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Impulsive purchase IH T-9

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the carb needs adjusting, running way too rich. its not even running smooth. should be purring like a baby kitten.  set main fuel adjustment on bottom of carb to 3 turns out. set idle mixture screw to 1 turn out. start it and fine tune it.  BUT you must set the timing first, as always with any tune up. it will start with 1/2 a revolution once things are set. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hope everyone is doing well out there and staying out of trouble. This has been a busy couple of months for me with not much time to work on the T9. Nothing but job and family stuff going on here in the deep south. I wanted to give an update of what's up with the crawler refurbish and as usual solicit input/guidance from people that have been in my shoes. Man, Is it normal to pour cash into a tractor that you KNOW won't be worth the sum of the parts when complete? Hopefully I am not alone in this and the final product will be worth all of the effort in a spiritual way (because it sure as @#LL wont be in a financial way haha). Admittedly in month #4 I am starting to have doubts, yet I remain committed. Enough moaning, gory details below

C335-Despite my efforts the engine sounds terrible with some loud popping sounds from the exhaust, smoke rising from the push rods, smoke escaping around the manifold and black smoke out of the stack at low RPM. The starter, magneto, carburetor, governor and air intake are about the only things that seem to work like they should. It's been timed and re-timed, I've poured every solution known to man down around the rings and installed the manifold three or four times trying to get it to seat good. Poured kerosene in every orifice and drained it and refilled in with expensive fancy oil. I am pretty convinced I need an engine overhaul top and bottom. 

Compression test-All the cylinders registered 60-65lbs dry test with the plugs out and throttle open (not much change on a wet test). The absolute highest was #4 at almost 70 lbs wet. I couldn't find a gauge that went to 7/8th inch threads so had to rig up a tester with an old spark plug, a drill and some 5200 marine. In three T9 crawler books not one mentions the correct compression for the distillate head engine cylinders (only the compression ratio). I know this is a low compression engine but that seems really low. However the carb will about suck your hand through the intake if you cover it while the engine is running. Does anyone know what the correct compression should be on this engine? I am currently rigging up a leak down contraption where i can pressurize the chamber and see where it might be leaking from.

Manifold-This thing is a hot mess no pun. I have a small horizontal crack (1.5 inches long) on the back side of the manifold facing the engine about an inch above the gaskets and its leaking pretty heavily (or it could be the exhaust escaping just below on the seal). The manifold won't seal with the head no matter how much I torque it down or adjust it. I was considering having someone V out the crack and braise it closed but that won't solve the sealing situation and might make it worse. A straight edge held to both mating surfaces shows they are basically straight (to the eye anyway). I read somewhere about putting loctite gasket maker on the manifold but wondered if that was doing more harm than good? I would have tried it on a lesser vehicle but that doesn't seem like the kind of temporary fix I want to do on this project. If I can't get the manifold to seal, it's hard to diagnose the other issues with this engine. Should I try new manifold studs and toss the mix and match studs that are on it? There are new manifolds available for around $300. Would it best to punt on the distillate manifold and go with a new one? Could this leaking manifold be the reason the engine runs like it does and otherwise is probably okay for a 20 hour a year tractor?

Radiator-pulled off the radiator and cleaned it out as best i could, replaced all the hoses and the gaskets on the lower tank outlet elbow and inlet tank. Before replacing the hoses there was so much water leaking out it was hard to tell if the radiator was holding water. After I re-installed it with new hoses and gaskets it pretty obvious the core is leaking and pretty sure the lower tank gasket is leaking also. Man those tank bolts look so rusted I'm worried about getting into them. Seems like there will be more drilling and tapping in my future. All of those bolts for the top and bottom tank are soaking in penetrant now. Unless I can pull off a soldering miracle, I will have to get that core sent off to be repaired or replace it with a new core. Any word on what that might cost? Any suggestions on a good specialized radiator outfit that could help me out?

Steering clutches-A few times I have driven the machine around and it will steer right with the clutch and left with the clutch+brake assist only. Pulling back both clutch handles bring the machine to a stop in forward gears. In reverse however pulling back both clutches does NOT stop it and it only turns with brake input. I can't say the clutches are stuck, but I also cant say they are working. Any insight on whats going on with those clutches? Can I get around pulling them considering I have my hands full on the T9 front half? I plan to try the "backing into a tree" trick next time it's running. 

