1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

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knightentc
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:30 am
Zip Code: 39553
Tractors Owned: 1953 Farmall Cub
[url=http://www.farmallcub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=122&t=87548]1953 Farmall Cub Restoration[/URL]
Location: Gautier MS

1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby knightentc » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:40 pm

This was my great granddaddy’s tractor. I have had it now going on 20 years and am ashamed to say but have let it sit out in the weather the entire time. I have always wanted to restore this tractor and every time I have looked at it during those years I would think to myself that I had better do something before I find a hole rusted through the fuel tank or something worse. It's hard to believe that it has just sat around the yard doing nothing for 20 years but it has. The years have passed by so quickly it makes me wonder where all that time has went. Surprisingly when I started this project a little over a month ago the sheet metal turned out to be in pretty fair shape. I had one spot on the fender where it meets the floor pan that was rusted completely out and the floor pan was rusted very heavily under the battery box. Other than that the metal has cleaned up very well. I am no professional by any means so any advice or tips will be appreciated. Here are some photos of the progress so far.

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Before #1

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Before #2

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Hood Primed

20150125_135232 (Large).jpg
Fender Primed

20150125_171748 (Large).jpg
Hood Painted

20150125_171814 (Large).jpg
Fenders Painted

Bob McCarty
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Tractors Owned: Cubs, MH Pony, Shaw, Allis G, 1934 Silver King, JD LA and LI, Gibson D, David Bradley Tri-Trac
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Location: CO, Longmont

Re: 1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby Bob McCarty » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:45 pm

Tim, Do you have the Cub running? If not, I'd suggest working on that now so you can do any needed repairs that might involve messing up that nice paint job.

Bob
"We don't need to think more,
we need to think differently."
-Albert Einstein

staninlowerAL
10+ Years
10+ Years
Posts: 4137
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:34 pm
Zip Code: 36558
Tractors Owned: Cubs: (3)'49's, (1 is parts), (1)'57 IH Cub LoBoy w/FH, (2)154 Number Series Loboys, (1 is parts), '76 Longstripe w/FH, Mowers: C-22, Bush Hog 412, Pennington 59, Woods RM42CF, Woods 42, assorted FCub plows, planters, discs, etc. OTHERS: '49 AC B & Ind. Sickle mower, '61 AC D12 Ser 2, '52 8N, '56 Ferguson 35 Deluxe, '53 MM BG (offset), (2) '49 Avery V's, '51 JD M (regular), '56 JD 420C, with Blade and fire plow, '85 JD 850 (Yanmar) w/72" belly mower, '76? Yanmar 2TR15 1500 & Bush Hog SQ42S-2 mower, '78? FORD Dexta, '86 FORD LGT14D & 48" Mower, (3)Cub Cadets & Mowers (MTD), (4) Sears Surburban's, other MTD mowers, Jeeps & other misc. "treasures"
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: AL (Southwest)

Re: 1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby staninlowerAL » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:06 pm

Looks like a Bush Hog 412 mower, if you need any info about it let me know. I'm about 75 miles north of your location. LA Cubfest is next weekend at Bogalusa LA, Looking forward to the trip. Stan

knightentc
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:30 am
Zip Code: 39553
Tractors Owned: 1953 Farmall Cub
[url=http://www.farmallcub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=122&t=87548]1953 Farmall Cub Restoration[/URL]
Location: Gautier MS

Re: 1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby knightentc » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:15 pm

