Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sorry I Wasn't Much Help

While perusing my referral logs, I found this question. It's a legitimate question if you aren't very familiar with older tractors.

Case Model 930 tractors were produced in LP and diesel versions. The diesel version has the fuel controls all on the throttle handle. When the tractor is shut off, the handle should be in front of the throttle stop pin. This position tells the fuel pump not to send out any fuel. To start the tractor, the throttle arm must be lifted over the idle stop and then pulled towards yourself to allow the pump to work. To shut it off, the throttle has to be lifted over the idle stop and placed in the "kill" position. Shutting off the key won't do anything other than ruin the alternator if it is left running for a time. If following these procedures still doesn't shut the tractor off, then the next step is to check the linkage. G_d knows how many hours these old prairie warriors have on them, and things like linkages wear. It may be the linkage has worn enough so that merely placing the throttle in the kill position doesn't move the throttle arm on the fuel injection pump. Since it's mounted on the side of the engine in plain view, all ya have to do is step off the tractor and rotate the throttle lever on the pump. If this shuts the tractor off, then you will either have to adjust, replace, or rebuild the yokes and pins in the linkage. If it does not, then you have an internal pump problem, which is beyond what I know about.

I've never run a propane 930 or even sat in one. It should work just as a gasoline powered car from that era - the key should shut it off. If it doesn't, the motor needs a tuneup. This means points, plugs, and setting the timing and dwell. Newer diesel Case tractors have a fuel shut off knob that has to be pulled out to kill the fuel, and pushed in to allow the tractor to start. As I recall, the LP tractors I've run just had an old fashioned choke knob - pull it out to choke the motor and help start it in colder weather. Maybe some of them might have a fuel cutoff knob - I just don't know. I doubt it, though, because if it's in tune, shutting off the spark is the time honored method of shutting off that kind of motor. LP tractors use carburetors very much like gas cars, and shutting off the fuel to the carb would still allow the motor to run for a while until all the fuel in the system was burned off.

We did have a propane tractor for years - it was a John Deere model 720, made in 1958. It was very finicky about tuneups - it liked 'em regular and often. Points might not last a season. It just wouldn't start or run right when things were rotten - it had no trouble shutting down.

Different kinds of old machinery require different starting methods. Some old tractors have a compression release. The starter wasn't stout enough to spin the motor with full compression, so you had to "help" it out. Lots of old Cat dozers actually have a separate gas motor you have to get running to start the big diesel. So, you have to be a small engine expert to get one of the old Cats up and running. Some old trucks use compressed air powered starters. If you've ever been around trucks with air brakes, one of the hallmarks is that they do develop air leaks. So, you could wake up some morning with no air, and no way to start the motor to build it back up.

I found this picture here. Ours was a '67 - this one is a '68. Ours had the smaller fenders with a single headlight in the leading edge, an Ansel cab built locally in Liberal KS, and a Great Bend (GB) loader (built, guess where - Great Bend KS). We did have duals mounted - they were clamp-ons. Dad was warned that the axles wouldn't take it, but he was concerned about stability on some of our steeper terraces with me operating the tractor. So, we replaced both axles when they snapped.

We had a water cooler mounted on top of the cab, and thought we were defecating in tall cotton. On rough ground, the water in the trough would slosh into the fan, and blow muddy water all over our heads. We came home digging dry mud from our hair, but it beat not having any protection from the heat at all. There were fender mounted radios available, but you'd never have been able to hear it over the noise in that cab. The first air conditioners were unreliable, expensive and not very effective, so a water cooler was a legit alternative.

I mentioned the throttle was pulled rearward to open it up. When Dad had me climb in and run the ol' sweetheart, he'd slap me on the leg and say: "Pull 'er ears back son, and let's go," shut the cab door and send me on my way. It was Wide Open Throttle all day long.

So, thanks, Lincoln NE, for jarring some good memories.


Earl said...

Nice, I now know less than I thought I knew about tractors, I am glad that someone out there does know and loves them all.

Sezme said...

Geez, all I get are people looking for Hugh Jackman without a shirt.

Jeffro said...

earl: My knowledge - not so much. I can at least get one started and down the road, but if it won't start and goes beyond the very simple, it's time to call in the experts.

For instance - those old Cases didn't have a frame - it was just the rear end bolted to the engine block. If the tranny needed work, you'd have to split it in two with something like jacks on wheels. Which is normally beyond the average farm shop.

rt: I get quite a variety, I'm guessing because of the different subject matter. I get tons of hits for prairie dogs, rattlers, custom harvesters, Silverado fan replacement and so on.

Of course I get some of the weirdos looking for farm loving - enough said.

Sezme said...


threecollie said...

Our 930 Comfort King diesel has been the "go to" tractor here for years (the boss figures it is about 47 years old). However, it spun a bearing or threw a piston or some other esoteric bad thing about three weeks ago. The guys are lost without it. Despite having other tractors with roughly twice the HP they mowed, baled, raked, hauled loads, you name it with that old thing. Can't wait until we line up someone to fix it. (it was my favorite fender riding tractor too, back in the day)

Dad Bones said...

Well hey! Now it's my memories getting jarred. We had a Case DC propane tractor, probably made in the fifties. The pressurized fuel system always made me nervous, plus I hated the smell of propane. I preferred the smell of leaded gasoline and no doubt got too much of it in my formative years. When it was running right it did a pretty good job, but we couldn't always count on it.

Anonymous said...

I have a case 930 with no 3pt hitch.I have acquired rear housing(flywheeel to PTO with all the guts and feathers)for a 1030 including 3 pt hitch .Can rear half of 1030 be coupled up with front half of 930?
Please contact Mark @281 658 304 or