A owner, new to forum

Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:57 pm

Hey guys, I'm new here. I'm 21, live in western middle Tennessee, and I own my late grandfather's 1941 A, serial # FAA 79827.
He gave me the tractor, which hasn't run in about 17-18 years, when I was about 11. Supposedly, it had a timing problem, which timing the magneto didn't fix. This is what my Dad told me. He thought it might be an issue with the timing gears. Knowing nothing, but having the enthusiasm of a 12 year old in love with Papa's Farmall, I started to tear into the tractor, with no help or supervision, losing hardware in the process. :oops: I removed the magneto, governor, radiator, and fan. After a little reading, I thought the magneto might need some work, so I took it to the house. Then, our house burned down, and I lost the magneto, and work on the Farmall stopped. Fast forward seven years: I'm now married, and on a very limited budget, but I would really like to start fixing the farmall up, eventually completely restoring it. I'm not very knowledgeable about electrical stuff, but I have a good working knowledge of basic mechanical stuff- I've never dealt with the inside of an engine though. Anyhow, I'm looking to learn all I can about my Red Tractor, and start accumulating knowledge, manuals and parts, and hopefully start the rebuild sometime in the not - too - distant future. I have lots of questions, and I'll post pictures later. For starters, I want to keep the magneto system, so I think I'll get a used one and a rebuild kit and do it myself. Also, the tractor has the electric starter and lights, and I am pretty sure I want to restore it with a 6v system. It does not have a generator, but there is a bracket for one, and the generator might be in a shed somewhere on the farm. Thoughts and suggestions?

Also, first questions:

Anyone know where there is a good free download of the service and parts manuals for the A? I've got the owners manual...

The air cleaner has mud in it. Is it restorable?

Found a new set of all four tires locally, for $400, brand new with tubes. Do they get any cheaper? Sounded pretty good to me.

What methods tools and solutions are good for cleaning 73 years worth of crud off tractor parts?

Re: A owner, new to forum

Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:48 pm

$400 is cheap for the 4 tires, I understand why you would want to restore it. That being said, you will put much more money in it than you could ever get out of it. You can get a good mag for $100 or less if you shop around. That takes a H 4 mag one will work off about any of the old farmalls except the cub. The cub takes a J 4 mag. The big ticket items will be the gas tank and the carburetor. Unless you are lucky and yours are usable.
Boss

Re: A owner, new to forum

Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:31 pm

I know it. If it hadn't been Papa's, I probably would save my pennies and buy one in better shape. I see running and restored A's on the local Craigslist for around 2000 to 2500 bucks. You can get an unrestored running super a for 1500 to 2000, seems like. But, selling this tractor will never be an option, and what I get out of it will be a lot of satisfaction and use for row crops. I am determined to make the most of my Red machine.
This being said, I don't think it'll take all that much work to get the A running. The restoration to near factory new is another thing. Methinks it'll be worth it, though.
As near as I can tell, my gas tank and carburetor will be fine after some TLC. Planning to rebuild the carb.

Re: A owner, new to forum

Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:00 pm

Do you have all the tractor mounted implements you need? Someone on here said that most mounted equipment will not fit both A and Super A. I totally understand wanting to keep your Grandpa's tractor, go for it!

Re: A owner, new to forum

Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:08 am

I'm actually not sure what I've got, besides a sickle bar mower. I need to go through the 101 junk piles and sheds on the farm and see what I can find. I'm convinced that there's probably quite a few parts for the A laying around, I just need to identify them. For some reason, though, I feel an attraction to the manually - operated attachments- guess for nostalgia's sake.

Re: A owner, new to forum

Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:47 am

If you look under the "PDF Manuals" heading above you may find something but I think most are for the Super A. Go to Binder Books for full reprints of the parts/service manuals for the A. http://www.binderbooks.com/letter.htm#Farmall_A

Chuck

Re: A owner, new to forum

Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:05 pm

Welcome to the forum. I think that you will enjoy the work on this family tractor, they are very simple to work on and they are tough as nails. Parts are easy to find for this model in your area because of the crops that were grown here. I live north of you and have a few of the a models both super and non. If there is something that you can't get solved from this site let me know and maybe I could stop by and give you a hand.

Re: A owner, new to forum

Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:58 pm

danovercash wrote:Do you have all the tractor mounted implements you need? Someone on here said that most mounted equipment will not fit both A and Super A. I totally understand wanting to keep your Grandpa's tractor, go for it!



This is true, and it always something to remember. Super A and regular A implements ARE NOT interchangeable. For starters the Super A has the Touch Control hydraulics and beefier, stronger fenders to support the rear rockshafts.

