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Farmall M-TA: Increase Road Speed?


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3 hours ago, DR.EVIL said:

   After running our Super M-TA a little bit summer of 1963, cultivated corn, mowed hay, disked & plowed, Christmas of '63 I find a Deere R facing me when I open the machine shed door. Dad tells me, " It's YOUR tractor this coming spring!"  And I don't EVER recall Dad running it, or even riding on it. Dad did run it to his favorite Deere dealer for a tune-up, 20 miles there and 20 miles back. The R and SM-TA were within a single horsepower of each other, but the SM-TA would work circles around the R, and my ears wouldn't ring for hours and hours after running the SM-TA like they did after 3-4 hours on the R, and the R labored on EVERY load we put behind it, 14 ft Krause disk at about 4-1/2 mph disking corn stalks, forget the Deere 4-14 trailing plow, I pulled the IH #8 3-14 with the R most of the spring. In fact, we still had 16 acres to plow when the Township road Commissioner bought the R, I plowed that 16 acres with the SM-TA and the Deere 4-14 plow.

   The factory muffler wasn't much better than a straight pipe on the R. The neighbors laughed at the R, at the right engine speed the front end of the tractor bounced up&down about half an inch. R was the ONLY 2 cyl diesel with the gutless 2 cyl Pony motor, a Farmall M and a stout log chain was a better "starting aid" an H, even a Super H wasn't enough tractor to pull start an R. R was also the only 2 cyl diesel with just 2 main bearings on the crankshaft. The Deere salesman told Dad to don't EVER lug the engine down, sounds like a broken crankshaft just about destroys the engine.  Oh and that 11 mph road gear was another one of those, " What the HECK were they thinking!".  The R had the FIRST live pto Deere ever put in a tractor. Our Road Commissioner knocked out the pto drive train three years in a row running a rototiller, third time he traded the R for a 770 Oliver diesel that is probably still running trouble-free.

   Neighbor had a 730 Deere diesel, was his big horse till he bought the side console 4020 with turbo the neighbor across the road traded in on a new Deere. Not sure what all problems the various tractors had, but the old Deere A he had, 4020, 3020 gas, all didn't run at his auction, only his 350 FARMALL that was his first and only tractor for close to 10 years.

   Probably my worst day on a 2 cyl Deere was rotary hoeing Beans with a Deere 60, could only start & run in 4th gear, listened to that thing hammer and bang for about 10 hours doing 80 acres of beans. I forget what I did the next day, maybe chop haylage, but I would NOT have run that 60 another minute on a second day. This guy and THREE 4020'S, 4320, 4230, and I get stuck on the 60 because the bigger newer faster tractors are busy?

My thing with those two bangers with that horrendous noise and was the transmission.I drove a A pulling loads of hay up and down hills to barns.I run those hills get as far as I could until it bout stall in 6th then rip back the clutch work the gear shift back through the maze to like 2nd or third and putt up the hill. Crazy how dumb you are when your a teenager,holding two loads of hay hooked together on hills with nothing but the brakes.Then trusting everything to start up again, not rolling back ending up jack knifed in a ditch or smashing a little old lady in a VW bug.

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2 hours ago, Jacka said:

My thing with those two bangers with that horrendous noise and was the transmission.I drove a A pulling loads of hay up and down hills to barns.I run those hills get as far as I could until it bout stall in 6th then rip back the clutch work the gear shift back through the maze to like 2nd or third and putt up the hill. Crazy how dumb you are when your a teenager,holding two loads of hay hooked together on hills with nothing but the brakes.Then trusting everything to start up again, not rolling back ending up jack knifed in a ditch or smashing a little old lady in a VW bug.

People say that 4020’s may have caused the end of IH, but I think in a lot of ways it was the Two cylinder that did them in. Deere held on to that design for so long and waited so long to introduce something else, that when they finally did they made sure it was (mostly) right. It was such an old design they were able to actually make money off of it. Not to take anything away from the IH offerings of the time, but I always thought that a 720/730 was a powerful tractor for what it was. I was never around an 820/830, but I imagine they were powerful machines. 

