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Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications

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Pastor John

01-09-2017 16:54:12




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I'm fond of the phrase "that looks like a Rube Goldberg" idea!
An idea than is unconventional or odd.
Tell me your tractor mods that work for you. Example like aluminum foil around the manifold.




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ZangFarms

01-13-2017 12:03:27




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  
I'm currently planning to find a powershift out of a 70-90 series to put in my 1030 to make it a little bit nicer on the baler, and also just for the heck of it just to see I I can do it and to have something probably nobody else does.
If I get my powershift project done I'd like to reverse a tractor and build myself a big loader for loading round bales something similar to the 656 that was pictured earlier.

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KENIND

01-12-2017 08:59:43




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  
Home made 3 point on a DC. Put a bolt in each side of the rear bale lift. Then bolted a piece of 4 in channel steel to the top holes of the lift used the top link hook up. Before you hook the channel steel up drill a hole in each one to put the 3 point pins in. I use my one of my DC's set up this way to grade my drive way. Father in law also pulled a 6 foot brush hog on it this way...........KEN

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X-Y switch

01-11-2017 17:25:39




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  
I made a GB Vista several years before the G1000 was on the market.



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Ron Sa

01-11-2017 05:49:59




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  

The weird looking vehicle is a MODIFIED #14 motor grader. I am sure Rube started smiling when one of my co-workers did this project. This project happen near the beginning of what would become the Cat Challenger. Its purpose was to answer the question “what were the traction characteristics of a rubber track?

What looks like a standard “bulldozer” is a modified D4. The standard 4 cylinder engine, without a turbo producing about 60hp, was replaced with a 6 cylinder with a turbo producing 250hp in highway truck applications. A bigger radiator was installed. This produced a crawler tractor with about the same power and weigh as the Steiger. The 4WD Steiger was leading the horsepower race in the Ag market. Tests were run comparing these two tractors having equal hp. The results were the steel tracks “blew away” the tires. We had to jack the Steiger hp to over 300 to keep up with the 250hp Cat. Of course, steel tracks tore up roads and could not go fast on roads. The rubber track solved the road problem except for some scuffing at corners. The 8-tire Steigers were also scuffing so the road commissioners toned down their yelling---some!!! We all know that motor graders drive both the front and rear tires of the tandem. Early on, to friction drive both the front and rear wheels inside the rubber track was necessary in order to spin the rubber track on the ground. Hence, the motor grader’s tandem drive feature was “convenient” for our traction tests of the rubber track. A worn out motor grader, parked on junk row, got selected for modifications as seen in the picture.

The favorable results of the traction tests caused Upper Management to shell out some money to proceed with an Ag tractor on rubber tracks. Rube would keep smiling as more weird development vehicles came along on rubber tracks.

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ind38

01-13-2017 20:00:38




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Ron Sa, 01-11-2017 05:49:59  
ron sa;the cat prototype with the 4 tires and no tracks was also tested on our family farm right after being built. that is southeast of washburn,il.which is about 30 miles northeast of Peoria,il. I believe it was in early 70's. at night they would hide it in an old barn and cover it up. was wondering if you remember it being tested out here? thanks for sharing your imformation. john thierer



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Ron Sa

01-10-2017 17:31:49




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  

Wilson IND and others,
There were four production prototypes built like the one in Wyoming,Il. Here is a picture of one of the four. The red tractor I posted with the yellow radiator is also in Wyoming under the same roof.

To make Upper Management happy, Frankenstein lost his front tires. He ended up nicely painted in a Cat dealer's collection in north central USA. Frankie Jr. was suppose to go into Cat's planned Ag tractor museum in DeKalb, Il. When Cat sold the Ag business to AgCo, the museum plans were abandon and Frankie Jr. vanished. I have tried to find Frankie Jr. but no luck. The trail got cold in Wisconsin. We found the two tractors now in Wyoming, Il at Iowa State University.

The tractor with long tracks and V8 also vanished. This was a highly MODIFIED D3 never intended for production. The rear end and steering system was D3. The transmission was a 13 speed Roadranger connected to a 3208 engine. Frankie 3 is a CH 75B. Frankie 4 is operational but no pictures allowed.

