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The 1800 and 1900 had a distinctive appearance to set them apart from their predecessors. They had incorporated the heavy cast iron grill into the machine for better weight distribution when tools that created more drag. It was a bold new look with heavy and massive lines. It was proportioned well in its physical appearance as well as balance. At the time the 1800 and 1900 were being built, the smaller tractors consisted of the 440, 550, 660, 770, 880 and 990/995. The 440 and 660 used the older Fleetline/Super grill and the remainder used the bar grill of the 3-digit series. The new models used the cast iron checkerboard grill or egg crate grill. It was a hodge-podge of styles for a while

which was probably an inventory nightmare, no doubt costing the company money. The Fleetlines had evolved into the Supers. The Supers had evolved into the 3-digits. In 12 years time, only minor updates and cosmetic changes were done. The 100 Series was changing all of that. In the words of Oliver, the new series was revolutionary. In November of 1962, Oliver introduced the new 1600, which was part of “23 new products for 1963.” This introduction was part of a new program called “The Growing O”. This represented Oliver in a growing number of machines to help farmers grow their

crops along with growing opportunities for Oliver dealers and employees. This was a professionally produced road show that visited fine branch cities within a thirty-three day time span. It was coordinated by Fuller & Smith & Ross, Oliver’s advertising agency, who also moved with the Oliver crew from show to show. The 1600 was marketed as a really brand new tractor. It was newly styled and offered more working power for less money than another other tractor in the 4-5 bottom class. Offered in both gas, LP and diesel, the 1600 was powered with a variety of Waukesha/ Oliver engines.

By Sh e r r y


hen White Motors entered into the farm equipment industry, the Oliver Corporation was already planning their new series featuring the 1800 and 1900. The trend was for more power and comfort and those two models certainly filled the order. But every big brother needs a little brother and two years after the introduction of the hundred series, the 1600 finally made its appearance. 1

Oliver Heritage

The new models used the cast iron checkerboard grill or egg crate grill. It was a hodge-podge of styles for a while...

ISSUE 54 • April / May


When the gas model came out, it was produced with an F231G engine, while the LP model was produced with an F231LP engine. Each had a cubic inch displacement of 3 ½” bore x 4” stroke with governed RPMs of 1900. When the 1600 was first introduced in the fall of 1962 to dealers, the company estimated the horsepower at 61 PTO and 53 DBHP. However, when the early 1963 literature came out, the ratings had been dropped to 60 and 51.5. The LP version was rated at 56 PTO horsepower and 47.5 DBHP. The diesel engine in the 1600 was an F265DL engine. It used a bore of 3 ¾” x 4” stroke in order to keep up with the gas rating, however, it exceeded it. Compression on the diesel engine was 16:1 while the LP was 9:1 and the gas was 8.5:1. The diesel engine used three compression rings and one oil ring while the Gas/LP model used only two compression rings and one oil ring. While the 1600 was a handy chore tractor, it lacked a little power as a plow tractor, especially if it was trying to drag 5-bottoms. It took a little while but Oliver finally bumped the engine up to a 248 CID model on the gas and LP models. The rating was changed to a 4-plow tractor with a disclaimer that it could pull five in light soils. The diesel remained the same until it became a 1650. The 231 CID tractors were known as the 1600A and the 248 CID models were the 1600B. This change took place after engine serial number 54348 on the LP model and 54161 on the gas model. Approximate serial number of this change on the machine was after 137 612. There were several changes done at this time and throughout production. At serial #137 613 a change was made to the water pump to improve coolant circulation during warmup with the thermostat was closed. An internal


Oliver Heritage

The intake and exhaust manifold were changed on both the gas and LP engines. This was done to improve breathing on the engine.

bypass in the head was replaced with an external bypass through the water pump. This can easily be spotted on a tractor if the water pump housing is connected to the thermostat housing with a hose. Early models did not have this. During that same switch from the A model to the B, the carburetor was changed on the LP model. The Zenith 12859 carburetor was changed to an Ensign carburetor CBX125A5525A. The gas model used a TSX 868 Schebler carburetor up to 137 612. It was then switched to a TSX 880 to provide more efficient carburetion with a new larger capacity manifold and air cleaner. The intake and exhaust manifold were changed on both the gas and LP

engines. This was done to improve breathing on the engine. At serial #138 140 the exhaust manifold was changed again to incorporate two additional studs. The diesel fuel system used a Rosa Master pump. The original pump was a DBGFC629-7BH. This was replaced by a DBGFC629-1ED at serial number 131782. The early pump incorporated a Roosa Master hand primer pump. The later model was equipped with a camshaft driven pump to force fuel through the filters. It also had a hand-priming lever to use to bleeding the fuel filters. The new pump had an external fuel bypass system, new transfer pump with spring-loaded blades and a redesigned end plate with an internal fuel compensator.

