One of the joys of this adventure has been the “jeep days” when Evan and Barry get to spend a day working on the jeeps.  The latest “jeep day” was no exception and we accomplished a list of tasks needed to get Ole Blue ready for another season of shows.
The Old and the New
The latest addition to the Farm Jeep garage is a 40” TV/PC monitor.  It is perfect blowing up parts diagrams and watching the occasional TV show.  One of those TV shows provided Evan with the solution to our non-working Newgren between-the-seats control.
A special feature of the Newgren lift is the ability to control the lift at the rear of the jeep and from the driver’s seat.  When attaching implements, it is very handy to be able to make fine adjustments to the lift height without having to leave the rear area.  We were extremely lucky that our lift came with the driver control rod and lever.  Unfortunately, after moving the lift from the CJ2a to the CJ3a, the driver control hasn’t worked correctly.  We could either make the lift rise or lower it by altering the length of the control rod, but not both.
Wheeler Dealers
The British TV series WheelDealers is a favorite of ours and was the source for Evan’s inspiration in fixing the Newgren.  In one episode, Edd China, the mechanic, demonstrated how to determine the changes need to convert a shift lever from a “long-throw” to a “short-throw”.   Since there were no conversion kits available, Edd designed his own.   Using Edd’s example, Evan diagnosed the problem, built a prototype and designed the fix. 
The problem
The control had been installed according to the instructions.  As stated, it worked perfectly on the 2a.  But as listed on Farm Jeep, there are dimensional differences between the 2a and 3a.  While not major, we believe they were enough to alter the geometry.  We also are working with a reproduction body.  That may have added to the issue.
The fix
Using soda straws to simulate the setup, Evan estimated that the lever needed to be lengthened by 2 inches or so.  Using a small piece of wood, he built a prototype and used it to find the exact extension required.  We were then able to build a simple bolt-on extension that maintains the original lever, but makes it functional.  Perfect
While we were at it
The day’s accomplishment didn’t stop there.  We took the wobble out of a front wheel, aided by the service manual (displayed on the big screen) and service the steering knuckles with John Deere Corn Head Grease.
Evan scored his second victory of the day by modifying a spring to correct an accelerator linkage issue.   Although an OEM spring was installed, it was too strong, preventing operation of the throttle cable.  Again, this is probably a problem with the geometry of our engine/body.  Rather than chasing the problem, we choose to go with a workable solution.
Another good day.

American Bantam Plow – More of the story

Our last post introduced our search for more information on Ted’s American Bantam plow.  Over the past few weeks, we, along with a few Bantam, Newgren and Monroe experts have been searching for answers to our questions about where and when the plows were produced.

The first part of the Bantam Plow mystery has been solved by Cathy Cunningham of the American Bantam Car Club (  She sent us a newspaper clipping from 9/20/48 announcing that the Butler plant would produce farm equipment.  In addition, she also provided the following:

 From the Bantam bankruptcy papers….”The management of Newgren as well as Bantam was entirely under the control of Monroe.  Of the various farm implements sold by Newgren, about 50% was manufactured by or purchased from Monroe, a small portion by Bantam and the remainder by unaffiliated companies.”
4/19/1950.  The trustees found the activities of the Newgren Company, Bantam’s wholly owned subsidiary, which had been engaged unsuccessfully in the sale of agriculture equipment manufactured by Monroe, Bantam and others, practically ceased.
Based on the above, we now know that Bantam was producing farm equipment, which most likely included plows, beginning in 1948.  It would appear that Newgren sales efforts had ceased by early 1950.  We would guess that Bantam replaced the Newgren tag sometime after mid-1950.  But we have just scratched the surface of how this plow came to be.

This has been a fun and rewarding undertaking.  We want to thank Ted for sending us the photos of the plows.  He uncovered an important (at least to some of us) piece of jeep history. We also wish to thank Clint Dixon, Lonnie Deweese, and Cathy for their help in getting the story this far.

Many stories remain to be told about Monroe, Newgren and Bantam.  It is our hope that this plow-find will kindle more research and published results. 

American Bantam Plow – an unknown chapter in Newgren Equipment history?

We received a note and pictures from Ted, who had purchased one of the two plows pictured. The plows are branded American Bantam, the same company that built the first WWII jeep prototype. The company located in Butler, PA is also known for its small cars. Some background information is provided here in this Newgren History.

