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Witte Engine Repowers Deere B
Orville Schraeder's Witte engine-powered Deere B tractor gets lots of attention when he drives it in parades. The stationary engine mounted on the old B really stands out. Start it up, and the single cylinder grabs even more attention.
"It gets a lot of looks when it starts barking," says Schraeder. "It has a throttle governor so it backs off when the engine gets up to speed."
Schraeder had fixed up the Witte engine, but with its double flywheels and pressed steel frame, it was too heavy to move around easily. Replacing a frozen engine on the B with the Witte solved two problems.
"I kept everything on the B up to the transmission," recalls Schraeder. "I sealed the transmission to hold the oil and had a flywheel pulley made to replace the B flywheel. A reverse belt drive connects the pulley on the engine to the pulley on the B flywheel."
One of the advantages of the B is its battery-powered starter. Schraeder is able to start the Witte with it.
"If the battery is charged up, it starts pretty good," he says.
A machinist nephew made the flywheel pulley for Schraeder. Other than that, the biggest complication was simply leveling the Witte. The frame had about a 2-in. drop from one end to the other. Schraeder used channel iron to level it.
"The main challenge was lining everything up for the belt and getting it to the right length," says Schraeder.
The repowered 7 hp Witte/B travels at about the same speed as it did with its original 14 hp Deere engine. Schraeder says it will take off in 6th gear from a standstill.
"It has good torque," he says. "It would do a good job powering a corn cutter for silage or a saw rig."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Orville Schraeder, 4265 State Hwy. 54 W., Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. 54495 (ph 715 887-4159).

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2011 - Volume #35, Issue #4