Farmall M, Super M, 400, 450 & 560 Tractors, 1939-1963
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I am new to the Forum. I am new to tractors, as well as farming and the like. I just bought my first tractor ever, a Farmall Super M. serial # F31012 J I believe it to be a '53-'54 It also has an F11 loader on it which is great because i need one. I know nothing about tractors.......yet! I welcome any words of advice info etc as I am sure I will need loads of help in identifying problems troubleshooting aging etc. I live in Riverton Utah, a suburb of Salt lake City. Our plans are raise about 10 to 20 head of beef cattle right here in the city. We're crazy I know. I have two parcels of land arranged one about 6 acres the other 8. The goal to work them and plant for grazing pasture. All proceeds (if any) go to my five sons future.
The Tractor as some electrical issue I know for sure (6 volt system) but it fires right up with the assist of a charger/booster
The first thing you need to do is read the Owner's Manual cover to cover. Pay particular attention to operating and maintenance instructions. Otherwise you are at risk of either hurting yourself or damaging the equipment.
This cannot be overstressed. Read the manual.
If you don't have one, you can get a quality reprint from Binder Books. http://www.binderbooks.com/
Several items can contribute to your starting problem. A good place to start is to fix any dirty, corroded, loose or undersized electrical connections or wires.
Thanks Jim, I surely will get a manual and read it. I believe in safety of the highest standard along with proper knowledge of equipment. I feel confident in being able to fix the electrical problem even though i am unfamiliar with a 6 volt system. The tractor should be delivered first part of this week and I can begin tinkering around with it.
Check the battery before disconnecting the cables. I don't remember on the Super M but most Farmalls of that era were positive ground. Just in case you have never worked with positive ground. Vern
Unless you plan to raise them on a feed lot, you may be hard pressed to raise that many cows on your 14 acres. Around here pasture raised cows will need almost 1 acre per cow.
That is what I have read as well. Quality pasture, 1 acre can sustain about one cow. We will be raising steers from about 4-5 months old, so I just assumed that maybe I could double the number of cows per acre based on their size and figuring a 3% daily feed of body weight?? Would I be wrong. Please, I welcome any criticism or advise. I don't have any experience and only know what I read from books etc.
I never have. so positively ground?? positive side of battery to ground/tractor frame?? Anything else different?4
My memory of Salt Lake City was that it was dry and not a lot of green grass, without significant irrigation. So 10-20 cows on 14 acres is pushing it a good bit, provided you don't irrigate.
Here is the contact information for your local Cooperative Extension Office:
Salt Lake County
2001 S. State Street S-1200
Salt Lake City, 84190-2350
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm
This fellow looks to be your contact for agricultural information:
Agronomic & Woody Biofuels
Good luck with the cattle and your tractor.
"The probability of life originating from accident is comparable to the probability of the unabridged dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing shop." Edwin Conklin, biologist
Thanks Bill Yes it is dry, very dry especially this year however, I have secured plenty of water rights to the pastures. One parcel is done through a ditch, flood irrigation. I am still learning the art of this. The other is however i choose to do it ditch/flood, sprinkler etc. Thank you for the info to the ext. office I have been meaning to get that.
Welcome to the forum and world of Farmalls! Congrats on the purchase of your Super...
The best place for any service manual, parts etc is the link that Jim gave you to binderbooks.com. I have a set myself. The "letters" of the Letter Series were just their model designation.
Member IHCC Chapter 37 & 42 - North Carolina
Thanks I have purchased A manual off of ebay. It is in a CD form and u can print pages as you need them....
I hope this is a good one.
The beast was delivered today. First time I've been able to take a real good look at it. Ive got some issues here. Oil.....milky white..... and......radiator seems to be low or dry?? I have ordered a manual but it wont be here until Friday. I hope I dont have a cracked head, block issue?? Maybe head gasket? For those familiar what are your thoughts on this. The float leaks gas if the valve is left on. The belts need replacing. How do you change the main belt. Pull radiator? Also would appreciate to know the proper oil to use and capacity, as well as transmission oil type/capacity, and how many quarts/gallons antifreeze
Thanks a bunch in advance.
Sounds like you're in for some quality one on one time with your new Super M, good times...
Oil being milky white wouldn't concern me much right off the bat. Could very well just be from sitting and be contaminated with condensate. I'd put fresh oil in it, fill the radiator and see what happens, unless you can see obvious signs of a leak somewhere. You may very well find the same milky crap in the rear end as well. The carbs will weep out the bottom if the fuel is left on, some worse than others. I always turn mine off and let it run itself dry each time I shut off and it's going to sit for several days. The crankcase will hold 2 gallons of oil, I use 15W-40 in mine. Filter is a Wix 51125, be sure you get the o-ring for the shell. For an initial change, I'd use plain ol' cheap non-detergent straight 30W. Radiator capacity is around 6 gallon best I remember. Transmission is 13 or so gallons, I use 85W-140. Changing the belt is no big deal. You'll see a bolt in a threaded adjustable hub on the fan. Loosen the bolt and back the hub off, which loosens the bolt.
Here's a picture of mine from a few years ago, before restoration. PB Blaster and lots of patience may be required getting that hub loose, along with a rubber mallet, block of wood and perhaps some heat. Once I got mine loose I put anti-seize on it. Once the hub is loose you can slip the belt off the pulley, around the blades and through the shroud.
Member IHCC Chapter 37 & 42 - North Carolina
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