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wilson ind

01-11-2017 05:22:41




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Ron Sa, 01-10-2017 17:31:49  
I did see the red one but the old guy said not to talk about it. Did you work with the Wyoming fellow? I too have a hyd pump and motor from a cement mixer. Was hoping to find a large dozer needing an engine. Plan was to place hyd motor just in front of differential as older cats out west . Sadly I just got too old for this type of project. Several Cats bought after interstate were bought cheap by local ranchers. Many simply places engine and transmission from a road tractor. Sure sped up the crawler for field work. How many have seen a cat crawler with a Cummins and roadranger?

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Ron Sa

01-10-2017 15:25:32




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  

This is a MODIFIED IH 656---Okay extremely modified. The rear end, transmission, steering column, and hydraulics are 656. Its cold outside so how about another story. LOL.

About 15 years ago, I was looking for a "low budget" hydrostatic tractor so I was watching the Internet for an IH Hydro. Good ones are not low budget. I found one being parted out 500 miles away without the engine and some other parts missing that I could scrounge up. I ask the salvage yard twice "is it a Hydro?" They assured me it was. The price was right. When it arrived, it was NOT a Hydro---bummer!!! My other "bummer" was I had a fork lift attachment for the loader on my 4010. It was a strain to see the end of the forks that were blocked from sight by the tractor's engine and radiator. I reasoned, I needed to be up where the engine was and the engine needed to be in the back where I sat.

EBay had a hefty hydrostatic pump and motor (probably off a cement mixer truck) on auction starting for $100--condition unknown. I risk the $100 and no other bidders. Both units were good. I had rear wheels and front axle laying around off Frankie Jr.--see below. Building a hydrostatic loader with the engine in the rear was starting to look promising---the only main component missing was an engine. Nearby, a salvage yard had parted out a Gleaner E3 that had belt drives from the engine. The power unit was laying in the dirt--salvage yard said "internal condition unknown". I offered him much less than what was ask. When I started to walk away he said OKAY. The engine's condition and radiator turned out to be very good. To my surprise, inside the valve cover it was "squeaky clean".

The picture is what eventually resulted. The red loader, seen on the John Deere got mounted on my MODIFIED 656. I can't find a picture of the complete loader.

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wilson ind

01-11-2017 13:56:07




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Ron Sa, 01-10-2017 15:25:32  
Like the D series fuel tank on rear!



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Ron Sa

01-10-2017 11:22:35




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  

This is a modification that I made to the radiator elbow on two of my DCs. My 1930 Case L also got a similar modification. The pipe plug has a strong magnet mounted to it. It traps rust flakes and rust sludge.



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Ande

01-10-2017 16:40:28




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Ron Sa, 01-10-2017 11:22:35  
Ron, I really like that idea! Thank you
Dan



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Ron Sa

01-10-2017 08:52:02




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  

Obviously, cabin fever is taking its toll on me and be careful what you ask for. HA!

I am permitted to show you this modification to a CH75 to get rid of the "rumble strip" ride. It works. The tires caster about 30 degrees each direction and are ONLY for road travel going forward where the ride is bad. For field work and reverse, the tires retract upward about a foot.

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greenenvy

01-10-2017 10:31:05




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Ron Sa, 01-10-2017 08:52:02  
I rode with a guy once on one of those. We were pulling a heavy harrow about 10-12 mph and the tractor was rocking back and forth at those speeds and it felt like you were out on the water. Something like that mod in your picture I think would have helped the ride.



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Ron Sa

01-10-2017 16:00:25




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to greenenvy, 01-10-2017 10:31:05  
Yes. The tires can solve not only ride and wear problems on the road but also ride problems in the field. I observed our (Cat) Challengers chasing combines while pulling 1000 bu grain carts. Over 10 mph, they were bucking bronco's. Wheel tractors are similar over 10 mph pulling carts. The two-track concept will nose-dive going over a ridge such as a terrace.


