[Image Site Banner]
1 As Found
2 Small Upgrades and Repairs
3 Serious Engine Work

1971 FORD 3000 TRACTOR


[Image Tractor Shed]

The 3000 was supposed to take over most of the chores, but has not gotten much use since I bought it. The engine has been making too much noise and smoke for me to get comfortable working it very hard or very much. As seen in this photo the 2N and 8N have continued to be my workers. The solution is to pull the 3000 apart, figure out what it needs, and either fix it or part it out.

It took a few weekends to clear a spot in the shed to do engine work. The V8 project is almost ready for a test drive. The only thing holding that up is the endless list of other things that need fixin'.

[Image Ready to Start Work]
[Image Ready to Start Work]

The 3000 is parked at the shed. Wish I had room to get it completely inside to do the split, but that ain't happening any time soon. It will be supported under the tranny with a jack stand, with both rear tires chocked front and back. The hood, cowl, radiator, and front axle have to come off before the doors will close on the shed.


The Ford Tractor Service Manual shows a typical front split (engine/tranny) and a rear split (tranny/diff). This will be a modified front split. It looks like the only reason to ever do a front split (the way it is shown in the manual) is if the only thing needing service is the clutch/flywheel. It will be much easier to remove those large bolts in the front axle carrier while the tractor is mostly in one piece. Removing pieces one-at-a-time makes it easier to clean and decide what needs repair, replacement, or only cleaning and painting.

No matter how many tools you have, more (bigger) tools are going to be required:
1 - A 4-foot piece of 1-1/2" heavy wall pipe. This will be an extension handle for your breaker bar.
2 - If your socket set will not survive using a 4-foot handle, a good quality 3/4" drive socket set.
3 - Combination wrenches in sizes from 15/16" to 1-1/4".
4 - A high-torque impact wrench and impact sockets to 1-1/4".
5 - An engine hoist or overhead winch.
6 - Engine stand rated 1500 pounds, with brackets that will reach mounting holes on this engine. Even better is an adapter that mounts to holes at front and back of one side of the engine. With one side of the engine close to the post, the engine stand is much more stable. I've seen several examples on-line. It would have been better to do that than buying the adapters I used.

Hardware and small parts

All nuts, bolts, and small parts should be inspected, sorted, and stored as they are removed. Identify damaged fasteners and parts that will need to be replaced. Take pictures of everything as it is taken apart. Plastic containers in various sizes work great. If they have screw-on lids, the lid can be fastened under a shelf or workbench to keep them off the floor. Switch to a new container, when switching to a new sub-assembly. Buy and store replacements with the other hardware now.

Plan on every part of this job taking longer than expected. In this case, both radius rod bolts were completely frozen in place where they went thru the axle. The bolts holding the outer axles to the center section were very difficult to remove. All of the hardware on this tractor is at least an order of magnitude larger than anything on the N-Tractors. My HF 3/4" drive socket set did not hold up to the more intensive use.


The radiator mounts with two captive carriage bolts (just like the N-Tractor radiator). Unfortunately (just like the N-Tractors) the bolts were completely rusty, and only loosened about 1/2 turn before spinning. I wedged a pry-bar to try and hold the square shank tighter. That only got another half-turn or so. That was just loose enough to get a sawsall blade in there.
Add new radiator hardware and rubber pads to the list of parts needed. The radiator looks perfect from the front. It should, I spent about an hour cleaning and straightening fins when I got this tractor. Unfortunately, the back side has a deep circle where a fan blade cut into it. Surprise! Someone tried to solder the cut radiator tubes. I've never seen that work very well. This one has been leaking.
Add radiator re-core or new radiator to the list.

Minor Deviations from the Service Manual:

The steering drag links were taken loose at the front, then swung up and over to lay on the rear axle. Radius rods were removed. The front tires and outer axle assemblies were unbolted from the center section. Then the axle carrier was unbolted from the front of the engine.

[Image Front Axle Support]

"Unbolting the axle carrier" was not as easy as that statement may seem. Darn glad I decided not to do the split, then try and take this apart. The front axle support is very similar to the same part on the N-tractors, just a lot heavier. It is attached to the engine with four large nuts and bolts. These were not rusty, but must have been tightened to about a million foot-pounds. All of the bolts on this tractor are laughing at my 1/2" drive impact wrench. Even at 110 psi it falls way short of having enough torque to break this stuff loose. My fault, rather than shopping for max torque, this air wrench was bought for max no-load speed. A 4-foot piece of pipe on a breaker bar should have worked, but completely destroyed a heavy-wall, 3/4" drive, 6-point, 1-1/8" socket. I've occasionally managed to crack smaller sockets, this one exploded.