Barry has been working with a few collectors and the American Austin Bantam Club to learn more about these plows. We are in agreement that the plows are re-branded Newgren models. But none of us had ever seen an American Bantam plow before. Both plows where found in northern VA. 

We are still researching a couple of questions. We would like to know when Bantam dropped the Newgren name and began branding the implements as American Bantam. We believe it to be in the 1948 to 1954 time range. Second we would like to know how many and what type of implements were sold under the Bantam label.

We will post more information here, as we uncover it.

Finally, a working Newgren Lift

A look down the radiator to the new pump

Newgren restoration – take 10
A while back, a Newgren lift frame appeared on e-Bay.  The seller’s description included a reference to restoration information.  It has been over 10 years since we published our post on our Newgren lift restoration.  But it has been just a couple of months since we could finally say that it is truly restored to working condition.  How did it take 10 years you say? 
First – actually last – is what we didn’t know about hydraulics.  Even the simple Newgren system was a mystery to us.   We tried a number of pump configurations until we found an original pump and bracket.  That first pump was totally shot and we spent months trying to figure out a replacement.  Luckily our friend Lonnie, who knows all about Newgren lifts, told us that Newgren used the same pump that International used on their Farmall C tractor. 
We found one on e-Bay and spent a couple of more years trying to get the used pump to work.  Barry spent a number of weeks (maybe months) trying to determine why the lift wouldn’t work consistently.   He would be the first to admit that he didn’t want to believe what the experts were telling him.  The pump was showing signs of being worn out.  Especially when the pump worked perfectly at times.
Finally, the decision was made to change the Newgren pump with a NOS (new old stock) Monroe pump and bracket.  But before doing so, we took the “new” pump to a hydraulic shop for testing.  It turns out the only thing new about this pump was the shiny clean-up job on the case.  Inside, this pump was old and worn.
Even after hearing from our friends on the tractor-by-net forum that the pumps were worn out, we held onto the hope that the pump could be saved.  So we finally made the decision to buy a new pump and suddenly all those years of lift problems disappeared.
Plumb and Play
With a part number and the Web, we shopped for the best price on a new pump.  A few days after placing the order, the pump arrived and we were pleased to see it was an exact duplicate of the old pump.  Because it was an exact match, replacing the pump took only a few minutes.

The real test was when we hooked up to the new plow.   Perfect!  The lift worked as it should and for the first time, we have a properly working lift.

Who knew – the real first “Jeep”

Antique Farm Machinery Show and the First Jeep

The best part of taking the Farm Jeep to antique machinery shows is the chance to meet people and learn more about how jeeps were used on the farm.  At a recent show held in Greensburg, Indiana, Barry heard from several people who had (or knew someone who had) used a jeep to tow a hay baler.  One advantage of using a jeep to tow a powered baler (the baler had its own engine) was the speed the jeep provided in moving between fields.
But the real lesson of this show was the discovery of a “jeep” we didn’t know existed, a “jeep” with it roots firmly planted  in the tractor world.  The featured tractor of the show was the Minneapolis-Moline and while wandering through the extensive and very interesting display, Barry spotted a sign that had the words Victory Jeep (there may have been other words, but these caught his eye).  He headed for the club tent and  asked if someone could tell him about the jeep sign.  The immediate response was “You need to talk to Cheryl.”
Cheryl turned out to be a great source of information.  She not only publishes “The Prairie Gold Rush” a quarterly magazine for Minneapolis-Moline enthusiasts, but owns a NTX  Jeep!   The NTX was designed as a military vehicle, not as a tractor.  Cheryl sent us this photo and included the following note –

I have attached a picture of the NTX’s we displayed at the Rice Lake WI Show in June of this year. It is the most NTX Jeeps we have ever gathered in one place. However, there are still at least 18 more out there we know of (in various degrees of restoration of course) that did not show up. There were 840 built (which we are sure of) and really don’t know how many have survived. They are a really fun vehicle to own. My NTX is gray, the closest one in the picture with the American flags.”

 Also included in this group shot is the NTX that made an appearance in the 1944 movie The_Fighting_Seabees.

