Starting part 3 for the 3rd quater of the year.
Link to 2016 part 2:
Link to Part 1:
Kicking off this edition, a wonderful little T sawmill captured by our local T chapter Club President, Greg Stewart at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Ulysses, PA
(Message edited by Chad_Marchees on July 08, 2016)
I don't know if this would be considered a Doodlebug. But, here is my Wee T! I finally got it moving under its own power today. The front and rear axles are model T as is all the steering. The engine is a Harbor Freight cheapo that will someday be replaced with a 1920ish Briggs & Stratton. It also has a mystery 3 speed transmission. Everything is connected via an idler shaft that has wooden pulleys. The whole thing is 36 inches wide and about 7 feet long.
Later I will post a video on youtube of driving it around the yard.
VERY cool Patrick. That indeed is a doodlebug, and what would be perfect IMO is a two cylinder T-motor to power that thing. Would be great to have more pics of it.
I have a picture of my grandfather and my uncles at work with a portable sawmill in the 30's. My Uncle LaVar was 12, I believe, at the time. His job was to catch the rounds as they were cut off and throw them to the side. He also had a line tied to his waist and when the engine slowed with a larger log he "leaned into the throttle." Two of the older brothers wrestled the logs, and Grandpa worked the table to feed the log into the saw. He had lost a leg earlier and had a prosthesis. My father was too young to participate at the time of the picture. I am on my way to St. Louis and will post the picture when I get back home.
So, I seem to be having trouble editing images down small enough to make the forum happy. So, here is the YouTube video of my firs test drive.
Wow, crazy that the motor is on slides to act as a clutch. I have never seen that before. Seems likes lots of levers to operate to make it go, it is probably best that it doesn't go fast. This thing would be an absolute hit at antique engine / tractor shows.
Email me the pictures you have and I will resize them and get them up here for you. crazydart400 AT yahoo DOT com
Chad, Wow what a saw rig looks great. Ron must be away from his computer.
Patrick, that thing is a riot. I'm with Chad, needs a two cylinder! So was this a basket case doodlebug you resurrected or did you just discover a pile of parts in the shed when you moved in and decided to see what you could do?
I am a fan of the wooden pulley I think we have a tendency to write-off wood too much these days its a really versatile material.
Looking forward to seeing some still images of the transmission arrangement. That 250kb limit for images can be a pain at times.
FYI, I'm in the mystery transmission club too. The trans still seems to work fine whether I know where it came from or not, so I think you are OK. If you are in doubt hang a cow bell from the axle to scare gremlins away or at least warn horses of your approach.
So, there is actually only one lever. The other on in the first video is a pry bar I was using to keep one of the belts tight. I had to turn two new wooden pulleys. So here is a second video.
I've hinted at this beast a few times over my years of lurking on the forum, and now that I've accomplished something with it I'll show it off.
1924 Continental Cultor tractor. At least judging by the engine serial number it is. It's a Model T engine, transmission, and modified rear axle. There are sprockets that operate the front wheels via chain. Steering is accomplished via a pivot point in the middle of the tractor. The operator sits on the seat of whatever horse-drawn implement is attached to the rear of the tractor. In this case, it is a cultivator. This design of tractor became known as the Universal Design, named after the largest manufacturer's models of this style of tractor, known as Moline Universals. The idea was the farmer wouldn't have to buy all new implements and the configuration of the tractor was similar enough to driving a team of horses that it would make the transition from horses to tractors easier for the farmer.
Now for what I've done to it. We haven't run this tractor in probably close to two decades. I drained the fuel and put in fresh gas, cleaned the sediment bowl and inspected the carburetor. I replaced the battery, cleaned the contact points in the timer and on the coils, and cleaned and regapped the spark plugs. I did some work on the Bendix, but now the starter won't turn. I'll have to pull it off at some point and get it figured out. And then I cranked. And cranked. And cranked. And cranked...
I've been out there cranking for about a week, off and on. I've tried almost every combination I could. Choke on, choke off, gas on, gas off, switch on, switch off, ether, no ether, timer fully retarded to slightly advanced. Nothing. But I've been told that sometimes it takes a Model T awhile to remember how to run even when everything is right. So I cranked. And cranked. And cranked. And cranked...
Finally yesterday I got more than a couple puffs. She took off like a bat out of hell, and I almost forgot what to do next. I advanced the spark some and idled the throttle down. She sounded pretty good, but very loud. The exhaust cuts off roughly even with the end of the transmission and there is no muffler. But she remembered how to go!
