Saturday, April 20, 2019

New exciting radial powered Mod project in South Germany

From Hebertsfelden in Germany, the Wolpertinger Pulling Team around Josef Ries are currently working and building on a completely new 7700lbs / 3.5t mod tractor with an engine that was never used on a pulling tractor on this planet before!
We'll start with a little history about the German team from the deep south. The Team started with stock pulling in 1981 and just a little later in 1982, they've built their first modified tractor with 2 N/A Ford V8 engines. Josef and his team started with the tractor only once at their home pull in Hebertsfelden in 1982. In 1983, the V8 engines on the chassis were replaced by a turbocharged Deutz V10 engine on diesel fuel. The Deutz powered machine ran in the 3.4t Mod division.  In 1986, the next tractor called "Lady Emily" was built. 
It was the first mod tractor of the team with a Rolls Royce Griffon V12 engine. The machine competed many years in the 4.4t and 5.4t mod class. In 1988 the second Tractor with a RR Griffon V12 called "Wolpertinger" was born. This ride was built for the 3.4t Mod class and was one of the most successful tractors of the Bavarian crew. Between 1988 and 1995, Josef and his guys finished 4 times in runner up position in the German Championship and were on the podium 123 times. In the end of 95, Wolpertinger was sold. 
After a 13 years absence as a participant from the pulling sport, Josef Ries purchased the tractor back in the winter of 2008. Since then he's competing in the 3.5t Mod class at some German Championship and Austrian Championship pulls. One day in 2013, Team boss Josef Ries surfed the internet and found a complete Pratt & Whitney radial engine with 28 cylinders for a not too bad price. He purchased the engine and restored the power plant with his crew during the winter of 2013 / 2014. In 2015 came the first considerations to use this engine for Tractor Pulling. After more thinking, the German team decided to build a new tractor with this radial engine. The parts sourcing for the new ride started in 2016 and the building progress began a year later.
The new modified machine got a completely new homemade S355J2+N steel tube frame with a new homemade S355J2+N roll cage, homemade hydraulic steering, a new driver's seat from the Rocket Science Pulling team from Weert in the Netherlands, a completely new constructed drawbar and a machined Magirus-Deutz semi truck rear end. The semi truck rear end was shortened and got a Magirus-Deutz center section, a Magirus-Deutz ring and pinion gear, a needle bearing aluminum differential, ZF planetaries carrier housing with ZF planetaries from Martin Ortkrass (Iwan Pulling Team) and Mercedes Unimog brake calipers with new homemade brake discs.
The Tractor will have some new homemade aluminum fenders. Also completely new constructed and developed is the drivetrain of the machine. The new drivetrain is a new homemade reverser with a CNC-machined aluminum housing and custom made gears, a billet driveshaft between the clutch and the reverser, a homemade 11" inch centrifugal clutch with 5 sinter metal Crower discs and a homemade aluminum flywheel. The clutch will be protected by a light weight Browell aluminium clutch bell housing with a titanium liner.
Josef Ries and his team purchased a set of new polished Northern Sheen Aluminium rims from Canada and a set of used Firestone double cut 8 ply tires for the new "Major One" (that's the name of the new tractor).
The new mod will have an air-cooled 28 cylinder Pratt & Whitney R 4360-59 radial aircraft engine with 71.6l / 4360cui capacity on AV-gas.
18697 R 4360 aircraft power plants were built between 1945-1955 in East Hartford, Connecticut, USA. The power plant was used in airplanes like the Boeing KC97 Stratotanker, the Goodyear F2G Corsair or in the Martin JRM Mars.
Usually, the engine has an exhaust turbocharger system, but because of the weight and the limited space on the chassis, they dismantled the system.
Without the exhaust turbo, the radial engine should make around 3800hp. But with some changes on the gear ratio of the supercharger, it's possible to increase the power to 4300hp.
At the moment they have not planned to change the ratio. For them, it's more important to have a reliable running engine. The Pratt & Whitney power plant has an original supercharger with an original aluminum air intake funnel, a R 4360-59 crankshaft with stock rods and pistons, original sleeves, original valves, and valve springs, new homemade stainless steel exhaust pipes, P&W oil pump, a homemade stainless steel fuel and oil tank, a Bendix-Stromberg R-100 B3 fuel system, 4x Bendix-Scintilla S14RN-15 ignition and a homemade data logger. 
The Wolpertinger Pulling Team will compete in the German Championship with the new pulling tractor. They also have planned to run in the midfield of the 7700lbs / 3.5t Mod division in Germany in the future, to get the engine running and to inspire the audience in Europe.
The maiden run of the new "Major One" is planned for the summer of 2019. But however, currently, it depends on when the new driveline components will be done.

For further information, check here:

further pics of the new tractor, check here:  

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