Yes Bob, it is running. I just don't know how well yet. I've always been amazed that this tractor has never failed to crank. Usually it will sit for a year or two and I'll have to go out and take off the carb and clean everything up good but after that, once you put a hot battery in it will fire right up. However over the years it just lost power as in it would conch out trying to pull itself up any type of incline. I was going to take it to a shop to see if I could get it fixed but I couldn't stand the thought of paying someone to do something I probably could have done. I suspected it might be the governor but was really not wanting to get into that. Seemed really complicated to me. But after the shop not being able to give me an estimate or time frame for repair I did some research and forum lurking and ended up just pulling off the governor and cleaned everything up myself. It definitely pepped it up but I'm really not sure what kind of shape the engine is in since I have never really worked it. I did pull a disc about 18 years ago for a few days but since then about all I have done is pull stuff around the yard. I hope the engine is still strong. I'm amazed something hasn't frozen or busted. I have not done much to this tractor at all. I do know that it is in needs of something. Maybe a bearing or something because it does have a rattle when it's idling but seems like it goes away in gear. I'm thinking maybe a shaft bearing?

knightentc
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:30 am
Zip Code: 39553
Tractors Owned: 1953 Farmall Cub
[url=http://www.farmallcub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=122&t=87548]1953 Farmall Cub Restoration[/URL]
Location: Gautier MS

Re: 1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby knightentc » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:20 pm

Not sure about the mower. I only used it a couple times because I couldn't ever keep the belt on it. The deck is completely rusted out now. I suspect I might rebuild it one day. I really want to put a small box blade behind it. I have been fabricating a 3 point hitch for it. Hope to finish welding it up soon. Just need to find the right box blade next. Can't believe the price on those jokers!

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ricky racer
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Re: 1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby ricky racer » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:24 pm

Tim, what you've done looks great but I have to agree with Bob, the mechanicals probably should be done first. I usually start from the inside and work my way out. Life has a way of getting in the way of most of our projects and it might be such a thing that those nicely painted parts end up on a shelf for a year or so until everything is mechanically sound. Or worse, you get it looking like new then have to tear it apart to fix all the things that need fixing later. There is no doubt that you'll keep this tractor forever with the history it has. If everything is up to snuff mechanically, a lot of problems and frustrations down the road can be eliminated if taken care of up front.

I too have a '53 that I don't think ever spent a day under a roof. It had holes in it too but I took my time and corrected everything and now, even though it is a 1953, it's a new tractor and has never given me a bit of problems. It starts no matter what, even in -20 degrees. It has been a real pleasure to own and operate.

Before:
Image

After:
Image
1929 Farmall Regular
1935 John Deere B
1937 John Deere A
1941 John Deere H
1952 John Deere B
1953 Farmall Cub

knightentc
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:30 am
Zip Code: 39553
Tractors Owned: 1953 Farmall Cub
[url=http://www.farmallcub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=122&t=87548]1953 Farmall Cub Restoration[/URL]
Location: Gautier MS

Re: 1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby knightentc » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:02 pm

Ricky your tractor looks great. I hope my tractor will look that nice when I am finished. I have the same disc for my tractor plus a larger one. I recently tried to drag them out of the bushes but a tree has grown through them to the point they wouldn't budge. I was able to free one with a chain saw but the other will require some sawzall surgery. I agree with you and Bob on the idea of doing the mechanical stuff first. When I first started this venture my primary objective was to just get it running so I could spread some dirt around on a small mobile home lot I recently purchased. During that process I decided to prime a little and then decided to see what a little color would look like. I guess you could say that after seeing how the new red paint was looking and after researching the forum I got a dose of inspiration. My plan will be to prime and paint as I go through the tractor and then probably shoot a final coat of paint on when I am done. I think I have stopped the bleeding on the rust and will now get busy on the mechanical stuff. I am hoping there won't be a whole lot of mechanical stuff to repair but I do need to pin point the rattle. I may do a compression test over the weekend to see what the compression looks like. The oil hasn't been changed in probably 15 years and I would like to try and flush the engine and put a new filter and oil in it as well.

Bob McCarty
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Zip Code: 80501
Tractors Owned: Cubs, MH Pony, Shaw, Allis G, 1934 Silver King, JD LA and LI, Gibson D, David Bradley Tri-Trac
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: CO, Longmont

Re: 1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby Bob McCarty » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:05 pm

You might also want to check/change all the other fluids. Tranny, rear finals, fan, generator, etc. The manuals section has owner's/operator manuals that show all the lube and oil points and recommended intervals.

