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I finally got the 1954 Allis-Chalmers WD45 home to rejoin the 1938 B and 1938 WC Compared to those tractors, the WD45 is quite advanced (6V battery start, distributor rather than magneto, lights, foot brakes, etc.). One interesting feature of the WD45 is a hand clutch in addition to the standard foot clutch. The operator uses the traditional foot clutch to change gears as usual. Now, if you engage the PTO and want it to continue running while the tractor is in gear but stopped, move the hand clutch to the forward position. Even with the tractor in gear, the forward motion is stopped but the PTO continues running. Pulling the hand clutch rearward allows the tractor to resume forward motion. I recollect Allis-Chalmers' marketing department called this the first implementation of "live PTO" for any tractor.

Please overlook my cluttered barn....it's in a constant state of reorganization.
 

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:bigthumb: nice explanation about the extra clutch. i got to run one of these tractors with a pull 5 ft brush hog the entire summer, right up till i had my broken leg with my motorcycle accident. 1974
 

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:bigthumb: nice explanation about the extra clutch. i got to run one of these tractors with a pull 5 ft brush hog the entire summer, right up till i had my broken leg with my motorcycle accident. 1974
Still could have ran it. Hand clutch, well except for the pain. Of course you probably didn’t have the fancy seat cover.
 

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Still could have ran it. Hand clutch, well except for the pain. Of course you probably didn’t have the fancy seat cover.
:lol:believe me when i tell u i plowed, harrowed, and tied a plastic bag over my cast to go swimming the next spring---sat on my paps jd A-and wore a hole in the bottom of one of my casts--from letting it sit kinda crooked on the floor board. that was in the beginning--when my first dr then sent me to a different one-and i started to stay with my one uncle and aunt-who took me this different town back then for my appts., then there was no more tractor riding anymore.

no fancy seat covers back then on either one too.:mocking:
 

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Thanks for posting the pictures of your WD45. It's the first tractor I ever drove (over 50 years ago) ! Also narrow front. About 20 years ago I found a wide front WD45 for sale (not restored) for $1800. I wanted it "for old times sake". Secretary of WAR, vetoed that purchase. BUT I still want one, "for old times sake"

I also like orange!!!
 

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Thanks for posting your picture of the WD45. It brought back memories of helping my grandfather and uncle with haying back in the late 50's. They baled hay with an Allis Chalmers round baler which you had to stop moving with every time a baler was rolled up large enough to wrap twine on and discharge it from the baler. The WD45 was perfect for this operation with the hand clutch stopping forward motion but keeping the PTO live.
Here is a link you can paste into a session to see one in operation.
https://youtu.be/Q4bJM9pHxMY
 

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Loved those 45's. AC had the first round baler called RotoBaler, which required that you stop the tractor movement during the time the baler was tying the bale before dropping it, but the PTO had to keep running. Therefore they needed a tractor with so-called "live PTO", hence the hand clutch, which only stopped the tractor movement, but left the PTO running. Push the foot clutch and both stopped. If you were using any other tractor of the time, you had to quickly move the shift lever to neutral when you heard the bang of the tie mechanism, without pushing the clutch. This worked OK as long as you were on level ground and there was no pressure on the driveline. Then to start up again, you had to push the clutch, put the tractor in gear and release the clutch. You usually had to wait until the PTO stopped turning.

I can remember a plowing demonstration day where they had a 45 diesel. It was a 6 cylinder, whereas the other WC and WD models were 4 cylinders. You always plowed in 3rd gear of the 4 gear tranny. The WC would pull a 2 bottom pull type plow as it only had a drawbar. The WD would pull a 3 bottom SnapCoupler plow and the diesel would pull a 4 bottom SnapCoupler plow. I got to drive the diesel and I can tell you that at the end of the furrow, when you lifted that plow, you had better be ready to hit the brake pedal to make the turn or you were going through the fence as that thing was pulling hard. Quite an experience for someone as young as I was.

