The Power Ram: Homemade B&S Engine Tractor

| January/February 1989

  • Homemade B&S Engine Tractor

  • Homemade B&S Engine Tractor

  • Homemade B&S Engine Tractor

  • Homemade B&S Engine Tractor
  • Homemade B&S Engine Tractor
  • Homemade B&S Engine Tractor

R.R. 4, Box 4A Colona, Illinois 61241

As a child I was fascinated with mechanical devices of every type, mainly automotive. At the age of 8 years old I was reprimanded very sternly because I tore a Model T rear end down my father had in the barnyard and was made to put it back together again. I am not an educated man. Eighth grade was maximum for a farm life of hard work. I read an article in the January issue of the Gas Engine Magazine about the 6-12 Maytag tractor. I was fascinated. I called Dale Luttig of Kansas and asked him about the interest that was created by the new device.

So I proceeded to create the power ram. I started with a 16 HP hydrostat Jacobson garden tractor. Traded the engine with a rod out for six 5-S Briggs and Stratton engines. Then, to the junkyard, where I bought my iron for the frame and my five foot jack shaft. I built my frame putting the Briggs & Stratton engines, three in a row, side by side using a '56 Ford starter and many sleepless nights going to the garage to figure out different problems. Thanks to the advice of many friends, it went together. I first used chain drive from engine to engine. That was a mistake. It took out my crankshafts. I may be ahead of myself. I extended the tractor frame thirteen inches, making a manifold out of a 3? x 2? x 6 inches long square. Tubing was my distributor box. I ran a ?-inch copper pipe tubing to each engine from the distributor box. Mounted on top was an 02 feedback two stage Holly carburetor which was a frustrating adventure.

The problem encountered was a low velocity intake manifold under a high velocity carburetor. Starting the tractor was easy. It idled excellent but under fast acceleration or power on a hill it went into a flood convulsion. Changing jets would not help. The problem seemed to be that the vacuum would pull the gas through the carburetor in droplets and not into a mist form. Then it would wet the manifolds. The engine would either die or flood out until it would finally clear itself. The problem was cured using an updraft Zenith carburetor of a smaller venturi size to raise my manifold vacuum. Before I forget to tell you, I traded my chain drive for four couplers. I am firing each bank in threes in sequential order every two thirds revolution. Chrome sink drain pipe works very nice for exhaust. It has a beautiful sound of a hot six cylinder engine. It seems strange to lose the Briggs & Stratton putt-putt sound.

Each engine ignition consists of one twelve volt Chrysler coil, one condensor and a resistor. The original point system is used on each engine for its timing, using a 1968 Chrysler air-conditioner clutch mounted to the jack shaft in front with the starter above it on a V belt pulley. This engages and releases the starter on demand from the ignition switch. An electric fuel pump is employed. Each engine has a turn off toggle switch I use for safety reasons around a show. The photos I have sent can explain more than I can. It is painted in a Chrysler deep maroon metallic with a brass gas tank on the front. It was meant to look like a drag tractor using Cub aluminum running boards for frame and rails and a footrest. I have never seen one built before and I have no lathe, only a cutting torch and electric welder.

The emblems on the tractor are Dodge truck emblems. I still have a few mistakes and some problems I need to work out but I think I am on the way to completion. It seems to be an outstanding show piece. We are so pleased to see people crowded around it taking pictures, asking questions, most important: 'can we hear it run?' To my knowledge I know of no other tractor built of such a design. If anyone has built a design like this I would appreciate hearing from them.


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