Farmall M --stuck

Farmall M, Super M, 400, 450 & 560 Tractors, 1939-1963

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Farmall M --stuck

Postby BucketHead » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:43 am

Last fall I picked up a '49 Farmall M that spent the last 30 years "resting" in a barn. According to a friend of mine, up until 5 years ago the tractor got pulled around the yard every year or so and the motor was free. Since we've had the M I filled the cylinders with MMO and all of the cylinders drained out except #2. We dropped the oil pan and there was no water, just oil and some sludge. We've dragged the tractor up the street behind the MF and the rear wheels just stop & drag when the clutch is released. I'm considering a couple other things like diesel in the cylinder or applying heat to the backside of the #2 piston to see if that loosens it up. The next step if those don't work would be to remove the head and gently apply the BFH to #2.

Do any of you have any other suggestions before I resort to removing the head?
Last edited by BucketHead on Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Farmall --stuck

Postby Dusti Snider » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:25 pm

I guess you could try diesel or transmission fluid or the like...but if you've had it sitting with it that long, I'd be inclined to go ahead and pull it apart.
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Re: Farmall --stuck

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:30 pm

Those are dry sleeve engines, so if all else fails you can drive out the piston and sleeve. They are a very tight fit though.
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Re: Farmall --stuck

Postby raystractors » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:48 pm

If the crank is in a position that you can apply some force, I have had them release. I have used a piece of wood on the crank, and put a jack under the tractor, and then jack the tractor up using the block of wood against the crank. You need only to put the weight of the tractor on the jack and let it sit for a few days. Be careful, and don't raise the tractor more than 1/2 inch. The crank needs to be with the rod journal turned to the sides, if they are pointed up and down this will not do you any good.
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Re: Farmall --stuck

Postby BucketHead » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:06 pm

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I have tried smacking the back of the piston with a 2" dowel and a hammer but I like the jack idea too...less "impact." I will keep you updated but I haven't ruled out head removal.
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Re: Farmall M --stuck

Postby SONNY » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:23 pm

Rings are probably stuck in the pistons anyway so I would tear into it so you can get to the top and do some serious lookin/fixin! LOL! thanks; sonny
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Re: Farmall M --stuck

Postby KETCHAM » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:10 pm

Maybe rockin back and forth??? Once starts skidding,wastin tires.Kevin :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: Farmall M --stuck

Postby BucketHead » Thu May 03, 2012 3:39 pm

Well...here's the update.

We have rocked and pulled the M with no luck. We added hot diesel fuel to the MMO in #2 with no change. We did manage to find a really nice set of used rear tires on rims for the rear.
So, it has now come down to removing the head and applying the BFH directly to the pistons....but I do have some questions. Should I disconnect the connecting rods from the crank or leave them attached? How hard can I expect to beat on the pistons? If this goes the way I expect..what do you guys like for complete engine rebuild kits?
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Re: Farmall M --stuck

Postby TWheat » Thu May 03, 2012 4:16 pm

It's normall to get in a hurry , but time is your friend, along with some ATF and Acetone.
Quirt the ATF and Acetone in the clyinder. Jack up one side of the rear and try rocking it back and forth in gear.
Repeat this several times over a period of time. If it still doesn't break loose, you may have to drive it out. By all means, disconnect the rod from the crank before you go beating on it with a hammer.
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Re: Farmall M --stuck

Postby BucketHead » Thu May 03, 2012 4:50 pm

Thanks for the reply.

I am on board with you regarding taking my time. We have been rocking and working this since October and would gladly let it go on longer except that my son really wants to rake hay with the M this summer. I haven't tried the acetone and ATF. Currently there is PB Blaster soaking in all the cylinders (as well a a plastic nozzle straw in #2). I figure I have another 2 weeks before I really have to get the process in high gear.
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Re: Farmall M --stuck

Postby CubitisNH » Thu May 03, 2012 7:59 pm

Sounds like there's a lot of stuff in that cylinder already--I would suction out the old before dumping something different in. I bought a stuck "M" at an auction 2 years ago--soaked things a while,rocked it in high gear,etc. Removed starter and used a pry bar on flywheel teeth and it broke loose.
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Re: Farmall M --stuck

Postby BucketHead » Thu May 03, 2012 9:11 pm

Actually I removed all of the diesel and MMO from #2 prior to adding the PB Blaster (and plastic snozzle). The other cylinders have drained down on their own after a week or so. I will remove the PB Blaster before adding the acetone/ATF. The starter is already removed from the tractor but I have been reluctant to pry on the ring gear teeth for fear of breaking them. Maybe I will try some gentle persuasion there as well.
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Re: Farmall M --stuck

Postby Trackwelder » Fri May 04, 2012 6:25 pm

If you are not in a tremendous hurry, if you set the tractor up on a ramp in gear (block it with something that won't move) and let it set. it will give the penetrating oil time to work with pressure on the piston. just keep an eye on the oil in the stuck cylinder. If you are in a big hurry fire up the torch and melt the piston out.
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Re: Farmall --stuck

Postby Eugene » Fri May 04, 2012 8:27 pm

raystractors wrote:If the crank is in a position that you can apply some force, I have had them release. I have used a piece of wood on the crank, and put a jack under the tractor, and then jack the tractor up using the block of wood against the crank. You need only to put the weight of the tractor on the jack and let it sit for a few days. Be careful, and don't raise the tractor more than 1/2 inch. The crank needs to be with the rod journal turned to the sides, if they are pointed up and down this will not do you any good.
Try this first.

If the pistons are not at the top of the stroke and you have no hand crank. Block of hard wood cut to fit inside a cylinder. Hydraulic jack sitting on top of wood. Chain across top of jack and bolted to the block head bolt holes. Don't get carried away with the hydraulic jack. The idea is to get the piston to move a little over time, not all at once.


Kind of a warning. Some advice provide in this post/topic is excellent and from knowledgable individuals. Some advice - not so good.

After you get the engine freed up, you still want to measure up all of the parts normally associated with an in tractor overhaul.
I have an excuse. CRS.
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Re: Farmall M --stuck

Postby BucketHead » Tue May 15, 2012 8:22 pm

I am going to apply some up pressure from the bottom and see where that gets me.

I plan on pulling the the head after everything is freed up. Hopefully I can get away with a little honing to clean up the cylinders and replace the rings. I will also look at the bearings and valves as well.

If I have to do a full rebuild...what do you folks recommend for a rebuild kit?
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