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Antique Steel Wheel Tractors - Old Iron Lugs and Cleats

My first Twin City


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  #1  
Old 11-14-2009, 06:53:55 PM
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Rick Schmitz Rick Schmitz is offline
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Photo My first Twin City

I bought this twin city 12/20 a couple of weeks ago. I didnt know much about twin city tractors,but Tony thompsons resource page was very informitive.I was suprised to learn it has 4 valves per cylinder and twin cams,was this a common engine design at the time?
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  #2  
Old 11-14-2009, 07:10:15 PM
Mike McKnight Mike McKnight is offline
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Default Re: My first twin city

Not hardly! I'm pretty sure TC came up with the concept. Folks, am I wrong?
Mike M
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:17:19 PM
EngineBob EngineBob is offline
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Default Re: My first twin city

Not sure. But nice tractor. I need to get off of my (your line here) and get a Twin City one of these days.
EB
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:00:19 PM
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Default Re: My first twin city

Rick congrats on the TC!! You guys keep this up and I'll want one. Keep us posted on your progress with her Rick, thanks.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:06:40 PM
Tony Thompson Tony Thompson is offline
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Default Re: My first twin city

Rick,
Welcome to Smokstak!
Congrats on your recent purchase!
The Stakkers know that TC is my favorite, so I will try to hold back a bit so I do not grind all of you to pieces with my enthusiasm.
What is really impressive about the 12-20 is the time of manufacture. The 340 c.i. 5,000 lb 12-20's are photographed and dated hard at work in October 1918. This means that the twin cam, 16 valve, unit frame, inline engine, with fully enclosed transmission and final drives running in oil was probably on the drawing board as early as 1916!
This machine posted unusually high fuel economy and exceeded its power rating while pulling three sixteens, even in heavy soil.
Compare that with any tractor you like in the late teens, as many of them were channel frame with exposed gearing.

Reveling in their immediate success, the engineers at Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Co. introduced a carbon copy of the 12-20 at the end of 1919 that weighed 9,000 lbs and was powered by a 641 c.i. twin cam 16 valve engine
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:22:17 PM
Sloroll Sloroll is offline
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Default Re: My first twin city

Nice snag! It is going to be a "Someday" for me. Neat old machines!
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:39:14 PM
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Photo Re: My first twin city

The s/n tag is missing, but I found the #13516 stamped into the left rear engine leg bellow the mag.I would assume this is the s/n as well?
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:26:57 AM
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Default Re: My first twin city

Hi Rick
The number in the left rear engine leg is the engine serial number. It would not be the same as the tractor serial number. The engine numbers fall in a range of about 100 to 200 from the tractor number with no certain pattern.
Have fun with your new (old) TC
Jim
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:05:28 AM
Tony Thompson Tony Thompson is offline
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Default Re: My first twin city

Rick,
We have no year-to-year serial number list for 12-20's, however, with more information I may be able to place your tractor into one of three groups.
1918-1920
1921-1923
1924-1925.
Can you get an engine photo and overall photo of the other/right hand side of your machine?
Does this machine use a sheet metal oil pan or cast iron?
Is the belt pulley shaft & bearing capped by a round 4 bolt end plate made out of mild steel, or a cast end cap? (right hand side of trans case).
Tony
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:50:29 PM
PB in IN PB in IN is offline
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Default Re: My first twin city

nice find looks like a fun project
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:43:57 PM
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Photo Re: My first twin city

Here is some more pics.The oil pan is sheet metal and the cover plate appears to be steel.12/20 is cast into the lower portion of the rad unlike the earlier ones.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:00:53 PM
Tony Thompson Tony Thompson is offline
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Default Re: My first twin city

Rick,
Your TC is not older than 1920.
I see some early and mid-production components in place.
The best we can do is to put it in the 1921-1923 time slot.
Your engine number is early, as is other items on your machine,....makes me want to lean more toward 1921 than 1923?
Knowing the exact year is less important than the fact that these tractors rarely show up for sale and this one is yours!
Most of the "baby" twin cams are 17-28's. They are 1926 and newer so more of them survived. 12-20's are 1925 and older and the war generated scrap drives were very hard on pre 1925iron. You have a great project tractor on hand! Good luck!
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:35:40 PM
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Default Re: My first twin city

I sure appreciate your help Tony thank you!. Phil Johnson came by to see the tractor and together we determined its missing the oiler cups - one priming cup - the clutch inspection plate - the starting tank and it appears not to have the original air cleaner.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:35:16 AM
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Default Re: My first twin city

Presumably, the v belt fan drive has been retro-fitted? My 1926 17-28 has a flat belt. Good luck with the restoration.

Tricky Dickie
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:15:22 PM
Tony Thompson Tony Thompson is offline
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Default Re: My first Twin City

Rick,
Do not feel dissapointed about the missing parts.
ALL of the items you mentioned are available! Be patient, I can line you up with a perfectly done early Bennett cyclonic dry type air cleaner reproduction by a master sheet metal man.
The oiler cups and primer cups are no problem. the clutch cover is the same one for many years...12-20, 17-28, 21-32...all the same! part number is TY169A.
Another tidbit for TC collectors, radiator caps for 12-20,17-28,21-32,KT,KTA,MT,MTA,20-35, 27-44.....all the same! part number TY6A.

Do not sweat these little items, I can steer you directly to the problem areas and save you much trouble if you can tolorate some more questions from me.

Three questions.....Is this tractor going to sit idle for some time, or are you prepping for surgical restoration right away?
Is the engine loose?
Does the tractor shift from gear to gear easily?

