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Versatile Tractor Repowered With Military Multi-Fuel Engine
When Vernon and Luzella Evel, Utica, Kan., bought a used Versatile 145 4-WD, articulated tractor they got a good deal because the older tractor had a worn out engine. Vernon and his son Jim quickly remedied the problem by installing a 465 cu. in. "multi-fuel engine" out of a 2 1/2-ton 6-WD military truck.
The Evels bought the Versatile from a neighbor for $2,500 and the military engine from a friend for $1,000. They lengthened the tractor frame by 9 in. in order to make room for the engine and used 1/2-in. thick steel plate to make new engine mounts. The tractor still has its original transmission and clutch linkage. They were able to bolt an adaptor ring already on the engine to the tractor's clutch housing. The pilot bearing in the flywheel was too small so they re-placed it with a bigger one. The water pump fan was mounted off center and in the way of the tractor's radiator. They had a machine shop make a new spacer for it, allowing them to remount the fan and direct-drive it off the crankshaft.
The original muffler was rusted out so they installed a new 4-ft. long muffler de-signed for a semi truck. The muffler is on the left side of the tractor just like the original one. An exhaust pipe comes out of one side of the engine and runs down under the frame and back up to the truck muffler.
"We're very happy with it," says Jim. "We use it as our main tillage tractor. We figured that buying a used tractor and military engine was the least expensive way to get a tractor with the horsepower we needed. Our total cost was only about $5,000. We got a good deal on the engine - a military engine like ours in general sells for $1,200 to $2,500.It's the same engine used in White's 2-155 tractor which is rated at 155 hp. The only difference is that this engine has a different manifold and water pump.
"It's called a śmulti-fuel' engine because it's designed to run on gas or jet fuel as well as diesel. We go about 6 mph in the field with the engine running at 2,400 rpm's whereas the original Cummins engine runs at about 3,000 rpm's. The difference in engine rpm's would reduce ground speed by 15 to 20 percent, so in order to boost ground speed we replaced the tractor's small 18.4 by 30 tires with taller 18.4 by 38 tires.
"We lengthened the tractor frame by cutting a section out of another junked Versa-tile and welding it into the frame on our tractor."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Vernon Evel, RR 1, Utica, Kan. 67584 (ph 913 391-2428).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3