Bob
"We don't need to think more,
we need to think differently."
-Albert Einstein

knightentc
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:30 am
Zip Code: 39553
Tractors Owned: 1953 Farmall Cub
[url=http://www.farmallcub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=122&t=87548]1953 Farmall Cub Restoration[/URL]
Location: Gautier MS

Re: 1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby knightentc » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:04 pm

Here's some photos of the 3 point hitch I have been building. I hope to finish it up over the weekend. Just hope it all works when I am done! Anyone had much success using a small box blade? I know these tractors aren't sporting much horsepower but I am hoping it might be enough to work a 4' box.
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20150205_211537 (Large).jpg

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20150205_210551 (Large).jpg

knightentc
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:30 am
Zip Code: 39553
Tractors Owned: 1953 Farmall Cub
[url=http://www.farmallcub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=122&t=87548]1953 Farmall Cub Restoration[/URL]
Location: Gautier MS

Re: 1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby knightentc » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:14 pm

Bob, I plan to change all the fluids and most likely some seals and bearings if needed. To be quite honest I never new the final drives and the transmission are separated as far as the oil is concerned until I started researching a little on the forum. I have no idea if there is any oil in the final drives but have seen some leaks around them. I always thought the transmission was leaking but it could be the final drives.

Bob McCarty
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Tractors Owned: Cubs, MH Pony, Shaw, Allis G, 1934 Silver King, JD LA and LI, Gibson D, David Bradley Tri-Trac
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: CO, Longmont

Re: 1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby Bob McCarty » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:25 pm

The trannies often get enough water condensation to raise the fluid level above the seals, causing leaks. When you take the shifter off if it looks like you have a vanilla milkshake in there, you need to drain it, add 3 pints kerosene or diesel, drive around for a while then flush and refill with 3 1/2 pints gear oil. It doesn't look like you have front wheel weights. If you find the front end is light with the box blade on, you may need a set or two to keep the front end on the ground.

Bob
"We don't need to think more,
we need to think differently."
-Albert Einstein

knightentc
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:30 am
Zip Code: 39553
Tractors Owned: 1953 Farmall Cub
[url=http://www.farmallcub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=122&t=87548]1953 Farmall Cub Restoration[/URL]
Location: Gautier MS

Re: 1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby knightentc » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:11 pm

Was hoping to get to work on the tractor over the weekend but other things prevailed. I did manage to get the front wheels back on but I need to give some credit to my good friend Pablo since he has been a lot of help. Pablo and I met 7 or 8 years ago while he was doing some painting at our house. Since then we have become really good friends and he practically stays at the house tinkering around in my shop. He is a machinist by trade but can do most anything. Five or so years ago I bought an old Lodge & Shipley lathe for him and agreed to let him pay me back whenever he could. The lathe is a 1900s era and had been submerged during numerous hurricanes. The last storm was Katrina and it was never cleaned up allowing it to rust up. Pablo worked on the lathe just about every day for over a year until he had it back in perfect condition. He wire brushed or bead blast every part and piece before painting it. During that time we shared many hours together and I was really impressed with his dedication. He loves to tinker and has spent many hours cleaning and wire brushing stuff and getting the metal on the tractor prepped for paint. Most of my time has been spent welding broken bolts while extracting them and also spraying some paint. I also welded new nuts on the hood/tank where they were stripped or completely missing. I decided to epoxy the rusty floor pan with west system epoxy rather than replace it right now. I was very pleased with the results. Hoping to finish up the welding on the 3 point hitch tonight. Here are some more photos and a couple of Pablo and his lathe.

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Rusted floor pan.

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Floor pan after epoxy.

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Front end.

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New wheels.

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The day we brought it home.

