Greetings to all!
I am the proud new owner of a Model T Shaw Tractor conversion (picture at end of this post).
Here is a link to more detailed pictures of underside, engine, etc.: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/112775800062295035863/albums/5924199325701801761?hl=en
I'm making a callout to members here requesting help with some information based on your expertise. I'm mainly looking for a ballpark model year and an idea what model type the car would have been originally, before the conversion. The engine serial number is a bit difficult to make out with the naked eye. I think that someone here has the ability to "CSI" it. Images above the water inlet are in the photo album linked above.
Brief overview: I saw her on AuctionZip based on one of my saved searches "Ford Tractor". I have a 1953 Ford NAA Golden Jubilee and keep any eye out for another Ford NAA tractor - you can't have just one ;). A 9N was listed in addition to what was listed as an "Early Fordson". As you can see, the Early Fordson is a Model T Shaw Tractor Conversion.
It appeared to me that the grandchildren of the estate were the ones who arranged the estate auction - the one lady appeared to be in her mid-to-late 40's. I'm guessing that the guy who owned it (her grandfather) may have restored it or may have been the original owner. I mention this because all, or most, of the parts which are missing from the engine were stored away and came along with this treasure (carburetor, electrical components, linkage rods, belts, pullies, etc). I speculate that the guy was smart enough to remove all of the parts that could easily "walk away" while this beauty was resting down by the road of the estate.
A guy named Stan Pierson has a Model T Shaw Tractor Conversion up in Erie, PA. He was also biding on her, but I bid higher. Stan helped identify her as a Shaw Tractor Conversion. The notion is that there are not very many Model T Shaw Tractor Conversions around these days. Thoughts?
Stan also noticed that it is electric start. I read that this means that it is probably after 1917?
Lastly, from a restoration point of view: I'd like to hear some feedback on which restoration route you would go with
Electric start dates it to 1919 or later. The pedals place it before 1926. Put a straight edge across under the radiator shell and measure from that to the top of the shell. Over 18" is 24-25. Under 18" is 19-23.
I know nothing about the Shaw conversion. If it was available during those years (1919-1925) that's how I'd restore it. Rubber tractor tires didn't appear until after 1930.
By the way, welcome to the Model T affliction, as the saying goes. Here are a couple of links for you. Some of the information applies to your tractor. Even more will apply when you get a Model T car, which is quite likely. As the old potato chip commercial used to say, you can't have just one.
Nice tractor. I like the homemade one of a kind tractors like that and would leave the "body" like it is.
I saw an antique tractor in a parade last week that had the rear wheel cleats replaced with strips of rubber cut from car tires. Stock T wheels would look good on the front.
Much appreciated Steve. I'm a documentation and manual guy. I've already ordered the service manual, engine and electrical manuals. I will certainly be sourcing and acquiring the others. Your post on the thrust washers is very enlightening.
