Teddy - Goodwrench's Ford 640


A 671 Ford: this is how Teddy is supposed to look

Collecting, Restoring, Painting

Saga Of My Ongoing Search For a Tractor

4/29/98 Well, it's not what I'd have gone out looking for, but last night I became the owner of a 1957 Ford 640. It starts and runs well and seems to have decent power. It sure does smoke a lot though... It probably needs at least rings. I'll give it a compression test as soon as this ranch buying paperwork frenzy settles down a bit. I'll probably also try adding the Marvel Mystery Oil to the crankcase on the unlikely hope that the smoking is due to stuck rather than worn rings.
As I did a little rotary mowing (shredding to us Texas folks) to bring it up to temp. and check it out. I was struck by how fast first gear seems to be. It feels like I remember our International 340, Farmall H, and even my 4 speed Case SC to have noticeably lower first gear ratios. My guess is that this is why the Sherman auxiliary transmission was produced.
The great news is the deal on the 24 acre ranch continues to move forward. Deb & and I are having to come up with tons of paperwork for the mortgage company. The mortgage companies don't like to make mortgages on properties of over 5 acres. It looks like they are going to accept an update of a survey that the seller had done about 4 years ago.

4/30/98 The PTO over-run clutch that I figured would be a "not very expensive piece" turns out to be $68.95. I decided to wait and see if the one on the tractor could be salvaged. Meanwhile, I did splurge almost 2 dollars to buy a replacement pin for the mower's shaft.

5/7/98 It turns out that the internal splines were too damaged to make replacing the pin in the mower's PTO shaft worthwhile. Six miles below the CyberRanch, in a town called Lott, is a Farm and Auto Supply store. They had a replacement piece in stock and sold it to me along with a new U-joint. Back home I removed the circlips and drove the caps out of the old end. The U-joint didn't seem to have much slop or any worn spots so I decided to reuse it. When I first tried to assemble the joint, I used grease to hold all the needle bearings around each end of the center part of the U-joint. After two unsuccessful attempts to assemble the joint that way, I decided to use grease to hold all the needle bearings inside each cap. Using various size sockets and a bench vise, I reassembled the U-joint. After it was well greased up it felt smooth and solid. All in all, it was a very satisfying repair. When the previous owner saw it she was quite impressed as she had struggled with that mower shaft for the past 4 years.

Teddy helps unload the 800 pound ShopSmith machine from the trailer with his 3 point hitch pole boom.

Teddy developed a flooding condition, and if the valve at the tank was not shut off, raw gas would pour through the carb into the intake tract. He was running very rich. The needle valve and seat appeared to be functioning perfectly, and the float was set at the correct height about 1/4" below the level of the bowl. Shaking the float, it appeared that it had developed a pinhole leak and allowed gasoline to enter one side and make the float too heavy to work properly. The float was removed and placed in a pot of water on the kitchen stove. As the temperature of the water was raised to somewhat above the boiling point of the gasoline, but below the boiling point of water, the gasoline within the float began to vaporize. This showed where the hole in float was located by where the bubbles appeared from within the float, and it also allowed all the gas inside the float to be removed by boiling it out.
The idea was that once the hole was located and all the gasoline was removed from within the float, it could be repaired by cleaning and soldering over the hole. It was very hard to clean the dented old float enough to get the solder to stick well, and I ended up using so much heat that the bowl melted off of the float arm. When I finally got the bowl soldered back on to the arm, and the hole covered as well as I could, the float was replaced in the carb. At first this fixed the flooding and rich running problems. Unfortunately the problems returned within a few days as the float leaked again. I stopped by the local New Holland equipment dealer, and they had a brand new float right in stock. The brand new float fixed the problem nicely, but I show the method diagnosing and repairing a hole in float for those situations where a new float might not be so readily available.

Teddy ready to ride to his first tractor show in Mesquite, TX as SimBob the cat supervises the loading.

