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Fordson Tractors Discussion Forum

Fordson in the snow

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Dave Kahle

02-03-2011 18:48:21

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I've posted a poor quality video of my 1919 Fordson on skis on youtube. "1919 Fordson Snowmobile" I was told it wouldn't turn but it handles pretty well - ought to have fenders though!

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Maine Fordson

02-07-2011 13:43:31

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 Re: Fordson in the snow in reply to scottd, 02-03-2011 18:48:21  
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OK, now I remember seeing it; that was your tractor which was shown in the photos [URL=]in this thread[/URL] back in October.

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Yes, please do; we'd like to make one of these Fordson snow-goers for our local living-history farm museum (to be used in winter logging and ice-harvesting activities), and any knowledge and/or pictures you can contribute to assist us with that would be greatly appreciated!

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Butch Howe

02-05-2011 20:54:45

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 Re: Fordson in the snow in reply to Dave Kahle, 02-03-2011 18:48:21  
Hi Dave, I see you have figured out the geometry of the skis. I remember talking with you about it at the national show. Tractor looks great. I don't know which video I like best, this or the compressed air breakin....Butch

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Maine Fordson

02-04-2011 17:05:11

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 Re: Fordson in the snow in reply to Dave Kahle, 02-03-2011 18:48:21  
Great rig! I've seen 80-year-old pictures that show this set-up; I always wondered just how well they went in the snow. Did you try it in deep snow? Looked like the trip over the snowbank was a bit of a challenge, and I wonder how it would do in deeper snow.

Were the Grid-Iron-Grip wheels installed on the tractor when you got it, or were they a later find?

Can you post some pictures showing how you made the skis?

Thanks for sharing!

-- Maine Fordson

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Dave Kahle

02-05-2011 16:52:11

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 Re: Fordson in the snow in reply to Maine Fordson, 02-04-2011 17:05:11  
When I get some deep snow I'll have a go at it and post the results. The tractor was purchased in Ontario, California a few years ago. I bought it primarily for the perfect 6 spoke rears which I have powder coated and waiting for a 1918 restoration project I have planned. When I received the tractor I found that the crank, cam, fuel tanks, manifold, carb, seat, etc. were all beyond rapair and had to be replaced. We drove the pistons out with a sledge hammer and completely redid the valve system. The rear wheels in the picture were on a tractor I purchased in Michigan some years back. When I restored it I put the original style grouser rears on it and rebuilt and powder coated the Grid-Iron-Grips for the snow-tractor project. The original 1919 tractor did not have the ladder style radiator sides but I wanted it to be the same as the picture that I am certain you saw from 80 - 90 years ago so I redid it with a new core and the ladder sides.

I reverse engineered the skis by copying pictures I found on the net. They are laminated white oak, 4" wide and banded on the leading and trailing ends and bottom with hand formed 1/4 x 4" cold rolled steel. The hubs were salvaged from rusted F & H aftermarket wheels I dug out of the scrap. I cut off the spokes, turned the hub to a constant diameter and constructed U-bolts to attach the hub to the top part of the skis. There are 1/4" x 4" steel plates on top and below the hubs through which run the U-bolts and all-thread which go from top to bottom. I probably spent about as much time and money making the skis as I did restoring the tractor.

The tie-rod was tricky as the ends of the skis move at a different rate than the point at which the original tie-rod attaches. We constructed a spring loaded tie-rod to replace the original to fix that problem. I have no idea how they dealt with the problem a hundred years ago.

The steering wheel is a reproduction of an original 1918 maple wheel which was made up of eight segments in two plys which are fingerjointed just like the original. We made that in our shop.

I have spent some time in the woods with the tractor and was impressed by how well it handles crossing dead fallen trees and ruts etc. The faster it is driven the easier it handles. The video was all taken in high gear at about 3/4 throttle and the snow bank took all the torque I had.

There are additional pics which show the skis more clearly on this site dated 10-05-10.

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02-04-2011 13:23:49

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 Re: Fordson in the snow in reply to Dave Kahle, 02-03-2011 18:48:21  
Neat...thanks for the chuckle. Looks like the pup-dog was having a lot of fun also.!!


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