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New to Me 1953 Super M w/ M & W Hand Clutch


wjohn
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Hi all, to be up front I'm an AC guy but I always liked the looks of an M. I did my research and realized M hydraulics aren't too exciting (infinitely better than a WC back when these tractors were both new, to be fair) and decided to keep my eye out for a late M, SM, 400, or 450. Went to check out a WD-45 and the guy had a dead D-19 w/ loader and Super M sitting next to it. It turned over with a fresh battery but had no spark, and he said when it was running last it would barely move - he suspected some issue with the M & W hand clutch. I made him an offer on all three tractors and he ended up accepting it. One of the guys on the unofficial AC forum pointed me this way for the SM.

I spent some time trying to find anything to help me ID the loader and eventually found a part number cast into the valve that ended in R1, which made me think it was an IH part number. Sure enough, turns out it's an IH 2000. I may make a separate post in the future about the pros and cons of putting that on the Super M someday.

RE the hand clutch - someone must have lost the original cover as it has a homemade wooden one in it that doesn't fit great, and I suspect doesn't do whatever it's supposed to internally (guide a ball, hold a spring, whatever I'll find when I tear into it). So, I think I need to find a cover somewhere first before I go tearing it apart. The handle broke off at some point and I do have the rest of it that I'll weld back on eventually. Even just the stub sticking out is very loose and I can move it back and forth by hand, so there's almost no pressure on anything in there - I'll fix the cover and perform the clutch adjustment per the manual, but I wouldn't be surprised if the clutch plates are pretty worn out.

Is anyone still making clutch disks for these? I found references to Vollbracht's in NE, but couldn't find any recent info on them, and Bates Corp but they have nothing listed on their website. I'm not needing any ASAP, but if these things can't be bought new, I might be better off finding the parts or a parts tractor to convert it back to factory and I'd rather know to start looking now.

And, always ready to learn - if there's anything unique about this SM, or you see some things that obviously need attention, I'd appreciate that, too. The serial number is L-510599. PTO shaft is for sure leaking so that will get fixed after getting it running and whatever I have to do with the clutches. It sure has some massive wheel weights in the rear and I'm hoping it'll pull my 11.5' IH 470 disk someday.

1953 Super M.jpeg

Super M MW Hand Clutch.jpeg

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1962 D-19 LH.jpeg

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Pictured above is a M with live hydraulic like a super M . Hand clutch is hard to find parts for this confirmed the tractor being a straight M as it's a drum brake under the hand clutch cover pictured 

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7 minutes ago, superih said:

All have clutches used a band brake.

Looks like a late Super to me, Super grill and disc brake on the right hand side, nice find!

Has the super m hydraulic under the tank also.

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It's an early Stage 2 Super M. Note the drum brake on the right side along with the battery box under the seat, hydraulic reservoir under the gas tank, live hydraulic pump... I have one that is nearly identical right up to the M&W clutch.

Short answer is, NO. Medium answer is, nobody is making parts for the M&W clutches.

Long answer is, what makes it worse is that it's a Super M clutch, which is not exactly the same as the M clutch. A lot less common, even rare.

I'm considering removing mine because it only kinda works and the brake is worthless.

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Welcome aboard wjohn, good to see you made it! That old girl does have some serious weights on it, didn't see the inside ones earlier. Pretty good looking rubber on that thing.

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A few years back I installed a hand clutch for a customer . It needed disks . I sent the old ones to Hy Capacity and they custom made the disks .

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The other unique fact about your Super M is the fact that it was produced during the limited run of Super M's built at the Louisville plant.  The "L" in front of your serial number indicates Louisville.   Most  all Super M's were built at Farmall in Rock Island, Illinois.   In fact, all the parts were made at Farmall and shipped to Louisville for assembly.  IH did that to keep up with demand for the Super M tractors.  Analysis of the Louisville venture has shown that it was not profitable, but necessary at the time to meet demand for new tractors.

Looks like a nice machine. Congratulations!

