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Antique Steel Wheel Tractors - Old Iron Lugs and Cleats

IHC Titan 10-20 in UK

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Old 06-04-2015, 11:08:02 AM
RoFoCo RoFoCo is offline
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Default IHC Titan 10-20 in UK


This is my first post. I mainly collect pre-1955 Fordsons, although I have odds and sods including a Farmall BM and David Brown 30D.

I acquired a 1918 Titan 10-20 (# TV 12847) at the end of 2013, an original import into the UK. It had apparently worked in Herefordshire, and the seller told me it was sourced from the county in the 1960s. It carries an enamel plate stating "Herefordshire Registered No. 143". I think this may be a heavy vehicle licence plate, which was used before agricultural and other heavy machinery required vehicle registrations; Herefordshire County Archives were unable to assist further on this.

[Note: the remains of a Titan found on a farm in Herefordshire were recently sold on Ebay in the UK, and the serial number was around 20# from my machine, certainly supporting the notion that the tractor did in fact originally hail from the county]

The seller had acquired the Titan in the 1960s, and from what I can tell, it must have been in running order, as the majority of work done at that time appears to have been cosmetic, albeit that it has been painted green rather than grey. I was advised that it was last fully run in the early to mid 1970s. Therefore it's quite possible that no major mechanical work (at least in preservation) has been carried out on the tractor.

I have gone through the lubrication system (a lot of the adjusters were broken or seized due to water being present in the reservoir). I've sourced some replacement spark plugs; the magneto produces a nice fat blue spark. I've cleaned out the fuel tank (full of crud) and cleaned/repaired all the fuel lines and pump. I'm in the process of cleaning out the cooling system and replacing the transmission fluids.

Parts that I'm missing include:
- mudguards (fenders) and associated bracketry
- air cleaner (early type - I have the pre-heat pipe from the manifold)
- it has an incorrect cooling tank
- tappet cover
- 1x front hub cap; 1x rear hub cap
- petrol (gas) starting chamber cap
- water injection system

The sprockets are serviceable, and the chains could be re-used although some of the links are very worn and will need replacing. The front axle and steering gear is very worn, and all the wheels need new bearings, although I'll probably bush-them, maybe with Teflon impregnated nylon (cheaper, and very durable). I have an engineering shop locally that specialises in steam engines, so I'll outsource these trades.

I hope to get the Titan started in the next month or so. Any ideas for my missing/incorrect parts would be gratefully received.

Best wishes, Roger
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Old 06-04-2015, 04:16:28 PM
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David Parfitt David Parfitt is offline
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Default Re: IHC Titan 10-20 in UK

Hello Roger

Congratulations on your purchase. I think I recognise this tractor from a collection on the Isle of Man?

William Engelmann ( should be able to help you out with the mudguards, air-cleaner and tank. Try Biewers ( in the States for the rest. The water injection system parts are very hard to find though.

There have been quite a few Titans restored with green paint in the UK, so at least some of the imported ones may have been that colour originally. Some French-imported ones certainly were.

Best wishes

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Old 06-04-2015, 04:43:29 PM
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Roger Byrne Roger Byrne is offline
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Default Re: IHC Titan 10-20 in UK

Try this STAK thread . . you may find some of the information you are looking for.
Preserving Mechanical History for Future Generations since 1965
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:55:33 PM
Alastair Geddes. Alastair Geddes. is offline
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Default Re: IHC Titan 10-20 in UK

i have found bushing with a plastic , nylon , lubron etc is not really good on highly loaded parts.
I did a front idler for a excavator and it failed, it was replaced with a bronze bush and had no trouble after the replacement.
They are generally easy to push in, crush easily - they have their uses but i would go for another type.
I haven't worked on the 10 20 but if i remember correctly don't they have roller bearings in the hubs?
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:14:45 PM
Stuart Landry Stuart Landry is offline
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Default Re: IHC Titan 10-20 in UK

Welcome to the Stak. Roger.
Congratulations for stepping into the world of veteran tractors, Your Titan is very interesting , firstly the oldest know 10-20 Titan out here in OZ is circa TV 30,000 , so yours having such a low number is interesting , would like you to post some more pics. please, would like see the exhaust system / Muffler ,Also pictures of the Carb. system so we can see what your missing ,
Second thing is the green paint , There are well over 100 Titans here in OZ ,as far as we know there is only two are original green Titans from when they left the factory, so my point is I.H.C. did paint some Titans Green , nice to see another green one ,
Regards ,

Last edited by Stuart Landry; 06-05-2015 at 08:04:03 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:48:12 AM
Harry Henderson Harry Henderson is offline
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Default Re: IHC Titan 10-20 in UK

Hi Roger
Thats a very nice looking Titan! I would be of a mind to leave the tractor just as it is. I love the paint work and lining out.
Once you get mudguards you'll feel the need to paint them. Then than makes the rest of the tractor look out of place. So I'd get the parts needed to get it up and running and leave as is.
Sure you'll get the Correct Police tell you it is the wrong colour and you need mudguards but the panita and history of the tractor you've mentioned here is more important the the 3 stooges that will inevitably roll up at the rally field.
It might be worth seeing if Herefordshire County Council hold any records on tractors and machinery used aspart of the 1914-18 war effort.
Best of luck with the tractor!
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Old 06-05-2015, 04:02:05 AM
Richard Sturdy
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Default Re: IHC Titan 10-20 in UK

