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Farmall Repowered With Chevy Engine
When Charlie Beaver retired from a career in law enforcement, he acted on a long-considered idea to replace the original engine in his 1936 Farmall F20 tractor with a Chevy 454 motor.
I was getting old, so thought Id better get it done, or I wouldnt live long enough to enjoy it, laughs Beaver. I already had the tractor and the 454 plus a big shop to work in, so I started the project about 2 years ago. It took me a full year to complete.
He began by restoring the body of the tractor, including sandblasting and repainting it gray to match the original pre-November 1936 color scheme.
The original gas-powered 221 cu. in., 4-cyl., 20-hp. overhead valve motor had frozen up.
My whole concept was to keep it looking as original as possible, Beaver says. But by replacing the engine, I had to fabricate everything involved. You cant just buy parts over the counter for this kind of project.
He left the fuel tank in the same location, and the transmission, drive train, radiator, and hood remained as manufactured. He modified the engine with an upgraded camshaft, aluminum intakes instead of heads, and headers that ran up each side of the hood.
Beaver says the trickiest part was positioning the motor so he could still use the original radiator. Designing and building the coupler was also a challenge.
Because its a Chevy engine, I ran GM bell housing, clutch and pressure plate, and had to hook it all to the original transmission. A buddy with a machine shop helped me fabricate all of that. Then I built the mounts, brackets and connections to line everything up.
The engine runs smoothly and puts out 400 to 450 hp. Beaver drives the modified tractor in parades and says its always a big hit.
Its a project Im really proud of as everything about it is done right, not just cobbled together. I think I outdid myself on this one.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Charlie Beaver, 1564 S. Morgantown Rd., Morgantown, Ind. 46160 (ph 765-318-2458; shellybeaver@hotmail.com).


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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #2