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Farmall Super A, AV, 1939 - 1954

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Fence Row AI - Questions?

Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:26 am

I know where there has been sitting an International AI tractor. It's sitting in a fence row behind a local bar, and has been for years. The paint (whats left of it) is yellow, and it definitely has the square tube front axle rather than the round tube, so I'm assuming that it is a factory original AI. The tractor looks complete, and is poka dotted with paint and rust.

I think it would be fun to do a total tear down and re-assembly of a tractor (I'm not sure why, I must be sick), but I've never attempted one in such condition, having sat outside for years without use.

SO, my first question, what should I offer if I try to go get it. I'm guessing it is a complete overhaul, total tear down and re-build of everything.

Should I even attempt one in such a condition? I may get into it and it could be a total loss, however, with the A engine having sleeves in the cylinders, I would think that the engine could be resleeved and the crank turned, and re-built without any trouble. Obviously I'm assuming that the block is not cracked or broken. OK, maybe I need to go take a really good look at this thing before even going after it.

I was thinking of offering $400, thinking that even if it turns out to be a parts tractor, I could recover my money if it cannot be rebuilt.

I just don't know. What are your thoughts?

Thanks,
Bill

Re: Fence Row AI - Questions?

Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:07 am

Farm Equipment Guide says the "A" weighs just over 1 ton. So, maybe $150- to $200- at the scrap yard.

Just my opinion - If the IA could not be used as a parts tractor for another IH product I owned - I would pass.

For a project tractor - much cheaper to buy one in running condition - you can kick the tires and take it for a test drive.

Re: Fence Row AI - Questions?

Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:58 am

I agree with Eugene. Offer scrap value and see what happens.

Re: Fence Row AI - Questions?

Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:05 am

Eugene wrote:Farm Equipment Guide says the "A" weighs just over 1 ton. So, maybe $150- to $200- at the scrap yard.

Just my opinion - If the IA could not be used as a parts tractor for another IH product I owned - I would pass.

For a project tractor - much cheaper to buy one in running condition - you can kick the tires and take it for a test drive.


Yesterday, I got $290/ton for a bunch of scrap parts/pieces. I was pleasantly surprised. So much so that I may make another trip.

Bill

Re: Fence Row AI - Questions?

Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:15 am

If the exhaust is not covered, figure on needing a head., as well as pistons and sleeves for a minimum repair. I am assuming it is a super with hydraulics, since I don't think they made the standard A in an industrial version. As to economics of getting a usable tractor4 out of the deal, it is probably cheaper to buy a running one, as has already been mentioned. If you are just wanting to fix up and have an unusual tractor, then you have to balance bank account versus how bad you want to do it.

Re: Fence Row AI - Questions?

Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:24 am

There was an International version of the A, so it could be either an A or Super A. If sitting out with exhaust open, it is likely to need a manifold too.

The most common freeze crack on the A and Super A engines is the water jacket area of the block. It will show up as a horizontal crack behind the carburetor. Extreme cases could have multiple cracks or a chunk broken out. Also check the front ears of the block for scructural cracks similar to those seen on Cub engines.

Re: Fence Row AI - Questions?

Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:25 pm

It is all in how much you want to get involved in a rebuild. My dad is working on a 1950 Case VAI he found in a fence row. Bush hogged about 10 acres for it. He has gotten the motor free and is working on a repaint right now. It is going to need alot of parts but it is what he enjoys. He has rebuilt 3 H's and repainted 2 of them. Once in awhile he even lets me help him. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: Fence Row AI - Questions?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:40 pm

there were only 6 or 7 thousand each made of the AI and Super AI, so the parts that are special to the industrial model have some value. that includes the foot throttle linkage, gov control rod, square axle, cast spindles, lower bolster and support rod. the AV used some of those parts also

tractors that are left outside in this part of the country are more difficult to restore. cracked blocks, rusted up transmissions, deeply pitted and bent up sheet metal, frozen bolts, and rusted out gas tanks make the project that much harder and more costly than a barn kept tractor.

i'd entertain it in the $200-$300 region, more if the motor was free and theres green stuff in the radiator, and if it was too far gone, strip it, scrap it, and wait for another tractor to recieve the industrial parts.

a friend of mine has a Bates Steel Mule crawler he brought back from the dead. a rusted hulk that needed serious track frame repair, and had broken cylinder castings. sat outside all its life. but the transmission was near perfect, needing only a grease change, so you never know till you open them up.

Re: Fence Row AI - Questions?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:15 pm

Lots of good advise here. My rule is to never put more $ into a tractor than it's worth. I don't mind putting money into a tractor as long as I know I'll get it back out if need be. You never know what your financial condition will be down the road and if I need to liquidate, I want to be able to recoup my investment.

That being said, you also have to look at your abilities. If you can perform 90-95% of the work needed to "make it like new", you're way ahead of the game. I've seen guys buy a tractor at a reasonable price and pay someone to do most of the work restoring it, and end up with 3 times what the tractor is worth.

If the tractor is rare (i.e. has more value) or you have some sentimental attachment to it that opens up the window regarding the money you may want to spend doing a restoration. However, if you are just looking for a tractor to restore, buy the best example you can find and start with that, you'll save yourself a lot of money. Also, just because you see a tractor that would make a nice project but you really don't have a use for it or it's not something that you've always wanted, walk away from it and find something you really want and tackle that.

Above all have fun. If it ain't fun, it's just another job.

Re: Fence Row AI - Questions?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:49 pm

ok i got what may be a stupid question i picked up a 42 farmall a parts tractor that had the square axle and the support rod but the serial number was definitely 42 farmall a no ai so what gives ?

Re: Fence Row AI - Questions?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:02 pm

Dirtyred,
I believe that you could have a 42 AI. I am not certain, but I believe the Industrial version of the tractor was offered after 1940. The industrial version had the fixed front axle (square tube) and could have had the foot throttle.

Thanks to everyone's comments. I'm going to go try to get a better look next weekend.

Thanks,
Bill

Re: Fence Row AI - Questions?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:48 pm

Bill:

I am no expert.. surely don't have too many tractors etc., so not all that much experience in evaluating viability of a specific tractor project. But I do have some experience in life and in life almost cut short. I learned valuable lessons. One of those lessons I learned was that our time in uncertain and life can change without notice. Planning for something 20 years down the road is prudent, but if one has to put off living today to ensure life 20 years down the road.. it ain't worth it. So now if I want to do something and it is viable/affordable and it makes sense to me as well as it's potential to provide quality enjoyment time, then it is worth the purchase and whatever it takes over time to complete the project.

I guess what I am saying is if you think this fence row AI will give you months of enjoyment, relaxation and pleasure from little jobs done well, then go for it. Life is just too short.


Oh, offer scrap value and up as you see fit.. :D
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