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450 and M in a barn fire


kossuth

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Wish I knew what the serial numbers were and I would post them but the stamped tags aren't readable anymore.  Got hot enough that the insides of both the carbs turned the venturi into a molten glob at the bottom of the carb.  Touch control levers are gone on the 450 'melted' and the rear pto shield on the M is twisted like no other.  Also melted the hydraulic coupler brackets 'aluminum'.  Oil still in the crank cases but smells burnt.  Oil cap on the M is missing, I presume melted.  The throttle rods, PTO rod, and other such small steel items are either drooping/sagging or just outright missing.  

Worth trying to save or scrap?  The 450 is just a tractor, but the M has some sentimental value, first tractor my dad bought when farming.  Trying to be realistic here.    

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7 minutes ago, FarmallFan said:

I would scrap. You would be money ahead to find another tractor.

I would too. I understand the M sentiment. I had a 656 hydro burn in a barn fire in July 2005. Believe me if i had thought it salvageable, i would have done it in a heartbeat. Fire and heat are hard on machines. You'll be chasing problems with it until damn near every part has been replaced 

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Unfortunately it was my dads barn that burned.  He’s almost 80 now so rebuilding or replacing anything isn’t an option. The M needed a lot of work but the 450 was a real good running tractor with good tires. Both tractors had wide fronts on them. 

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start with several non runners......have used parts from 6  out of fires.

would go with non structural parts as you dont know..?  M axle housing out?? front casting   but inward   hoses   still there

 

450 about 75%  - left side anything that would not cause a hazard if it failed

if oil is not tar check bearings and go as many aluminum pieces are there and they go around 1100*

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I not well versed on restoring fire damaged tractors at all. Like was said before things that could be dangerous have to be taken in consideration.I would worry about axles and housings just because I farm steep hills and would not trust one that was heated not to break. The tractor would roll here in a second. I don't know how much heat it would take to change temper in steel.That is for some one else to answer,but I burned tires off rims,then later tried to salvage rims had them bend and break.I know it is thinner steel but result might be the same.

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19 hours ago, kossuth said:

Well dang. Unfortunately that’s what I thought the consensus would point to as well. Hoping I was wrong. 

M looks to be in a range that maybe the tractor serial number is one I can figure out from the engine block serial number that's stamped in the block. Since it was your dads and you just wanted to know.

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What really hurt them is when the fire dept. threw cold water on hot cast iron -look for cracks in castings but id try to save the M if possible especially since it means something to you. that means TOTAL disassembly -burnt oil turns to a sandy grit.

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Fire threads are almost like oil threads in that everyone has an opinion and most are based on "feel".

Speaking purely physcially and chemically, the following parts are typically degraded by heat in a barn fire:

  1. Paint
  2. Rubber
  3. Stress bearing steel (if and only if it's hot enough, not always the case)
  4. Paper
  5. Felt seals
  6. Aluminum

 

The following parts are almost certainly not effected by fires typically

  1. Cast Iron - just doesn't get hot enough
  2. Non-stress-bearing steel such as sheet metal unless visually warped beyond use
  3. Usually glass

 

When you look at the makeup of a tractor like this, cast iron and non stress bearing steel makes up most of the machine. The effected parts would include anything you see actually burned (wires, paint, etc.) and might include fasteners (I'd be skeptical considering the overdesign of this vintage), bearings and mating surfaces... and that is about it...

 

Now, on a personal note:

You can do what you want based on whether the effort is worth it to you, but both of these machines are salvageable. If it were me, I'd rebuild that M for sure. Wouldn't be the first tractor to come back from a fire. You said it needed a lot of work anyway, so it's probably not a much greater endeavor. Who cares if you miss a few things needing repair and have to chase a few straggling failures in the coming years? I assume this isn't a business machine that needs to earn its keep. If it's me, it'd give it character. If it's me, I don't get a second chance at my dad's tractor. That's to say nothing about "money ahead". You can figure out the economics for yourself but rarely are we money ahead on old tractors. it's okay to spend money on things you enjoy.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Figured I would give a brief update. Put a bar to both motors before the clean up crew came to get them. LOCKED.....  Oil in both motors was about the consistency of tar. When the clean up crew went to drag them out the only one that would roll at all was the 450 on the rear on the rim centers. The rear of the 450 didn’t burn much though. Front rims on both tractors and the rear rims on the M were locked up solid.  Steering on both was locked solid also.

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On 11/6/2019 at 4:00 PM, kossuth said:

Figured I would give a brief update. Put a bar to both motors before the clean up crew came to get them. LOCKED.....  Oil in both motors was about the consistency of tar. When the clean up crew went to drag them out the only one that would roll at all was the 450 on the rear on the rim centers. The rear of the 450 didn’t burn much though. Front rims on both tractors and the rear rims on the M were locked up solid.  Steering on both was locked solid also.

So what are your plans with them?

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