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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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  #2  
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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Russ Hamm Russ Hamm is offline
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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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Eric Best Eric Best is offline
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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
mrkimball mrkimball is offline
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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
mrkimball mrkimball is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Quote:
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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