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A big Hello to all,
I was talking to Ralph at Ralph's Cub Parts today. He was extremely helpful and took the time to answer my questions. At the end of the call he pointed me to this forum for additional help with my tractor, and suggested that I go to the Cub Fest in NY. I will try to tell you a little about myself and my tractor which is fondly called, "Patty". When I was about six years old (back in 1981) I first saw her parked underneath the front overhang of an old barn owned by a doctor. My dad did construction work for "Doc" over the years. He apparently purchased the tractor new in 1949 during the spring with several implements included. We even have the original manuals for the tractor and implements. So, Doc hired us three little boys to work on the sixty acre farm up in the rocky woods on top of a ridge line. We cleared out poison ivy, knocked down hornets nests, and burned brush piles over the summer months. His big pine trees were being smothered by poison ivy vines that we need to pull down. He had a gun range that needed a lot of work. It was built on a low lying, swampy section of the farm. So we filled in the low areas along the hundred yard grass path. As we worked there, we got to thinking that it would be mighty nice to use that old tractor. The tires were flat from sitting so many years, actually, there were deep depressions in the thin black top from Patty's weight. She had not moved for a long time. Her one side was really weathered due to the elements coming in under the overhang where she sat for so long. She was VERY rusty, the wiring was mostly decayed, and the carburetor very gummed up. The work of getting the implements on the tractor and Doc's busy schedule did not leave much time to play around with such things. So she was parked away and forgotten for many years!
When we asked Doc about the tractor, he readily agreed that we could try to get her going. So we started tinkering around with Patty. After fixing the obvious problems, we tried to fire her up one day. Would you believe it? She fired right up after all those years! Before long we were running around the farm pulling a Massey Ferguson wagon. My heart simply melted over this little tractor, and she was named Patty. Don't ask why, but soon even our friends and neighbors only new her as Patty. They would often ask me how she was do-in when I would stop by for something. The only part that made me sad was that she looked so tough on the outside. Mechanically she was mostly like new inside, but the years of rain and snow hitting her one side made her look kind ‘a tough.
At the end of several years of work, the Doctor was kind enough to work out a deal with my dad so that we could take Patty home with us. We were poor in those days, so all of us were over joyed with our new found wealth of owning a tractor. Our pay was very small, but if we could work for the tractor, that would be everything. As soon we owned Patty, my brothers and a friend started working on the paint. His dad owned a sand blasting shop and our friend knew how to paint fairly well. She soon looked a lot better. No longer was Patty a faded brown color, she now gleamed bright red. We were real proud of here. No long afterwards, someone was driving her and something snapped in the transmission. It was discovered that the forks broke that shift the gears. Patty ended up underneath a little over hang behind the garage. Again she sat for a good long while. My folks did not have the money to rebuild the transmission and make further repairs on the Patty.
My brothers moved on to cars and the like. I was the youngest of the boys (still about twelve or thirteen years old), so I was still around home most of the time. Since I was so eager to get her going again, I offered to invest my paper route earnings in the tractor. They said that would be fine since it was kind of my tractor anyway. So I used the manuals to take the transmission and rear drives apart. There were bad seals and she was leaking gear fluid all over the place. Next I started fixing all the wiring and lights. After about three or four months of working underneath the cold over hang, I had Patty working like new again. All the lights and gauges worked, and she shifted real nice through her three forward gears.
For the next three years I worked with her in the local gardens. To make extra money, a friend and myself raised sweet corn and other vegetables. The plow and cultivator worked real nice for this purpose. In the winter we pushed snow with the snowplows. He had a Farmall A without hydraulics. We both made wooded platforms for the back to haul our vegetables. Later we realized that everything sold better off the back of the tractors. People liked to see the local farm boys and their little red tractors still going from the 1940’s. Patty often served as my car, in our community it was perfectly acceptable for boys our age to be driving around on tractors. My friend would come costing down the little hill in our village on his Farmall A to make it go faster, he would then wave at the police officer sitting in the speed trap. They got a amusement out of us using the exception in the vehicle code for “Vehicles of Husbandry” i.e. tractors.
