Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

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AndiMac
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Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby AndiMac » Mon Sep 06, 2021 10:38 pm

Hello everyone,
First, I’m going to admit that I am smitten with the Farmall Cub. Hard to explain…

However… my husband and I have a quandary I’m hoping someone here can help sort out.

We live in Arkansas. Northwest Arkansas where rocks are just part of the landscape. When I say rocks, I’m talking about every size you can imagine. Our property was recently cleared and it looks like a rock garden LOL. HUGE rocks down to little ones. We have large tree piles that need to be sorted out, untangled, bucked, cleared etc. We also need to move logs and perhaps 100 other things that come with developing a piece of raw land. Hence… a tractor is on our list. Used to fit the budget :)

My husband thinks that when the front wheel of a Farmall Cub hits one of those larger rocks it’s going to jerk the steering wheel right out of your hand - and you can’t stop it or control it.

Is this true? Is the Cub simply not an option in a rocky area like this?

Thank you all in advance for your insights! - AndiMac

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Re: Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby Crimson Tim » Tue Sep 07, 2021 1:25 am

Smitten? Welcome to the club. No explanations needed here.

Crashing into a rock or other immobile object like that isn’t going to do the Cub any good, but it won’t rip the wheel out of your hands.

The steering turns the front wheels by a worm gear. That gives the steering shaft great leverage to turn the wheels, but gives the wheels very poor leverage to turn the steering shaft.

3649C11D-CAB7-4963-B085-CE270BF71316.gif
3649C11D-CAB7-4963-B085-CE270BF71316.gif (13.81 KiB) Viewed 451 times


Here’s a generic worm drive, where everything is all in a plane. The Cub steering is similar, except the steering shaft comes in to the plane of the image at a shallow angle. Consider this a top view of the steering box. The thin shaft at the top of the image is the steering shaft. That helical gear on it is a worm gear. The big flat gear is the worm wheel, which is connected to the steering arm, tie rods, steering knuckles and therefore turns the wheels. The worm gear can drive the worm wheel, but the worm wheel cannot drive the worm gear. Much.
For large gear ratios, the worm wheel cannot drive the worm gear at all. The ratios in the Cub steering are more moderate, though, so it doesn’t completely prevent this in the Cubs’ case. You will still feel a *some* kick back through the gear set like what you are asking about, but it won’t be anything you can’t handle easy enough.

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Re: Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby Don McCombs » Tue Sep 07, 2021 7:29 am

AndiMac,
After your initial land cleanup, what types of tasks would you be using your tractor for? Sounds to me like the Cub may be a little small and underpowered for your initial tasks. But, it would be suitable for mowing and gardening once the land is cleaned up. You may want to consider hiring someone with larger equipment to do the heavier tasks.
Last edited by Don McCombs on Tue Sep 07, 2021 7:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby Gary Dotson » Tue Sep 07, 2021 7:32 am

Personally, I don’t think this problem is any greater or less great, with the Cub versus another tractor model. Most have a similar steering system. From the sound of your goals ‘ needs, my question would be whether the Cub is a large / heavy enough tractor. And welcome to the forum, glad to have you!

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Re: Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby Bill Hudson » Tue Sep 07, 2021 7:37 am

Gary Dotson wrote:... From the sound of your goals ‘ needs, my question would be whether the Cub is a large / heavy enough tractor. ...


My thoughts, as well and probably the reason Don asked his question.

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Re: Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby JustJim » Tue Sep 07, 2021 9:46 am

Striking a large rock can generate all manner of problems. I was mowing this year on a neighbor's property, and foolishly thought to mow through a blackberry bush protruding out into the "road" I was following. What I could not see was a large rock pile under the blackberry bush.

I struck a rock of about 14 by 20 inches or so, very nearly getting tossed out of the tractor seat. The mower climbed over the rock before I came to a stop, and it required about an hour of work with shovel, chain, and my big Kubota to free the Cub.

I was surprised and relieved to see the front axle not damaged, although i wouldn't expect to be so lucky again.

I really love the little Cub, but like Gary said above, I wonder if a nine horsepower, two-weel drive tractor is really up to the work you are planning.

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Re: Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby tinnerjohn » Tue Sep 07, 2021 11:32 am

While I agree a tractor with more horses is probably more practical, depending on the size of the lot a tractor with the physical size of the Cub or A through 140 might be desirable, My first thought when reading the OP was that while a wide front isn't going to break your wrist like a tricycle will, rocks and ruts will still wake you up, regardless of the size of the tractor, I've run over rocks and logs with 105 to 185 HP tractors that had front wheel assist, even bounced my head off the console above the windshield of a White when I dropped a steer tire into a tile blowout (I
knew it was there but it wasn't where I thought it was!). You have to pay attention. Good Luck figuring out what you want/ need, be safe and have fun. John

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Re: Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby Jim Becker » Tue Sep 07, 2021 12:19 pm

My thoughts were similar to what Don posted. Then I went back and reread the original post. I'm not sure it is a place for any tractor. Show us some pictures of the land.

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Re: Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby Eugene » Tue Sep 07, 2021 12:37 pm

Welcome.

Hire your larger tasks. The Cub is to small and light for many large tasks.

AndiMac wrote:We have large tree piles that need to be sorted out, untangled, bucked, cleared etc.
Fire, burn the piles. Fast, efficient.
We also need to move logs.
You can use a Cub to skid logs. Investigate a log arch.
My husband thinks that when the front wheel of a Farmall Cub hits one of those larger rocks it’s going to jerk the steering wheel right out of your hand - and you can’t stop it or control it.
Not a problem. Travel speed when working is 1, perhaps 2 mph.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby Pap » Tue Sep 07, 2021 2:34 pm

Welcome to the forum AndiMac. I think you can learn a lot of information here. Good luck with your project.
Are We Having Fun Yet ? :D
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Re: Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby Clemsonfor » Tue Sep 07, 2021 6:00 pm

What exactly are you looking to do with the Cub. You list you have piles of trees. Are you trying to cut some of it into firewood, or just clear it? Like others said if just to remove it, burn it. Let it dry a few weeks, dump the diesel fuel onto the pile start you a few small kindling fires and set them ablaze. Keep pushing the pile of you have a loader or dozer or pile it by hand cutting big stuff as it cools. Clearing or turning lang into fields, won't be possible with a Cub of it's full of stumps. Even a 50hp tractor with a loader isn't the tool for that. If it's stumped and it has that many rocks I don't know if plowing with such a small tractor will turn out that well? A Cub will do great cutting grass when it's growing, pulling a log or two at the time as said, tending the garden once established. But will not be the wisest thing to try to do much work on a new piece of land unless it's in pretty decent shape already.

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Re: Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby AndiMac » Wed Sep 08, 2021 3:01 am

Thank you everyone for the wealth of information, thoughts, insights AND the warm welcome! Much appreciated. I think that first question is now settled :) I had a sense that a tractor as popular as the Cub with so many, for so long, probably wasn’t breaking fingers on a daily basis. LOL. However… many points have been made in the comments on this thread that address other issues that have been at the heart of our discussion (my husband and I) about what we need and why.

It’s been an interesting adventure with this property so far. Some very positive… some, not so much.

Things we thought would happen quickly - having been through clearing a driveway and a building site on raw land once before - haven’t been so quick this time around. Many people who do dirt work in our area are simply slammed with work. We’ve been told we can’t even get on the schedule until next year during some of the conversations we’ve had trying to find local equipment operators. I could be missing something there… but if so, I don’t know what it is.

We’ve tried established companies and Craigslist Ads with limited success to get outside help. Hence, the reason we started talking about purchasing a small tractor.

It’s quite possible I have set my sights in the wrong direction with the Cub as this property is not in decent shape. It’s not in shape at all. Not yet. It’s 30 acres of relatively level ground covered with oaks and cedar is what it is… waiting to be sculpted.

We found one company that had one day to give us. They came and cut a driveway and clearing. No grading - as there was no time. At the end of the day we had a culvert, some rock over that culvert section and the rest very disturbed forest soil.

In the clearing, there are no stumps but there are soft holes where trees were pushed over, the rocks that come up in that process, roots sticking out everywhere and several large piles of trees and brush that are too close to the woods to burn where they stand. No firebreaks behind them. We have no choice but to pull that out into the clearing and get it handled - or get a decent firebreak behind it. It’s job #1 at this point.

Ultimately, we’ll need to grade the clearing, spread gravel, move rocks around for foundations and stand framing.

We didn’t go into this planning to plant in the ground on this property. Raised beds and a greenhouse are the plan. And… we have no grass. Not yet :)

We do plan to cut some of what’s in the pile into firewood but a lot of it is cedar which isn’t the best for that purpose, so it’s more likely that will be chipped up. We have a wood chipper on the way, a Ford F-350, a wheelbarrow, shovels and hand tools… Oh… and a chain saw. Really, ground zero. :)

I will post some pictures of the clearing soon. Just need to figure out how to do that, which I will.

My goodness… I think I’ll end here and say again “THANK YOU” to everyone. I appreciate your replies more than you.

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Re: Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby outdoors4evr » Wed Sep 08, 2021 5:46 am

Cut the trees into manageable lengths and use the Ford to move to a safe place for disposal.
For medium size rocks and driveway creation, rent a skid steer with a bucket.
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Re: Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby Eugene » Wed Sep 08, 2021 9:36 am

If your 30 acres is fenced, let a neighbor pasture cattle on it. Cattle will help keep the grass and weeds down.

Cedars, girdle and they will die. The roots rot out fairly fast. You will be able to push the tree over in a couple of years.

Visit all the property neighbors. See if they are having any dozer or highlift work. A lot of time the heavy equipment owners will take on small jobs in the neighborhood when they take on a large job. Saves them moving time.

Rainy day or winter with snow on the ground, burn the wood piles.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Question about ‘49 Farmall Cub Steering

Postby Waif » Fri Sep 10, 2021 11:13 am

A Cub will be handy for secondary work after your land is tamed down much more.

Not many tractors you'll want to drive over rocks with. Rocks can stop you like a wheel chock. And rocks can move about underfoot causing jumps to one side or another. Not good.

How to remove rocks would be my first question. If doing it yourself , the back tiring work of tossing them in a loader bucket , or building a wood stoneboat with to drag them.
It's costly to hire someone with better equipment. And as you mentioned , finding someone to hire...

Peck away and eat an elephant one bite at a time. It adds up , eventually.


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