The Kingston L4 carburetor is leaking out of the overflow port, so that's my next project. But at least I know she will run. It's just convincing her of that...
Oh - WOW!! Jared, we need a lot more pictures of her - a LOT more.
Roger Zach, been away from computer. That is a really nice saw rig - feel guilty that I haven't done anything on mine since this winter (the AA is taking up all my free time and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future).
Jared. That's a great looking tractor. My sickle mower had the same type of nonexistent exhaust I bought a $35 8N exhaust from tractor supply and cut the end off and made an elbow so I could make a stack. I like it, keeps the exhaust in its place and is quiet
Here is a side shot of a Cultor from an auction in September 2013.
I run everything except the Shaw and my '28 off a straight pipe. The Ts are are quiet compared to the As.
That Cultor must be a beast to handle.
Installed a new front end in the AA (she has new tires up there as well). Still cleaning and "linseeding" the running gear - lot done, a LOT left to do (she's significantly bigger than the rest of the fleet). Rear will get dual 7.50x20 agricultural tires (they're already in the garage). Pulled the cowl off on Saturday for general cleaning, replacement of the rotted wood sills, signature patch of the lower panels (galvanized steel with brass machine screws), new lacing, new wiring and linseed treatment. Sunday I spent at a damp and foggy Pepperell. Didn't bring anything - few people did - but did pick up some things for the garage and had a quick visit with Bill Weiss.
Ron, that's the best shot I can get of it right now. It's been sitting in that spot pretty much since we built that shed. I decided that since we're featuring Orphan and Oddball tractors at Western Illinois Threshers this year, we should do our best to get all our orphans and oddballs onto the show field. But my cousin wants that pickup under the sheet there (1928 Chevy) out for her baby shower this weekend, and in order to do that we need to move a couple things. Dad said since I got it running that we can move it out when we move the pickup. Dad said that it needs a band job, or at least he was told that by someone who knows more about Model T's that he does. I got elected because I'm the only one in the family (so far anyway) who is interested in them. Grandpa bought it because he's a tractor enthusiast, not a Model T enthusiast. He once told me he couldn't get the hang of the three pedals.
Jared Love that tractor can't wait to see it in action.
Patrick great doodlebug always enjoy seeing what people could put together looks like a blast to drive
Ron looking good still can't get over that front bumper. I picked up some A parts at Pepperell nice to see all the T guys there.
Jared that would be really cool to see a video of it running. That is by far the nicest Cultor I have personally seen yet.
Patrick, I still cant help to think that maybe a little two cylinder T would motivate that a little better up hills and such. But none the less, it is cool and great job on resurrecting it from the dead. Even as you say if it had a vintage engine on it, it still would be equally cool. Thank You for sharing it, keep us updated on any progress.
I'll take some detailed pictures of that bumper and post them. Has plow attachment points on the bottom, but the entire assembly has been way overbuilt for what a plow mount would require and has really nice finish work. Whoever put this together did so with a lot of thought and care - nothing crude or cobbed. It has a period aftermarket oil filter system installed (yes, I will keep that), platform mounted to the timing cover for a hydraulic pump (pump itself is missing), guides for drag lines, homemade stake pockets with a flanged edge (so they can hang on the frame rails and be adjusted as necessary). Whole lot of thoughtful work was put into this - and it was literally minutes from being scrapped at one point.
Are you heading to the Eliot show?
Not going to Eliot
Made two trips to Mass to see Dons collection and came away with the 1926-1927 Pullford project and some extra parts He has some very nice toys and is a great guy to talk to about Doodlebugs and Worthingtons
Donny told me over the weekend that you bought the Pullford project. Congratulations!! Donny does have some great stuff and he's forgotten more about Worthingtons than I'll ever know. Great guy.
That's great. I would love to own a Pullford someday. They were built in Quincy, Illinois, just 45 minutes down the road from my hometown.
We did some rearranging of the shed awhile back, and we got the Cultor out of its spot. We just used the skidsteer to drag it out, then we backed it back into the shed right by the door. Yesterday I had a wild hair and decided to see if I could drive it. I've been told it has transmission issues and could use new bands, so I wanted to see just how bad the transmission actually is.
