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Kinze's Rebuilt "Masterpiece"
Jon Kinzenbaw is a farmer who built an international farm equipment company from scratch. He has also repowered a lot of tractors and other equipment over the years.
  One of his earliest repowers was a Farmall tractor that he "rebuilt" into a heavy-duty forklift in 1969 for use in and around his company's factory. It was the only forklift at the company for many years.
  Kinzenbaw recently sent FARM SHOW photos of the 1958 Farmall 450, which he completely restored last summer on the 30th anniversary of the original repowering of the tractor. The tractor is now part of an extensive tractor collection which he keeps on his farm.
  "This tractor means a lot to me since it goes back to the early days of Kinze Mfg. itself, when I was struggling to get the company on its feet," says Kinzenbaw.
  The tractor is equipped with big 23.1 by 26 rear tires filled with fluid and oversize 9.5L by 15 front tires. The loader has a pair of forks on front and can lift loads up to 12 ft. high. A pair of big 4 by 48-in. cylinders do the lifting while a single 4 by 16-in. cylinder is used to tilt the forks.
  "It helped me out a lot over the years and now that it's been restored it looks like a million bucks. It looks like it was factory built," says Kinzenbaw. "I bought the tractor in the mid 1960's equipped with a bad engine, took it to my shop, and thought about how I could make it useful. The Farmall engine had a reputation for cracked heads and wasn't very reliable. Also, when the engine went bad it cost a lot to repair it.
  "In those days I had a blacksmith and welding shop where I often repowered tractors. I was already in the process of repowering a Deere 4020, so I decided to replace the Farmall's 4-cyl. diesel engine with the Deere gas engine. The 4020 engine was short on power but it had about 50 percent more power than the one in the Farmall. By converting the Farmall into a heavy-duty loader tractor I was able to save a lot of money.
  "We used it to handle everything from pallets to parts. For years it was the only lift rig, except for a hoist, that we used in our factory. We ran the tractor at idle most of the time. The narrow front wheels allow the tractor to turn short and work great for getting into tight spots. The loader's 7,000-lb. lifting capacity is about twice as much as a conventional tractor loader and more than most commercial forklift trucks. We've even used the loader to lift a Chevy pickup weighing 5,200 lbs. at a 4-ft. load center. The loader's frame is supported by a heavy brace that ties into the front bolster on both sides.
  "The original front wheels wouldn't have supported the extra weight so we cut off the spindles and replaced them with new heavier ones equipped with 6-bolt hubs. The back end of the loader frame wraps around the rear end of the tractor and is connected to the rear axle. To make sure that the back of the tractor stays on the ground we filled the frame and weight box with over 2,000 lbs. of steel slugs. The wheels also have two sets of wheel weights. The tractor weighs a total of about 10,000 lbs.
  "At one time we used the tractor to do custom row crop spraying, and in 1974 we used it with an 8-row planter to plant 1,100 acres of corn. The 4020 engine runs at about 2,200 rpms compared to the original engine's 1,500 rpm's so it's able to go down the road pretty fast about 30 mph.
  "It wasn't until 1976 that we bought our first two forklifts. One lifted 4,000 lbs. and the other one 5,000 lbs., so we we kept the Farmall for our heaviest jobs. It worked especially well outside in snow and ice where our commercial front-wheel drive forklifts were often helpless. In fact, we sometimes had to use the Farmall to pull them out."
  The Deere engine was 6 in. longer than the Farmall engine so Kinzenbaw had to lengthen the tractor frame. He put in a new clutch, sealed up the engine, and installed new bushings in the front wheels. He adapted the back of the engine block to mount to the bell housing and modified the Farmall's clutch and flywheel. The Farmall's original starter is still on the tractor. He al

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #4