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Antique Steel Wheel Tractors - Old Iron Lugs and Cleats

McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower


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  #1  
Old 12-06-2014, 11:43:28 PM
Mark Schneider Mark Schneider is offline
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Default McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Well it's taken me some time but I think that I've secured enough parts to install a IH Red Diamond engine in this 1936 WK-40 to replace the original FBB 298 that was unrepairable. The RD 406 motor needed to be gone through before it could be used and as I was starting the reassembly I thought it might useful for future reference to start a thread to document the differences between these two engines, and to work through the steps needed to make the RD fit and work properly in a WK-40.
The pictures show #2811 as it arrived at my place...it looked so easy to make run and what a phenomenal amount of work it turned into! The crankshaft on the stands is the original FBB...note the small journals and the lack of counterbalancing as compared to the RD crank in the block. Also the difference in the size of the crankshaft snouts will undoubtedly create some issues in the near future.....
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Old 12-08-2014, 08:52:49 AM
K Cooke K Cooke is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Ive done this with an RD 450. Had the nose of the crank turned down to match the FBB. Doing this allowed all the FBB front parts to bolt on to the RD with the exception of one bolt that has to be drilled . Caution on that not to bore into the sleeve. I then drilled the FBB flywheel to match the RD crank. The water neck to the top of the radiator needs some altering too.May have to drill the bell housing to accept the bigger bolts of the RD
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:10:42 AM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

I also adapted the truck waterpump. Can't remember the exact problem, but made it where the tractor fan shroud fit.
Found a tractor water pump later, but hadn't replaced it yet.
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:11:50 PM
Bryan Donaldson Bryan Donaldson is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Mark,

Can I ask what made this particular FBB 298 unrepairable? Was there a specific failure on this unit? I'm curious because I have one in the shed waiting its turn and have read about a number of problem spots in this engine but haven't torn into mine yet.
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Old 12-08-2014, 08:43:01 PM
Titan1020 Titan1020 is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

I'll take a turn here since I have some experience with these tractors. The worst issue is availability of engine bearings. They are virtually non-existant for rod and crank inserts. It's a rare engine that doesn't need some kind of bearing work especially one thats got any kind of hours on the engine. The other issue is the blocks have a tendency to split right down the middle between the sleeves. While not necessarily a fatal defect it's not a good thing either.
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:32:42 PM
Mark Schneider Mark Schneider is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

For those interested there is a ton of good information on the WK-40 in the thread "WK40 - how many are out there?" I describe in detail the (1) WK-40 (#2811) and (2) W-40's that Lee and I found and tore down. Also this thread contains "Have To Know" tech information shared by Eric Best on how to properly install the main caps and bearings on the FBB-298 engine. Ignore this advice and you'll stand the chance of ruining your priceless FBB main bearing inserts.
So our situation was this...3 FBB engines tore down and not enough parts to put one together. I remember thinking "They can't all be bad can they?" In our case it was "Yes they can be!"
Since tractors that run are infinitely more interesting than ones that don't we decided to forfeit the collectability on the '36 and put a truck engine in it. We are hoping against all odds that the needed FBB engine parts will show up someday and we will be able to put together an original late model W-40 4spd on factory rubber tires.
The IH Red Diamond motor was a very common engine of my youth and I found out that it is not so common now. I put an add on a local online shopper and received 1 response. A fellow in Minot had a '57 R190 spotter tractor and I could hear the engine run. If I decided to buy he would pull the engine on the spot which I did and he did. I could not make head or tail of the numbers stamped on the block and assumed it was probably a RD 450. Engine teardown revealed it was a RD 406 which was fine with us as we weren't out to build a "super" tractor.
I had heard and read about the RD engine conversion but the information is spread out...mostly in posts on threads of unrelated subjects and very difficult to search for. My goal here is to document the step by step process with the related photos under a thread title that's easily researchable.
I have not done the conversion yet so will be learning as I go. For those of you that have done it I welcome your input, comments, and photos. If your WK-40 ran and moved after it was done I consider your engine conversion to be a success irregardless of the details you chose to use.

Craig here: There's the thread....... >>> http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=100619
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:00:35 AM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Mark - If any of your FBB blocks was solid, or even just some stray cracks in the deck that don't extend into the main webs, don't give up on it. If you have solid main bearing shells, they reline beautifully and it's not that expensive to get them done. Then, there's the crank. rod bearings turn up all the way to 0.060 under so that's your practical limit on that. As for the mains, since you would be relining the shells anyway, make them whatever undersize will clean up the crank. Cam bearings are available. That leaves pistons and sleeves. There are a few sets floating around. Some are 3 5/8" for the WA and some are 3 3/4" Don't be bashful and don't be too proud to use the smaller bore. A tight, new engine won't care about 29 cubic inches difference in displacement.

I tore down one complete, loose, FBB-298 for which I had paid a dear price. Long story short, the number seven main had spun in the block rendering the block beyond repair, the crank was destroyed beyond grinding. All I saved was the cylinder head and, possibly, some pistons and sleeves. Even the timing cover was cracked! It doesn't take too much to end up ahead of that mess!

Good Luck and let me know if you decide to save or part with any of the FBB stuff.

Eric.
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Old 12-09-2014, 11:20:38 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

I Have a few NOS sets of 3 5/8" Pistons & sleeves available, and just sold a NOS set of 3 3/4" high altitude Pistons & Sleeves for the U21 (aluminum dome Pistons) that will work I the Wk40. I am working on a few sets of undersized main bearings, but am 1 or 2 positions short...

Eric. Did u ever use the NOS WK40 block you bought at the Red Power Roundup in Penfield?
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:32:59 AM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Justin - That block is still in the crate but it will get used, not to worry!
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:16:28 AM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

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Originally Posted by Eric Best View Post
Justin - That block is still in the crate but it will get used, not to worry!
I always have to ask, because I still get calls wondering where it went…. (And it was a cool find)
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:39:55 PM
Mark Schneider Mark Schneider is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

"If you can't build it right build it heavy!" was some of the local bantering about Minneapolis- Moline tractors between the small ag dealerships in the town I grew up in. Of course I worked for an IH dealer and thanked my lucky stars that IH engines had stamped steel oil pans and not the yellow equivalent of a cast iron clawfoot tub that the MM G1000's used.
Well I felt pretty smug about my IH position until I got introduced to the WK-40 flywheel....a massive thing that looks more at home on the side of a John Deere "D". When I first removed one of these I thought old age had got the best of me...I couldn't pick it up! And no wonder as it tips the "official" bathroom scale at 200.6 lbs. The flywheel out of the R190 comes in at 46.8 lbs. for comparison.
I thought it would be the time for the flywheel modification and test fit while the block was on the floor as it involved the least amount of lifting. Both flywheels are piloted on the crankshaft flange which happens to be the same diameter. The FBB uses 1/2" studs and the RD uses 9/16" bolts so the WK-40 flywheel needed .062 shaved out of the mounting holes. It is hard to freehand drill this small amount as the bit would have the tendency to grab. So here is what I did....
I bought a new 9/16" shanked drill bit and ground a .500 pilot on the end with a tool post grinder. I relieved the back side of the cutting flutes with a Dremmel, oiled the pilot, and drilled the holes out freehand. The feed was easy to control and the job came out good.
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:46:54 PM
Mark Schneider Mark Schneider is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

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Originally Posted by Eric Best View Post
Mark - If any of your FBB blocks was solid, or even just some stray cracks in the deck that don't extend into the main webs, don't give up on it.
Eric...I haven't given up yet. We have most of the top end parts secured but are stalled in the crankshaft/bearing department. Of the 4 crankshafts we have 3 are unusable. The last crankshaft has the potential for cleaning up at .030 under. I have a set of used .050 under mains that could probably be resized to fit but have not found anything in the connecting rod bearing department.

Back to the RePower...
The bolt pattern on the flywheel can only be installed in one position. I made an alignment dowel out of a hardened 9/16" bolt as the logistics of holding a 200 lbs. flywheel in place with one hand while trying to start the short flywheel bolts in the recessed holes with the other was not good. Also the dowel pins on the RD crank flange will have to be removed.
The pilot bearing on the FBB application is an opened back configuration that is oiled by the crankshaft via a felt wick. This will have to be changed to the sealed 6206-2ZJ bearing.
The 2" 10 spline configuration used on the clutch disc and input shaft is the same as the one used on the heavy trucks. The 14" dynalife clutch disc in the pictures is the rear disc out of a truck clutch set and looks like it will fit right in. This will probably be the disc I use as the lining on the 3 FBB clutch discs in my possession are all wore down to the rivet heads.
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Last edited by Mark Schneider; 12-11-2014 at 03:56:19 PM.
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Old 12-14-2014, 01:25:41 AM
Mark Schneider Mark Schneider is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