Hi fellow conversion owner. I have a little info to share on your conversion. I have a 31-32 Montgomery Ward "Trailblazer" conversion. On your Shaw conversion I believe that they started making them in 1928. In 1929 to early 31 they were sold in the Montgomery Wards catalog as "Trailblazers" then in late 31 to early 32 Montgomery Ward changed to another manufacture for the conversions. They were made by the Peru Wagon and Wheel Co. in 31 and 32 with a internal tooth bull gear. It was almost a copy of Shaws design. The internal tooth design was a bad design. It allowed dirt, rocks, sticks, ect to pass thru the gears and wore them out fast or broke them. Then in late 32 the Peru Wagon and Wheel Co. stared making a external tooth design that was superior to the old Shaw design. The Peru Co. made that same design for Montgomery Ward till just befor WWII. I believe because Wards dropped Shaw that is the reason they became there own producing Company and built there own conversions and small garden tractors, walk behinds ect. I am going to try attach some pics of ads from my Montgomery Wards catalogs. The 95.00 tractor is from 1929 to early 31 and is a Shaw. The 69.00 tractor is a early internal tooth bull gear Peru Co. tractor and is like my tractor. The last ad is for a 1932 and later Peru tractor with external tooth bull gear. If you have not found it yet there is a club for Shaws. It is Shaw Du-All Tractor Club. They call themselves "Shawsters" I do not know how to do links but a Google search should find them. Sears also had a tractor that is similar to a Shaw. Im not sure if they used Shaw for awhile or not. They called there tractor a "Thrifty Farmer" Ill attach a couple pics of my tractor also. Im leaving mine in as found condition and mechanically fixing it. I like to leave them in there "work clothes". As to your motor it is a 1923 24 or 25. since it has the one piece valve cover and no bolt holes for the 26-27 style hogs head. It looks rough but I have always said if all the parts are there and they go "up and down" or "round and round" a model T will run. Also there was a old original Shaw brochure or manual on e-bay awhile back. I do not think it sold. One of the literature dealers had it listed. If interested in it I may be able to find it again. Its one of the major dealers but the name slips my "old timers" brain. Good luck with the conversion and keep us posted and add lots of pics. We love to see pics. Donnie....
Hi: In the ads above you will notice how much the 69.00 tractor resembles the 95.00 tractor. I believe the Peru Co. almost copied the Shaw tractor. My tractor and yours will be very similar if yours has the internal tooth bull gear. I can not remember if it did or not. Ill have to look at your pics again. Donnie...
Hi: I found the name of the literature dealer who may have the catalog. it is autolit.com go to there site and do a search. they may still have it. I think it was in the 45.00 price range (may be mistaken) but I did not need it. I would love to find one for my Trail Blazer. Donnie...
I notice one big difference between the two tractors. Rear spring, or not.
I have a 1925 T Shaw Conversion and am about 90% complete on a nut and bolt restoration on her. I found mine about a year ago on a regional Craigslist search and drove 10 hours to go get her. I've posted some pictures here on the forum and will post more once she's done. Congratulations on your find - she's beautiful and in a lot better shape than what I started with. As far as T conversion kits, the Shaw is among the more seldom seen (compared to Sears, Fon-du-Lac, Montgomery Ward and PullFord).
Shaw's trademark was the external teeth on the bull gear - different from all other kits offered at the time. Thinking was that the external configuration would help prevent rocks from collecting in the gear and shearing a tooth.
You could buy the kit from Shaw and install it yourself OR buy an assembled unit from an authorized Shaw agent. Your front end has been narrowed and cleanly so (with wishbone shortened, perches moved) - mine is the same. The quality of welds and cuts on mine made me suspect it was an assembled unit from an agent (I have a lot of experience with "farm welds" on doodlebugs and the ones on the Shaw are just too high quality to have been a shadetree operation). I'm running standard T wheels and tires on the front of mine, because the cast iron Shaw wheels disappeared somewhere in her lifetime. You are pretty fortunate to have them.
Stan Pierson bought his in North Adams, MA - not far from me. I know the gentleman who rescued Stan's tractor and did the bulk of the restoration. There are pictures of how it looked when it was originally found (tree growing up through it) in the Forum archives.
What i think is funny about the ads is [does the work of two horses]!! If your pulling a single 12" plow all day resting the horses and working the would be tractor,maby. If you just hung your model TT loaded truck in the mud,you had better harness the team!Bud.
Ooops - was looking at the wrong picture. Does not appear that your front end was narrowed Jim. Everything is in its original place.
Donnie Brown - Great info on the various flavors of the Shaw conversion. I was in fact looking for one of the advertisements and have bookmarked autolit.
- like it.
if all the parts are there and they go "up and down" or "round and round" a model T will run
- like it. I did the same with my '53 Golden Jubilee.