The only other 1-1/8" socket in my box was the old Craftsman thin-wall, 12-point, 1/2" drive that was being used to hold the bolt when the other socket exploded. The neighbor came over to see what I was up to. He had a 1-1/8" box end wrench. After breaking a 3/4" drive socket, I expected the smaller, thin-wall socket would split or take the corners off the hex nut. Just to prove me wrong, all four nuts came loose without breaking any more tools. The axle pivot bushing is loose and needs to be rebuilt. Breaking one socket is all the excuse needed to replace that piece of junk 3/4" drive set with better quality tools.

The engine should have been on the stand by now. At least removing the axle support was enough to allow the shop doors to be closed.

Engine Accessories

[Image Stripping Engine Accessories]

It may appear that there are only a few things left before the engine can be pulled. That is misleading. Those few things continued to take more time and effort than expected. In order to prevent damage, I always remove carb and fuel lines. The fuel lines on this tractor are a nightmare. Tank to fuel pump is threaded thru everything from the back to the front of the engine. Fuel pump to fuel filter is worse. That one apparently has to be laid in place as the manifold is bolted on. Small bolts that support the rear hood and fuel tank from the battery tray have loose nuts on the back. Fishing a 1/2" wrench in there to hold those nuts was fun. It will be just as much fun to install them, unless I can come up with some type of captive hardware to replace what came off. The larger bolts that secure the battery tray to the back of the engine were difficult to remove.

Hydraulic Pump

This tractor does not have anything like the "external hydraulic manifold" described in the service manual. Removing the four bolts that attach the hydraulic pump to the engine allowed the pump to be pulled up and tied out of the way. This allows just enough room to barely get a socket on the two top bolts attaching the engine to the transmission. For some reason, these are a larger size than the hardware used for the four engine-to-transmission nuts and bolts.

Set-Up Engine Crane

Finally, it is time to get the lift in place and supporting the engine. As the engine-to-transmission bolts are loosened, check that the engine weight is supported, level, and not twisting. Remove the nuts and any washers. Leave the bolts in place. Pry the engine forward about 1/2" to release the dowel pins that align the engine and transmission. Make sure the engine-to-transmission bolts stay loose. Keeping the bolts in place, helps guide the clutch straight-off the transmission input shaft without binding. Pulling the engine is not nearly as hard as aligning those splines on the way back together.

Engine Ready to go on the Stand

[Image Engine on Hook]

The engine is off, and in the shop. This "little" 3-cylinder is very heavy. I've installed complete automotive V8 engine/transmission assemblies that did not weigh as much as this engine. The double-clutch assembly and flywheel will have to be removed. The shop manual mentions several special clutch tools that I could not find decent pictures of. Browsing the various forums on-line I was able to verify that the clutch release levers can be tied down with safety wire. Then the clutch assembly can be unbolted. As long as the assembly does not need to be serviced, no special tools are needed. All I will need is a pilot alignment tool to reassemble the clutch on the flywheel. I doubt any pilot tool currently in my shop will work.

[Image Tied Down Clutch Levers]

Safety wire looped thru the clutch assembly and over each lever worked fine. Pull the wire tight on each lever before moving to the next one. Then run another piece of wire in the opposite direction. One is good, two is insurance. Lower the engine and put wooden blocks under the corners before removing clutch assembly bolts. Find some way to support the clutch assembly while it is being removed. Same for the flywheel. You do not want the clutch or flywheel to smash your foot. After removing the clutch and flywheel it occurred to me that there needs to be a plan for reinstalling those. It was all I could do to wrestle those safely to the floor. They are way too heavy to try and hold with one hand, while starting bolts with the other.
Check the starter and ring gear teeth. If they look bad, now is the time to replace those. Mine looked mostly good. There is one place about 3" long where the teeth have been chewed a little. Minor damage can be fixed with a file or small grinder.