Frnakie 4 is in the works and will not have these problems.

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Ron Sa

01-10-2017 07:15:39




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  

I thought that Rube was very happy with what I did at Cat. I was the designer and builder of all except the one with the very long track and the Cat V8. These were all EARLY RESEARCH in the early 70s leading up to the Cat Challenger. All have long stories.

The front tires are a solution to the Challenger's "rumble strip" ride on the highway and also the excessive belt wear on the highway. If I showed you a picture of my latest version now in my home shop, I would have to shoot you because I am under contract with one of the companies that I cannot name.

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wilson ind

01-10-2017 10:57:09




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Ron Sa, 01-10-2017 07:15:39  
In Wyoming ILL there is a fellow who has an early either experimental or very early tracked challenger. Don't even think it was called challenger on side panel. Quite he worked for cat. He in now older and retired. He does not use the think, just keeps in in his building. Shows it by innovation only.



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Ron Sa

01-11-2017 10:18:16




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to wilson ind, 01-10-2017 10:57:09  

The tractor on tracks is its final configuration now in Wyoming, Il. The wheel tractor is the other tractor in Wyoming. I am mistaken that the second tractor was one of four prototypes on tracks.

Anyone finding my stories too long, ignore with my blessings. Writing is good medicine for my cabin fever HA!!


The old guy (Mr Schaffer) that has the tractors in Wyoming is/was a local farmer and was not my co-worker. Years ago, he had an interest in collecting Cat "research" tractors—probably because his farm hosted some of the development tractors on test. One of the guys (Don H) in the development program drove the lowboy that hauled the research tractors from place to place so Don and Mr. Schaffer became good friends.


Don was our most valuable member of the skunk works—our gofer. He could go to the motor pool and check out a vehicle full of fuel--no questions ask. He could go the assembly line and be given parts—no paper trail. Need a turbo—tell Don---no charge. Later when we found the two tractors at Iowa State and some of us wanted them “back home”, Don had connections. Don talked Iowa State into returning the tractors. Don knew Mr. Schaffer would keep them. Don checked out a lowboy, full of fuel and hauled the tractors “back home” to Wyoming. No paper trail.


When the man from Upper Management found Frankenstein, he said to me “I am going on vacation for two weeks and when I get back I want that “thing” to have disappeared”!!!!!!! Disappeared was the key word not dismantled. I am sure the man meant dismantled but-----. The plan became I would tell co-workers that Frankenstein was “disappearing” to my farm for tests which was the truth. I was not stealing the “thing”. I knew Don could haul it and he did—no cost and no paper trail. The proverbial stuff hit the fan. That was the closest I ever came to getting fired.


Later Don would haul Frankenstein back to the proving grounds into the hands of “friendly” coworkers and they would remove the front wheels. Later Don would haul Frankie Jr to my farm for tests and then to Dekalb for the planned museum. The tractors intended for the museum were kept outside along the back fence.

When Cat sold out to AgCo, we knew the research tractors would likely be junked. We knew Don could get a company lowboy and drive in and load up the tractors one or two at a time and the guards would let him do it because of the company truck’s logos. All Don needed was for me or others to tell him where to deliver the tractors to. Having escaped being fired once, I wanted to find them “legitimate” homes. Others moved the tractors before we could contact Three Sisters Park near Peoria which would have, very likely, been glad to have the tractors.

Bottom line—Frankie Jr. vanished. I have control of Frankie 3 and Frankie 4. Frankenstein found a home with a Cat dealer’s old tractor collection in north central USA. I used to know exactly where.

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Don Rudolph

01-10-2017 10:35:46




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Ron Sa, 01-10-2017 07:15:39  
Thanks for posting these pics and some tractor history. Must have been fun working undercover on new ideas. Don



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CaseDC3

01-10-2017 07:55:40




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Ron Sa, 01-10-2017 07:15:39  

Ron sa, I am fascinated by your work, and your humility. If had your brains and talents, I would be telling everyone I see on the street. I wouldn't ever shut up. If you do not remember me, I own the old Converse 3 bottom. Thanks for not shooting me in your machine shop or shed! I attached a photo of the plows current home.
Hope you are well, and all the best to you this new year!