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The original cover had a lug cast into it on the inside to keep the inner half of the throw out bearing from rotating. The clutch will not work without it. It’s kind of an over-center arrangement using a series of balls; it will stay locked or unlocked but cannot be operated without the correct cover, or weld a block inside that aluminum cover to coincide with the notch in the throwout bearing. When you get it working, adjust the handle engagement pressure to be as low as practical for whatever you are doing. The objective here is to minimize the wear on the throwout bearing if you want to use it a lot (baling hay for example). This is a minimum horsepower requirement so the clutch doesn’t need to be very tight. If you want to pull 3-12’s the clutch will slip with this light setting, so I tighten mine up to the recommended 30 pounds of engagement force w/ a 3’ long lever. Then I don’t use it. There is no need to when plowing. But when I want to use it a lot, I loosen it back up. The throwout bearing is irreplaceable, need to treat it right, and adjustment only takes a minute.

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If you modify the existing cover it is important that it is prevented from rotating. That’s what that dowel pin in the top is for. 
  Pictured is the correct lever, guess is less than 3’.EE77126D-3441-4DE7-A474-3A650803DC57.thumb.jpeg.e66740b24fad7986fc4e030b66639e0b.jpegB7233947-4526-4BA7-9EB3-B2757EF58241.thumb.jpeg.2c82b5af68bd7eb9be78b0bb3b62ccbf.jpeg

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7 hours ago, bitty said:

Pictured above is a M with live hydraulic like a super M . Hand clutch is hard to find parts for this confirmed the tractor being a straight M as it's a drum brake under the hand clutch cover pictured 

 

5 hours ago, superih said:

All hand clutches used a band brake.

Looks like a late Super to me, Super grill and disc brake on the right hand side, nice find!

I never realized that. After thinking about it would be impossible to be a disk brake with the hand clutch, had to be a band. That made it more complicated than the M hand clutch kit back in the day 

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my uncle had m&w clutch on a H when it got so my cousins couldn't get parts for it they took it off and put the tractor back stock. when it was new it worked good the only other tractor in our neighborhood back then, early 50's, with any kind of live pto was hand clutch on allis WD

pete

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our stage 1 super M is also a Louisville "L" serial number.

pete

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19 hours ago, wjohn said:

 

RE the hand clutch - someone must have lost the original cover as it has a homemade wooden one in it that doesn't fit great, and I suspect doesn't do whatever it's supposed to internally

 

 

 

I have a few extra covers. pm me if interested

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11 hours ago, Matt Kirsch said:

It's an early Stage 2 Super M. Note the drum brake on the right side along with the battery box under the seat, hydraulic reservoir under the gas tank, live hydraulic pump... I have one that is nearly identical right up to the M&W clutch.

Short answer is, NO. Medium answer is, nobody is making parts for the M&W clutches.

Long answer is, what makes it worse is that it's a Super M clutch, which is not exactly the same as the M clutch. A lot less common, even rare.

I'm considering removing mine because it only kinda works and the brake is worthless.

I didn't even think about the hand clutches being different between an M and an SM... Darn. Guess that makes sense and will make things more difficult. Maybe I'll get a few minutes tonight to at least get the cover off and peek around.

To be fair I don't plan on using it (most of my ACs have live PTO via their hand clutches for anything I'd want to run) so I'm probably looking for the path of least resistance - if the hand clutch only needs a couple of fairly straightforward and not too expensive things to get working, great. If not then maybe I convert back to factory parts.

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11 hours ago, DT Fan said:

Welcome aboard wjohn, good to see you made it! That old girl does have some serious weights on it, didn't see the inside ones earlier. Pretty good looking rubber on that thing.

Thank you sir! I'll have to get used to all your red posts and your profile pic over here, haha. The tires are pretty good other than a few lugs on one of the rears that are sort of delaminating in the outer layers. I hope they'll hold up and I won't have to shell out any money for tires for this tractor.

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9 hours ago, nepoweshiekfarmalls said:

The other unique fact about your Super M is the fact that it was produced during the limited run of Super M's built at the Louisville plant.  The "L" in front of your serial number indicates Louisville.   Most  all Super M's were built at Farmall in Rock Island, Illinois.   In fact, all the parts were made at Farmall and shipped to Louisville for assembly.  IH did that to keep up with demand for the Super M tractors.  Analysis of the Louisville venture has shown that it was not profitable, but necessary at the time to meet demand for new tractors.

