Starting a Farmall A

Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:31 pm

Just picked up my farmall A and am wondering what is the sequence for starting it. It has not been started in years so I am very cautious. I removed and checked the plugs at the same time putting some lubricant in the cylinders. The gas tank looks clean so that should not be a problem. I hand cranked the engine and it turned over ok telling me that it is not frozen.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Another question--What is the air pressure for the rear tires 9-24. thanks.


Re: Starting a Farmall A

Wed May 01, 2013 3:49 pm

Tires 15-20 PSI, just enough so there's no "cheek" showing at the bottom.

How involved do you want to get in this starting sequence?

At this point, it can be as simple as:
1. Check the oil.
2. File the points.
3. Add a gallon of gas to the tank.
4. Connect the battery.
5. Give it a whirl, following safe starting practices.

With that procedure you're assuming you have good spark, the carburetor doesn't need any work, no valves are stuck, and the oil is serviceable. It won't hurt to see if you've got a runner before you start pouring money into it.

The things that start costing real money:
You may want to pull the valve cover and make sure the valves all move properly.
You may want to clean and rebuild the carburetor.
You may want to replace the distributor cap, rotor, spark plugs, and plug wires.
You may want to dump and replace the engine oil, and oil filter.

Re: Starting a Farmall A

Wed May 01, 2013 8:08 pm

Thank you Matt for the response. I will use all these suggestions as I proceed.
On the mechanical side of starting the tractor..
1. Do I engage the ignition switch ?
2. Do I push in the rod that engages the starter ?
3. At what position do I place the thottle/governor control assy ?
Doess this sequence look right or am I missing something ?

Re: Starting a Farmall A

Wed May 01, 2013 8:55 pm

Don, If you have distributor ignition you need to turn on the ignition switch,set throttle about 1/3, pull choke rod,then pull starter rod til engine starts.
This being said I would highly suggest you check out Rudi's site. There is a SA owners manual you should read that should answer a lot of your questions

Re: Starting a Farmall A

Thu May 02, 2013 1:47 am

What is a SA owners manual ? As you can tell I am very new at this.
Thanks for all your help.


Re: Starting a Farmall A

Thu May 02, 2013 2:13 am

SA is short for Super A.

Re: Starting a Farmall A

Thu May 02, 2013 10:17 am

Here's a link to the manuals available on this Forum for your SA: ... index.html


Re: Starting a Farmall A

Thu May 02, 2013 10:29 am

If your tractor is an A rather than a Super A, much of what is in the Owner's Manual will be directly applicable. The A has no hydraulics and the instrument panel is arranged differently. The starter rod will be push rather than pull. Maintenance items are close enough. When you get to the parts catalog, there are more differences in the details to be careful about.

Re: Starting a Farmall A

Fri May 03, 2013 3:08 pm

To be completely honest, every tractor is a little different when it comes to the exact starting procedure. Each one has its own slightly different "personality." Some like the throttle at idle and lots of choke, some like the throttle up a little and no choke, and on and on...

First thing is make sure the tractor is in neutral. "Shake hands" with the shifting lever, that is, grab it by the knob and make sure it moves side to side in the neutral slot.
Probably best to be on the seat of the tractor for the first start just in case. Make sure nobody is nearby just in case you make a mistake and leave it in gear.
The ignition switch must be in the ON position. I think out is ON. The knob should say something like (IN-STOP OUT-RUN) on it.
Try a few notches of throttle, but feel free to experiment as you learn more.
Push in the clutch pedal.
If the starter rod is a push then push, otherwise if it's a pull then pull.
Be prepared to use the choke. Give it a quick shot of choke if the tractor doesn't fire right away, but don't leave it choked or it will flood.
If the engine fires, be prepared to adjust the choke in and out to keep it running for the first few seconds.

Re: Starting a Farmall A

Sat May 04, 2013 1:53 pm

First up you need to buy all the manuals that go with an A or SA and spend a LOT of quality time reading them word for word, before you ever get on a tractor of any kind!----then step two is as others have said each tractor has different quirks, so no two will start the same way.---Get someone in your area who knows how to drive tractors come over and show you how to do it.---FOR SAFETY OF OTHERS AND YOURSELF!! thanks; sonny

Re: Starting a Farmall A

Tue May 07, 2013 1:10 am

My thanks to Bill, Twotone, Bob, Jim and Sonny for all their help on my Farmall A tractor questions.