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1 hour ago, GaryK said:

Perhaps installing a 9 speed transmission would solve the problem

The 9 speed' s added additional gears between 4'th and 5'th.

I had 16.9's on my 450. She moved right along down the road.

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On 11/17/2022 at 1:10 PM, Jacka said:

My thing with those two bangers with that horrendous noise and was the transmission.I drove a A pulling loads of hay up and down hills to barns.I run those hills get as far as I could until it bout stall in 6th then rip back the clutch work the gear shift back through the maze to like 2nd or third and putt up the hill. Crazy how dumb you are when your a teenager,holding two loads of hay hooked together on hills with nothing but the brakes.Then trusting everything to start up again, not rolling back ending up jack knifed in a ditch or smashing a little old lady in a VW bug.

Probably did it that way because you learned it from your dad who was much older than a teenager, AND had you in his lap. Who is the crazy one now? :) 

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4 hours ago, Matt Kirsch said:

Probably did it that way because you learned it from your dad who was much older than a teenager, AND had you in his lap. Who is the crazy one now? :) 

No never learned it from dad,I don't ever remember sitting in his lap.My earliest memories of him and me on a tractor came about 4 or 5.He would stand on the drawbar of the M and I would stear it down around the barn.At 6 I was following windrows of hay pulling a NH Super 77 with a Wisconsin motor with him riding the wagon .At 10 I was driving down the roads by myself and these were blacktop roads in which is now suburban Philadelphia which is Chester County. No I did that crazy stuff on my own and kicking the Old M outta gear going down hills cause it was so slow was one of them.The narrow front would just wobble back and forth.Nuts.Its a wonder I lived to adulthood let alone long enough to get my motorcycle license and start being a terror on a rice burner.

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On 11/17/2022 at 3:24 PM, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

People say that 4020’s may have caused the end of IH, but I think in a lot of ways it was the Two cylinder that did them in. Deere held on to that design for so long and waited so long to introduce something else, that when they finally did they made sure it was (mostly) right. It was such an old design they were able to actually make money off of it. Not to take anything away from the IH offerings of the time, but I always thought that a 720/730 was a powerful tractor for what it was. I was never around an 820/830, but I imagine they were powerful machines. 

  The Waterloo Works was the most profitable unit in the JD system from the end of WWII until the end of the 2 cylinders.  JD used this money wisely for product development and to expand their financing for farmers.  Credit was a major marketing inlet for JD through the good times of the 1970's and some pretty bad times during the  1980's.  I heard time and again how guys bought JD products because they could not line up financing elsewhere.  Not the same PTO rating but it has been said an 830 would go toe to toe with a 4010 in terms of drawbar work.  

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  Personal opinion but I think that the 4020 Power Shift coming out a few months ahead of the 806 helped JD on its upward trajectory in the industry.  When dad bought his 4010 new the 4020's were already out but the 806 was far enough off that the local IH dealer would not talk price or delivery.  My understanding is that for 1963 IH had most of the 06 series release in the Midwest and few got this far east.  Dad bought the 4010 because JD had it on clearance.  It has been an excellent tractor.

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My grandfather had one of the first 806's about 25 miles outside of Buffalo, (and interestingly also one of the last) so some of the initial release must have made it East.

I always maintained that things may have turned out very differently if IH had stretched 350/450 production 2 more years and concentrated on the 706/806 for release in 1960, instead of continuing with their previous "baby steps" policy of introducing one new feature every one or two years to pander to the "I DON'T LIKE CHANGE!" crowd.

Deere cut that baloney at the exact right time.

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Oh come on there guys. Those two cylinders were not all bad either. Grew up on A John Deere’s and super M internationals. The super m were superior for some things but the A was good also. Now I have also ran 3020, 4010.4020,4320, 706 , 806 1206, all the 66 series and most of the 86 all the 30 series and 40,50 series jd. Every tractor has their good and bad points but I love them all.

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48 minutes ago, Matt Kirsch said:

My grandfather had one of the first 806's about 25 miles outside of Buffalo, (and interestingly also one of the last) so some of the initial release must have made it East.

