Couple of people who bought wrenches noted that there was no doodlebug thread for 2017 yet and wondered when one would start. So here it goes:
The T saw rig project was temporarily shelved last year after I hauled home a '30 AA that had been used to skid logs in upstate NY for about 50 years and then sat abandoned in the woods for about 10 years after the owner died. The AA is almost done - have period-made oak express body I'm cleaning up and will mount on the back. Had never seen a doodlebug with a sidemount spare and thought it would look neat - so I managed to piece one together (the sidemount components for an AA are hard to find and it took a while). Front axle had been mangled, so installed a new one - cowl was patched, new wiring, 3 new wheels, new tires, new BERG's radiator, etc.
Here is an "as-found" picture, along with some as she looks now. Engine came out pretty good and runs really well (even though it had sat for 10 years with the pan removed).
The T saw rig will probably still sit dormant in 2017 as I work my way through a '26-ish TT. I bought the AA to use as a yard vehicle (and maybe take to shows with the T power unit loaded up in the back) when, after looking around New England for 2 years, I couldn't find a suitable TT to build out. As often happens, a few months after finding the AA, I found the perfect TT (for less than the price of scrap - which is where it was headed before I found it) - so that came home as well. Engine has good compression and the inside of the transmission looks like new. Have been collecting parts for it since September - the biggest find was a set of really nice set of rear wheels. Owned a beautiful C-Cab stakebody years ago; this one will end up as a field truck and match the doodlebugs when I'm done (fender-less, cab-less, ag rear tires, linseed oil finish, barn board, etc).
Cowl patch: sheet metal from town dump, brass slot-head machine screws (brass nuts on the other side) and steel washers.
Sheet metal from dump had to bent to curve of cowl - did this by sectioning wedges out of the bottom and hammering against cowl. Hole for cowl band attachment was cut in with Dremel.
Tons of traction with these (thanks to Zach for Carrico for cluing me in on 7.50x20 ag lugs - these are my "go to" rear tires for T and A doodlebugs and farm trucks):
That AA is looking great! Those ag tires are naughty lookin' and that side mount spare is just too cool.
I'm glad you were able to save the TT. What did they do; pick it up with the parking brake handle? At least it's out of the way! Sometime in its past, the entire control shaft in my steel cab TT was yanked out. I'll bet it was in the way big time and the owner finally said that's enough...
Great start to the 2017 doodlebug threads! Thank you.
I Like it. I have not been very active with my tractor conversion, as the Speedster project has been the main focus, but maybe soon, Ill get the tractor conversion going ... You doodlebug guys keep saving them... Some of these projects, you guys are their last hope ... And they always look so good when back running and "wearing their work clothes"
Duey - I'm glad I was able to save her too. Right place at the right time.
Donnie - do you have any new pictures of the speedster you can post? I just love the body you made for it.
Ron, You've certainly been very busy! It all looks very nice.
Ron, I have been taking photos as I keep working on the speedster project. Im trying to wait till I get the body back from the upholstery shop, before I do a project update. So far this winter I have had to rebuild three rear ends. One of them is for the Montgomery Ward tractor conversion. So I have at least got a little doodle-bug tractor conversion work accomplished....
A little doodlebuging in the snow.....
Why do I want to cry right now?
Ron, I had reservations posting this because of you. I wish you could be here.
It is possible, if I can get Zac to help with another set of steam bent planks (I have the forms here), I might build another set---there are a couple of things on these I'm bothered by. Then you wouldn't cry anymore.
But I have to say this is A TON of fun.
Sorry in advanced Ron, just thought others might enjoy these short clips.
Missed these last couple of posts. Those are some great videos Chad!!!
Chad, great pictures/movies with the skis
I'll get an extra set together for Ron some day, unfortunately there is just so much other stuff to do too. Ron seems to be keeping himself distracted in the mean time.
This is understated of course but great work Ron you have a gift for turning one persons scrap into something we are all envious of.
