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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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  #41  
Old 12-26-2014, 05:13:51 PM
Mark Schneider Mark Schneider is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

One would think that two motor blocks manufactured by the same company that are the same length and have almost identical bolt patterns on either end would be full of parts that would interchange with one another. Nothing could be further from the truth when comparing the RD and FBB motor pieces.
Take the cams for instance...same drive gear, length, and bearing set. You would expect that other then small performance enhancements on the RD cam that these two items would interchange....but no the FBB cam has a wider distance between the two center journals.
So the fact of the matter is that other than the exception of a small hand full of parts almost nothing fits between these two engines.
When I took apart the three FBB engines almost all the lifters showed a lot of wear...probably due to oil contamination and the double valve springs. The RD lifters also had some pitting and I redressed them on the lathe with a tool post grinder.
The FBB oil pan will not work on the RD engine because the crankshaft counterweights hit it. The rearward position of the RD drain plug is not a convenient location for the tractor application so I relocated it.

Pictures compare the RD and FBB cams and oil pans, and shows one of those nifty removable FBB lifter racks with the resurfaced RD lifters.
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  #42  
Old 12-28-2014, 07:55:54 PM
Mark Schneider Mark Schneider is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Some of the crankshaft/oiling problems experienced by the original WK-40 owners may have been caused by oil pump cavitation. The '36 FBB engine had an oil pump that utilized a fixed oil pump screen located very close to the bottom of the oil pan. In my opinion the screen on this setup is too tight when one considers the "pancake syrup" consistency of the early straight weight oils. Apparently IHC discovered that not everything that settles to the bottom of the oil pan was good to recycle through the lube circuit and installed floating screens on the later W-40 motors. This changeover had its design challenges as the screen had to be mounted on the side opposite the suction side of the gears and so the oil has to make several 90 degree corners before being discharged into the block.
These design problems were addressed in the RD series. The improvements included a larger screen with a higher volume gear set and the flow restrictions were eliminated by driving the other gear (idler in the FBB pump) which reversed the gear rotation and gave the pump a straight through suction to pressure delivered design.
With the installation of the oil pump on the RD406 I was ready to install the oil pan which brought up another slight problem...the cork components of my NOS gasket sets are so crisp that they are valueless and I find myself being a habitual abuser of large amounts of ultra-black silicone. Is there any way of rejuvenating the cork gaskets?
Pictures show the early '36 oil pump and screen and compare the RD and later FBB oil pumps.
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  #43  
Old 12-28-2014, 09:36:44 PM
Nebraska Kirk Nebraska Kirk is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Maybe you can rejuvenating the gasket by soaking it in oil?
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  #44  
Old 12-28-2014, 10:28:20 PM
Alastair Geddes. Alastair Geddes. is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

if your making gaskets your better off using loctite 515 make a gasket it sets when two parts are bolted up close but wont set in oil lines or large gaps and gets flushed out in the oil so won't clog up anything.
Thats if you can get away with losing the thickness of the gasket.
other wise i suggest ultra blue or hitemp orange silicon from loctite.
But oil galleries i prefer 515.
Otherwise you will have to make a custom gasket out of proper material of the correct thickness to keep gaps correct which i have done before as well sometimes you cant escape it. the shortcut can lead to other problems if your not careful.
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  #45  
Old 12-28-2014, 10:37:15 PM
halcon halcon is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Years ago when we used these cork gaskets regularly we soaked them in hot water . Be carefull --- don t over do it.
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  #46  
Old 12-30-2014, 04:56:08 PM
Mark Schneider Mark Schneider is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

The FBB 298 cylinder head is a two piece design with the top half being a removable combination water jacket cover and rocker box. On the RD head these two halves are cast into one which eliminated the need for one gasket but substantially raised the weight of the head. The valve covers between the two engines are almost identical and both use double springs on the valves.
Since the existing condition of the valves and seats were still serviceable I lapped the valve seats using grinding compound and a cordless drill on the backside...a nice improvement over the old suction cup driver. I did not reinstall the inner valve springs as it seems to be overkill for a motor operating below 2000 rpm and senseless to put the added load on the valve train. This also allowed enough room to install umbrella style valve seals on the intake stems.

