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Farmall 1206 project


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I am taking this tractor out of the shed it has been in for 30 years and planning to farm 20 acres this spring (my first attempt at farming). The tractor has been owned by the family since the late 60's but our ground has been rented for the last 30 years. So far, it runs fine and I have changed the engine oil, coolant and working on the hy-tran today. Need to check out the regulator as the battery is not charging but did have the alternator tested and is working. The rear axillary hydraulic lever was stuck and did free it up but did not get an pressure when hooking up the cultivator. I later tested the 3-point arms and they would not come up until the engine was revved. But I did find the hydraulic dipstick level was below "low" and when I drained the final drives and hydraulic fluid (five plugs) I got about 10 gallons. I am hoping that putting the proper amount of hy-tran in will address the 3-point and axillary issues.

I will be pulling a 24' cultivator and either a six or twelve row planter (have not bought yet). I am planning to buy new tires as the set it has have to be 40-50 years old and the two inner rims have calcium chloride and have rusted the rims so planning to replace as well.

Anything else to look at before I go and work the 1206?

PXL_20231106_174207847.jpg

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5 hours ago, Dave Feldman said:

I am taking this tractor out of the shed it has been in for 30 years and planning to farm 20 acres this spring (my first attempt at farming). The tractor has been owned by the family since the late 60's but our ground has been rented for the last 30 years. So far, it runs fine and I have changed the engine oil, coolant and working on the hy-tran today. Need to check out the regulator as the battery is not charging but did have the alternator tested and is working. The rear axillary hydraulic lever was stuck and did free it up but did not get an pressure when hooking up the cultivator. I later tested the 3-point arms and they would not come up until the engine was revved. But I did find the hydraulic dipstick level was below "low" and when I drained the final drives and hydraulic fluid (five plugs) I got about 10 gallons. I am hoping that putting the proper amount of hy-tran in will address the 3-point and axillary issues.

I will be pulling a 24' cultivator and either a six or twelve row planter (have not bought yet). I am planning to buy new tires as the set it has have to be 40-50 years old and the two inner rims have calcium chloride and have rusted the rims so planning to replace as well.

Anything else to look at before I go and work the 1206?

PXL_20231106_174207847.jpg

  It would most likely pay to have an engine oil test for the old oil done assuming the oil does not have water in it.  There are also kits to test the (old) coolant and hydraulic oil.  The results should give some insight as to the care and likely near term mechanical work that needs to be done.  

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Was the tractor parked in a shed or just partly in a shed?

Change the air filters and inspect the intake hose and dust unloader fitting on the bottom of the cannister because mice can raise a ruckus and you'll send all that into the engine.

Change the fuel filters.

If you've changed the oil what did you use for replacement oil? Did you change the filters?

Change the hydraulic oil filter and clean the suction screen while you're changing the oil.

I recommend you run the tractor under light to moderate loading for a few days next spring to see how things go. Get the tractor warmed up to operating temps a few times to see if or what gauges work but be careful with coolant if the temp gauge doesn't work, which is likely after all this time idle. 

Grab hold of a fan blade and see how much play you have in the water pump bearing. If there's some shimmy you'll be changing the water pump. I was able to retrieve the family 806 a few years back that had been largely inactive for a number of years after the gentleman had retired. Pump bearing went bad from sitting.

If all this goes well I'd cycle it a few times up to temp and then change the engine and hydraulic oil / filters almost as if it's break in period maintenance protocol.

A 1206 is definitely worth having and saving, especially a family tractor. What's your serial number? Tag is on the LH side of the bell housing below the fuel tank.

Good luck!

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12 hours ago, Dave Feldman said:

I am taking this tractor out of the shed it has been in for 30 years and planning to farm 20 acres this spring (my first attempt at farming). The tractor has been owned by the family since the late 60's but our ground has been rented for the last 30 years. So far, it runs fine and I have changed the engine oil, coolant and working on the hy-tran today. Need to check out the regulator as the battery is not charging but did have the alternator tested and is working. The rear axillary hydraulic lever was stuck and did free it up but did not get an pressure when hooking up the cultivator. I later tested the 3-point arms and they would not come up until the engine was revved. But I did find the hydraulic dipstick level was below "low" and when I drained the final drives and hydraulic fluid (five plugs) I got about 10 gallons. I am hoping that putting the proper amount of hy-tran in will address the 3-point and axillary issues.

I will be pulling a 24' cultivator and either a six or twelve row planter (have not bought yet). I am planning to buy new tires as the set it has have to be 40-50 years old and the two inner rims have calcium chloride and have rusted the rims so planning to replace as well.

Anything else to look at before I go and work the 1206?

PXL_20231106_174207847.jpg

Sounds like you're living the dream.  I bet it's a good feeling for everyone to see that tractor move again and be a greater feeling to see it work the land again. I'd love to try to buy back what's left of my parents/grandparents farm( I think a few of us have that dream) or buy the land or at mimum have the opportunity to rent it.  It'd be hard to make any money though on 80 acres.

 

Good luck with the tractor sounds like you have a general idea on what to do and others gave good advice. Best of luck in your adventure.

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Welcome to the forum! Looks like a great start to a project. A twelve row planter might be a bit more than you need for 20 acres? Are you expecting to expand quite a bit in the future?

Polk City is probably only about 30 miles from me.

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The 1206 is a powerful,  rugged machine.  Definitely one you can still get a day's work out of.  I enjoy using mine!  Congrats on putting the old girl back to work. 

Another 1206 sees the light of day... wonder how many are still hiding out there?

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Nice original 12!

You say you drained oil from all 5 plugs. Did you fill the axles seperate? If the inner plugs haven't been removed, there will be no oil flow over to the axles when filling the transmission. Axles on 06 and 56s need filled seperate. Just a helpful hint. 

