Maize & Blue Farm

1937 Farmall F-20 Narrow

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First, a brief summary of my restoration experience.

 

Well, that about does it.  I do like to play with old tractors and engines however, and I hope to be somewhat smarter when this process is all done.

Did I mention that this project will mostly be done outside?


By the way, I do realize that this project is not truly a restoration.  It is really a make it run and make it look good project, whatever the term for that is.

As you read through my story, I ask a lot of questions, many of which have been answered by those who have offered valued advice.  Thank you!!!  Keep this in mind as you read, as once you make it to the last update, you'll be able to figure out what questions I still need help with.


 

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1937 Farmall F-20 Narrow

 

I bought this tractor in the summer of 2002 off a gentleman just north of Kalamazoo, Michigan.  It had been his grandfather's tractor for about many decades before his passing.  It had last been used in the 1950's, and as you can imagine, the weather has taken some toll on it in that time.  This tractor appears to be much more complete than the other F-20 I own (that runs beautifully).  Given that and its relative rarity (as it is a narrow tread model), I have decided that by the time I retire in 30 years, it will be restored!  

 

As it was quite stuck, I filled the cylinders with some serious penetrating fluid the chemist at work prepared mixed with a little transmission fluid and let it soak.  I also drained the engine oil and transmission and overfilled with new fluid for storage.  I also took the valve cover off and made sure everything up there was lubricated.  While I was doing this, I inspected under the valve cover, the crankcase, and the transmission (by way of the shifter opening) and found everything to be looking incredibly good.  The major problem with the engine appears to be that it is stuck from water entering through the exhaust.  Hopefully, time and penetrating fluid will help.


One Year Later....Work Begins

May 28, 2003 - Well, it only took me a year to begin working on it, slow as that may be.  I have taken off the hood and attempted to take off the manifold.  I can also report that time and penetrating fluid have done little, or perhaps they have done wonders but not quite enough.  Man will never know.  So, that said, I took a ton of digital pictures of the engine for future reference and dug in.  My goal was to get the head off and see just what I was up against.  I am happy to say that as hard a time as I had trying to take off the manifold, I had just as easy time taking off the head.  Here is what I saw:

Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 031.jpg (410347 bytes)   Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 032.jpg (399190 bytes)

Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 033.jpg (366149 bytes)   Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 034.jpg (368709 bytes)

You can probably see in the pictures that one cylinder looked far worse than the others.  This one will likely provide the biggest challenge in my effort to free up the engine.  I next worked on cleaning up the cylinders with rags, spoons, and a very light wire brushing.  Here is the result:

Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 009.jpg (397159 bytes)   Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 008.jpg (399062 bytes)

Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 010.jpg (393528 bytes)   Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 011.jpg (391367 bytes)

Again, you can likely see that one looks a little worse than the others, but all look much improved.  My guess is at least that one cylinder will need a new sleeve.  Here are some pictures of the head (before and after removal):

Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 024.jpg (414575 bytes)   Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 026.jpg (412410 bytes)   Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 027.jpg (405163 bytes)

Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 005.jpg (384385 bytes)   Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 006.jpg (380463 bytes)   Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 007.jpg (401947 bytes)

And a couple shots of the tractor in its current state:

Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 003.jpg (385387 bytes)   Farmall F-20N May 19, 2003 004.jpg (389875 bytes)


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mgomaize@yahoo.com