When I turned sixteen and got a pickup things changed some. I still had a soft spot for Patty, but spent more time in the pickup. About this time things took a turn for the worst at home. Dad and Mom had even bigger financial troubles. A few years later they separated and sold the home place. Patty went with dad when he moved. I asked to buy Patty for what remained of her value that I did not invest as a child when I was fixing her up. He said that he would not sell Patty at that time. I was heartbroken that he went back on his former agreement. Since there was nothing else to do I tried to forget about her.
About two years later my brother told me that dad had sold Patty to someone else. This brought the hurt back to me all over again. Dad did not have bad intentions, after their separation things were hard on all of us. He probably just did not want to ask me to pay what she was worth, and he needed money real bad. I went on with my life. Later on I purchased a new John Deere 855 to fill the void in my life, but it was not the same. The tractor was very nice, but did not do the same thing for me that old Patty did. A few years later I sold the John Deere.
By now, many years have gone by without me hearing so much as a peep about Patty. The other day we went to a local steam tractor event near Gap, PA. It called Rough and Tumble. My fourteen year old boy and his cousin were real excited about all the old tractors. We sat on the bleachers watching them parade by. There were lines of gleaming red Farmall’s, Case, Oliver, John Deere, and many others driving past. I told them that I used to have a tractor just like that nice Farmall Cub when I was a boy there age. It really stirred something up in me as I ate some French Fries and drank a 32 oz. Coke. Next to Patty they are probably my next favorite things at antique tractor shows.
A few nights later we were in our woods having a camp supper with my wife’s family. Something happened there that again stirred up the loneliness for Patty. Wouldn't you know it, my childhood best friend ended up marring my wife’s little sister. He was more dedicated that I was, and never gave up farming. They now have a nice dairy farm and he still has his old childhood Farmall A. Not only does he have that one, but everything else but a Cub and a B if I am not mistaken of the alphabet series. Now going back to the campfire, my son was talking to him about Rough and Tumble. He was still all excited about those old tractors. About this time my brother-in-law remembered Patty. He asked me whatever happened to your tractor. I told him the same old tail of what I knew happened to Patty. He said that is too bad, since we were so attached to them in our childhood. I said there is nothing to do about it now. He suggested that I look for her somewhere. I explained that she was either owned by a collector or maybe even in a junkyard by now.
My son did not give up on the idea of having an old tractor to fix up just like I did as a little boy. So I said we would find one soon. In the back of my mind I kept dreaming of getting Patty back. This week on Monday I had to go to my Doctor who happens to be back in my old home area. After the appointment I drove by the place where my brother thought the tractor had been sold to. So I decided to stop in and see if I could at least see what has become of Patty. After much circling around the neighborhood talking with people, I still had found no trace of her. Late in the day I gave up and headed home. It was hopeless and I needed to move on and buy another tractor for my son to work on.
About fifteen minutes up the road I called my brother for something. In the course of the conversation I mentioned what I had been doing. He asked where I had been looking, so I told him. Then the breakthrough came, he said that he believed I was looking at the wrong area. About a mile up the road is another old farm. He said that he remembered that Patty had gone to that one. At this point I was hot, tired and needing to make the hour trip back home, but I decided to turn around. To this moment, I don't know what made me do it since it all seemed so hopeless, but I did in the end. Boy am I glad that I did! Upon arriving at the farm I could not find anyone in the house. So I turned around to leave, and would you believe what I saw among piles of old, dusty stuff mounded in the inside of the barn, there was the orange fanny flag that I had put on Patty many years ago. I did not go in the barn, but the brownish-red color of her now faded paint thrilled my heart. It looked like she has not been run in a few years, but I was certain that I had found Patty again. It was almost more that I could believe!
I stayed in the area till supper time, then went back to see if someone was home. This time I found the lady of the house and her daughters in the kitchen. As it turned out, she was a farm hand on when of the local farms that I frequented as a little boy. She recognized me almost immediately even though we had not seen each other in almost thirty years. After talking a while, she asked about why I stopped in to see them. I told them that I was trying to find out what happened to an old childhood friend of mine, Patty. She could hardly believe that the little red tractor in the barn was once mine and that she even had a name. They told me that it was indeed my tractor of yester year. Their children enjoyed taking rides on it occasionally when they were little, but now were in college and the tractor was just sitting. It needed a lot of work and does not run now due to electrical problems. I could not believe the way it was all turning out. Here I was talking with Gail who lived on the farm where I helped out as a little boy and knew me from back then. It all seemed very unreal! All the children had gathered around to hear the story of Patty that they never knew. I asked if it was all right to take a look at the tractor? She said that sure was okay. Then she asked if I would have interest in buying Patty, they had just made up their minds to sell her since they need to clean the barn out and were short on money. I could not believe my ears, it seemed too good to be true.
A day later, my family went with me to pick up Patty. I did not tell my children about any of this till we pulled in the lane of the old farm. They kept guessing what dad might be up to now. My son did not say anything even when we pulled up to the row of tractor implements in front of the barn and Patty there all dust covered in the center. I wondered what he was thinking, I said, “Son, it’s my old tractor Patty”. He was simply speechless for once in his life, as soon as the shock got over, he began to bubble just like I was, we were both in disbelief that Patty was going home with us for good. We loaded her on a trailer with all the attachments. Memories are bound up in every piece, I remembered everything down to the bumps and bruises in her sheet metal. Some of the attachments are very rusty. The electrical system has been really messed up. I used to be able to fix her just by using the book, now it seems almost hopeless. There is a half-finished 12v system installed, the magneto is still there but the cap is taken off. The generator is missing as well as the mounting plates. Some kind of plate is fastened on instead. The wiring is all backwards and hanging out. The carburetor has been replaced, the sediment bowel removed, and it appears like the clutch is ruined. We got her to start two days ago, but it seems that the rings are also worn out. Despite all this, I am very excited to have her back. Hopefully there will be a way to sort all this out and get her back in tip-top shape again..
Since I wrote this story, Patty has undergone major surgery. Her electrical system is once again new. The clutch has been replaced and several main seals. Her carburetor is all shiny and reworked. This miracle came about at Cubfest Northeast 2010. Thanks to all who helped! With a little more work, she will be good as new! All of us are glad that she came back home, no more to live in old, dusty barn basements!
Hopefully you all don't think I am crazy for spending too much money on an old tractor. Ralph told me not to worry about the money, I believe I will need to remember that because it is going to cost a lot more than the resale value will be to get this tractor fixed up. Yet, I would not give her up for any amount of money, this time I don't have to worry about her getting sold like I did for much of my childhood when money was so tight. The seller said if I had come through two weeks later she would have been gone for good. They were going to unload her anywhere they could. They were so excited that I could have her back. It simply was meant to be. Greeting to all and thanks in advance for your advice!!!
Last edited by Timex on Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:14 am, edited 7 times in total.
Timex, welcome to the greatest forum about Cubs...you will find the people and information here very helpful.
I enjoyed your story and congratulate you on getting Patty back...you and your son will make lasting memories fixing her up.
I am just up the road from you in Schuylkill County, and look forward to meeting you someday.
Going to Cecil's Northeast Cubfest in a few weeks would be a real good idea...The experience will be well worth the trip.
"More gold has been mined from the thoughts of men than has been taken from the earth." -- Napoleon Hill
You put Patty on a trailer and bring her to the fest in Oct. You'd be surprised at how much we can do to her in a weekend. We all just love making Cubs better.
Hi Timex welcome that is a great story, thanks for sharing it. Hope to see you this October at the cubfest at Cecils with or without you tractor.
22 mower 5', grader blade, 189 two way moldboard plow, cultivators ,danco C2 mower,1961 Comet, 1984 BMW 318i
Part of life is falling down, living is getting back up.
Welcome to the forum. I hope to see you at Cecil's next month.
MD, Deep Creek Lake
"1950 Something" Farmall Cub
1977 International Cub w/FH
1978 International Cub
1948 Farmall Super A
1951 Farmall Super C w/FH
Great story, Timex! Glad you got the little tractor back. You and the family will have a blast fixing it back up and I am sure your son will have the same fond memories that you have from your childhood.
Hope to see you at a cubfest sometime.
In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. - Albert Einstein
Deep South CubFest
February 14 & 15, 2014
Thanks so much for the kind comments. I had no idea there was a awesome club like this for Farmall Cub tractors, until Ralph invited me to drop by. Hopefully we can make it to CubFest. That would be really great...
A few more pictures of Patty.