11/15/98 Used Teddy to tow Maggie the MM UB back to the shop today. Also used the boom pole to move a few engines around the shop and get the ShopTask Mill/Lathe up onto it's bench. Since I now had room in the shop I figured it was time to put on those new brake shoes I was able to get at the New Holland dealer. I broke the lug nuts loose with the air impact wrench and jacked up the wheel. Put blocks under the rear and removed the wheel. It appears that two slotted screws hold the drum on. They were too rusted to budge, so I heated them red hot with the torch. Eventually I was able to get them out. I still can't get the drum to budge, so I posted on the Ford-Ferguson list to see if anyone knew something that would help me. While the right rear wheel was off, I could finally get at the nuts that hold the fender on. They had to be heated up with the torch before the impact wrench would budge them, but at least I now have one rear fender off to start some welding and straightening.
11/26/98 Dave Keene assured me that I'd already gotten the hard part done when I got the two screws out with a posting to the ATIS Ford-Ferguson list. Sunday the 22nd I got out there and started pounding on the outer lip of the drum. I'd already used the angle grinder wire brush on the part of the hub that showed. When I finally got the drum off, the brakes were the picture of simplicity. The existing shoes appeared to have a good 1/8 inch of lining left on each end, but the middle was worn just about as far as it could be without the metal showing through. In the front where the linkage comes in and tilts the block, each shoe is held on by a pin about 1/2 inch in diameter that passes through a collar that the shoe pivots on. On the inside, there is a C clip that fits in a groove in the end of the pin and has an end that fits over the inner plate that supports the pin. These were extremely hard to drive out. I sprayed with penetrating oil and pounded them in toward the tractor. When 1/8 inch protruded on the inside, I wire brushed it really well, right down to shiny metal, and then pounded them back toward the outside. When I got some protrusion there I used the wire brush again. It took a lot of getting them started by moving just a bit back and forth before I could use a short 1/2 drive extension to pound them out. They were a very tight fit in the bores that held them in place and in the collar that went around them for the brake shoe to ride on. These collars had a bit of scoring both inside and outside. I polished up all the outside surfaces on the pins and collars. First on the wire wheel, then with the ScotchBrite deburring wheel. I removed the slight ridges inside the collars with a small round file. They were still a very tight fit, even with all that cleaning up. I used sand paper for the bores inside the backing plate and the plate that goes outside of the shoes. The lightest coating of Moly wheel bearing grease was used here upon reassembly. On the second side, one of the return springs was not present (there are a couple acting on each shoe) so I put the remaining one on the lower shoe because I figured that gravity would help the top one a bit until I get hold of another spring. Of course the whole wheel and drum will need to be removed to add this spring. I then ground off all the metal that had been pushed out of place on the lug nuts when wrenches had slipped on them over the years, and replaced the wheels. It sure does feel like there might be some fluid in them. Micah and I could barely lift them the half inch needed to get on the studs. I then adjusted the brakes so that there was the slightest drag, because I figure the drum has a bit larger diameter than the shoes, and they ideally would have been arced, but I hope they'll wear in. At least the pedals no longer touch the floor.
There appeared to be some oil leaking out the front of the pan, so I tightened those bolts a bit, and they were somewhat loose. Also removed the old, worn PTO over-run clutch and installed the new one. Buying the new one took two tries, because the first time I bought on the had the standard 1 3/8" shaft for both input and output. Turns out Teddy has the smaller shaft coming out. I was able to find a clutch that fit this shaft and adapted to the standard PTO. It really is nice to finally have splines that don't allow the piece fitting on them to have a bit of play.
Last night I finally got to do some mowing in that short period of light left after I got home from the hospital. I mowed some heavier weeds that I'd never mowed before in first gear. When I went to knocking the brown tops and seeds off the grass where I had mowed last spring, I was able to go in second gear. I really pushed to use every bit of available daylight. I do think I'll get a set of lights on the tractor soon, even if they aren't original ones at first.

1/19/99 I tried to get Teddy started up by jumping him from the Jeep. While it seemed to be getting gas and nearly fired a few times, I noticed something very distressing. Water was leaking out of the block from the area just to the right of the oil filter canister. I had drained the radiator, so I can't imagine it froze, especially since we haven't much time any degree below freezing so far this winter. Seeing no evidence of hydrolock and finding no water in the radiator I continue to try to start it. When oil started seeping out of the block with water bubbles mixed in, my heart sank. This area of the block appeared to have some very thick paint. Probing a bit closer with a screw driver, my fear level rose when it looked like it just might be a coating of JB Weld spread over the block here. If that is the case, the good news would be that I didn't crack the block. The bad news would be that I was taken and need to find a new block. I've just posted this message on the ATIS Antique Tractor list and the Ford-Ferguson sub-group as well. I hope I at least get some information, if not some good news.

Email me at goodwrench@CyberRanch.org
Email me.

Y'all please come back and visit me soon.

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This page was last updated Jan. 20, 1999

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