Valve Adjustment

Farmall Super A, AV, 100, 130, & 140 1939 - 1973

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Valve Adjustment

Postby Brooktre » Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:25 pm

I recently got an Owners Manual for my International A. In it, I see that the valves should be adjusted every 400 hours. I've owned this tractor for nearly 30 years and other than change the oil / filter and grease the fittings have done very little maintenance. I did change the transmission, rear axle fluid and coolant not long after I got it. I use it to cut grass and probably put 40 - 60 hours a year on it. It starts right up and runs well. Burns some oil. It is stored under roof.

What else should I look at when adjusting the valves to a clearance of 0.014 inch?

Are there any reasons to consider not to adjust the valves?

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Tractors Owned: 1948 6v - Dozer
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Re: Valve Adjustment

Postby inairam » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:49 pm

I can not say for the A family of tractors but from my experience with cubs adjusting the valves should really be considered part of the complete tune-up with spark plugs, points, condenser, timing.
When you only have 9 horsepower you need to know the names of all of the ponies!

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Re: Valve Adjustment

Postby Jim Becker » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:56 pm

There could be uneven wear on the tips of the rocker arms where they contact the valve stems. Be aware of it as you may not be measuring what you think.

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Re: Valve Adjustment

Postby Brooktre » Fri May 01, 2020 7:46 pm

I was looking at it again today after reading that the Farmalls of that era had the same serial number on the tractor and engine. I was surprised to see that my serial numbers matched! The block was labeled 11-12-P which fits with the serial number dating of 1946.

When scraping the paint off of the serial number I couldn’t help but notice some oil stains showing some leakage from the head gasket. I think what I’m going to do is use it this summer and plan on some engine work this fall. I’ll do a compression check and see what that reveals and start a list for repairs. I don’t know about the compression, but other than burning oil it starts easily seems to run well. The only time it smokes (visible) is if you’ve been running to get it hot and then you let it idle for a bit. It will then smoke a little, but it clears up when you throttle back up.

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Tractors Owned: Farmall Super A
Farmall 140
Oliver 1655
Massy Ferguson 135
Massy Ferguson 240
White 2-60
White 2-135
White 2-110
White 2-62
Allis Chalmers 200

Re: Valve Adjustment

Postby papajohn » Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:10 pm

The smoke situation you describe seems to indicate seepage from the valve stem seats or worn rings. These old tractors (that havent had an engine rebuild) are famous for slobbering oil around the head gasket when running at idle/low rims for a while. The rings are a bit worn and let a dribble of oil to the tops of the cylinders and then slobbers out of the head gasket. When the tractor is running higher rpm or under a load the small amount of oil getting by the rings is burned up quickly and doesn't make much if any blue smoke...unless you have a major issue with their rings. If it's that bad then a compression check would show less than desirable results.

See what the plugs look like after a good long high rpm stint. Tell tale sign of bad rings show up as oily plugs. Proper running no oil burning will show as a slight rust color plug electrodes.

It would be a good idea to adjust the valves which is a easy job if you are comfortable with wrenching. The owner/operators lists the procedure. Much easier using the hand crank to turn the engine to get the pistons to TDC and so forth. If nothing else correctly adjusting the valves may help cut down on top end chatter/noise from the rockers arms clacking.

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