Problem: I have four 5/8" Grade 5 bolts the correct length, and 5/8" bolts will fit thru the brackets on my engine stand. However, the engine-to-transmission bolt holes are about 1/2" wider than the brackets on my stand will reach. Bummer! My other engine stand is much lighter, but the engine plate and brackets are made to exactly the same dimensions. The engine plate will have to be altered, or maybe different brackets are available.

[Image Engine Stand Adapters]

Adapters for the engine stand came from Merrick. They are longer than the brackets that came with my stands, but they only accept 1/2" hardware. A set of grade 5 bolts, 5-1/2" long were used to attach the engine to the stand. The longer length brackets allow the engine to sit lower, better balanced on the stand. It is still way too top-heavy to try rotating it. This little 3-cylinder is a very heavy casting with thick webbing. The engine crane is still hooked to the cylinder head, and providing some support.


Follow the instructions in the manual, and take lots of pictures. Keep sorting/labeling hardware as it comes off. Rotate engine to Top-Dead-Center on No.1 (front) cylinder. Remove distributor cap, and mark location of rotor on distributor housing, mark position of distributor on engine. Take more photos.

[Image Distributor Marking]

The rocker arm assembly is secured in place by head bolts. Remove the entire rack assembly with the associated head bolts still in place. The manual says the bolts hold the thing together. I'm not planning to disassemble it. Set the whole thing on the workbench, and cover it with a rag. Each pushrod and lifter must go back in the hole it came out of. Find a way to mark and store them so they won't get mixed-up. Once the rest of the head bolts are out, and the head has been broken loose from the block, the engine crane can do the heavy lifting to get the cylinder head off and set aside. That removes enough weight the engine can now be rotated on the stand without feeling like it is trying to get away from me. The first thing I see is the No.1 piston laying to one side of the bore, with a larger than usual gap on the opposite side.

[Image Piston Not Centered]

This explains the noisy engine. Rocking the crank back and forth shows that all pistons are loose and rocking in the cylinders. There is very little ridge at the top of the cylinders. A deep ridge would have to be removed with a ridge reamer before the pistons could be pulled out. Turn engine over, remove rod caps, protect journals from damage, and carefully pull each piston/rod assembly out. The pistons will not be re-used, but the rods and rod caps need to be marked/stored, so they go back to the same cylinder they came out of. If the bearings, journals, and clearances are in good shape, the bearings can be re-used. Verify that the rod caps were fitted together with the tangs for the bearing shells on the same side. Each rod and cap should already be stamped with the cylinder number they came out of. Make a note of which way these stamps were pointing, so they can be reinstalled the same way.

[Image Piston and Rod Assemblies]

These piston/rod assemblies were so big and heavy, I couldn't resist grabbing one of the N-Tractor pistons to compare. These pistons are weird. The earlier photo shows how the combustion chamber is recessed in the top of the piston.

[Image Inside Cylinder]
[Image Inside Cylinder]

The cylinder walls look so bad it is hard to believe this engine could make enough compression to run as well as it did. Running a cylinder bore gauge down each cylinder found some good news, it looks like they can still be honed to spec for 0.040" oversize pistons. That is the largest oversize made for this engine. If the damage in No.1 cylinder had been any worse, this engine would have to go to a machine shop to be bored and sleeved. Measuring the pistons confirms that they are badly scuffed and worn. The old pistons may still be useful to someone. New pistons for this engine are around $150 each!

Complete the disassembly. Label everything, so it will go back in the exact same hole it came out of. Take pictures of things like timing gears and timing marks. Normal practice would be to remove everything, and take the bare block to a machine shop. Some people would have the machine shop do the entire rotating assembly. More work means more cost.


Any engine shop should have better measuring tools, automated equipment, and the experience to do precision engine work. Machine shop prices are normally very reasonable for the precision work they do. Most engines being rebuilt will have suffered some sort of major failure. The engine may have been run hot. The engine may not have been running for many years. Anything that creates any question about the integrity of the block must be checked-out by a machine shop. They know how and where to check for cracks and other problems. Make sure you are dealing with a good shop that does enough business to have good quality equipment and people.

