Here are some of the projects with we were privileged to have been trusted. These are the ones that have the potential to make life real interesting at times and test abilities. They call for getting very creative at times.
This local, early and ultra rare, 1907 IHC 20hp friction drive came to us for repairs and tweaking. The friction reverse was not working and the decompression device had been tossed years ago making starting this engine a 3 man job. In doing the repairs we found the camshaft to be 3 teeth out of time which was determined by the operation of the decompression lobe on the cam. This advance in timing gave the engine 30 horsepower verus the 20 horsepower previously developed. The ignitor, fuel pump linkage, ignitor trip rod, clutch pulley and a number of other things were put into proper order while it was here. It's a great, fun tractor!!! Below is the proof of the authenticity of this ultra rare tractor.......a copy of the original order.
.And below is a photo I shot of an original advertising poster naming the above buyer as one of those offering a testimonial for IHC tractors.
Here are two videos. The first being the actual SALE of Esther in May of 2004 and the second shows the sale of the above poster.
The Minneapolis 20-40 Farm Motor, above, came here for general fine tuning. Not many people ever see such a tractor much less work on one.
This is a 25-50 Townsend tractor while still at the famous Oscar Cooke site at Billings, MT. It had a bent connecting rod, a broken corner in the crankcase and that was only for starters. We essentially overhauled the engine, welded the crankcase and many other details including a bad reverse shifter which was defective from the day it left the factory. By the way......while in Montana the engine was stuck......tight. By the time it bumped and rattled its way to Wisconsin it was LOOSE.
This was the beginning of the restoration of the only complete Townsend power unit engine in existance as far as we know. The engine came from John Tysse, of Crosby, ND, who was wise enough to see it was saved. The pistons were stuck like concrete and it went downhill from there at the start. Hardly a part remained that was not repaired. Amazingly, the Fairbanks cooler (radiator) only had 3 pinhole leaks and they were at the bottom of the front sheet..what luck!
We had to use our imagination as to how this might have been mounted as we were told by John it had originally been mounted on a separator in Canada. We modified trucks to accommodate the engine and gas tank. It is an easy starter and sweet running engine. It's doubtful one will ever again have an opportunity like this.
Some time ago I spoke of a very late, 1909 as far we know, IHC 20hp Type A Friction Drive chassis. At this stage it was far more than a rolling chassis. A totally correct engine for this tractor turned out to be unobtainable.......but there are ways around that. A suitable engine was purchased but required having patterns made and casting of proper flywheels. It took a while but the job got done.
When the crankshaft came back from modification we found the Bronze main bearing shells were not useable. They were badly worn anyway, we discovered, so another dilemma. We decided to bore out enough material from the thick shells to allow for babbitting which turned out well. The setup was kind of interesting though. You can't beat a load leveler for this kind of work! That and a REALLY precision level. These are rather large journals and there was not a lot of room for the pour which made the pouring difficult.........but things turned out well.
Here's a shot of the finished main bearings after much scraping for the PERFECT fit. Scraping babbitt is not fun! It's hard on the arms, hands and shoulders but a proper bearing requires proper scraping.
It had been a while but it was now July 1, 2007 and here's how the 20HP had progressed. The coming week brought substantial headway to this project as the owner had a week off.......and the SHOW was a week off.
Below are three videos of the IHC 20hp from August 14 and 15, 2007. This was literally one of those "wet paint" deals and while though no paint was involved the Baraboo show WAS.
There are more videos of this and other projects at my youtube channel