I slapped the skis on and shortened up the tracks to fit around the tires for a trip around the yard. The snow was really wet and sticky. Those tracks really grab. I thought I was going to get stuck turning around when a track slipped to the side on a tire and bound on the radius arm, the other wheels track dug to dirt in what seemed like less than a rotation
I thought this was neat; nearly missed it since the stamping seems to disappear even with minimal rust on the track pads:
I suspect the stamping is pretty accurate too, the older tracks show a lot more wear than these newer ones do unless these never got used much.
Weather has been a killer. Just when it appears spring is here, we get another snow or sleet storm. Over the last couple of weekends, in between weather events, I rewired one of last fall's acquisitions, cleaned her carb and got her to fire. Really nice running machine. The roof is going to go and she'll get the correct radiator & shell (have them sitting on a shelf). With only 1 transmission (even though it's a 4-speed), she's more a yard/woods cruiser than a puller.
Removed that terrible roof:
Made up some advertising sideboards for the log skidder AA:
Few more things to do on her, but she's almost complete:
Should be starting on the TT in August:
Love that straight pipe on that AA!
Amazing Ron. I cant wait to see what you have up your sleeve for the TT.
Chad - here's a preview of what's in store for the TT:
Not sure what this one is but I just noticed it for sale on craigslist in Topeka KS. The ad says part of a Model A in there somewhere.
Engine is Model A, the driveline rear end and rear wheels are Model AA. No idea what the "PTO" rear end is from. I see a Model T headlight used on the back as either a tail light or work light and a T ignition panel mounted to the firewall. Pretty interesting.
(Message edited by Conversiont on July 19, 2017)
Pretty neat looking AA doodlebug for sale in Virginia. Not mine. If I had a farm to drive it on, then maybe....
Brian, that little tractor is way too cool! It looks so small in the pics!
I do hope someone can get ahold of it and show it some attention.
Ron, that period express box is out of this world.
Yep, the blue one looks better without the old "rain-master" top.... I am kidding about the name. :-)
May I ask for a reminder? You use linseed oil and thinner, right for preservative? Looks wonderful.
I can't wait for the T resurrection with the Roura Hopper style tip off box!
Duey - thanks! I found that express box on Craigslist. It's made for an AA. The planking in the bed is all 3/4" oak, the framework is all maple (every piece is chamfered and interlocking) and the inner panels are 3/4" plywood. The tailgate is solid oak. Every screw in it is a slot-head. The wheel wells are hammered tin with an oak facing. Someone spent a lot of time and care making it a very long time ago. Previous owner got it with a project truck and didn't want it - just wanted it gone. I spent more in gas for my truck to pick it up than I paid for it.
Yes - I use a linseed oil and mineral spirit mix as a preservative on everything. One part mineral spirits for every two parts of boiled linseed oil. Apply and let sit for an hour - then wipe off excess (otherwise it turns gummy and takes forever to dry). Makes for a nice finish that preserves patina:
I mean that in a really, really good way. :-)
Thank you so much Ron and really all of you guys!
These pieces are very cool and these threads are... Uber cool.
Jealousy issues? Nah, happy for you guys!
Itchin' for TT pics in the future. :-)
New project picked up in Mass
Runs great but has issues
Not sure what direction I am going with this
Jim told me you bought it Bill. Congratulations!
Thanks Ron. He told me he talked to you I was looking for a running engine for my Pullford. When I saw the ad it was for an engine and frame then he said it was a complete doodlebug I do not have the heart to take it apart. So it goes on the back burner for now.
Wow Ron I'm impressed you really have a talent for bringing
Out the beauty in these old relics!
I haven't had my ski doodle or shaw out since last fall
When I relined the bands in both and put them back in the barn . Been busy with the TT kerosene tanker. Jim
Bill - I hear you about keeping her together. I chased her for nearly 3 years because I wanted a '32 to add to the stable. But when the radiator became a casualty of the fan, I passed - I'm drowning in projects as it is.
Tailgate finished and remounted:\
Oops. Try again:
Ron Tailgate looks great
I have been going thru the 32 today and keep finding neat details two brake levers for rear brakes special hub caps on rear wheels and step plates it was named Ram by its builder so the name is going to stay I am going to repair the radiator for now until a replacement is found will post photos in the morning
The Wee Tee made out of a 1915 Model T. It's only 7 feet long by 32 inches wide. It has a 1930's three speed transmission from a Chevy car.
Ron, drowning in these labor of loves is what we do best. I know what I have in mine, and it would take top dollar to take it from me at this point, but I could recover from it. But I have had many, many cars over the years that were essentially total loses. Not a great hobby to be in unless you love cars.
Bill - I may come into some '32 BB stuff in the next 6 months or so. It's a long shot, but if this works out and there is a spare radiator amongst the stuff, it's yours.
Ron, as usual your work looks very nice, I am glad you got the bed, what a beautiful piece. The advertising sideboards are real nice but not very accurate; I have never known you to be in the vehicle "sales" business, just buying!
Have you started stacking vehicles two deep to store them yet?
The little doodlebug tractor Brian posted above is pretty rough, but would be real neat when fixed up.
Unfortunately no new work from me. I noticed a Model A doodlebug this evening that I had not previously seen not far from my house. The land appears to be getting cleared for what I can only imagine is going to be a housing development. Our town has become very popular lately, which means lots of natives are being priced out of their homes and larger tracts of land are being cut into six acre lots (per misguided zoning laws that don't really help). I looked up the owner on the tax records, I would like to save it, but I really do not want to waste money on a pretty sad looking vehicle, always a conundrum.
I meant drowning in number of projects. In addition to the TT, I have the saw rig and three doodlebugs in the queue (my back pasture is beginning to look like a wrecking yard). I have upkeep on the rest of the fleet too (flat tire on mower T, leaking fuel tank on one of the '28s, weeping freeze plug on the Shaw). Need to catch up on some things.
Zach - I laughed out loud at that accuracy comment!! You're absolutely correct - Maybrook Tractors has never made a sale. I got my first doodlebug when I was 10 years old and I still have her today, 40 years later.
If she can't be saved herself, maybe she can be used to save a couple of others. As my Dad always says, "it's not like they're making any more of them. Better grab them when you can." If you don't get her, the scrapper probably will.
Congratulations Jim I was next in line for the doodlebug you picked up today that was just down the road from me
Thanks I was running out of room and winter is coming
Maybrook Tractors added a doodlebug and conversion tractor recovery section to its array of services this weekend:
Ron that is amazing can not wait to see that in person
Ron that is beautiful congrats. It's carrying a nice Manley crane
Too .what year is the truck 34-35?
Wow, that certainly beats the pair of skies I picked out from under you. AMAZING!
I just have one question, when are you going to build a big garage?
Bill - thanks. I've known about this truck for 17 years. Last week, I got "that call" (out of the blue) that I never thought I'd get. Pretty good story goes with "that call" which I'll tell you when I see you next. It was sort of my Holy Grail and I cannot believe I am lucky enough to be its next caretaker.
Jim - it's titled as a '32 wrecker, but it's a '33. Previous owner said it was built in late '32 and was transitional. I need to look the numbers up and see if I can find a date (all my books are T and A, so I need to dig around in some V-8 references). The wrecker is a Manley and is in beautiful condition. I included a picture of the plate on the boom - along with a few more pictures of engine and interior:
Chad - great question on garage. Mine is full - as is the run-in shed. Number of yard dwellers is increasing rapidly.
Oh man! What a cool tow truck Ron!
I got a jolt in my addled brain just now as I was catching up again.
Funny that the Clam Diggah didn't trip my memory off long ago Ron but Bill, your 32 took my memory back to when I was 13 and got my 29 International. Ron, you have me by 3 years. :-) I had a Doodlebug! Still have it but in a different form.
We borrowed the neighbors hay-rack and Grandpa used his 58 Chevrolet pickup (his "Jitney") to bring it home.
It had been a 6 speed special (model 24 is in my brain due to the headlamps on the cowl), cut off frame with a ford rear axle like the rear axle in my 45 school bus/dump truck. Shoot, it could have been a late AA axle... The chains and the crane that lifted it up onto the hay-rack broke the steering wheel wood rim. Someone nabbed the very short driveshaft so I had to use other things to make it move again.
There were brackets welded to the frame and I guessed at the time it had been someone's snowplow.
Gosh, I wish I had pictures but that was 40 years ago and I just didn't have many pics taken of me or my things then. :-)
Thank you guys for this. Many things thought of from the past. I could type for days about that IH...
Shoot! You have a V-8?
Sweet. They run so darned nice.
A 33. Oof.
All of my thumbs are up!
Wow, real fine wrecker! I guess after 17 years, you can't say no when the call comes even if you have some other irons in the fire. Your next purchase just might need to be a car barn.
Just think how many rat rod guys are going to drool over the V8.
I keep looking at the pictures and just can't get over it. It is awesome. I may need to take a field trip out there being I didn't get to our usual meeting this year.
Thanks!! I wish you had pictures of your doodlebug too - would have liked to have seen that. There's a lot of A doodlebugs out there (not as many as there used to be, but still fairly plentiful), fewer T doodlebugs - but it's rare to see something made from another brand.
The car barn will come once the college bills stop arriving. Before the hot rod guys drool, I need to get her running. I've been turning wrenches on Model As since I was 5 years old and on Model Ts since I was 30 years old - but I know nothing about V-8s. Will be fun to learn - I bought the early V-8 versions of "the Bible" online last evening so I can "read the book."
Chad - you need to make a trip east sometime this fall. Grab Zach and bring him along with you.
This is one I didn't think existed - sort of like a unicorn. Sears conversion kit mounted on a '29 AA. General wisdom among tractor guys was the kit could not be used on a truck - everything in it was designed for the car running gear. Someone went to EXTREME lengths to adapt this to a truck - and the workmanship is incredible. They used a car rear end and 3-speed - truck rear end and 4-speed would not have been compatible with the kit drive system. Would call this my Holy Grail - and still cannot believe she's mine. She runs incredibly well. Only thing I'll change is the color.
(Message edited by Conversiont on September 04, 2017)
Yeehaw! Nice find Ron.
Yellow fever! :-)
Followed me home used next town over to haul logs out of the woods
Its been quiet here on the doodlebug front
I just noticed the photo of the little home-made tractor for sale that Brian Beatty posted on July 19th earlier in this thread. I could swear that the steering gear on that tractor is made from a "cut-off" automobile rear end! How cleaver! Using an auto differential for steering gear! That's my kinda' re-cycling, huh?
Nice find - and so close!! The TT wheels look like they're in great shape too. How many transmissions does she have and what are they? Her engine looks well-maintained. Turn-key addition?
In addition to the Sears kit AA I posted pictures of above, I've bought 3 other doodlebugs since mid-August (all As or AAs). One already has a new home in Long Island (so Zach, if you are reading this instead of making me that set of skis, Maybrook Tractors can now legitimately advertise "Ford - Authorized Sales & Service"). One more out of those three will be put up for sale once I have her running. The remaining one I took out adoption papers on. She came with a plow, is covered with "patina" and the previous owner had her for 50 years (using her to plow his driveway until about 10 years ago):
Lobstah Trap has been making the rounds on the show circuit. She took a "People's Choice" award at a combined car & tractor show two weeks ago (that was a pretty big surprise):
Am pulling with Klam Digah this coming weekend and have tractor parades the 2 following weekends (will take the Lobstah Trap on those). After that, the season is over for the year.
(Message edited by Conversiont on October 05, 2017)
Projects in the queue this winter (weather permitting)/next year:
1. TT dump truck
2. Change color on AA Sears conversion
3. T cord saw rig (been shelved for the last 2 years)
4. Build another AA puller out of 2 carcasses
5. Fit Celtic Rust for the skis that Zach is building for me.....oh, wait.....
It is almost turn key had it putting today but may need a quick valve job
There are two transmissions do not know the make of the second one yet and has a two speed International rear end
Both 3-speeds Bill?
Well, Ron if you wanted to give them a try....
These skis were forgotten about in the attic of the garage. I happened to see them earlier this evening so your to-do list was well timed. They were a bit of an experiment and are only 4 feet long rather than the normal 5 feet. The spindle still needs some welding and ski adapter has never been bolted to the skis so they have not seen snow yet.
If you are still going to wait for more authentic ones I did make ski bottoms using the original snowmobile bottoms for a pattern so it is just the wood that is missing at this time.
This is a little OT for the doodlebug thread but both of my doodlebugs are TT's so maybe this is ok?
I have had zero time to take out the TT, and my kids are too young to leave home alone, so the other night after dinner I piled the three that I was watching in the truck and we headed out into the woods quick before bed. It was getting dark when I thought to take a picture and I just had my phone so it is crummy quality.
The girls and dogs were enjoying bumping along in low (man was I missing the second transmission of a doodlebug for really low gears). FYI the wood used to rebuild this TT body was harvested right here, this area of the woods has lots of Hemlock, unfortunately some type of disease seems to be slowly killing them -along with the Ash, Beech, Elm(one mature tree left on the 84 acres), and borer beetles destroying maple after being cut. I sometimes wonder what will be left of the woods for the kids when they are grown.
Does anyone know the doodle bug collector in the Maltby area of Snohomish county Wa? He has one that has a '28 chev motor. I would like to contact him but lost his number. Any help???
LOL - those were just gentle reminders (small nudges). I have seen what you can do and am willing to wait for the finished product.
WOW!!! The TT looks great!!! Pretty special that all the wood came from your property. Are you thinking about putting an aux in her?
Off to beat some production tractors with Klam Digah.
The Aux and Bennet(? no markings that I can see.) brakes are waiting in the garage.
Sorry Brass car guy wrong coast for me.
Awesome Zac! Hadn't realized you finished it up. It looks great!
Ron, is that plow hydraulically actuated? Is it a manual pump or a hydraulic pump driven off the engine?
Well chad I am not sure I would say finished but we drive it around.
This morning I found a gas can and a TrukFlar box with smudgepots to mount on the side of the bed at a garage sale
Zac truck looks great Ron hope you did well
For everyone else there are 2 Doodlebugs listed on New Hampshire Craigslist they are rough but are a good start for someone
I have no connection to this add just listing for info
The plow IS hydraulically actuated! Manual pump, bolted to the floorboard with the lines running along the frame on the passenger side. Works really well too. The plow itself was adapted from a late-40s/early-50s IHC plow. The previous owner (who began using it in 1967) included his spare part collection (all piled in the the back of the tractor when I went to pick it up). He was very concerned with the doodlebug ALWAYS being ready for plowing - so he kept 2 of everything on the shelf (2 radiators, 2 generators, 2 starters, 2 crankshafts, 2 cam shafts, 2 sets of pistons, 2 oil pans with baffles, 2 distributors, cans of spark plugs, valves, valve springs, distributor parts, pressure plates, clutch disks, etc, etc, etc). My garage is a mess sorting everything out.
Klam Digah did really well - as usual, she was the only doodlebug there. It was a "last man standing" pull, with 47 tractors registered - so she wasn't going to make it to the last round (which was won by a 1958 John Deere 820 pulling 26,000 lbs). The track was stone dust and she went 7 rounds - spinning out 5' short of a full pull at 6,000 lbs. She knocked out around 15 production tractors in the process - and that is the best part of pulling with an 87-year old homemade tractor.
Klam Digah at a pull in 2015 (starts at 2:52). Weight was 5,000 lbs.
See here my tractor, here in the Netherlands we call it an `autotractor`
Gerard - I don't know which I like more, your doodlebug or your Fordson!!
Hi Ron, I was driving with this combination to a big event for the 100 years anniversary of Fordson, the first Fordson F was build in 1917. Unfortunately the head gasket failed during my trip...