There is no mystery about the condition of this engine. It was running well, not overheating, just very noisy. After studying the innards, this engine only needs to be fitted with oversize pistons. The specifications for this tractor engine are looser than most of the car engines I've worked on. This is well within the capability of a good rigid cylinder hone. A rigid cylinder hone has a rigid parallel frame for the stones, and a very fine adjustment knob. A cheap, spring-loaded brake hone is worse than useless for honing engine cylinders. If you want to do more of your engine work at home, and have the ability to do precision work, two rigid cylinder hones that work well are the Sunnen AN-112 and the Lisle 15000. These hones are specifically designed to correct cylinder wear problems like taper, barrel, scoring, and out-of-round. With the right person running them, these hones can be accurate to within one-half thousandth. A hand-held hone cannot fix a cylinder alignment that was originally bored wrong by the factory. I believe honing to restore the original factory cylinder alignment is perfectly ok for most street engines, and certainly for this very-heavy, low-RPM tractor engine.

[Image of Special Measuring Tools]

Special tools needed to accurately measure internal engine parts include an inside micrometer, cylinder bore gauge, and an inside/outside dial caliper. Taking accurate measurements requires being able to accurately feel when the measuring tool is plumb/square to the surfaces being measured. Verify measurements by checking one tool with another. One small error setting up a tool can throw everything hopelessly off. Double-check everything. Never rely on a single measurement. When measuring cylinder bores, measure north-south, east-west, at top, middle, and bottom of each hole. Measure several times in various spots until it is clear exactly how and where the cylinder has worn. Most will have a combination of taper, and oval with the largest dimensions being near the middle of the cylinder. The top and bottom will normally show very little wear.

The taper in cylinder No.1 is from 4.2100" at the bottom, to a maximum of 4.2400" at the base of the ridge near the top. All three cylinders are worn slightly oval in the middle of each bore. The specified cylinder bore range for 40-over pistons is 4.2407" - 4.2432". There appears to be just barely enough material left in cylinder No.1 to properly fit 40-over pistons, but only if the honing is done very carefully. It will be difficult to bring cylinder No.1 back to straight and round, without ending up too large for 40-over pistons. I love a challenge.

A rigid hone can be run wet or dry. Honing fluid is a lubricant, as well as a coolant and cleaning fluid. Honing fluid may be a must with expensive automated equipment. Dry stones cut slower, and seem to wear-out faster. Any oil residue (even finger prints) will quickly gum-up and prevent the stones from cutting. Completely clean and degrease the cylinder walls. Make sure the clips for the stones and felt wipers are fully seated. Adjust the stones so they apply medium pressure. If the stones chatter, they are too tight. Wear a breathing mask.

These cylinders are over 4" in diameter, so the hone should be turned at about 300 RPM. Hone the top and bottom of the bores, where the diameter is smallest. Only move up and down enough to bring the stones fully into the bore, so the stones break-in evenly. Stop and re-tighten the stones frequently at first. The stones will wear quickly until they match the diameter of the bore. Stop, pull the hone out of the cylinder, and measure across the stones to check for any taper. Correct that with a sanding block if necessary. Crooked stones will not grind a straight hole. The dark cylinder walls will become bright where the stones have been cutting. Continue to focus on the top and bottom of the bore until the fresh hone marks meet in the middle. Do not worry about creating a proper crosshatch yet. We have a long way to go.

Pay careful attention to how the drill speeds up when stroked thru the middle, then slows at top and bottom. It may even spin unevenly where the cylinder is not round. When the drill speed no longer varies, the cylinder is straight. Hopefully, this occurs with at least a half-thousandth still to go before the cylinders are too big for the new pistons. Stop and measure frequently. Always measure in two directions at the top, middle, and bottom of the bore. This is hard work. It is very important to stop and measure frequently. Break the work down to several sessions. When you start to get tired, go do something else. Fatigue makes mistakes and kills accuracy. Never allow the hone to come completely out of the bore while spinning. The stones should never go more than an inch out of the bore.

[Image Inside Cylinder No.1]

Cylinder No.1 - As described above, getting to this point was not "easy". It took nearly an hour to remove the taper, barrel, ridge, and most of the wear in cylinder No.1. Work was stopped with most of the cylinder still measuring 10 thousandths smaller than the minimum spec size for 40-over pistons. The drill is has just begin to rung the same speed from top to bottom. The new pistons need to be in-hand and individually measured to determine exactly how large each cylinder needs to be. The small dark patches remaining in this cylinder are areas that have already been worn nearly into the acceptable range for 40-over pistons. Those areas will disappear as the final honing is done to fit the piston.

