May 29, 2011, 9:29 am
Filed under: May 2011
Allis Chalmers “B” Tractor

May 29, 2011

     Because I got this tractor as part of my inheritance when my mom and  her husband died, I wanted it to have a special purpose. My uncle Fred and I made it to buzz wood for the sugarhouse. Fred designed and built a buzz saw for it from an old arbor we got at a garage sale. It is belt driven, plenty powerful and works great.
     When we got it out this spring, we had two flat tires and air would not stay in them. We decided to replace the old tires. This seemed like a pretty easy task, not to mention something to do in this rainy weather. It has turned out to be a nightmare that now has become funny.
     We took the rear wheels off and dropped them off at the tire repair place. I hadn’t even left the parking lot when one of the guys came out and told me that the rims needed repair. Many years of calcium in the old tires had taken its toll on the steel rims. The salty brine had eaten through the rims in a couple of places and the major part of them was covered in rust.
     After diligent search, we found a place to sandblast and repair the rims. It took over ten days, for a variety of reasons, but they were finally done. We picked them up, slapped a coat of paint on them and took them back to the tire place. The new tires looked great and were installed in minutes. We came home with our new tires and rims to the tune of $544.06 😮
     We messed around for 4 hours trying to get the rims back on. We, of course were doing it in the gravel driveway. The gravel dug into our knees and backs while the sun beat down sucking all the moisture out of the wet ground and making steam rise from soil and men alike. Unk and I exchanged cuss words and remarks about the sharp gravel, but kept trying things until we were out of ideas.
     I went to the internet, found an Allis Chalmers forum where guys discussed problems with the old tractors. I found section after section about our very problem. Many guys before us had rolled around in the driveway testing skin, knees and patience while trying to get the rims to fit. No matter what they tried, just like us, the result was the same. The rim was too big for the hub. The old clamps wouldn’t tighten down. The answer was that the sandblasting takes away enough old rust ,scale and crud that you have to either shim the rim or weld a small bead in each clamp.
    Unk and I felt better for having the answer, but were tired enough to say to heck with the repair until next week. We have about two full working days, 180 miles in my truck and the $544.06 invested so far. That total does not include wear and tear on our egos, ripped jeans and sore knees. All of this to fix a little tractor that has one job and will be used a half-dozen times per year. We may have to find more jobs for it to do!
     This little tractor does make me smile. It reminds me of my Mom and Butch every time I look at it. Butch, I am sure is chuckling B-Cause he probably knew all about the rim/clamp/sandblast fiasco. My mom is smiling, because two of her favorite men are working together and losing their tempers once in a while … all in the name of fun!   😮

2 Comments so far
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You know, I really think it could be very lucrative if you simply hung some cameras to record the goings on at your farm. Soooo many $10,000 moments! Wishin I was a barn mouse in the corner watching you two that day. 🙂 hehehe

Comment by Charlie

now you no y you like your draft horses so much
wish i was ther to help
love you matt

Comment by matt

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