1983 - Volume #7, Issue #1, Page #19[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Latest New Tractor Pulling Creations
One is "The Judge", a 3,500 hp behemoth powered by two Allison air-craft engines and built by Ron Barga, Ansonia, Ohio. The other is "Queen 11", a converted Deere 4430 born in the farm workshop of Iowa farmer Matthias "Butch" Franzen, of Waverly.
Ron Barga built it "from the ground up", powering it with two Allison aircraft engines out of World War II P-38 and P-40 fighter planes. The frame is home-made, and the transmission and rear end are cut down from a truck. The tires are 30.5 by 32 rubber, the largest size permitted for pulling contests.
The two V-12 engines are set side by side like a "W". They run at 4,000 rpm and can develop 3,500 hp. They're fueled with high octane airplane gasoline.
In recent competition the monster machine pulled 80,000 lbs. total weight 300 ft. in 9 seconds.
Pulling tractors are strictly a hobby for Barga. When he's at work in the fields, he drives one of his Internationals. Barga is a cash grain farmer on 2,000 acres in partnership with his father and brother.
On the outside, it doesn't look much different than an ordinary Deere 4430 tractor. But inside, it's a powerhouse. "Nobody has a tractor like this," says "Butch" Franzen.
Franzen, who named it Queen II, predicts that someday it will indeed be the Queen of its class in every pulling contest.
Queen II started out with a 6-cyl. stock engine. This was modified by boring out the cylinders, replacing the pistons and rods with aluminum, and adding a supercharger, blower, and a three-port Enderle fuel injection system. The engine burns pure alcohol. Aluminum lightens the weight, and the alcohol burns more efficiently. The result is an engine speed of 6,000 rpm.
The tractor pulls in the superstock 7,500 and 9,500 lb. weight classes.
"We encountered lots of problems in developing it to this point," Franzen says, "and we're not done yet. We may go to bigger pistons to get still more power."
Many of the specialized engine and other parts were designed and built by Franzen and his "pit crew".
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