1948 Farmall H

Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:39 pm

I have just located a 1948 Farmall H in my hometown. It was not advertised for sale, I just spotted it off the road. The owner said it was just sitting there and it belonged to his brother. I looked it over. Here are the specifics. Model-H, S/N- FBH 294652 X1, 1815 RPM, Engine Casting- 10 . 7 . R. It has rust as expected but most of the metal is straight. Front grill is bent, I will probably just replace it, and it is missing the "Farmall" front emblem, E-bay $15-20.00. The engine cowling has a small (quarter size) rust hole which I might be able to repair. The rest of the metal is good. Intake/Exhaust manifold has a quarter size hole and needs replacing. This hole has been covered so no rain can get inside. Engine turns over easily by hand. Starter is missing. PTO engages/disengages fine, I want to drain some oil to check for water/antifreeze and do a compression check on all cyliders. The bonus of this tractor is the rear tires are about 90%. Looks like they were purchased just prior to retiring the tractor. Front tires are about 75%. We agreed on $450.00 if Compression checks OK and no antifreeze in oil. Besides checking for antifreeze, is there any other suggestions to check for cracked head or block. Does $450 sound good. I could really use it to mow my 7 acres. I use my cub with a 42" woods, but a 72" pull behind on an H would give me more time to fish. (not that I get to do much of that anyway!)> I would love to here some comments on this post. Thank You.

Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:20 pm

Ron - $450 will buy you a parts H around here if you are lucky.

Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:25 pm

We paid $400 for a parts H with good rear tires but missing key components of the motor. Dan


Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:27 pm

Thanks BD, I figured $450.00 was worth it even for parts. However I would like to restore it. I hope the compression is good.

Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:45 pm

i agree with big dog

Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:57 pm

Just be aware if you buy it and get it running there will typical things pop up that may need repairing. Any old tractor that has been sitting for a spell is bound to be hiding some issues. Most of all leaks. I bought one several yrs ago for $450.00 that I could drive home. However after I got it home the list of repairs grew long.
Brakes didn't work, liftall worked but leaked bad, steering was real sloppy, engine ran smooth but fouled plugs repeatedly and smoked bad, seat spring was shot and shock too, steering wheel all but wires, and the list went on.
I couldn't have been prouder that day though!!


Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:08 pm

I certainly understand WKPoor about leaks because of sitting. I noticed on your profile you are an aircraft mechanic. I also am an A&P mechanic (retired, except for volunteer work on old warbirds). I know firsthand if an aircraft sits for extended periods of time rather than being run, leaks take place. I really would like to restore it though. I dont know what it is about me, but the more the repair the better. I just really love to tear these old tractors COMPLETELY APART, and rebuild everything. Anyone relate to my madness!!

Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:45 pm

Sounds like a good price .I give 900 for a 47 H It looked like a rust bucket but ran great . Be sure to check all the gears If I remember correctly pull the transmission check plug left side in front of the brakes.If you look in there with a light you can see 1st and /or 2nd gears Mine were worn but I never had any problems with it .The ones normally used the hardest.

Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:04 pm

Thanks TJ for the tip. Sounds to me like it has just been retired. The owner sais his dad used it, then when he passed away it went to him. He doesnt really have any interest (how can this be!!!) in this tractor so it sat, then he took it to his brothers place to sit some more. All it needs is a new home and some TLC..(along with some new paint, decals, etc...). Oh by the way, are you familiar with the lift all hydraulic set up. Can it be installed on a non hydraulic H. Maybe I will put that question in a new post if I dont get too many answers here. Thanks TJ.

Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:09 pm

yup, very easily done. bolt the liftall in place, install the drive coupling from tranny, screw pipe nipples in the sides, and mount the hand lever.

Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:09 pm


Here is a web site that may be of interest to you.


Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:11 pm

Thanks John and Don.

Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:09 pm

How much time and money???Mine 50 is well worn but I love it!!!The motor is tired but it works like a mule!!!It gives me all it can.I will rebuild the motor and make it better than it was new.[super H kit]Sometimes it not just money or time.You know what I mean!!!!Kevin a smile on your face or some one else's.What could be better??? :D :D

Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:03 am

Thanks KETCHAM, tell me about the super H kit. I was thinkink about modifiying the H engine. I also wondered if it would be better to find a Super H engine and rebuild. I know that some of the specs are different. Im not an expert but here is what I believe I have found. Head is different, but that could be a direct replacement. Bore is 3.5 instead of 3 3/8. Crank shaft is hardened or beefed up some more? I believe the throttle body is 1 1/4 instead of 1". Once again Im not an expert but Seem to recall those facts. What do you think.

Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:23 am

I have heard you can do this.You use new piston sleesves.I've talked to a couple of guys that have done it.No real specifics but sounds good to me.A few guys might jump in on this I hope.Most engine kits are sleeves and pistons.I don't think the head would mater that much.A machinist would be better to ask.I know that the guys who did it liked the extra power. :D :D Kevin mine is well worn!!!