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Farmall M, Super M, 400, 450 & 560 Tractors, 1939-1963

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M Questions

Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:39 pm

how common is a starting switch failure for the M? today when i started it, i notcied a buch on sparking near my feet. I took the switch apart and the insulation was damaged anournd one of the posts. well i know i am goingto buy a new one instead of fixing this one. also what does one do to diagnose and fix the temp guage? the po told me it never worked when he had it. its still connected but shows nothing even after using it for a while. hey does anyone have a electronic copy of the owners manual for an M ?

Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:41 pm

forgot to ask this too, there is some sort of hitch underneath the belly of the tractor. would this place be a good area to hook up a chain to pull stumps?

Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:50 pm

Watch out pulling stumps!!!!!!!!!!!! You could end up with the tractor on top of you rather than you on top of the tractor.
My experience is that most people forget that the tree that withstood a hurricane really doesn't want to give up easy.

Sat Mar 18, 2006 5:37 pm

The hitch point under the tractor is probably the attaching point for a swinging drawbar. If so, it is forward on the main transmission housing.

Do NOT hitch a chain at this point. In fact, a chain should ONLY be attached directly to the standard U-shaped drawbar or to a plate/extension that moves the hitch point more to the rear. Using a hitch point forward or above the original location increases the chance of a rear flip.

Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:45 pm

Failure of that type switch is common, we had 2 Hs which used the same type switch, and they would get repalced every 4 or 5 years. Around here the older auto parts stores even stock them.

As Jim said, the point under the belly you are referring too is the pivot for the swigning drawbar. I would only pull form the standard drawbar or from a swinging drawbar with it pinned in place , but not directly form that point. Where it is located it will tend to pull down on the fornt, but will also make slipping to the side easier.

Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:48 pm

If the sw is original who knows with its age. They are normally trouble free though. As for the temp gauge, I've been through 4 from Case IH -all duds. Finally installed a Steward Warner that is working OK. If you get a replacement save yourself some time and test it in the kitchen first.

As for stump pulling, been there tried that, its more like bush pulling. You won't be able to pull much in the way of stumps. In the right soil conditions the front end may want to come up before it spins out, been there too. I disagree with Becker however, the swinging draw bar attaches forward of the axle and is on the same level as the fixed bar which would tend to hold the front end down. Besides, attaching to the same point as the plow did would only seem logical to me. What gets people in trouble is when they hitch up high.

Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:59 am

The University of Nebraska tractor testing lab has a tractor built years ago for demonstrating what happened if the load was not hitched up properly. Roll bars and seat belt - the works. A load if hitched properly would push the front wheels into the ground (farmer remains on tractor), but if hitched improperly the load would lift the front wheels off the ground (the tractor would be on the farmer). Pure physics and mechanics.
When hitching up a heavy load (pulling tree stumps qualifies) just remember one wants the force transfered downward at the front wheels.

Richard for Little Indy

Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:12 am

Jim is correct that hitching your load at that point is extremely unsafe. I have seen demonstrations and unfortunately real life situations proving that flipover will occur. There are many forces involved beyond those apparent. Any time you connect to a point ahead of the rear axle you are pushing the load, not pulling the load. Pulling stumps with farm equipment or any equipment not designed for such a purpose is not a good or safe idea.

Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:43 pm

WKPoor wrote:I disagree with Becker however, the swinging draw bar attaches forward of the axle and is on the same level as the fixed bar which would tend to hold the front end down. Besides, attaching to the same point as the plow did would only seem logical to me. What gets people in trouble is when they hitch up high.

The load won't pull down on the front end unless you get the line of draft below the contact patch of the rear tires.

The load of a plow is below ground level. Attaching a chain to the same point a plow pulls from would probably be OK if you used about 5 feet of chain and hooked the other end directly to a tap root.

Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:21 pm

thanks guys
one of the reasons why i bought the m was for more power to pull stumps. i think my question should have been is can the hitch point withstand alot of shock. i have a drawbar for my 3pt hitch somewhere and i intend to use it like my neighbors do when they pull stumps with thier large tractors. they got old big fords. they connect a chain to the underbelly and it passes under the drawbar with a ring to keep the chain low. when they are out i will take pics if anyone is interested. bill, waht do you mean by testing in the kitchen first? putting the sensor in hot water? i picked up a new sw at tsc for $10 yesterday and it worked well :)

Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:06 pm

Bill Poor is the one that said kitchen. He means a pot of hot water on the stove. If the water is boiling and you are near sea level the temp should be 212F. There are correction factors for every thousand feet abobe sea level but I never have to use them at 108 feet above.

Bill Sorensen

Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:24 am

Ive got a hot tap in the kitchen that makes testing a temp gauge easy. I'm really only looking to see if it will respond at all. Most of the ones I've bought won't move any at all. My tap is 180 degrees, so if the gauge gets anywhere close I'm happy and will go ahead and install. It got to the point that I asked the parts guy at Case IH where his coffee pot was-- he just laughed and I didn't really do that-- but I wanted to.
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