'51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

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

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Dale Finch
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'51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby Dale Finch » Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:56 am

This is a recap of the latest project I was "volunteered" for. There is a definite lack of available/reasonably-priced tractor mechanics in our area, proven by the fact that anyone thinks I am a person to call for help!!! :lol:

Yesterday I was contacted by ANOTHER older lady who has a '51 Super A. My local NAPA guy, one of the few who knows what he is doing, had asked if she could call me. I went over and she said she was unable to get it to start. First I checked the fuel tank, and it was bone dry, so figured that MIGHT be one problem! But as I was assessing the tractor, and walked around to the left side, I told her I had probably found the REAL problem...there was NO carb!!  

She had no idea where it was, but today called and said she THINKS she removed it to take it to NAPA for parts or evaluation...not sure...and will look around for it. So since I couldn't do much else for her, I installed the new 12v (Internal Resistor) coil that she had been told by someone she needed (12v conversion). I also cleaned the sediment bowl and screen (still had old gunky gas in it), then reinstalled it with a new gasket I had. 

It does have a good battery, and the starter turns, so I think it will run and am hoping she will find her carb. HOWEVER, from the looks of her place, I believe she is a bit of a hoarder...she has at least 3 vehicles on her farm property, and they are filled with "stuff"! I told her it would be rather expensive to replace, and encouraged her to look hard for it.


Well, she called the other day, and said she found it stuffed in her parked truck (aka storage locker!). I went down yesterday, and saw the carb had been stored in a plastic bag & allowed to get wet, so had some rust, and the choke was frozen. Since I was there, I decided to install the carb I had rebuilt for my OTHER volunteered-for SA job. I hooked up my pony bottle and was totally surprised when I pulled the starter rod, and it started right up and sounded great!! (Also, good oil pressure)

It was a good thing, though, that I had NOT connected the carb to the air cleaner! After I shut it down, I was showing her how to clean out the air cleaner cup and refill with clean oil. When I removed the CAP, it was filled with mud dauber nest! I cleaned that out, then saw the inlet tube was also packed! I broke that loose, so now needed to clean the CUP, since it now had a bunch of mud dauber crud in it.

On to telling her to clean the vented plug in the top of the steering gear housing...tons of dried/baked on gunk all around steering shaft. It turned out to be easier just to do it myself.

I ended up leaving with a long to-do list, that I will work on when I return after rebuilding her carb. At least I know the tractor runs, including the hydraulics, that I operated. All in all, a very rewarding day! :D :beer:

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Don McCombs
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Re: '51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby Don McCombs » Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:16 am

You are definitely a very kind and helpful person, Dale.
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Re: '51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby Eugene » Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:43 am

If you are looking for a side job, work on old tractors. Doesn't pay much when the work in voluntary.

Dale: Very nice of you to help out.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: '51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby Stanton » Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:45 am

:applause: :applause:

Well done! Very kind of you!!
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Bill Hudson
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Re: '51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby Bill Hudson » Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:46 am

Well done, Dale.

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Dale Finch
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Re: '51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby Dale Finch » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:00 am

I just hope that word-of-mouth does NOT come into play in this case!! :lol:

Also, I can't believe that this is happening with Super A's, since this time last year I was begging for a SA mechanic myself!! Had to trailer the tractor all the way to DSCF in Florida to get you experts to fix my SA! This just shows how desperately we need young people to go into the "trades".

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Re: '51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby Indy4570 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:12 am

Dale you can come and "look" at a few of my tractors anytime! :D
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Dale Finch
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Re: '51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby Dale Finch » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:25 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:
Oh how I DO love a guy with a sense of humor!!
I think I have "Sucker" written across my forehead! But I must admit, that when Merle heard her tractor run again, she looked very grateful! Made it worth the effort. I know many members of this forum have helped others in the same way...happy to be part of this generous "family"!! :hattip:

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Re: '51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby Indy4570 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:46 am

I promise to have carbs on all the tractors Dale :D
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Re: '51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby T-Mo » Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:02 pm

Dale, nice story and you're a real neighbor.