I see this 45 has the SnapCoupler with the drawbar plugged into it. Most of those got converted to 3pt. I cut my teeth as a youngster on a pair of 1937 WC's. Those were unbreakable. I don't recall us ever spending a dime on repairs. No electric start. No lights. Nothing to go wrong.

The only real complaint against these tractors was that they were hard steering as they did not have power steering. The steering ratio was very quick, therefore required some arm power to turn, whereas other tractors, like the Farmall, had a slower steering ratio (non power) and were easier to turn, but also took more turns of the steering wheel to make a turn.

BTW, if I remember correctly, the year of the tractor is cast into the rear axle housing, viewable from the rear.

Dave
 

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Thanks for posting , Great looking tractor, and A Big Thanks for explaining the hand clutch. :bigthumb::bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Another fine specimen Rod!

Seems you may have found a gold mine of sorts being I think you mentioned in your other thread these 2 tractors came from the same collector. Any more on the way?
Thanks, Stan. Yes, all three of my "new" ACs came from the same collector in Ohio. They have several more in their Allis collection including a WD, CA, at least two D-17s and one or two of the smaller D series tractors. These were all part of their family farm and completely restored by their grandson who appears to be in his early 30's. This young man astounded me with his knowledge of Allis tractors. The family agreed to give me first crack at any additional tractors they may part with in the future. Maybe I did find a "gold mine"....or maybe I'm their "gold mine"....:lol:

The B and WC models really catapulted Allis-Chalmers into serious contention with the other manufacturers. The B was a booming success with small farmers (less than 100 acres) who were still using horses. Allis was the first company to recognize the need for a small, inexpensive tractor and their advertising literature in the late-1930's often touted the cost and time savings of the little B compared to a team of horses. It cost $495 (about $8,800 today).
The more powerful WC appealed to larger farmers and evolved into the WD which led to the WD45 and then the D17 series. There are a lot of visual similarities between the styled WC, WD and WD45 tractors.
 

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Lots of memories

Those were the first tractors I really remember well. Good cultivating tractors because they would spin around quickly. We used them for everything, plowing, disking, hay etc. I first drove one steering a hay wagon before I could do the foot clutch well but could run the hand clutch. The hand clutch was good running a hay baler if you ran into a heavy spot in the windrow.

I see you have the spin out wheels. That was always exciting but they actually worked pretty well. I seem to remember putting several wheel bearings in the front wheels and replacing the half moon for the throttle lever because it was soft metal and would wear through. The hand crank was also good to teach you to not wrap your thumb around the crank as the crank could kick back.

Lots of memories in those pictures. Thanks.

Treefarmer
 

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Thats a bad ass tractor! I restored a 39 B. Love AC's
Funny how Porsche and Corvette all advertise the "Torque Tube" in their cars. AC had them on the B in 38!
 

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i found out the other day, that the little town below where the jd dealer was at. had sold AC's along with case in the day. plus implements to go with the tractors. employed a few employees at the same time. plus the top of the building was the towns hardware store. but to no avail after several yrs he shut the tractor side down-as the jd one was going full bore by then.

boy i wish i had been born 20 yrs sooner back then, just to be witness to them garages. i can remember the jd shop good-but the AC's and case no. HDWE store i can-as i bought 5 buckle boots, sweat shirts, and bib-overalls there. he carried a very good selection for even bigger people back then.

bad thing-he was the nosiest person u ever did meet back then. a million questions from the time u walked in till out.:laugh:

now has anyone ever plowed with a WD-45?? supposedly the 45 had some kind of special drawbar load thingee-that left the wheels have better traction while plowing. i've watched u-tube movies explaining it. just never got to see it in action. i need to attend a plow day with a few wd-45's there to see it in action.
 

