Tune up time

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Tune up time

Postby Davenhla » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:59 pm

So my U302 has been on snow duty this winter, and as it is (maybe?) finally looking like spring might get here in WI in the next few weeks I am gearing up for some tune up/repair items I want to address this year.

Item #1: It has the "long skinny" battery. The little shelf/bracket next to the fender by the Hyd. remote levers is in good shape. I want to convert this to a normal, car/truck shaped battery. I hate the long skinny's, back in the day farming we had decent luck with the one on this Moline, but horrible luck with the pair on our JD 4020. In more recent years, it seems the battery manufacturers have realised only antique/etc people are buying that obsolete shape, and have seemed to really reduce the quality of the battery. My last Interstate cost almost $150, is basically shot after 3 years, and to boot it has a whopping 450 CCA. For $15 less, I bought a 900 CCA "glass mat" AGM for my truck last fall. I have one of those in an old Mustang that I bought 5 years ago and have zero problem with them. So that is my goal.

How do I go about modifying the battery tray/bracket to accomodate a shorter, somewhat wider battery? Is it possible? Any of you guys done this in the past and have some tips? it looks like if I place it to the rear of the current tray, there should be plenty of room next to the remote levers. Will I need to fab up a custom tray? Borrow something out of a car for hold down etc? Move the battery location altogether? Any tips here would be appreciated.

Item #2: Hyd. Oil leak. This old gal spent a lot of it's working time with a 3pt cultivator, disc harrow, and in later years a construction grade nine foot rear blade(HEAVY!) on the back(manure and snow duty) when it wasn't pulling wagons and as a result, the little pin(draft control I think?) that goes into the back of the tractor from on the 3rd link mount/bracket leaks oil. Is this something I can do externally, as in, does it come apart from the back, or do I need a major tear down to get at the seals? Will the pin itself be worn out? Any insight into this would be a help, I do have the owners book/parts book, but if someone has done this job before and has a story to tell i am all ears.

Item #3: Radiator hoses. My 1965 U302 Super is sporting the original hoses. Bottom one has gotten a small crack in it and is dripping. It is hard as a rock, and I want to put some new ones on before it fails. I haven't been able to find anything through google searches for this tractor, well, nothing besides "universal" fit hose. Does anyone make the custom "bent" hoses for a U302? Can I get them from AGCO, or am I only going to find universal pleated style hose? My local car parts store can order me Gates universal hose, so I can go that route, but I would love some proper curved fit hoses.

Item #4: the carb leaks. If I do not shut off the little valve on the bottom of the gas tank(it's gas, not diesel) gas will continually drip out of the carb. As it is, even when I do shut it off, the contents of the carb will drip out onto the floor. I feel with almost 5000 hours on the tractor, the carb could likely use a rebuild haha. I have never done this. I am not afraid to try it, I figure a nice clean table to work at and some kind of rebuild kit would be all I need. Recommended source for a kit? Anything I need to watch for?


Other items: there is a hesitation in the tractor when I use it in the cold weather. I tend to have to run it with the choke pulled out about 1/4 inch. Even then, occasionally when I go to let the clutch out, it will sputter for a second. Between my leaky carb, and 25-30 year old plug wires etc, I am hoping the carb rebuild and some tune up/replacement on the ignition should remedy that. If not, is there another obvious source some one has run into before?
Another item I may or may not try to tackle this year is the rear tires. 15.5x38. They are bad, lots of lug, but cracked to all get out. Bigger issue is the rims are in pretty rough condition. My Dad had the tire shop repair the rims where the valve stem is(welded a small patch) but these tires have had fluid in them forever, and between age and years of manure duty the rim part of the rear wheels is pretty sad looking. These wheels are of a one piece type, where the centers are welded to the rims. What are my options here? The centers are in good condition as far as I can tell. Should I find somewhere to remove/re-weld new rims onto the centers? Is there a more common tractor with this style of wheel i could salvage used wheels from? Should I change out the rears entirely for some 18.4x38's? I wasn't really planning on that, as this tractor does not do field work anymore and traction on my asphalt drive/lot is adequate with the fluid filled 15.5's in the winter. Anyone here swapped their 15's to some 18's? Should I be looking for some wheels off an Oliver or a newer White to replace my badly rusted wheels? Will my MM factory donut weights bolted to my wheels fit anything else?

Any feedback is appreciated, I am hoping to have some fun in the shed this summer sprucing up the old gal.
Davenhla
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Re: Tune up time

Postby Davenhla » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:54 am

Well I don't know if this website is just losing members or people are just busy with spring planting and crops or whatever, but here is an update if anyone is interested.