Looks like a nice machine. Congratulations!

I had seen the Louisville serial number listings when I looked it up, but didn't understand the logic behind it - thanks! Looks like they made 11,500 or so Super Ms down there. Not rare by any means, but definitely a neat bit of history.

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9 hours ago, Binderoid said:

The original cover had a lug cast into it on the inside to keep the inner half of the throw out bearing from rotating. The clutch will not work without it. It’s kind of an over-center arrangement using a series of balls; it will stay locked or unlocked but cannot be operated without the correct cover, or weld a block inside that aluminum cover to coincide with the notch in the throwout bearing. When you get it working, adjust the handle engagement pressure to be as low as practical for whatever you are doing. The objective here is to minimize the wear on the throwout bearing if you want to use it a lot (baling hay for example). This is a minimum horsepower requirement so the clutch doesn’t need to be very tight. If you want to pull 3-12’s the clutch will slip with this light setting, so I tighten mine up to the recommended 30 pounds of engagement force w/ a 3’ long lever. Then I don’t use it. There is no need to when plowing. But when I want to use it a lot, I loosen it back up. The throwout bearing is irreplaceable, need to treat it right, and adjustment only takes a minute.

Thanks for all of the info. I'll try to get the cover off later tonight and take some pictures. There are some screws into it (yes, it's actually wood) that I suspect are holding something that serves this function.

If I get it functional I would probably do what you mention - tighten it up to the high side of the spec and almost never use it.

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Super H with a hand clutch would really be rare I'd think 

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1 hour ago, bitty said:

Super H with a hand clutch would really be rare I'd think 

Can't be too many of those around. Not that I go looking for them, but I've never even touched a Super H before. Saw a few at Jon Kinzenbaw's years ago.

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So I spent a few minutes looking into the hand clutch tonight. Pulled the cover off and things actually looked better than I was afraid of. The adjustment nut was already unstaked and turned easily. I tightened it up slightly but didn't restake it yet. Looking at the homemade cover you can see the tab they screwed in to keep the throwout bearing from rotating around. The whole thing still floats around some as it doesn't fit tight in the clips, as you can hopefully see in the pictures below. I stuck a screwdriver in that gap between the clip and the cover in the top-down photo, just to take up the space, and that kept the cover from moving and let the throwout bearing do what I think it is supposed to. I can now get the lever to lock in the forward and rearward positions which I could not do before, because the lever was just rotating the whole throwout bearing around. Big thanks to Binderoid for the explanation of what the cover is supposed to do.

I also attached a couple of pics of the broken clutch lever that came with the tractor... It doesn't have the bends in it as shown in Binderoid's photo, so maybe somebody already hacked it up. Looks easy enough to make a more proper looking one though. For now I'm using the perfect sized piece of pipe that was on it when I bought it.

I'm not holding my breath that the cover is the only thing keeping this from functioning properly, but that would be the best case scenario! The guy I bought it from had previously referred to it as having possible "TA" issues but he wasn't an IH guy either. I was at least able to figure out this tractor didn't have a TA, haha. I have some leads on a cover thanks to the forum, too.

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14 minutes ago, wjohn said:

The guy I bought it from had previously referred to it as having possible "TA" issues but he wasn't an IH guy either. I was at least able to figure out this tractor didn't have a TA, haha.

LOL

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I've yet to work on a clutch for an M, but for an H they are the same from an H to a Super H, if assume the same thing for an M and Super M.

I see grease on yours, my Super H was covered in grease, I disassembled, cleaned everything really well, replaced leaking bull pinion seal, put back together and it works just fine.  The bearing on an H crossed perfectly to a Cummins throw out bearing.

If you are not going to use the clutch just tighten the nut up all the way and it will lock the clutch in.

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9 hours ago, bitty said:

Super H with a hand clutch would really be rare I'd think 

There is one about 2000 feet from where I’m sitting!!!!!

It also has power steering. Neighbor lady uses it spread manure, just one horse so it doesn’t get used much…..

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