My Tractor Forum banner

Allis Chalmers WD-45

2011 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  MikMan48
Sometimes you end up winning stuff at an auction you just didn't plan on owning....... With the pandemic a lot of machinery auctions have been converted to online auctions meaning I can "attend" a lot more auctions that just Saturday and Sunday auctions. This past week one of my regular auction companies had a machinery auction. I was bidding on a couple John Deere items (that I did not win) and as with most auctions I threw a couple low bids out there on some other things, happy if I won them but never expected to win them. Well low and behold I won an Allis Chalmers WD-45. My FIL is an Allis fan and has had a WD since the 70's (maybe earlier). He had a nice redone WD-45 for a while and sold it (just don't think he could ever convince himself to use such a nice looking machine). I personally have little to no experience with Allis Chalmers tractors..... I have driven my FIL WD once.... that is it. Well follow along and I stumble around in the dark and find my way around a non-Green machine. Should be a fun trip.

The fun started right after I saw the closed bid... I also saw the spin out rims were in the "spun out" position.... not good for a car hauler trailer. Soooooo a little planning was required for the 4 hour round trip drive. The AWD-45 weighs in at 4,500 lbs. If I could not get the WD-45 rear wheels forward on the trailer wheels the load would be unbalanced and cause the trailer to be unstable. Conservatively there would have been 3000 lbs rear of the axles and 1,500 lbs over the axles and no tongue weight. Enter the X748, base weight of 1,100 lbs and fully ballasted will push 1,700 lbs.... a few quick measurements and bingo a plan was formed. 1700 lb X748, 4500 lbs WD-45, and a trailer that stock weighs 2,700 lbs. Total GCVW is penciled at 17,000 lbs, easy peasy pull. Took about 45 minutes to get the non-running WD-45 on the trailer and chained down at the auction yard and I was home ward bound. Pulled like a dream, in SD where the speed limit is 80 on the interstates you had best plan on doing at least 70 mph.... It would have done 80, but at 12.0 mpg at 75 mph was low enough, based on my experience at 80 mph I would be closer to 10 mpg which have had me filling up before I got home.


Now it was time to get it off the trailer..... It was sold as "will run" and no battery. I actually took a battery with me to the auction yard but the fuel system leaked and the starter was stuck so no chance of driving it onto the trailer. Here is the video of when I got it home. a head light and a little poking around and it ran long enough for me to take it off the trailer and drive it around the driveway.

Of course when I wen to go start it yesterday to take it into the shop for a good inspection it has more fuel issues that I thought.... and wont run any longer. So that is the first task.

Follow along as I learn my way around an Allis Chalmers WD-45. Should be run.

See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
WOW! unusual to see you over here in Orange Country...I think that Tim (Pa318Guy) had one in his family when he was a kid...he may be able to give you some help....I know that you bleed green and yellow......but this is a 60+ year old machine and I think you will be surprised how well it was made...although every tractor maker back then made stuff out of a lot of iron and steel that was made to last forever...can't wait to see your work on of luck......and thanks for that video
See less See more
Nice! Will be following to see your adventure in getting back.
Well time for an update... the cliff notes version at least...

A couple weeks ago I set out to fix the WD45..... I ran when I brought it home and then the next day no dice.... figured the carb had trash in it or the float was bad since it was spitting gas out the intake.... NBD... carb kit ordered and I’d get it rebuilt... until this happened during the rebuild..... no idea how. But it happened....


I was hot to say the least... so I walked away for almost two weeks.

This past weekend I decided to but the bullet and order a rebuilt or new carb... the freshly rebuilt carb came in today. Installed it and boom... same issue - no run and spitting gas out the intake... whaaaaaattttttttt

Trouble shoot express ensues... nada.... I’m about to push the thing out the back door and call the scrap guy when my feeble brain has an idea... maybe it wasn’t the carb after all... maybe it was a bad valve.

Ding ding ding ding

Quick read down to the valve cover and here is what I found. Something is clearly not right. Soooo time to order a head gasket set and see what I can get a valve unstuck.

See less See more
Well nothing good will come from this experience..... after removing the head I found cylinders in extremely poor condition, lots of rust and corrosion spots.

The pistons don’t look as bad.

My guess is this engine was worn out due to lack of oiling. This was the oil pick up.


Ultimately this machine is headed to the parts bin of history. Sad end to this project, but it boiled down to money. The WD45 is a plentiful machine and it's hard to justify spending $500-1,000 more than it’s worth just to sell it in a few months.

You win some and you loose some!
See less See more
Well sorry to see that happen, Mark is right I grew up on a WD-45 as the main tractor (had a 8N and Farmall Cub too) and it was a beast of a machine. My father and I rebuilt the engine and he went to a huge Allis construction dealer and was able to order new sleeves, but that was more than 45 years ago.
See less See more
Sorry that it worked out like would have been a nice project ...if it weren't going to cost so much $$$
Well I took the engine out. Sold the rolling frame. Took the engine part and found the crankshaft to be a total wreck! Soooo I made this. Pretty happy with the results. Allis Chalmers WD45 Lamp. We still need to find the right lamp shade for it.

See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Sorry to hear the project went sideways. You win some you lose some sadly. Maybe another Allis will join you in the future! My friend from college inherited his family farm with a few Allis's. They are nice machines!

I really like the lamp!

Sent from my SM-A515W using Tapatalk
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.