I always maintained that things may have turned out very differently if IH had stretched 350/450 production 2 more years and concentrated on the 706/806 for release in 1960, instead of continuing with their previous "baby steps" policy of introducing one new feature every one or two years to pander to the "I DON'T LIKE CHANGE!" crowd.

Deere cut that baloney at the exact right time.

  I would imagine that the large dealers such as L & W and Batavia Farm Equipment got an early taste on the 06 series.  No local dealer around here then would have held a candle to their sales volumes.  It only mattered to guys like my father who were in the market for such a tractor in the first half of 1963 and did not want to wait.  IH no doubt had tractors to all dealers shortly there after.  IH was no different than any other manufacturer who wanted to squeeze a design to the last cent to get their money back.  JD did have good timing as to doing that then being ready with a major design change.  

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18 hours ago, dale560 said:

Oh come on there guys. Those two cylinders were not all bad either.

Argh! Here we go. Not allowed to talk down on green and yellow tractors on the IH board.  Those things are rare around here. We had dealers, but nobody bought them! We had many much better options for tractors. Well, one local farmer had a hit-and-miss 2 cylinder tractor, and everyone made fun of him, and still mention it today! Haha. 

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1 hour ago, Farmall Doctor said:

Argh! Here we go. Not allowed to talk down on green and yellow tractors on the IH board.  Those things are rare around here. We had dealers, but nobody bought them! We had many much better options for tractors. Well, one local farmer had a hit-and-miss 2 cylinder tractor, and everyone made fun of him, and still mention it today! Haha. 

No you can talk them down all you want. Just pointing out from an honest view point of someone who has ran multiple color and model of tractors that they are not as bad as perceived. Starting out driving tractor on cub cadet and a H John Deere way back around second grade. Then jumped up to the 52 A jd for mowing and raking,running augers and grain dryer. Onto the super ms 4020 and 806. By time I was 14 I was running tractors the majority of any one at farm. Probably between every piece of equipment 1500 to 2000 engine hours a year. I have many thousands of hours on equipment. Also what I broke I had to fix so I learned fast to be easy and gentle. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for John Deere 2 cyl, IH letter and super series, the 560, 06,56,66,86 series, the JD 10,20,30,40 50 series tractors and as stated before a well running GM 5.7,6.2,6.5 or a Ford 6.9 7.3. Those are the sounds , smell and tastes of my early years that made me a bitter old curmudgeon.

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4 hours ago, dale560 said:

No you can talk them down all you want. Just pointing out from an honest view point of someone who has ran multiple color and model of tractors that they are not as bad as perceived. Starting out driving tractor on cub cadet and a H John Deere way back around second grade. Then jumped up to the 52 A jd for mowing and raking,running augers and grain dryer. Onto the super ms 4020 and 806. By time I was 14 I was running tractors the majority of any one at farm. Probably between every piece of equipment 1500 to 2000 engine hours a year. I have many thousands of hours on equipment. Also what I broke I had to fix so I learned fast to be easy and gentle. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for John Deere 2 cyl, IH letter and super series, the 560, 06,56,66,86 series, the JD 10,20,30,40 50 series tractors and as stated before a well running GM 5.7,6.2,6.5 or a Ford 6.9 7.3. Those are the sounds , smell and tastes of my early years that made me a bitter old curmudgeon.

  Oliver 88 and Super 88 gas or diesel were very good tractors for their day. 

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6 hours ago, 766 Man said:

  Oliver 88 and Super 88 gas or diesel were very good tractors for their day. 

Yes I owned a 1850 series c or whatever with a Perkins it was shot but I liked that tractor. Worked on a lot of 1550,1650 55 tractors. One of my old person bucket list is a white 135 or 105. Also Minnie mo , allis and Massey tractors made a living for people up here to.

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10 hours ago, dale560 said:

No you can talk them down all you want. Just pointing out from an honest view point of someone who has ran multiple color and model of tractors that they are not as bad as perceived. Starting out driving tractor on cub cadet and a H John Deere way back around second grade. Then jumped up to the 52 A jd for mowing and raking,running augers and grain dryer. Onto the super ms 4020 and 806. By time I was 14 I was running tractors the majority of any one at farm. Probably between every piece of equipment 1500 to 2000 engine hours a year. I have many thousands of hours on equipment. Also what I broke I had to fix so I learned fast to be easy and gentle. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for John Deere 2 cyl, IH letter and super series, the 560, 06,56,66,86 series, the JD 10,20,30,40 50 series tractors and as stated before a well running GM 5.7,6.2,6.5 or a Ford 6.9 7.3. Those are the sounds , smell and tastes of my early years that made me a bitter old curmudgeon.

