Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

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Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby willray » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:35 pm

Sad news. There are 4 less cubs in the world. Our barn just burned, and it took out two older "Standard" cubs, as well as a 184 and a 185.

I've never tried to restore a piece of iron that's been through a fire before, and honestly I'm not sure I have it in me to re-do these again, so I come seeking the wisdom of the community:

Should I just have the carcasses scrapped, or, is there enough value in them for parts, that I should push them off to the side and offer anything that doesn't look too-far-gone up for any takers here?

Absolutely, anything aluminum or burnable on them is gone. Things got hot enough that a good number of iron implements in the barn are warped.

Scrap them whole, keep them for parts, anyone want to come and strip bits they might want off the dead bodies?

Any advice or wisdom from experience most greatly appreciated.
Will Ray

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Re: Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby Bob McCarty » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:11 pm

I bought an F cub that was outside a building that burned. The engine, transmission, and finals were shot because of the way the oil burned and gears and bearings were "fused" and extremely hard to disassemble. Hood, radiator, carb, rims were shot. That being said, the seat, front axle, bolster, FH, fenders and lots of small odds and ends were salvageable. If you don't want to disassemble them yourself, you might be able to sell them for a lot more than scrap value would bring and someone else can strip them of useable parts. Sorry to hear about the fire.

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Re: Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby Eugene » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:20 pm

Sorry to hear about the fire.

Aluminum melts at just over 1200 degrees F. Steel over 2400 degrees. From reading the post, I don't think anything is salvageable. Or anything that I thought might be salvageable, -- not worth my time and effort.

I would wait for the insurance company settlement, then call the local scrap metal salvager/dealer.
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Re: Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby Shane Nelson » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:24 pm

Sorry to hear about the fire and your loss, hope everyone is okay as that is more important than any piece of metal could ever be. I am sure there are some things that would be salvageable, I know scrap prices around our area are next to nothing right now. If you want to get rid of them I am sure someone will give you something for them.
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Re: Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby Barnyard » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:03 pm

I often worry about my barn going up in flames. Sorry to hear about yours.
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Re: Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby LRiddle » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:36 pm

Sorry to hear about your misfortune. After all the work that goes into things like this it's a real shame to see it go so fast. Best of luck to you in whatever you decide.
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Re: Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:13 pm

I have salvaged major parts from a burned cub, but it was not in a really hot fire (still had paint on parts of it). If your cubs were anywhere near the implements that warped I would not try to salvage them.
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Re: Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby Stanton » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:32 am

Am so sorry to hear of your barn fire. It's your call on the salvage or scrap question. No one is going to think you're unwise for doing one or the other.
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Re: Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby Matt Kirsch » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:26 am

If the tires burned, there is nothing left to salvage, I'm afraid.

That's pretty much the rule of thumb. Tires burn extremely hot, so if they burned that means the metal has been compromised by extreme heat. I can't remember if it gets very soft or very brittle, but in either case it won't handle what it was designed for. Not to mention warpage.

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Re: Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby willray » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:39 am

If the tires burned, there is nothing left to salvage, I'm afraid.

That's pretty much the rule of thumb. Tires burn extremely hot, so if they burned that means the metal has been compromised by extreme heat. I can't remember if it gets very soft or very brittle, but in either case it won't handle what it was designed for. Not to mention warpage.


Thanks. While bad news, that's the kind of insight I was hoping someone might have. My gut says maybe, maybe trust something like a body tube or axle housings, where the original part was pretty much a raw casting and neither dimensional tolerances, nor heat-treatment were involved, but other than that, it felt unlikely that much was going to be usable for its original purpose.


So - what does everybody think about engine or transmission cut-aways? I don't know whether it's actually practical to get decent looking results out of what's left, but if I can get the parts moving, I can toss a block on the mill and open it up. At least in my mind, cleaned up, that could be kind of a neat display to have in the shop.

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Re: Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby Don McCombs » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:54 am

If the tractors had wheel weights, they should be fine.
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Re: Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby willray » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:16 am

If the tractors had wheel weights, they should be fine.


Heh - in the ultimate irony, the wheel weights were sitting outside the shop, nicely shielded by a pallet full of firebrick, so they didn't even get their paint scorched.

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Re: Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:09 am

Having salvaged parts from a burned tractor I have learned a few things. If the seals did not burn and there is still oil in the engine, transmission, finals there is a good possibility many of the parts and housing can be salvaged, though small parts probably did not survive. If the rubber/leather in the seals burned, and/or the oil inside everything burned, you have scrap metal. The longer it sets in the weather, the worse trying to do anything with it is.
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Re: Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby DRShahan » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:35 pm

A cutaway engine would be awfully neat! I'm sure it would be quite the project, but you have more than one set if something doesn't go right. Make sure you start a post for it if you go down that route!

I expect a band saw could save a lot of milling time. There might be internal stresses from the heat in the castings, so parts might move as you're cutting pieces out.

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Re: Burned cubs - salvage or scrap?

Postby Jim Becker » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:52 pm

First off, I extend my sympathy on your loss. I have known others that have had similar losses. Most of them manage to deal with it and get on with things. From this question, it appears that you are doing so as well.

As far as usable parts from the tractor, it mainly depends on which parts and how hot they got. There is an additional question as to how difficult they will be to remove/salvage. The first things burned off are the paint and any external oil or grease. Add in the water from fighting the fire, and rust is almost immediate and will get worse fairly quickly. So any salvage is best done as soon as possible.

Some things melt at pretty low temperatures and are probably obvious losses (radiator, starter, generator, etc.). The iron/steel parts that were not heat treated are probably OK if they have not warped beyond usability. Think about parts that can be repaired by welding (e.g. front axle). If a part can be properly repaired by welding, heat that doesn't obviously warp it isn't going to destroy it. Parts you can't generally repair with a welder, like a gear or shaft that was originally heat treated or had high precision requirements, may be junk even if it looks OK. For those parts, I would use the oil inside the housings as a guide. If the oil smells burnt, I'd junk the parts. If the oil is OK, the parts probably weren't hot enough to be hurt.


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