Other MM folks were quick to point out that Willys had stolen the “jeep” name and had been sued by MM to stop them from using it.  Hmmm,  the Farm Jeep doesn’t have the word Jeep stamped anywhere on the body.   Could it be they are correct? After this quick history lesson, it is clear that this was the first vehicle with the “jeep” name and it was not a Willys.  For more info on the NTX, check out this article- The Industrial Jeep – 1943 NTX

Just what is a tractor?
Following this informative encounter, Barry headed over to the RFD network’s Classic Tractor show exhibit.  They were covering the show and selling DVDs and other tractor related items.  Barry didn’t see any Farm Jeep information and inquired if they might have any jeep related items.  The short answer was “No, we do tractors, not jeeps.”  The challenge was on, so Barry did his best to educate them.  He showed them copies of ads and tried to make his case that the jeep should be on the tractor show.  Time will tell.
Six degrees of separation?
Following the conversations with Cheryl and the RFD crew, Barry started looking for more NTX information  and  came across some interesting facts.  From the CJ3a info page
Willys involvement with farming and tractors started long before the Jeep. After WWI tractors started to replace the horse on the farm. At this time John N. Willys, with several partners, purchased the Moline Plow Co. and Willys-Overland produced the Universal Tractor. In the 1920’s Mr. Willys sold out to his partners. For more information about the Moline Plow Company see the unofficial Minneapolis-Moline web-site.

Barry passed this information along to the MM folks, in hopes that they might feel more kindly toward the Farm Jeep.  He also came across a site with great Farm Jeep history.  Check out
We look forward to more shows and learning more about our version of the Jeep. 

Pumps, Plows and Prizes!

There are instructions for that…
After installing the new motor, we were ready to get the hydraulic pump attached and ready to work.  Before remounting the pump, Barry wanted to replace the shaft seal, to cure the slow leak.  As noted elsewhere, Newgren used the same pump found on an International Harvester Model C tractor.  A search found that the seal was available and an order placed.  When the seal arrived, it was a pretty simple process to take the pump apart and remove the old seal.  The new seal was tapped in place and we were ready to mount the pump.

Above is pictured a portion of the pump bracket and the crankshaft pulley with the “special nut” installed.  Set screws (small dots) are visible on either side of the threaded crankshaft 

The pump connects to the crankshaft with a “special nut” (a steel bar with a short stud at each end), a rubber disk and a matching steel bar with studs that fits on the pump shaft.  We have installed and removed the pump probably a dozen times over the years, so don’t need the installation instructions.  Or so we thought.

We quickly mounted the pump and started the engine.  The lift worked perfectly for a few minutes.  And then it stopped working.  A quick inspection showed that the special nut had come loose from the pulley and was allowed the coupling to slip.  The pump wasn’t turning fast enough to work.  No problem, we just need to tighten the “special nut” on the crankshaft.  Making sure it was tight, we tried again, with the same results.

Time for a bigger hammer, or in this case a bar between the studs to REALLY tighten the nut.  This did keep the nut from coming loose, but created a huge oil leak out the end of the crankshaft!  Rather than report the hours spent trying to stop the leak, we will simply report the fix.  We needed a new “slinger” behind the timing chain cover and, mostly importantly, we used Permatex Ultra Black sealer between the shaft and pulley.  Time to attack the problem of the nut coming loose – over tightening was not the answer.
It was clear that the problem had surfaced with the pump seal replacement.  More force was required to turn the pump when it was not leaking (a good thing).  The original instructions called for two small set screws on the “special nut” to be removed with the nut in place against the pulley.  Two small holes were to be drilled into the face of the pulley (using the set screw holes as a guide).  We had not figured out how to do this without removing the front of the jeep, so had just tightened the set screws against the pulley face.
Figuring that the average farmer or Willys dealer would have not wanted to remove the radiator and grill, there must have been a method for drilling the holes.  We have a right-angle power drill and it worked perfectly for the task.  Regardless of the method used, the properly installed special nut hasn’t come loose.  Another lesson learned for us.  Follow the instructions!
A Newgren plow of our own!

