Do I trust my H just because it thinks it's cool?

Farmall H, HV & Super H, 300 & 350, 1939-1958

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Rick Spivey
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Do I trust my H just because it thinks it's cool?

Postby Rick Spivey » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:47 pm

I've owned an H for probably 6 years, but it rarely works hard. However, this summer I decided it needed to earn it's keep. I have a 5' Woods bushhog for it, and put it to use today. I was mowing 20 acres (got about half of it completed today), which was mostly 6 foot dog fennel, along with 4 foot pine saplings, and up to 10 foot sweet gum saplings. I ran for probably 5 hours with no visible movement of the temperature gauge; up to today I thought it didn't work. The last hour the gauge moved up to the area called "normal", but just barely. However, I thought the engine began running just slightly rougher than it had been all day. Once I parked it, I saw that the grill screen was totally covered with "chaff" (grasses, seeds, etc.).

So is it likely that my H only went up to a normal temperature with the grill screen basically plugged, or can another H owner confirm that they usually run normal, and mine was probably close to running hot? Are they cold-natured by birth? It was about 85 degrees outside, the sensor appears to be at the rear of the engine in the head. I will likely try and borrow an infrared thermometer to see what the temperature really is running, but just looking for some feedback from someone else's experience.
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Re: Do I trust my H just because it thinks it's cool?

Postby Scrivet » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:27 pm

I own an H and my brother has three. I wouldn't call brush hogging hard work, unless it's really thick, so I wouldn't expect it to get much hotter than it did. Hook onto two 14" bottoms and drag them around the same field for five hours and it will get hot! I would check the radiator screen a little more often though. Might want to blow it out from the back. Dad had a piece of widow screen bolted to the front of the brush hogging tractor. The finer mesh made it much easier to clean (a swipe of the hand usually did it).

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Re: Do I trust my H just because it thinks it's cool?

Postby Don McCombs » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:31 pm

Rick,
Don't have any experience with an H, but my Super C would do the same thing. Took a lot of running to get the water temp into the normal range on the gauge. Those radiators are really big.
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Re: Do I trust my H just because it thinks it's cool?

Postby Dale Finch » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:12 am

You might consider this for your tractors:
http://farmallcub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=94176&p=742948&hilit=radiator+screen#p742948

It has been quite a while since I made these for my 4 tractors (3 cubs and the SA), and they work great! Mostly the grass/seeds don't stick, but I periodicaly check it if the grass is high with seeds, and I can just brush it off with my hand, if the broom is back in the shed! :D

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Re: Do I trust my H just because it thinks it's cool?

Postby Jim Becker » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:53 am

What year was the tractor built? Is it a pressurized radiator or not? Is it a distillate engine? These can all have a bearing on which thermostat and temperature gauge it has.

There were two heat ranges for the thermostats, 130-155 and 165-190. Likewise, two gauges with work ranges of 130-160 and 170-220. Mix-n-match these parts for strange temperature readings. As already stated, you usually need to work them pretty hard to get the temperature to the high side. Can you read a part number on the face of the gauge?

Thermostats usually fail open. When these gauges fail, they read low and ultimately won't move the needle at all.

I realize all this doesn't answer your questions.

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Re: Do I trust my H just because it thinks it's cool?

Postby Stanton » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:16 am

Rick, I owned a 1945 H for a few years, but never worked it hard. Bought a new temp gauge from Yesterday's Tractors (two available, only one with correct face; https://www.yesterdaystractors.com/Farmall-H_Water-Temperature-Gauge_63783D.html). Research revealed that most of the temp gauges for the H ran on the cool side; can only assume about other models. Think I only had it up in the lower, green "normal" range once or twice.

In my opinion, H's think they're pretty cool, even when they're not.
:cool:
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Re: Do I trust my H just because it thinks it's cool?

Postby ajhbike » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:58 am

I get the same build up on the screen on the SC and the JD...I started taking a stiff bristled brush with me and check every 30 mins or so, but I haven't had the Water temp go up

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Re: Do I trust my H just because it thinks it's cool?

