1940 Farmall A Split Part 1

I’ve had a fair number of issues with the radiator and cooling on the tractor over the past couple of years. Bad fan bearings, cracked solder in the radiator, and general sludge in the system have made for leaks, steam, and general overheating.

I had repaired the radiator early this year; the mounting stud in the bottom has a loose rivet. Over the years previous owners have soldered the area, which has cracked. I had the crack professionally repaired a couple of years ago, and it reappeared. So, I opted to perform the repair myself. I added enough solder to make it more structurally sound, and it has held up so far.

Radiator repair

The tractor ran great mowing the first couple of times, but eventually started acting like coolant was running low. I traced the leak to the middle of the tractor, the water was dripping out of the bell housing that the engine bolts to. A quick check on Google led me to believe that this was probably a popped freeze plug; which is in the rear of the block - behind the flywheel. To repair this requires splitting the tractor.

Today I mowed our field one last time (with a hose handy to replenish coolant) and pulled in to the garage to start the split.

Parked and ready for surgery

The general process is to disconnect the control linkages, fuel line, electrical wiring, and remove the radiator.

Disconnected and drained fuel line

Radiator removed

This is as far as I’ve gotten today. Next steps are to remove the fuel tank, starter, generator, and valve train cover. Then I can support the rear with jack stands and get the engine hooked up to the engine hoist.

In the meantime, I did some aggressive flushing of the engine block, which produced a fair amount of dirt. I really feel that everything will work a lot better if I can get the sludge and dirt out of the block.

Sludge that comes out every time I drain the radiator.

Solid chunks of congealed dirt from the block