ISSUE 54 • April / May




Photos by



rm Po we



Oliver Heritage

Oliver 1600 Utility

Robert Penn

Camden, IN

ISSUE 54 • April / May


While all three models used a 12-volt system, they were still very different. The gas and LP model consisted of one 70-amp hour 12V battery that was mounted on the left side of the tractor under the floor panel. The diesel model used two 6V batteries hooked in a series to add up to 168 amp hours. There was one battery mounted on each side of the tractor. At serial number 133 797 a new center shift rod was replaced with a redesigned center shift rod. This new rod had poppet ball notches to keep the tranny from jumping out of gear while in use. Draft sensitivity was a feature that automatically adjusted to maintain uniform working depth. The lower links are connected to a doublefeedback mechanism that hooks directly to the valve. When the implement starts to go too deep, the

The draft controlled 3-point hitch with a fast acting hydraulic system was designed to provide uniformity of the implement control in all types of soil conditions. From front to back, the 1600 was a modern and versatile machine.


Oliver Heritage

valve will automatically open and the implement will rise, providing an even working depth. The double feedback system prevents the hydraulic system from overreacting and eliminates the chance of the implement jumping up and down. At approximately serial number 144 409 the lower link supports on the 3-pt were changed to improve draft sensitivity. This new bracket had three sets of holes. The lowest hole provided the highest draft sensitivity for semi-mounted and light mounted implements. The middle hole was for fully mounted and certain high draft semi-mounted implements. The top hole had no draft sensitivity and was for position control only. On the utility model, this is reversed and the lower link support is constructed differently. This also changed the draft signal arm. This change was made in the spring

of 1964. The 3-pt arms on the 160 would accommodate either Category 1 or Category 2 implements. The springloaded latching device on the end of the arms made hitching to implements a simple process. Due to several design changes the hydraulic flow rates varied through the relief valve opening pressure. For tractors up for serial number 138603 flow was 1000 PSI. For tractors 138 603 - 141 288, flow was 1200 PSI and tractors after that were 1500 PSI. There were three different oil cooler lines used on the 1600. The first oil cooler line was rubber with a 3/8” inside diameter. At 133 787, the ID was changed to 1/2” but was still a rubber line. At 139 486, a ½” OD steel line was used to decrease backpressure. On later models, oil cooler lines were increased from nine fins to eleven for better capacity.

Oliver’s patented Hydra-Lectric cylinders were an option on the 1600. It came with a choice of cylinder sizes. A 3” cast iron cylinder was available with a maximum lift of 10,000 pounds. A 4” seamless steel tube with a 17,500-pound lift was the heavier option. There were various configurations of steering the 1600, depending on the model. The row crop dual and single

front models used the Oliver manual steering gear. The row crop adjustable, wheatland, utility and industrial models used the Saginaw manual steering gear. When equipped with power steering, a Saginaw Hydramotor was used. Power steering was standard equipment on the utility and front wheel assist models. If the owner ordered the tractor new and opted to not have that option, they could deduct $153 from the price.



