Restoration and Performance!
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Panzer pulling videos on YouTube!

Click on the link below to view pulling  videos!


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2011 and 2012 Pulling Project

I call this tractor "Thermal Event," which is slang in the engineering world for "It caught fire." Luckily, the only thing so far that has caught fire is the flames coming from the exhaust pipe.


My longtime friend, Tom Lackey, built this tractor about 20 or so years ago. It started life as a T205, but Tom put a single wheel front end on it from a Model A that he had for parts. With these changes, it is technically a T102.  It went through many changes, but he said he couldn't get it competitive. I bought it from him about 8 years ago or so, and put a snow plow on the front. I used it for about 5 years to plow snow first in my subdivision, then my driveway out in the country.
After selling another T60 puller (also built by Tom) and a T75 named "Rat," I decided to put this together to have some fun with.
I built a front weight bracket using T6 aluminum tubing and a weight machine extrusion/weights out front. The rear bracket with weight machine weights was used when I plowed snow. I modified the rear hitch a bit, and built a pulley guard and wheelie bars out of aluminum diamond plate. A new battery, straight pipe, wheel spacers and tires from my first puller, "Bad Company," round out the package.

Update 12/24/2012:

This past summer, I built a new front weight bracket and tore this tractor apart to fix a leaking rear end.  I documented the process, and will be posting a series of pictures soon.  During the tear down, I rebuilt some chassis items and addressed some areas to make the tractor pull better.

I made up a video showing how to measure the rear end ratio, and how to make a rear end gasket and install it so it doesn't leak.  Check out that video at 

I just put together a pulling video showing the results of the chassis rebuild efforts.  Find it at

The youtube channel has all of my other pulling and hints videos on it -

Let me know what you think!


Panzer Rear Brakes - How To Video

I put together a video to show you how to remove the rear brake drums and free up sticking brakes. Check it out at

More videos at


Great resouces for you!


Panzer Rear Pinion Seal and other info

The pinion seal is leaking on my Model A, so I did a search for a new one. I found a web site with an interchange chart, and it matches the two seals I'm looking at. So:
Website: Specifically,

Oil seal part numbers - the following are interchangeable, and can be ordered through any good auto parts store:
NAPA NOS 18880
Chrysler 1271104
National 5851
Chicago 18880
Federal Mogul 473240

On my pinion housing (3rd member,) it has a 1946 date code.  According to what I read, this is a P15 rear axle.  

The outer axle seals are different side to side, but when I went to look them up, they were the same.  The two part numbers are Victor 49788 and National (Timken) 5797.

The inner seals 

Here's another link I found with an interchange guide.

April 20, 2014

Panzer Pulling Tips, Circa 1998

Back in 1998, I put together some pulling tips based on my experience with a T65 back in the 1980's.  Reprinted below is that article.  I've had a lot of questions lately about hitch setup and other factors, so pulling seems to be getting more popular.    Please take a look at the tips below and let me know if you have any questions or something to share.

Future articles will not be limited to pulling!