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22 hours ago, Drysleeves said:

Was the tractor parked in a shed or just partly in a shed?

Change the air filters and inspect the intake hose and dust unloader fitting on the bottom of the cannister because mice can raise a ruckus and you'll send all that into the engine.

Change the fuel filters.

If you've changed the oil what did you use for replacement oil? Did you change the filters?

Change the hydraulic oil filter and clean the suction screen while you're changing the oil.

I recommend you run the tractor under light to moderate loading for a few days next spring to see how things go. Get the tractor warmed up to operating temps a few times to see if or what gauges work but be careful with coolant if the temp gauge doesn't work, which is likely after all this time idle. 

Grab hold of a fan blade and see how much play you have in the water pump bearing. If there's some shimmy you'll be changing the water pump. I was able to retrieve the family 806 a few years back that had been largely inactive for a number of years after the gentleman had retired. Pump bearing went bad from sitting.

If all this goes well I'd cycle it a few times up to temp and then change the engine and hydraulic oil / filters almost as if it's break in period maintenance protocol.

A 1206 is definitely worth having and saving, especially a family tractor. What's your serial number? Tag is on the LH side of the bell housing below the fuel tank.

Good luck!

Tractor was in a loafing shed but was parked at an angle so part of the left rear was exposed.

I changed the oil and filter and used diesel engine oil but after reading should have used low ash oil, which I had never heard of.

Will change the fuel filters. When we first started it, had fuel in the tank from 25 + years ago.

Changed the hydraulic fluid, filter and cleaned the suction screen today

Will check the fan bearing play.

Will grab the serial #

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10 hours ago, DT Fan said:

Welcome to the forum! Looks like a great start to a project. A twelve row planter might be a bit more than you need for 20 acres? Are you expecting to expand quite a bit in the future?

Polk City is probably only about 30 miles from me.

I own 20 acres I just purchased this fall. Our family owns 55 acres that we rent and I may with the help of a cousin who actively farms, take over the lease for the 2025 season so looking at options for equipment. 

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2 hours ago, Dan Robinson said:

Nice original 12!

You say you drained oil from all 5 plugs. Did you fill the axles seperate? If the inner plugs haven't been removed, there will be no oil flow over to the axles when filling the transmission. Axles on 06 and 56s need filled seperate. Just a helpful hint. 

Thanks for the info. I did know that from reading about others experience. I had the rear plugs out while I filled the hy-tran and nothing came out. I was pretty sure it had not been drilled when I drained the axle fluid and it was much darker than the hydraulic reservoir. 

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I changed the hy-tran and filter as well as the left brake seals. I still do not have pressure in the auxiliary. Steering is fine and bled the brake without issue. Someone suggested the relief valve may be stuck and from looking at the shop manual, the relief valve is on the bottom of the valve housing which means the pipes on the top and part of the seat support have to come out to get the valve housing out to check it out.

The 3pt arms come up when I idle up the engine. How do I best diagnose why the auxiliary has no pressure?

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43 minutes ago, Dave Feldman said:

Tractor was in a loafing shed but was parked at an angle so part of the left rear was exposed.

I changed the oil and filter and used diesel engine oil but after reading should have used low ash oil, which I had never heard of.

Will change the fuel filters. When we first started it, had fuel in the tank from 25 + years ago.

Changed the hydraulic fluid, filter and cleaned the suction screen today

Will check the fan bearing play.

Will grab the serial #

Low ash was for the gassers. A quality 30w oil for older tractors will do the job and since 30 isn't used in the newer stuff, you'll find that almost by default when you go looking. IH No. 1 was all the rage for diesels. Sounds like you may have already procured the right stuff.

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On 11/16/2023 at 7:45 PM, Dave Feldman said:

I changed the hy-tran and filter as well as the left brake seals. I still do not have pressure in the auxiliary. Steering is fine and bled the brake without issue. Someone suggested the relief valve may be stuck and from looking at the shop manual, the relief valve is on the bottom of the valve housing which means the pipes on the top and part of the seat support have to come out to get the valve housing out to check it out.

The 3pt arms come up when I idle up the engine. How do I best diagnose why the auxiliary has no pressure?

I found it was a bad relief valve. I also have a 706 and after running it and verifying the hydraulic pressure, I took the relief valve out and put in the 1206.... instant pressure.

I found in another thread that a bad relief valve will dump oil below in the right rear corning when looking in.

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On 11/15/2023 at 9:08 PM, Drysleeves said:

Was the tractor parked in a shed or just partly in a shed?

Change the air filters and inspect the intake hose and dust unloader fitting on the bottom of the cannister because mice can raise a ruckus and you'll send all that into the engine.

Change the fuel filters.

If you've changed the oil what did you use for replacement oil? Did you change the filters?

Change the hydraulic oil filter and clean the suction screen while you're changing the oil.

I recommend you run the tractor under light to moderate loading for a few days next spring to see how things go. Get the tractor warmed up to operating temps a few times to see if or what gauges work but be careful with coolant if the temp gauge doesn't work, which is likely after all this time idle. 

Grab hold of a fan blade and see how much play you have in the water pump bearing. If there's some shimmy you'll be changing the water pump. I was able to retrieve the family 806 a few years back that had been largely inactive for a number of years after the gentleman had retired. Pump bearing went bad from sitting.

If all this goes well I'd cycle it a few times up to temp and then change the engine and hydraulic oil / filters almost as if it's break in period maintenance protocol.

A 1206 is definitely worth having and saving, especially a family tractor. What's your serial number? Tag is on the LH side of the bell housing below the fuel tank.

Good luck!

 

PXL_20231117_164002849.jpg

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