The engine is a 606 cu. in. model "D" Wisconsin "T" head with a bore of 5 1/4 and a stroke of 7. It produces approximately 60 hp. All the brass is original. We simply polished the brass pieces to accent the restoration. The right picture shows the track of the Yuba, without rollers that most track vehicles have to move the track along the frame. Ball bearings are used in place of rollers which allow the track to move along the frame. The manufacturer believed this design would produce less friction. If the track tension is insufficient, due to wear or lack of maintenance, these bearings can become dislodged. In the early years of machinery development, many people had trouble understanding the effects of dirt and lubrication. While these tracks were lubricated with engine oil, the dirt would mix with the oil and form a grinding compound. The resultant wear would cause the tracks to become loose and the 2 1/4 in. steel balls would fall from the rail when the track went over a depression. Not fully understanding the problem, the owners hired young boys to follow behind the tractor to recover the balls.
The mighty Yuba fired to life after a long nap. Boy does that stack have a bark! The maiden voyage was a short one, just up the driveway and back, but it sure was sweet. The whole tractor, besides the tracks, will be painted the same dark green as most of it is now. The tracks will be painted gray.
We have taken the tracks off the Yuba, so the Yuba can be painted. As the tracks are removed, it is possible to see the ball bearings as they fall from their groove along the track. Some of the balls are in bad shape as you can see, from the picture above. The balls on the left are probably salvageable. The balls on the right, however, have worn from the years of use exerted upon them.
The tracks have been painted green, and the track plates painted gray. This is the way the Yuba originally was. In this picture it is possible to see how the track plates rest and lock on the bearings which are in the groove of the track. Not too far away from completion now!
Well, she's done! How does she look? The Yuba was shown at its first show after being fully restored. It went off without a hitch. We did lose a few balls during the loading of the Yuba for transport, but we better get used to that.
This project would not have been possible without the help of: Tom Hickok, Tim Hershey, Steve Jones and Shane Coulter-the best crew anywhere. We would also like to thank: Scott's Restorations, Auburn, Ca.; B & R Head & Block W. Sacramento, Ca.; Lorry Dunning, Davis Ca.; Bruce Wyman, Chicago Park, Ca.; Al Leist, Burlingame, Ca.; Alec Giamo, San Carlos, Ca.; and Servicenter Radiator, Auburn Ca.
1916 Yuba Ball Tread
This tractor went to a museum in North Carolina.
This tractor was featured in the June 03 Gas Engine Magazine. This is truly functional historical art.
© 2003 Stl Tikn Machinery