Last edited by Timex on Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Congrats on re-acquiring Patty What a wonderful story by the way.. I really enjoyed reading it. This one belongs in the Cub Stories section of farmallcub.com.
There is so much available here on the forum to our members in respect of resources. Simply follow the links in the text below. Even those like me who are not exactly mechanically adept (I sure wasn't when I first got Ellie) can as you already know successfully repair/maintain/restore these wonderful tractors. With help from all of the pro's that are here there is probably little that can't be done. Also, as Cecil mentioned, if you can get Patty up to his place in Kinderhook there will be a bunch of folks who can help get much of what may be out of sorts with Patty remedied.
Em and I are planning on being there this year, so hope to meet you there.
to Farmallcub.com Forum Family. And you have come to the right place for all things Cub related. If you click on the Site Rules, Regulations, & Important Information, it will point you to the Welcome Wagon wherein you will find links to many useful sites and topics. One of which is the Cub Manual Server. Enjoy!
Wonderful story! Great to get back part of the family history. Come to Cecil's in October, you will be glad you did. I look forward to meeting you there.
"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
Absolutely no need to apologize for the length of your story !! It's very touching, and I'm glad you took the time to narrate it to the Forum. It's hard to envision better Father/Son bonding time in today's World than working on something like a tractor. Congrats on your detective work and welcome to the Forum. Craig
I agree Rudi...
"More gold has been mined from the thoughts of men than has been taken from the earth." -- Napoleon Hill
That was an enjoyable read. Thanks for posting it. Don't hesitate to ask any questions about getting your cub going again. Plenty of folks here to help.
I cannot express the appreciation I feel for your kind welcome. It seems kind of unreal that there is still people out there in the world who would take an interest in someone else’s tractor problem. I guess it just that I always felt a little foolish for being so attached to my tractor, even as a small boy. Patty was a constant in my world, and something I treasured deeply. My family looks forward to meeting you all and getting to know your tractors by "Name" and face in the near future. My wife thought I was nuts for staying up late to write the story out, but I wanted to do it so I don't forget more the details. It was written quickly and should probably be corrected here and there. She called it my apostil.
Now for the real purpose of this post. Patty seems to have more problems than I had hoped she would have. It has been getting me down a little since I am not sure how to go about it all or where to start. I don't want to make more mistakes on her. The first thing has to do with her using oil and smoking a fair amount. She was not used a lot over the years, but it appears that the first twenty years of sitting and now the later twenty of occasional use at best over long periods must have done something to her. When we open the oil fill cap at idle, oil splashes out the tub some. A little smoke is seen all the time, but upon taking off a light blue cloud fills the sky. The second issue has to do with the clutch. It appears unevenly worn, so it chatters when pressed in have way and cannot be adjusted right. This has been this way for years since we have been afraid to take her apart to that degree.
I am asking for your advice on what to do. Likely I am not posting this at the right spot, so please forgive me moderators. You are welcome to repost this question elsewhere if you like. So my question is what to do about the smoking problem and the clutch? I don't want to fix outside things and not have her running well. The transmission looks new. So it mainly involves new rings and pistons? The oil pressure stays above 30psi and jumps to 40psi upon throttling her up. So that looks good. Do we put in new aluminum pistons with the rings? She the block be bore out and totally redone or simply do the minimum? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Is there a way to safely enhance the engine while doing this for better performance? Hope I gave you enough information about the situation. Thanks in advance. Take care, Timex
P.S. We have the Clubfest at Cecil's on our Calendar. The family is hoping to attend if we can make it, my wife and daughters can bring some baked goods for you all to try out.
Last edited by Timex on Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Timex - Let me first say that I really enjoyed your story and I agree that it needs a place alongside many of the other cub stories on the forum. Welcome to farmallcub.com!
I would suggest that you post your question / questions on the main cub forum. Sadly, many of our members don't visit some of the side forums very often.
I'm sure your smoke problems are related to either worn or stuck rings and at this point I don't think it would hurt to run a can of seafoam through the engine to see if the rings can be unstuck. You really have only the cost of a can of Seafoam to lose and it may help. If you can make it to Cecil's in October you won't be disappointed.
If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.
My wife says I don't listen to her. - - - - - - - - Or something like that!
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