Our friend Craig loaned us his early Newgren plow to display with our jeep a couple of years ago.  Since then we have been telling Craig that if he won’t sell us his plow, he should help us find our own.  And he did just that!
Craig had sent me a note about attending an antique tractor parts meet.  Not being able to attend, Barry did tell him to bring home a Newgren plow if he saw one.  Craig sent back an ad for a Newgren plow near Knoxville, TN.   Three days later, Barry made a flying trip to pick up the plow.
It is a beautiful later model 2-12 slat plow.  It is missing the coulters and the gauge wheel bracket, but the other parts are in excellent condition.  We will be looking for the missing parts and working with plow expert Clint Dixon to bring it back to its original state.  Clint says that he knows of only 7 other examples of the later tall mast Newgren plows.  That makes it even more exciting.
A prize of our own…

In addition to attending antique machinery shows, we have wanted to take the farm jeep to the local county fair.   We finally had a chance to enter the antique farming exhibit.  While we hadn’t expected to be judged, we ended up with a blue ribbon.   The blue ribbon was for “best in class” and being the only entry in the jeep class, we were an automatic winner.  Still, we will proudly display the ribbon in garage.
This was also the first time we have displayed the jeep backwards.  It had become clear that with the front end of the jeep lined up with the fronts of other tractors we presented no clues about the jeep as a tractor.   Visitors would glance at the jeep and walk on down the line.  If we could get them to the rear of the display, interest went way up.
So the fair offered an opportunity to try our reverse display.  It was an absolute success.  This is how we will display the jeep at future shows.

Out with the old… In with the older…

Ole Blue arrived without a motor and the engine we purchased had most likely spent is former life in a welder application.  But an L-134 is an L-134 and the engine got us on the road.  However, the engine smoked, we had some oil pan issues and even after an oil pump change we saw very low pressure.  More critical was a noise from the clutch.  We had picked up a rebuilt L-134 engine with the idea of doing a swap and fixing the clutch.  Like many of our projects, this one took some time, but we did get the job done.

Unbolt this, disconnect that
Since this was an engine swap, we took advantage of the jeeps simple constructions.  By removing the fenders, grill and radiator, we had easy access to the engine.  We did have to remove all the wiring in the front end, but again, the jeep is a simple vehicle.  The most important tool at this point is an engine hoist with a load leveler the attaches to the head bolts.  The second most important tool is a digital camera to take lots of pictures, especially of the wiring, to aid in the reassembly.
With only a couple of “hum, why isn’t it releasing”, the engine came free of the bellhousing and the transmission shaft.  We had chosen to unbolt the engine from the front mounts.  Hindsight tells us that should have unbolted the mounts from the frame.  We had to “lift” the front of the block, thus binding the engine on the shaft more than necessary.
There’s your problem
A quick look at the throw-out bearing and transmission shaft showed no wear or problems.  So the next task with the engine out was to remove the clutch.  As soon as the pressure plate was removed, the source of the clutch noise was evident.  The springs on the clutch disk had made contact with the bolts on the flywheel. Our installation way-back-when was our first and we assumed that the flywheel that came with the engine was the correct one.  With the new engine setting next to the old, the difference in the flywheels was obvious.
The old flywheel had been machined in the middle, lessening the clearance for the clutch disk.   So the good news was that we weren’t facing a major problem.  We had, not knowing what we might find, ordered a complete new clutch assemble.  We could have gotten by with just a new clutch disk, but at this point replacing everything seemed the wise path.
Mother of invention
The flywheel on the new engine was very rusty.  We decided to remove the flywheel to get it cleaned off.  The flywheel is held on by bolts, so removal should be simple.  Not so fast.  The flywheel fits on a hub at the end of the crankshaft and it is a tight fit.  No matter how we pulled, pushed and banged with a hammer, it wouldn’t budge.
Off to the internet for some advice.  The majority of advice was to “keep banging”.  However, there were those who said to use a puller.  A search of the internet didn’t turn up a single flywheel puller for an L-134 engine.  We have a few pullers that we have used to pull brake drums and steering components.  None of them were large enough to work on the flywheel.  It appeared it was going to be necessary for us to design our own puller.  We don’t have metal working tools, except for drills, saws and, of course, welders.  So the challenge was to come up with a simple design.
The first problem was figuring out how to attach the puller to the flywheel.  In a flash of “duh”, Barry figured he could use the clutch attachment holes.  A typical puller has a method of attaching to the object and a screw device in the center to apply pressure on the shaft.  The clutch attachment holes are in a triangle configuration, so we figured we could weld and drill some melt strips.
As Barry was taking some measurements, he spotted the old clutch pressure plate.  That was when the second “duh” moment happened.  We had a used pressure plate that had been in a box of parts we purchased.  Barry took a scrape piece of ¼” x 3” steel bar and cut it fit inside the back of the pressure plate.  He first drilled a hole and then welded a ½”square nut in the center of the pressure plate and inserted a ½” bolt.
With the plate welded to the pressure plate and the plate bolted to the flywheel, all that was left to do was to use a socket wrench to apply pressure to get the flywheel loose.  It took several turns, but the flywheel did pop off.  Clearly the heavy rust had resulted in “rust weld” and we aren’t sure any other method of removal would have worked as well.
Putting it all back together
There were a few components to be moved from the old engine to the new.  Although we had lots of room to remove and install the engine, we decided not to move things like the generator until after the basic install.
Using are handy clutch alignment tool the new clutch assemble was in place in minutes.  So now all we had to do was to drop the engine in and slide it back on the transmission shaft.   We used the clutch alignment tube to align the clutch disk and the transmission shaft so the engine should slide right in.  Should was the operative word.  We pushed, twisted and shoved, but the engine would go so far and then stop.