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Ron Sa

01-10-2017 10:29:08




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to CaseDC3, 01-10-2017 07:55:40  

DC3. Yes, I remember you. Probably told you the history of your Converse BER plow. Did I show you pics of it rusty and being loaded in my trailer using an M Farmall and loader in KS?

To buy it, I had to promise Chuck Converse that his plow would have a good home during my life time. He died but would be happy with the good home that you are giving it.

The D6 on rubber tracks with steerable front axle got named "Frankenstein" by a co-workers because it was so ugly. Cat's upper management could not tolerate tires on their Crawler tractors so the "good ride" idea had to go.

We had a "skunk works" dept. and could try ideas without upper management's knowledge or intervention. The D6 had run day and night several thousand hours testing the durability of the rubber track and became surplus parked on "junk row". The skunk work welder put the front tires on the surplus D6 with my guidance and hand sketched parts. The first upper management manager to eventually spot Frankenstein somewhat secluded in a remote building inquired and found that I was responsible. I almost got fired. My seat-of-the-pants driving the D6 with the tires convinced me of the good idea for a better ride on the highway.

Later on my farm, I would try again and build the 8830 Ford on tracks with front tires. Another long story. My wife called the Ford "Frankie Jr." The included picture of the Challenger is "Frankie 3". Probably in just a few guess's you could guess what my confidential project might look like.

We painted the red one with yellow radiator with Versatile colors in order to not let John Deere know that Cat was researching a belted Ag tractor. Deere was not worried about what Versatile was doing but they closely watched what Caterpillar was doing. Best wishes.

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451 CUBES

01-11-2017 10:28:05




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Ron Sa, 01-10-2017 10:29:08  
Ron Sa
Thank you for posting this - I really enjoyed reading this!



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RGMartin

01-10-2017 06:22:50




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  
Put Delco 42MT starters on 70 series tractors to help with cold weather starting.



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Ron Sa

01-10-2017 06:17:37




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  

I put a starter and distributor on my 1930 Case L.



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old

01-09-2017 20:49:48




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  
How about my Farmall BA. From the front back to the transmission is it B but form there back an A. I built it out of 2 parts Bs and one wrecked A. Did it because the A came wit ha sickle bar mower so built it to mow hay with



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olgentdc

01-09-2017 20:28:56




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  
today I made a heat houser out of tyvek,. it took me all of 5 mihutes and it looks it too ,.. Most Important it kept me warm while I raked up corn stover for 3hrs this afternoon in 18-25 degree temps .. I was grinning ear to ear when my nephew showed up ,.. and I told him this aint my 1st rodeo,.. I have tarped up a DC to keep me warm many a time.. I do intend to make metal inserts to drape dwwn over the motor and make a tin insulator for the exhaust manifold to fasten the tarp away from exhaust, I intend to put a handle holfd on top of each fender , this will also tie off the end of tarp, the front portion will lock into the engine side panels ,.. I also have a plate of plexiglass for a windshield to place in between the battery and the gas tnk // I have shutters for the radiator to install but a feedsack and rubber strap is a lot quiker

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oleclint

01-09-2017 20:05:24




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  
Dad bought a new 1950 DC4 in june of 1951. { Hold over } It had that stupid left hand clutch lever. At the time we had a 1943 S C with the rite hand clutch. He made the dealer move the DC clutch lever over to the rite side , so they would match The dealer said the warintee will be voided by doing that. Dad said do it anyway, He was thinking about the safety angel. A few yrs. latter we did another DC ourselves. Never had any trouble with the changes. clint

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DKase

01-09-2017 19:29:32




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  
I have a reversed DC with a loader on it. Works pretty good. Does chores every day. 20.8 X 38 tires on the DC4 to get through the mud in the cattle yards in the spring. Also have hydrostatic power steering on a 930 from a 960 combine. Would not be without it! I would like to reverse my 310, and push the 8' 3 pt finish mower that I have. Does anyone know if the ring gear and pinion can be turned up side down in a 310?

