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Farmall 340 tractor w/No. 266 cultivator


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image.png.89d9ced7d14da6951c46ae2cfa52d22c.pngOver eight years ago a 1958 Farmall 340 tractor with TA out and a non-running gas engine followed me home from 300 miles to the north.  About the same time nearly complete No. 266 cultivators followed me home from 600 miles to the east.  We all know the drill:  with a little time and money we can get it looking better.

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Well, with a lot of time and money the tractor part of the project was finished.  Front tires were switched from 15 to 16 inch.  With a full set of cultivators on the tractor my thought was that the 16 inch would better carry the extra weight.  Conventional rear rims were switched to power shift rear rims that were galvanized prior to mounting new 12.4 x 36 tires with two sets of split wheel weights.  The tractor walks uphill so maybe 13.6 x 36 rear tires would have leveled it up.  All the usual mechanical and cosmetic issues were addressed for a complete restoration.  You may notice the custom made seat riser for the deluxe seat.  This idea came from a seasoned IH collector and makes for a more comfortable driving tractor with better leg room and gets away from the feeling that you are driving a utility tractor with its tunnel type vision.

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Now it was time to tackle the cultivators; patiently they have been waiting their turn for that same 8 years.  It seemed best to make this a three phase project with the rear being the first phase.  As purchased the cultivator was mostly complete; new shovels were purchased and a fast hitch arm bracket was fabricated.

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Once taken apart the volume of parts is significantly reduced.  My preferred method of parts cleaning is a 40 grit flap disc on a 4 1/2 inch grinder (This keeps most of the dirt outside.), followed by all parts going through a sand blasting cabinet.  Then hang parts on a painting rack, wipe them down with a wax and grease remover, and finally brush paint with 2 coats of CaseIH Buff Primer, followed by 2 coats of finish color paint:  CaseIH 2150 Red, CaseIH Gloss Black, or Tallman's International Blue.  Flood's Penetrol is added to the final coat of finish paint.  For ease and timeliness selected parts were spray painted with a silver paint.

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Assembly is easiest when inserting the main rear frame part into the fast hitch prongs on the tractor.   All new fasteners were used.  Notice that the silver springs were red from the factory.  If I don’t provide an address maybe the correct police cannot find me.

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Then it is on to the right front section.  Ditto the procedure for the rear section:  take apart, clean, paint, and assemble.  It worked great to use the left front section as a ‘pattern’ when assembling the right front section, and then vice versa.  Again all new fasteners were used.  For my eyes the few silver parts add a degree of ‘attractiveness’ to the implement.  I also understand the view of the purists who prefer complete originality.

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Now just follow the color.   Assemble all of the red (and silver) parts, then all of the blue parts, and finally all of the black parts.  Notice the bar that goes from the right front section back and over the rear axle.  Per the book there are three ways to raise the front sections.  With my cultivator the fronts are raised via this bar being attached to an arm fastened to the fast hitch arms at the rear of the tractor.  That results in simultaneous lift for both front and rear sections.  One alternative is hydraulic cylinders attached in the torque tube area of the tractor to raise each front section independently.  To achieve sufficient height for the front when loading for any transporting to shows, etc. the back hole in that bracket was used.

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Two decals on the rear section and one each on the front sections (not shown) were added and the project is complete.  For me bringing an implement back to life (and preserving its history with a tractor of the same era) is as or more rewarding than the tractor itself.  Maybe it is because one sees so little of it.  Fortunately the cultivator was complete, sans the one fast hitch bracket when purchased, as parts hunting may have been an exercise in futility.   Now it’s time to hit the corn field and see if they work.  On second thought corn is shoulder high so maybe next year.

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Looks great Wes!  I have a very similar 466 cultivator to go with my '58 340.  Mine also has the "Danish tine" style shanks like yours has.  My rear rig is different though, I just have a straight piece of tubing that the fast hitch points and shanks mount to.  Mine also uses the lift arms to raise the cultivator with the fast hitch.  It amazes me that at the time this was new people were willing to save a few bucks by not getting hydraulic cylinders, they must not have had many point rows.  In my area it was nice to be able to raise the left and right sides separately when cultivating point rows. 

I had mine on the tractor once for a show after it was first painted and it's sat in the shed ever since.  It's harder to transport a 4 row.

Good job, looks great.

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Joel,

I completely understand about the 4 row implements and the bigger tractors.  That is a main reason I stayed with the smaller tractors.  Even some of the 2 row and small point fast hitch implements.  Thanks for the compliment.

On the hydraulic cylinders remember that many of the buyers when those tractors and implements were new were a result of the depression.  Every dollar saved was a dollar not having to be earned.  A few feet of row not cultivated never added up to the necessity of two cylinders.

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Awesome job on the restoration!!  I will be putting cultivators on 340 narrow this spring, does anyone have good pictures of the brackets and hydraulic cylinder setup for the front gangs? Mine are missing and will need to fabricate some, or if anyone has a pair there willing to sell? Please let me know!! Any and all help is greatly appreciated!! Thanks 

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If I can do it anyone can!   On the 266 cultivator I was very fortunate to find one that was complete, albeit rusty.  This one is simultaneous lift with the fast hitch powering the link that goes over the rear axle to lift the fronts.  It was missing one of the arm that fasten to the upper fast hitch arm so one was fabricated using the one from the other side to make a mirror image arm.  

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