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Wisconsin Collector Owns Five Rare 8020's
From the moment Paul Kleiber first laid eyes on a Deere 8020, he just had to have one. After he bought his first one, he bought another, and then another. Well, he got one. Then another and another until, by now, his collection of five rare Deere 4-WD's is believed to be the largest anywhere.
  "Deere produced only 100 of these tractors in the early 1960's," explains the Plymouth, Wis., contractor. "After I saw a photo of one, I started looking. It took a while, but I finally located one in Canada in 1993 and bought it over the telephone without knowing a thing about it. I also bought a 6-bottom (20-in.) plow and modified it to work on the tractor's 3-pt."
  Within the next three years, Kleiber bought four more 8020's, one from Kansas, two from Washington and a fifth from Iowa. Two of them have 3-pt.'s, two have diamond tread tires, two have regular tread and one has oversize tires. Serial numbers are 9, 15, 66, 74 and 89.
  "All of them needed a lot of restoration work," says Kleiber, whose sons Nick and Tim and employee Mark helped with the work. "For example, one had the fenders half torched off, so we made new ones. We made a new front grille for one and on others we replaced electrical wires, cables, linkages, sheet metal, rebuilt brakes and seat platforms, and wheel bearings. Most of the tractors came with cabs, which we removed because they didn't come from the factory with them. Finally, we sandblasted and repainted all five tractors."
  One of the main attractions of the 8020 is its engine, Kleiber notes. The Detroit "671" in-line six-cylinder diesel "just screams when pulling a big load," he says.
  Like the Detroit engine, which was designed for use in semi's, the tractors also feature a number of other truck parts. They have a Clark transmission, air brakes, truck-type differentials, and heavy-duty frames. They also have payloader-type planetaries.
  "The hydraulic clutch is the nicest, smoothest clutch I've ever operated, including the clutch in my 7520 and 8640," he says. "The same with the heavy-duty steering. It's built stronger and better than any 4-WD system I've ever seen."
  Kleiber modified one of the tractors for tractor-pulling by repowering it with a Detroit 871 turbo, which required a special bell housing, new motor mounts and a complete new hood and fan shroud. "This tractor took first place in every 22,000-lb. 4-WD pull until they banned us, because the other contestants were complaining that they didn't have a chance," Kleiber says.
  He also shows some of his tractors at antique tractor shows.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Paul Kleiber, N5785 Hillcrest, Plymouth, Wis. 53073 (ph 920 893-8042; fax 892-4797).

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1999 - Volume #23, Issue #4