Notice the crankshaft still in the block? This engine actually had enough room in there to wrap the crank in-place. Hopefully, this will keep some of the grinding dust out of the oil galleries. Make sure to turn the journal and counterweights where they will not interfere with the hone. If the stones hit anything, they will break, and may break your arm. This may not have been one of my greatest ideas, but it worked out ok.

[Image Inside Cylinders 1,2]

Cylinders 1 and 2 - Two cylinders. Looking good.

[Image Inside Cylinders 1,2,3]

Three cylinders straight and round. Put the used stones away as matched sets, so they will always be used together. For this first step, the goal was to remove enough material to correct cylinder wear problems, and get reasonably close to the correct oversize. I'm very happy with the numbers that are now showing on the bore gauge.

New pistons have been ordered, but were not in stock. Unfortunately, they are 3-4 weeks away. A light coat of motor oil wiped on the cylinder walls will prevent rust while we wait for parts to be delivered. Remember to degrease the cylinders again before doing more honing. The next step will be to fit each piston to an individual cylinder.

Torque Plates - Just in case someone wants to raise this issue, torque plates duplicate any distortion that happens when the cylinder head is properly torqued-down. I do not believe honing with a set of torque plates would make any difference with this extremely heavy, low compression, industrial tractor engine. If torque plates are even available for this engine, I have not been able to find any reference to them on-line.

The new pistons have arrived, and have been carefully measured. Two are right at the minimum specified size for 40-over pistons. One is near the largest specified size. That works out well. The largest piston will be fitted in the No.1 cylinder. This will allow removing a tiny bit more from the cylinder that was showing the most wear. Each cylinder must be honed to the correct fit for the piston that will be installed in it. This is precision work. The specified clearance fit for these pistons is a range from 0.0027" to 0.0037". I've seen much tighter fits for some engines. Still, this means we are aiming for a clearance of 0.0032" with a maximum error of plus or minus half a thousandth of an inch. This work was done in a separate session for each cylinder. Don't be in a hurry to finish. Don't work when tired. Now that the hone is working the entire bore, and we are getting close to the right size, the stones must always be moving in and out at the correct speed to create the correct 45-degree crosshatch pattern. This crosshatch, final finish, and piston fit is where many people attempting to do this with manual equipment will fail. Precision work must be done precisely. The fit and cylinder finish must be as specified. There are no short cuts. "Almost" right is completely wrong. Sloppy work is a complete waste of time and money. I am using fine (280-grit) stones wet (with plenty of honing fluid) for the final honing/fitting.

[Image Honing Tool]

New pistons come with new wrist pins. Check the fit for each rod bushing. If they are too loose, the rod bushings must be replaced. These rod bushings looked good, and the pin fit was within spec.

Defective Tools Suck. My snap ring pliers are a recent upgrade. The ancient pair they replaced was only borderline usable. Apparently the new ones have only been used for outside snap rings. All the tips for these pliers are angled outward. They work great for spreading outside snap rings. Try using them to compress an inside snap ring and they slip out of the holes. As often happens, it's been too long to find the receipt and take them back, so chuck one set of tips in the vice and bend them straight (the way they should have been made). Now that set of tips will work for both inside and outside snap rings. The rest of the tips will be added to my never-ending list of stuff to fix.

[Image New Pistons On Rods]

The next step is to chack ring end gaps. Use a piston to slide each ring squarely into the cylinder it will be installed in. Measure the gap with a feeler gauge. The specified gap is different for top ring, middle ring, and oil rings. In this case, the rings for No.1 cylinder were good right out of the box. Ring gaps for cylinder No.2 and No.3 were a little tight. File the ends of each ring to provide the correct minimum gap. Pinch a flat file in the gap and draw it thru to file both sides square. Mounting the file in a bench vise makes this much easier to do. Knock off any fresh edge that would score the cylinder, put the ring back in, and measure again until the gap is sufficient. This gap provides room for the rings to expand as the engine comes up to temperature. The ring closest to the combustion chamber runs hotter, so requires more clearance. The specified clearance is minimum. Its OK to go slightly over, but too much will reduce compression. It is best to be precise.

