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Repair and restoration of the 
International Harvester Farmall 100 tractor

Friends of the South African Air Force Museum – Pretoria Branch

The tractor project was begun in April 2002.   The tractor had originally been purchased by the Air Force to cut the runway grass. The Farmall models were initially introduced by the McCormack-Deering of International Harvester in 1924.

The Farmall 100 at the museum is one of approx 15 000 manufactured between 1954 and 1956. This model features a seat offset from the engine, allowing the driver to look directly at the ground under the tractor. This feature was known as ‘Culti-vision’ . Compensating wheel weights are used to ensure proper balance.

This model was powered by the U-2 power unit (the same basic unit used on the Farmall A and B models) with a capacity of approx 1800 cc. This unit is equipped to run on petrol (for startup) and the to switch over to distillate or kerosene for normal operation.  Top speed is in the region of 15 kph. The tractor is equipped with a governor that has full control of the throttle at engine speeds between 1000  and 1800 rpm.

The standard colour for the Farmall range was red with silver bands on the wheel rims, however, the Museum tractor is painted high visibility yellow as is the norm for vehicles working on active runways.

When we received it we found that the head had been removed and the tractor had been parked in the open, resulting in the pistons rusting in the cylinders. We were forced to strip the motor down and replace the piston sleeves. The starter ring gear had to be built up and machined. The cylinder head was refurbished and the engine was reassembled and rewired. The original 6 volt system was replaced with a 12 volt system. Problems in obtaining spares for the mechanical  starter solenoid prompted our decision to replace this with an electrical unit. 

The tractor was painted high visibility yellow.  As the working expectations for the tractor was to be light towing and static display on Museum open days, the Touch-Control and associated hydraulics were not refurbished. The project was completed at the end of 2003.  

Feel free to click on any of the thumbnails below to view a larger image.


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