Old IH combine in action

Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:02 pm

Last weekend I harvested, with the help of some friends from IH Collector's Chapter 37, 4 acres of wheat with a 1944 IH McCormick-Deering 52R combine, pulled by a 1957 Farmall 450. While I have mentioned this combine before, a reminder: It is a sacker model, and is equipped with the optional Continental Y-69 engine, instead of the standard PTO drive from the tractor. I also have a Cub (U-1) powered 52R, it is a 1949 model with a grain bin, but unfortunately I just couldn't get it ready to go in time, though the Cub engine does indeed still run like a top. We started at 10AM and finshed the wheat about 5:30, we took about an hour and a half for lunch when I accidentally choked the engine off--I accidentally "popped" the clutch instead of easing it out. Other than that, the old gal ran like a top, and the guys had fun taking turns on the sacker. While we had a good time, we were all glad we didn't have to make a living this way.....it makes a new caseIH 2577 or 2588 look REAL nice!

Several folks took pictures, I took a break in the afternoon and let somebody else drive the tractor so I could get a few. This is our IH Collector's Chapter president driving, with another IHCC member on the sacker...






We used our Chapter President's nice Louisville Super M to haul the wheat out. We hooked it to our old (now backup) MF grinder mixer, and would go around the field and dump the bags in it. It made a cheap and easy "grain cart." MF mixers were made by Arts-Way, who also made IH's grinder mixers. If you have the two side by side, they look VERY similar.

We had the mixer nearly full but decided not to put any more in it as the tires were really squatting and I thought I could hear a wheel bearing.....decided we didn't need to do a major repair in the middle of a wheat field on a Saturday evening......so I have about 20 bags stacked on my trailer with a tarp over it. Hope to get it hauled to the elevator as soon as I can get a gravity wagon borrowed....


Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:41 pm

Al, that brings back memories. Yhe best I can recalect my uncles conbine had hooks on both sides so when one bag was full you would through a lever and it would start filling a bag on the other side while you tied the full one. A nasty job, we would jump off from time to time to catch young rabbets when you was cleaning up. Dad would rase the devil when we did that :D
Thanks for the memories

Sat Jun 23, 2007 4:31 pm

Yes David this one has that setup. You hook two bags on at a time, when the first one fills you flick the lever and it starts to fill the other while you tie it and get a new bag in place. Of course my combine hasn't been used much so the little chute on the back of the bagger platform is not slick and shiny so the bags didn't slide off on the ground as good.

When no one is around to bag, I tie a piece of twine to the lever so I can fill both bags before I have to stop. 8)


Sun Jun 24, 2007 10:30 pm

where's the grain yield monitor?
:D :D :D

I still have a few parts from my 52R powerplant. If you have never had a combine motor and a cub motor running side by side, you would not believe how much more power that combine engine has. I can spin my cub at 2800 rpm with the combine engine. deffinitely a beast. :D

someday I hope to find a 52R locally. there weren't that many around to begin with. They are deffinitely fun to play with. You shouldn't have any problems pulling one with a Super A with nice flat ground like you have.

Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:14 pm

John68 wrote:where's the grain yield monitor?
:D :D :D

I still have a few parts from my 52R powerplant. If you have never had a combine motor and a cub motor running side by side, you would not believe how much more power that combine engine has. I can spin my cub at 2800 rpm with the combine engine. deffinitely a beast. :D

someday I hope to find a 52R locally. there weren't that many around to begin with. They are deffinitely fun to play with. You shouldn't have any problems pulling one with a Super A with nice flat ground like you have.

I have had my Cub combine engine running, and you're right, it is a SCREAMER!!! When you engage the clutch and the govenor opens up, it really sounds like a small Detroit Diesel!! :shock: I think when I finally do get it in the field, I will fix a wire hook of some sort where I can hook the governor arm going to the carb and slow it down a little when I am unloading the bin. Might save wear on the unloading auger too.


Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:53 pm

Great Pics Thanks for sharing them with us!!!! 8) 8) Kevin

Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:29 pm


Have you considered putting the throttle on a cub quadrant, off of the clutch lever? The one I got was rigged like that. The owner thought that it ran too hard or sometimes it would kick in too late when he engaged the clutch and it would stall and flood out. by having it separate, you can rev it up before engaging the clutch and run it slower or faster depending on what you were combining. I really wish I hadn't scrapped that thing. looking back, it probably could have been fixed up to run. the straw walker was falling through the bottom, and it probably could have just had a new bed welded in and a new canvas. At the time it looked like a sheet metal benders nightmare. I'm sure if I had the chance to look at it again, I would come to the same conclusion.

BTW, what was your yield combining that wheat field? I'm curious to know how well it cleaned and what the gross loss was.

Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:47 pm


I notice that the Cub engine used on the balers did have a hand throttle. Not sure why the combines didn't--my Continental engine is the same way though I don't think it runs quite as hard. It may be something I check into.

