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1555 Oliver Repowered With Chevy 350
Slipping a Chevy 350 into Bill Knutson’s 1555 Oliver required nothing more than a little work with a grinder. When he first set it into position, it didn’t quite line up with the transmission input shaft.
“I had to grind out a bit of the frame, and it dropped just low enough to line up,” says Knutson. “All I needed was a connecting joint for the 2 shafts.”
Knutson had the joint fabricated at Driveline Service in Sioux Falls, S. Dak. The firm specializes in driveshafts and parts.
The only thing that didn’t fit once the grinding was done was the 350’s fan. Before lowering the engine, the fan fit the Oliver’s shroud without a problem.
“Sturdevant’s Auto Parts said they had an electric fan that would fit the shroud and cool the engine as well as the original fan,” says Knutson. “It can be set to either push or pull air through the radiator.”
Knutson added 4-in. black stacks to either side and mounted 3-in. mufflers inside. He compares the sound produced to a glass-pack muffler.
“The Oliver is fun to drive,” says Knutson. “I’ve had it at speeds up to 37 mph, and it handled well. The front end was nice and tight.”
Knutson got the idea of repowering the Oliver when he first picked it up to add to his collection. He bought it because it was a “Loader Special”, built in Canada. Loader Specials required a pump on the pto to supply hydraulics. It had a separate pump on the engine for power steering.
“The Chevy 350 had been sitting unused since my son quit racing many years ago,” says Knutson. “I did some measurements, and it looked like it would fit.”
The only problem Knutson has had with the repowered Oliver is a tendency to overheat. Knutson’s son has suggested that the 350 may have a high output water pump.
“That would push the water through so fast that it wouldn’t have a chance to cool the engine,” says Knutson, who is exploring all options. “It certainly isn’t the radiator. It’s designed to cool a 6-cylinder engine pulling a plow all day.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bill Knutson, 29897 Frog Creek Rd., Centerville, S. Dak. 57014 (ph 605 563-2350; bjfrogcreek@hcinet.net).

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #6