Farmall Power: An Electrical Model A

Restored Farmall Model A works as a backup power supply.

| May 2008

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    Wayne Reinbold’s Farmall Model A is not just another pretty face. The restored tractor serves as a power generator.
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    Modifications to this Farmall Model A are tucked out of the way, allowing full use of the vintage tractor. “Just engage the PTO and you have an ‘electric’ Farmall,” Wayne says.

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Most restored tractors emerge from the shed only for shows and parades. A restored Farmall Model A in Michigan is the exception. When the weather is at its worst, the Farmall goes to work as a backup power supply. Thanks to modifications made by Wayne Reinbold, Reese, Mich., this tractor is also a generator.

Wayne's dad bought the Farmall tractor new in 1943 during World War II, when tractors were in scarce supply. Farmers who could demonstrate a need were placed on a priority list. "Then you waited until your tractor was built and shipped," Wayne explains. "It was quite simple. When a tractor came in, the dealer called. Bring $680 cash, and it's yours. If you don't have the money, the next guy will take it. My dad must have had the cash, because this tractor has been on the farm since 1943."

Over the years, Wayne's dad made several enhancements to the Farmall Model A. He added a front hitch, useful for moving machinery in sheds, and he added a hand clutch. When Wayne retired, he decided to restore the Farmall. "It had been overhauled some years ago and ran fine," he says. "So we straightened the sheet metal, added paint and decals." But that was just the beginning.

Wayne's neighbor had a Farmall Model A with a Woods mower that he used to cut grass on a landing strip. "One look at that drive pulley," Wayne says, "and I could see how we could make an electrical Farmall Model A."

The belt pulley runs almost twice as fast as the PTO. "We needed 3,600 rpm to make it work," Wayne says. The Woods mower drive pulley is a 9-inch unit with an insert to match the splines on the belt pulley shaft.

Wayne built a sub-frame of flat steel to fit the drawbar. "I used 3-inch channel with a crosspiece to bolt to the front pull bar," he says. "That piece is 27 inches long." Then he welded a 24-inch piece to the bottom edge so the alternator would fit. He also built slides and tighteners to work on the channel for belt tension.


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