Pictures show valve lapping method and compare the RD and FBB heads. Note the larger valves and porting of the RD head and the difference in the location of the thermostat housing between the two. This will be an issue later on. Also note that the cylinders in the FBB motor are "ganged" in two sets of three compared to the RD which is a very symmetrically built engine.
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  #47  
Old 12-31-2014, 12:56:07 AM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Eric, I was looking thru some IH internal Memos today, and found one that states that the WDC40 Engines S/N: 501, 502, and 503 were all assembled on June 15. 1934 WDC40 S/N: 504 was assembled on March 26, 1935



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Originally Posted by Eric Best View Post
In March 1934 IH approved a pre-production run (tractors with real serial numbers but before the assembly line was started up) of 3 diesels and 7 6-cylinder tractors. The diesels were numbered 501 - 503 and the 6 cylinder tractors numbered 504-510. In April of 1935, the WD-40 was approved for production at tractor 508 but they actually ran 504 - 507 through the production assembly line with 504 arriving in mid April of 1935. 504 was used as the first number at the start of the assembly line because 503 was the number of the last WD-40 built (a year earlier) up to that point. Here's were it gets confusing. The WA-40 was not ready yet. In May or June of 1935, preproduction WA-40 511 was built. 511 was used because, up to that point, 510 was the last WA-40 built the year before. In June or July of 1935, WA-40 522 was built. Probably pre-production WA40 512 through 521 were all built as well. By June of 1935, WD production was already well past this number. In September 1935, IH authorized production of the WA-40 beginning at tractor number 934. That's not because 523 through 934 were built but because the decision was made to synchronize serial numbers between the WD and the WA and the WDs were already to the high 800s when the decision to enter WA production was made. So, you can see there is overlap of serial numbers - but not for long. 510 exists, for example, both as a gas tractor and a diesel tractor but there is over a year between when WA-40 510 and WD-40 510 were built. It is unlikely that many preproduction WAs after 522 were built. In terms of production and pre-production, the diesel came first. With experiments (Q number tractors) it's hard to say which came first. I own WD-40 503. Diesels 501, 502, and 504 also still exist. WD and WA-40 510 both still exist. I believe preproduction WA-40 506 and 509 both still exist. The 1935 instruction books for the WA-40 and WD-40 also cover the few pre-production tractors that were released in early 1934. Unique parts for these pre-production tractors are marked with an asterisk in the book with the footnote that the parts are "used on a few tractors, only". How true.

Per Wayne Sorenson, renowned W-40 expert, a good 22-36 w/ P300 upgrades will outwork a stock W-40. Wayne and his dad farmed with used W-40s in South Dakota. Also, much farming was done with repowered W-40s long before tractor pulls were their main purpose. A typical modification related to me by Ron Johnson of Kansas was to remove the extra reduction shaft and weld the two piece transmission center shaft solid when doing the repower. This and an RD406 or 450 got you a tractor that could actually work in the field at 6MPH plus - well beyond the ground speed of the original tractor. It also eliminated the annoying whine generated by the extra shaft in the original configuration. People often ask, "If the RD450 engine was so great why didn't IH just use it in the first place?" Timing is everything. The RD-450 didn't exist when the W-40 was in production. Even the FBB-450 (a rare engine to be sure) was barely around. I believe it was also a dry sleeve engine while the smaller FBB was wet sleeve. IH liked their wet sleeves but it was the weak block casting that went along with this and the vibration of high speed engine without counterbalanced crank that caused many blocks to crack, sometimes all the way to the main saddles.

---------- Post added at 08:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:46 PM ----------

The first WK-40 bore chassis number 1441 and was built around December 22, 1935. The WK would be produced for only one model year - 1936. The WA was produced for 1935 and 1936 model years with possibly a few WA and WK tractors built as very early 1937 models. From then on, the 6 cylinder tractor became known as simply the W-40. The W-40 was built from 1937 to 1940. The WD-40 was built from 1935 to 1940. The WD-40 didn't sell well and three digit serial number tractors (1935 models) were still being pushed by the branch houses with discounts as late as 1937 or 1938. A few early WD-40s rode the state fair circuit in 1935 and 1936 and were likely painted all red to get attention (an early version of the IH Demonstrator!)

I speak badly of the FBB 6 cylinder but with regular oil changes and little lugging, they could provide years of service. It's just at that time, many farmers weren't quite up on what it took to keep a high speed engine going. Putting the RD450 or similar in (what this thread is really about) makes a real nice tractor out of them.