[Image Three Cylinders Done]
[Image Three Cylinders Done]


Three cylinders done, pistons, and rings fitted. Now for the most important step. Completely disassemble the engine and thoroughly clean the grinding and metal dust out of everything. Continue to keep things like main caps and bearings that will be reused sorted and arranged so they go back exactly where they were removed. Even though some areas were protected by leaving the crank in the engine, cleaning brushes must be run thru every oil passage in the block and crankshaft. Amazing what comes out some of those holes. Run soapy water thru the water jacket, and any places grit and dust can hide. Immediately after cleaning with water, wipe every surface down with clean rags dipped in motor oil. Freshly machined metal will immediately start to rust if not covered with oil. The oil will chase water out. Unless you are a lot better at cleaning than I am, the rags will get dirty. Go over everything again with clean rags until the rags stay clean. Wrap all loose parts, so they remain clean. The first engine I built was done in a barn with a dirt floor. It took a lot of plastic bags to keep dust, dirt, bugs, and bird droppings out of that engine.

Here's a very cool photo.

[Image Three Cylinders Done]

Here's a before/after composite photo.

[Image Three Cylinders Done]


"Assembly is the reverse of Disassembly."
Yea Right, like that is ever true. In this case, the factory service manual and the I&T FO-31 Shop Manual are both very thorough, and include far more information than makes sense to try and duplicate here. Not covered in the manuals is that most assembly problems occur when parts are mixed up, or forced. Check everything against photos in the manual, and photos you took. Do not force anything that does not feel right. Double and triple check the timing marks on every gear, before putting the front cover on. Turn the crankshaft occasionally to check that any increased resistance is correct for the part that was just added. If anything seems less than perfect, STOP, and figure out why.

1 - Rubber seals should be lubricated. Use the same lubricant the seal will operate with. Many gaskets do not need any sealant. The exception to that will be any gaskets that cross a seam between two engine parts, or where two different gaskets meet. Use a small amount of sealant where necessary. Too much will just squish out and end up in the engine.
2 - If the Ford service manual has any directions regarding where the gaps should be placed when the pistons are installed, I was not able to find it. Most engine manuals say to make sure the gaps are not aligned. Some are more specific about where the gap in each ring should be. With no specific direction found, I put the top ring gaps facing front, the second ring gap about 120 degrees away, and the oil ring gap another 120 degrees around. Make sure each cylinder wall has a good coating of motor oil, start each piston in the correct hole with the mark pointing to the front, use a band type ring compressor, and gently tap them into the cylinders with a wooden hammer handle. Short pieces of rubber tubing slipped over the rod bolts will protect the crank. Turn the crank so the journal you are working on is as far away from the cylinder as possible. With pistons in, assembly lube on bearings, and rod cap screws hand-tight, roll engine over, check torque on all main caps, then snug each rod cap down evenly. Keep checking that the crank still moves easily, then properly torque each rod cap. Check movement of crank again. 3 - Use a torque wrench and the correct torque for all fasteners, especially those that will be hard to get to later. Lubricated threads require less torque than dry threads. The Ford service manual says the published torque values are for lubricated threads. In most cases, it is best to torque fasteners in stages. Snug them, then torque them to 30%, then 50%, then 100% of spec. When a spefific pattern is specified, torque each stage in the proper sequence. When not using a torque wrench, match the tool to the fastener. Don't use a 1/2" drive breaker bar to tighten a 3/8" bolt.
4 - On this engine, don't forget to install the intermediate shaft for the oil pump. 5 - Look closely at all stamped-steel covers. Straighten any part of the flanges that have been de-formed by a previous owner. Stamped steel valve cover and oil pan bolts should be snug. Cranking them too tight will just bend the cover and ruin the gasket. Correct previous damage or the gasket will leak.
6 - The flywheel for a double clutch is very heavy. Don't drop it on the concrete floor (or your foot). Install the flywheel with the engine at top dead center on No.1 cylinder, with the flywheel turned so the timing marks will be visible thru the hole in the engine plate.
7 - Don't forget to install the engine back plate before installing the flywheel. There is a cork gasket that goes over the rear main seal area before the engine plate goes on.
8 - As mentioned earlier, reinstalling an engine is always harder than removing it. Getting splined transmission shafts lined-up and the engine slid into place is always more difficult going on than coming off. One trick that helps is to pre-align the splined shafts to each clutch disc. Some of my photos show the load leveller and long bolts that were used as pins to get the engine properly aligned. This engine is so heavy, I decided to wait and install the cylinder head later.
9 - Once the flywheel is in place, make sure engine is still at top dead center (TDC) on No.1 cylinder. Turn engine slightly so timing marks are at 2 degrees before TDC. Install the distributor and set it so the points are just about to open with the rotor pointing to the No.1 spark plug post. Set the distributor adjuster clamp so the hold down bolt will be mid-way in the timing adjustement slot. Install distributor cap.
10 - Most head gaskets do not need to be retorqued. Maybe. I still recommend checking head bolt torque after the engine had been thru a heat cycle, or two. On this engine it is a pain to remove the valve cover, but checking head bolt torque is much easier than having to replace a head gasket. I always check, and have never had a head gasket fail.
11 - Don't forget to put the fuel lines in place when installing the intake manifold.
12 - Use new brass nuts on new grade 8 studs for the exhaust manifold.

