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FarmAll down the pond. . . !


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My very recently revamped tractor, a 1949 FarmAll M, was running fine just before the mishap. I had just finished rebuilding the carb, the magneto, the governor, trans & engine oil changed, brakes adjusted, charging system fixed, and many many other knickknacks here&there… about 2 weeks ago. Then.. this past Sunday it went in the pond nose down, in first gear, at 60 deg angle, being retained from going to the 30' bottom by luck as a rear wheel of the brush-hog it was pulling got snagged by a tree trunk on the bank. It was pulled out within 1~2 hours, and stayed there (it was night then..) overnight, and the following morning i drained the engine oil+water, removed all the electrical devices and flushed them with clear water and followed that with a serious drenching with WD-40. I also removed the carb, disassembled it, and somewhat cleaned it for later revision…   Poured WD-40, then PB-Blaster through the sparkplug openings.  Did i miss something ?

The engine was fully submerged, the water also partly covering the tranny. I feared damaged valves and/or bent con-rods because of the cylinders sucking water while still running… and maybe a seized bearing for lack of lubrication due to the severe angle. Upon checking the following day, the valves seem OK. I'm still unable to remove the oil pan to look at the connecting rods…. or anything else thru there-under that might indicate why the engine won’t turn. There is a front blade on the tractor, and its supporting tube/crossmember prevents me from lowering the pan enough to be removed.  A good soul/friend is helping me removing all that assembly…. hopefully tomorrow that'll be done.

What could be the cause; I’m not able to turn the engine, not by hand (at pulley, without sparkplugs), nor using the front crank handle/starter (even using lotsa leverage..!). What else could be jamming…. ???  The tractor was in neutral when it was hauled close to the barn, and the back wheels freewheeled.  The clutch seems ok…. Would a bent rod and/or a cooked bearing might cause that….. not being a true mechanic i’m not sure.

Also; a front spindle broke (IH (i think..) wide front end).  I’ve noticed that the vertical piece that snapped is the same diameter as a DANA 70 axle. Can that piece's weldings ground off, and then pressed out and replaced ??   Is that something that has been accomplished before ??  Or should i just look for a used one…. ?

Any tips and/or recommendations… ??   thanks a zillion, in advance...

images;  1) just before going across the weir.   2) being hauled out of the water.    3) back home, damages investigated... (broken wheel/spindle in front)   4) can't remove the oil pan.

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hi folks....  thx for responding.  Yes, the engine was running when it plunged downwards in the water and stopped soon thereafter. Upon hauling  it out of the water i removed the plugs and got water spilling out of the second cylinder only... all the others were empty.  The valves seem OK, as i got some play in all of them. Tomorrow i should be able to get the oil pan out and i'll try to see if there is a bent rod from underneath. What should i "expect" to see, and/or;  is there a procedure to follow to check what causes the seizure  ??  Yes... it was/is disheartening to have it run so fine after so much effort... only to have this happen so soon afterwards !

 

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It was full of fresh new oil (oil and tranny, worked maybe max of 3 hours !)  My guess is that as soon the magneto got wet inside the engine would have stopped. The person driving doesn't remember how long the motor ran underwater... but surely it wasn"t that long !!   Can bearing go bad that quickly ??   If so, is it something that can be fixed in place... or does the whole motor needs to be removed ??

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Look at the rod that the water came out of #2

If it would have had Lucas electrics it would have stopped when the front tire got damp, unlucky in that aspect but beats a lifetime of other grief

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( and i remember 40 yrs ago my Triumph 750 Bonneville had Lucas electrics... and the joke was : Lucas, the inventors of darkness !)  Hardtail; would the rod need to be jammed tight against the casing ?   I guess i'll know when i get that oil pan out...  I'm just trying to get as much info asap as it won't be long till the snow covers everything here.. and then depending on what i find i might have to shelf that project till next spring.  The tractor is outside, and not quite movable as is... !    When i tried to nudge/turn the engine using long leverage on the hand crank... it didn't move the tiniest bit !!  I would have thought that i'd get some slight play.. !??!?

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I assume that the tranny is out of gear and the PTO disengaged? Not needing an explanation, but was it the tractor or operators fault that made this happen? I can't imagine a bearing or rod going bad from that, even if it was full of water, even the valves should have still been working.

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yep.... the tranny is out of gear.  The tires rotated freely when the tractor was hauled back home.  My wife was driving it out to brush-hog the higher fields when she lost control (?).  I might get an extra batch of cookies from it all...?

