(click picture to enlarge)
This was my father's 1951 H. He bought it used when I was very young. I remember them unloading it from a flatbed truck by backing up to the bank by the road. He used it for many years to plow the driveway and hauling firewood. It was his pride and joy. Itís January 2008 and Iím finally getting around to restoring it. Hopefully it will be a lot easier than the F-14 I did a few years ago. The H is in running condition and still gets used. Biggest problem is that it burns almost as much oil as gas and creates quite a fog around you. My main goals for this project are: Completely rebuilding the engine while boosting the HP a bit, Adding live hydraulics, Stripping it down and painting it while addressing any problems found along the way. I plan on keeping it at the traditional 6-volts. Itís in my shop now so check back for updates on its progress!
Here I go again, setting off on another tractor restoration. This one will be a little different than my F-14 project though. First off, it still runs. Secondly, this tractor has sentimental value to me. It was my fathers Farmall H and the first tractor I ever learned to drive. He bought it used when I was little shaver. He didnít really farm with it but used it to plow the driveway, and we hauled a lot of firewood out of the woods with it over the years. Also we had a sickle bar mower for it that we mowed some with. I inherited it from him and itís never been out of the family since he first owned it.
My main use for it over the last 10 years has been in hauling a hydraulic dump trailer around moving fill from one area or another. Seems Iím always moving dirt somewhere on my property. I built the trailer from scratch and it has its own engine & hydraulic pump but one of my goals is to add live hydraulics to the H so I can use it to power the hydraulic dump rather than having to start another engine each time. That way I donít have to get off & on the tractor so much. Just getting lazy, I guess! The belly pump just didnít have the capacity to handle it. Besides if it had live hydraulics Iím sure it will come in handy for a lot of other things as well. Iíve toyed with the idea of adding a 3-point hitch as well but havenít made up my mind on that as yet.
The main reason for the project other than adding live hydraulics, is that the engine is very tired and burns a great deal of oil. There are numerous small leaks here and there and a few cobbled up temporary repairs made over the years that need attention. A total stripping and new paint are in order as well. Iím sure my father will be smiling down on me during this project, as this tractor was his pride & joy!
Itís January 7th, 2008. Iím taking advantage of an unusually warm day for January in Central New York. Its sunny and hovering around 60 degrees today and most of the snow has melted. Hard to believe that just a couple days ago it was 12 below zero here with more than a foot of snow cover. Warm weather is supposed to continue for the next several days as well. I had pulled the H into the shop late last fall but hadnít really begun to do anything to it yet. Since it was so nice out and my shop is fairly cramped for space, I pulled it back outside and removed the rear wheels where I had more room to work. The tires are loaded and it has wheel weights as well. Since I have a little towmotor forklift, I was able to remove the wheels, tires & weights, all as one unit. That little forklift has been a godsend. I welded up a stand for the rear end the night before out of some scrap steel. I made it to fit on a pallet so I could move the whole rear end around with the forklift. That will be handy when it comes time to remove it from the shop for sandblasting & painting. The bolts that clamp it to the axle, while not as stubborn as the ones on the old F-14, still took some persuading to break loose. Some heat from the torch, some PB Blaster and a ĺí breaker bar with 4 foot extension finally did the job. It was starting to get dark by the time I got the wheels off so I picked up the rear end, now on the stand and pallet and slid it back into the shop. I had one small problem here. Now that the tractor is on the stand the steering wheel wouldnít clear the doorway so I had to remove that quickly. Itís now in the shop for a while.
January 13, 2008. Iíve had a pleasant surprise already. I had purchased the pump in the picture off E-Bay a few years ago when I first thought about doing this. You can see in the picture where it will go in front of the distributor like on a Super H w/ live hydraulics or a 300. I was under the impression that I would have to change the front cover to one from a Super H. I got looking at it this past week and discovered it is already a perfect fit. Apparently they started using the new cover part # 352168R1 on the regular H after serial # 344864. Mine is serial # 364132 so I lucked out there. Also its recommended to change the cam gear to a heftier one from a Super H but the general consensus at this point is it should be the correct one as well. I'll try to verify this later when I get into it deeper. Some money saved at any rate!
January 17, 2008. As you can see to the left, the engine is now off and partially disassembled. No big surprises so far. A lot of sludge throughout the engine. It was burning oil so badly the last few years that I was using used oil that I had drained from my truck in it. Never really changed it as it burnt it so fast. That certainly contributed to the sludge. I think Ill steam clean the block before further disassembly along with the parts Iíve removed so far. Its so much nicer to work on if its not caked with gunk and you can see what your doing! Hopefully this weekend I will be able to pull the pistons & sleeves and crank & cam. Then thoroughly clean it up. Iím not going to order any parts this time till I take it to the machine shop and get their opinion. I will measure everything up beforehand myself but wait for his opinion first this time. I donít want to be returning parts I cant use again because I got the wrong bearings etc. I may even let him order the parts so there is no controversy on whoís to blame if things donít fit. I would like to boost the HP a bit. I donít anticipate pulling with it but never say never! A little more oomph is always welcome anytime. My thoughts are to install oversize step head pistons and shave the head a bit. I anticipate replacing all the bearings. I understand a cam from a Farmall 350 is a good upgrade as well. Ill look into that at least.