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i found out the other day, that the little town below where the jd dealer was at. had sold AC's along with case in the day. plus implements to go with the tractors. employed a few employees at the same time. plus the top of the building was the towns hardware store. but to no avail after several yrs he shut the tractor side down-as the jd one was going full bore by then.

boy i wish i had been born 20 yrs sooner back then, just to be witness to them garages. i can remember the jd shop good-but the AC's and case no. HDWE store i can-as i bought 5 buckle boots, sweat shirts, and bib-overalls there. he carried a very good selection for even bigger people back then.

bad thing-he was the nosiest person u ever did meet back then. a million questions from the time u walked in till out.

now has anyone ever plowed with a WD-45?? supposedly the 45 had some kind of special drawbar load thingee-that left the wheels have better traction while plowing. i've watched u-tube movies explaining it. just never got to see it in action. i need to attend a plow day with a few wd-45's there to see it in action.
Yes it did but in reality all it did was lift the plow a little bit if the going got tough.

Dave

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Discussion Starter #18
now has anyone ever plowed with a WD-45?? supposedly the 45 had some kind of special drawbar load thingee-that left the wheels have better traction while plowing. i've watched u-tube movies explaining it. just never got to see it in action. i need to attend a plow day with a few wd-45's there to see it in action.
AC called that feature "Traction Boost" and was principally used for plowing. Using AC's proprietary "Snap Coupler" plow implement, you first set the boost level using a lever from the operator's seat. If the plow hits a rough area such as a large rock, hydraulics raise the plow which in turn transfers weight (traction) to the rear wheels. Once it overcomes the obstacle, the plow is reset to the original depth. It's essentially the same concept as the Massey / Ford draft control system.

Interesting enough, Allis-Chalmers' implementation of "Traction Boost" allowed the WD45 to pull three 14" plows when most tractors of this size could only accommodate two plows.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
One final note about Allis Chalmers tractors was their proprietary "Snap Coupler" system. Much like Deere's iMatch Quick Hitch system, it allowed the operator to easily attach and detach rear mounted implements without getting out of the seat. Under the rear axle is a funnel with a big spring loaded hook. Snap coupler implements have a tongue with a loop at the end. As you back into an implement, the hook engages the loop and snaps into place. You don't have to be precise because the funnel will guide the implement's loop onto the hook. Lastly, the operator engages two lift arms with snap couplers.

At the same time, Case had their "Eagle Claw" system and Farmall's "Fast Hitch" was popular but we all know the Ferguson 3-point system won the quick attachment wars. For course, 3-point conversion kits are available for Allis-Chalmers and Farmall (not sure about Case). Here's a YouTube video link showing just how easy the Snap Coupler system works.

https://youtu.be/7JNrK9DO_Zk
 

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Great sound

One final note about Allis Chalmers tractors was their proprietary "Snap Coupler" system. Much like Deere's iMatch Quick Hitch system, it allowed the operator to easily attach and detach rear mounted implements without getting out of the seat. Under the rear axle is a funnel with a big spring loaded hook. Snap coupler implements have a tongue with a loop at the end. As you back into an implement, the hook engages the loop and snaps into place. You don't have to be precise because the funnel will guide the implement's loop onto the hook. Lastly, the operator engages two lift arms with snap couplers.

At the same time, Case had their "Eagle Claw" system and Farmall's "Fast Hitch" was popular but we all know the Ferguson 3-point system won the quick attachment wars. For course, 3-point conversion kits are available for Allis-Chalmers and Farmall (not sure about Case). Here's a YouTube video link showing just how easy the Snap Coupler system works.

https://youtu.be/7JNrK9DO_Zk
Man, the sound of the engine brought back some memories. If we had to leave a tractor in the field, we dropped a can over the exhaust. It was always fun to leave it on there when you cranked the tractor. As the engine fired, the can would go about 10 in the air and if you were lucky, you could catch it from the driver seat. Usually though, it meant you had to get off and go find the can. It was fun in a plowed or disked field, not so fun if you were bushhogging.

Treefarmer
 
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