Homemade Tractor: Modified Farmall F-12


| 3/25/2010 2:23:25 PM


Tags: Farmall, homemade tractor, creativity, resourcefulness, farm shows, Florida, James N. Boblenz,

At the Florida Flywheelers swap meet, I came across an unusual tractor called the Chev-All, the creation of David Radius, Kissimmee, Fla.

Actually, it was a homemade tractor using an F-12 Farmall rear end and a 6-cylinder Chevrolet in-line overhead valve engine.

David Radius' homemade tractor, the Chev-All David Radius' homemade tractor, the Chev-All David Radius' homemade tractor, the Chev-All David Radius' homemade tractor, the Chev-All
Clockwise from top: David Radius’ homemade tractor, the Chev-All “6 Minus 3”; the Chev-All’s instrument panel and operating controls; the Chevrolet in-line 6-cylinder engine in which cylinders 1, 2 and 3 have spark plugs but do not have spark plug wires, and cylinders 4, 5 and 6 are the firing plugs; the Chev-All’s unique 3-point hitch arrangement; note the wide front end of the homemade tractor; and a right-side view of the Chev-All. (Click any of the smaller images for a larger version.) David Radius' homemade tractor, the Chev-All David Radius' homemade tractor, the Chev-All

The frame of the Farmall had been cut off just ahead of the bell housing and a wider channel-iron frame had been installed to hold the engine. The tractor had an altogether different front end and steering mechanism than did the original F-12. It was no longer a cultivating tractor. Instead, a wide front end had been installed along with all the necessary steering gears, linkages, tie rods, etc.

To modernize the tractor, an unusual 3-point hitch was installed, sufficiently different from others so as not to cause patent infringement. And most of the controls had been changed, although I noticed that the F-12 hand throttle and foot clutch had been retained. Both hand brake levers had been elongated, making them easier to reach for the operator. Since the engine had an electric starter, an ammeter was added to monitor generating amperage.

Along each side of the hood was “6 Minus 3.” When you looked over the tractor’s engine carefully, you could see that the sparkplug wires had been removed from cylinders 1, 2 and 3. It boggled my mind to try to figure out how this engine could even run with 3 cylinders disconnected. But it did run and it ran well. Sounded quite decent, too.

David is quite a tinkerer and it got me to thinking about some of our great tinkerers in the history of agriculture. There were many:

James Boblenz
4/28/2010 10:22:23 AM

When I saw the Chev-All, I was anxious to hear the engine run. However, it did run and it sounded pretty decent, but the owner did not share with me or the others nearby just how he accomplished the feat. I still do not understand why he removed the No. 1, 2 and 3 cylinder wires or how he managed to get the tractor running again. I do not know whether or not he removed the rocker arms to keep the valves from functioning.


Michael G
4/13/2010 2:19:05 PM

Along each side of the hood was “6 Minus 3.” When you looked over the tractor’s engine carefully, you could see that the spark plug wires had been removed from cylinders 1, 2 and 3. It boggled my mind to try to figure out how this engine could even run with 3 cylinders disconnected. But it did run and it ran well. Sounded quite decent, too." If the cylinders deactivated were in every other firing position in the firing order, it should run smooth. It would be nice to know how they were deactivated. Did they leave the rotating assembly intact, or did they pull the rods and pistons. And either way, did they pull the rockers to leave both valves closed at all times?