I think most guys have had some experience with other colors. 

Those putt bang tractors were well built and possibly great to some people. but if they were so great how would it have worked out if they continued with that archaic design?? How about the Farmall Doctors favorite power shift with a putt bang 2 cylinder ahead of it. Those tractors were past their best before date 10 years before the second gen tractors, I have no issues with JDs esp 2nd gens but the 2 lungers were one step above a steam engine

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12 minutes ago, hillman said:

I think most guys have had some experience with other colors. 

Those putt bang tractors were well built and possibly great to some people. but if they were so great how would it have worked out if they continued with that archaic design?? How about the Farmall Doctors favorite power shift with a putt bang 2 cylinder ahead of it. Those tractors were past their best before date 10 years before the second gen tractors, I have no issues with JDs esp 2nd gens but the 2 lungers were one step above a steam engine

  JD estimated that the G,70, 720, 730 were the largest row crops that could be made given that configuration.  Remember front mount cultivators and mounted corn pickers were considered important applications for row crop tractors.  The staff below top management at JD knew this but the ultra-conservative top bosses ultimately made the decisions.  Good thing that these same bosses were retired or moved to other parts of the company around 1950.  The 2 cylinder design was done for.  Had JD been less into experimentation such as V configuration engines the new Generation tractors might have been out by 1958.  The 30 series was a reaction to the program being behind schedule.  But in the end JD's timing was good as the farm economy slumped during the very late 1950's so a new launch would not have been blunted.   

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  Also, it is impractical to maintain a production line for a tractor for limited volume such as with the 820 and 830.  The tooling at Waterloo was replaced for the New Gen tractors with no place to run parts for the 830.  The engine building equipment was as such to get a maximum from base dimensions such as with a crankshaft.  One line could run with minimal changeover time hardware for 3010, 4010, 3020, 4020 all the way up to the 466 in the 4440 from what was installed in the plant during 1960.  IH no doubt had similar logistics.  Several model changes were factored into a upgrade for factory equipment.  

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8 minutes ago, 766 Man said:

  Also, it is impractical to maintain a production line for a tractor for limited volume such as with the 820 and 830.  The tooling at Waterloo was replaced for the New Gen tractors with no place to run parts for the 830.  The engine building equipment was as such to get a maximum from base dimensions such as with a crankshaft.  One line could run with minimal changeover time hardware for 3010, 4010, 3020, 4020 all the way up to the 466 in the 4440 from what was installed in the plant during 1960.  IH no doubt had similar logistics.  Several model changes were factored into a upgrade for factory equipment.  

I am sure other companies did this also but John Deere transferred most of the tooling to South America and the 2 cylinder lived on until the mid 70s being produced across the equator.

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2 minutes ago, dale560 said:

I am sure other companies did this also but John Deere transferred most of the tooling to South America and the 2 cylinder lived on until the mid 70s being produced across the equator.

  They did of course with the Argentine 730 being the most prominent example.  My understanding is one of the tasks at Waterloo during the changeover was to run extra parts for certain models to have replacement parts as needed.  

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On 11/21/2022 at 8:24 AM, dale560 said:

No you can talk them down all you want. Just pointing out from an honest view point of someone who has ran multiple color and model of tractors that they are not as bad as perceived. Starting out driving tractor on cub cadet and a H John Deere way back around second grade. Then jumped up to the 52 A jd for mowing and raking,running augers and grain dryer. Onto the super ms 4020 and 806. By time I was 14 I was running tractors the majority of any one at farm. Probably between every piece of equipment 1500 to 2000 engine hours a year. I have many thousands of hours on equipment. Also what I broke I had to fix so I learned fast to be easy and gentle. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for John Deere 2 cyl, IH letter and super series, the 560, 06,56,66,86 series, the JD 10,20,30,40 50 series tractors and as stated before a well running GM 5.7,6.2,6.5 or a Ford 6.9 7.3. Those are the sounds , smell and tastes of my early years that made me a bitter old curmudgeon.