We pulled the engine back out and re-checked the alignment.  We even put a level on the motor to make sure the motor and the transmission were on the same plane.  Again, we would get the engine within an inch and it wouldn’t move.  Time to stop for lunch and beers.
You know what they say
Beer makes everything better.  At least that is what we have been told.  All we know is that after lunch and a beer, Evan just leaned against the motor.  And it slid in place.  It must have been the beer.  We have no other way to explain what happened.  In any case we are making the beer frig an official tool box.
It takes a little time and then
With the engine back in place, we took our time getting everything back together.  While the new engine had lived on an engine stand, it didn’t need a generator or accelerator.  So in addition to the normal connections, we had to add a few things to the motor. Having taken lots of pictures of the wiring and general engine compartment made life easier.   The rest of the install was uneventful.
It was time  
With the essential wiring done (we could wait on the lights) it was time to see if the engine would start.  It had been sitting on the garage floor for months, but a few cranks to get fuel to carburetor and it fired!  The engine sounded great, with good solid oil pressure. 

With the engine running, Evan let out on the clutch and no noise!  The clutch problem was solved! We piled in and each took a turn at driving the jeep on the road.  What a great feeling!

Newgren Lift and the Great Plow Hunt

Since we have been attending antique tractor shows, we have wanted to mount a plow to the Newgren lift.  At a show last May, our friend Craig loaned us his Newgren plow and it was a hit.  It did appear that folks who had never encountered a farm jeep had trouble completely grasping the concept without an implement hanging off the back.  Seeing the plow back there drew a larger crowd.
While we have 3 plows on the farm – a Ford Dearborn 2-14, a Massey-Ferguson 1-16 and a Wiard 2-12, none of these seemed to work correctly (not enough ground clearance for transportation) with the Newgren lift.  Luckily are search for plow information led us to Clint Dixon who has helped us find specifications for the operation of our lift, as well as lessons in plow geometry.
The following is an email exchange that describes what we have learned:
Over the weekend, I got the Newgren lift working and tried to see how it would do with my 3 plows.  All have tall masts, but wanted to see if one might work as a “show with the jeep” plow.  I hoped the Wiard would work, but no luck.  Then tried a Dearborn 2-14 and a MF 1-16.  The 1-16 came close, but was only a couple of inches off the ground.
So I’m going to build some pin-on adapters for the Newgren arms that will allow me to lift the plows high enough for transport, even if not for actual field work.  I’ll continue my search for an early Newgren plow. 
It is not the mast height, but the ground to pin height on the plow that is the problem.  Don’t know if there are any other any commercial plows that would fit the Newgren lift, unmodified.
Well, this one took some thought and some research.
The ASAE standards for a “Category I” 3-point hitch indicate that the Lower Hitch Points on the Lower Links must lower to a height of no greater than 10-inches above the ground. They must raise to a height of no less than 32-inches above the ground. This 22-inch span is called the “power range”. (The Lower Hitch Points are the holes/balls at the ends of the lower links where the lower hitch studs on the implement directly attach.)
From Willys literature from 1951, I see that the Monroe Lift mounted on a Jeep Universal equipped with 7:00×15 tires, heavy springs, and a 180 lb. operator allows the Lower Hitch Points to lower to a height of 7-inches above the ground – well below the ASAE standard. It also allows the Lower Hitch Points to raise to a height of 32-7/8 inches above the ground – just meeting the ASAE requirement.
The Monroe Lift mounted on my Dodge Power Wagon allows the Lower Hitch Points to lower to 7-1/2 inches from the ground and raise to 32-1/2 inches. Again, meeting the ASAE standards.
I have never had the chance to compare these dimensions to a Newgren Lift mounted on a Jeep. I have to imagine the dimensions would be close if J.B. Love was trying to meet the Category I standards. If they deviate to any great degree, this could definitely contribute to what you have experienced.