If you have a manual lift or working exhaust lift, then you are in good shape. If not then the A isn't much more than a play tractor and good for towing things around the property. I will say that a ball hitch in the drawbar on the Super A/A is perfect and very convenient haha

Re: A owner, new to forum

Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:19 pm

Thanks again for the help and encouragement. I appreciate the info and offers of help. Good fellow sent me links to both the other manuals I needed, so I now have access to the owner's, parts, and serviceman's manuals for the A. Raystractors: May take you up on your offer, Sir! Would love to see your collection sometime, too. Do you know much about rebuilding an engine, or would you be able to help me evaluate mine? That is, after I get her cleaned up and back together!
Rummaging around in the junk around the farm, I found a generator sitting on a shelf in a barn, and my sickle-bar laying in the dirt, OUTSIDE! :cry: Guess I need to pull it out and stabilize its condition. I also found some manual lift parts I need some help ID-ing. Don't have pictures of those yet, but I do have some photos of my tractor (pieces) and the generator I found. Can y'all tell me if it's the one I need? It does not have an ID plate- only an unreadable fragment of a paper label. It does have remnants of black and red paint on it, and it appears to be identical to pictures I've seen of A generators.

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Re: A owner, new to forum

Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:56 pm

I also determined that my hood is not original, but from a later A, as it has the later McCormick/Farmall decals. Most of the tractor has been repainted at some time or another.

Re: A owner, new to forum

Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:58 pm

Could very well be that if the tractor ever went back to the dealer for a "freshening up" special, they put the later decals on as the original "McCormick-Deering" decals were NLA.

Re: A owner, new to forum

Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:23 am

If this has sit for that many years, I would not start by putting parts back on. You may have some stuck valves or other problems that need to be addressed first. Do you have the hand crank that fits this tractor? I would start by removing the spark plugs and adding some lite oil into the plug holes. Then if you have the hand crank you can try to turn the engine over slowly to see if you have stuck valves. You will need to remove the valve cover to know for sure. If you do it's not a major problem, but you will need to remove the head. That will cost you a head gasket, and a little time, but you can better evaluate the condition of the engine. I have some parts for an A if needed, and will help all I can. If you would like I have a few old H4 mags that you could try just to get it running. Let me know what you think, and when you are ready.

Re: A owner, new to forum

Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:48 pm

Do not purchase any parts including tires until you determine the condition of the entire tractor.

The exhaust pipe or muffler is missing, carburetor throat open, both are not good indications.

Re: A owner, new to forum

Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:08 pm

Drain the oil pan and see what reaches out to grab you!---IF its got water in it,---NOT good!---then get the head off and make sure the inside of the motor is not froze and broke!---THAT will mean finding a good block/head!---BUT you will have to start from ground up to see what you actually have!!!---Remember a straight A is a LOW<LOW dollar tractor, so I wouldnt spend much on re-building one--- SUPER A is different story!---different tractors in this case!
I have both,---1 A---and 1 SUPER A , and there is a whole world of difference in the 2 models! thanks; sonny

Re: A owner, new to forum

Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:11 am

Sorry it's been awhile since my last post. Been sick, had a crazy week... First off, I really appreciate the help and advice. Second, I would like to re-affirm what I already said in my first post. This tractor has a lot of sentimental value, therefor, I really want to fix THIS particular machine up. I know it'll take a lot of time and money, but I don't think it's as bad as it looks, and I'm willing to chip away at the project as I can afford it, and get 'er done, even if it takes awhile. That said...

I took the valve cover off yesterday, and since I do not have a hand crank, turned the engine over by strong-arming the crankshaft pulley. NOT easy! BUT! She turned, and all the valves moved. So, the ENGINE IS NOT FROZEN. I also removed the carburetor for cleaning and a rebuild. I will remove the oil pan soon.

I also would like to reply to some of y'all's posts:

@raystractors: Thanks so much for the offers of help- may need it. To clarify, though, my plan has been from the get-go to gather up scattered parts, and REMOVE parts and clean, oil, tighten, and rebuild everything that needs it, rather that "put parts back on". I also plan on replacing every gasket in the engine, as one more step to (hopefully) freshening the machine up. I'm almost glad that the tractor is not running, because if it was, I don't think I would give it the thorough overhaul that I intend to. In the end, I think I'll have a darn good machine.

@Eugene: Thanks for the advice. I plan to work on seeing if I can get her running before I buy tires or anything else very expensive... also, what did you mean by the carburetor throat? I'm not sure what the throat is... however the choke HAS been in the closed position.

@SONNY: Appreciate the enthusiastic advice. This tractor is worth a lot more to me than market value- refer to the beginning of this post, and my original post in this thread. Engine is not frozen (still gotta check for water leaks) and there's no visible external cracks. I also, in good fun, hafta tease you about your low opinion of the A when compared to the SA. ;) I must say, I'm kinda particular to the nostalgia of the A, and I think the manually-operated implements are kinda cool, too. I know this is blasphemy to all you SA fans, but I think I'll enjoy my straight A- if I can get her in proper working order, and get the proper equipment for her.

Hope I'm not aggravating you fellas, and I do appreciate the input- keep it coming! I'll post more updates and photos soon. Thanks again!