I like to leave them in there "work clothes"
Jim> The Bull Gears are the big gears on the wheels. You must be talking about the small pinion gears that attach to the model T rear axles. Hope you find yours as they are a hard part to find. My Trail Blazer was missing its drive pinions. They were "roller pinions" I had to totally fab up a set. I hope your style is a basic gear. Ill add a pic of a gear that should be similar to yours (red gear) I found the pic on the web and not sure type of tractor conversion its on. and some pics of the roller pinions I made for mine.
Jim Just to clarafy about the ads. The only one of the tractor conversions that is a Shaw is the one in the ad costing 95.00 the other 2 are made by the Peru Wagon and Wheel Co. Like Ron said above, Shaws trademark was the external tooth bull gear, but I am not for sure if the very early Shaws were internal or external. I think the very early ones were internal and they figured out real quick that it is a very poor design. They probably changed very early in production. But I can stand corrected on that if anyone has more info... Donnie
Donnie -- That's a clever way to fabricate the pinion gears. The gears painted red in the upper pic have certainly done some work!
This is my Pullford at Old Thrashers reunion
Mike: The roller pinions are an exact copy of what was used on the Trail Blazers. Another Trail Blazer owner was good enough to take pics of his and also give me very accurate micrometer measurements to fab them from. It took me almost a week to make them in my shop. The only differance is my bolts have hex heads and his were square. I oppted to use the hex head so I could use grade 8 bolts. I do not know if the roller pinions are a better design than a standard spur gear. I think they would roll smoother and have less friction but dirt probably ate them up pretty fast. For the way we use them today they will probley last forever. I still have the measurements and can explain how I built them if someone needs to fab a set. The pics of the original pinions are from his original tractor conversion. Donnie...
Here is a link with a Shaw Catalog. After it opens find the the catalog on the left side of screen. Notice that they give the password needed to open it. When you click on the link it will ask you for the password before it opens. Good stuff!
Lance: Thanks for sharing the link. That is a very nice catalog.!! Now Im jealous, I want to see a nice catalog for my Trail Blazer. You were right. Good stuff ...
Here's the Fond Du Lac conversion on a TT chassis I got this summer.
It has the roller type pinions one of which is missing.
Donnie Brown - Thank you for the clarification. I was a little misinformed at one point. Now I'm clear on what the bull gear is and the external tooth configuration. You are right that it is the drive pinions that are currently missing. I kind of figured that it might be a hard part to find and might need to be fabricated.
Yes - got the clarification on the ads. I kind of meant the similarities amongst the various offerings that you had pointed out - very interesting.
Lance Sorenson - I actually downloaded and printed (in color) the whole thing and put it into a nice binder... That was a great piece!
The additional information that you all are providing is golden. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.
Today was her maiden post-restoration drive. Just the hood with the Shaw graphics to go (and a bit of timing refinement):
Some more pics from today:
Hi: Thanks for sharing the pics. Nice conversion. Ill take that license off your hands if you decide to throw it away. Donnie ...
Donnie - I've had that license plate a long time (was on my '25 TT and took it off when I sold her). If I come across another one, I'll snag it for you. Amazing how many people do not know what the 18th Amendment was.
All of these tractors are so cool. I've wanted one for years, but have never found one at the right time.
Ron, are you sure that drawbar will be tough enough to hold all of that power? <g> Dave
Great tractor resto Ron. Nice!!
Dave - you're probably right - insufficient for those rampant 20 horses (good thing she's retired from anything taxing).
Gary - thanks! Will post final pictures when her hood is done and the Shaw graphics are on.
I have a set of those roller hubs. Packed them to about half a dozen swap meets and finally buried them under other junk in the shop.
Jim, my answer to your original question. If you are going to drive it in parades, go with rubber. If you are going to knock around the farm with it, then stay with steel.
Looks like its going to take some work and a couple of nickels to get it in working order.
Ted Dumas - Another great perspective. I was wondering if there would be an easy way to have my cake and eat it too. Multiple rear ends? Second set of front and rear wheels? Would it even be feasible?
