By popular request, this is a continuation of the following thread (which was getting too long):
OK - I'll prime the pump. My '27 T/IHC mower conversion (the next preservation project) waiting to get tucked into her barn for the winter:
And......in the barn with one of her sisters and the '17 power unit:
Found this previously posted on the forum back in 2009
Here is another I ran across somewhere too.....
Interesting single rear wheel conversion.
Miss Jillian on the one and only (so I've been told) Ness crawler.
How long have you had the Ness? It is beautiful!!
Tom, that thing is crazy cool. Very neat!
Ron, tain't mine. It belongs to a friend of mine.
Does it steer via those two long levers and are they brake levers?
The levers are called Laterals. Individual control of each track.
Tom, it is beautiful!! Friend wouldn't be looking to part with her, would he?
I really like the look's of the Ness tractor but is it brake's or clutch's or both?? Bud.
My neighbor just sold a tractor last week but it didn't have a steering wheel or a seat. He said it was perfect for the farmer who lost his a$$ and didn't know which way to turn.
Brakes only. The levers are T radius rods acting on 28 Chevrolet brake drums. Before we fixed it up the brake drums had been totally worn through in places. I had a couple of nice ones in my pile that we replaced them with.
I think the concept was that you bought a T chassis and the Ness kit, and other than the Chevrolet brake drums (which were likely easy to get then) you had all that you needed to build a little crawler. Why they never went into production is beyond me. Perhaps the kit was too expensive?
It sure would be nice to see it in use!!?? With differental steer maybe it was to hard on spider gears??.With spider gear action did it turn fast?? Bud.
The platform on my '27 T/IHC conversion is made of old running boards - as is the battery box (whoever built this re-used/re-purposed every T part possible - in the most clever ways). I cannot ID this section of running board however - see picture. Small Ford script stamped in towards the very bottom edge. Can anyone identify? I have never seen anything like it on a T or A.
Just a mundane "update posting" to keep the thread alive.
9" of snow here last week in Central Massachusetts made it difficult to get back to the shed where the T/IHC is stored - so I spent the time working on some really, REALLY rough wheels for the back on the '17 power unit. The power unit has some decent wood-fellow wheels on it now, but a friend of mine is working on a correct early Worthington conversion and I intend on offering them to him (he was looking for a set a while ago). My Shaw had a really bad set of 21" on her front when I pulled her out of the barn down in Philadelphia (nearly three years ago). Because I hate to throw anything away, I held on to them - intending really just to save the hubs. After looking at them a couple of weeks ago, I decided they would be more than adequate for the back of my new power unit: spokes and the rims (despite questionable true-ness and a few pinholes from really heavy rust) were solid enough for the 5 mph rolling the power unit would do behind my '27 doodlebug. I had been thinking of putting 21" wheels on the front of the T/IHC, so I had a set of tires, tubes and rim flaps standing by. In the end, I decided to keep the custom wheels on the front (T wheels cut to 18" and fitted with antique motorcycle tires), so the power unit would be getting brand new rubber to go with the new wheels.
Spent the day before Thanksgiving, the day after and the subsequent weekend cleaning up the rims, fellows, hubs and sanding down the spokes on the "new wheels." Then applied about a quart of boiled linseed oil (cut with mineral spirits) to EVERYTHING - spokes drank in most of it.
I have 30-3.5 clinchers on both the Shaw and '27 and have become pretty good at mounting them. I had ZERO experience mounting 21" on split rims. After freeing up the rim gates from 90 years of rust, the rims released nicely. Few hours with rotary drill/wire brush attachment, linseed oil brush and the rims were ready for the rubber. After slipping tire, tube and rim flap over the rims, I quickly identified the value of all those rim spreaders I had seen on T-bay over the years. Not having one, I improvised with an old scissors jack and some wooden blocks. About 15 minutes worth of fumbling around with jack and blocks produced a locked ring and an assembly ready to be inflated.
Here are some pictures - before/after, close up of the split gate before being cleaned up and one completed wheel:
Oval gas tank and mounting piece for the power unit are next.
Great stuff! I like to see what you are doing with some otherwise marginal parts.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Wayne, thank you! I like to keep in mind that doodlebugs and other period homemade equipment are the last options for the marginal stuff before a scrapper. That is why my Shaw is the last glossy restoration I'll do (did the same with my A stuff). Patina-preserving, linseed oil specials that are mechanically sound look good, attract attention and offer a venue to use stuff that would never even make a "driver quality" car - that's all I'll do now. Only thing I ALWAYS go brand new on are radiators. Too frustrating to do anything else in that area.
If you still have my number, give me a call.
I may have something for you after I talk with you.