I will be giving a couple of brief lectures on the 40 series at the IH Winter Convention in Michigan City, Indiana, this coming March and plan on sharing some photos, facts, and surmises at that time. If any of you are planning on attending the Winter Convention, I'd enjoy getting together to visit about the 40s.
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  #48  
Old 12-31-2014, 01:41:31 AM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

The dates sound right. The bit about the engines is odd. WD-40 tractors 501 through 503 do not use WDC engines. They used engines with TDC engine numbers. WD-40 501 used engine TDC-779. WD-40 503 used engine number TDC-794. I believe 502's engine has been replaced but it would likely have originally fallen in between TDC-779 and 794. The casting dates on the frames for 501 - 503 range from January 1934 to March 1934. I suppose it is possible these were remanufactured Q-series tractors.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:22:50 PM
mrkimball mrkimball is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Here is a scan of the memo. who knows if the info is 100% correct, as IH seems to have had lots of contradictory records.
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:51:47 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Justin - I don't think this information is necessarily contradictory to anything else we think we know. We just don't have a complete interpretation for it. If WD40 501, 502, and 503 were built with TDC engines, some time in the first half of 1934, why did IH bother to build WDC prefixed engines until they were ready to build more tractors? I wonder if these engines were intended to replace the TDC engines that were used in the first 3 tractors for testing but the replacement never took place. There wouldn't have been any need to hold them back for use in the first "line built" WD-40s that began with 504. 504 probably got engine 504 but not necessarily. The engine numbers rarely matched the chassis numbers. Even the Nebraska Test tractor didn't match.

The Milwaukee Works monthly list at the Wisconsin State Historical Society shows engine WDC-504 as April 1935. That probably just means it was completed by then which does not disagree with your date. Also, tractor 504 is listed as the first number for May 1935. A handwritten note on that page lists 708 as the first production unit built April 16, 1935 but this is almost certainly a mistake as 508 is the first production WD-40.
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:59:29 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

With the front cover installed on the RD 406 the next item I decided to address was the engine governor. I could tell by visual inspection that the three FBB governors I have all needed attention. From newest to oldest I disassembled the units hoping to find enough parts to put a good one together. The weights and pins were quite loose on the first unit with the wear on the second one so bad the weights were hitting the governor housing. I was pleasantly surprised to see the condition of the oldest ('36) was quite good in comparison and must have been rebuilt not long before the motors demise.
The single offset arm on each of the two weights causes all the torque load to be transferred to only one side of the pin. On two of the governors the weight holes are egged out so bad that they will have to be bored and rebushed. The weight pins are made of really soft steel...probably grade 2 bolt stock or worse. The pins on the best weight assembly were wore to the point that I wouldn't reuse them so I made new pins out of 5/16" grade 8 bolt shanks.
When I was reassembling the governor I noticed that each of the thrust sleeve forks were bent at slightly different angles. Evidently there is some "tuning" to be done here as the angle on the fork also dictates the travel position of the top reaction arm. This can checked by spinning the governor with a cordless drill and watching were the arm stops with the weights fully extended. As fate would have it I picked the wrong fork combination on the first try but scored on the second.

If you are running one of these FBB governor assemblies and have never checked the the condition of the weights and pins you may want to consider doing so. They appear to be a high wear item.

Pictures show the governor components, the three weight assemblies (the good the bad and the ugly!), and a weight and pins from the worst assembly. The shiny spot on the outside of the weight was caused by rubbing on the governor case.
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  #52  
Old 01-03-2015, 11:24:14 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

A stall in the shop opened up between repair jobs so I took the opportunity to shove the frozen carcase of #2811 inside to thaw out. When I went to drain the rear end oil I discovered that there was a layer of hardened goo on the bottom of the gear case that needed to be removed. I removed the final drive cover only to find there was no real access to the bottom of the "tub" without removing the transmission also. So out came the transmission and I rang in the New Year by digging this wretched concoction out of the rear end.

I trust there are brighter days ahead!
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  #53  
Old 01-06-2015, 12:56:49 AM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

While I have been guilty of whining about my crankshaft predicament on the FBB engines I will be the first to admit we got blessed in the manifold department. Of the three 40's we hauled in two had nice useable crack free manifold assemblies...the odds of which has to be way above the national average. The best one I set aside for the future W-40 project and the other I disassembled and will take the liberty to modify the flow characteristics of it to better handle the added exhaust temperature of the RD 406 engine.
Since kerosene will never be used as fuel there isn't any reason to retain the heat generating qualities of the original manifold design. My goal here is to convert it to a "gas" manifold without butchering it.