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centash

01-09-2017 18:22:23




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  
Once had a 55 Massey Harris that someone dropped a Detroit 3-71 diesel in. Cut the tub lengthwise and made it about 8 inches wider, using 1 inch plate to join it together. Hood and grille trimmed to fit.Hydraulic clutch with master cylinder from a GM car. Starter was engaged by moving forward a long lever similar to a Deere hand clutch. Front tires, rims replaced with 11L -16 tires, rears were 23x26. Muffler firmly braced to the hood. Actually, was quite well done, looked like it could have been a factory conversion kit. Would go like stink on the road and had a real nice enough bellow to it. Ben

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Don Rudolph

01-09-2017 17:55:46




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  
Pastor John,

The craziest mods to a tractor I ever saw were made to a DC LP I bought, sight unseen, in Texas. It had a backhoe assembly chained to the rear axles and a pipe cobbled onto the seat bracket area for additional support (which broke off the top of the PTO/hydraulic housing). There were no outriggers, only 18.4-38 loaded rear tires dished as far out as possible. The loader from a large backhoe was mounted on the front in a similar fashion, not using chains but home made brackets of varying shapes and sizes. The AWF had been torched off and replaced with a Dodge military truck front end that was steered with a remote hydraulic ram. The side of the radiator cast housing was chopped out to run a belt driven, high capacity hydraulic pump mounted on the side of the radiator and block. Thank God the guy had a cutting torch!

The next worst was a DCS turned into a cane loader, another nightmare from the far south. Nothing on it that hadn't been torched or welded by someone with no talent. Don

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wilson ind

01-09-2017 17:46:28




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  
Stacked two mag drive hyd pumps on 49 DC one for loader, other for power steering from Case combine with control spliced in so called chicken roost . Used plow solid axel. Made hyd top link for fast hitch from scraped eagle hitch cylinder. Removed weak pony engine from 70 JD diesel. Replaced with fabed bracket and GMC 6 71 starter.



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451 CUBES

01-09-2017 17:25:09




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  
Geez I could post a thousand my grandpa had. How bout a milk crate (old steel one) to replace a rusted out battery box on an Allis WC. Coil spring out of an old car under the seat. He had a 120V receptacle and a plug on the wire to the headlights on his Moline 5 Star after the light switch quit. He ran a 4" stovepipe through the hood of the 5 Star for years. Wired tight around the hood. Couldn't hear real well when he got older....Not sure if these are the type of modifications you are talking about, but I could post many more repairs by a depression era mindset.

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Ron Sa

01-13-2017 04:13:18




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to 451 CUBES, 01-09-2017 17:25:09  
My older brother farmed with a big Minnnie having a straight pipe. He also ran a dozer having a Jimmie diesel and no muffler. He loved the sound of power. Was very hard of hearing in his old age. sigh!!!



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casecollectorsc

01-09-2017 17:21:13




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  
I bought a couple DCs this fall. One has a contraption to make it a sort of foot clutch using the hand clutch and a foot pedal and springs...Rube Golberg at its best.



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Adirondack case guy

01-09-2017 17:09:50




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Pastor John, 01-09-2017 16:54:12  
Well, How about a hotdog in that aluminum foil for a hot lunch. HeHe.
Loren



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olgentdc

01-09-2017 20:30:57




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Adirondack case guy, 01-09-2017 17:09:50  
btdt with Vienna sausages



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olgentdc

01-09-2017 20:32:07




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to olgentdc, 01-09-2017 20:30:57  
ohh ,,, don't forget to vent the can 1st,.. guess how I know



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Chuck Machinist

01-09-2017 17:53:50




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 Re: Let's hear your off the wall Tractor modifications in reply to Adirondack case guy, 01-09-2017 17:09:50  
John, Remember the extension Dad welded on the WD-9 foot clutch, so Ken could reach it . I swear it had a 30 lb spring .OH! Heavy duty wire ties to hold down a battery on the 411, at least until I fab up the rest of the battery box.HEE



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