I am not 100% sure on the wheat yet. I think we put somewhere in the neighborhood of 85 bushels in the feed mixer, and I have about 20 bags besides that. These are 100 lb. feed bags but wheat should be a little heavier. I am "guesstimating" around 35 BPA--the back side of the field was too wet at planting, too dry at heading and we had a freeze right during the boot stage--so that isn't too bad. I'll know once I get a gravity box borrowed and get it to the elevator......The combine did a real good job of cleaning, and near as I could tell, didn't loose much. Friends walking the field didn't see much sign of grain on the ground I found out late that day that it wanted to blow a little grain over the back if it wasn't running "full" but otherwise it really did do a good job.


Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:13 am

One thing I noticed when I bought my combine was that the casting date on the block was 4-24-Y making it a 1953. The rest of my tractor has casting dates ranging from 4-10-Y to 8-18-Y, which makes mine a later 1953 Cub. What I realy hadn't thought about was the fact that the combine engine had an electric starter and a battery, but was magneto ignition. No charging system either. I didn't think to save the battery ignition set-up from the original engine in my cub. I sold it to a tractor salvage yard. I really lucked out as the casting date on my original engine was 4-16-Y, so this 52R engine was only 8 days off on the production line. :D

Does your 52R have an electric starter, and what is the casting date on the block? I guess they assumed that since you only used the combine once or twice a year, that the battery didn't need charging for the "cranking motor."

Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:13 am

Interesting. My engine has S codes, and the power unit serial number is 580. I forget the block serial number but with the low power unit number, it means this was an early Cub equipped combine. They didn't start using this engine in the combines until 1949. Electrical equipment doesn't show up in the 52R book, but the Cub engines used on the early 64 combines (replacement for the 52R) did offer it, complete with battery and generator. I can't help but wonder if someone replaced your engine at some point. At any rate, electric starting would sure be nice to have! IIRC the flywheel on my combine doesn't even have the groove machined for a ring gear.


Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:38 am

Wow, maybe the powerplant I have was originally on a 64. When I bought the combine, there wasn't much discussion on the powerplant, so much as the fact that it ran. I'm sure that if I told him I was going to put the engine in a Farmall Cub, he would have raised his price. I paid $400 for the combine, under the assumption that it needed a lot of work to get it gleaning again. I did have to put rings and bearings in the engine for it to be "fit" and not blow smoke.

I wish I had some pictures of it now.

I will have to check to see if the 52R was even produced as late as 53. If not, there is my answer!

Thanks for the information

Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:40 am

The book says 1943-1950 for the 52R. Easy way to tell: when the engine was on the combine, did the combine radiator face forward, or did the radiator face out to the left side? If forward, it was a 52. To the side, it was a 64. Also the 64 isn't as "streamlined" as the 52R was. AFAIK the Cub engine was only used on these two combines, later 64's got the C113 Super A engine.


Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:55 am

OK... disclaimer here... Dumb newbie question for you...

Would a Cub be able to pull this combine thereby having two of the same engines in the field at the same time? Or is this beastie just plain old too heavy for the little tractor to handle?

Mike in La Crosse, WI

Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:49 pm

If the ground was level and not wet, yes. There's a pic of a Cub pulling a 52R combine in the Cub Photoarchive book. The combine weighs around 2500 lbs empty with the engine option. A Super A can have trouble with it if the ground is soft, heavier tractors will have no problem. If the combine had the PTO drive, the Cub was out.

In the old literature you usually saw the 52R behind an H, sometimes a M. The earlier 42R was usually behind an A or an H.


Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:09 pm

Mike, if your fields are as flat and dry as Al's are, then yes you could pull the 52R with the Cub. Add any kind of dry slick grass and a hill, or mud or gravel or anything that reduces traction and a hill, and the cub becomes a deathtrap.

After I got my 53 Cub running in 93 or 94, I decided to hitch up to the remnants of the 52R that the engine came from and pull it out from the garage to the field. Boy did I catch heck from my dad when he saw me doing that! The garage is located at an elevation of 1225 feet above sea level. The lower field which is less than 300 feet from the garage is at 1180 feet above sea level. The drive is loose gravel, and looking back, it wouldn't have taken much for that combine to push me down the drive and straight into the grave! Being used to heavy 80+hp tractors, I never gave it a second thought.

If I ever do get a 52R or a 64 combine, I would plan on pulling it with an H, or at the very least a Super C with weights. Those little cub tires don't give much traction when pushed the wrong way. Even when the tire lugs(treads) are pulling in the right direction, it still doesn't provide much grip. I tried to pull an empty 8x16 hay wagon up the driveway and all that happened was spinning tires and dust. I guess Cubs are best used like draught horses... in teams! :D Hmmm, now there's a Cub project!

Al, I am not sure, now abotu which way the rad was facing. I was fairly sure the radiator was facing towards the rear, and the bellhousing was towards the tractor hitch, with the pulley and belt going to a shaft that ran along side the engine to drive teh combine... I could be backwards. That was 14 years ago. wow how time flies when the tractors keep breaking.

I know for sure it was lined up on the hitch, so I am gonna say it was a 52R.