That Special Feeling

Sat May 22, 2004 7:19 am

As you all might remember, Ellie-Mae has a terrible problem with the drain plug on the front bolster. My brother-in-law George had torn up the end so bad it was just a point and could not be removed. We had even tried welding on a nut with a stick welder to no avail.

Also, I have mentioned over the last little while that Ellie was kind of stick on shifting and tended to grind a bit which was worrisome for someone who never played with a clutch before.

Anyways, to start with the story.

I have been building another one of my little projects :oops: :roll: and was taking Ellie over to see my father-in-law when this Ram 1500 4x4 screeches to a sudden halt in front of Ellie and I. Well, a little un-nerved we proceeded to where my FIL was sitting on the swing, shut down Ellie, took a breath or two and turned to meet these two guys from the truck.

Seems they are neighbours, my son Duane knows Jerry's son - yadayadayada :? They have also been paying attention to my antics with Ellie as I strove to get her purring like the proverbial kitten. Didn't know it, but Jerry's Dad, Al has a 52 with a fast hitch 194, Cub-54 blade, disc harrow, spring harrow and a Cub-22 mower among other things.

They noticed that Ellie runs like a top, (thanks to all the great guys and their help here on the forums :!: ) and were meaning to stop by on numerous occassions but things happen so the stop was delayed. Apparently their Cub barely runs, grinds like all get out, smokes a bit and generally is in ill health. Good shape, but is showing its age.

We chatted about the project I have been working on, and then they asked if I would help them fix up their Cub and they would pay me whatever I wanted to boot :!: Some serious they are about getting their Cub running - planting time is here and Al wants to put in a garden. He hasn't been able to easily for the last year or two because the Cub was running so poorly. Everything they tried didn't work.

Sooooo, I agreed to help with whatever I could on one major condition. I did not want to be paid any money, neighbours don't do that, they trade, barter share, but cash makes it almost like a business....

Oh for the time frame - this was this past Thursday at about 6pm or so. They said they would bring the tractor over in the next couple of days or so, and I could play with it at my leisure....... soooo needless to say I was kind of surprised when their truck pulled into my driveway hauling a trailer with a Cub hidden inside at 9:45pm THAT NIGHT :!: :shock: :?

We unloaded the Cub, Al started it up, and it was everything they said it was. Ran like pooh, smelled like it, putted and burped like crazy, and the carb leaked all over the place. Put it into gear and grind, crunch -- you get the picture. We agreed that I would have a look in the morning and then get to it as soon as I had me project completed.

Sooo, that is what we did. I played with the idle screws - got it running smoother, but as I suspected - there was dirt in the fuel system. Oh, not fuel bowl, an in-line filter, a couple of different rubber hoses and this god awful contraption stuck into the gas inlet on the carb - yikes! Gonna have to rebuild the carb. Ordered the parts - be here next Wednesday (holiday weekend - Queen Victoria's birthday - now mind you she has been gone over a 100 years, but we still get the 4 day weekend). Took the carb apart in the meanwhile to see what it looked like --- yuuuuck! 1/4 teaspoon junk in the float compartment. Little hole at the end of the jet plugged as well as the other orifices! Cleaned all that and reassembled the carb. Lots of other problems with the carb as well, but will get to them during the rebuild.

Next, I took a page from John and George's book. Decided that while I was there, I would check the tube from the air breather to the block ---- plugged up tighter than a drum. Cleaned that, reassembled and started it up. Mmmmmm - much smoother, adjust this a little, then that a little and it is starting to run better.

Next! Move on to the clutch. Give David a call -- much needed advice and clearly given as well, even I could understand it, thanks to all the discussion here on the fingers and their adjustment - thanks guys :!: Loosend the nut and 1/2 turn on each finger, one at a time. Button it up, and gave it a run.

Runs better, not great, but much better. Al, can now plow his garden and Jerry and I will continue the repairs/rebuilds over the next few weeks/months. Come spring they hope to have it totally restored.

Oh, here is a side bar ---

Turns out, unbeknownst to me that this particular Cub was actually bought brand new from the dealer in 52 by my FIL's GodFather and Uncle - Ovila LeBlanc. It was sold to Al's father just after Ovila had his first heart attack, about a year before he died back in the 60's. So kind of a family connection here!

Just to finish off the story, Jerry had me bring Ellie over to his place last night, and that was the nicest 5 km drive I had with Ellie. He put a nut over the drain plug, mig welded it, and now I can drain my rad. We also adjusted her clutch fingers as well and now there is no more noises and she shifts beautifully.

Aren't neighbours wonderful :?:

Gotta run, need to build a puter for a buddy, he just walked in the door.. cheers :lol:

Sat May 22, 2004 7:38 am

8) very 8) :D
now i got to go put pete back together. his transmission was out for bearings (and a shaft), and is now back where it belongs. pan, finals, steering shaft, etc. and then off to paint. That is, if Pete's gonna make it to CubFest :!: :!:
lesson for the day to myself.. take EVERYTHING apart the first time. nothing is 'good enough' :D

Sat May 22, 2004 8:22 am

Nice story Rudi!

I have a fair amount of grinding when I shift, could you point me in the right direction on the adjustments you where talking about? :wink:


Sat May 22, 2004 8:25 am

Rudi, glad to hear you got Ellie's drain plug problem solved. good neighbors are great to have, whether thye are close by, or a few hundred miles away.

Sat May 22, 2004 9:41 am


You got that right, and we both know it too don't we :!: :D :?:


K, here is what we did.

First go to page 32 in the TC-37A Parts Catalog.


In the diagram you will see parts numbered 2, 3 and 4.

Part # 4 is the fingers or the Release Lever. Part #3 is the lock nut and Part #2 is the adjusting screw.

(Oh two people are best, that way you don't have to crawl out from under the tractor too often :!: :roll: )

Rotate the engine over until you see the adjusting screw and nut and have access with a 1/2" wrench. Turn counter clockwise to loosen. Once the nut is loosend, turn with a standard bit in a ratchet 1/2 turn clockwise. Then retighten the lock nut.

Rotate the engine and repeat above until all three are done.

You should notice that the grinding is gone or there is substantial improvement. If it has not gone completely away, repeat with a 1/4 turn clockwise on the adjusting screw.

This is what we did. Now, depending on your problem you may have to turn the adjusting screw counterclockwise, but you will see that almost immediately.

Now, guys correct me if I am wrong, but, by using Jethro's exposed clutch assembly, we figured this out and we also checked the measurement. The stated figure used for adjusting the clutch appears to be pretty darn good, because when we adjusted Jethro's fingers and measured the distance from the face to the finger tip, it was exactly 1-1/8" before adjustment and 1-1/4" after adjustment. We used this on Ellie and it worked perfectly.

Your tranny should shift smoothly and quietly after this adjustment.

Wow :!: The things you can learn just from reading posts on this forum. As in my case, I did not understand, nor could I visualize what all this meant until the last couple of days. Eventually though, the information I have absorbed did prove useful and I now rather rudimentarily understand the workings of the clutch.

Oh, if in doubt about the usefulness of information - see signature line :wink: :lol:

Sat May 22, 2004 7:39 pm

WOW Rudi! That is great direction. I think once I get in there and have a look-see it will make sense.

Now if I could find a complete guide (in simple terms just like your directions) to rebuild an engine I would be in great shape! Although I don't think the '55 is in need quite yet. But If I knew how to do a rebuild I could buy another tractor that needed it, buy the tools to do it, and find a new wife to put up with it! :wink: :wink:

Two out of three aint bad :roll:


Sat May 22, 2004 11:25 pm

Shopp'n Cubs wrote:Now if I could find a complete guide (in simple terms just like your directions) to rebuild an engine I would be in great shape!

I found a website with a video on how to rebuild cub engines specifically. I have never seen it, but it may be worth a look. Anyone ever seen this? If it is any good, I might pick it up.

Mon May 24, 2004 8:33 am

I just purchased this video. It may be overkill but I want to be sure I put the engine back together exactly right. With the manual & video I should be confident enough to get it done. It cost $29.00 with S&H. A small price to pay for the extra confidence. I'll play movie critic and let you know what I think.

Mon May 24, 2004 5:04 pm

Please do get back with a report on the video. Keeping in mind the (non)mechanic type's like me :wink:


Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:24 am


What are your thoughts on the video?


Did you get a copy???