I decided to remove my Wagner Iron Works “jungle gym” WM3 loader from my 1952 8N w/Sherman combo trans. It has been a “planned” project for several years but always got superseded by other tasks.
A bit of history first: my father purchased the loader and a Sherman backhoe about 1956 and mounted it on our ’51 Ford 8N w/Sherman combo trans. I was 13 so my exact memory may be off a little. We used them to do some ditching but then needed the tractor for farming along with the H Farmall. So, the backhoe came off and sat behind the barn for years (sold about 45 years ago).
The loader had many uses and I would put it on or take it off, sometimes weekly. I could take it off in about 30 minutes and put it on in about 45 minutes. And that was without the large combination wrenches or an impact wrench that I have today. Just a plow wrench, crescent wrench, small wrenches for the hydraulic pump coupling and a big screwdriver used as a drift pin.
In the years of use both on the ’51 8N and then on my ’52 8N, the loader moved thousands of yards of dirt on many projects…power steering by Armstrong!
Fast forward to 2019. My plan WAS to remove the loader, rebuild the tractor’s front spindles and then mount a step through Wagner loader that I have. Remembering how quickly I used to remove it, I got a big dose of reality, today.
First, the loader has not been off this tractor for 25 or more years. Second, I’m working with a weak left wing. I had rotator cuff surgery last May and I’m still getting physical therapy. Thirdly, admittedly, I’ve forgotten some of the things that I did, way back when. And lastly, did I say that I’m a bit older?
I could bore you with every roadblock, hang-up and magic word that I used but I won’t. So, that old ½ hour job stretched into 3+ hours. Oh, my aching back, sore arm and bumped head when crawling underneath. But the loader is off.
Now I have to decide what I’m going to do. Do I really need a loader? Probably not. Ooooo! Do I part with 63 years of my life? For me it would be like losing a favorite pet. Pondering.