A HORSE- TRADE FOR A TRACTOR
For much of the eighties Donna and I had a market garden, reaching 3 acres at its maximum. We
sold our produce in town and from a cart at the end of our driveway. In actuality, I believe that
my biggest attraction to farming was that it gave me such a great opportunity to tinker
contraptions out of junk.
The first farm project was a tractor. My friend needed a cord of firewood, and had a dead Datsun
B110 and a 1947 farmall "A" tractor with no engine. We made a trade.
Starting work in the well-
lit and ventilated workshop I had at the time. Components are sort of jigged into place with stumps and
blocks at this point.
The fate of the Datsun B110, chained
nose- down into the bed of my pickup truck. It has been completely stripped and is en route to the scrap yard.
Can you imagine seeing a load like that today?? Things were so much nicer then.
The old farmall was converted into the world's newest "Farmsun 110" by fabricating a carry- through to
connect the front of the tractor to the rear of the tractor, replacing the structure of the missing engine block.
The back of the carry through was drilled to bolt to the face of the transmission, and the front was drilled to
bolt to the front axle assembly. The engine and manual transmission of the Datsun fit within the sides of the carry-
through structure. The carry- through, the white steel in the top picture was the support for one of the heaters
in the school gym.
The drive train was joined by welding the Datsun transmission output coupling to the Farmall transmission's input coupling.
Sometimes things work out that easily.
The Farmsun pulling the potato planter.
The planter is almost another story in itself... Originally designed to be pulled by a horse, I found it in a hedge row,
with several stout trees growing up through it. I bought it for $25 and had it working in a day of heating, beating,
tinkering, and oiling; cast iron equipment lasts almost forever.
The Farmsun pulling the transplanter, used
mostly for tomatoes. It was just scrap iron that hung low from the underneath of the tractor. It had a rack to hold the
transplants in front,a seat for Donna in back, and in the middle, a blade made a furrow as it moved slowly along. Donna placed the transplants into the furrow, and the transplaner
closed the furrow behind the plant. In a later modification, a 30 gallon tank hung below the engine and supplied water to
moisten the furrowed earth.
All this was prior to the age of digital photography, and there are no pictures of the snowplow, the potato hiller, the sprayer,
and the corn planter that also attached to the tractor.
The tractor had one important modification, and that was a three- point hitch. It mounted to the floor under the seat, and was
powered by a power steering pump remived from a friend's derelict Ford Torino. The pump operated a ram that was originally
from a GMC school bus, and the ram rotated a shaft that had a bellcrank "ear" at each end. Each ear had a chain that pulled one
of the lift arms up, or let it down.
The power steering pump, as well as the sprayer pump was operated by the tractor PTO.
The Farmsun today. It grows great black raspberries!.
The front of the Farmsun, showing the
attachment of the carry- through to the front end. Note the "backwards alternator (with redneck tensioner) and the "adaptation" for the engine to
run the original Farmall radiator fan .
The 3- point hitch.
The pump and its drive are shown, as well as the shaft, ears, chains, and lift arms.
that rotated to lift the arms.
I was proud of the Farmsun, and it is a shame that it has been slowly sinking into the ground for all these years.
It and all of its attachments performed quite nicely.
There may be a reprieve in sight though... There are several projects around here that would really benefit from a
small forklift. I may resurrect the Farmsun and mate it with the mast from an electric pallet stacker that my son
came home with one day.