Have you ever tried to back a full load of hay up a barn bridge into the barn or line it up with the elevator with a JDA,B,G or whatever. Hand clutch,one hand on the steering wheel ,no way to work the throttle if need be and a tractor that jumps as soon as you try to back up.A M,MTA would do it SOOOO much easier and actually be able to complete the task without cussing,swearing,jack knifing or hitting something. I was better at backing them up with a 4wd Ford F250 in low range than a JDA.

Two cylinders JDs were horrible tractors in my opinion. I also am not a IH snob as owned and ran every other brand,Minnie's,Olivers,Massey AC,New Jds and Fords.

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3 hours ago, Jacka said:

Have you ever tried to back a full load of hay up a barn bridge into the barn or line it up with the elevator with a JDA,B,G or whatever. Hand clutch,one hand on the steering wheel ,no way to work the throttle if need be and a tractor that jumps as soon as you try to back up.A M,MTA would do it SOOOO much easier and actually be able to complete the task without cussing,swearing,jack knifing or hitting something. I was better at backing them up with a 4wd Ford F250 in low range than a JDA.

Two cylinders JDs were horrible tractors in my opinion. I also am not a IH snob as owned and ran every other brand,Minnie's,Olivers,Massey AC,New Jds and Fords.

Done about everything possible with either tractor. Use your foot to apply slight pressure to clutch handle as backing up. They will pull just fine with slight pressure on handle. Way, way back the only farmhand dad had was on a 47 A jd. He bought a 54 super m to replace it but the old A got the job done for years before then it got retired to corn cultivator. I was always low person on the totem pole. Dad had himself and at times 3 hired men. During winter season they would usually find a way to go to town all 4 at around 2:30 in afternoon. Get parts or haul 2 loads of grain. This trip always involved a stop at whatever town bar was nearest. So while those 4 were getting their suds on someone actually had to do the work at home. This was feeding cows pigs and other livestock or during seasons running batch grain drier, unloading trucks, any maintenance that needed done my favorite thing was loading the two trucks again after the 4 old men came rolling home every night at around 6:30. So we always had specific tractors for specific tasks and usually the 52 Jd A was assigned to whatever I was doing that day. So I have a lot of experience on that tractor. I started driving on them so hand clutch and no power steering didn’t bother me. In the summer I cut hay with the A then pulled the rowse rake with it. The higher guys got the other super M we had and then the 4020

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8 hours ago, dale560 said:

Done about everything possible with either tractor. Use your foot to apply slight pressure to clutch handle as backing up. They will pull just fine with slight pressure on handle. Way, way back the only farmhand dad had was on a 47 A jd. He bought a 54 super m to replace it but the old A got the job done for years before then it got retired to corn cultivator. I was always low person on the totem pole. Dad had himself and at times 3 hired men. During winter season they would usually find a way to go to town all 4 at around 2:30 in afternoon. Get parts or haul 2 loads of grain. This trip always involved a stop at whatever town bar was nearest. So while those 4 were getting their suds on someone actually had to do the work at home. This was feeding cows pigs and other livestock or during seasons running batch grain drier, unloading trucks, any maintenance that needed done my favorite thing was loading the two trucks again after the 4 old men came rolling home every night at around 6:30. So we always had specific tractors for specific tasks and usually the 52 Jd A was assigned to whatever I was doing that day. So I have a lot of experience on that tractor. I started driving on them so hand clutch and no power steering didn’t bother me. In the summer I cut hay with the A then pulled the rowse rake with it. The higher guys got the other super M we had and then the 4020

Well I guess you have more  experience with them than me and I didn't have to learn like you to use it.I always had the Farmalls to go get.But how did you apply "slight pressure with your foot"if you had to use that right brake at the same time to either correct steering or other wheel started to spin and you didn't want to lose it backing up a barn bridge pushing a wagon at the same time.Not having power steering never bothered me with the M or MTA and they steered harder that that A for sure.

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