Did you know that with enough time, parts, and creativity any tractor can become a champion pulling tractor? My competitive side might make me regret sharing this information, but here are my favorite upgrades to stock tractors.
Let’s take the 560 Farmall for example. On its own, the 560 is a good but not particularly beefy tractor. A few changes, though, can make it a real powerhouse.
First, lighten up the tractor. Replace the heavy-duty cast iron wheels with tin wheels. Get rid of the wide front end and replace it with a narrow front. Remove the 2 point hitch and use just the draw bar.
With all the weight you save by making these switches, you can have fun with the engine. I’d start with a 301 combine engine (non-sleeved). Put in some 806 pop-up pistons with domes. They’ll fit without the sleeves and be very powerful.
Carburation is a game-changer. If the club you’re pulling with doesn’t require a stock manifold, then switch to a combine manifold. If this is against your club’s rules, use the 806 manifold and carburetor on the 301 combine engine.
Putting in hotter plugs is a common mistake, however, the spark plug needs to be the plug that was originally engineered for the tractor (the combine engine used the same spark plugs as the tractor engine originally).
Be sure to run the biggest tire that the club allows. If allowed by your club’s rules, cut tires are a big advantage over standard tires.
A few more details: Put a straight pipe on. Keep the radiator from the 560. Add weight brackets on the back of this model.
This tractor would pull in the 5500-6500 farm pulling class. As pulling tractors go, this one would be very affordable to build and run. It would be a fun project, too! If you’re still looking for a winter project this year, try this one and send us pictures.
Thanks, Brandon Cooley, for the photo.