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Antique Steel Wheel Tractors - Old Iron Lugs and Cleats Photos and information about antique steel wheeled farm tractors. This is where to find the heaviest of Old Iron tractors.

Antique Steel Wheel Tractors - Old Iron Lugs and Cleats

The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!


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  #61  
Old 12-16-2007, 10:06:06 PM
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Randy Reysen Randy Reysen is offline
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Photo Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

Quick update tonight, I have some grading to do, mid-quarters are tomorrow!

Radiator is soldered, so its almost ready for priming - Marshal (Dad) has really been working up a sweat this past week! The pictures below are of the progress since the last post. Both Dad and I would like to give a big THANKS to Craig for a wonderful job!!!

Hope you guys enjoy the new Youtube video - its says what I can't tonight and is more fun anyway.

All for now,
Randy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XqSayyOIoc

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  #62  
Old 12-17-2007, 01:23:45 AM
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Default Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

Nice to watch the progress of this ongoing restoration. That is going to be a fine tractor.
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  #63  
Old 12-17-2007, 09:49:46 AM
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Default Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

Randy:

Nice job! Looks like it's to the point where you are getting really itchy to hear it bark.

Take care - Elden
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  #64  
Old 12-17-2007, 10:21:27 AM
BDMelon BDMelon is offline
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Thumbs up Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

Thanks randy, was nice of you to do video of
this wonderful work in the making,VERY
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  #65  
Old 12-17-2007, 11:57:38 AM
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Default Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

Great to see the progress being made on this project. I do have a few questions for Craig in regard to doing the head work on this old iron. Years ago, I used to race cars and did all of my own engine work except for align boring. I've had my own valve grinder and seat grinder for years, and use both of them VERY often when working on my old iron. From pure habit from the days of building high performance engines, I always grind the valves at about a 1 degree different angle than I grind the seats, and I also top and throat the seats so that the valves seat at a narrow width. Do you feel that this is overkill on the old iron? How much of the valve face do you usually let contact the seat? Once the valves and seats are ground, do you use lapping compound on them? I always lap my valves in, but I dilute the lapping compound quite a bit since the valves and seats are soft. I know that years ago, if a valve wasn't properly seating, a "field repair" was to remove it, clean the carbon from it and the seat, then reinstall the valve and tap it sharply with a hammer to seat it. Do you feel that I am wasting my time by topping and throating the seats and by lapping? I know that I am taking some of the life away from the seats by doing this, so I thought I would ask your opinion. You have obviously worked on LOTS more old iron than me, so I highly respect your advice on this matter.
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  #66  
Old 12-17-2007, 12:55:44 PM
Randy Kvill Randy Kvill is offline
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Photo Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

You are doing a marvelous job with your restoration. Attached is a photo of something for a little inspiration. It is the Happy Farmer at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum. It runs great and is an interesting piece of machinery.

Randy
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  #67  
Old 12-17-2007, 01:24:51 PM
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Default Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
I always grind the valves at about a 1 degree different angle than I grind the seats, and I also top and throat the seats so that the valves seat at a narrow width. Do you feel that this is overkill on the old iron? How much of the valve face do you usually let contact the seat? Once the valves and seats are ground, do you use lapping compound on them?
Unless the stone is faced on the same machine the valve is cut the angles will never be a 100% match anyway.
Slightly dissimilar angles make for faster seating.......
Very wide seats and valve faces aren't worth a rip........
We have had to open up the bottom seat area in heads where there was extensive and off center wear to narrow the seats.
These valves were finished to a 5/16" face and we always finish the valves with the triple "grind"......eg: break the edges at the top and bottom of the valve faces......the same way valves have been made for years now.
I WOULD have gone to 1/4" faces and seats but for this engine it wasn't worth the additional expense to do so.
That allows for much easier seating and lets the valve wear into the seat much better than a valve with single, straight, grind.
We ALWAYS lap them and test the seats using the old fashioned (AND reliable) chalk test as well as an alcohol test.
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:12:07 PM
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Default Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

Craig-

By "alcohol test", I take it that you you mean that you put the springs on the valves and then put alcohol in the ports to make sure there is no leakage past the valves???

