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High School Senior Restores Rare Schafer 4-WD Tractor
Cody Garrett isn’t afraid to take up a challenge the size of his home state of Texas. During his senior year at Cuero High School in 2013, Garrett tackled the restoration of a big Schafer tractor that took him more than 900 hrs. to complete.
    “I went into the project thinking I could get it done in 300 to 400 hrs., but one thing led to another and the time just kept adding up,” says Garrett. He was so excited about the work, however, that he rarely thought the project was too time consuming.
    Garrett says he researched tractors on the internet and found out about the Schafers. A nearby rancher agreed to front the cost, having seen what Garrett did with two previous restorations of smaller tractors.
    “They only made about 25 of these big Schafer tractors in Pratt, Kansas in the 1960’s,” says Garrett. “I found out there was one for sale in North Dakota, and another restored one that was located in Minnesota.” Garrett and his family visited the Minnesota museum to see the restored tractor, then picked up the used Schafer to restore in North Dakota. The machine cost $6,500. On their trip home from Dakota they stopped in Pratt and several people asked them about the tractor they were trailering, knowing it was originally built in their town.
    “We met Lawrence Voss, who had worked for the tractor manufacturer years earlier, and he told us some interesting stories about the tractors,” Garrett says.
    As he started the restoration Garrett found it difficult to locate parts because so few of the tractors were produced. He and his father made trips to Colorado and the FP Smith Company in California, where they found engine parts and almost every seal they needed. They also bought a badly damaged Schafer for parts in Colorado. During the restoration, which he started in June 2013 and completed in early August, 2014, Garrett removed every bolt, washer, gasket and seal on the tractor. He inspected, cleaned, repaired or replaced each part. The refurbished tractor has a R96 Fuller transmission and a completely overhauled UD554 engine that produces about 130 hp at the drawbar. He was able to rebuild the engine himself, except for making replacement sleeves, which he had custom-produced in Iowa.
    “The tractor starts easy and runs smooth,” says Garrett. It has new hydraulic hoses, new electrical harnesses, a new paint job and new decals. Garrett did the sandblasting and spray painting himself. Titan provided 4 new 23.1 x 26 10-ply tires. Garrett says the sponsor has invested more than $58,000 in the restoration, but he doesn’t know how much the tractor would be worth on the open market. It might be worth a lot more since he was just named Grand Champion in the 2014 Delo Tractor Restoration Competition. The win means he’ll be traveling across the U.S. representing Chevront Delo at shows.
     Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Cody Garrett, 2411 Friar Rd., Cuero, Texas 77954 (ph 361 275-6549).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #6