As a Kansas farm kid, my first and only magneto experience was with the one in an old Case D tractor. Granted, the D had a battery and electric starter on it, but the fact remained that it could always be started by hand-cranking the engine, even if the battery was dead. I certainly didn’t know how it worked at the time.
You don’t have to have been a Boy Scout to know that when you burn fuel, it generates heat. That law of nature exists whether you build a campfire or operate a tractor. However, dissipating that heat was often a challenge before modern cooling systems were developed.
Unless you’re new to restoration, you don’t have to be told that tractor manufacturers used a variety of wheel types and sizes on their respective models over the years. Of course, that doesn’t even take into account the shade-tree mechanics who cut the steel wheels off the spokes and replaced them with rims to accept rubber tires.
When it comes to tires, not many people are as fortunate as Papillion, Nebraska, collector Ron Maeder.
Maeder agreed to purchase a 1952 Cockshutt 20 from a man in South Carolina with the stipulation that the seller could keep the new tires that he had recently bought and put the old tires back on. However, to Maeder’s surprise, the old tires actually had the name “Cockshutt” molded into them.
Even if such tires do have a little damage, they can often be refurbished with a little rubber putty, tire paint, or tire liners.
A crucial step when restoring a tractor is taking the time to discover the history behind the machine. That research can, for example, put a value on the machine.
Is It Cost Effective?
“One of the problems with tractor restoration these days is it’s just not cost effective anymore if you have to hire somebody to do it,” admits Gary Prissel, who operates under the name The Tractor Doctor in Mondovi, Wisconsin.
Your tires aren't the only wheels that need work; don't forget about the steering wheel.
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