2009 - Volume #33, Issue #3, Page #22[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
5/8-Scale "Cross Motor" Tractor
The steel-wheeled tractor runs, rides, and drives almost like the real thing. The tractor is powered by a Hercules 4-cyl. gas engine off a 1930's Deere combine. It has a 3-speed transmission that's chain-driven off the engine and the transmission and rear end are off an old Grand Haven garden tractor. Lachniet fabricated everything else.
"For many years I thought about building a scale model tractor, but always figured I could never do it," says Lachniet. "One day, my son's buddy told me about a small garden tractor he found in the way of a new road they were cutting. He said I could have it if I got it out of the way very soon."
The tractor turned out to be a Grand Haven and was just what Lachniet needed to rekindle his ideas for a scale model. "I was always interested in Cross Motor tractors, although there are very few in western Michigan. I started looking at photos and manuals and decided that the Case 25-45 was the closest to what I was looking to build."
"I was able to fabricate most everything in my small home workshop, except I had angle iron and flat steel rolled to build the wheels and I bought a radiator core to fit in the outer shell. Also, my son built a die to put the emboss in the spokes of the wheels. He also built a flywheel out of aluminum.
"The gearing was something that I knew nothing about. It took a lot of figuring to get the proper ratio for the sprockets. I was two years into the project before I actually saw a full-size Case 25-45 Cross Motor. After spending some time taking measurements and photos, I went back home to see how far off I was. I found the only thing that was really off was the width of the spokes of the wheels. So last winter I re-spoked the wheels."
The project took about six years. "A lot of it was redone once or twice because after thinking about it, I would come up with a better idea. Even when I thought I had the tractor completed, there turned out to be more bugs in it than one could imagine," says Lachniet.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ron Lachniet, 9690 Downes St. N.E., Lowell, Mich. 49331 (ph 616 676-1000).
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