Cletrac E-38 Rusty Restoration

bigGURN

New member
Hello... my name is bigGURN and I have a problem! I drag old tractors home, preferably in boxes. The more of the tractor that is in boxes, the better!

Well... I've gone and done it again. I found another tractor that I have taken possession of in boxes (I think this is the fourth or fifth, third Cletrac for sure). This tractor came up for sale last fall and I missed out. Then the new owner decided life just wasn't going to give him adequate time, so it came to me through a fair trade deal... my wife is quite impressed :bonk:

1934 Cletrac E-38:





After talking with Landis Zimmerman this is one of the earliest E-38 tractor off the line. As Cletrac Serial numbers during this time only ended in even numbers, therefore you must divide by two, that makes this the 33rd E-38 produced.


After some help from Lauren with machining some adapters that I made a new set of engine stand brackets with, I was able to check the condition of the cylinders




...at least two, if not three cylinders are going to need sleeved to make it right.




Interesting thing about this tractor: it should have a Hercules OOC with a 4"bore and 4.5"stroke. At some point it had a long block installed that is OOB spec (3.75"x4.5"). So I have several options available: Bore to OOC, sleeve and stay OOB, or there is a possibility of buying a complete OOC that a friend put me on the trail of... decisions, decisions... for now I need to finish the Vaughan Flex-tred sitting in the shop, but this is my food for thought as I work on finishing that tractor up. Stay tuned...
 
Last edited:

ulgydog56

New member
everything looks in o.k. shape, how close you want to keep it to oem , many cletracs have bin repowered by other engines including mine, john deere motor, the herc motor went by-by along time ago.....:D
 

bigGURN

New member
everything looks in o.k. shape, how close you want to keep it to oem , many cletracs have bin repowered by other engines including mine, john deere motor, the hurc motor went by-by along time ago.....:D

I considered swapping it, even to a diesel, but given the low production number (no one has a lower one that Zimmermans knew of) I feel it should probably be brought back to stock spec.

I had an HG42 that had been repowered with an AC B125 PowerPack, made for a sweet tractor!
 

bigGURN

New member
There U go again ! Congrats , will follow along on the rebuilt
Wayne:salute:
Haha, thanks Wayne. It's a bit of a habit, adopting these lonely tractors!

Glad that it found a good home.
Thank you sir. This is the agricultural version of the 20C that I adopted from you. Very similar tractors. When it became available, I thought they'd be unique to have together.
 

bigGURN

New member
Fortunately this summer while out to the Great Oregon Steam-up I was able to follow up on lead for the engine and track down the correct Hercules OOC engine for this tractor. It was stuck and needed some work, but it was an engine! (On the left is a smaller OOA someone previously installed)


Today I started the tear down. Spent an hour and a half with the pressure washer and Zep Purple cleaner to get it cleaned before the tear down could start. Pistons freed right up and came out. The cylinders honed out nicely and should be just fine once the pistons are cleaned and put back in. One of the pistons has had the rod replaced with a newer rod with clamshell bearings.

The other three are the originals with nice, clean babbitt.



Of the eight valves, two came out. The other six required a 3/8 bolt welded to the face and a slide hammer to set them free. Only one guide pulled, not a major issue as I just added another guide to my order with the valves from Zimmerman Oliver-Cletrac today. Two will need new seats installed, the others should grind just fine. I'm down to just pulling the front pulley and timing cover... so far the pulley is holding fast. I'll keep heat cycling and applying PB Blaster. Hopefully I won't have to cut it off!





 

bigGURN

New member
How many hours a day u work , besides your regular job ??
I work 12 hour shifts and bunch my 5-6 shifts for a two week period together. This enables me to have a long stretch off between working, except when I am called in on short notice like last night :bonk: (so 8 hours in my shop, then12 at the hospital!) I'm pretty fortunate to have a career that enables so much freedom to play and enjoy my hobbies with my family and friends.
 
Last edited:

bigGURN

New member
This afternoon I built a puller just for the pulley. It fit and functioned as designed... except for the fact the pulley would still not come free! Even with heat and taping, it was not going to come off. So, I gave in and cut it off... now I'm on the hunt for a Hercules OOC front pulley. Anyone have an extra?