She ran right out of the door. The low gear band or the clutch pack must have been stuck, because we couldn't get it out of gear when we pulled it out of the shed. When I started her up and released the brake lever, she started rolling. After basically moving all three pedals as much as I can, I got her broken loose to where she had a "neutral" again. I probably drove her around the yard for an hour trying to get everything limbered up. She's been sitting in that spot for a long time now. She needs a bath, but for now I'm just excited that she got out of the shed and back in under her own power.
I have a video of driving her around. I'm just not sure how to upload it.
Jared - that is GREAT!!!! Am not tech savvy, but I think you could post video to YouTube and include a link to it here on the thread.
I love the bands on the front - increases the options of where you can take her. Far too unique to sit in a shed - she needs to be seen. After you clean her up, treat her to a radiator shell. I think it's a high. If I had a spare one kicking around, I'd happily send it to you.
Jared, post the video on Youtube, then paste a link to the Youtube video on the forum, like this:
Fantastic! it looks great, can't wait to see it in action.
Thanks guys. I'll see if I can figure out the whole Youtube thing.
I'll have to measure the radiator and see what size the radiator shell should be. The hood is also incorrect from what I can tell. There's no hinge in the center or any way to attach the side panels. This is exactly how we bought the tractor. If I could find some more information on how it is supposed to be put together I would like to restore it. But for right now I'll settle for getting everything mechanically as it should be.
Now that I have it running and driving, I need to get it running and driving right. I'm pretty sure it needs a band job. I just haven't figured out how to get to the transmission. Right now my options are to pull the engine and transmission out of the tractor or to leave them in the chassis and disassemble everything above the hogshead. I'm leaning toward pulling the engine, but I'll see what I can do. Sometime I'll take some pictures of the linkages for the rods that actuate the pedals. It's pretty crazy.
Looks like they just used a standard hood. Some companies came up with unique sheet metal (like Worthington had their own hoods, cowl side pieces, etc).
(Message edited by Conversiont on July 20, 2016)
(Message edited by Conversiont on July 20, 2016)
That's what confuses me. There's almost no information about them out there. I've seen some that have regular Model T sheet metal, but from looking at the ones pictured in your ad I don't see the hinge down the center. It's hard to tell exactly what is right or wrong when there's practically no documentation.
They must have had a very good working relationship with Ford, though. Notice the last line on the ad, above the information coupon. "Manufacturers also of the Continental Corn Picker for Fordsons"
Jared - the hinge is there, just hard to see in the pictures. Look at the top picture in the ad - you can make out the rod loops that would be used to hold the side panels. Standard Model T hood.
Jared, I believe that your hood is correct. See the two close up images I cropped from the pictures I took a few years ago below:
I see no hood rod, I doubt two units would happen to have the same type of homemade hood with rolled factory like edges as yours seems too.
I am not sure the images would be too much use, but if you want the full size originals for any potential comparisons just send a PM and leave your email address.
I've seen pictures both ways. Maybe some they used standard sheet metal and some they made their own. It's hard telling. I do know there are two different variations, at least, of this tractor. The drive chains are either on the inside or the outside. Looks like both variations are on your advertisement, Ron. Maybe they sold both models at the same time?
Jared looks even better in the light of day
I would love to see a photo from the back when you get a chance
Jared, you should have two emails with some full size images.
I got them, Zachary. Thank you very much. Looks like it wasn't quite complete, as I don't see a lever for the brakes. I'll look again and see if I can see it. This one also looks like it's a later one, judging by the brake pedal. It appears to be the 26-27 style wide pedal cut in half.
I got the back wheels switched from 1930's willies to a 1926 model t wheel. I know the purist will point out that the color of the back wheels is wrong. But, that's Okay. Nothing else is original. It's headed to Maker Faire at the Henry Ford Museum.
Used the doodlebug to do some work today. It involved moving my trailer from one side of the garage to the other to unload a trailer full of plywood. This worked insanely better than trying to weave a full size truck and trailer around my rather tight property.
I'm a little late in posting this, but I took the Cultor to our show a week ago. She ran like a champ onto the trailer at Grandpa's and again off the trailer when we got to the show grounds. She then decided to be another one of these confounded cantankerous machines. I cranked, and cranked, and cranked... until I thought my arm was going to fall off.
I finally decided something was wrong, so I went into troubleshooting mode. I was only getting buzz on three coils, so I shifted the boxes around and sure enough I had a bad coil. Luckily I carry a spare or two in the toolbox on my roadster pickup. I swapped it out and now she'll buzz on all four. The next problem was lack of fuel. I took the carburetor bowl off and dumped an oily black substance out of the bottom. I then sprayed the needle with carb and choke cleaner and wiped out the bowl. After that she ran pretty good but was still popping and sputtering. Now I want to experiment.