Fuel Pump-The fuel pump seems to be making every effort to flood the carburetor. The engine actually runs better when I bypass the pump completely. Is this a normal delete for this engine? I have seen a few pictures of crawlers where it has been removed and covered with a plate. I feel like someone said that on this thread but can't find it now. 

Good stuff-I got new Harley Davidson replacement glass for the guide lamps that where broken and all are operational now. The Emblem guy (Jeff)  hooked me up with a new badge for the front grill (Thanks Jeff), I found a replacement generator and cutout relay on ebay for $40 along with the correct belt (belt part # courtesy of a KoO post). I also scored a PTO shaft and cover to run the belt pulley when the time comes (Thanks to John and Debbie at General Gear and Machine). Recovered the old seat bottom and am fabricating a seat back. Bought a NOS 4 position light switch and will pull the trigger on a new wire harness once I  get the kinks worked out of the radiator/engine.

I cant imagine having all these issues and tons of undercarriage work. The UC on this one seems to really be sharp and no issues so far so thank goodness for that.

Long story short-the engine probably needs a complete overhaul. With the prices I am seeing on bearings, sleeves and pistons it looks like it will cost at least $5K in parts and that won't cover the divorce haha. That's way more than I paid and combined it is way more than it's worth.  I am sure a million guys before me have found themselves in this situation and struggled with what to do. I am pushing ahead and plan to get this thing right. Can anybody talk some sense into me? 

Next up-Dropping the oil pan and taking a look under the skirt. Should be interesting...


I'll keep you posted on the progress.
















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...FatCharlie…...you are going well...….

…….My real interest is the diesel versions......but although we are busy as all get out with stock etc......my boy  insisted on breathing some life into an old  W6 tractor....of which we have no less than four......all  in various stages of decay...….Before we put in our humble area of maize, in October, he wants to organise a ''plough  day ''....always good fun !!

So went to work on one particular W6..a non electric model......circa   1945...(I used to be an earth works contractor...….and for many years, embarked on a personal crusade  to save as many old IHC tractors/implements etc....from the ignominious …""Send that crap to China ".....as many old hedge rows  etc, rich in vintage pickings.... were torn out for the ubiquitous   pivot irrigation.....)

This old W6 ran....sort of.....sounded a bit like your T9......sounded like a bag full of rectal orifices.....very low on compression etc..in fact it had had  water in #2 cylinder...….we did all the normal  things..but that old manifold looked a bit suspect...so we found a non ,distillate   manifold.....that didn't have the tell tale  crack in the back of it...….and the old W6 runs like a champ...….

If those manifolds are cracked internally.....you will never get the engine to run , nicely...…...just a thought for you to ponder ...:)

Luck !!……...Mike

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The steering clutches sound like they are doing what they should, sort of, when both levers are pulled back the crawler comes to a stop, it may just need more use to get better.

Central Radiator was the place that had new cores but you will need your cast top and bottom, you could either send it to an old school rad shop for cleaning and assessment or pull the ends and see where your at, broken bolts is the norm here...

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Agree with Mike,  my first OS6 would run ok for about 10 / 15 minutes then do exactly what you discribe. Found a different manifold, and that thing has run great for the last 20 years. I would start there 

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I never have much luck drilling and taping broken bolts. But cast radiators are easy use a flat washer, arc weld it to broken bolt even if it is a 1/4 inch down to it. Arc doesn't bond with cast very well so most weld is into the old bolt. Clean washer weld and weld a nut to flat washer. Let cool and turn it out of whole. If it breaks without coming out just weld it again. Most come the first time,? but had one that took 6 times but it came. To me the had part is patients to let it cool,needs to be so you can hold your hand on it,colder is better. You use the heat / cool to break the rust bond. I don't weld often enough to be very good,so I know it has to be the heating with the arc that takes heat all the way down whats left of broken bolt.

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  • 2 months later...

Mike it’s going good and thanks for asking. Finishing up installing the electrical system and all new fuel lines this week. I will post an in depth update once I have all the basic “rustoration’ completed. My ‘“to do” list keeps growing and I have a bunch more that needs to be done but man it’s looking good and running great. Stay tuned.






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  • 3 weeks later...

