Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:10 am

I am in new territory here. I am looking at an F-30 that belongs to a neighbor. It is in decent shape, runs fair and has the round spokes all around. The negatives are that I can't find a serial number and the front steering bolster has been cracked and had a very unimpressive repair job. The tires are pretty bad, but it is a pretty straight tractor. If it doesn't have a serial tag, would that keep you from buying it? I hate to ask this since value is relative, but what is a fair price to offer? Thanks for any help.


Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:56 am

Hi Festus. I copied this from ytmag's site.
Year Starting Serial Number
1931 501
1932 1184
1933 4305
1934 5526
1935 7032
1936 10407
1937 18684
1938 27186
1939 29007
The Serial Number is located on the left side of the clutch or transmission housing

I thought they also had the big tag mounted to the toolbox under the gas tank. Most toolboxes rusted away, so much for the tags.

Around here, the F-30 in that condition would maybe bring around $550-$750 tops.


Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:59 am

I seem to have misplaced my Tractor Data Book guy Fay wrote, but you can find many specifications here

Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:38 am

The tractor is on 38" rubber. Could you get them with either steel or rubber? The owner believes this one to be 39 model. Another drawback is the numerous cracks in the manifold and the JB Weld fixes done to it in the past.

There are some strange markings visible on the left bell housing, but are painted over. Would it be advisable to remove the paint to check these markings? If this is the serial number, will paint stripper do any damage to it? Is there a better method?

After finishing the Cub, I am looking for the next project. There is nothing forcing me to buy this F30 so I can pass with no problem. The big thing is I would only have to drive it a quarter mile across the field to get it home. Thanks again for the help.


Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:55 am

If I remember right, alot of times the owner would cut the steel rims off and weld new outer rims onto the round spokes to accept rubber tires.

New manifolds are available, but expensive($230+/-)

Stripper wouldn't hurt the numbers, seems to me they are indented/stamped into the casting. I would think you could carefully scrape the paint off too. They're pretty good sized numbers, about 3/8"-1/2" size.


Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:39 pm

Thanks, Rick. I'll go over tonight and see if I can clean the area and get the serial #. Even though I have two tractors without tags (one was my dad's and not having the tag doesn't bother me - it will never be for sale), I normally don't buy without the original serial tag. I try to convince myself (and my wife) that these tractors are investments so I want them as well documented as I can get them.


Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:04 am

Those F30s are nice tractors. I love that unstyled look from the 30s. Manifolds can be found or as stated, a new one can be bought. The repairs wouldn't worry me. If you or someone can re-do the poor work it would be a labor of love 8) My biggest worry would be engine block cracks which these are notorious for. Like anything, it depends were these cracks are.

Re: F-30

Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:14 pm

I hate to ask this since value is relative, but what is a fair price to offer?

F-20s, Regulars, Etc., sell for very much money here in central Missouri. What price to offer? $100- (scrap metal price) give or take a little. That way you don't get hurt to bad if things go from bad to worse. I have the feeling that a set of rear tires will cost more than the tractor is worth.

Just my opinion.


Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:36 am

I got back next door last night to look at the F30. There is no serial number anywhere that I could find. There are some markings in the bellhousing casting on the left side that look weird. They remind me of worm trails in a piece of lumber - little grooves in the metal that make no sense to me. There are also a couple places there that look like the imprint of bolt threads, like someone laid a couple of bolts on the metal while it was hot. I don't know what to do now. I would like to have the old girl, and for my purposes, the serial number is no big deal. But some day, someone in the family will probably be selling my old tractors and I want the value to be as high as possible. I fool with tractors because I love them, but common sense tells me I also need to look at them from an investment standpoint. In your estimation, how badly does that lack of a serial number tag hurt the value?

Where do the blocks tend to crack on these machines? Close inspection reveals nothing I can see - do they crack internally or externally where it can be seen?

This was a display tractor at a local orchard and had not run for 10 years. I went to look at it, poured a little gas in it, pulled it 20 feet and it started and run like it had just been shut off. Now it starts by the third crank every time.

Thanks for your comments and help

Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:46 am

I have a friend that collects and has a couple F-30's. I'll get ahold of him and find out exactly where to look for that number and where to look for cracks. Give my a couple days.


Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:35 am

I think that a lot of the F-20/F-30 models had the serial number stamped into the frame. I couldn't tell you exactly where to look, but you might find the number there somewhere.

Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:48 pm

Rick, I appreciate your willingness to check with your friend. I'll be waiting patiently for your response. Jim, I will go back over tonight and check both frame rails over from front to back. My wife tells me to stop looking at it or I will end up buying it. She knows me so well!!


Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:17 pm

Hi Festus. I made contact by phone with my friend. He said the serial number will be on the top of the frame rail, left side as your setting on the tractor, about in the area where the bellhousing bolts to the block, straight across from where the tool box should have been bolted under the tank. My other friend George(IH48) said the same location.

He said there's also a raised machined area on the block up behind the carb area that has a serial number too, but they usually didn't match exactly because the engines were out of sequence like most Cubs are, from the engines being used for other purposes.

He also said the areas prone to crack are down front where the lower housing for the radiator hose bolts to the block(frt, lower, left) and check the block behind the carb area. He said that whole side of the block is thin and would crack if the anti-freeze wasn't right.

Hope this helps some,


Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:19 pm

I have an F-30 and the serial # is on the top of the frame rail on the left side by the bell housing.

My block is cracked behind the carb and it was patch by a po. I have used it for a year like that and it has been fine. the guy I got it from had it for 15 years and he said it was patched before he got it.

I am in the process of restoring mine right now. I am also looking for a hand crank for it if anyone has one they can part with, or maybe a set of rear steel wheels :?:


Re: F-30

Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:49 pm

F-20s, Regulars, Etc., sell for very much money here in central Missouri.Eugene

Should read. F-20, Regulars, Etc., do not sell for very much money.