The French Connection

Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:49 pm

Howdy Folks - its Andy here from across the pond in UK.
I am anxiously in the process of buying a French built 1958/59 Cub with Serial No 722101.
The owner is completely up front and tells me he has had it converted for some reason from 6 volt to 12 volt but it has failed to start. The reason for this is not clear. I have not vas yet seen the girl 'in the flesh' - only in photographs.
As I am completely new to Cub ownership could somebody throw light on the following:
1 Any idea what could be the fault?
2 Is there a big advantage in 12v against 6 v?
3 Would it be best to convert back to 6v and retain originality?
Other questions:
1 Is there any particular difference between the US and French models - apart from language?
2 Can you tell me overall dimensions of the basic tractor front/back and side/side - for transportation?
3 Is there a useful contact in the UK?
I sure appreciate your time and help on this one!

Re: The French Connection

Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:28 pm

Welcome to the Forum!

Hard to say what the problem may be, could be as simple as plug wires not connected correctly, or could be much worse...
Advantage to convert to 12v is cost, it much cheaper and easier to find parts.
Converting it back is totally your choice. If done right, all the conversion parts are hidden, except to the well versed.

Early French Cubs were made in the US and shipped across the pond. Later French made Cubs had French ingnition and electrical components.
On average, depending on wheel settings, a Cub will occupy a 4x8 space easily. Plan on using a 5x10 at least, larger if you can.
There are a few members on the Forum from the UK. Not all that active though, so I'm not sure if you'll get any help you may be looking for.

Best of luck! Let us know if there is anything else you may need!

Re: The French Connection

Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:34 pm


G'day to you and I hope you get your girl home soon. :D That serial number would make it the 101st Cub off of the St. Dizier production line if I remember the #'s correctly, so it is an early French Built Cub. There are differences between US and French built Cubs. I would have to check my books on the differences though.

This is a very good source for information on the French Cubs - I have this book and I have learned a lot from it. If your French is passable it is pretty easy to understand.


Tracteurs Farmall Cub et derives 1947-1979 Jean Noulin

Image to :big smile: 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 :arrow: the Welcome Wagon wherein you will find links to many useful sites and topics. One of which is the Cub Manual Server. Enjoy!.

Re: The French Connection

Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:13 am

We used to drive our cub onto the back of Grandpa's '67 IH pickup to transport it between our house and Grandpa's. Tailgate closed.

I prefer 12V because of the availability of components - batteries and the like. We've been converted since the '70s.

As far as starting - I couldn't get my parts tractor to start - no fire - new condenser and points fixed that so it could be £10 parts.

Good luck getting the new girl home.

Re: The French Connection

Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:21 am

Well that's a great start ('scuse the pun) to Cub ownership. Many thanks indeed to you for helpful responses.
The owner is hoping to find a local Farmall enthusiast to help start the old girl before collection scheduled for next Friday.
She has apparently covered barely 300 hours in 53 years - so I'm pretty excited.
May decide to collect with my brother's US Ford F150 pick-up (steering wheel on correct side for France) if she fits and will start.
Will let you know how things go.

Re: The French Connection

Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:31 am


great! another french cub owner!
i'll try to help you as far as I can, about this machine specific parts.

Re: The French Connection

Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:56 pm

Bonjour and thanks Yaume.
Is there a useful source for spare parts in northern France? I'm based in south England a few miles north of Portsmouth so it would be a good excuse for a trip over! Also bringing the girl home I will coming up from Geneva via Reims - so any source you know of in that direction could be handy? Merci mon ami.

Re: The French Connection

Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:14 pm

A cub being transported in the bed of a 1/2 ton truck would be pushing it in my opinion, I would only recommend something 3/4 ton or larger, just my two cents.

Re: The French Connection

Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:27 pm

good point about the 1/2 ton truck....Grandpa's old pickup once hauled 6600 lbs of gravel for the drive in a single trip - standard 3/4 ton 300 six, 3 on the tree....

The Ford should be up to the task - you'll just need to find a bank or loading dock on both ends of the trip. Take the turns easy and you should be fine.

Re: The French Connection

Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:54 pm

Hello Andy,

the best place to buy cub spares is not on this side of the world...
Case IH dealers can purchase some but prices are "somewhat high"

I've buy all the specifics spares to TM tractor in the US. They ship to europe, and service is top leveled.
for the used spares (such as hydraulics or delco ditstributor) i've traded with Richard batstone at as they also Ship to France.

I understand that you bought your cub in switzerland? that's a long trip to get it to England!you must be passionate.

have a nice trip anyway.


Re: The French Connection

Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:28 am

New baby Super Cub has been safely delivered to the UK with my trusty Land Rover and trailer. The tractor was picked up from the foothills of the French Alps between Geneva and Annecy - a round trip for me and buddy Brian of almost 1400 miles!

The tractor has effectively been in the hands of one owner from new delivered February 1959 - a small farm with one cow and four goats! She is completely original and in unmolested condition with fauchese portee F-22 (cutter bar) and charrue portee F-189 (plough or plow). Original Kleber tires show no sign of wear. There are documented hours of work (3 hours on maize, two hours plow.......) and we think she has done barely 300 hours. My guess she must be one of the best 'original' Cubs worldwide - but you folks will know better than me!

The issue is now to fire her up. As stated she was converted some time ago from 6 volt to 12 volt. Already we have found the carbon brush missing from the centre of the distributor cap and a damaged plug lead.

Questions I hope you can help with:

1 How is the circular black cap removed from the distributor to access the condensor and points?
2 What is the timing for the ignition?
3 She has Champion D-16 spark plugs - is that correct?
4 Points gap?
5 What are the best modern oils to use for the engine sump and back end (gearbox/axle)?

Thanks in advance for your invaluable help - and hope Hurricane Sandy is not causing too much grief.


Re: The French Connection

Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:18 am

Welcome Andy, I don't know how long it's been since your cub has been started. If it's set a while be sure to do a search and read about priming the oil pump before starting the engine so oil pressure will be up once your running.
I'm sure one of the boys here will post a link for you later this morning.

Re: The French Connection

Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:25 am

1.will be 2 spring clips you can pry them back with a screw driver
2.set the static timing at TDC that will be the 2nd notch on the front pulley, the advance should advance to the first notch 16 degrees at full throttle
3.D 16 are fine gap at .023
5. 10W30 in engine 80W140 gear grease in the transmission and the finials as well as the steering, Hy Tran in the touch control
6.BE SURE TO PRIME THE OIL PUMP before starting up if it has been setting for a long time
GET THE manuals and read them

Re: The French Connection

Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:27 am
That is a link to the manuals READ them

Re: The French Connection

Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:33 am

check the valve lash too you can READ the manuals to get that info
If it were a low hour tractor I would see no reason to convert it to 12 Volt, if done correctly there is no reason to change it back, however it does raise a red flag with me.
Last edited by Boss Hog on Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.