Also standard equipment on all 1600s was the 2-position steering wheel. With the push of a toe pedal on the bottom of the console, the wheel could be pushed forward for easy exit of the operator’s station or for when operating the tractor while standing. The telescoping wheel was another popular feature. By twisting the center steering knob, the wheel loosened and could be 12. 351 Mounted Mower

1. 1600 Tractor

13. 415 Pull-Type Mower

2. 1800C Tractor

14. 1609 Loader

3. 1900C Tractor

15. 5028 Hydra-Steer Wagon

4. 1800C 4-Wheel Drive

16. 570 Spreader

5. 1900 C 4-Wheel Drive

17. 74 Picker

6. 550 Tractor (New Grill)

18. 430 Combine

7. 361 Plow

19. 431 Combine

8. 362 Plow

20. 43 Cotton Stripper

9. 540 Planter

21. 502 Swather

10. 242 Disk Harrow

22. 247 Chisel Plow

11. 292 Disk Harrow

23. 225 Disker-Seeder

ISSUE 54 • April / May


pulled outward to better operation if standing. Of course this was all prior to seatbelts on tractors. One of the safety features that Oliver used consisted of a neutral safety switch. The engine would not start unless the tractor was in neutral. At approximate serial number 144 133 a cigar lighter was added to the console as standard equipment. The transmission on the 1600 consisted of six forward speeds and two in reverse through a constant mesh helical gear transmission. A creeper gear drive was available for an additional $302. The Hydra-Power was another popular and modern options. This delivered double the gears and more options. While going through tough spots in the field, pulling the hydra-power knob slowed the tractor yet permitted a 36% increase of pull. When turning at end rows, speed could be reduced 26% yet there was no loss of hydraulic pressure and the PTO continued to operate at the same speed. This option worked great when pulling a baler or mower when going through thick crop. The hydra-power option added approximately $343 to the price of a new tractor. The 1600 was a very versatile midrange tractor. It was available as a row crop with single front, narrow front or adjustable wide front. It was offered as a Wheatland or Ricefield model, a utility model, an industrial, front-wheel assist or a hi-crop model. Wide-tread rear axles were also available. However, if the operator set the tread to the maximum width and an excess of 1,400 pounds was applied to the rear of the tractor, the warranty on the rear axles and carriers was voided. Numerous tread widths were available assure the best use of the tractors.


Oliver Heritage

Available Tread Widths Utility: 52” - 72” Ind/Wheatland/Rice: 60” Dual Front RC: 7 5/8” - 12 ¾” Adj. Front RC: 60” - 84” FWA: 66”- 70 ¾” Hi-Crop: 65” - 89”

The heavy case grill on the 1600 put more up front than on the previous comparable models. However, weighting was still an option. A base weight mounted on the front of the frame weighing 145 pounds. Stack weights were then mounted for additional balance weighing in at 95 pounds each. No more that four weights total were to be mounted on the front of the frame. I am the proud owner of a 1600 narrow front. Mine is a 1963 gas model with the 231 CID engine. It was acquired at an estate auction for an Oliver collector. It is in great mechanical shape and just needs paint. It’s spent quite a few hours pulling a roller on a pulling track, pushing snow off the parking lot at the office and also grading the lot with a blade. It is a very comfortable tractor to spend time on. With a mounted step, a handle on the

have a faster road speed, which would work out better for the tractor rides. Otherwise, I really enjoy my 1600. The 1600 utility in this story belongs to Robert Penn and is coupled with a 361 3-bottom cushion-trip plow. The 361 plow was one of the new products for 1963. This plow was available with 2, 3, 4 or 5 bottoms. In addition, it had an adjustable width cut. By turning the nut on the J-bolt, the cut could be changed from 12” to 14” or 14” to 16”. Equipped with Oliver’s Raydex moldboards, the easy scouring bottoms were tested against the competition and pulled up to 60% lighter than some of the others. The 361 made a great work-mate for the 550, 1600 and 1800, depending on the number of bottoms. However, the plow was specifically designed for the 1600 Utility models. The 362 plow, also introduced as new for 1963, was a four or five bottom plow similar to the 361 but for the higher horsepower tractors.


Power-Adjust wheels were another option to change tread widths. Variations were made by loosening the wheel clamps, holding the opposite brake then moving the tractor forward or backward, depending on if you were going wider or narrower. After tightening the wheel clamps down, you would do the opposite side to equalize the width.

hood and fender along with the tilting steering wheel, it’s very easy to enter the operator’s station. Although I haven’t ordered a build card yet, it appears to have all the extra options. I only wish it was a utility model because they

Hats off to Robert for matching the right tractor with the right implement in this 1st class restoration celebrating the 50th birthday of the 1600 and the 361.

ISSUE 54 • April / May


New for 1963- 1600