I measured the distances from the ground to the center of the rockshaft on my Newgren plows, each having the tall masts. The dimension varies slightly depending upon the type of plowshares and how much they are worn, but 21-1/2 inches is an average. I do not have a Wiard, Dearborn, or Massey Ferguson near to measure, but I suspect the dimensions would not vary by more than an inch. I do not know how this dimension compares to an early short-masted Newgren.
This 21-1/2 inch measurement as taken with the plow sitting on the ground allows the plow to lower up to 14-inches into the ground. As a general rule, a 16-inch plow will work best when plowing an 8-inch deep furrow, a 14-inch plow at 7-inchs, and a 12-inch plow at a 6-inch furrow. This gives us a reserve of 6 to 8 inches of available additional plow working depth in the ground. This can be valuable when the front wheels of the vehicle pass through a washout or low spot. They can drop quite a bit before the plow is actually pulled from the ground.
This 21-1/2 inch rockshaft-to-ground measurement also means that the plow should lift high enough that the plowshare points will be about 10 to 11-inches above the ground during transport (not taking into account suspension squat from the extra weight). This is about where the plows lift to on my Power Wagon.
An early Newgren plow, with the short mast height, will no longer be parallel to the ground when raised to transport position with a Newgren Lift. The tail should be slightly high, but this has no real effect on overall ground clearance. A later Newgren plow, with the tall mast height, will be at approximately the same angle to the ground when raised to transport position with a Monroe Lift. The same thing happens with Dearborn and Ferguson plows on Ford and Ferguson tractors, and Dearborn and Ferguson plows on vehicles with Monroe Lifts.
Could anything be bent on your lift? Or, do you not have original lower links and yours may be too short? I do not have the dimensions, but I could maybe get them for you. Are you sure you are getting full stroke out of the cylinder? Is the pump maybe loosing pressure before the cylinder is completely extended?
I am not aware of any plows other than what you have that would work better.
I am interested to hear what you find out.
Best Regards,
Thank you for this great information.  The lower arms and the adjustment links are reproductions on the lift.  It is possible that they are not the proper length.   I’ll try to take some measurements of the lift range and see where I’m at now.
I had to have the cylinder complete rebuild, with a new body.  The shop reused the end caps and the end section of the rod, but I can’t be sure it was done to original specs.
I’m not sure how to thank you for taking the time to research this.  You have saved me hours of chasing the wrong issue.  I’ll keep you informed of my progress.
Hi Barry,
Well it took a while but I got some dimensions for you.
The original arms on a Newgren lift measure 21-1/2 inches, centerline to centerline, from the hole where the lift arm mounts to the rockshaft to the hole where the implement attaches.
The lift arms measure 1 inch thick and 2-1/2 inches wide.
With the arms fully lifted, the measurement from the hole where the implement attaches to the ground is approximately 27 inches (depending upon tire condition, rear suspension condition, etc. of course).
The amount of shaft that sticks out beyond the pivot block under the rockshaft is 3-1/2 inches. With the lift fully lowered, you can manually raise the lift arms, but the 3-1/2 inches of shaft will never pull out of the pivot block.
I do not know for sure, but I suspect, if you had an early short mast Newgren plow and a later tall mast Newgren plow sitting next to each other, the implement attaching points on the early plow would be a little closer to the ground than the implement attaching points on the later Newgren.
Hope this helps.
The measurements match to what we have, for both the arm length/size and for the lift range (we did get 28″ by screwing the adjusters all the way up).  So we are on the lookout for a plow.  
Thanks again for all the help.
The good news is that we know we have the correct setup.  Need to continue looking for an original Newgren plow.  However, we may need to change our description of the Newgren lift as be compatible with standard 3PT implements.


Wow! 10 months has seen a lot happening in the Farm Jeep garage!

