It IS a Townsend tractor even though it SAYS FAIR- MOR. Fair- Mor is a contraction of Fairbanks Morse Co. for whom Roy Townsend worked when developing this "boiler frame" concept for tractors. It's a cute little thing and stands about 80" high to the top of the stack.

We'll be chronicling the progression of this job for a while. The date is December 7, 2005, and on that day the cylinder block was removed. It was in TERRIBLE shape and was already at a local shop, Diesel Machine Service of Amherst, Wisconsin, for sleeving.

So here is what's left on the "boiler" and it IS a genuine boiler with fire tubes and all which serves as the frame as well as the radiator. Gross overkill for a radiator if ever there was.

Here's a view of the boiler with rolled and beaded fire tubes JUST like a REAL boiler, which it IS. Here's a view of the crankcase. Many people will never see a Townsend much less "get inside" one. This is the third Townsend we have been honored to work on and there is PLENTY wrong with THIS one. I suggested to the owner that sleeving MIGHT not be necessary but changed my mind in a hurry after the head was removed and advised the owner of that finding. He responded saying "I thought that might be the case when I saw fire coming past the pistons." OUCH. There is also excessive endplay in the crankshaft; the pistons are WAY out of round; the ring grooves are shot; the piston pins are junk and the piston pin bosses are sloppy.

There was no skimping on IRON in these tractors! For its size, 6 1/2" bore, the cylinder block weighs a TON and the piston and rod assemblies are no lightweights either. The connecting rod bearings are adjusted in exactly the same way as those on steam engine connecting rods using a wedge and screw affair.

I bored the piston skirt flange in order to get a true surface so I could chuck the piston using a 3 jaw chuck, from the open end, in order to turn the out-of-round skirt. Then the lands (the walls between the piston ring grooves) would need to be re-stepped as well. The lands never touch the cylinder wall but because of the serious wear in this engine they did. The closer the land is to the top of the piston the smaller it is in order to allow for expansion as the piston heats.

It is January 10, 2006, and here is the cylinder block after sleeving. We wound up with a really weird size after turning the pistons. It's .020" under the original 6.5" bore. That meant re-gapping the 10 piston rings to fit this odd bore. Three ring pistons and TEN RINGS? To avoid having custom rings made we are stacking rings in the two top grooves in both pistons. Think of it as using a wide spacer.................

The two top grooves needed to be widened from 3/8" to 7/16" as they were BADLY tapered so we used 5/16" and 1/8" rings to fill those grooves. The new 45mm (from 1 3/4")induction hardened piston pins are also in place.

It nearly kills me to say this but the Townsend was a fairly crude tractor and it shows in some of what we found after getting things all apart. The holes in the connecting rods for the piston pin bushings are WAY off center and the boring job was poor....very poor. One piston is 1/4" longer than the other although the ring grooves line up perfectly. One piston had 2 holes in the bosses to retain the pins but only one was tapped to 1/2" and one just drilled to 9/16". The other piston had only one hole drilled and tapped and the other boss left solid. Not anymore but it seemed quite strange. This update doesn't begin to SHOW the hours that have gone into this but already there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The cylinder block is ready to go back where it belongs :-) Chris, who stands about 5'9", gives an idea as to the size of this tractor. He is cleaning off the mating surfaces prior to reinstalling the block. The piston and rod assemblies were installed shortly after this photo was taken.

Another of Townsend's NOT better ideas was screwing the pushrods into the lifters. The lifter is the partially hollowed square block at the left. As the rocker levers operate the rocker arm bosses move in a slight arc and can cause binding in the lifters as the only other possible movement that can occur is a slight bending of the pushrod leading to the lifter binding issue. As you can see the threads on one of the pushrod ends we cut off HAS no threads, they're SHOT. We are welding 1" steel balls on the ends of these rods which completely eliminates the binding issue.

Here's a short video done on February 7th showing us loosening up the new engine by belting up and running it in some. This not only "breaks" in the engine some but is also a good check for bearing adjustments. The video is 52 seconds long and is about 2.3 megs in Windows Media format.


Remember that "light at the end of the tunnel" comment? Someone not only blew out the candle but STOLE it.......After digging WAAAAAY deep we discovered the flywheel side main bearing was badly worn. It wasn't visible OR noticeable while in the crankcase but due to the looseness of the clutch carrier we removed the flywheel and carrier which revealed the condition of that bearing. A 3 hour brazing job took care of the 1/8" of tapered wear in the crankshaft from the carrier and I will have to pour a new main bearing. No fast turning here with those big counterweights on the throws!!! Once this is done, and it won't take long, it'll go back together quickly........well........after boring and bushing the belt pulley anyway....... 

There are more videos of this and other projects at my youtube channel