Saturday, July 27, 2013
Souped Up Farm Tractors
After 10,000 hours of hard work, we had to do a valve job on it. When I saw those big thick meaty sleeves inside the Waukesha, I always wanted to drill those sleeves out and install larger pistons with more compression. I got to do that myself in 1973 when I bought an Oliver 88 that worked the ground where people play on the grounds of King's Island Amusement Park near King's Mills, Ohio, today.
I had met a Mennonite mechanic by the name of Lawrence Gingerich of Plain City, Ohio. and we learned that Deere had hired Oliver's best engineers away from Oliver. The 4010 gas piston fit the wrist pin of the Oliver 88 so we kept milling down 4010 pistons to fit in my Oliver. I ended up with a "square engine" of 4 inch bore by 4 inch stroke. The compression went from 100 lbs to 260 lbs. That tractor would squall and I had my souped up farm tractor.
I campaigned that tractor in the Ohio State Tractor Puller's Points race for several years. I finally won the 7000 lb Out Of The Field Stock Class in 1977. Visual modifications were limited to safety equipment so you hid your power under the hood.
My brother in law Tom Bow and his son Zach got to visit us this week on the way home to Scottsdale from Naples, NY where they have been working the past two months. We took them to the Clermont County tractor pull for the farmer pulls. There was my neighbor Marty Quigley with his beautiful stock looking 1175 Case that looks like it rolled off the showroom floor.
Looks are deceiving as that is one hopped up farm tractor. He nailed the throttle, the smoke flew, he dumped the clutch, and a few seconds later he was sitting at the 350 foot marker. His hair blew over his head and he was sitting there with a big grin. That's my passion, right there.
I don't know what's under the hood, but I bet it's a lot of cubic inches fed with about double the fuel and air that tractor came out with. He made the most outstanding pull of the night, by far. People forgot about the T shirts the announcer was shooting out to the crowd with an air gun.
It was great to see my Tractor Trouble Shooting coach Richard Young presented a memorial weight scale at the fair last night. He and many of my former students were honored for their dedication to making that pull happen. For Richard, it was since 1976 when a friend and I won every class they had that year from 5000 lbs to 13,500 lbs. It was quite a day. We loved to soup up farm tractors back then and I still enjoy it today.
Did you ever soup up a farm tractor?