Panzer Pulling Tips
from Bill Janitor
July 23, 1998
Panzers are unique, moody, and incredibly powerful machines for their size. I used to pull with a lot of success in the stock 700# and 900# classes in Southwestern Pennsylvania. My friends Randy and Tom also pulled with me, but for some reason my tractor, "Bad Company" or "B.C.", always seemed to run better than theirs (especially when Randy was on it!) All 3 were T65's and I have yet to understand what the differences between them are/were. I guess that's what got me into Mechanical Engineering...
Between the 3 of us, we have a dozen or so of these tractors being used for various tasks, so we have some idea of what makes them run. I quit pulling about 9 years ago, and my old competitors have since discovered some of my tricks and either used them or made them illegal…
Here is a list of suggestions in no particular order:
·        Don't use the rulebook's allowable hitch height to determine your tractor's optimum hitch height. B.C. pulled best with a 8" hitch, even though the rules allowed 9" or sometimes 13". (I used the holes in the stock hitch) The rules limited the front weights to be no more than 12" in front of the front axle, which heavily influenced how much weight was transferred to the rear wheels when the front end began to lift. A higher hitch created more of a moment arm (twisting force) around the rear axle, resulting in more weight being required at the front to balance the tractor (keep the front end just touching the ground during the pull).
Think of this as trying to turn a nut with a ratchet. The further away from the nut you hold your hand on the wrench, the easier it is to turn the nut. You create a higher 'moment' around the rear axle by raising the hitch relative to the axle center line height, and by moving the weights in front further away from the rear axle. This moment is a force that governs how a tractor behaves as it travels down the track. With a limited total weight and tractor length, you need to experiment to find the right hitch height for your tractor.
·        Move your hitch point as far towards the center of the rear axle as possible. This trick was given to me by someone in the Tri-County Mini Pullers while I was at one of my first pulls in Sharon, Pa. many years ago. It will put just as much downward force on your rear end without wanting to lift up on your front end, given the same hitch height. This results in you being able to put less weight out front and more weight over the rear axle where it belongs.
·        BALANCE and TIMING: You don't want the tractor to dig in all at once and lift the front end at the end of the track. Both timing AND balance are important to a successful pull. If you're carrying the wheels off the line, you're too light on front. The tractor should show it's best balance (front just light enough to leave the ground) at the END of the pull. Too much weight transfer can also cause you to fall into soft ruts dug by other tractors. As you go up the track, your tractor is balanced well if it 1) has the front wheels lightly touching the ground at half track, and 2) lifts the front wheels just off the ground (about 2") about 2 feet before it finally stops. It MUST NOT lift the front end high enough to touch the wheelie bars at ANY TIME! Doing so is equivalent to dropping an anchor or hitting the rear brakes.
·        If you use barbell weights on the front of the tractor and orient them horizontally, put the smallest one on the bottom. This will concentrate the static force exerted on the end of the rod and effectively give you "more weight further out". A large weight has more surface area and distributes some of the weight rearward on your mount. If you have access to the internet and look at the pictures of my tractor, Bad Company, you'll notice that the weights in picture 1 are BACKWARDS of how I'm describing them. Hidden under the bottom weight is a small platform that concentrated the load on the bar (one of my secrets).
·        Weight above the rear wheels should be placed just forward of the center of the rear axle. Think of it this way, if you drop a straight line from the center of the weight to the ground, it should touch about an inch in front of the axle. As the front end rises, the point that touches the ground moves back toward the center of the axle. If it goes behind the rear axle, you lose traction effectiveness.
·        Make certain that your brakes don't drag in the drums. Back them out as much as possible, or squirt some oil on them. Friction robs horsepower.
·        We couldn't lock the rear end because of the rules, so I pumped the rear end full of regular grease. It provided enough friction to lock the spiders, but allowed the independent brakes to work. DON'T do this on high speed tractors, though.
·        Don't use high octane (Cam2, Turbo Blue) in a stock engine. It'll give you expensive exhaust. Use straight Amoco Premium 93 octane. You need to make major modifications for flow and compression ratio in order to take advantage of higher octane race gas.
·        Adjust the mixture on a stock engine at FULL THROTTLE. It will run rich at idle, but you are never at idle during the pull (hopefully). You will probably need to change the spark plug more often.
·        Use a gas torch tip cleaner to enlarge the nozzle holes in your carburetor (particularly the Briggs Flo-Jet). It's hard to pick up that trick in a stock class.
·        Run the chain on the rear sprocket loose. It does no good to have it tight, other than adding friction. The links on the opposite side of the big sprocket are just along for the ride. Make sure your chain is new, a non-O-ring type (friction) and is well lubricated.
·        Adjust, adjust adjust the belt tension. Do this before EVERY hook. Use steel split collars instead of the aluminum collars. Split collars don't mark the shaft with a set screw making it difficult to slide the collar off. They are available at Bearing Service (see parts souce section of the web page) for about $4 each, or I found them at my local Sears Hardware store.
·        Remove the reverse wheel if the rules permit. You may need to buy a slightly smaller belt.
·        Speaking of belts, Gates Power Belts (green) worked best for me. Gates 6934 for stock setup with the reverse wheel, 6933 for maximum belt adjustment with rubber puck removed.
·        Replacing the bearings in the drive shaft will keep the grease from flying out all over the pulley. They are a standard size. I use the 3/4" oil impregnated bronze bushings in mine. Bearing Service part number FF1014-2.
·        Paint on a garden tractor makes it look good, but it doesn't make it run better. Paint weighs a lot - have you picked up a quart of paint, lately? Polish those remarkable and unique aluminum castings if you have a Copar Panzer- it will make your Panzer a show-stopper. This is the reason the external fuel tank on the space shuttle is not painted - saves weight.
·        From experience, the bigger Copar Panzers don't do well in stock tractor pulls. They have a lot of weight in the front end from the cast iron casting, so it's hard to transfer weight. If anyone has success with a T102 or similar model, please let me know!
·        You may notice in the pictures on the web site that my 22x10.50-12 Carlisle rear tires have a groove cut down the middle of them. Part of the reason is that they have been cut so many times they wore out, but the other part is that they don't dig into loose dirt. About 15 years ago, the big tractors started shaving almost all of the tread off of their rear tires. This was done for the same reason. If you take the tread off, it allows you to not dig in or fall into holes made by others. The thing you need to do to compensate is to increase tire speed (so that's why the do that...).
·        Remember that Force = Mass multiplied by Acceleration. Sir Newton made this fundamental connection, supposedly, when an apple fell on his head, and we have dubbed it 'Newton's Second Law'. Since our tire speeds are generally constant, this integrates to become Kinetic Energy = 0.5(mass)(velocity squared). Kinetic energy is simply energy in motion. The square of velocity is the key. If you get the velocity of the tires to go faster (with a higher gear ratio), you increase the kinetic energy by a squared factor. Run the highest gear ratio you can without stalling the engine, remembering that it is replacing the energy lost from the tires slipping and friction in the driveshaft/axle. You'll need to change engine pulley positions for loose or packed tracks, and lose a few hooks before you get it right (I did!). It's easier to find bigger sprockets for the drive shaft (and cheaper) than to get the big one that fits the pinion. Increasing from 10 to 12 teeth will make a big difference!
·        Never, ever, ever run weights in your rear wheels, or fill them with liquid. It takes horsepower (force) to get the mass accelerating (and to maintain it!). Lighter tires/wheels will allow you to increase their velocity without increasing the horsepower required to turn them.

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