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Picked up another project, 1939 A

3514 Views 37 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Doubletrouble
My uncle and I picked this up to save her from a trip to the scrap yard. Just 3 miles away from the house.

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Bad day today. I went to crank up the A to adjust the carb some more. I snapped the end off of the hand crank! It was welded before, it broke at the weld. I guess I'll drill it and use a new pin for now. Bummer!

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One more question, I have the mag turned away from the block as far as it will go. I believe that means its as retarded as I can get it. That's where I got it to start. Should I have more adjustment? Is it normal to have it turned that far? I still need to clean and adjust the points, I'd also like to do a complete tune up. Plugs, wires, cap and rotor. Will this change much as far as the position of the mag?
And one more thing, at the risk of sounding stupid. Is it correct that these A's do not have a water pump?

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Did you set the mag, per the instructions on the page I posted..?? Crank engine, and get #1 on TDC. Losen mag, and turn clockwise as far as possible. Then, crank engine almost one more revolution, getting the timing mark on TDC once again. Then slowly rotate the mag CCW until the impulse snaps. Snug it down right there. Should be right on the money, if the mags timing marks are in the proper place with the crankshaft gear. If you have an older neon light type, timing light laying around, you can check the timing, via the timing mark on the flywheel. If the leads are long enough...

If you do a tune up, the dwell angle may change the timing, so re-time it. A lot depends on how much the points wear block is worn. I know on my old Chevy's with the dial in points set up's, dwell angle would change the timing, but timing will not change the dwell angle.

Make sure you use copper core wires, not hypalon. NAPA sells a copper core kit for up to a 6 cyl. with copper wire, ends, boots etc., for between $20 & $25. Or get some bulk copper wire, boots, ends, etc., and make you own up. Unless those are cracked, or really bad shape, they will probably do fine. Copper wires last almost indefinitely, as long as the rubber coating is intact, or the wires have been really crimped in a turn, and broke.

Not sure where you get your tune-up parts, but I believe NAPA or IH would be your best bet. Just be sure to tell them it is a mag. An H-4 mag to be exact. Breaker gap according to I&T is .013. I'm thinking an old IH, or Motor's Manual, manual we had here years ago said .013 -.015. We always set them at .014, a happy medium, per that manual. Never had any problems.

For plugs, I'd imagine you'll end up with Champion D-15Y's. Do expect them to carbon up within 50 hours or so. Or at least they used to... It is due to the protective coating put on at the factory. If you have a sandblaster type plug cleaner, blast, and clean with some carb cleaner, and compressed air dry. If not, a soft wire brush, such as a brass wire brush will clean them up. Spray with carb. cleaner, compressed air dry. Re-set, and re-install. Plugs are gapped @ .025.

That's not a stupid question on the cooling system. And, no they don't. The straight A's, B's and C series used what is called a Thermo-Siphon system. Hot water will perc out into the top of the radiator, and as it cools, will re-enter the engine block at the bottom. Unless you pull the living guts out of them, it does a very good job of keeping the engine within it's intended temp range. On hot days, or after working it pretty good, you will hear it gurgling well after you shut it off, which is normal. Just doing it's thing... Water pumps were put on, when the Super Series came out.

One other thing... If you can get the hood off without too much trouble. Look at the fan hub assembly. Behind the pulley grooves, in the flat space, look for the head of a larger screw. Should take a flat blade type screwdriver to remove. It should also have a small gasket under the head of the screw. Back that screw out, and place 4-6 drops of like 30wt. non-det. oil in there, and re-install the screw. Some manuals call to fill it to the top, then rotate until the hole is at the bottom, and let it drain, then put the screw back in... I just add 4-6 drops... Better than nothing, and not near the mess.
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Thanks for all the help and pointers DJ54. I really appreciate it. I managed to get my hand crank fixed today. Drilling it and using a expanding pin worked great.
I had her running for awhile, trying to set the carb screws but it wasn't cooperating. I'm not sure the governor is working. I put it in gear (and she goes into gear hard, grinding...not a good sound) when I let the clutch out she didn't pick herself up like my other tractors. With the offset I couldn't see the governor arm to the carb to see if it was moving. It was neat to just take a short ride though. I love these old machines! This one is no. 6
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Thought I'd post a couple more pics.