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Pablo and his lathe.

danovercash
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Re: 1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby danovercash » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:41 pm

Checking valve clearance and a through tune up plus wet and dry compression will tell you what you have. I'm starting to sound like Eugene, lol. Tune-up and timing-valve lash will get your power back if rings and valves are good.
"I'd rather be a mechanic in the shop"- Henry Ford

252646 & 221525. 195897 (Gone, but not forgotten)

knightentc
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:30 am
Zip Code: 39553
Tractors Owned: 1953 Farmall Cub
[url=http://www.farmallcub.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=122&t=87548]1953 Farmall Cub Restoration[/URL]
Location: Gautier MS

Re: 1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby knightentc » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:38 pm

Haven’t had much time to work on the tractor lately but was able to make it to the Cubfest in Bogalusa. Have to say my wife and I had a great time at the Cubfest and made some awesome new friends. Also got some much needed help with the carburetor thanks to Bob. Afterwards Mr. Buddy advanced the timing for me which it really needed. Also found some issues with excess slack in the governor linkage which I plan to address soon. All I can say is WOW at the difference in the tractor after returning home. Before when I used to crank it, it took several revolutions to fire off. Now when I crank it I’m not sure it even makes a full revolution. It’s like BAM as soon as the starter engages and it’s running. The tractor seems to be running very well and has no smoke.

I did pick up some bearings last week and hope to replace the main drive shaft bearing and seal this weekend. Hoping that will quiet down some of the bearing whine I am hearing which may be my biggest issue at the moment.
Also was able to squeeze in a few hours to work on it this past Saturday before using the tractor. I changed the oil in both the engine and transmission. The oil in the transmission definitely had water in it and evidence of rust. I filled it with diesel and rode around for a few minutes and then drained and replaced with new gear oil. I can still see some rust so I know there still needs some cleaning done.
Question for you guys…. Has anyone ever filled there transmission with vinegar and let it soak? There is no doubt the vinegar will dissolve the rust but I’m not sure if that would be the best thing to do or not considering the other bearings. I learned some stuff about apple cider vinegar last year when someone suggested cleaning out a rusty tank. It took all of the rust out and the tank looked like new. I was really surprised. Then I tried it on a pair of fishing pliers that I would have normally tossed in the trash. They wouldn’t even open, not even in a vise trying to pry them open. But after a day soaking in vinegar they were as free as a new pair. Did it on a crescent wrench to and it worked just as well. So now I’m considering the transmission. Any thoughts…?

Engine oil….It must have been at least 20 years old since I have only changed it once. Got it drained and then removed the filter. Decided to clean the filer housing out but couldn’t get the drain cap off of the pipe nipple so I ended up taking the whole nipple out and had to heat up the cap to get it off. Guess it was a good thing since the nipple was completely plugged, I mean all of it too. While heating up the nipple a solid stream of what looked like tar oozed out until it popped out and shot across the room. That was a little interesting but I got the cap off and cleaned it up good. Got the new oil in and added a little Lucas oil treatment and seafoam to help clean and loosen things up. Also installed a new oil pressure gauge which looks nice and showed good pressure.

Afterwards I worked the tractor a little by dragging some heavy porches around while doing some demolition on a mobile home I recently purchased. The tractor ran well and seemed like it has a fair amount of power left in it so I hope things will be good from here on. Hope to get around to painting the rest of the tractor soon.

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Stanton
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Re: 1953 Farmall Cub Restoration

Postby Stanton » Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:23 am

knightentc wrote:...Question for you guys…. Has anyone ever filled there transmission with vinegar and let it soak? ...Any thoughts…?


Not sure about the vinegar. Most people (including me) have had good success using kerosene or diesel fuel. Drain tranny case, fill with either and drive around for 5 minutes or so, then drain. Inspect and repeat if necessary. When satisfied, refill with Hy-Tran or 80W-90 gear oil. That should do it.

Glad you were able to attend the LA CubFest. I knew you'd have a good time. :coffee:
Stanton
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