THREE WAHLS SAY’: ‘This Hobby Runs In The Family!’

By Staff
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Harvey A. Wahl, R.R. #1, Box 61, Dundee, Minnesota 56126 spent six months restoring this 1925 12-20 Case.
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Wahl RR #1, Box 61, Dundee, Minnesota 56126.

On 28 October, 1989, my son George and I attended the Cecil
Thomas Estate Auction at Astoria, South Dakota. Listed for sale
were approximately one hundred antique tractors in various states
of disrepair, and one hundred nineteen threshing machines which
were, for the most part, bought up by a local scrap dealer. I
purchased this 1925 12-20 Case which was completely rusted out but
appeared to be complete, including the engine crank. The fenders,
gas tank and radiator were in very good condition, but the engine
appeared to be stuck.

The following six months were spent restoring the tractor to
original condition. It was obvious that the tractor had not seen
much use pulling heavy loads since the drawbar hole showed very
little wear. I began by completely disassembling the engine and
removing every moving part except for the cam shaft and the crank
shaft. The number one and three pistons were rusted tight in the
block. I used all of the recommended penetrating solutions for
removing stuck pistons, in addition to heat and force, and I
finally removed the pistons after about two months time. The engine
turned out to be in excellent condition and only required a slight
honing of the cylinder walls and grinding of the valves.

I removed the wheels and fenders in order to better clean the
tractor and give it a coat of primer and paint. One of the rear
wheels was very difficult to remove since the pin securing the
wheel to the axle was rusted solid and had to be drilled out. Many
hours were spent sandblasting all of the parts and priming
everything before painting. I was able to purchase the original
color paint, LC Gray, from the local Case/International implement

I finished the tractor in time to drive it in the Dovray
‘Uf-da’ Days Parade and the Westbrook Hospital Days Parade
in late June. The tractor was first shown at the Butterfield Steam
and Gas Engine Show on August 18, 19, 1990. The tractor starts with
a couple of pulls of the crank and runs perfectly. The tractor, due
to its small size and excellent running condition, has turned out
to be an outstanding show piece.

A note of interest about Harvey Wahl as told to us by his son,
Thomas A. Wahl: ‘My father restored his 12-20 Case tractor this
past year. He is very active in gas engine restoration since around
1966. He has also restored two other tractors, a 1917 Titan 10-20,
and a 28-50 Hart Parr. He has been active in the Butterfield Steam
and Gas Engine Show for many years, displaying approximately twenty
gas engines along with operating a 30-60 Aultman & Taylor for a
good friend. He was also successful in developing my son’s
interest in gas engines at a very early age by giving him his very
own ‘Chore Boy’ when he could barely walk. My son Jeff, now
eleven, has continued to be a subscriber to GEM since his
grandfather bought him his first subscription around 1983.’

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