Hi Roger, If you are like most Titan owners, this will be the start of a long and passionate affair with your tractor. These little ladies are just wonderful and as Harry says, yours is different, in that it has at some time, been painted green and has some local history, whereas most of us have no idea of the history of our tractors. I would be inclined to do all the mechanical work needed to get it up and running as it should and then leave it cosmetically just as it is - after all, it has taken years to look as it does and you could destroy all that in a few days by restoring and painting it. Once you hear your Titan fire up for the first time and then settle down to that steady, even beat so characteristic of the 10-20 Titan, you will be enthralled - enjoy!
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:24:56 AM
RoFoCo RoFoCo is offline
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Default Re: IHC Titan 10-20 in UK

Many thanks for all your comments and support. I guess I can respond as follows:

- colour: as I understand, the remains recently sold in Herefordshire had remnants of grab green paint, similar to the shade which some 8-16 Moguls are painted in preservation. Perhaps green is the correct colour. I will have to investigate this further.

- paint or leave: I'm firmly in the oily rag school, and believe that all the character and history of a machine is permanently eliminated by painting it. Even "older restorations" can have an attractive patina which is difficult to replicate (other than age!). Unfortunately, I am not the sole decision maker as I co-own the tractor with my brother. He has a general haulage business; this is very useful for getting vintage kit to events. However, he's used to owning and maintaining immaculate trucks, and he wants the Titan to look the same! Your posts will be useful in convincing him otherwise!

- wheels: OE bearings for the wheels are certainly the roller type, although are likely to be very expensive. Brass bushes would certainly work perfectly well, although a number of contacts have advised that properly specified and machined nylon bushes should work perfectly well. I guess I need to find someone who has done this to a Titan or similar to see how nylon has performed. No decision made yet.

- research: unfortunately, Herefordshire County Council have no records for the tractor. A very nice chap in their archives team did an awful lot of work [he had driven many American tractors in East Anglia during WWII, so took a particular interest in this research request], although his findings were that all the records have been destroyed, or at least mislaid. The tractor may have originally been owned by the Herefordshire War Agricultural Committee, so I need to book some time at the Imperial War Museum to do some more original research. Does anyone have experience of this type of research? I spend my weekdays in London, so this is no stretch.

- mudguards (fenders): as these are often missing from Titans, is it possible that some tractors were specified without? I've seen pictures of Titans working during WWII (no doubt brought out of retirement) without mudguards. I'd be interested to hear your views.

Many thanks, Roger
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:56:57 AM
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FWurth FWurth is offline
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Default Re: IHC Titan 10-20 in UK

I don't know about wether or not they all had fenders originally, but after you drive it once or twice you will see why fenders are needed. All that open chains and sprockets and moving wheels is good for getting anything loose caught in it. I'd get a set made up and enjoy the benefits of the extra safety, besides it looks better with them on.
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Old 06-11-2015, 05:21:58 PM
Rushton1980 Rushton1980 is offline
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Default Re: IHC Titan 10-20 in UK

Hi Richard

I have also recently acquired a origional 10-20 import which is also green , it carries the tractor no (tv11861) and used to belong to Bill Davies from shipston on stour and was rallied in the earlier years of preservation . I belive it was painted in the 70s but underneath and in hard to get to places it still carries some origional green paint with no traces of grey to be found .
The tractor is a Gloucestershire tractor carrying a AD registration and beloved to be supplied by Aubrey Reece to a threshing contractor who operated three of them . I have just got the tractor running for the first time in quite a few yrs and am chuffed to own it. I'd love to here from anyone who recognises the tractor or remembers it being rallied yrs ago.

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Old 07-15-2019, 09:27:48 AM
RoFoCo RoFoCo is offline
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Default Re: IHC Titan 10-20 in UK

Got the Titan running again after a 2-year engine rebuild. She now runs like a watch!

The rebuild included:
- Re-machined pistons
- Installation and machining of dry cylinder liners
- Head & block skim
- New piston rings to OEM tolerances plus ring spacers (1/2" top ring fitted to both pistons)
- Small-end bearings adjusted
- New valves, guides, springs, retainers, and push rods
- New rocker shaft to OEM tolerances; rockers and brackets bushed and machined
- New cylinder head studs and head gasket
- All cooling pipes re-fabricated and installed
- Rebuilt magneto
- Camshaft thrust faces machined with new shim to fit, governor sleeve refaced
- Bored front wheels with new bronze bushes fitted
- Re-machined kingpins/wheel shafts; rebuilt tie-rod and steering arms
- New pivot pin and front axle machined to fit; new shim fabricated and installed
- Sector in steering box built up and reground
- Earlier work included new throttle shaft and butterfly valve, new big end bearing, main bearing adjustment
- Outstanding work includes all new sheet metal fabrication including air cleaner and water tank to correct OEM specification, new drive chains, rear axle and wheel bearings
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