Maize & Blue Farm

1937 Farmall F-20N - Page 5


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May 14, 2005 - I have been spending some good time lately working on the tractor and have made a lot of progress.  I was able to get the sleeves back in.  After doing so, I found another crack in one of the sleeves, so I took that one out and had to wait for another one to come in.  Once it came in, I put the that last sleeve back in.  Overall, I was surprised just how easy taking sleeves out and putting them back was.  Remember, this is my first time doing any of this.  The next step was to clean up the pistons, take off the old rings, clean the grooves and install new rings, all of which went really well.  

Of greatest surprise was just how easy the pistons went back in.  I rented a ring compressor from Murray's and that made the job very easy.  I did have one problem in that I found that one piston was not moving freely on the rod.  Luckily, I had an extra piston and rod and was able to replace the pin that the piston rotates on.  Problem solved and all the pistons are in.  I still need to find some plastiguage (?) so that I can measure the rod bearing clearances  before I start her up later.

Once the pistons, were in, I proceeded with more of the engine assembly.  You may remember that I have wavered between painting it before I put it together and getting it running first.  I have decided to get it running, enjoy it some, figure out where the leaks are (if any), and then worry about making it look good.  My next step was to put the rebuilt head on, which went on fine.  

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I then got to work on the rocker arms, which did not go so well.  Turns out one of the rocker arm shafts was broken.  Not sure if I did this during disassembly, or if this is one of the reasons it was parked 50+ years ago.  Either way another bummer and a bit more cash out the door.  This week, I received a replacement rocker arm assembly in the mail and got back to work.  I decided to only use the shaft out of the replacement, as I want as much as the tractor to remain original as I can.  The assembly went on fine, though I still have not secured it down, as I decided to order new oil trough felts.  

As such, I moved on to putting other parts of the tractor back together.  I started with the oil filter and quickly figured out that my tractor has an aftermarket Fram F-4 oil filter assembly.  

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With the help of some folks on the Farmall e-mail list on on YTMag, I figured out that Napa has the replacement filter and have ordered a couple.  In the meantime, I have cleaned and installed all of the oil lines and the oil pump.  This tractor has a couple farmer installed skinny lines that go up to the valve cover and lubricate the valve train.  I need to get some tubing as those lines have broken.

I also installed the manifold, water manifold and other parts of the cooling system.  I need an new flat belt and have ordered that from The Fordson House (a great parts source).  I hope to have it running by Memorial Day!

June 21, 2006 - The flat belt came in very quickly as usual, as did the oil filter.  The rest of the assembly when pretty smoothly.  It took a little while, as I would get so far, and figure out I forgot to order a part here and there.  Little things like hoses and such.  Or I would find that I needed a bolt I did not have.  A few delays, but it all went quite smooth.  At first I was concerned that not all the valves were moving and that I did not have much compression in a couple cylinders, but then I figured out that the rocker arms needed adjusting.  I do not yet have a sediment bowl, so at first I was using a quart oil bottle with plastic tubing for a gas tank.

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My first attempt at starting was a bit discouraging, as I did not get so much as a hit.  After a lot of that, I changed the mag setting, and she fired right up.  I was obviously thrilled..  Seems this tractor is pretty picky about where it likes the mag setting.  I ran the engine for about 10 minutes and then let it rest.  I found that I had some coolant leaking into the oil :(, but I also found that the head bolts were also not torqued as well as they should be.  I still need to borrow a big enough torque wrench to get it right, as mine only goes to 90 lbs.  I did tighten them up quite a bit and I think I have the coolant leak pretty well solved.  I think I may lift the head back up and apply some gasket adhesive, which I did not do the first time.  Hopefully, that would guarantee I had it leak free.

Anyway, after letting it rest a few minutes, I fired her back up, and took it for its first ride in 50+ years.  Pretty cool.  All went well for a while, then I got to a point where it would bog down and not want to move if I let the clutch out.  After letting the gas run dry, I took some time off to get some advice from my brother and the Nebraska Cowman (one of my best resources throughout the project).  Seems the shifter was leaving the proper area and when it did, it could then push the other gears around, so that the transmission was actually in two gears at once.  

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I corrected the shifter placement and reassembled it.  And it happened again.  That is where having two F-20's comes in handy.  I took the shifter off my other one and then had no problems.  Took it back off, compared the two and the one that works is perfectly straight from one end to the other, whereas the one that does not angles about 15 degrees at the hinge.  I am not sure why this would matter as long as it is in straight relative to the gears, but it seems to matter.  Nebraska Cowman had an extra and I have that ready to put on.  Meanwhile, I have been driving it with the shifter from my other F-20.

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This F-20 runs great.  The engine purrs beautifully.  The gear pattern is different than my steel wheeled F-20.  It has a much faster 4th gear.  My last major problem to solve is the governor.  It does not really seem to be governing, and when I move the lever one position, the engine speed goes out of control.  I am sure this has a lot to do with my having taken the governor off, the governor lever off, and the carb off, thus all the various connecting points in the system were sure to have been moved and I did not give this any thought when I assembled everything back together.  I'll get that problem tackled soon.  I have a sediment bowl on the way and once those two items are taken care of and the hood back on, it'll be pretty well complete, except for paint.  We'll see if I get brave enough to try my hand at painting this year.  Not sure if I have the patience for that thorough of cleaning, but I'll have to.

All in all, I have to say I am a very happy camper right now.

August 3, 2006 - A few learning opportunities since my last post.  I found that 90lbs. of torque is about all you should do on these old tractors.  Found out the hard way of course.  I broke off two head studs!!!  Yikes.  Luckily, the remnants o one came out easily, but the other was broken off even with the block as was frozen tight.  I ordered some left handed drill bits, hoping that they would free it up.  They did not.  So I ended up buying a rethreading kit, for which I had to over drill the whole to a certain size and screw in a new thread for my new head studs to bolt into.  A good learning experience, I just hope I don't have to apply it very often.  

In the meantime, I got a new sediment bowl assembly from the Nebraska Cowman and installed that.  Everything is now reassembled and operating pretty well.  I still have the issue of the governor not wanting to govern.  I hope I get that figured out soon.  I took the mechanism off that goes from the carb to the governor and made sure I put it back on correctly.  All seems to be in order.  Might have to tear into the governor more to determine if one of its internal mechanisms is stuck.  The basic problem is that if the throttle is advanced even the slightest bit from completely closed, the engine runs pretty well out of control.  The engine also does not compensate when going up or down hills as my other F-20 does.  I am sure I will get it figured out soon.


So, who wants to paint this old beast???

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