A word here about Red Diamond parts availability...
When I tore the RD 406 apart I found it needed some machine work...One badly scored sleeve and piston, two rods that needed resizing, and a crankshaft that needed to be reground. I told the machinist to get the parts needed to rebuild it. After a few days of searching he told me that the only parts that were currently available were the cam bearings and the piston rings. Everything else he secured NOS from Tom Underwood.
The RD 372, 406, and 450 engine family are all the same block configuration with the common bore size of 4 3/8" and the difference being the stroke on the crankshaft. (IH also reverted to this practice on the DT 414, 436, and 466 engine family.) The RD 406 and the FBB 298 shared the same stroke of 4 1/2" but the FBB has a much smaller 3 3/4" bore. Also the RD engine is a dry sleeve block vs the wet sleeve of the FBB.
We were fortunate to find a single new sleeve to replace the damaged one albeit it was .005 oversize and the block had to be honed to make it work. The piston was more of a challenge to locate as it was discovered that this 406 engine had the high compression flat top pistons in it. That"s right...contrary to everything I've ever heard about pistons...in this IH truck engine family the stepped head pistons are low compression and the flat tops are high. I've held them in my hands and measured the deck height....
I saved the truck bellhousing to use for a "poor man's" vertical motor stand. It works well. The pictures compare RD and FBB sleeves and pistons and then there's the shot of IH's version of the high compression piston.
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Old 12-14-2014, 10:10:31 AM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

I found the same thing regarding Red Diamond parts. They are only slightly easier to get parts for than the FBB. Surplus main and rod bearings can be bought all day long . . . if you want standard or 0.010 under but who is lucky enough to be in that situation. Piston rings are available but that's true for the FBB as well. The oversizing of the OD on replacement sleeves for the RD causes another problem. My RED 450, an earlier version with only 3 frost plugs instead of the 5 commonly found on the RD 450, was so bad, even oversize sleeves wouldn't work because somebody with a portable boring bar had mucked up the alignment of the bores in the block. $2000 and 6 repair liners later, the block is good as new with RD-501 pistons with the step on the heads milled down to clear the cylinder head. Still don't have it together but I easily have as much money in an RD as I would have had in an FBB and it was no more fun to get there.
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Old 12-14-2014, 01:47:24 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

I guess I need to stop passing on RD parts......
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:43:37 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Justin - It will come to that. Most folks have been smart or lucky enough to pull running RDs out of trucks so the parts haven't been a problem. In my case, I just started in on a bad engine and kept getting myself in deeper and deeper. Severe undersize bearings (anything beyond 030) seems to be scarce in RD parts. I happened to need 040s. Couldn't find any mains that would fit the bill so bought a better crank that ground at 020 except for one rod journal that had to go to 040. The shop I was working with found a rod shell at 040. During my run up to build this engine I acquired a bit of military surplus rod bearings and mains but nothing much better than 010s. I also have a few sets of rings. Not sure I will ever do another RD though. Another thing I noticed about the RD450 is that the heads are basically scrap. If you try to put new seats in them, there's not enough meat in the casting to hold the new seat. I did pick up an NOS head from Underwood for the RED450 I was building (number of head studs differs by 1 from a typical RD-450.)
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:52:00 AM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Eric...There are those days when a guy works hard all day just to get back to where he started in the morning. I've had those projects were I felt like little Joe Btfsplk with a black cloud over my head....every move the wrong one!

Eric mentioned the RD 501 and thought I'd share what I know. The 501 was the Super Motor of the RD series...4 1/2 X 5 1/4, 4 barrel carb, and a split exhaust manifold with dual exhaust. The block casting is all by itself because the cam centerline had to be relocated due to the increased length of stroke. Even though the stats sound impressive I'm not really sure that it was much of a success for IH. The 501 only gained 13 HP and 29 ft lbs of torque over its RD 450 counterpart. The mileage under load had to be deplorable!
Will the RD 501 adapt to use in a WK-40? I don't know but I suspect that the relocated cam gear will probably interfere with the tractor timing cover.