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Sorry to hear that, I was only wondering if something mechanical had happened to cause this that may be part of your current problem. I hope she is alright, that would scare the daylights out of anyone.

One time we went to a guys house in a 4x4 pickup. Come time to leave, wouldn't move. After an hour of checking fluids and everything else, the tranny lever got bumped into neutral when getting out. Some times it is the simplest things.

I have a hard time believing it would be bearing, they can last for quite awhile with no oil.

Check your rod, but is it possible to have someone push the clutch in while you try. I don't know how the internals of the pto is on that, but I'm wondering if with the brush hog on (I assume it was not running), that maybe it has jammed something internally.

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thx Duntongw... the pond is actually a dam weir, and it is very steep. Luckily the brush-hog back wheel retained everything (tractor + brush-hog) when it jammed against a big trunk on the bank.  I shiver when i think of her going down that slope, the brush-hog behind... !

The PTO, if i understand correctly, engages after the clutch mechanism. The clutch seems OK, as the rear tires freewheeled home. Maybe something (part of a broken gear (?)) is jammed between the front section of the clutch, against the flywheel...  ???

I too hope that the bearings wouldn't "burn" so quickly....

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Fluid being incompressible once that cylinder filled with water and intake valve closed could have sealed its fate if the bushog was running probably worse results ☹️
Did spindle break to lose control? Not sure on the axle hardness vs the original spindle, they are both likely hard but may differ? 

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The spindle broke as we were hauling the tractor out of the pond, on that same log that prevented the whole 'shebang' from going in deep. Can a machine shop test for hardness... and/or is that factor (hardness, brittleness (?)) the most important one ?   I've just found in the attic an original IH manual, dated 1947, of the "adjustable wide front axle". It says attachment # 57067 DC.   Does anyone have a spindle for sale ??

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After thinking about this some more, I can't believe that the engine is damaged. The tractor was running when it went into the drink, but once that stump stopped forward motion, unless it was digging 2 ruts or out of gear, that would have stopped the engine. Besides, by the time water had gotten past the air cleaner, filled up the intake tubes, carburetor, intake, and filled "all " of the cylinders with water, I am sure it would have shorted out the electrics first. Number 2 cylinder just happen to be the one that had it's valve open while waiting for a rescue.

I know you have said it free wheeled more than once, but that has no bearing on it now. You say the clutch seems ok, if you push the clutch in and try to spin engine, that will tell you it is between the flywheel and the end of you crank, if it still does not turn over.

Again, I don't know how that tractor is constructed, but  on my 434, the pto engages to the main shaft between the clutch and the tranny, so being in neutral does not help. I'm guessing that the severe angle of the mower and the tractor, has caused the pto to bind up something internal. My guess, we will see how it turns out.

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i like your logic Duntongw.....    and will try everything you suggest.  They forecast 4" of snow before Wed... so i'll have to rush some !   I'll report back towards the end of the day... still have a 2nd story patio to deconstruct, and that FarmAll to check, and s'more before snow fall.   

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I’d remove the spark plug and attach a wet dry vacuum to each cylinder . Attached to air cleaner. Attached t to exhaust . 
put some marvel mysteries oil in cylinders . Hand crank After your sure all water is out. Hand crank with valve cover off ,make sure clearness is right  watch valve move up and down oil them.

drain water ouT of Governor. 
take your time you willGet  IT going just don’t rush , hand crank I’ll you sure it’s free, can’t assume anything 

vacuum magneto spray contact cleaner on points 

drain generator .and starter

sorry got in late but posting anyway 

 
 

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ok....  t'was a long day !   The FarmAll;  we finally managed to get that blade support/crossbar out of the way... and remove the oil pan.  Judging from what i've seen from underneath, cylinders 1 and 4 are at BDC.   If i pry those bottom rod bearings against the crankcase with a crowbar i can coax them to move somewhat (approx a 30° range)... something i couldn't do using the front hand-crank, nor by trying to turn the PTO, nor by trying to turn the back wheels while 5th gear engaged.  Now... why can i do this... and not get nothing to even nudge the tiniest bit by other means (hand crank, turning PTO, turning back wheels).... is beyond my understanding !!   From what i see peeking upwards from the oil pan, the con rods seem straight. The valves seem ok; they all seem free to move.   If i can turn the crankshaft with my 24" crowbar, can i assume the bearing to be OK ?.   Should i put the starter back in and try turning the engine by jumping it with a battery ????   How can i tell if something downstream the flywheel isn't jammed........   f***   (fuddle duddle... ?  ) !!    

