Posts Tagged ‘Mike’s 1953 Allis Chalmers WD’

Big wheels keep on turnin!

As we all know big wheels don’t turn if they don’t have air in them. Usually, that’s not so much of a problem. Sometimes it is!

Old worn tread and cracked tires can be problem but it doesn’t mean you can’t keep air them. As we all know the tube can always be replaced. But as I found out even though you fix a tube it won’t get you out of the mud if the steel in the wheel doesn’t quite make it all the way round the wheel.

As I have said before Allis had been parked in a snow bank for many years and it was obvious that the years in the snow had taken it’s toll. This started my first quest, to make the spin outs operate again. It’s nice to be able to adjust the width of the wheels when dealing with narrow trails.

Even though rust can really damage steel spin out parts, as we found out they can still be freed and still be usable. Getting them freed was a trick. Heat did not work. Force didn’t work either. We tried torches, breaker bars and impact wrenches nothing would turn those bolts. I even took them to a tire shop and they couldn’t get them to turn. So finally I tried the Hammer. Yes, the Hammer can be one your best friends even when your working on tractors.

I took the wheel, after pounding the hub off the axle spindle, and set it down on a section of log. At first I tried pounding it apart right side up. But because the tires absorbed to much shock I couldn’t get it to budge. So I turn the wheel upside down and began pounding the wheel or the spin outs off the wheel hub. The bolts of course had been removed. After a few big hits the spin outs began to nudge and move. Finally the tire and wheel fell to ground.

Trying ot get the wheel off the hub.

The wheel had some rust around the valve stem, but not bad. The spin outs were solid rust though. They looked like there was no possible way to save them. This is where, once again Nick (Warner Engineering LLC) comes in, he took them and sand blasted them to get them cleaned out. He soaked them penetrating oil for a few days and then put them in a 50 ton press. The adjusting bolt finally moved and came out. We cleaned up the parts and painted everything except the wheel and put it back together.

Spin outs finally apart and ready for paint!

Spin outs

Looks nice!

But that’s not what I was going to talk about here. It was good effort but if the other tire won’t hold air it was all for nothing. A tire without air is a tractor stuck in the mud, and a tractor stuck in the mud is going to be there for a while!

Happy of my success with the spin outs on the other wheel. I parked the tractor in the driveway and ran into town for more gas. Usually that’s not a problem but when you leave it parked in the summer sun and there is a small hole in the wheel at the valve stem the heat of the sun will do something unwanted! By the time I got back, the air was escaping from the tire. The small hole, did I say small hole, I should say large hole in the wheel let the sun heat and crack the tube. Well that’s a bad thing. The tube won’t hold air that way.

So it all begins again. This time the spin outs turn and wheel comes off easy.

Years ago people needed weight on the drive wheels for tractors. They had choice of hanging weights off the wheel hubs or on the rear axle. As many people did they added weight to actual tire. It does center the weight right over the center of the traction. But in order to get weight in the tire it needs to be a liquid. So someone had the great idea of grinding sedimentary rock like calcite or gypsum into a fine powder and mixing it with enough water to dilute it into a solution to inject it into the tire. Sounds rather ingenious. A great idea. Well calcium seems to be very hungry for steel and even though it’s inside a rubber tube it still manages to make way to the outside. This is the real problem here. The calcium made it’s way to the outside and rusted out wheel.

Rust rotted hole in wheel

Like I said, it was not a small hole and the steel wheel no longer extends all the way around the wheel any more.

So this how I decided to fix it. Buying a new wheel was more money than I had at the moment, plus I would need to buy two. So I decided to rebuild the one I had.

Area to cut out of the wheel to replace.

Replacement piece of sheet metal for the inside.

Stay turned lots more to come!

Almost ready to weld the patch

Close up of patch area

Welding the patch


Grinding the patch

Almost done!

Ready for paint!

Lookin good!

This is why you need a good welder! Thanks Nick, Warner Engineering LLC, Wow what a nice job. A little paint and we’ll be ready to put the new tire on.