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Dale Finch
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Re: '51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby Dale Finch » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:11 am

I returned yesterday since the weather was so nice. I had finished rebuilding Merle's carb late the night before, and was eager to see if the "operation" was a success. I installed the carb with a new section of hose, then decided to use her gas tank rather than a pony bottle, since it had been quite clean. There were a couple things in the bottom of her dry tank, which I retrieved with a stick whose end was wrapped with inside-out Gorilla tape! One item was a flat disc (size of a quarter) of lead solder. Have no idea where that came from, but if the gas is gone when I return to finish up in a day or two, I'll know it was from a poor solder job of a leak!!!
20191123_183809-1328x747.jpg

I added about 1/2 gal of gas, opened the fuel shutoff valve on the previously rebuilt sediment bowl, and to my surprise, the bowl didn't leak nor did the carb! WHEW! I pulled the start switch out then pulled the starter rod, and......YAY! He started! (she named the SA for her father, but I forgot the name) And sounded great, with good throttle response...nice and smooth.

I let him run for a while, so any moisture would be run out. Meanwhile I pulled the old rusty steering wheel off, to install a new (aftermarket) one she had already purchase. Unfortunately, the woodruff key was slightly thicker than the slot in the wheel, so I brought it home to work on it.
20191124_152114-1328x747.jpg

Before leaving, I poured kerosene into the steering gear housing, whose vented plug I had already cleaned. The was dried gear oil all over the lower bolster and no apparent liquid in the housing. I'm hoping the kerosene will loosen the black gunk up, but I might find out the lower shaft seal is bad, and when we put in gear oil later, it leaks out. I already warned her of this, and am hoping you can remind me of the thicker "oil" suggested to try to resolve this, since I DON'T plan to rebuild her steering!

He's been sitting long enough...ready to wake up and stretch his "legs"!
20191124_141115-1328x747.jpg

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Don McCombs
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Re: '51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby Don McCombs » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:23 am

Spindle grease. Located at Tractor Supply, with the three point drawbars.
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Indy4570
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Re: '51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby Indy4570 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:47 pm

that last picture is calendar worthy Dale. congrats on getting "him" to run ;)
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Re: '51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby Shane N. » Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:53 pm

Indy4570 wrote:that last picture is calendar worthy Dale. congrats on getting "him" to run ;)

I second this!
Every home is a school, what are you teaching?

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Dale Finch
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Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:34 am
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Tractors Owned: '55 Cub "Bertha"
'55 Cub "Ben"
'56 Cub "Boris"
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Location: NC, Chapel Hill

Re: '51 SA "Volunteered-for" job!

Postby Dale Finch » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:30 pm

I sure hope I logged enough good karma points to last through 2020...I finished up (at least for now) with Merle's '51 SA. Finally got the after market steering wheel on, and it's a good thing she is fairly small. It's probably 2" larger diameter, and makes getting under it and using the pedals a bit of a trick...no way a big guy would fit!!

I had brought the square head female pipe plug sockets for the steering housing plugs, but the drain plug is 7/16" and I only had a 3/8" and 5/16" (I do plan to order a 7/16"). I could not get a wrench on that drain plug, and didn't want to mess it up. So the best I could do for now was flush the housing using the FULL plug hole then added gear oil. I'll head back down when I get the socket, at which time I'll flush the transmission better. Oh, and I will give her the spair rubber shifter knob I have...hers is a big chrome ball, that pulled right off when I went to shift gears...turns out it isn't even threaded and just sits on top!

I also greased all the zerk fittings, oiled the fan (don't think it had ANY in it!) and added another gallon of gas to the tank. Cranked it up and took it for a short drive, but the ground was too soft and her driveway out was blocked, so didn't go far. That's why the transmission didn't get done...I couldn't warm it up, and didn't want try to drain cold gear oil!

It's really a larger tractor than she needs...what she really needs is something small and manueverable, that she can put a rototiller on, and pull a plow and cultivators. I told her maybe she could trade the SA for what she needs. Turns out she has a 2 bottom plow (??), a disc and apparently a fertilizer unit for it, though they are covered with tall grass, so all I could see was a metal hopper, a spring rod, and a 3-point disc.


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