Place machine in any gear, Rotate belt pulley either direction until you feel the gear slack dissapear and the weight of your tractor against the rear wheels halts easy rotation of pulley.
Now, slowly turn pulley back the other direction until resistance is established. How far did you turn the pulley? (meaning how much gear slack/wear did you encounter?)
1/2 turn, 3/4 turn, 1&1/4 turn?
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:46:17 PM
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Photo Re: My first Twin City

Yes your right Richard that belt is somthing else that not original on this tractor.That aluminum pully stands out like a sore thumb.

I got a little over a half turn out of the belt pully.

The gear shifter seems little more stiff than it should be.

The motor is loose,Id like to try and start it but I think I will wait untill spring.
I plan on fully restoring this tractor but unfortunately I have a few projects I got to do first so it might be a year or two before I can start it, but if I start collecting the parts I need now, it should make the restoration go faster and easier..... well at least in theory.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:23:01 PM
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Default Re: My first Twin City

could just be rust or dry grease around the opening whole into the rear end that the shift shaft goes through. Or extremely old grease in the rear end and or your little shift balls under the side cover are rusted in place. Encountered this a bunch of times.... fun!
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:07:22 PM
Tony Thompson Tony Thompson is offline
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Default Re: My first Twin City

Rick,
A bit over 1/2 turn on the belt pulley.....encouraging news!

Early 12-20's used a small diameter belt pulley shaft. Low and high speed pinions and corresponding shifting forks move left and right on small diameter shaft. the bevel gear on pulley shaft was retained by a poorly engineered keeper.....long story short, the early machines had failure-prone primary transmissions. This problem was addressed sometime after 1920??, by increasing diameter of all of these parts and beefing up the bevel gear and retainer that transmits power from clutch shaft.

(old number two was pulled to death, until it could not even pull it own weight anymore and was parked in 1947. it had more than a full turn of wear at pulley).

Next item, shifter.
Your tractor shifts hard because the shifting rails and spring loaded detent balls are dryed out from sitting for many years. Applying extra effort to shifter can and will.....
break shift lever off,
shear off taper pins in linkage,
bend primary shift fork in upper clutch housing,
make you kick your dog, or yell at your kids.

Look at photo of big twin cam below.
Remove single bolt in small upper oval cap on your 12-20.
Pull out two springs and retrieve detent balls with a magnet.
I have seen these springs so pitted with rust, they pull out in pieces....if you replace them, do not use a heavier spring, as it will apply detent balls to hard, causing hard shifting.
Take off larger oval rail cap exposing shift rails on both sides of tractor. Flood shifting rails with heavy oil, or grease them untill they operate smooth.
This applies to baby, and big twin cam tractors.

Do not try to start this engine.....yet.
The only form of oil filter is a brass screen at bottom sump area of oil pan. It may well be entombed in a thick 50 year old accumulation of petroleum sludge with a layer of water under it. Pull off large oil line and turn out large fitting from oil pan. A long tube-shaped brass screen is soldered on this fitting with an anti-collapsing spring inside. Go in bottom of oil pan with a homeade angle scraper and dredge out bottom of pan through oil filter hole.
Check condition of filter screen and the long spring inside that prevents collaps. Obviously sludge or rusted, crumbling inner spring could seriously empeed oil flow to oil pump. Worse yet is pieces of the rotting screen/spring are just waiting to get sucked through your oil pump when you try to start this machine without checking first.....remember the dog, and the kids

Stuck valves mean bent pushrods. If you think this engine will run without a valve job, generously hand oil all the valve stems, rocker assemblies, and let plenty of oil run down the lenghth of pushrods to flood both sets of camshaft lobes and lifters so you dont damage them on a "dry" startup.
The oil pump must be primed before startup. There are two plugs in top side of oil pump. One of them allows you to pour oil right into pump gear cavity for priming. the other affords you access to a threaded vertical passage containing a screwdriver-slotted plug that alows you to increase or decrease oil pressure by turning in/down, or up/out.
Remove pump regulation plug, spring and check ball for inspection. The ball must not be badly pitted, and the springs can and do rub against the threaded bore while they deform from compression causing them to wear in half, making the pump adjustments ineffective. (18-20 lbs is plenty)
It is my opinion that "most of these sleeping antique engines should be torn down for inspection, however, common sence and attention given to the problem areas mentioned above should allow you to wake up a twin cam TC engine that is in fair/good condition without causing more damage than an overeager starting attempt is worth.
My phone number is on my profile page for future reference, and you can see "old number two" by clicking on "show all albums".
Good luck
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:18:11 PM
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Default Re: My first Twin City

Hey Tony, I was just about to tell him about the oil pump priming and check ball items. I've seen quite a few rods with babbit thrown around in the pan because of no oil after years of setting. Most of my TC 16 valve tractors have required a new spring and ball in the oil pumps. If a TC has set for even a couple of days its a good idea to prime the oil pump, better safe than sorry!
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:42:07 AM
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Photo Re: My first Twin City

Too late! The shifter is already broken, a previous owner slipped a piece of flatend pipe over the inch and a half stub.

gleaner is right "better safe than sorry" I will take your advice and thoroughly check the engine before I start it up.

The inside of the fenders have a bracket that oviously need to be attached to somthing, but what and where? There must be somthing missing!

I have seen your #2 Tony in Antique Power (april 2007 issue). That looks like a beautiful restoration you did there! Its those pics that are inspiring me to want to fully restore mine.

P.S. My dog deserves a kick in the _ _ _ !
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