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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
This is my first real post, so I hope I'm doing it right. I just purchased a Farmall 400 (gas) as a power upgrade from my '45 Ford 2N, which is just too small for certain tasks. I only paid $700 for the thing and after a new battery and a gas tank cleaning, it runs perfectly. I've done a tune up and can't find anything wrong with it. What I'm wondering is if this model has any quirks that I may experience once I put it to work. Any over heating issues? Hydraulic failures? Quick-to-break parts? Essentially, was this a smart model to buy?
Your opinions, comments, stories, or warnings are welcome and wanted.
Thanks.
 

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You won't catch me saying anything bad about a 400. Good, durable tractor.

Don't grind the gears, it wears on the tranny.
 

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You won't catch me saying anything bad about a 400. Good, durable tractor.
But your questions will really depend on the previous owner(s) care of it, but I guess that goes for most machines. They are really workhorses. Great Buy for $700!
 

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Congrats on a great purchase...for $700 you done real good. If its clean and straight you done great! Pictures would be nice. Not sure what you're planning on doing with it, but I'd consider it a good decision...live hydraulics, live pto, very simple to work on, and quite forgiving. I don't own a 400, I do have a late M, but I've driven and been around several of the 300, 350, 400 and 450. You don't say whether or not it has a torque amplifier, sometimes the TA may be out on one side or the other, that can be fixed, although kinda pricey.

400's generally have the same vulnerabilites as an M or or Super M, wear in the steering is common resulting in front end wobble. Disc brakes on the Super M, Super M-TA and 400's can be an issue, often as a result of neglect and can usually be fixed with proper adjustment and service. As far as overheating, normally not an issue with any old Farmall, they have huge cooling systems and normally run very cool by nature.

Great tractors and I really like the style of them too. I came real close to trading my restored M last year for a real nice original 450, but I just couldn't bring myself to turn loose of the M.
 

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I love my 400. It's a gas model like yours, but it's a powerhouse! They are a smidge more thirsty on fuel than other tractors of the same era & hp designs. Torque amps are the weak link on any of the tractors they were put into. Pricey to repair... but there is plenty of info on how to test them & I think a couple people have done the repair on an M here in the forums....somewhere.

Things I've had to do to my 400: repaired the u-joint in the steering shaft. (pull the side tins off to get to it) Changed out a flat tire on the front. Cleaned out the throttle linkage tube between the carb and the gov. New battery, and replaced all the wires/harnesses in the start-charge-& ignition system. (only because previous owner/s had mucked it up so bad over the years) And a new keyswitch. (only about 6 bucks shiney new from the parts store)

My 400 is a bit cold blooded when the temps drop under 38f. I wish I had a block heater for these MN winter days. I really don't us it much in the winter anyway as I have other snow-removal tools to work with.

If you have even the most basic of tools, and a grease gun you should be able to keep yours maintained and running pretty easy.
 

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I love my 400. It's a gas model like yours, but it's a powerhouse! They are a smidge more thirsty on fuel than other tractors of the same era & hp designs. Torque amps are the weak link on any of the tractors they were put into. Pricey to repair... but there is plenty of info on how to test them & I think a couple people have done the repair on an M here in the forums....somewhere.

Things I've had to do to my 400: repaired the u-joint in the steering shaft. (pull the side tins off to get to it) Changed out a flat tire on the front. Cleaned out the throttle linkage tube between the carb and the gov. New battery, and replaced all the wires/harnesses in the start-charge-& ignition system. (only because previous owner/s had mucked it up so bad over the years) And a new keyswitch. (only about 6 bucks shiney new from the parts store)

My 400 is a bit cold blooded when the temps drop under 38f. I wish I had a block heater for these MN winter days. I really don't us it much in the winter anyway as I have other snow-removal tools to work with.

If you have even the most basic of tools, and a grease gun you should be able to keep yours maintained and running pretty easy.
i got a 424 pictured left, runs great has 1000 hrs on it paid $1000 for it. Seemed like it used to run warm the water gauge was on the middle mark well i found when i flushed radiator that the thermostat was in the hose sideways replaced it with a new 195 degree one and now it stays at or below the first peg on the gauge
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you everyone! Glad to hear I made the right choice. I had read that this model was a thirsty one, which is why I was hoping to find a diesel, but at that price I couldn't pass it up. It does have a TA, which seems to work fine in all gears. Independent pto, thankfully, because I will use it with a baler in the summer. I bought it to do the jobs my little Ford can't, such as baling, pulling a bigger plow, and dragging the old disk around. The guy I bought it from said it was originally a Kansas tractor that pulled a corn picker. Then it was purchased by a guy who used it to mow his 40 acres for a few years. The owner before me used it to mow down brush, and then had no use for it. From what it sounds like it has had a fairly easy life.

