I am restoring a 1950 TO-20, and I have wheel weights. Since I’m going to mostly display the tractor, should I use the weights, use fluid as weight, or use no weights?
If the tractor is mainly for show I wouldn’t put the weights on. Front wheel weights are very helpful when working hilly ground or when you have heavy implements mounted on the three point hitch. If you plan to transport this tractor to shows they are extra weight you don’t need to haul around. It is not necessary to add ballast to the rear wheels to use the front weights. Front weights are also useful when you are carrying heavy items with your fork lift.
While water can be used as ballast in areas where the temperatures do not get down to freezing, most people add calcium chloride, brine including that salvaged from pickle and olive packers, beet juice and other solutions to keep the solution from freezing and add extra weight. Most of the solutions except beet juice are caustic (salt based) and therefore corrosive to rims and wheels. If you puncture a tire loaded with solution you also have the problem of the solution getting on painted areas and causing rust. As for the tire pressure, rear tires should be inflated to 12 lbs.
When filling tires with a calcium chloride solution you need 90 lbs of calcium chloride and 26 gallons of water per tire to get 100% fill with a 10″ x 28″ (now 11.2″ x 28″) tire. This will provide 315 lbs of weight per tire. 100% fill is nearly impossible to achieve and usually the best you can do is 75% which means you need to multiply the amount of chloride and water by 0.75 to get 236 lbs of weight per tire.
To get a 100% fill with a 11″ x 28″ (now 12.4″ x 28″) tire you need 128 lbs of calcium chloride and 36 1/2 gallons of water. This will provide 450 lbs of weight per tire. Again because the best you can probably achieve is a 75% fill you have to multiply the amount of chloride and water by 0.75 to get 337 1/2 lbs of weight per tire.
The front tire pressure should be 28 lbs for both the 4.00″ x 19″ and 6.00″ x 16″ sizes.