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Farmer Equips International Tractors With Car Engines
Wisconsin farmer Curtiss Wyss, of Monroe, farms with older model International tractors extra which he equips with V-8 gas engines from Oldsmobile autombiles for extra power.
"I like gas engines better than diesel because of their low torque and higher rpms. "I go with International tractors because they're cheaper to pick up at auctions and the frame rails adapt well to the installation of the add-on engines.
"I've modified a number of tractors including a 1954 Super M-TA. I use it for cultivating and cutting hay. From the factory, it ran at 1,800 rpms. Equipped with the 160 hp. car engine, it runs at 3,000 rpm and will do 40 mph in road gear. I put on a wide front end, rejected the carburetor and installed a 3-pt. hitch on the back. It still has the original frame, rear end, brakes and 5-speed transmission.
"The V-8 engine is from a 1969 Cutlass. I moved the oil filter so it was more accessible and reversed the manifold elbow to run exhaust out the back," says Wyss.
He modified an 806 International with an Oldsmobile 8-cyl. 455 engine that he bored out to 461cc. "It idles at 500 rpm, and at 2,000 rpm, has 170 brute hp. It can pull a 5-16 plow at 5 mph. and will go up any hill. I added 3 quarts more capacity to the oil system to keep the engine cooler, and put an electric car fan in front of the radiator that kicks in at 180?," notes Wyss.
His 806 is equipped with 23.1 by 34 rear tires, a size Wyss says is "a perfect match" for the tractor's hp. He notes that he has $1,500 in the M-TA, including the price of the tractor and engine, and about $5,000 in the 806, which includes the price of the tractor, tires and engine.

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #5