractor. What an
experience they had, and what stories they could tell. I was told
that this tractor had skis on the front for a short period of time,
but they could not keep it on the snowy roads. This tractor does
not have independent brakes and clutch in the differential and when
it started pushing a large snowbank, it wanted to go straight
ahead. When they were using the wings and wanted to turn left, they
would drop the left wing into the snowbank and that would help it
turn left, and vice-versa when they wanted to make a right
turn.

In the fall we started the dump body. Club member Pat Monahan
brought his planer in and we started planning oak boards for the
body. In the spring of ’97 the body was painted. We drove the
tractor outside and raised the dump body, probably for the first
time in 40 years. This tractor was last used in 1954 to plow snow
and probably ten years before that it was used only for snow
plowing. On this particular model, the wing was fastened to the
rear of the dump body. Thus you could not lift the body when the
wing was attached. When plowing snow, usually two men would be up
in the dump body to raise the plow. One would turn the wheel on the
top in back of the cab. To raise the wings, there were two other
wheels to the back of the body, one on each side. This tractor had
a house built in the body, as did most of the Linns, and a
wood-burning stove was bolted to the floor, thus the boys in the
dump body had some heat. The driver in the cab got his heat off the
motor.

A couple of other members who need to be thanked are Dale
Barkman and Frank Pflegel for their carpenter work, painting,
advice, etc.

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