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Rare Farmall Sod Roller Restored
When Scott Dalrymple’s Super C Farmall burned up, about the only thing he didn’t have to replace were tires. His Super C was a sod roller with all steel wheels. Unlike some older roller adapted tractors with small front steel wheels, Dalrymple’s had a large front roller.
“The front roller is 31-in. wide, and the rear roller wheels are each 18-in. wide,” says Dalrymple. “When I was young, my dad used it to roll a runway for a small Cessna he flew. Later he did construction, and he used it for landscaping around sites and for rolling our lawn.”
Dalrymple inherited the tractor after his parents died and brought it to his home. Stored along with some other items in a woodshed, it burned up when a nearby outdoor stove overheated and went up in flames. With the help of a local mechanic friend, he started on the restoration.
As he went through the process, he realized how unusual his tractor was. “The front end appears to have been made for an actual street roller and adapted to the tractor,” says Dalrymple. “I-beams attached to the rear axle with U-bolts are bolted to the front of the tractor frame. They in turn are bolted to the massive, flat plate steel trike that appears to have been cut out to wrap around the front of the tractor.”
The roller is connected to its frame with a double knuckle, allowing it to flex over uneven terrain. A shaft that passes from the upper knuckle through the front of the frame ends with a cross arm for steering.
“Originally the steering involved a big worm gear in a cradle on the shaft,” recalls Dalrymple. “It required constant cranking to turn the tractor. When my dad got older, that got difficult, so he replaced the steering and worm gear system with a hydraulic cylinder.”
Dalrymple’s dad flipped the cradle with the worm gear over and welded a straight draw bar on it and a tab on the frame to pin the cylinder. “He ran the hoses back to the upright on the platform, installed a valve there and steered with it,” explains Dalrymple.
To restore the burned tractor, Dalrymple took it apart completely. “We replaced all the belts and wiring and changed out the carburetor,” he says. “We also replaced the gas filter and distribution cap. Anything that could melt did and had to be replaced. The generator wasn’t producing voltage because the fields had melted together and had to be rebuilt, as did the starter.”
After making needed repairs and replacing fluids and a battery, Dalrymple tried firing it up. The starter wouldn’t turn over. When he tried the flywheel, it wouldn’t turn either.
During the 8-month sandblasting period, the tractor sat outside. The valves were stuck.
“A friend of mine told me to pour apple cider vinegar into the cylinders,” says Dalrymple. “I let it sit a couple of days and then hit the starter again. Apple cider vinegar sprayed everywhere.”
While it slowly turned over, the battery didn’t seem to have enough power. Dalrymple discovered the distributor was grounding itself out. Once he installed a non-metallic washer, the tractor started running.
Dalrymple discovered one part that hadn’t been cleaned properly. “All the debris in the exhaust system from sitting for years and then ash from the fire all blew out like a rainstorm,” he says.
With the tractor running well, Dalrymple replaced the decals.
“After working on this one, I thought it might be one of a kind,” says Dalrymple. “However, my mechanic ran across another similar tractor sitting in a grove of trees. It appears someone at some point was manufacturing these.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Scott Dalrymple, 32146 County Route 163, Carthage, N.Y. 13619 (ph 315 222-3920; scottdalrymple72@gmail.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #5