Looking for some guidance

Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:24 pm

Hello, I'm looking for some opinions on a possible Cub purchase. I'll start by saying this is not my first tractor, but it may be my first red one. I'm looking at a '49 Cub. According to the owner, it's been in the family since 1952. It looks very nice. It has been in a shed or garage all it's life. It has the front mounted blade and I can still read the yellow printing on the left side and still see the IH symbol on the right. The tractor is still 6 volt, has great original paint considering it's 64 years old, and a hydraulic blade lift. I looked inside the gas tank and it looks very clean, and so does the anti-freeze. The oil is dark, but not milky, The axle seals are moist with some gunk build up around them, but thy don't leak enough to wet the wheels or drip. The front engine seal might have an issue, it's wet in the area, but not enough to drip. There's a set of weights on the rear wheels and he also has a set of chains for it.

The only 3 negative things I noticed were....

1. The rear tires are cracking in the sidewalls from sitting with too little air. I asked if they were loaded, but he didn't think so, so I'm thinking they're not and there's not corrosion near the valve stems.

2. The arm that lifts the blade on the right side, has make deep scratches in the gas tank. I think removing a bit from the end of the lift arm would prevent further wear.

3. I haven't heard it run yet. The battery is dead and the owner was going to charge it and let me know when he had it running.

My questions are...... What else should I be looking at? And, What do you think it's worth? I know everyone will have a different opinion on the value. I'm looking for a tractor that runs, has a blade, Is in decent shape without needing a lot of work.... Opinions???

Oh, he's asking $1995

Re: Looking for some guidance

Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:01 pm

This might help some. http://www.atis.net/CubFAQ/cub_faq.html#q10.

Price doesn't seem completely out of line from what I've seen but maybe a little on the high side. I'd really want to see and hear it run though and take a test ride and listen to the transmission and feel the steering.

Re: Looking for some guidance

Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:16 pm

Check the ears where motor bolts to front bolster. If you are there when he tries to start it prime the oil pump

Re: Looking for some guidance

Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:53 pm

ErikR wrote: It has the front mounted blade and I can still read the yellow printing on the left side and still see the IH symbol on the right. The blade will work well for moving snow and is worth $200- $250 by itself.

The tractor is still 6 volt, has great original paint considering it's 64 years old, and a hydraulic blade lift. Definitely a plus. I like the 6 volt systems and I'd only consider a tractor for plowing snow having hydraulics


I looked inside the gas tank and it looks very clean, and so does the anti-freeze. The oil is dark, but not milky, Another plus.

The axle seals are moist with some gunk build up around them, but thy don't leak enough to wet the wheels or drip. The front engine seal might have an issue, it's wet in the area, but not enough to drip. I'd consider this normal and not be worried about it.

There's a set of weights on the rear wheels and he also has a set of chains for it. Again, another plus.

The only 3 negative things I noticed were....

1. The rear tires are cracking in the sidewalls from sitting with too little air. I asked if they were loaded, but he didn't think so, so I'm thinking they're not and there's not corrosion near the valve stems. Not loaded is a good thing. Old tires with some cracking is usually not a big deal unless it abrades or pinches the tube or allows the tube to extrude out of the tire.

2. The arm that lifts the blade on the right side, has make deep scratches in the gas tank. I think removing a bit from the end of the lift arm would prevent further wear. How deep the grooves is might be a problem as the tank is only sheet metal so there is not much material there. If the grooves are only in the paint, it's only a cosmetic issue.

3. I haven't heard it run yet. The battery is dead and the owner was going to charge it and let me know when he had it running. A new battery will be in order, you can bank on that. The oil pump on a Cub is not located in the oil pan like most engines, it's mounted behind the flywheel and when the tractor has set for a long time it can loose it's prime. If the owner starts the Cub without priming the pump and it has lost it's prime, the motor will need a complete rebuild.

My questions are...... What else should I be looking at? As Mike mentioned look for broken or cracked ears on the front of the engine block where the front bolster attaches to the engine block. Those have a tendency to break. If they are cracked or broken, walk away from it.

And, What do you think it's worth? I know everyone will have a different opinion on the value. I'm looking for a tractor that runs, has a blade, Is in decent shape without needing a lot of work.... Opinions???

Oh, he's asking $1995. Across the Lake here in Michigan the most you could expect to pay for the tractor is $1500 if everything works as it should and runs well. If it is a non-runner, no more than $1000 and for that $1000 you'd have to be pretty sure it will require no major engine work. If you don't mind a little work and can buy it as a non-runner for $1000 you might get yourself a bargain.

Re: Looking for some guidance

Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:01 pm

To much money for a tractor that is probably worn out. Cylinders are not sleeved - engine work can get very expensive.

When was last engine overhaul? Compression test results? Oil pressure after engine is well warmed up?

I'm cheaper than Ricky Racer. $400- for a non runner to perhaps $500-.

Re: Looking for some guidance

Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:22 pm

I'm with Eugene on the price but we're from roughly the same area. For me, you'd be hard pressed to get me above $12- 1500 for a running tractor unless it's somethinng exceptional or with more than a single impliment. Some of the WI folks may have a better idea of the local prices.

Re: Looking for some guidance

Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:25 pm

Erik,

Price can be discussed and argued and is good for guidance, but it comes down to what you feel comfortable with after gathering information. That also seems a little high to me, (for this area) but there is a lot of unknowns. Ricky's evaluation is what I would think as well.

Here is a link to FAQ's on Cub's, should be helpful, #10 is specific in what to look for when inspecting a Cub for possible purchase.
http://www.antique-tractor.com/CubFAQ/cub_faq.html

Keep us posted!

Good luck,

Re: Looking for some guidance

Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:22 am

Thanks everyone for the replies. I'll be sure to check out a few things a bit closer.

I was looking at the FAQ's and at some of the manuals online. I noticed that the owner has the lift rod for the plow attached to the upper hole of the rockshaft but the manuals show it in the lower hole. I can see that changing the hole the lift rod is in might keep it from rubbing on the tank.

I don't know if I can time my next visit so I can be there when he tries to start it. I hope he watches the oil pressure!

Thanks again,

Erik.

Re: Looking for some guidance

Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:42 am

ErikR wrote:I hope he watches the oil pressure!

You may want to call him and remind him to do so. If not you may unsuspectingly buy a Cub with a bad engine.

Re: Looking for some guidance

Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:39 pm

I want to thank everyone for their input and helpful links. I went and looked at the Cub again and thought I was very nice. It started very easy, the PTO worked fine, it was quiet in all forward gears and reverse, and the oil pressure came up within seconds of starting the engine. There didn't appear to be any cracked castings.

I passed on the deal. Something just wasn't right. I can't place my finger on it but my gut was saying no. The right side lift arm for the blade lift had deeply scratched the gas tank. I don't mean the paint, it was shaving off slivers of gas tank with each raising and lowering of the blade. The steering felt very loose, and the throttle seemed to be either idle or 1800 rpm with little in between.

I'm sure these are all minor things that could be fixed with some wrenching, but something told me to pass on it. I'll keep looking for something local that meets my needs.

Thanks again,
Erik.