Yes, we are here!

In times like these our hobbies become lifesavers. At GAS ENGINE MAGAZINE and FARM COLLECTOR, we have been tracking down the most interesting and rare vintage farm machines and collections for more than 80 years combined! That includes researching and sourcing the best books on collectibles available anywhere. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-866-624-9388 or by email. Stay safe!

Minneapolis Moline Model Z Restored By Son

Minneapolis-Moline Model Z gets fixed up and runs again thanks to dedicated son.

| May 2013

  • Unrestored Model Z
    The Minneapolis-Moline Model Z before restoration.
    Photo By Willard Sorter
  • Restored Model Z
    Willard's restored Model Z (No. 610740S).
    Photo By Willard Sorter
  • Rear Model Z
    Rear view of the restored tractor.
    Photo By Willard Sorter

  • Unrestored Model Z
  • Restored Model Z
  • Rear Model Z

This 1940 Minneapolis-Moline Model Z was bought by my father, Art Sorter, on July 1, 1940, from Harstad Implement, Newfolden, Minn., along with a 3-14 Minneapolis-Moline plow and 7-foot Minneapolis-Moline mower, all for less than $850 (about $14,000 today). To get it back running, it cost almost $3,000, not counting many hours of work cleaning, painting, sandblasting, disassembly and reassembly. I also spent a lot of time looking for parts, like all four wheels, a good block and others.

When I began restoration, the tractor had not run for 20 years. The manifold was broken at the top and the engine was full of water. When I took a spark plug out, water shot across the shop floor. Everything was stuck. We went through five blocks before we found two we could use. Even the crankshaft was stuck: We broke it loose with the crank and a pipe wrench.

This is the third engine in this tractor; Dad would get engines from combines. It never had an oil filter unit, so I found one from an old tractor that was junked. Then I found out you can’t get Minneapolis-Moline oil filters anymore. A friend gave me a Wix filter (no. 51125) that fit without the nut on the outer end.

When I went out to the farm to look at the tractor on Nov. 21, 2008, all the tires were flat. We aired them up and jacked it up out of the dirt and blocked each wheel under the tires, but we couldn’t turn the rear wheels; they were frozen. But the temperatures warmed up enough the next day that the tractor rolled on its own when we pulled it to a trailer. After getting it on the trailer, we took the tractor to town to work on it.

We drained 2-1/2 gallons of water out of the rear end but everything worked OK. I bought four new tires: 600-by-12-inch for the front and 11.2-by-38 on the rear. When I got the tractor from the farm, my dad had 14-by-30 tires on the rear and welded rims on the front 650-by-16.

This tractor was built the first year Minneapolis-Moline came out with a starter and lights. I had to find lights for the tractor, because my dad had broken the lights off driving in the woods and my brother had hit a rock when he was driving in fifth gear and rolled the tractor, also causing damage. FC 


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!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.

Facebook Pinterest YouTube


click me