Dating an F-20?

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Dating an F-20?

Postby Ronny Bailey » Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:11 pm

Is there a way I can find out when our F-20 was made?
I was in Madisonville a few days ago and was checking it out.
Spent about an hour spraying PB Blaster on all the nuts and bolts in case I ever want to work on it.
Just barely could make out the serial number. It's T-125989, if I read it right.
It's red, so I think that would make it from the late 30s.
Would need a lot of work, but I like it.
It kind of has bittersweet memories for me because in 1980 my Dad was working on it.
I was kind of young and not interested in tractors then.
He took the head off it (by himself) and had a major heart attack.
Was never able to play with tractors again after that. Or anything else strenuous.
It's been sitting under the shed ever since, just like he left it all those years ago.
Haven't been able to find out much about them.
There don't seem to be any enthusiast groups for them like the Cubs - just general Farmall groups.
Any information would be greatly appreciated! :)
Ronny
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Re: Dating an F-20?

Postby Eugene » Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:38 pm

501 = 1932
1251 = 1933
3001 = 1934
6382 = 1935
32716 = 1936
68749 = 1937
105597 = 1938
130865 = 1939
135700 = 1940
I have an excuse. CRS.
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Re: Dating an F-20?

Postby Dan England » Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:57 am

Ronny: If you have not done so you might want to check out the Farmall and IHC forum at http://www.ytmag.com. Dan
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Re: Dating an F-20?

Postby Pony Master » Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:56 pm

We have one at the farm. My Uncle bought it from an elderly lady many many many years ago for $100. We get it out from time to time, but it is not all that handy to use. Interesting conversation piece, but hard to drive.
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Re: Dating an F-20?

Postby jckengr » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:04 pm

Hi:
The "T" in the serial suggest to me that it is a 'regular' (preceeded the F-20). If it has a 3 speed transmission it is a Reguar (basic Farmall). If it has a 4 speed transmission then it is an F-20 and should have a serial beginning with FA

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Re: Dating an F-20?

Postby dgrapes59 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:19 pm

Ronny, you are fortunate to have some Farmalls with family ties, that really makes them special, a labor of love! I wish I had one that was connectied to my grandfather, but the only one know was an old International 10-20 Kerosene tractor. The picture we found said it was his, in 1936, before my dad or uncle was born and they don't know anything about it. Still a neat picture... speaking of which, you should take some of this tractor next trip down and post, I am sure it will be popular with the group. Good luck and I am looking forward to hearing your progress with it.
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Re: Dating an F-20?

Postby Ronny Bailey » Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:40 am

jckengr wrote:Hi:
The "T" in the serial suggest to me that it is a 'regular' (preceeded the F-20). If it has a 3 speed transmission it is a Reguar (basic Farmall). If it has a 4 speed transmission then it is an F-20 and should have a serial beginning with FA

John, it definitely has the T in the serial number - was even able to get a picture of it.
I'll have to do more research on the Regular/F-20 issue, because everything I've found points to it being an F-20.
Not sure about how many gears it has, but it does have a box on the front of the transmission. I think it's an external overdrive unit. There's a rod coming up out of it that bends back, with a bracket near the end that hooks to the gearshift.
I'll take a closer look at the transmission the next time I'm up there.


David, I did take quite a few pictures of it the last time I was there.
I'll have to resize them and post them. Thanks for reminding me. :)
There probably won't be any progress to report. I'm just trying to do some things to preserve it.
The next tractor project would be the little Gibson. It's really simple and everyone who sees it, likes it.
And the motor isn't stuck! :D
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Re: Dating an F-20?

Postby cubguy's dad » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:01 am

Ronny,
The easiest way to tell them apart is by the steering gears.

The Regular had an open steering gear box, the pinion and the rack were exposed.

The F-20 had a enclosed gear box (automotive style) that has grease in it.

The box in front of the trans. is an overdrive unit. This was a dealer installed option so the tractor could have some road speed. These old tractors were geared low for steel wheels,steel wheels were not made to go fast. A lot of overdrives were installed when these tractors were cut down and put on rubber tires. By road speed I mean that instead of 4-5 mph the tractor wouid do about 7-8 mph in overdrive.

Harvester shipped base tractors to the dealers and the buyer could choose any or all options (available from Harvester) if they desired. Some of the options were electric starting, lighting (No battery generator) several tire combinations and overdrive just to name a few. The dealers sold and installed the options. Finding a tractor with all the options is rare. I had an F-14 with all the options except the lighting package (these are the rarest of options as farmers of the time did not believe in running tractors after dark) I have only seen a couple of lighting options on tractors.

Sounds like you are going to have your work cut out for you in getting your fleet of Farmalls going.

Sounds like fun to me.

Mark
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Re: Dating an F-20?

Postby dgrapes59 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:43 pm

Ronny... you know it is coming.... resize those Gibson pictures and post as well, I bet it is cool! :{_}:
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Re: Dating an F-20?

