Trouty's Hybrid 12
This Wheel Horse tractor is truly one of a kind. It was built from several different tractors and renamed "Hybrid 12", it also has custom decals to match. The owner and builder is Trouty56 (Bob) and the article is a must read!
This Tractor started life as a Charger 9 with a Tecumseh 10 hp engine. I can't remember when I bought it but I remember picking it up. It was in the fall with leaves all over it and that grill, I liked it. Had to push it on the trailer but when I got it home, with some tinkering, it ran good, hydro tranny was good and tight!
First year I pushed snow with it. Did great. It had a manual lift at that time, but I still liked this tractor. That spring I started some upgrades. My nephew had an Electro carcass with a weak hydro tranny but the lift kit was still there. Easy swap. Now I had hydraulic lift. Hydraulic lift with leaky connections.
Never really painted much but got the urge to paint the tractor. So it was stripped completely down and parts painted. Not a show paint job but a rattle can job with Rustoleum Regal Red. Those leaky hydraulic lines had to go so I ordered new ones from Surplus Center and pieced together a set. Worked out perfectly.
At some point my nephew and I were in western PA and came back with a bunch of parts. I bought a '73 8-4 speed, all in pieces. The frame on these tractors are 2 inches shorter than a long frame. The difference in length is between the engine and front. It was all clean and painted so I decided to try and use it for a base on the now hybrid tractor. If this worked out, and it did, I would have new style tachomatics for the front and mid attachment points.
In this bunch of parts from western PA there was also a K series 12 HP Kohler engine. Didn't even know if it ran but it was clean and already painted black! On it went. By the way this engine ran perfect when I finally went to start it!!
When I was putting things together I kinda thought about the floor boards. I wondered what stirrups would look like. So off to my nephew's to get a set. I liked the old look on the tractor so I went with it. Along that same line I went with a steering wheel from the 70's, more rubbery with a nice center cap instead of the smooth plastic from the 60's.
What hood to use??? Since I did the shorter frame and had the new tachomatic the original hood for the Charger would not bolt on without some modification. Saw, grinder, and welder fixed that cause that long hood with the coolest grill had to be used on this tractor, it worked out and I was happy. Made my own lens for the lights too, another personal touch.
I dreaded the thought of a new seat on this tractor because, although it would look new and feel nice, it just wouldn't look right to me on this tractor. I decided to go with the 70's design with the separated seat and back rest. I had one but the pads were terrible. Bought some Naugahyde and cushion and sewed my own up. Nothing like doing your own work sometimes. Ya know it ain't pretty but it ain't too bad either.
I had already been working with hubs for the front of another tractor and liked the results. So I did the same on this mutt. I really like the look of hubs with bolt on wheels for the front. And speaking of tires, the ags on this were brought up from KY when I visited a friend of mine, thanks Geno!!
Guess the last thing was the exhaust, initially I had a stack that I pieced together using a IH3 muffler. When I was at the WHS show in the spring a guy was there that had straight pipes bent with motorcycle baffles inserted into the ends. I liked the idea and fortunately for me, he brought a couple sets to sell.
Hope you enjoyed the story.....