1922 Fordson Restored
Randy L. Kolek
305 N. Sterling Road, Sterling, CT 06377
This is the story of the restoration of my 1922 Fordson. It all
began in the summer of 1988, when I first met a fellow named Ed
Bezanson (the Connecticut Yankee Tractor). We started to talk
tractors and the rest, as they say, was history.
I purchased two Fordsons, a '22 and a 1926. They were
somewhat rough, but both engines were free and quite restorable. We
started with the 1922, first by steam cleaning and degreasing, then
by disassembling. My wife, son, and I undertook the project. The
tractor was completely disassembled.
The engine was in quite good condition, needing only some new
valves and guides. The rings and bearings were in great shape, so a
gasket set, the valves, and guides took care of it. All parts were
sandblasted, primed and painted before re-assembly.
Paint for the Fordson was an adventure. We found a paint store
and took a toy replica of a Fordson with us. Whatever works, right?
Everyone says it's as close as they have seen to the real
thing, but as always, some say no.
The tractor was put back together as original as possible. It
has the buzz coils and factory mag with new plug wires and commutor
wiring. The steering gears and steering shaft were really loose,
but with parts from the other Fordson, and welding and remachining,
it tightened up quite nicely.
It had steel cut-offs with rubber on it, but we wanted full
steel. I purchased a beautiful set of rear steel, and repaired the
front wheels. They had four rotted spokes from the tractor'
settling in the ground because it sat there so long. After the
wheels were repaired, they were sandblasted, primed and
With all parts painted, the re-assembly began. The engine was
first, then the steering and dash assembly, then the wheels. The
radiator and fuel tank were next. New lacing for the fuel tank
straps was installed, and also a new belt.
Then the moment of truth came. It was a cold spring afternoon,
and after about ten cranks it roared back to life after sitting
idle for so many years.
The restoration took almost a year, mostly at night and on
weekends by myself, with wife Dawn and son Randy Jr. putting in
It runs good but is quite temperamental about it at times.
We took the Fordson to our first show in Dublin, N.H. in
September 1989, and received many compliments on it. It really
makes your time and effort seem worth it when others enjoy your
tractor and reminisce and tell of the times they had running them
on their fathers' farms.