Allis Chalmers D17

The Allis Chalmers D17, a prominent member of the D Series, was a versatile and enduring row-crop tractor that gained popularity during its production from 1957 to 1967. Manufactured in West Allis, Wisconsin, USA, this tractor became a staple on farms across the country. It offered two distinct engine variants, including a 4-cylinder gasoline engine and a 6-cylinder diesel engine, each with its own unique characteristics. The D17 featured a Power-Director transmission, which provided eight forward gears and two reverse gears, granting operators flexibility and control over their tasks. With its two-wheel drive and manual steering (with optional power steering), this tractor was dependable and well-suited for a variety of agricultural applications. The Allis Chalmers D17’s durability, performance, and reliability made it a trusted workhorse for farmers for many years, cementing its place in the history of American agriculture.

Allis Chalmers D17 Specs
Production1957 to 1967
ManufacturerAllis Chalmers
Total Built84,914 (total), 51,598 (gas), 12,284 (diesel)
Original Price$5,400 in 1967
Allis Chalmers D17 Power
Engine63 hp (47.0 kW)
Drawbar (tested)48.64 hp (36.3 kW)
Belt (tested)52.70 hp (39.3 kW)
Engine Detail (Gasoline)
Type4-cylinder liquid-cooled vertical I-head
Displacement226 ci (3.7 L)
Bore/Stroke4.00×4.50 inches (102 x 114 mm)
Compression Ratio7.25:1
Rated RPM1650
Firing Order1-2-4-3
Starter Volts12
Coolant Capacity14.5 qts (13.7 L)
Sparkplug Gap0.025 inches (0.635 mm)
Point Gap0.022 inches (0.559 mm)
Intake Valve Clearance0.013 inches (hot) (0.330 mm)
Exhaust Valve Clearance0.013 inches (hot) (0.330 mm)
Engine Detail (Diesel)
Type6-cylinder liquid-cooled vertical I-head
Displacement262 ci (4.3 L)
Bore/Stroke3.5625×4.375 inches (90 x 111 mm)
Power61 hp (45.5 kW)
Compression Ratio15.7:1
Rated RPM1650
Oil Capacity6 qts (5.7 L)
Coolant Capacity16 qts (15.1 L)
Engine Detail (LP Gas)
Type4-cylinder liquid-cooled vertical I-head
Displacement226 ci (3.7 L)
Bore/Stroke4.00×4.50 inches (102 x 114 mm)
Compression Ratio8.25:1
Rated RPM1650
Firing Order1-2-4-3
TypePower-Director (Partial power shift)
Gears8 forward and 2 reverse
Ag Front6.00-16
Ag Rear13-28 or 14.9-28 (depending on the variant)
Gas Wheelbase93 inches (236 cm)
Diesel Wheelbase95.75 inches (243 cm)
Gas Length140 inches (355 cm)
Diesel Length143 inches (363 cm)
Width76.75 inches (194 cm)
Height (Hood)62 inches (157 cm)
Height (Exhaust)81 inches (205 cm)
Operating Weight4,670 lbs (2118 kg)
Ballasted Weight9,395 lbs (4261 kg)
Front Tread53 to 79 inches (134 to 200 cm)
Rear Tread58 to 92 inches (147 to 233 cm)
DriveTwo-wheel drive
SteeringManual (Power steering optional)
Operator StationOpen
Fuel19 gal (71.9 L) or 22.3 gal (LP gas) (84.4 L)
Hydraulic System9.75 gal (36.9 L)
TypeOpen center
Capacity9.75 gal (36.9 L)
Pressure2000 psi (Series IV) (137.9 bar)
Pump Flow1.5 gpm (Traction-Booster) (5.7 lpm)
Total Flow10.5 gpm (Main pump Series IV) (39.7 lpm)
Tractor Hitch
Rear TypeII *
Power Take-off (PTO)
Rear PTOLive
Rear RPM540
Attachment Variants
OptionAllis Chalmers 400 loader
OptionAllis Chalmers 500 loader
400 Loader
Lift Capacity (Full at Pin)2000 lbs (907 kg)
Breakout Force4100 lbs (1859 kg)
Dump Angle45°
Reach (Dumped)18.5 inches (46 cm)
Rollback (Ground Line)25°
Clearance (Dumped)90.5 inches (229 cm) or 114 inches (level) (289 cm)
Bucket Width Options42 inches (106 cm), 60 inches (152 cm), 80 inches (203 cm)
500 Loader
Lift Capacity (Full at Pin)2300 lbs (1043 kg)
Breakout Force4000 lbs (1814 kg)
Dump Angle45°
Reach (Dumped)28 inches (71 cm)
Rollback (Ground Line)30°
Clearance (Dumped)97 inches (246 cm) or 126 inches (level) (320 cm)
Bucket Width Options42 inches (106 cm), 60 inches (152 cm)
Allis Chalmers D17 Oreview

Versatile and Historically Significant

The Allis Chalmers D17 is a tractor that holds a significant place in the world of vintage agricultural machinery, primarily as a collectible model with both historical value and unique characteristics that set it apart from other tractors of its era.

Adaptability and Versatility
One of the defining characteristics of the D17 is its remarkable versatility. Produced between 1957 and 1967, this tractor was capable of handling a wide range of farming tasks, from plowing and planting to hauling. Its adaptability made it a trusted companion for farmers, serving as an indispensable tool on the agricultural landscape of its time.

Engine Options for Tailored Performance
What truly makes the D17 special and unique are its engine options. Buyers had the choice between a robust 4-cylinder gasoline engine and a durable 6-cylinder diesel engine. This flexibility allowed users to tailor their tractor to their specific needs. The gasoline engine offered power and ease of maintenance, while the diesel engine provided fuel efficiency and torque, making it well-suited for heavy-duty tasks. This range of engine options set the D17 apart from many of its contemporaries.

Efficient Power-Director Transmission
An outstanding advantage of the D17 was its Power-Director transmission. With eight forward gears and two reverse gears, this partial power shift transmission allowed for seamless on-the-go shifting between direct and lower drive, significantly enhancing efficiency and convenience during fieldwork. It provided operators with a level of control and adaptability that made the D17 stand out in its class.

Historical Significance in American Agriculture
From a historical perspective, the Allis Chalmers D17 represents a pivotal era in American agriculture. Produced in West Allis, Wisconsin, USA, and with over 84,000 units built, it showcased the tractor’s widespread popularity and significant impact on farming practices across the nation. It symbolizes a time of innovation and transformation in the agricultural sector.

Comparison with Contemporaries
When compared to similar models of its time, the D17’s combination of power, versatility, and reliability made it a top choice for many farmers. Competing with models from companies like John Deere and International Harvester, the D17’s unique features, especially the Power-Director transmission, set it apart and contributed to its enduring appeal.

Challenges and Limitations
However, it’s essential to note that, viewed from a modern perspective, the D17 does have its disadvantages. Features such as manual steering, while standard for its time, may be less appealing to those accustomed to power steering. Additionally, its open operator station lacked the comfort and safety features found in modern tractors. Maintenance and sourcing replacement parts for vintage D17 tractors can also be a challenge, making them better suited for collectors and enthusiasts rather than everyday farm work.

In conclusion, the Allis Chalmers D17 is a collectible model with historical significance and enduring appeal. Its adaptability, engine options, and unique features like the Power-Director transmission make it a valuable addition to any tractor collection. While it may have limitations compared to modern tractors, its historical value and timeless charm continue to captivate enthusiasts and collectors alike.

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