Ron - She is absolutely beautiful! I'm going to show her to my wife to let her see what mine could look like.
Donnie Brown - I just spent more time looking at the gear pictures that you posted. First, very nice fabrication of the roller pinions.
The bull gears in the first pic (red) are external, but the whole thing looks a little different than mine.
Here is a better pic of my bull gear and "missing" pinion gear.
Bob Gruber - Spanaway, Wash - Thanks for the pic of the Fond Du Lac. Looks like you might have a little more work to do on her than I. I think she looks great and would have brought her home too.
Hood graphics done......almost there after exactly 1 calendar year since bringing her home!! She is anxious to mingle in the world again after 30+ years in a cowshed.
Very nice and tastefully done! You are sure to be a hit at all car and farm shows.
Great tractor Ron, can you take some pictures of how they attached the front spring to the axle? Stan on those roller hubs that you have, a six roller hub may be for the Trail Blazer but the Fon Da Lac has a five roller hub. At least mine does, I cant say all do. Jim
I had a conversion some years ago. There is also one at the Piquette Plant.
The old timer that sold me mine told me NOT to make it fancy and restored. He told me that if you were trying to farm with that thing in the '30's during the Depression, you couldn't afford paint.
Well Jon, I've been messing with Model As, Model Ts - cars and doodlebugs - for 40 years now (had my first doodlebug when I was 9 years old - still have it in fact). After all that time, I have come to heartily agree with the philosophy that we're just temporary caretakers and our job is to push them further down the line. My conversion sat in a cow shed for 30+ years and was fodder for scrappers - she was pretty bad off. If a nut & bolt restoration that resulted in "too nice" BUT buys her another 88 years, then I've done my job as a caretaker.
Jim - will do on the front spring pics - and I'll post them here. The front end was significantly narrowed (a really neat, clean job of it too).
Here are the pics you asked for. As I said, the front end was significantly narrowed. Axle was cut down, wishbone shortened, drag link, etc. Very clean cuts and professional welds - which is why I suspect it was a Shaw dealer-assembled kit and not a backyard job. The tops of the perches were cut off, welded to the ends of the axles (again, it's hard to see the welds they were done so well) and the shackles hung from them.
Latest project - picked her up two weeks ago (after chasing her for 4 years). After 20+ years of sitting idle, she runs beautifully.
Can't wait to see what you do with this one. Cool.
Actually, you may want to start another thread for this one so it doesn't get buried or passed over.
She was radically narrowed as well - which is unusual for a doodlebug. Front axle is a single-point mount. Second transmission is a mongrel - not Ford.
Ron, thanks for the pictures of the spring attachment. When they used the ford spring, the wheels can't move up and down like a pivoted front axle allows. With a ford spring, the frame gets a good twist when one wheel goes in a furrow. Jim
Nice pictures of the roller pinions you made for your Montgomery Ward. I need to make new rollers for my tractor and was wondering how much clearance there should be on the ID and the length? I guess they need to have more clearance than normal to let the dirt fall out. Did you harden the rollers?
Sherman: The roller pinions I made have .060 end play clearance. They run .030 clearance on the bolts. I made my rollers from model T piston wrist pins. The problem you may have is the stock bolts for the rollers are 1/2 inch. The wrist pins have a 7/16 ID. I cut the wrist pins in half and then ran a good quality drill bit thru them to clean up the "crimp" for the lock bolt. I used grade 8 , 7/16 bolts for the rollers to run on. The wrist pins are already hardened. I was having a hard time finding the hardened rollers with the correct OD and 1/2 inch ID. The OD of the wrist pins are the same as the OD of the original rollers. I think you sent me a PM and I answered you with a diagram of the whole assembly. If you did not receive it check your spam or trash folder. If you need more info send me a PM and Ill get back to you.
My Fond Du Lac has six roller hubs.