Postby Jim Becker » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:09 pm

I think the tractor is probably a regular that has had some updates over the years. A Regular with that serial number would be 1931 (117784-131871).

The steering gear is enclosed but doesn't look like any I have seen, suspect it is an aftermarket enclosure.
It has a single front wheel, all three are round spoke wheels, no cut-offs (pretty cool). Overdrive may have been added with the rubber tires.
Appears to have an F-20 manifold as the exhaust goes straight up but also appears to have a Regular brass carburetor.
The rear housing doesn't have the cast in foot rests directly above the rear axle, which would have been on a later F-20.
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Re: Dating an F-20?

Postby 56cub » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:57 pm

I think there shold be date codes that you can use also to get a rough idea of when it was made.
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Re: Dating an F-20?

Postby Ronny Bailey » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:48 am

dgrapes59 wrote:Ronny... you know it is coming.... resize those Gibson pictures and post as well, I bet it is cool! :{_}:

David, I took quite a few of the Gibson but it was dark by that time and the batteries were so low the flash didn't work.\
All that came out were the engine pics. I'll take more later and post them.

56cub wrote:I think there shold be date codes that you can use also to get a rough idea of when it was made.

I'll try and get some of the codes. I assume someone here will know how I can convert them to dates?

I plan on going back this week. Will have to borrow a camera since mine went out. (Canon with factory defect-sent off for free repair) I'll take more pics of the Gibson. :)

Jim, from reading this article, it looks like I should be able to figure out pretty easy if it's a Regular. They say the F-20 was 17 inches longer than the Regular, and the displacement was increased. I can measure the cylinder bore. On the length, that's from where to where? Wheelbase, maybe?
Is there anything else I should look for on the Farmall? Maybe take pictures of something?
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Re: Dating an F-20?

Postby Jim Becker » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:48 am

The length figures are overall length. I would guess that would be from the back edge of the drawbar to the front of the front tires. I never tried measuring either model. Guy Fay's data book gives the same length numbers as the article. It also says they both have an 85" wheelbase. So I don't know where the length difference comes from. Maybe they added the length of the crank to the F-20 number?

There was one easy to spot date code on most F-20s. It is front center on the upper steering bolster.
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Re: Dating an F-20? (more pictures)

Postby Ronny Bailey » Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:32 am

I got some more info on this one. It may be some kind of hybrid, but it seems to have a lot of F-20.
Hopefully, this will help with ID.

The transmission would only move in an H pattern, but it has a spring at the bottom of the shift lever.
I was thinking if it's a four speed, maybe you have to press it down to get reverse but it wouldn't go down.
Could just be stuck, though. I don't know.

Took some measurements (all are close estimates):
The frame rail alone was 7' 1"
Drawbar to the front of the front tire was 10' 6"
Drawbar to center of front wheel was 9'

The air filter housing said Model 20 with S/N 45987
PTO box had a (date?) code of 4-10
The manifold had HR121

The camera batteries were almost dead, so I could only get three pictures.

Engine block reads 428D8 and 4 9 near as I can tell. It was hard to make out even after cleaning it up some.
I know it looks like 3's but when I was there in person they looked more like 8's.
Image

Upper steering bolster reads either 556DF or 1556DF
Image

Viewed at just the right angle, you can barely make out 'F-20' on the gas tank.
I hadn't been able to make that part out before.
The whole tank reads:
McCormick-Deering
Farmall
F-20
Image
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Re: Dating an F-20? (more pictures)

Postby Jim Becker » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:07 pm

Ronny Bailey wrote:The transmission would only move in an H pattern, but it has a spring at the bottom of the shift lever.
I was thinking if it's a four speed, maybe you have to press it down to get reverse but it wouldn't go down.
Could just be stuck, though. I don't know.

These tractors had a coil spring around the shift lever (similar to on the Cub) that presses down on the socket cap. Is that what you are describing? Sounds like it is a 3-speed.

Ronny Bailey wrote:The manifold had HR121

That is the part number of a Heisler (aftermarket) manifold for a Regular.

Ronny Bailey wrote:Engine block reads 428D8 and 4 9 near as I can tell. It was hard to make out even after cleaning it up some.
I know it looks like 3's but when I was there in person they looked more like 8's.

The "D" part numbers started out with just a "D" suffix. As it was updated, a second letter was added, giving "DA", "DB", "DC" etc. The engine block for an F-20 was 423D and revised to 423DD by 1938. I believe the number on your block is 423DB. I don't have the part number for a Regular block so don't know if it was the same as an F-20, likely it was the same.

Ronny Bailey wrote:Upper steering bolster reads either 556DF or 1556DF

From the picture, it looks to me like 1556DF. The F-20 part number I have for the upper bolster is 3546DX (X indicates a higher assembly type part). The part number of the upper bolster probably changed with changes to the steering gear. I don't have earlier bolster numbers.
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