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How much free travel do you have in the clutch pedal? Should be about an inch, to inch and a half. Could be due to a slightly rusty flywheel or pressure plate because it's been sitting, and/or the pilot bushing could be worn too. Have you checked the trans. oil..??

That 90wt. ought to be slowing things down some, so as to get it in gear. I usually use 4th gear to stop the tranny from spinning, from the get go.

Will the engine rev up past, say half throttle..?? Could be the thrust bearing is out of the gov. if it won't. Then again, if the mag is in a retarded timing mode, it may not be able to pick up rpm's.

Bet that was a nice ride with a flat tire..!! LOL... At least it is moving..!!
I believe there is more clutch free play than that. I'll take a closer look at it next time. Is there a way to grease the throw out bearing?

The motor does rev up, maybe to much. Hard to say without a tach. Part of the problem could be the hose from air cleaner to carb. It has a major air leak there, could be causing a lean condition? I think its mostly a matter of some fine tuning. Just don't know my way around them as well as I should yet.

Is there a way to check the governor with out tearing into it to much? Also, is there supposed to be a return spring on the carb?

And no it didn't ride to well with the flat tire. I may borrow the rears off the Massey pony for a bit. I think they'll fit according to my tape.measure. lol

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The T-O bearing is a sealed unit, so no way to lube.

Engine should max out @ 1540 rpm, but as long as it does rev up, the gov should be working. If the thrust bearing is out, they will only go to about 1/3 throttle.

I use straight bulk radiator hose for the air intake hose. Places like NAPA carry "sticks" of that hose, and will cut to length for you.

Have you checked the oil bath breather yet..?? If the hose has a hole, it may have let water in, and has pushed the oil level up high enough, it may not be able to breathe properly.

You can pull the front cover off the gov., but be forewarned, if the cage that holds the tiny ball bearings in the thrust bearing is worn/broken, it will let the bearings drop out, and you will then need a new bearing. There is no return spring on the carb. It is inside the gov. housing. If you do take the cover off, do check the condition of the gov. spring. If the hooks are worn, I'd repalce it ASAP. If this spring breaks, it will let it rev, until something lets go. Just make sure your ignition/kill switch is always operational.

You said you did some carb. cleaning... Did you remove the carb. from the manifold to do this..?? I ask this, because sometimes when re-installing the gov. linkage rod to the carb., it can be put on in the wrong position, not allowing it to work, and binds on the block some. Don't ask me how I know.... :)
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I did check the oil in the air cleaner. I was full of water, I dumped it, cleaned. And filled to the line with 30wt. Oil.

The carb was removed to clean, I completely disassembled it for cleaning. I will eventually buy a basic rebuild kit just to freshen it up and make sure everything is sealed properly. The govenor linkage was installed the same way I took it off. It may have been on wrong before though. The rod is through the throttle shaft on the side closest to the block, should it go through from the carb side?

As far as the governor, there isn't any resistance on the arm connected to the carb. I assume the return spring inside the governor may be shot. Is the governor serviceable? Are there new springs and bearings available for it?
Thanks again for the help.

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Well, you got me there... I said binding on the block, and now that I think about it, it may have been binding on the little bell crank on the throttle shaft. as long as it's not binding is the main thing...

I don't believe you'll get resistance unless it is running. Just be careful with the rockshaft arm on the carb. side. It is cast aluminum, or pot metal, and they do break somewhat easily. Lets just say they won't take what a cast steel one will...

Yep, springs and thrust bearing are available. I keep a couple springs, and an extra thrust bearing in the shop. Not that they break all that often, but I have 5 tractors that have the C-113/123 engines. And if I have something break, seems it's 2 minutes after the dealer closes on a Saturday..., and I got hay down... :(
Isn't that always how it goes? Lol
I looked at the throttle linkage again before work. It doesn't seem to touch the block but the throttle shaft itself is a little sticky right off idle. I sprayed both sides of it with some pb blast to see if that will free it up a bit. Once the throttle opens just a bit it is smooth.
I'll be looking in the Steiner catalog and checking dealer prices on the governor parts soon also. I'd like to get most of the bugs worked out before I start body work and paint.

