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Allis Chalmers "B" Gets A Low Profile
Jim Willette lowered the profile on his Allis Chalmers “B”. It gets more attention at shows, and it’s easier to get on and off.
    “It was a tall tractor but now it looks more like an industrial model,” says Willette, who lowered the tractor about 9 in.
    While lowering it was a matter of reworking the front and back axle, Willette also made changes to the seat, steering column, drawbar, fenders, footrests, and the clutch and brake pedals. Even the shift lever had to be shortened.
    “The clutch pedal just needed a different pivot point, so I drilled a hole lower on the shaft,” says Willette. “It came off an old Allis D15, and the footrests came off a D17. I had to cut them down and drill new holes in the castings to mount them.”
    The brake pedals had to be completely modified. Willette cut and reworked the steel on brake pedals from a WD. He welded extra steel on them for a longer reach and to make the brake lock work.
    “I had to fabricate a completely new front axle,” says Willette. “The only parts I reused were the spindles.”
    The original axle was an arch, so Willette went with a straight steel tube made from two, 1/2-in. by 3-in. angle irons. The challenge was to get the axle mounted properly. The kingpins were on an angle, and he had to get them back to that same angle.
    The original reach had two straight bars for support. Willette curved the new ones to the outside for more stability, but mounted them in the same locations.
    Lowering the rear axle was relatively easy. Only four bolts held it in place. “I unbolted it and gave it a quarter turn forward and then put the bolts back in,” says Willette.
    To fit the new look, he modified a drawbar from a “C”, narrowing it up by about 8 in. He cut the flanges off, cut out about 3 in. from each side of the drawbar, and welded the flanges back into place.
    “The fenders were too long and stuck out too far, so I cut about 4 in. off each,” says Willette. “I made a flange on each one, so they look like they were factory installed. They were a hazard with the sharp corners sticking out.”
    Willette replaced the old flat seat with a spring-loaded seat from a D17 after fabricating a new mounting bracket. He also shortened the steering column by about 13 in. and the shift lever by 6 in.
    One of the last modifications was to the radiator grill screen. He fabricated a new one using expanded metal with a border, OEM style, and mounted it with wing nuts.
    “Newer Allis Chalmers, like the D17’s, had wing nuts on the screen,” recalls Willette. “It makes it easy to clean.”
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jim Willette, 20428 470th Ave., Easton, Minn. 56025 (ph 507 787-2295; cjwillette@bevcomm.net).

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2013 - Volume #37, Issue #1