Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:05 pm Post subject: Re: Fordson in the snow
Great rig! I've seen 80-year-old pictures that show this set-up; I always wondered just how well they went in the snow. Did you try it in deep snow? Looked like the trip over the snowbank was a bit of a challenge, and I wonder how it would do in deeper snow.
Were the Grid-Iron-Grip wheels installed on the tractor when you got it, or were they a later find?
Can you post some pictures showing how you made the skis?
Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:52 pm Post subject: Re: Fordson in the snow
When I get some deep snow I'll have a go at it and post the results. The tractor was purchased in Ontario, California a few years ago. I bought it primarily for the perfect 6 spoke rears which I have powder coated and waiting for a 1918 restoration project I have planned. When I received the tractor I found that the crank, cam, fuel tanks, manifold, carb, seat, etc. were all beyond rapair and had to be replaced. We drove the pistons out with a sledge hammer and completely redid the valve system. The rear wheels in the picture were on a tractor I purchased in Michigan some years back. When I restored it I put the original style grouser rears on it and rebuilt and powder coated the Grid-Iron-Grips for the snow-tractor project. The original 1919 tractor did not have the ladder style radiator sides but I wanted it to be the same as the picture that I am certain you saw from 80 - 90 years ago so I redid it with a new core and the ladder sides.
I reverse engineered the skis by copying pictures I found on the net. They are laminated white oak, 4" wide and banded on the leading and trailing ends and bottom with hand formed 1/4 x 4" cold rolled steel. The hubs were salvaged from rusted F & H aftermarket wheels I dug out of the scrap. I cut off the spokes, turned the hub to a constant diameter and constructed U-bolts to attach the hub to the top part of the skis. There are 1/4" x 4" steel plates on top and below the hubs through which run the U-bolts and all-thread which go from top to bottom. I probably spent about as much time and money making the skis as I did restoring the tractor.
The tie-rod was tricky as the ends of the skis move at a different rate than the point at which the original tie-rod attaches. We constructed a spring loaded tie-rod to replace the original to fix that problem. I have no idea how they dealt with the problem a hundred years ago.
The steering wheel is a reproduction of an original 1918 maple wheel which was made up of eight segments in two plys which are fingerjointed just like the original. We made that in our shop.
I have spent some time in the woods with the tractor and was impressed by how well it handles crossing dead fallen trees and ruts etc. The faster it is driven the easier it handles. The video was all taken in high gear at about 3/4 throttle and the snow bank took all the torque I had.
There are additional pics which show the skis more clearly on this site dated 10-05-10.
Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:54 pm Post subject: Re: Fordson in the snow
Hi Dave, I see you have figured out the geometry of the skis. I remember talking with you about it at the national show. Tractor looks great. I don't know which video I like best, this or the compressed air breakin....Butch
Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:43 pm Post subject: Re: Fordson in the snow
Dave Kahle wrote:
(quoted from post at 20:52:11 02/05/11) <snip> There are additional pics which show the skis more clearly on this site <snip>
OK, now I remember seeing it; that was your tractor which was shown in the photos in this thread back in October.
Dave Kahle wrote:
(quoted from post at 20:52:11 02/05/11) <snip> When I get some deep snow I'll have a go at it and post the results. <snip>
Yes, please do; we'd like to make one of these Fordson snow-goers for our local living-history farm museum (to be used in winter logging and ice-harvesting activities), and any knowledge and/or pictures you can contribute to assist us with that would be greatly appreciated!
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