The Power Ram: Homemade B&S Engine Tractor

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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.

We appreciate Gas Engine Magazine. We have learned a lot about
old engines. I have several stationary engines in my engine
shed.

The comment I received the most is: ‘Boy! Is that
different!’

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