That’s not WD 40 but a 50%/50% mixture of diesel and used motor oil. We are next to the ocean and everything down here rusts quickly. I heard this mixture will help keep the rust from spreading since I don’t want to paint. Plus it makes her look sexy don’t you think? 

Still finishing up a few things but she is looking sharp and has officially done some field work (and some amphibious hotdogging). I took it out into our dove fields with the cultipacker to knock down millet prior to burning. I have yet to get her under a serious load but i’m anxiously awaiting an excuse.

I did back her up a tree trying to fully release the steering clutches which still require brakes to make sharp turns. I can feel the plates releasing through the inspection covers but when operating the machine it only tracks left or right with the clutch pulled back. It won’t actually turn a corner. I have sprayed PBB in to the clutch’s to try and free things up. Still working that out and trying to avoid the dreaded clutch removal.

I had a heck of a time getting the voltage regulator conversion done on the three brush gen and old 4 position light switch but it’s finally charging and the battery/lights/dash lights/ammeter are working properly.  

My radiator was a bad leaker and I had to use a magnifying glass to find all the small pinholes and patch them up with JB weld. I replaced the junk thermostat I originally bought with the right one and all is working well. Rad is not leaking at all now and the gauge sits right in the center of the green. Also had to grind out the old temp sensor. Used a chisel and hammer to literally dig it out of the head. Fortunately I didn’t mess anything up.

Still having some trouble with the original distillate manifold sealing to the head but it’s not backfiring and the engine runs pretty smoothly. I have a new manifold, gaskets, pipe and muffler for it but prefer to keep it original to the extent possible. I am going to try the wax paper sealant trick and then reinstall the gaskets and see what happens (again). I also need to make a new metal gasket for between the top and bottom of the manifold as there is some blowout from that joint that I previously put sealant in. 

The tough job has been getting the fuel tank clean. It had a 4 inch solid dry crust of the worst smelling stuff in the bottom of it. It’s been a real process of soaking, scraping, “shopvacing” and repeating. Plus it is divided into three sections and it is really tough to get any tools in the side partitions. I thought I had it clean and put gas in it a few times. After an hour or so the gas was coming out the color of dirty oil with the consistency of honey. Gummed up the fuel pump/carb/sediment bowl a couple of times being overly optimistic. I’ve used about every solvent know to man but seems like soapy water was the most effective (ethanol gas dissolved a lot of the funk too).

The UC has no issues to date.

The T9 is amazing in the swamp and can go places most tractors can only dream of. It floats on top of mud that swallows rubber tires down to the axle. This thing climbs over downed trees and ditches that were previously off limits. I’m really impressed with what it can do considering it weighs over 10k lbs.

As for my part let’s face it- I got a machine that was in pretty darn good working order. Most of my time has been spent cleaning up what was already there. Making and replacing gaskets, scrubbing and chiseling rock hard oil and dirt deposits off of every square inch and sourcing “bolt on” parts to make it whole again (belly hook, PTO etc). The point is that I haven’t had to do much heavy lifting because I lucked into a cherry. I can’t help but wonder if I would have caved under the weight of a much tougher more comprehensive project. I just have a lot of respect for the guys that go full tilt into a project and take it down to the floor and this is me tipping my hat to those guys (you know who you are). 


Here are a few pix of the progress and PS this machine was definitely Red from the factory. It looks like a dealer repainted it yellow because it’s a very good paint job and the decal work would have been first rate for back in the day. 






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10 hours ago, FatCharlie said:


I did back her up a tree trying to fully release the steering clutches which still require brakes to make sharp turns. I can feel the plates releasing through the inspection covers but when operating the machine it only tracks left or right with the clutch pulled back. It won’t actually turn a corner. I have sprayed PBB in to the clutch’s to try and free things up. Still working that out and trying to avoid the dreaded clutch removal.








The steering is working the way designed. Releasing the clutch just allows it to free wheel. If going down a steppe hill the released side will speed up. So unless you have a large load in tow it will not turn much until the brake is applied. The pulling the leaver and releasing clutch and applying brake too did not come till years down the road. 


Glad its working well for you. I will advice running in mud will shorten your track life,depending on how much sand there is in the soil it could shorten it a lot. So just because you can........but I do believe in getting work from the old machines. So have fun with it.

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