Pictures show the manifold assembly and a couple of views of the intake manifold. Does anyone want to venture a guess as to the purpose that those extension tubes serve? The parts book doesn't reveal very much. The last picture is a closeup of the exhaust ports. When the manifold valve is in the heat position all the engine exhaust goes in the round hole into the preheat box and exits through the "D" shaped slot.
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  #54  
Old 01-06-2015, 06:16:11 AM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Schneider View Post
Pictures show the manifold assembly and a couple of views of the intake manifold. Does anyone want to venture a guess as to the purpose that those extension tubes serve? The parts book doesn't reveal very much.
They are intake venturis The purpose of which is to better mix the fuel/air ratio. You see them on F-20s and F-30 a lot with the original kerosene manifolds. I have heard some old timers say they ran better with them running kerosene. I for one will never know if that's true or not!
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Old 01-06-2015, 05:48:24 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

They also serve an alignment function. The rd450 uses rings to improve alignment of the intake ports to the manifold. At least mine did.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:09:28 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Mark, it looks like you will need new gaskets between the two halves of the manifold. Felpro makes a gasket material suitable for exhaust manifold gaskets.

Felpro Pro-Ramic 2499 12x28.5"

You will need tin snips to cut it as it has metal in it. My local NAPA store was able to order the gasket material and surprisingly it was not very expensive.
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:40:03 AM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Kirk...Thanks for the info on a gasket source. I had contacted Rosewood Machine to see if they would sell a set of gaskets only to find out that they sell only the manifolds...no gaskets. While my manifold set is crack free it is not warp free and with the outer runners bolted together tight there is still a .040" gap in the center gasket position after resurfacing the intake surfaces as much as I dared. I don't have a plan for dealing with this yet.
Curiosity got the best of me on the intake manifold extensions so I dug a FBB head out of storage and removed a set of intake valves. I did a mock set to see what the fit up was like and how far the extensions went inside the head. They went in farther than I thought they would.
Titan1020 is correct in that the extensions would definitely affect the air flow and fuel mixture. The manifold throat is 1 5/8", the runners are 1 1/2" and the extensions are 1 1/8" ID.
Eric is correct in that the extension retaining rings pilot the intake manifold on the head.
After seeing the parts assembled the extensions also serve another purpose and that would be to insulate the preheated kerosene vapor charge from the water cooled intake ports in the head.

So here's the pictures. First and second show the described components and assembly on the intake...note the locating tab on the extension. Third and fourth show a intake port without and with a manifold extension installed. Note that the kerosene vapor is delivered right under the intake valve heads and does not come in contact with the intake port in the head.
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:41:53 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

An informational post here relating to the proposed manifold modifications I intend to make. I thought I would show some "before" pictures with a brief explanation of the heat control valve and how it affects the flow in the hot and cold positions.
Picture #1 is looking at the exhaust manifold from the intake side. The control valve is in the "HOT" position and all the engine exhaust is forced down into the intake preheat box and exits through the "D" shaped ports. There is definitely no doubt as to the effectiveness of the preheat qualities.
Second picture is the intake manifold with the control valve in the "COLD" position. There is no exhaust circulation through the intake manifold in this position and the exhaust gases are directed up the round hole in the exhaust manifold and out the stack
Photo #3 shows what I consider to be the "Achilles Heel" of the exhaust manifold and is probably responsible for the generally poor to unusable condition of the exhaust manifolds we find on these FBB motors today. The picture is a closeup of the round exhaust port that was opened by moving the control valve to the "COLD" position. The diameter of this port is slightly over 2 1/4" through which all the exhaust heat must pass which is in my opinion is too restricted for a 298 cu.in. motor under load.
And the fourth picture shows a view looking down the exhaust flange. Not only was the valve port restrictive the casting webs that are visible in this picture which make up the the control valve seat are also in the way. The ID of the port in the exhaust flange and the exhaust neck are both 2 1/2".
I can see several ways to improve the flow on this thing. Time will tell how it all works out.
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:51:41 PM
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FWurth FWurth is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Something I have done to some badly warped units in the past that seemed to hold up reasonably well. I build up the low ports with JB weld or similar filler that takes the heat well enough. Lay a piece of wax paper on a flat surface so the filler don't stick and lay the built up manifold on that to level it off and let set. You can use some high temp silicon on the gasket when you fit it up.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:59:59 PM
Mark Schneider Mark Schneider is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Got some work done on the exhaust manifold. After removing the manifold control valve arm and linkage I took a sawzall and made three cuts and removed most of the internal webbing and a section of the valve seat. Probably easiest to follow the pictures to follow the details.
#1...Even though the exhaust manifold sat outside on a dead engine for a long time it still shows the heat discoloration caused by the excessive EGT's in the control valve area.
#2...Shows where the three cuts were made. The plan was to get rid off the webbing that formed the three ports and reconfigure it into one large port.
#3...This is the piece I removed and it came out in two pieces which proves the manifold was NOT crack free.
#4...A view down the exhaust flange after the initial cuts were made.
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