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544 Spindle & Steering Arm Question


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I have a 1968 IH 544 Gas. The front left steering arm and spindle nut were welded together but the weld cracked.

Rather than just adding more weld (or creating a V and filling) I wanted to see what parts it needed & replace them.

Pretty sure I have a frankenstein here and should probably just replace the spindle/nut/washers/felt gasket/steering arm to get back to 'factory' but wanted to check with the forum to make sure I wasn't missing something.

Starting shape:



Ground down the weld then undid the nut (or tried to) and sheared off some of the top of the shaft.


Now I'm not certain what this shaft is for & what was done to it. Looking online all the replacement shafts listed have fine splines on them...not the course ones shown above.



I'm half wondering if someone put a longer spindle on and welded the larger splines from another tractors steering arm on to the top of my steering arm?




Bad Side (left) vs Good Side (right)

I can tell things aren't quite the same. The nut/shaft size even differ.


Nut comparison








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Those all look nasty I'd say new splindles and arms are in order Is that a factory IH front end  ? some things look different about it

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9 minutes ago, ksfarmdude said:

Is that a factory IH front end  ? some things look different about it

Its a standard (5 forward, 1 reverse) with the Torque Amplifier. Also has an international loader on it.

From Messicks I think it's called a 'Heavy Duty Fixed Tread Front Axle' maybe?



I found a 544 with a similar front end online:





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Ahhh ok Its a utliity version no wonder , wasn't thinking they are different looking than the row crop tractors

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Its not the fixed tread.  You can slide the axle tubes in & out.   The fixed tread axle you linked in for parts has no adjustable tubes.   

I've attached the parts book I believe is your axle.   Note that there is a s/n break (12762) noted in the parts list for Item 7....along with different nuts/etc.   It takes a little guessing, but it looks like the early models had a 3/4" castle nut & cotterpin, while the later models had a 1-3/8" nut and flat washer.   Likely only the later part is available for repairs.

SO my guess is both of your items are correct - just somebody replaced one of them somewhere along the line.

Screenshot 2022-08-08 094504.jpg

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You have a row crop utility.  An unusual model.  The spindles may be taller than the regular utility. Your tractor was made for more ground clearance than a utility, but less height than a row crop.  You have row crop rear axles with the cast centers and double bevel rims. A hybrid.   Here is a 656 version of your tractor.


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1 hour ago, nepoweshiekfarmalls said:

Okay.  The one photo confused me.  I think the high utility has a different spindle, and that could have added difficulty to his project.  He should have the standard utility spindle.

It sure would be nice to see a picture of the whole tractor as those extensions are utility not high utility(utilty row crop ) as the adjusting tube is welded 1/3 of the way down instead of very near the top and the spline of a high utility starts close to the 12 in mark. After this many years any mash up of parts can be found. When those tractors were new enough we were taking the std  adjustable front ends off after customers started braking spindles and extensions and putting on the Hd nonadjustable fronts. This is what makes being a parts man fun,but it sure makes a liar out of you sometimes when you tell the man over the phone you have all the parts then he brings in something like that!


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  • 3 weeks later...

@R190 Sorry for the delay, had a vacation I went on and lost track of this link. Thanks for weighing in...I'd love to learn more about what I have. I don't have a ton of info on it other than this (I censored the last 2 digits...not sure if serial # is something you need to worry about):



Below are all pictures of my tractor.

So the left side is the spindle that was all welded up. The right side is still good. They may not be the same (to me the spindle nuts looked different). There are pictures of both below.



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Here are a bunch of pictures I took during removal of the spindle nut/spindle:


Drop Leg w/steering arm above it (the horizontal/diagonal is the cylinder for the loader)



Top of the spindle I removed:



Trying to compare the nut w/sheared spindle tip from the left to the good right side.



These are all good right side of the tractor:




This is back to the left side:



Trying to get more of the drop leg/linkage in the picture:



From a bit further back to see the whole package:



Drop leg + Steering Arm:




Top of the steering arm after it sheered off (note how it has coarse splines inside it)



Closer up from the side:



Measuring stuff:



Broken spindle w/coarse splines & nut/spindle tip







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Someone correct me if I’m wrong but on your serial number plate it has the letter i before the model number of 544, the i means the international version of that tractor, if it had an f then that would mean the farmall version of the 544. That might be where the discrepancies are but I could be way off, wouldn’t be the first time

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