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I have the other rear wheels and tires on now. Had her fired up the other day and went for a putt around the yard. When the engine starts to work a little it tries to stall. Like the governor isn't moving the throttle open to compensate. Any ideas? I don't want to pull the gov. off unless I need to just because I've never been in one. I've looked for pics so I know what to expect and maybe understand how they work. Haven't found much though. Should I just pull it or am I missing other options first? Thanks
( I did adjust the throttle linkage per the service manual, the rod was on backwards also. All good now and no interference with the block but still tries to stall )

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Here is an exploded view of the gov. @ Case/IH online parts manual. Just[/url] pulling the front cover off will let you into what you need to see, and/or work on. But really not thinking it is a gov. problem. Sounds more like giving it more fuel via the gov. activating than it can handle, or not enough fuel, or, a timing issue.

If the mag was not timed per the directions I posted with that manual page, the timing may be retarded enough to not pick up/advance the timing. Basically, the engine would be fighting itself.

Does it puff any black smoke when it try's to stall..?? Definitely a sign of too much fuel.

Another thing to check is the linkage between the rockshaft arm, and the carb. With the tractor NOT running, and the throttle in the wide open position, you should be able to easily slide the pin connecting the two. If not, remove the pin, and adjust the yoke, until you can slide the pin in and out.

If you do have the mag in time per the instructions, then I'd check the linkage, get it set, then tweek on the carb., and try leaning the main jet a bit at a time.

Then again, there may be a speck of something in the main nozzle of the carb. A little speck of something in one of the cross drilled holes will make it falter, by not being able to deliver enough fuel...

You just have to diagnose if it is getting too much fuel, or not enough. Setting that long, it may have some fine dirt stirred up now..., and clogging things up.
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I set the linkage from the rock shaft to the carb a couple days ago, that should be fine. I will re-check the timing just to be sure. I did set it per the instructions you had posted. I may have to pull the carb again and clean some more. I read some where that boiling the carb body cleans them pretty well. I've never used that method. Any opinion on that?

I'll have most of the upcoming weekend to play around with it. Hopefully I'll get her figured out.

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Never boiled any carbs. Back years ago, when I was into restoring tractors and engines, I got a like 2 gal. bucket of carb. cleaner at Napa. It had a basket where you totally immersed the carb for a few hours, and it DID clean them..!! Those were for the ones that were pretty caked up with gunk on the outside.

Anymore, just a spray bomb carb. cleaner, and compressed air does the job. The floats can be touchy setting them, but the rest is pretty simple. Do remove the elbow going into the carb. There is a fine mesh screen attached to the el, or should be, & make sure it is clean.

If you do try boiling it, let us know how it works..!!
I've never boiled a carb either. I just read it somewhere. I don't know if they boil it in plain water or add something to it or what. I'll have to do a little more checking on that one. I did take the governor off. The spring In the screw coming up from the bottom is shot. The main spring is good though, as is the thrust bearing. It doesn't work smoothly though. It tends to "hang up" when you work the mechanism by hand. I'll have to look into that some more. I did get the engine to run somewhat better. I had it way to lean, it still doesn't idle though. I'll be doing some more carb cleaning, I believe that there is some dirt in the idle circuit somewhere.
I do have another dumb question. When I begin to paint will I need to get IH red engine paint for the engine or will the standard implement paint from tsc hold up to the heat?

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Are the weights moving freely..?? Not sure at what point it is hanging up, but travel is limited by the main spring when the weights spread. That is its purpose...

I haven't used any of the Majic brand paint from TSC, since they switched brands. As long as you get as decent primer underneath, it should be alright. I haven't checked out the paint enough to see if they still offer a hardner with this new brand or not. But, at $25.00 a gallon, I don't know if it will hold it's color for long. When I paint a tractor, I have always used the IH red from the dealer. It's been 25 years since I've done that, but still holding it's color well. Dad painted his Super C back in the mid 70's with the then TSC IH red. Within 5 years, it started losing the redness, and now, since I inheireted it, is somewhat orange-ish. Even with setting inside all of it's life when not in use. So guess you get what you pay for...
As far as the paint, I have a wheel horse garden tractor I painted with tsc paint but that was valspar brand. I've had no experience with this new stuff they carry.

With the governor off the tractor one of the shafts was binding. I'll have to remove it again and remove the spring to isolate which shaft it is. I'm sure I'll figure it out just haven't had the time I thought I would over this past weekend to dive into it.

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