Postby Mac AR » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:46 pm

I can brush hog or bale or bale hay all day long with my 300 and the temp gauge will barely get up into the "RUN" portion. Mine has a working thermostat so I don't think that's the issue. Your clogged grille will be the cause of some of it, and if it's really hot (like in the upper 90's) mine has a tendency to run rougher. I have helped alleviate this by taking the manifold hood-side off, which keeps the manifold cooler. You might try taking your center hood section off and see if that helps. Personally, as long as it isn't boiling the water or pushing it out the overflow, I'd keep doing what you're doing. I will second the idea of a grille screen though. I made mine similar to Dale's, except I used the small metal rods from and old heat houser and sewed them into the screen with fine wire. I then used four springs from the hardware store to secure it, just like are used on heat housers. It seems to work pretty well, especially when cutting blooming sage grass. It looks like snow in August!
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Re: Do I trust my H just because it thinks it's cool?

Postby Rick Spivey » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:12 pm

Jim Becker wrote:What year was the tractor built? Is it a pressurized radiator or not? Is it a distillate engine? These can all have a bearing on which thermostat and temperature gauge it has.

There were two heat ranges for the thermostats, 130-155 and 165-190. Likewise, two gauges with work ranges of 130-160 and 170-220. Mix-n-match these parts for strange temperature readings. As already stated, you usually need to work them pretty hard to get the temperature to the high side. Can you read a part number on the face of the gauge?

Thermostats usually fail open. When these gauges fail, they read low and ultimately won't move the needle at all.

I realize all this doesn't answer your questions.


I realize I asked a bit of an open-ended question, so thanks for letting me get by with that. The answer I was looking for was that H's in particular are difficult to get "hot" unless really working them, and I agree with Scrivet that bush hogging was not much of a load on it. If interested, I will attach a video below. But Jim asked some great questions, and in the interest of learning more about this tractor, I will follow up. I was told the tractor was a 1948; serial number is 28282.
IMG_1106.jpeg

I also believe it was either a distillate or kerosene model, based on evidence of having had shutters at one time (missing now). See pics below.
IMG_1107.jpeg
IMG_1107.jpeg (28.77 KiB) Viewed 585 times
Shutter linkage on governor
IMG_1109.jpeg
IMG_1109.jpeg (36.33 KiB) Viewed 585 times
shutter toggle on dashboard
IMG_1110.jpeg
IMG_1110.jpeg (30.17 KiB) Viewed 585 times
extra hole in hood for gas tank filler neck

Also, I have no idea what, if any, thermostat is in the machine right now. I have a small leak somewhere, so maybe I will get a chance to explore that soon. Lastly, here is the current temp gauge, I never got it into the green area.

IMG_1111.jpeg
IMG_1111.jpeg (33.12 KiB) Viewed 585 times


At the moment I can't add the video of it cutting brush. I'll try some more.
Last edited by Rick Spivey on Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rick Spivey
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Rick Spivey
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Re: Do I trust my H just because it thinks it's cool?

Postby Rick Spivey » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:28 pm

Here is a link to the video.
https://youtu.be/5JZaCqsTmuI
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Re: Do I trust my H just because it thinks it's cool?

Postby Rodney51Cub » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:53 pm

Serial number 28282 makes it a 1940 according to Tractor Data.
I also have a 1940 without a thermostat that does not get warm while pulling a five foot rotary cutter.
Not cutting stuff as high as you were cutting in the video though.

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Re: Do I trust my H just because it thinks it's cool?

Postby Urbish » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:04 am

Jim Becker wrote:Thermostats usually fail open. When these gauges fail, they read low and ultimately won't move the needle at all.


My 1947 H never gets out of the COLD range either after installing a brand new gauge. The old one was non-functional. A quick check inside the radiator cap just after start-up revealed coolant rushing through the radiator which means my thermostat is stuck open. I got a new one yesterday and plan to install it soon. I'll report back if that made any difference.

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Re: Do I trust my H just because it thinks it's cool?

Postby Eugene » Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:48 pm

Just spend several hours brush hogging with my Allis Chalmers WD in 90 plus degree weather. Temperature gauge only reached the bottom edge of the green.

The WD is similar to the IH H.
I have an excuse. CRS.


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