I decided to pull the rebuilt coils out of my pickup and see what a difference that will make. Let's just say, it was like driving two different tractors. She's still slow as all get out, but she ran smoother than ever.
She ran good enough to go through the parade on Sunday. I will try to find pictures, as I'm sure they're out there somewhere. Next on my list is to ship the old coils to The Coil Doctor for a rebuild and to build an engine stand. She needs transmission work and it would be easier to just pull the engine out instead of dismantling half the tractor to get to it.
I finally found a picture of the parade.
She ran good through the parade, but she's still very slow. Someday I will get the bands replaced in the transmission, but we're going to be very busy for the next year or so preparing for our 50th anniversary show. We're hoping to build a new museum building, put a new display in our current museum, and get a large Case display put together. If I get some free time I hope to tinker with the Cultor again. I'd hate for her to sit in the shed for another fifteen years before she comes out to play again.
Jared, that thing is so cool, the steel bands on the wheels are nice, those lugs on packed ground would rattle your teeth out.
I know with my mower one big issue was rust and old gas varnish gunk in the tank and fuel lines. The rust and gunk was actually jammed in well enough that gas could barely flow, the bowl would fill and it would run but then it could not fill fast enough to keep up with demand. I ended up filling the tank with lye and drywall screws then putting it in the cement mixer; after about an hour everything looked like it had been sand blasted inside. The fuel lines cleared out with some flushing, now there are no fuel issues (except as Chad will attest user error like not turning on the fuel)
Yeah I learned about coils with a similar experience it was night and day!
Patrick, the new wheels are a big improvement! As a father of four I am always happy to see a kid in the picture too.
Yea, ughh, well, I ASSUMED my friend had it all set to go for me when he said take it for a ride. With all the open gears and shafts running through the machine I was more worried about my safety rather if the fuel was turned on.
Jared, it is great to see that you have the Cultor out and about. Do not expect that to go very fast, it is the laws of gearing. I am actually amazed that most of the tractor conversions are geared that low, but maybe with the lack of higher power that is what they needed to get it all to work (kind of like a TT 7:1 ratio vs a T 3.63 or 4:1 ratio--obviously the TT is much slower but will pull more).
It sounds as if you have a lot on your plate, but yes, try not to make it another 15 years before it gets driven again. Thank You for sharing.
Chad, I wasn't looking to set any Bonneville-level records or anything. I just wish she would go as fast as she's supposed to. According to sales brochures I've read, the top speed should be in the 2.5-3 mph range. According to the speedometer app on my phone, I topped out at 1.
Your doodlebug looks like it's very well put together. I do have a question about the arms coming out the front. Is there some kind of blade or something that mounts on the front?
Jared, I get it now on the speed. Wow, that is VERY slow.
Yes, that is a plow frame I built and did a little light plowing this winter---although we didn't get much snow. Its all hand control with a mechanism I basically upscaled from a 60's era Mopar clutch linkage mechanism.
Thank You for the comment on it being very well put together. I fabricated about half of it, the running chassis I basically left as found save for the wheels/tires and adapters. I am a hot rodder/ fabricator at heart so it is hard not to try and do a good job---which makes it equally tough for me to leave well enough alone and call it good like they would have back then.
So I have a question, does anyone have any sort of insurance coverage for their doodlebug(s)? I have thought about it in the past but never got around to doing anything. For our Model A we have coverage sufficient to cover the cost of building/buying a new one (since it is 80 yrs old maybe that would that be different not new in this case. I know doodlebugs may be less expensive than a car and I think of mine as both being irreplaceable, but if I were trailering them to a show or the garage burnt I would be pretty upset to think there may be no coverage for them. I imagine that any coverage would be cheap, they see very few trailer miles per year and the garage has a pretty good history of not catching on fire.
Zach, also something I have thought of too. And for the other reason that if it would be possible to ride atv style trails, they require insurance. But then I guess with that come registration---and for me, my motor number is actually in use by someone else. So I don't know the answer, but it has been on my mind in the past.
I know Haggerty now insures Farm tractors, so I wonder about these being sort of a tractor--but I think I read they need to be in "restored" condition. My insurance is through them, maybe I should inquire one of these days.