Front Wheel Bolster - on wrong

Farmall B & BN Tractors, 1939-1947

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Urbish
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Front Wheel Bolster - on wrong

Postby Urbish » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:41 am

I noticed that the front wheel bolster on my 1946 B is attached so that it sweeps forward. Looking at pictures of B's on the internet, I think it's mounted 180 degrees out of position and should sweep rearward. Am I correct in thinking it's flipped around?
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Jim Becker
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Re: Front Wheel Bolster - on wrong

Postby Jim Becker » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:02 am

Yeah, that's backwards. Somebody may have reversed it to eliminate caster wobble from a loose steering gear. My B has been that way since at least 1957.

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jonny2guns4u
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Re: Front Wheel Bolster - on wrong

Postby jonny2guns4u » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:54 am

This is so wild.

I was going to start a thread on this last week and didn't get around to composing the post. I was at a local Tractor Show last weekend and was looking this guys restored BN. Looking it over I noticed something that didn't look quite right. I talked to the gentleman and let him know his tractor was very nice and in good shape. I just didn't have the heart to tell him that I thought whoever had restored it for him had put the bolster on backwards. Heck I'm not a Farmall expert so who knows I could be wrong. All I know is between mine and my girlfriend's Family we have 3 BNs and one B. All of them have the bolster leaning back. I did an Image Search on Google and nearly all have the bolster leaning back. Some don't. So, I asked my girlfriend's brother, who is a tractor expert. "They should lean back, correct?" He said yes. Then I asked him, "Can they be put on backwards?" He said he honestly didn't know but that every one he has ever seen has leaned back. He doesn't have the Internet so he has never browsed Images on the Web so he's going on his personal experience with these models. His father worked at a Dealer and delivered A's, B's and BN's during and after the war so he has seen several.

So here is my question. Is this a design flaw or did IHC do this for a reason? If it can be reversed maybe there is a reason for it and it is not necessarily wrong. I'm hoping someone will chime in and enlighten me/us on what and why this is possible.
Jonny2guns4u

"I won't be wronged... I won't be insulted... I won't be layed a hand on... I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them." -J.B.Books (AKA)John Wayne

User avatar
Urbish
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 1450
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:45 pm
Zip Code: 48158
Tractors Owned: ~
1948 Farmall Cub
1947 Farmall H
1946 Farmall B
1953 Willys CJ3B

Cub-193 Moldboard Plow
Cub-54A Leveling and Grader Blade
Woods 59CF-1 Mower
Wood L306 Mower
Unknown 5' Single Gang Disc Harrow
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: Manchester, MI

Re: Front Wheel Bolster - on wrong

Postby Urbish » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:33 am

Jim Becker wrote:Yeah, that's backwards. Somebody may have reversed it to eliminate caster wobble from a loose steering gear. My B has been that way since at least 1957.


Thanks Jim. The steering is pretty sloppy. I'll try flipping it around and see how it goes. If necessary, I'll just rebuild the steering gear (assuming parts are available or it is adjustable). This tractor is pretty new to me so I'm learning as much as I can. I was able to get the manuals off this site which will be very helpful.


jonny2guns4u wrote:This is so wild.

I was going to start a thread on this last week and didn't get around to composing the post. I was at a local Tractor Show last weekend and was looking this guys restored BN. Looking it over I noticed something that didn't look quite right. I talked to the gentleman and let him know his tractor was very nice and in good shape. I just didn't have the heart to tell him that I thought whoever had restored it for him had put the bolster on backwards. Heck I'm not a Farmall expert so who knows I could be wrong. All I know is between mine and my girlfriend's Family we have 3 BNs and one B. All of them have the bolster leaning back. I did an Image Search on Google and nearly all have the bolster leaning back. Some don't. So, I asked my girlfriend's brother, who is a tractor expert. "They should lean back, correct?" He said yes. Then I asked him, "Can they be put on backwards?" He said he honestly didn't know but that every one he has ever seen has leaned back. He doesn't have the Internet so he has never browsed Images on the Web so he's going on his personal experience with these models. His father worked at a Dealer and delivered A's, B's and BN's during and after the war so he has seen several.

So here is my question. Is this a design flaw or did IHC do this for a reason? If it can be reversed maybe there is a reason for it and it is not necessarily wrong. I'm hoping someone will chime in and enlighten me/us on what and why this is possible.


Hah! That's interesting. It may just be designed without a feature to force it to be mounted in one direction only. In the day of these tractors, things weren't as error-proofed as we've been accustomed to as of late. Jim Becker may be onto something in that having it swept forward would reduce wobble from sloppy steering.

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Re: Front Wheel Bolster - on wrong

Postby Jim Becker » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:32 pm

Urbish wrote: In the day of these tractors, things weren't as error-proofed as we've been accustomed to as of late.

Agreed!

There was a time that, at least for the H and M, you could get aftermarket wedges to stick in there that reduced the caster from the original position. I think IH actually changed the bolster to reduce it on some of those models.

User avatar
Urbish
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 1450
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:45 pm
Zip Code: 48158
Tractors Owned: ~
1948 Farmall Cub
1947 Farmall H
1946 Farmall B
1953 Willys CJ3B

Cub-193 Moldboard Plow
Cub-54A Leveling and Grader Blade
Woods 59CF-1 Mower
Wood L306 Mower
Unknown 5' Single Gang Disc Harrow
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: Manchester, MI

Re: Front Wheel Bolster - on wrong

Postby Urbish » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:51 pm

Jim Becker wrote:Yeah, that's backwards. Somebody may have reversed it to eliminate caster wobble from a loose steering gear. My B has been that way since at least 1957.


You called it, Jim. I put a new tube in one of the front tires today and decided to switch the bolster around while I had the front off the ground. Now it wobbles like a bad shopping cart caster. So I guess I'll be rebuilding the steering. I was okay with having it reversed until I had my 7 year old daughter driving it. She went to make a turn, and because of the reverse caster, it ripped the wheel out of her hands as the front wheels turned to full lock. Not good. I'm glad I only had her at low idle in 2nd gear.

Jim Becker
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Re: Front Wheel Bolster - on wrong

Postby Jim Becker » Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:25 pm

Urbish, thanks for posting the update.

While I'm at it, here is a question that was still hanging.
jonny2guns4u wrote:So here is my question. Is this a design flaw or did IHC do this for a reason? If it can be reversed maybe there is a reason for it and it is not necessarily wrong. I'm hoping someone will chime in and enlighten me/us on what and why this is possible.

There are applications where tractors are turned around for reverse operation. When that is done, the bolster should be turned around for proper behavior in reverse.


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