I made myself a battery tray. The old tray came out easily, my U302 was put into the shed at night religeously, I spun the nuts off the tray bolts with my fingers once I broke them loose. The tray was held on with some very broad flathead bolts, which I reused for my new one.
I took a piece of 3/16" steel plate and cut a rectangle out of it a bit longer then the original tray and about 8" wide. To fit a more modern style battery in the space I had next to the hyd. remote levers and fender, but still avoid the three point arm, I had to move the battery back several inches and make sure I could keep close to the fender. By making the new tray longer, I was able to use the original holes to mount it down but still move the battery location towards the back. The new tray is about 1/2" wider than the biggest battery that would still physically fit in the space I had, and I used that bit of width to put a hold down bracket on. I drilled a 1/4" hole on each side, put a threaded eye in each one with a lock nut, and then bought an $8 universal hold down kit from my local auto parts store. The hold down is not perfectly centered on the battery, but close enough I am not worried about it and I don't rough and tumble this tractor through fields doing tillage etc anymore so it is more then suficient. I ran a new ground cable as the old one looked pretty rough and was stretched a tad with the new location. I ran the new cable under the seat to a bolt on the chassis on the clutch side of the tractor as it was getting a little crowded on the other side with the new bigger battery, the remote levers, proximity to the rear 3pt arm etc.

I also did an electrical tune up with plugs, wires, new cap and rotor. My local Oreilly's actually had a very nice copper terminal cap and rotor that fit in stock. They also had the proper coil, I opted for the liquid filled version as i have had better luck with those. I purchased a "Universal four cylander" plug wire kit. It is just a house brand, but I have used this kit twice now and the quality is surprisingly good for the 20 some-odd dollar price tag. Very nice wire, super nice jacket on the wire, I think silicone? It is supple and very easy to work with. The kit comes with 4 plug wires and one for the coil, one end is factory terminated, you just trim to proper length and put the other boot/terminal on with some pliers. The old AC plugs I took out were from the 80's and were looking sort of mediocre. They were also a bit blacker then I would like, so I opted to go up a heat range on the plugs. My old U302 doesn't work that hard anymore, so I think this will help keep the plugs burnt clean a bit better.

The result is the tractor turns over noticably faster on starting, starts better(less sputter on initial ignition), and runs out smoother especially at higher RPM.
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Re: Tune up time

Postby Davenhla » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:19 pm

Next on the block is the rear wheels. My local Pomp's tire works with a company to make brand new wheels. I wasn't able to really find anyone in NE Wisconsin that would put new outer rims on my centers. Unfortunatly this is going to set me back a bit, but it is basically required as tire fluid is starting to seep out in 2 different places on the rim, which means the tube is bad, which means it probably got a hole rubbed in it because the inside of the rim is so rusty.

Does anyone have suggestions on tires? I am pretty firmly set on Firestone, but not a particular model, and I am still open to other suggestions if someone has had good experiances with other tires. Important to me is that the lugs are "square shouldered" meaning they actually make it to the full width of the tire. Also, I will not buy any of those long bar/short bar design tires. We had a set of Goodyear Dynatorque 2's on our JD 4020 back in the day, and they were HORRIBLE for traction. So longbar/shortbar tires are 100% out. Right now I am leaning towards some Firestone 23 degree longbar tires. One of the other options is radials. I know they cost a bit more, most designs tend to have more lugs also. I am not sure if they are worth the significant extra $$$ though as I am not using this tractor for field work. I will pay more for quality, but in my opinion the bias ply Firestones are sufficiently high quality that the choice of radial or not is more application driven for me. But maybe I am missing something, anyone farming out there or knows more about this feel free to chime in!

Also I have been looking for a replacement seat cushion set. I have what I think people call a "3 piece" seat, but it does not have the little backrest part that sticks up. the cushions have been gone for years and years, well the back is gone, the seat is somewhat there underneath an old Oshkosh B'gosh jean coat that's served as seat cover for 30-40 years. I was refered to Speer Cushion Co. this spring. Sadly, they have closed shop as of last fall. Someone there answered my email though and informed me Fehr Cab interiors bought all the patterns and may be starting production later this year. If this doesn't work out, is there somewhere else to get some new cushions? I found some at All State Ag Parts website that look correct, as they say steel backed foam and that's what is on my U302, but would also be a smidge over $250 before shipping for the 2 pieces. Not sure if that is a good price or not, but if that's the only choice, they kind of got me over a barrel then. So again, if anyone has suggestions on places to look for a new seat, i am all ears.
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Re: Tune up time

Postby Joe Leising » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:54 pm

Stamm Tractor Parts in kansas can help with the seat cushions. A quick google should find their website
The Leising Family

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Ollie's tractor 1955 BG
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Re: Tune up time

Postby Davenhla » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:57 pm

I found their web page. I will give them a call later this week.
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