Project Super C, Engine Extraction

FBN Network

Mar 22, 2020

This is the fourteenth post in our ongoing series on Project Super C. We are chronicling the rehabilitation of our 1954 Farmall Super C tractor, which has taken up residence outside of the Farmers Business Network office. If you are new to this series, please start with the introduction to the project in our first post.

This time, we are going to remove the engine from the tractor in order to further evaluate its condition. This procedure is made more complicated by the fact that the Super C’s engine serves double duty as a structural component (technically this is called a “stressed member engine”). This means that, unlike with a car’s engine, we cannot just unbolt the engine and lift it out—the engine is the only thing connecting the rear of the tractor to the front chassis to which the front wheels attach. You can see this in the picture below, with the engine highlighted by a yellow rectangle:

In order to remove the engine, we are going to have to split the tractor into three large pieces. We will need to support the rear of the tractor, unbolt and remove the front chassis and wheels from the engine, and then unbolt and remove the engine from the rear of the tractor. Before we can do any of this, however, we need to remove numerous components that are in the way, as well as connections between the different pieces of the tractor. 

We started by removing the radiator grille, thus exposing the radiator itself:

As you can see, the radiator has sustained some damage. Strangely, the grille is completely intact, so it is a bit of a mystery as to what happened here. 

We then detached the throttle linkage, which connects the throttle lever to the governor (a part of the engine). We also disconnected the water temperature sensor and its associated line. Both of these run from the front of the engine to the rear where the operator sits, so they have to be removed in order to split the tractor.

Next, we removed the radiator and fan, which allowed us to get a look into the radiator’s inlet pipe (pictured below right). The pipe is badly dented and the radiator is full of rust-colored dried coolant. Clearly the radiator will need rehabilitation or replacement.

We moved on to removing the front wheel apparatus. To get ready to do this, we jacked up the front of the tractor, placed wood cribbing under the clutch housing to support it, and then removed the jacks. The front wheels were now off the ground.

After detaching the steering shaft from the front chassis, we slid the forks of a friend’s forklift under the front chassis to support it. This allowed us to unbolt the front chassis from the engine, and then roll it forward onto the forks.  

Now we needed a way to lift the engine so that we could unbolt it and lift it away. We decided to drill holes in a wooden board that would allow the cylinder head studs on the engine to be bolted to the board. We then mounted eye hooks in the board and chained it to the forklift’s forks.

Finally, we could unbolt the engine from the clutch housing and lift it away with the forklift, leaving the rear of the tractor supported on the cribbing: 

After removing the clutch and flywheel assembly (more on these in a future post), we attached the engine to a stand, wheeled it into the FBN office, and declared victory for the day!

Join us in the next post when we start taking apart the engine!

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FBN Network

Mar 22, 2020