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Tips for working on a Farmall H


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Welcome to the forum. Everything they said is good advise.  I’ll add to soak everything with PB blaster or something like it (wd40) as much as possible. Those spark plugs. The carb bolts. Those drain plugs. Next time you're near the tractor, I would spray all that stuff and let it soak. 

 The cracks in the block mentioned earlier they would not be something that you could see from the outside of the motor. That’s why we want you to check the oil and make sure it does not have any antifreeze or water in it. Oil floats on water, that is why checking the drain plugs at the bottom (Bottom of the oil pan, same as that plug in the back of the transmission) at the bottom is where are you look for water. 

Holding your finger over the plug  holes to check for compression, you would need a helper to turn the engine over while you were holding your finger over the hole. You can also take the spark plugs while they are out, and put the wires  back onto them and rest the plugs against the engine, And have a helper try to start it while you look at the plugs and see if they make spark.  Don’t touch the spark plug with your hands while the engine is being turned over, because if there is spark there, you could get a shock off of the plug wire. Not a dangerous shock,  but it still would not feel good.  If  there is no spark there then you definitely need to look at the points as mentioned earlier. 

 

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Only thing I can add is to check the amount of coolant in the radiator if you want to run it somewhat longer. For very short running, only startup, coolant isnt really necessary as the engine doesnt get hot

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No use in speculating until you know for sure.  Loosen the plugs Slowly, and stare at them while doing it. Water will seep past the threads and drip out first, if it’s there. 

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Doubt your grandpa would let it sit in cold weather with just water in it, but you never know.  If liquid is visible in the radiator and it's any color other than clear, buy or borrow an antifreeze testor and see what it is good to for freezing point. 

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1 hour ago, stronger800 said:

No use in speculating until you know for sure.  Loosen the plugs Slowly, and stare at them while don’t it. Water will seep past the threads and drip out first, if it’s there. 

To be clear, water in the oil can also come from moisture condensing in the engine over the years.   So clear water beading out of the plugs may be just that, not a sign of a cracked block or head.    Antifreeze in the oil is.   

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Excellent point. I was mistakenly using the terms water and Anti freeze as one in my head

Derek01, Hopefully there is green fluid in the radiator and nothing that shade of green comes out the drain plugs.  

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My second cousin started working on it a couple of years ago and went through it, he replaced the magneto and swapped it to a 12 volt charging system so I'm hoping he checked those things but I will check it out this weekend when I'm not doing school

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1 hour ago, Derek01 said:

My second cousin started working on it a couple of years ago and went through it, he replaced the magneto and swapped it to a 12 volt charging system so I'm hoping he checked those things but I will check it out this weekend when I'm not doing school

Nice tractor. I have my Grandpa's 1948 H that he bought new. Done a bunch of things on it and use it lightly on the farm. 

Since I see you're from Michigan. I am too. What part of the state are you from? I'm from Albion. If you need any help, me along with a lot of members on here have the knowledge to steer you in the right direction. Let us know 

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10 hours ago, Derek01 said:

If the does have water/antifreeze in it how do I go about checking if the block is cracked 

If its green its probably antifreeze. That makes the chance of a cracked block a whole lot smaller

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The block can crack just as easy as the head , I know first hand been there done that , Usually the block cracks behind a sleeve

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If the block is cracked behind the sleeve is that something that needs to be fixed immediately and if so could it be welded or brazed?

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That's the worst case scenario , don't mean to scare you but it did indeed happen to me when I got a super M from a neighbor , I ended up getting another block and rebuliding a new motor

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Derek, we are all just brain storming here.  It’s an old tractor. Anything could happen,but  it could very well be just fine.  We probably should not even have mentioned the cracked block thing, but we all just wanted to make sure you were checking your oil before you attempt to start it. Because if the oil is full of water or antifreeze and you fire it up....that will wreck $tuff. 

I am assuming you have already talked to everybody in your family that might know something about the machine. Like why was it parked? And the last time it was running, did it run good? Or did your cousin abandon it for a reason? 

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Yeah--anytime you ask a bunch a grumpy old mechanics about "what might be wrong with X".....you are gonna get a whole flood of "the worst things I've seen".    It is entirely likely that your tractor is basically fine and just needs some TLC to get it started and running again.  The point is you know what the typical signs of problems are....just in case.

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Not sure who your calling grumpy old guys but they have seen more odd things happen than greenhorns have and have been around the block a few times more , Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good and make your own judgement call concerning all the types of problems that can arise 

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I'll go through it this weekend and I'll see what I find, my grandpa took pretty good care of it from what I've heard it has been sitting outside since his barn collapsed about 20 years ago so I don't really know what to expect from it

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On 5/12/2021 at 8:02 AM, ksfarmdude said:

Not sure who your calling grumpy old guys but they have seen more odd things happen than greenhorns have and have been around the block a few times more , Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good and make your own judgement call concerning all the types of problems that can arise 

Settle down G.O.G. 😄

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5 hours ago, iowaboy1965 said:

Settle down G.O.G. 😄

Ha  Ok

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Ask your questions son?

It's nice to help an adopted Grandson who is working on an IH.

We will give this a team effort and get this Ol Girl running.

Welcome to the forum.

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