2007 - Volume #31, Issue #2, Page #39[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Farmall H Repowered With Mercedes Benz Diesel
"Years ago I used a tractor just like this one to do chores. I always thought it would be great to repower a Farmall H with a Chevy 6-cylinder engine. However, the Mercedes engine looks like it belongs in there. I spent about six months on the project."
The engine came out of a 1969 Mercedes Benz that had been setting in the weeds for about 10 years. Statz is a bison rancher, so he was able to trade bison meat for the car. He bought the tractor from a neighbor for $200. The engine on it was frozen.
The tractor still has its original starter, flywheel, and bell housing. The new engine was the same length as the original one so he didn't have to lengthen the tractor frame at all. The crankshaft on the Mercedes engine was slightly shorter than the one on the tractor's original engine, so he had an adapter made to fit between the crankshaft and the tractor's original flywheel. Installing the fan was tricky. There wasn't room for the tractor's original fan, so he found one off another car. A pulley off another IH tractor is used to belt-drive the fan.
He welded a short length of channel iron vertically to the left side of the tractor to support the alternator. He also cut a notch in the tractor's frame rail to provide room for the oil filter. He also bolted on new motor mounts.
He used 4-in. dia. steel pipe to make a muffler and mounted a commercial exhaust pipe inside it.
"It runs smooth without being too loud," says Statz. "Running at idle it makes a little bit of a diesel hammering sound, but when I run it a little faster, say at 1,500 rpm's, it sounds more like a gas engine. Generally I run the engine at 2,000 to 2,500 rpm's.
"It runs super cheap for doing light chores. I used it last fall to operate an auger and deliver corn into a 3,000 bu. bin, and the fuel level hardly went down at all. I removed the tractor's original hydraulic system and installed a belt-driven hydraulic pump so it now has live hydraulics. I used the hydraulics last summer to operate an 8-wheeled hay rake.
"At tractor speed, it doesn't have much more power than the H but it will run faster. I've had it up to 35 mph, and I think in high gear it would go 40 mph.
"The hardest part of the project was installing the fan, and rerouting the radiator hose to the opposite side of the engine."
Despite setting outside for 10 years, the car engine started right up. "The first thing I did was to put a big channel lock on the front pulley and turn it. I was surprised that I could turn the crankshaft over. It didn't turn hard at all," notes Statz.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lloyd Statz, N6148 170th St., Elmwood, Wis. 54740 (ph 715 639-3205; email@example.com).
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