Craig here: No springs.......no pressure except the weight of the valve on the seat. If you have to apply pressure for a seal you have a bum job
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  #69  
Old 12-18-2007, 12:50:53 AM
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Photo Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

I would really like to thank everyone for their comments and additions made today! I enjoyed reading the discussion on valves between Craig and Ironman as it was very interesting and informative. Also, thanks to Randy Kvill for the Happy Farmer photo from the Reynolds museum - and yes Elden - we are getting itchy to hear her bark!

Again Dad was busy today so here's another quick update on things. Picture one is of the painted head with the exhaust and manifold gaskets. Picture two and three are of the painted radiator - surprise Dad its on! I got a few minutes tonight to sneak away after my girls went to bed to take some pictures and thought that the radiator photo would look better if it were actually ON the tractor - don't worry Dad I took it back off so you can have the fun of putting it back on. Picture four is just of the engine.

Enjoy and thanks again for following along...
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  #70  
Old 12-18-2007, 09:02:08 AM
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Default Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
Craig-

By "alcohol test", I take it that you you mean that you put the springs on the valves and then put alcohol in the ports to make sure there is no leakage past the valves???

Craig here: No springs.......no pressure except the weight of the valve on the seat. If you have to apply pressure for a seal you have a bum job
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I thought the alcohol test was where ya centered the engine with both valves closed, put some air pressure to the spark plug hole, then sat down with an amount of your favorite libation. Hmmm.......No wonder I've been having trouble with................

Craig here: FAVORITE LIBATION? That would be COFFEE..............EVERYBODY knows THAT !!!!!!!
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  #71  
Old 12-22-2007, 11:46:18 PM
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Photo Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

The progress on the tractor is still moving at a good rate. Since my last post the head, valves, rockers, gaskets, manifold, carburetor, linkage, radiator hose, distributor, coil, steering shaft, steering worm and steering wheel have all been put on. On top of that most of what needed to still be painted is done! I was also able to have a senior graphic arts student work about 15 hours on a reproduction Happy Farmer graphic. That digital artwork along with the fenders and gas tank are at a local shop where the decals will be printed in vinyl and applied. We are also going with vinyl lettering for the gas tank, it should say Kerosene, and black vinyl pin striping on the fenders as well. That should be back in less than two weeks. Dad has really been doing the Lion share of the work as of late; however, I got to spend a few hours with him today and that is when we were able to get the distributor and firing/timing figured out. Everything is looking good.

The first two pictures that I have included show the exhaust pipe opening being lined up from the manifold and then cut into the frame pipe - yes the frame pipe is also the exhaust tube/muffler. The next two pictures show the tractor as it looks tonight. *Note the Atwater-Kent setup on the fourth picture.


Have a great Christmas and thanks again for following along.
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  #72  
Old 12-23-2007, 11:37:10 AM
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Photo Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

Here is the decal image that one my students created for me. The logo design and color is based on an original button I own and by researching many different logo's from Happy Farmer advertisements. I have seen about 8 reproductions of this decal, either silk screened, painted, or vinyl and I do think that this is the best one so far. Its funny that it takes such advanced technology to reproduce what these guys did by hand.
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  #73  
Old 12-23-2007, 12:00:41 PM
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Default Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

That restoration has been an inspiration to watch! I want to get at my Twin City but have to wait 'til I move in January. Thanks for keeping us posted with these pics. I'm sure we'll see a video of the initial startup!
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  #74  
Old 01-04-2008, 11:36:02 PM
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Photo Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

Happy New Year to you all! The Happy Farmer project has slowed down a bit while we were waiting to get the decals and pinstriping back from the shop. I think you’ll agree that it was worth the wait! The Kerosene on the fuel tank was copied from a few ads that I had showing the tank lettering; I researched the decal and pinstriping the same way. The last picture shows the 6-feed Madison-Kipp oiler all setup with copper tubing plumbed.

Our other accomplishment was to have a battery box bent for the tractor. I only had three images of it to go from (none of them really showed the dimensions) so I decided to make it 16 x 5 x 7. We don’t intend on running this with a full size 6 volt – rather the little gel pack. By doing this we were able to maintain original battery box dimensions instead of making something boxy to hold a heavy full size battery. Remember this would have come equipped from the factory with 4 or 6 telephone batteries connected in series; therefore, necessitating a rectangular box. It actually fits in a 17 ½ notch in the frame right above the water pump – if you look at the picture of the oiler you will notice a round hole in the frame to the left - that’s one of the holes that box bolts to. The 5-inch width matches well with the width of where it fits into the frame. As for the height, I tried to get as much there as possible so that it could act not only as a battery box but also as another place to store ‘stuff’ at shows. I'll post a picture of it next time.