January 20, 2008. I just finished removing everything from the block tonight. I made up a sleeve puller out of mostly stuff in my scrap pile. I found an old hub I think came from a ditch witch that was 3-7/16Ē OD on the biggest end. I ran a quick bead of weld around it and then turned it down to just a hair under 3.5Ē. Then turned a little step in it down to 3-3/8Ē so it would fit inside the sleeve and remain centered. Found a 1" flat bar that already had a ĺĒ hole in it and tacked it to a couple pieces of angle iron to straddle the cylinder. I started with just a length of ĺ ready rod but saw early on that the threads would never hold up. So I got a ĺí NF grade 8 bolt & grade 5 nut. I welded a ĺĒ bolt coupling to the head and threaded the regular ĺĒ threaded rod grade 2 into that to give me the adjustable length. It all looks pretty crude but did the job exceptionally well and thatís what counts. I have it soaking in my lye bath now and would love to steam clean it and a bunch of other parts I have soaking tomorrow. However our weather has retuned to more seasonable temperatures and itís in the single digits tonight with little promise of any warm up tomorrow. Steam cleaning parts outside at near zero isnít very appealing.
January 24, 2008. It's still remaining cool this week and I didnít have any daylight time to steam clean anything outside anyway. This weekend itís supposed to warm up to near freezing, so that looks like a better time to do that. In the meantime, I stripped the head and put that to soak in the lye bath as well. I expected from the amount of oil this tractor burned, to find the pistons rattling around in the cylinders. Not so! The pistons and sleeves actually are in much better shape than I anticipated. I now believe most of the problem of oil consumption was through the valves. Take a look at the typical exhaust valve on the left. I canít imagine it could seal very well. There was visible oil in the exhaust ports upon disassembly. Still Iím going to put in step head pistons and new sleeves as well as redoing the head. I regret not having done a compression test before I tore it down, for curiosity and comparison after the rebuild if nothing else. I have to believe it was pretty low.
I also continued with disassembling the rest of the tractor while waiting for warmer temps outside. I removed the gas tank and everything connected to the clutch housing. Previously, I was thinking of using the belly pump for the hydraulic reservoir for the new live pump. After dropping the old belly pump and coupling out of the housing, I could more easily envision the amount of space under there. Now Iím contemplating the fabrication of a custom tank to fit in there to take advantage of all that space. Id like more capacity than the belly pump reservoir will offer. I think one could fabricate a tank to fit in there that would hold at least 5 gallons. I'll mull this idea over in my mind for a while!
March 12, 2008. Itís been a while since Iíve done an update here. The head and crank are still at the machine shop and should be done this week. Iím having the head shaved .050, new guides and hardened seats installed. The crank was turned .010 at both mains and rods. Also having the rockers and lifters refaced. I acquired a cam from a Farmall 350 from VALU-BILT. The 350 cam part # is R1189620 or casting # 49900DDX. I also have determined that my Cam gear part # 6664-D is indeed the beefier one so Iím now good to go in that respect. I guess I now know all my dimensions and can go ahead and order a major overhaul kit through Yesterdays Tractors. That along with new valves and springs. It will be nice to see the engine going back together even though it will be a while before the rest of the tractor will be ready to accept it. The majority of the money in this project will be in the engine.
While Iíve been waiting for the machine shop, Iíve slowly whittled away at cleaning up some of the other parts. Iím sandblasting, priming and stacking the parts on racks as I go. I try to keep all the bolts & small parts in Ziploc bags labeled for the various applications. Some of the subassemblies have been or are in the process of being reassembled. The waterpump with fan is all back together with new bearings, seals & packing. Iím working on reassembling the governor and still awaiting the kit for the carburetor.
For primer Iím using Magnet Paints 300 Series - Universal Non-Sanding Automotive & Industrial Primer. I broke down and bought a Critter spray gun to apply the primer to the small parts. I wasnít sure how well it would work but thought it might be easier to clean up than using my HVLP gun for every little batch of parts out of the blast cabinet. Surprisingly it works very well and you can store the primer right in a mason jar. I keep another with thinner to clean it after use and its much easier than cleaning my regular gun. I like it better than just using rattle cans of primer for the small stuff.
One of the problems Iíve experienced with the H was the starter engagement. It needed a new ring gear and starter drive. I cleaned up and sandblasted the flywheel and could see a bunch of small stress cracks in it as you can see in the accompanying photo. Concerned about these I posted this on Yesterdays Tractors. The guys there assure me it is nothing to worry about. I plan on taking it to the machine shop and have it resurfaced to clean up some of them when I pick up the rest of my parts. I found on the Internet, that the flywheel step dimension should be 1.188Ē. Thatís the distance from the surface the clutch engages to the step where the pressure plate mounts. The machine shop needs to turn down both areas to keep this dimension.
Maybe when spring arrives around here in a month or two, I'll be able to start sandblasting the larger parts outside that wont fit in my cabinet. The weather is still nasty here in March and I remember last April 15th we received over a foot of snow. The wait for warmer weather will give me time to finish stripping the parts off the transmission anyway.
March 14, 2008. Dropped off the flywheel at the machine shop today but unfortunately the rest of the parts still werenít ready. He didnít think the flywheel would be any problem cleaning up however. Most everything was done except he was still working on the head. Iím a little confused on what valves go into this head. According to one source, and by engine serial # the length should be 5-15/32Ē. I cleaned up the old valves so I could read the part #s which are 50706DA and 50707DA. According to my findings they should measure 5-5/16Ē. In reality the old ones measure 5.345Ē and 5.365Ē, which is in between the two sizes. The machinist looked in his book and found ones to match my old ones so Iím letting him get them for me. I think thatís best and will eliminate any future controversy in case some problem arises with parts fitting.
The carb kit arrived yesterday too. I started to reassemble that last night but dropped the little detent ball for the choke and it vanished into oblivion. I picked up a new ball today and finished putting it together. I expect the old ball will somehow find its way into plain site in the middle of my bench now that itís all back together!
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