My Allis Chalmers WF45 is a custom-built restoration project. The tractor began life in 1949 as an Allis Chalmers WD. But by the time I received it around 2013, it was in really bad shape. All the sheet metal was missing, and the engine was locked up from water getting down the exhaust. The transmission and rear end were locked up as well due to the gear shift being removed and mice making a nest in the diff that locked up the ring and pinion. It was missing many other parts, governor, tires, original rims drawbar, starter, and distributor. It did come with a parts tractor with no motor and with bad rear rims that didn’t at all complete the other tractor. I paid $150 for both machines. When I got the tractor I had this crazy idea to lower it and make it a standard tread tractor. On my property is a 2-acre pasture field with many trees and I wanted something shorter to mow under the trees with. But I’m a die-hard Allis fan and the only tractor that really would work would be an IB or a WF and neither of those has a good three-point lift or live hydraulics or PTO. Both of those tractors are rather rare to find too and usually come with a $2,000 or more price tag. So I thought I could build one out of this WD cheaper.
It took a few years to get started on the tractor but in 2015 I started working on it and it took 2 years to fully finish it. I started by getting the transmission loose and lowering the tractor. I pulled the final drives (which was not easy as the break pins wouldn’t come out) and drilled new break pin holes and spun the final drives up one bolt. I then repaired the rims on the parts tractor, one of which I had to cut out 1/4 of it and replace with a new section. Then I mounted the smallest 28in tires I could find 11.2 x 28 in rims. I then leveled the tractor to start working on the front axle. I dropped the tricycle front pedestal, cut the end of the frame rails, and then began fabricating the front axle. Most of it is made from scratch but it is made to fit many Allis parts. I pulled the axle pieces out of the tricycle front and fabricated the wide front to fit these parts. The steering arms are off an Allis B and the drag link is off of a B. The steering box is off of a 1954 Chevy 2-ton truck. The steering wheel and the seat were lowered. I also had to make new fender brackets and decided to fabricate a full platform to resemble the wf and the U. And of course find many of the missing parts. After that was all done, I then started the engine. I couldn’t get the motor free so I did a full overhaul on the motor, new piston sleeve kit with overbore and got a 226cuin crank and new bearings, and refaced all the valves and seats. I decided to go to 226 cranks because by then I wanted to dub the tractor the WF45 and wanted to make it such. I thought about finding a WD45 block too but I had to move the oil filter to fit the steering box and that was much easier with the valve guide plate on the wd block. Ultimately the longer I worked on the tractor, the more it made me want to do it right and make the tractor look like it could be factory-made.
So ultimately my cheap standard tread tractor quickly became pretty expensive. It wound up costing me over $3500 to complete and tons of hours of labor. But I think it turned out really nice. We now use it actively on the farm. It bush-hogs the pasture each year and is the backup tractor for baling and many other tasks.
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