Sometimes, months slip by without an update, because there isn’t much going on.  But the last months have been filled with lots of activity in the Farm Jeep garage.  We’ve spent time researching and bringing our Newgren lift up to specifications.  In doing so, we discovered we really do need a Newgren plow to make it work correctly.  Added to that battle has been the continuation of leaking pumps.  The rebuild vs. buying new discussion continues.

Over the summer, Ole Blue developed some engine issues.  As long as most of our driving was on/off the trailer while going to antique tractor shows, it hasn’t been an issue.  But we want to do more and the time was right to get Blue running around the country roads.  Readers also might remember that we had purchased an engine on a stand, to use as a replacement engine.  Coupled with the clutch noise, we decided the time had come to do an engine swap.  Along the way, Barry developed a nifty tool for removing a flywheel and we also discovered that there isn’t much information out there on engine installs.

One of the reasons for developing Farm Jeep was to have a place to collect information and as a resource for us as we discover the joys and frustrations of collecting old jeeps.  Over the next few weeks, we will be updating the Web pages with our latest achievements and lessons learned.

Stay tuned!

Every decade or so..

Somehow summer slipped into fall and suddenly it was Thanksgiving again.  Time to gather firewood.  Ole Yeller has been the tool of choice for gathering and processing firewood.  The farm jeep hauls chainsaws and fuel and tows trailers full of wood to the splitter.  Even though we have farm tractors that can be used, the jeep is the better tool for the job.

Ole Yeller doesn’t get much attention.  It sets in the barn, waiting for the next job.  It has been a constant helper, starting and running without missing a beat.  But late this summer the jeep didn’t want to start.  Once it did start, it ran fine and we continued to just go about business as usual.

When Evan came down for a “jeep day”, Barry thought a quick check of Ole Yeller was in order.  The jeep started perfectly and so it was just assumed Ole Yeller had a case of bad gas.  But a couple of days later, the jeep wouldn’t start at all.

Jeeps, like old cars and tractors are pretty simple machines.  If you have fuel, spark and compression (timing) they will run.  So Barry started to check those things.  First, he pulled a plug wire and used a screwdriver to ground it to the block.  Cranking the engine produced a spark.  It was possible that the spark wasn’t strong enough to jump the plug gap.  Barry pulled the distributor cap and the cap and rotor contacts appeared tarnished.  Not a good sign.  He pulled the plugs, three of which were slightly rusted in place.  Not a good sign.  The plugs were worn with a much larger gap than normal and needed to be replaced.

Maybe it was a time for a tune-up.  Barry couldn’t remember when Ole Yeller had been tuned.  A note to Evan and a check of the Farm Jeep chronicles showed the plugs had been changed in ’03.  Almost a decade!  Definitely time for a tune up.

After a trip to the local NAPA parts store, Barry pulled the wires and reinserted them in the new cap. He also install the new rotor and plugs.  Trying to start produced nothing?  Maybe he replaced the plug wires incorrectly.  A quick check of the manual and Blue showed the plugs were wrong!

With only four wires the switch is pretty easy.  Try again.  Nothing.  OK, time to check the fuel.  It is dark in the barn (even with the lights on) and but it didn’t appear much, if any fuel was getting past the carburetor.  The after-market fuel filter is clear and appeared to have a number of rust particles inside the case.  A quick trip to town produced a replacement filter.

Clearly, fuel flow was an issue.  After the filter change, cranking the engine produced a visible flow of fuel.  But the engine still didn’t start.  OK, time to check the timing.  At least with a quick check and adjustment of the points that seems fine.  But no engine fire.  Time to head to the Internet.

A note posted on the CJ2a forum said to recheck all my work, including making sure the plug wires were correct.  There was also a link to a very good paper on timing the engine and in there was a note on how if the distributor had been changed or the oil pump replaced, it might not have been installed in the original position.  This would not change the way the engine operated but it WOULD change the location of the plug wires on the distributor cap.

It was at this point that Barry remembered an email from Evan early in the process which said “Are you sure you didn’t have the plug wires in the correct order before you fixed them? I seem to remember battling this before (although it could have been on the ’49) and that there was something odd with the firing order.”

Barry moved the wires one position clockwise AND the engine fired immediately!  What a marvelous machine.

NOTE TO THE GRANDKIDS:  When you do a tuneup in 2022/23 be sure to watch for those pesky non-standard plug wires…