On the upside, the engine is now ready for new valves and valve seats.
 

bigGURN

New member
The Hercules OOC out of my E38 is back from the machine shop (less than a week turn around)! Eight new valve seats... once I finish up the garden tractor that is in the shop, it'll be time to start reassembling this and getting it in the tractor!


 

bigGURN

New member
With other projects wrapped up and out of the way, after cleaning the shop up this morning, I decided it was time to start reassembling the OOC for my E-38. (I had a couple garden tractors and building a trailer jump in line)

I started off by getting the bell housing plate gasket cut out so that I could get it mounted and the engine back on the stand.


Once back on the stand, I installed the valve tappets and the cam shaft. One thing I often see guys over look when rebuilding tractor engines is assembly lube. It's one of those things that if you would do it on a car engine, it should probably be done on any engine. I talked to a guy who went on about how important it was on his small block Chevy, but when I asked about his tractor engine he was rebuilding, he told me it was a wasted effort. Guess I would rather error to extra lube than inadequate lubrication at first start up! I like Comp Cams # 104 Engine Assembly Lube. Its tacky, sticks in place, but washes off hands easily.


From there I moved on to installing the new valves. I found that the valve lash was way off from what the original valves were. Took quite a lot of adjustment to get everything back in spec.

With the valves in, I cut a new cork gasket for the valve cover and installed it.


Since I was working on the side of the engine, I went ahead and installed the Kerosene manifold, I've been eagerly looking forward to that part! I just really like the look of the kerosene manifold, so much more bulky than the gasoline manifold on my 20C.


Once that was done, I installed the cleaned up pistons. If you haven't ever used one, the Lisle part # 21700 Wrinkle Band Ring Compressor is probably the greatest ring compressor ever invented! Nothing can beat it! (Though I'm sure some day I'll find something better!)
 
Last edited:

bigGURN

New member
Finished off the day by dropping the head gasket and head on. I did not torque the rod bolts or the head down as I like to do the rods when I have plenty of time and I leave the head until its all assembled.






Back to being an adult tomorrow (have to go back to work) so stay tuned for next week when hopefully I'll get it assembled!
 

bigGURN

New member
Wrapped up most of the assembly on the OOC today.

Started off by getting the rod bearings torqued and the cotter pins installed. I have a couple of Apco Mossberg torque wrenches. They are old school, but very accurate.




 

bigGURN

New member
With the rods done, I worked on reinstalling the water pump, oil filter, and the magneto. With the parts and pieces hanging on the side if the engine I set the head and torqued it down. Made up a set of new wires and installed some NOS Firstone plugs.








Finished up the day by installing the timing cover and the oil pan.





I'm waiting on a pulley (coming from New York) and I need to go through the clutch and see what I need to do there. Once those two items are done, I can get the engine installed and started!

Since getting in stalled is next, and because I hauled a truck home for my brother today ('66 Chevy dump truck) I made him help me get the E-38 into the shop.
 

bigGURN

New member
What a day! The Hercules OOC Engine is in the E-38! I started off the day getting the clutch repaired. I had to replace a couple missing springs and build a retainer cup for one of the larger compression springs.




New pilot bearing and everything was ready to go!


Once that was done, I mounted up the flywheel, installed the clutch and went to work getting the engine in the tractor, only to run into a hard stop!


It turns out the bell housing plate for an electric start will not work in a crank start only tractor (this OOC engine came out of an AG). The bump out on the bell housing plate will not bolt into place against the transmission side and hits the dash support... so, out came the engine, off came the bell housing plate and back on the original (to the tractor) bell housing plate and flywheel (so that the timing mark lines up).


With that done, back in went the engine. Fortunately, because I have a clutch alignment tool, it all slid together.


The engine will pop, but will not run. I need to time the ignition and figure out a carburetor before I can go any further.
 

bigGURN

New member
I added an oil line around to the front of the governor to help with oiling. I used 1/8" copper tube.




Timed and added fuel. Fired right up. Now to figure out carburation!
 
Top