Went after the missing bolt hole for installation of the timing cover on the RD 406. After drilling in about 3/8" I hit the water jacket. I tapped the hole using the timing cover to pilot the tap. Some sealant on the bolt threads should take care of any potential leak. The pictures compare the difference between the RD and WK timing covers, tapping procedure, and finished product.
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Old 12-19-2014, 01:06:06 AM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Not much different than a head bolt into a water jacket like many modern cars! Good stuff and I like what you are doing here to make a good motor for the WK. I still haven't figured out exactly what motor the TD has in it, but know it ran when gramps got finished converting it. Figure once I get it back in my own place I will strip it out and let it go.
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Old 12-19-2014, 11:04:02 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

The front engine support for the WK-40 is a cast iron crossmember with a hole bored in the center. This yoke slides over a 3.50 diameter hollow "boss" that is cast as part of the timing cover with the crankshaft snout occupying the center area. The larger crankshaft snout and pulley of the RD 406 are an issue here as neither will fit through the WK-40 timing cover.
There are two ways to deal with this:
1. Remove the crankshaft of the RD motor and have the crank snout diameter machined down to match the WK dimensions as described in post #2. This method insures most of the front end parts of the tractor engine will fit on the RD motor.
2. Adapt the RD truck parts to fit the parameters dictated by the WK-40 timing cover and machine both the truck and tractor parts to fit. This method would probably be chosen by someone who has a nice running RD engine and doesn't want to disassemble the engine to get the crankshaft altered.

I chose method #2 even though I had the crankshaft out. The reason for this was that out of the 3 FBB engines I have there was only one useable crankshaft pulley and I wanted to save it for a future W-40 project. The timing cover I chose to alter was the early style that used only a felt washer for a front crankshaft seal. The later covers are machined to accept a lip seal in this area. The machine shop used a Bridgeport to bore the ID of the boss out to clear the crankshaft pulley OD and to recess the outer lip to accept a modern lip seal.
The RD crankshaft pulley needed a lot of modification. It started out with a 3 pulley configuration and was machined down to a single one. The original seal OD of 2.75" was reduced to 2.380" to match the seal choice for the front cover. My choice to adapt the RD crank pulley will probably dictate that I also use the truck water pump as the pulley centerlines between the RD and FBB are different but time will tell.
Pictures show the WK-40 front engine mount, machining and seal choices on the front cover, and the highly modified RD crankshaft pulley.
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Last edited by Mark Schneider; 12-20-2014 at 10:57:26 AM.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:00:32 AM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

A couple of thoughts: A closer inspection of the part number on the front W-40 engine hanger should reveal that it is a forging and not a casting. Casting numbers have fat letters and numbers that are part of or slug-plated onto the pattern. Forgings have the part number "upset" as part of the squeezing operation when they are forged and look much finer. While a casting might have survived, it is more likely it would have cracked over time. The forging will not suffer this. I could be wrong about the W-40 hanger but I know this to be true on the WD-40. I also use this rule to know what I can and cannot easily weld on a W/WD-40. For instance - putting new tie-rod barrels on the steering arms is easy welding because these parts are forged and not cast.

On the subject of which pulley to use, I went the route of modifying the crankshaft. That has pitfalls as well. Timing gears on crankshafts are pressed on - true - but failure to have the pulley exert sufficient pressure on the timing gear will cause a loosening of the timing gear, sooner or later. I have a WD-40 that has gotten this way over the years and I have to go in and retighten the crank pulley very tight to get the injector pump governor to settle down. Back to the RD - I ended up making a stepped, tapered washer to allow the small diameter crank pulley from the W-40 to push against the RD crank gear. I could have pressed the gear off and undercut the shaft but I failed to do this. The OD on my W-40 crank pulley had also had the oil slinger grooves turned off for use with a mechanical seal so was small enough in diameter it would nearly have been swallowed by the ID of the crank gear even if I had undercut the crankshaft in this area. The washer was the solution. I modified the timing cover for a mechanical seal that will be selected to run against the crank pulley.

Honestly don't know if any of this is going to work as I move like molasses on getting anything done. Maybe someday! I wish Mark had done this thread a few years ago. I like this approach better than the one I took.

Last edited by Eric Best; 12-20-2014 at 12:10:58 AM.
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