TD24 Restoration – Completed

TD24 1The International TD24 restoration is now complete, save for the headlights which will be added in a few weeks time. Those of you who have been following this blog will remember that we have had a tormenting time repairing and manufacturing unavailable parts. The tractor was in a far worse condition than was expected. As you all know we bought the tractor from Sauk Centre MN, USA just over a year ago and we have worked on it nearly every day in some form or other (like lots of hours on the internet searching for parts etc.) It has been a labour of love and we’d like to think it shows, but it is doubtful we would ever take on another big tractor. John’s next birthday will be three score years and ten and he doesn’t relish chucking heavy parts around any more! So now is maybe the time to sit back and enjoy the collection, attending a few shows and working events. Following the pre-paint trials in August, we are now ready to go for the working weekend at Farnsfield on 28th and 29th December in aid of the local Air Ambulance.

TD24 We are privileged to have found this relatively rare tractor (series 241 195hp) for restoration and possess the facilities to rebuild it for its rightful role in preservation. We are always pleased to show its capabilities and demonstrate it’s ground-breaking design. Unfortunately the early TD24s fitted with bull-dozing attachments were less than reliable due to lack research and thorough testing. The TD24 was superseded by the TD25 which was much more acceptable and reliable, but by which time International’s respectable reputation was damaged beyond repair. The demise of the company followed within a few years.

International Harvester announced its revolutionary TD-24 crawler tractor in 1947. It weighed about 20 tons (with dozer blade) and was powered by a new 180hp 1091cubic inch (nearly 19 litres) 6-cylinder diesel. This new heavyweight of the earthmoving industry made headlines across the construction press as the world’s largest crawler tractor, clipping the title from the previous largest, the 163-hp Allis-Chalmers HD-19 (2 Tons heavier and 32 more horsepower than Caterpillar’s D8). The TD-24 soon earned an outstanding reputation as a heavy-duty bulldozer, and a perfect prime mover for pulling the largest scrapers.

The TD-24 was often teamed with Bucyrus-Erie’s largest scraper, the B-250. Bucyrus-Erie (now Bucyrus International) designed and built a line of tractor equipment for International tractors including dozer blades, rippers, winches and scrapers. Painted bright International red, the TD-24 scraper outfits made formidable earthmoving units and could be found in large fleets on many of the biggest earthmoving jobs of the 1950s. They became affectionately known as the “Big Red Teams.” The lion’s share of dozer work on the Alcan Power Project near Kitimat, British Columbia, was performed by International TD-24s working in some of the toughest conditions imaginable. Sponsored by the Aluminum Co. of Canada, this project was at that time the largest ever undertaken by private industry.

Now dwarfed by today’s monster crawlers, the TD-24 remained a leader for many years. The transmission and steering design was unique. The main transmission was a 4-speed syncromesh (for on-the-go shifting) and it had a separate forward and reverse unit for fast cycling in dozer work. There were also power-shifted 2-speed planetary gears in each track that made up the Planet Power Steering system. These planetary gears were controlled by the steering levers. Combining the high and low range of the planetary gears with the main transmission provided a total of 8 forward (and 8 reverse) speeds. Putting one track in high range and one in low caused a gentle turn with power to both tracks. For sharper turns the pivot brakes disconnected the inside track, as with a normal crawler. The TD-24 continued in production until 1959, by which time engine power had increased to 203 flywheel horsepower.

International TD24

International TD24

TD24

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One Response to “TD24 Restoration – Completed”

  1. david cambruzzi Says:

    nice job.i have one and headlights.

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