H AND BIG BROTHER M

By Staff
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N892 Highway 149, New Holstein, WI 53061

About six years ago, I had the chance to buy a set of steel
wheels for a Farmall H tractor. After purchasing the wheels, I
started watching around for a Farmall H tractor. I wanted the
oldest one I could find in my general area.

As time went by, I found a 1940 Farmall H in the back row at a
machinery dealer. Very nice sheet metal, cut off steel wheels, but
rusted tight. The price was about right, so I decided this would be
a good tractor for my steel wheels.

After getting it home, the usual restoring type work took place,
with which many of us collectors are familiar. I took off the
lights, generator and starter motor, because I wanted it simple,
manual start and not many extras. The only options I had left were
the hydraulic pump, belt pulley and swinging drawbar.

Working with this type of tractor is really nice for getting
parts. I’ve restored quite a few older tractors, and parts are
sometimes a problem.

As time marched on I saw an ad for front steel for a Farmall M.
I thought maybe I should buy these and someday do a Farmall M. Well
I did and that started with another project. I call that doing my
homework.

I started looking for rear steel wheels next. I think a couple
of years had gone by, when another collector said to me that
he’d just bought a set of Farmall M rear steel wheels at an
auction for $9.00. Boy, I wish I’d been at that auction. I
talked him into selling them to me for a price they are selling for
in our area.

Now the easy part: find a 1940 Farmall M to have a set, right?
WRONG!! I called and looked at many dealers, auctions and even
tractor junkyards. Just as I was going to give up looking over the
winter months, my wife said let’s go check out that one
implement lot yet. Well, you guessed it!! Drove in the lot and
there sat a Farmall M.

Looked at the serial number plate and wouldn’t you know it,
it was in the 1940 serial range. My eyes couldn’t believe it.
Then I checked the front axle for the casting date: 3-14-40. OK,
now go see how much the dealer thinks it’s worth. The M was a
little on the tough side. I called it used and abused. Someone
painted it green and it looked as if it had been rolled at least
once, but it was the only 1940 I had seen so far. After some
dealing, I came up on the short side of the deal, but I had a 1940
Farmall M.

Back to the restoring again. I took off the lights, starter and
generator. Now both the H and M were manual start, hydraulic pump,
belt pulley and swinging drawbar. Had to do lots more sheet metal
work on the M, and replaced quite a few external parts, but the
tractor ran okay.

I think they turned out pretty good.

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