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Farmer Repowers Tractors With Junked Car Engines
Junked car engines are great for repowering farm tractors, forage harvesters, combines and other equipment, according to a Washington farmer who's installed car engines in two tractors and his 912 New Holland self-propelled swather.
"Farmers should consider adapting car engines to farm equipment because good car engines are generally available for a fraction of the cost of replacement or rebuilt engines for tractors and other farm equipment," says Bob Stewart, Zillah, Wash.
For example, he says that when the 4-cyl. Ford 250 cc industrial engine in his 1963 New Holland swather went out, he had it rebuilt at cost of $2,300. When it broke down again just 100 hrs. later, he went out and bought a used 1978 Dodge Aspen 225 slant six engine with just 55,000 miles on it for $350 and installed it in the machine. He says all he had to do was rebuild the motor mounts and machine a plate to bolt the crankshaft to the machine's driveshaft.
"It has plenty of power and uses less than a gal. of fuel per acre versus 3 gal. per acre with the Ford engine. The engine runs hotter so we had to insulate the gas tank," says Stewart. He also notes that rpm's were speeded up to 2,850 from 2,500 which speeded up the knives, reel and auger. "It now outcuts a new 1986 self-propelled New Holland swather. It cuts like a lawn mower," states Stewart.
He also put junked engines in his 1950 Oliver 77 diesel tractor and his Deere "R" diesel.
"The dealer wanted $1,700 to rebuild the engine in the Oliver so, for only $50, I put a used 1974 slant six Dodge Dart engine in and went from a 38-hp. diesel power to 110 hp. gas. It adapted to all existing parts except that I had to drill the flywheel to adapt the crankshaft and put a plate on the bell housing," says Stewart. He also had to reroute steering rods and cut a section out of the frame to make room for the oil pump.
In another conversion, Stewart installed a 305 V-6 GMC pickup engine in his Deere "R" diesel and has used it for the past 6 years. He says the new engine, which had to be mounted sideways, has enough power to spin the tractor's duals in the field. He bought the tractor, which had a cracked block, for $800 and the total cost of conversion was $1,200. He machined V-pulleys into the flywheel and drives the crankshaft with V-belts through 2:1 ratio pulleys. He says the tractor, to which he also added hydraulics during the conversion, now develops tremendous power thanks to the high compression, low torque GMC engine.
"For $2,000 I got a powerful 85 hp, tractor," he notes.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bob Stewart, 2422 Blaine Rd Zillah, Wash. 98953 (ph 509 829-5783).

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1986 - Volume #10, Issue #3