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Farmall A cooling system
|Ron||Just picked up a '41 A with woods belly mower to mow my small pasture. When I brought it home, I checked all the fluid levels. The coolant level was fine, and the fluid looked nice and clean. I drove the tractor around for maybe 15 minutes or so, and when I parked it, I could hear the coolant boiling. After letting it cool down, I checked the level, and it was low. I added some to it, started the tractor, and checked for flow. I couldn't see any coolant flowing at all. Can I assume I have a bad water pump?
Looking back to when I was considering buying it, the previous owner pointed out that he put on a new fan. Also, when I drove it at his place, I was going to check the coolant flow, but when I grabed the radiator cap to remove it, it was very hot (after only about 5-10 minutes) and I didn't open it. I had just assumed that he had the tractor running before I got there, and that was the reason it was hot. I went back to look at it a second time, and wanted to check it then, but I got wrapped up into looking at other things and talking to the owner, and I forgot. Now I'm wondering if there was a cooling issue before, since he had replaced the fan. I'm hoping it's not a radiator, as they are expensive and would cancel out the good deal I thought I got.
|rich4||First off the A does not have a water pump, it just circulates naturally. It does require a clean radiator inside and out and do not overfill. But you may be looking at a leaking head gasket if you are loosing water.
|ron||Doesn't have a water pump???
What is this?
|Hugh MacKay||Ron: Your tractor has what the industry calls thermosyphon cooling. The boiling you heard after shutting it down is quite nornal, and can be reduced somewhat by letting tractor idle and cool down about 3 min. before shutting it off.
You may not have any leaks, full with one of these systems is about 2.5" from the radiator neck. If you try to keep more than that amount in the radiator it runs out with expansion. These are not a pressurized cooling system.
In short if your system maintains a level 3" from radiator cap, bubbles and gurgles if you shut it off hot, it is working perfect. I have one of these, close to 60 years old and still on it's original radiator. That is why the radiators are expensive. Given the years of service, a fraction of the cost of a modern day auto radiator.
|rich4||To add, the later Super 'A's'/100 and Super 'C's had the 123ci engine and had a water pump, same engine just a bit larger, but not before 1953 or so.
My family had a 'C' with same engine as an 'A' and no water pump and it did fine for many years. I don't remember the bubbling but it probably did.
|Hugh MacKay||Rich: Actually all Super C from the beginning in 1951 had C-123 with water pump. Super A did change to a pressurized thermosyphon system at serial number 336711 in 1953. I have one of those, and it still works very well. In 1954 IH did change the Super A to C-123 and added the Water pump.
One thing we should tell Ron, every C-113 engine ever built can have a water pump added and many have. Also every C-113 engine ever built can be changed to C-123 by using a thinner wall sleeve. One word of caution though, sleeves will not interchange between block part numbers.
|Roger Ondersma||I have a Super C and I am hearing the same boiling in the radiator after shutting it off. Because it has a water pump, should it be doing this or is it still normal to hear even when the coolant system is pressurized?
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