Duntongw; My farmAll M has the standard a non-live PTO. Which means, i think (not an expert !), that the trans is connected to the PTO, downstream from the clutch.  I first tried to turn the engine by turning the PTO...;  to no avail, in gear or not, no matter how long an extention for greater leverage i used !  I then jacked the rear end and tried in 5th and 4th gear to turn the engine again by turning the rear wheels.... again with no success !!   Something here is wonky, either in my brain fog, or in the trnny case.....

??

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I assume that the engine has not been recently rebuilt, you mention refurbished, but I'm guessing only externally. If it has not recently been rebuilt and the plugs are out, it should not take much pressure to rotate it. That being said, I don't mean you could grab it by hand and rotate it. The bearings are wore in, but you still have static pressure on the rings and all other components. As I had mentioned in an earlier post, did you try it with the clutch in? Does that make it any easier?

As far as the bearings, unless you tell me something otherwise, I still assume that the engine was stopped as soon as the mower got lodged onto the stump(still in gear, no deep runts from tires spinning, etc.). If that happened I can not believe that there was time for water to enter the engine and get into bearings. Now, I have to also assume that the engine was full of water when you drained the oil? If so, you will still have water residue in the engine that will get circulated with the oil. i don't know what is the best way to get rid of that. If my assumptions are correct, I see no reason not to try turning it with the battery, but do it with the clutch in, so it is not trying to turn something further back. Just try it to see if it will turn over alright, and then get some oil in it and take of the electrical.

As far as the pto setup. I would have to try and find a diagram of it, I am not familiar with tractor, other than driving one about 40 years ago.

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Correct Dun... i've never done/fixed/modified nothing internal on that FarmAll.  I've now once managed to turn it pass the point where it was when the engine stopped after getting dunked (piston 1 & 4 at BDC, and 2 & 3 at TDC), and that requiring a fair amount of torque (pipe wrench with 3' extension) on the front hand crank thingamajig.  With vacuum i only had water + oil in the #2 cylinder... all others were "clean". Added Marvel oil in all the cylinders.  It seems to "hang"/ "become stiffer" as i cross that point; ie when #2 is at TDC... and away from this point its kinda easier.  Clutch in, or out; i don't notice any difference !!  I've reinstalled the starter and tried it, once again with clutch in both position.... and the starter doesn't move anymore once reaching that hang point.   Could it be that the con rod is quasi-imperceptibly bent in such a way that it opposes motion only at TDC ????   Should i try to disconnect it (unbolt the rod cap) ??, or am i getting into more troubles ?   Everything seems OK after the clutch.... and i now "see" inside the engine.... but is there a way to easily inspect that inner flywheel-clutch space ?

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Heather, who was driving it when "it" happened tells me that it went in with 1st gear engaged, and PTO disengaged.  It most probably stopped when the magneto got wet.  Immediately after being hauled out of the water, i removed the sparkplugs and then noticed water only in #2 cylinder....   There was PLENTY of water everywhere else....

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Duntongw;  you say "if you push the clutch in and try to spin engine, that will tell you it is between the flywheel and the end of you crank, if it still does not turn over".   What is there between the flywheel and the end of the crank that could cause that (so much resistance) ??    & thx again...

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Piero: Well, that is the proverbial million dollar question. I understand what your asking about the connecting rod, but in my mind I don't see where it would make a difference if it was in the top of the bore or the bottom, it still has the same amount of contact on the piston, and I'm assuming that is the only rod on the crank journal, so it's not like its hitting against the one beside it. With the spark plugs out, it should not make any difference.

Again, I am not familiar with the tractor, but your hand crank is not binding up on something at that point is it?

I think at this point you better try to find a mechanic to look at it in person. You obviously have something going on there, and the last thing you want to do is damage something more. Being able to stand there and look at it, can make all the difference in the world. I know that is not what you want to hear, but I think at this point it is beyond your knowledge and our/my guessing from long distance.

I have not worked on  an M, so I'm afraid I can not help you as far as being able to inspect the flywheel area. I would think there would be an inspection cover on it somewhere. There is nothing in there to come out, if you see a cover on the side or bottom of the bellhousing area, try it.

Good luck and stay in touch.

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