| September/October 1983

  • Farm tractors

  • Farm tractors

Greenbush, Minn. 56726

I am a retired contractor who built over 2,000 miles of roads from 1917 to 1969. I bought and wore out many Best and 60 Cats through the years. Since retiring, I've started collecting early Cats. I located a 60 near Oslo, Minnesota on the bank of the Red River. A Mr. Solum owned it. Had planned to restore it but figured it was too big a job for him as the cat has been under water in a spring flood. It sat all summer with crank-case and gear cases full of water. The following winter the frost rusted the oil pan off the motor, pushed out plugs, etc. I did not know that it had been under water. I bought the Cat without seeing it.

Mr. Solum sent me two pictures of different views of the Cat. I sent him my check and said I would take both 60's. He wrote back saying he had only one and sent me half of the money back. I sent my truck over to get it; but it was too wet over there to get near the Cat, so my driver came back without it.

Mr. Solum tried to pull the 60 with his big farm tractors but it would not move. It was rusted solid brake and clutches. I went down with a cutting torch and cut the brake band loose, but it still would not move! The brake linings were rusted and stuck to the brake drums. Finally got the linings loose from the drums, then we loaded it onto the truck. Had to take it all apart; got the steering clutches out after a couple days of twisting off and breaking rusted bolts. Had to take the drums off, then clean all the disks, etc., and realign brakes, etc. The motor had not been covered on exhaust pipe valves and pistons rusted solid.

I took the rods loose and took each cylinder off with rod and piston from the crankcase. Afterwards, I soaked them with diesel fuel for a couple of days. After scraping out the rust on top and bottom of the cylinders. Then I put them in a 40-ton press. Finally got the pistons out but had to put them in lathe to remove the rings. I was fortunate to find 6- x rings at the John Deere dealership that I had sold 25 years before. I found rings from old parts stock I had sold the dealer. It was a lot of hard labor getting the old 60 to come back to life but was worth it, after hearing it run like new, as it had 50 years before. It will be in parades on Labor Day weekend at Rollag Steam Threshers Show.

We have more of the largest and oldest tractors than any show I know of. We have three operating steam railroad trains. Gave over 60,000 people free rides last Labor Day weekend. We also have some of the largest steam engines like a 750 HP 2 cylinder vertical standing about 25' tall; A 450 HP with 16' flywheel making electricity; and a 250 HP steam mill making flour; about 30 other large steam tractors engines, some plow with plows 6, 8, 10 and 14-bottom, and others saw lumber, lath and shingle. See about 20 rare early Caterpillars I restored and bring to our show. Rollag is about 35 miles SE of Fargo Moorhead on Highway 32. It is a very small town that never had a railroad and now has three steam railroads. All operating! Don't miss this great show. We have over 900 real people putting it on. As for myself pushing 84, but still have to have something to play with. Come see us there, come early and get a good parking place with hook-up for your trailers.


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

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