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He Fitted His Tractor with a Combine Axle
"I worked at it for 6 months before I was 100% satisfied," says Bill Short, Hamilton, Mo., who converted his narrow-front 1942 Farmall "H" to a wide front-end using the rear steering axle from a Ford combine.
Short bought the combine axle from a Ford dealer who had removed the axle to equip the combine with a new power assist rear axle. He says rear axles off other combine models will also work to convert narrow-front tractors.
Short likes the way his converted tractor operates. "It's got more stability, is easier to steer, and works better with a front-end loader. The only drawbacks are that it doesn't turn as short and it takes up more storage space," says Short, noting that the Ford axle he used measures 54 in. from hub flange to hub flange.
Short built an angle iron mounting frame that bolts directly to the tractor frame. It extends the tractor frame forward in order to make room for attachment of a grill guard, a "suitcase" weight carrier, toolbox, front tractor hitch or a heavy-duty electric winch. The mounting frame pivots directly on the combine axle, which is arched upward at the center. "Since I was mounting what was a rear axle on the front of the tractor, I reversed the spindles. Because the axle was designed for the weight of a combine, there's no problem mounting it on a smaller tractor. A steering cylinder could easily be attached with a power steering pump to make steering easier," says Short.
He left the combine wheels on the axle because the bolt pattern vaned from the 6-bolt pattern on the tractor wheels although he says he could have adapted the tractor wheels to fit by welding new center discs to the rims.
"Many other narrow-front tractors could be widened-up this way. The arched type rear axle we used seems to be the easiest to use but some straight-type rear combine axles that are controlled from under the steering pedestal could also be used," says Short, who plans to convert a second tractor.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bill Short, Rt. 2, Box 230, Hamilton, Mo. 64644 (ph 816 583-2361).


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1989 - Volume #13, Issue #2