I forgot to mention it needed a new tube in one front tire and the other is flat with some cracking in the sidewalls, but I think they are minor enough a new tube will take care of that one too. With only one tire inflated I can't tell yet what kind of problems the steering might have.

As far as the brakes go, they do seem to be off a bit. The right pedal depresses around three inches and stops the wheel, but the left goes down maybe five inches before stopping. They both engage, but at different times. That works for turning, but not stopping both wheels equally. Any idea which side is off? The manual doesn't say how much pedal travel there should be.

Thanks.
 

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Thank you everyone! Glad to hear I made the right choice. I had read that this model was a thirsty one, which is why I was hoping to find a diesel, but at that price I couldn't pass it up. It does have a TA, which seems to work fine in all gears. Independent pto, thankfully, because I will use it with a baler in the summer. I bought it to do the jobs my little Ford can't, such as baling, pulling a bigger plow, and dragging the old disk around. The guy I bought it from said it was originally a Kansas tractor that pulled a corn picker. Then it was purchased by a guy who used it to mow his 40 acres for a few years. The owner before me used it to mow down brush, and then had no use for it. From what it sounds like it has had a fairly easy life.

I forgot to mention it needed a new tube in one front tire and the other is flat with some cracking in the sidewalls, but I think they are minor enough a new tube will take care of that one too. With only one tire inflated I can't tell yet what kind of problems the steering might have.

As far as the brakes go, they do seem to be off a bit. The right pedal depresses around three inches and stops the wheel, but the left goes down maybe five inches before stopping. They both engage, but at different times. That works for turning, but not stopping both wheels equally. Any idea which side is off? The manual doesn't say how much pedal travel there should be.

Thanks.
anyone know if the brakes on the 400 and 424 are similar, mine has discs brakes and they work when they want to which is very fun taking it off a trailer.
 

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I've got buddy with a 424 his Daddy bought new and I've ran it alot helpin rake and tedder hay. Brakes on it are one step better than not having any. I haven't had his apart and worked on 'em but I'd say the design of them from the mid 50's to the late 60's changed very little.

My experience has been make sure they're clean, a good spray brake cleaner and get the discs and drums spotless. A good disc sander and some 60 grit paper, just enough to give some "bite" on them can bring new life to those discs. Make sure the actuating linkage is all clean and well lubricated, actuating balls must be clean without pitting and I LIGHTLY lube them with Never-Seize before I reinstall them. Pinion shaft should be well lubricated prior to reassembly and make sure those seals arent' leaking.
 

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The 424 is a utility style machine that is smaller and newer than the large 400 which was in the day, the "New & Improved" Super M row crop tractor, making it's appearance in late 1954 or so.
However the $1,000 for a good workhorse like your 424 is a good deal too!:thThumbsU
Both of you fellows got a heck of a deal. Congrats all the way around.
I'd trade either of you any day.
 

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The 424 is a utility style machine that is smaller and newer than the large 400 which was in the day, the "New & Improved" Super M row crop tractor, making it's appearance in late 1954 or so.
However the $1,000 for a good workhorse like your 424 is a good deal too!:thThumbsU
Both of you fellows got a heck of a deal. Congrats all the way around.
I'd trade either of you any day.
yeah i saw that in the pics i think the 444 424 and i wanna say one or two others are identical thought it was the 400 but i was way off.
 

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I have a short service manual for my 400. I will see what I can get scanned into my computer for pics and adjustment details on the brakes. The text in the book is kinda small, so it might take me a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, I opened up the right side barkes and this is what I found. It explains why it was having trouble. I took them completely apart and thoroughly cleaned everything. When I put the housing back on the tractor I put a silicone bead around the seal, so hopefully that will prevent the problem from happening again. Anyone with trouble getting their brakes to apply, I would suggest you open them up and make sure they don't look like this.
 

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One thing to watch out for is the power steering. My dad had two 400s back in the days and both of them blew PS lines, sprayed oil on the hot manifold, and burst into flame. He managed to save one, but the other happened at the far end of the field and was a total loss. He was an IH guy all his life but he always said the 400 was one of the worst tractors IH ever made. Other than that, he had some transmission and TA issues, which ought not to bother yours since you're not going plowing with it. Brake issues you already know about. Good luck with it, you got a great deal on the tractor.:thThumbsU
 
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