Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sad Tractor News...

When I knew I was going to be moving up to northern Wisconsin, I asked a friend of mine if he could store my 1950 Allis-Chalmers "B" tractor in his garage. He said that he had lots of room and it would be no problem.

This spring, when I went to pick it up, I found that it had been sitting outside, and by the looks of it, probably all last winter. When I got it home, I noticed that the oil was over full, and the anti-freeze was low. That's not a good combination.

Today, the weather was nice and the garage was warm, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to look at the tractor. The first thing I did was remove the spark plugs. 3 of them looked normal, 1 was rusty. I put the hand crank on and tried to give the engine a turn. I couldn't budge it. The engine wouldn't turn over. I got out my little Mityvac and hooked up a long plastic tube and the 4 oz. brake bleeding catch can. I put the tube into the #2 cylinder, the one with the rusty spark plug, and pumped. I pumped out 8 oz. of rusty brown water. Not good!

The antique tractor forums are full of suggestions on how to free it up, but most people agree that you have to pull the head to see how bad it is! I really didn't want to tear into it. It was a nice running tractor before this happened. I hadn't had it running in years, but I always kept it inside. It sat outside with no cap on the exhaust and water probably filled the cylinder through an open exhaust valve.

I guess I have to decide what I want to do with it... sell it as an un-running tractor, or tear into it and maybe have to buy an engine rebuild kit? The engine is designed with removable/replaceable cylinder sleeves. They just press out, but it involves a complete tear down. It's possible that the head my have cracked, or the water in the cylinder may have cracked the cylinder if it froze over the winter.

If it hadn't been my father's tractor, and if he hadn't talked about wanting to fix it up and get it painted, I wouldn't feel bad about selling it and replacing it with another Allis-Chalmers B or even a Farmall A, B or Cub. There's a lot of sentimental value in this tractor! I restored the trailer, I guess I could make this live again too.