It has been an interesting month. Rain, rain, and more rain. The creek flooded three times, eventually floated our little bridge off the foundations, and started taking it downstream. It took a couple weekends to salvage materials before the next flood demolished it. Now there's a stack of lumber down by the creek waiting for dry weather and a better design. We only have about an acre on the other side of the creek, but it was nice having good access to it.

[Image Engine Bolted to Tractor]

Sidetracked again: Unwrapped the new steering wheel. It appeared to be decent quality. Then I saw the el-cheapo plastic center cap. That just will not do. The one on the tractor appears to be a hard plastic, but it was finished a lot better. I could have just polished or maybe painted the old one. That would have taken a lot les time than it took to carve and polish this one. I have a lathe, and a buffer. Might as well get some use out of them.

[Image Steering Wheel Cap]

This matches the shift lever knobs.

[Image Shift Knobs]


[Image Engine Bolted to Tractor]

Two 5/8" bolts 6" long, stuck thru the lower engine mount holes were a big help aligning the engine with the transmission. Adjust the height/angle to get the guide bolts into the holes in the transmission. Adjust height and angle until the guide bolts are not binding. Then slide the engine right into place. Pre-aligning the splines must have helped.

The top of the block was covered with tape to keep dirt/bugs out. A rag was thrown over that for additional protection.


[Image Install Front Axle Carrier]

No surprise, the front axle support assembly is very heavy, and awkward. The surprise was getting it jacked and bolted into place without smashing any fingers. Bolt outer axles and radius rods back on, and it will be setting on four wheels again. These radius rods have a slight "hump". They could be straightened, but I'm just going to flip them, and let the tractor start bending them back.


It might have been possible to set the cylinder head on by hand. The engine hoist was right there and made it so much easier. Valves should be adjusted as described in the manual. The valves on this engine are difficult to adjust. It is hard to find the right spot to measure clearance between rocker arm and valve stem. Last time I adusted them, masking tape on my feeler gauges helped make sure they were going to the same spot each time.
The distributor was installed with the points properly gapped, and initial timing set to open points at 2 degrees before top dead center (TDC). No reason this setting can't be pretty darn close to perfect before the engine is even cranked. I've done this a few times. Too much advance is worse than too little. Make sure any small error is slightly less advance than specified.
Carb setup is similar. If the carb has been rebuilt, use basic bench settings close to where the screws were when the carb was pulled. If this is a new carb, or previous settings are unknown, slightly rich is always better than too lean. A fast idle setting is better than slow. We are not going to try to get this engine to idle until after it has been run hard a few times.


Another reason reassembly often takes longer is when parts are so dirty we end up cleaning and painting as we go. There really is no better time to paint, than when parts are already loose. A minor paint mix-up required repainting several parts. Simply put, Navy Blue paint is not the same as Royal Blue, DUH. Everything that was cleaned and painted after work during the week came out almost black. The only correct color on-hand was a quart can, so this turned out to be a major painting day. At least the weather is almost perfect.

[Image Painted Parts]
[Image Painted Castings]

The cast parts look so good, the previously-painted sheet metal needed to be cleaned. It may have been a mistake, but I couldn't resist shooting clearcoat on the hood parts. Clearcoat may be too shiny for a working tractor.

[Image Clear Coat Hood]

Color looks like it was a good choice. It matches the blue in the decals.


Content and Web Design by K. LaRue — This Site Was Last Updated 16 JULY 2018.

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