Speaking of batteries and shows, we did get it to fire!!! We got 6 or 8 pops out of it after filling the carburetor bowl. When we try again it will be an official YouTube worthy moment that I want all of you to share in so yes of course it will be filmed. You should see the tractor running and not just firing.
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:02:06 AM
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Default Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

can not wait to hear video
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  #76  
Old 01-17-2008, 01:08:23 AM
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Photo Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

Sorry folks we still have not had it running – which means we're not done yet. The focus of the last couple of weeks has been to get everything reassembled! Again, my father has been doing the lion share of the work – but he’s retired and I’m not so that explains that! Found some old patents on this old girl and we were able to see how the oil lines were originally run from the top of the differential case, through the fenders and out to the roller pinions. Also, the battery box I was talking about in the last post fits very nice and looks perfect! Figured out a question that has been bothering me for months now about that box. On the pictures and engravings that I have been studying for reference there is this wire attached and running along the full front length of the battery box. So I have been thinking how in the world is that battery cable connected, to where and why? Well it’s NOT a wire, its actually showing how the fuel line was attached to the front of the battery box!

We are driven to take such care with small detail because at the end of this we are hoping to have one of the nicest restored Happy Farmers out there. But at the very least, we would like the most correct and closest to original that exists. We do have few ‘finishing touches’ that we are working on, but those will be strictly cosmetic, very originally reproduced, but nonetheless cosmetic. Can’t wait to show you when they are done!

The finish work always takes the longest - but well worth it in the end - like some of the painting and fittings that need to be finished up yet.

Here’s a random Happy Farmer fact I found out: In 1918 a young man and recent high school graduate decided to take a more active role in the family farm. Along with the many different types of livestock he decided on raising he also decided to order a La Crosse Happy Farmer Tractor with a two-gang plow to mechanize the Minnesota family farm. That same Happy Farmer driving young man would later become the world-renowned pilot for the Spirit of St. Louis. His name of course is Charles A. Lindbergh. I found this information in his autobiography - Lindbergh Looks Back: A Boyhood Reminiscence. So I guess it is possible that someone could actually have the Lindbergh tractor and not know it…???… or maybe it ended up falling to the ground in Germany like so many others.
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Last edited by Randy Reysen; 01-17-2008 at 10:48:24 PM.
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  #77  
Old 01-17-2008, 09:53:19 AM
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Default Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

That's a beautiful job of restoration Randy... You have MUCH to be proud of when you take that beauty out! Did you enclose a picture of the "crank" or starting aparatus?
Gary
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  #78  
Old 01-18-2008, 10:46:13 AM
DavidRaines DavidRaines is offline
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Default Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

Randy, very nice job. I was looking at the rubber tread and wondered where a person could find ones for the rear and we also need some for the front?
Thanks
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  #79  
Old 01-18-2008, 11:30:46 AM
Kelly Tytlandsvik Kelly Tytlandsvik is offline
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Default Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

I have a catalog from M.E. Miller tire that shows the rubber lugs. As well they have front wheel bands. Here is the web site millertire.com just e-mail them and ask for a catalog they will be glad to send you one.

Kelly T
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Old 01-18-2008, 12:09:20 PM
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Default Re: The Not So Happy 'Happy Farmer' - YET!

David,

I looked at the Miller cleats first and although they are very nice I could not justify spending over a $1,000 for tread - we would have just bolted old tractor tire tread on them then. I did really like the fact that they have a metal insert, but again for as many cleats as we needed to put on it could not be justified. So I googled rubber suppliers in our area and found one less than an hour away. We got this from www.milwaukeerubber.com - the cost was MUCH!!! less than from the Miller supplier. We did have to cut the angles and drill the holes for them; however, that kind of stuff needs to be done in house anyway to insure the right fit.

So my suggestion would be find a rubber supplier near you and order from there. We ordered 48 Neoprene 19 inch sections 3/4 inch thick and customized them from there. I would also suggest that you use www.thomasnet.com for your search as they are like an industrial online yellow pages.
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