The Bucket Job

Well I have been busy trying to fix other things, Allis needs a bit of fixin. Anyway this post is about the bucket.

It should be a well known fact that before you start welding you should at least know what your doing!

Obviously, the person who had this tractor some time back, liked to weld but had no idea what he was doing. So Nick, Owner of Warner Engineering LLC, began helping me rebuild the bucket. I started with the large extension for scooping snow, bolted onto the outside of the bucket. It was not attached strong enough to do much of anything. I will try to get a picture of the infamous bucket extension. The bucket was rusted out on the bottom.

The bucket

So the previous welder began welding and bolting a pieces of sheet metal and long spikes onto the rotted out section of the bottom of the bucket. We cut all of the spikes out and cut the pieces of sheet metal off. The bucket had been redesigned so well that it would lift the bucket instead of digging. Now this is a trap bucket with a large spring loaded pin that holds the bucket in place while digging. The neat thing is that the cotter pins had gone away so the perfect replacement, as we all know, are nails. I know that works for the time being but well over ten years it just looks bad.

After cutting all of the old rusted steel off, Nick brought in a new piece of rolled steel plate and welded that into place. Along with a newly created corner and edge reinforcements. This replaces the side cutting edge and adds structure to weld the bottom rolled plate in place. We used diamond plate to fix the sides and beef up the cutting edge. and added reinforcement to the top of the back of the bucket. All it needs now is to drill the holes for lift arm pins and center the trap connector on the back of bucket reinforcement.

Grinding the bucket after cutting off rotten metal.

Fitting new corner and cutting edge.

I will have more photos to show the progress of this rebuild, including the final product.

The bucket almost ready for final pieces to be added.

Welding the bottom diamond plate on.

A leaky radiator

An old leaky radiator needs to be replaced. That turns into restoring the rusted radiator shutters. Manufacturing a new shutter control and fixing sheet metal hood and front grill.

Well, after pulling the tractor out the snow bank up the road, I drove Ol’ Allis home and saw the radiator was leaking coolant pretty bad. It was also running on just a battery since the generator no was longer producing any power. But that’s another story.

The radiator packed with 50 years or so of dirt, coolant, and oil had been rusting and corroding all along the bottom. The upper part was just cracked and running coolant all over the ground. I broke loose the grime and managed to pull the grill off with only losing one bolt on the inspection cover for the front steering and the control knob for the radiator shutters. Now I had my first look at the radiator shutters. Rusted in a solid glob of dirt and rust it was not going to move easily.

The shutters began to move as I soaked them in cleaner and penetrating oil. My neighbor Nick, Owner of Warner Engineering LLC offered to remake the shutter control knob. So the shutters and pieces of the control knob went with him to get sand blasted and re-manufactured. When it came back everything was ready for paint. The shutters and control knob almost looked brand new. You can’t tell it from the original.

I decided to buy a new radiator from Walt’s Tractor Parts. I got the lesser expensive model made in China, but it works fine and all of the bolt holes fit perfectly. With the new radiator installed and the shutters back on all painted it looks and runs very nice. Next job is the hood and grill.

I sanded the grill and then began the task of removing the dents. I used a rubber mallet and a block wood and pounded everything straight again. I also did the same to the hood. I had a couple of tears in the sheet metal, so it was back to the neighbor’s and we welded them back together. It’s not finished yet but it looks very good. A little more sanding and it will be ready for paint.

The old leaky radiator

Rusted radiator shutters

Hood getting a sanded

Hood needs repairs, crackedHood Ready for paint

Hood Ready for paint

1953 Allis Chalmers WD

This is a tale about Allis, WD that is. Allis was rescued from a snow drift in late spring of 2005. Dead battery, bad points, wouldn’t run. This tale is about Allis’ return to glory.

Please be patient as I have never done this before. I was told that it is very simple and intuitive. We’ll see!

A new battery!

Allis WD

Allis Wd driving up the driveway.