When the 2014 Forum closes out for the year, I'll start another doodlebug thread for 2015. My T/IHC conversion is tucked away in a shed and hard to get at, so am continuing to work on the '17 power unit. The hood, coil box, gas tank and rear wheels (see above) are done - all cleaned up, rebuilt (in the case of the wheels and coil box) and refinished in linseed oil. I had to build a new mounting stand for the oval gas tank - the old one was shot and would not accommodate an actual T tank (they had some mongrel tank off an old farm tractor on there before). The new stand had to be tall enough to clear the e-brake handle. Built that out of mahogany uprights and a red oak mounting platform - aged all three pieces to match the patina.
Was debating about a firewall - it had a flat stock hoop in place of a firewall beforehand, that left the entire back of the engine exposed and was not particularly sturdy for holding up a hood. It should have a wood firewall, but was looking at putting a low steel one in to offer additional mounting options for the gas tank (if the stand did not work out). I posted an ad on the classifieds and Donnie Brown came through IMMEDIATELY with a perfect low firewall - crusty, with rust holes (see picture below) and a spot-on patina match for the rest of the unit.
I cleaned the bulk scale off the firewall, put it through the linseed oil treatment and added new lacing. I then used the remains of a rotted through hood side I had hanging around and some really old galvanized steel to build block off plates for the unnecessary holes in the firewall (keep bulk sawdust out of the engine bay). The coil box was an original '17, but whoever made the unit built brackets and mounted it to the engine (like a '26/'27) - so the steering column and coil box holes are no longer necessary:
Good job Ron. I love that little power unit, I think the wife would kill me if I built/bought one.
I am caught in a crossfire with mine. I wanted to keep it rustic looking, but I have a lot of new and fabricated parts that seem to get painted when installed. Maybe i'll just have to let them age naturally, let the thing sit outside and weather some.
Good news for me, I got it fired up for the first time yesterday. That bad is it doesn't run so great. Hoping it is a plug issue as they got drowned in gas, it seems to be getting better. I also hear a rattle in the engine that I don't remember hearing when I bought it, not sure if it is an ignition timing issue. I almost regret not putting this thing on coils and Anderson timer like my pickup has. I had nothing and figured for something that was going to spend a lot of time outside a distributor would have been a set it and forget it deal. Maybe some tuning will bring this thing around.
I will tease and hold off on pictures until the new thread starts, ha ha
Ron: that is one fine looking firewall you have there . Glad to see it being used.
Donnie - sent you an email a couple of days ago, but am not sure if you received it. Thanks to you, Kathy and Mom for my Christmas gift!!
Chad - power units are TINY!! Your wife won't mind.
Regarding new parts - if painted, they'll weather (as a new repair part would have weathered 70 years ago). If unpainted, leave as is to season.
I think you're dead on with your assessment - timing. Does it make the noise on all spark positions?
BTW - am chasing something in your neck of the woods (NY) right now. If I hit pay dirt, I'll post pics. This one is keeping me up at night.
Changing position of the distributor with the spark rod almost makes no difference at all in any position. Starts ups and runs though pretty easily. Can't be that far off, I don't get it though.
What you chasing isn't this is it?
Chad and Ron. Whoever gets that treasure above. WOW I love it. The sign is the best part. I hope the other 1/2 of the sign is on the other side. That sign and saw would have to stay with it. Ron, you mention using mahogany above. Would you have a piece big enough to make my Speedster dashboard with. It needs to be aprox 32 to 36 inches long and about 5 to 6 inch wide. I want mahogany so it will match my steering wheel. Ill have to measure it to make sure of the size... I did receive the e-mail, just been too busy with stuff to remember to answer
Donnie, have written the guy three times now - no reply. Thing is keeping me awake at night. If I get it, you can bet that sign is staying!!
Let me check and see if I have anything left that matches those dimensions.
I like how the oval gas tank gives the power unit the appearance of a Fordson tractor. I also like the "Hoover Wagon" trailer tongue.
Donnie - I LOVE it!! Got a call back today, going to see it this week. Will let you know how it turns out.
Only piece of mahogany I have left is 17"x5.5". My uprights weren't even as long as you're looking for. In any case, the 17" piece is yours if you want it.
Ron, let me know about the other part of that saw deal. Call me!
I hope you can grab that, it would go great with your collection.
Hope you get it, The mahogany will be too short, thanks for looking. If you get the unit post a bunch of pictures.
Chad - absolutely!
Donnie - I do too. If I do, pictures will be posted!!
The mahogany piece I have is 1" thick. If you didn't mind a seam center mass of the dash, you could run it lengthwise down a bandsaw and end up with two 17", 1/2" thick pieces.
Old Ron forgot to inform us he was on the Lang's Model T calendar with his beautiful Shaw T Tractor. Just got mine today. GREAT JOB!!
Thanks Chad - it did slip my mind. Here is what I started with (collapsed barn-fresh, where she had slept for 40 years):