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McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower


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  #31  
Old 12-22-2014, 03:00:01 PM
Mark Schneider Mark Schneider is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Gleaner...Thanks for sharing some of your family history. Always interesting to hear it from someone who's been there. Since you have had the opportunity to see a W-40 in the real farming world I would appreciate your comments on the following questions I have:

1. Is there much performance difference between the 22-36 with the P-300 engine improvements and a stock W-40?

2. Were the first Red Diamond repowers farmer initiated for farming purposes or did this come about because of the tractor pulling fever of the 70's?
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  #32  
Old 12-22-2014, 03:35:49 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

I too am looking for more info on these tractors. There were only a few of the W-40s in the area, of those 2 were repowered with the truck motor. One was to replace a shot original motor and the other one was changed to pull a larger tillage tool in the 50s. They all had belt driven hydraulic pumps added to handle the newer implements. Another question I have was about the diesel version, did they introduce it first and then the gas version? If so was the gas indeed a reaction to demand for people who were preferring gas vs diesel or was the W-30 expected to fill that market as mentioned above. The 22-36 was very popular here and we have both it and did have a W-30, the latter was no match for the 22-36. This is row crop country here and the F-20 was king till the Letter series came out. F.J.W.
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  #33  
Old 12-22-2014, 06:02:46 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

The Diesel version of the W-40 was built at the same time. I had owned WD-40 #526 and traded it to Ivan Burns for a 10hp Advance steam engine. It went to Nebraska at Ivans sale years ago.

The stock W-40 was the powerhouse of the day. But remember ground speeds were slower than we use today. Now this was before me, but my Dad loved the W-40 and would talk endlessly about it. In the 30's my Grandpa farmed 5 quarters with a W-40 and tricycle U M-M. The W-40 having lights and starter was run round the clock plowing. When it was used only during daylight hours and lunch was brought out at 4:00 there had better be 15 gallons of gas brought out too. That large gas tank lid was handy for pouring into without a funnel. The weak point was the gear reduction. Many times it was replaced during the years that it was our big tractor. I think the engine was overhauled once but that gear reduction was repaired atleast 4 times.

I do know that during silo filling our W-40 was used instead of the 21-32 at Great Grandpa's place because the W-40 pushed thru better. But after running both in the field I prefer the 21-32 Twin City over the platform of the W-40. In reguard to the repowering most I know of were done because the truck engine is larger and parts were more available. The block is beefier between the sleeves. I think it had to do with the truck engine was cheaper to buy and put in than overhauling the stock engine. Also in Western Kansas many gas burning W-40 got 3 cylinder Jimmy engines put in them. Now that is an engine you can hear running 5 miles away!
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  #34  
Old 12-22-2014, 06:50:14 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

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Originally Posted by Nebraska Kirk View Post
I have been giving some thought to putting my RD450 into an F30 as I have one with a bad engine. I thought it would make for an interesting re-power.

Or take a 22-36 engine and make an 'F-40' kind of prototype
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  #35  
Old 12-22-2014, 07:15:31 PM
Nebraska Kirk Nebraska Kirk is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

I would like to do that, but need to find a 22-36 engine yet.
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  #36  
Old 12-22-2014, 07:25:16 PM
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RustyRelics UK RustyRelics UK is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

I have always admired the W40 range, and thought about adding one to my fleet but the scarcity of parts over here in the U.K has always put me off the idea ....

Great thread by the way, I'm learning all the time, Thanks

Carl
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  #37  
Old 12-22-2014, 10:32:50 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Try to cover a bit of history here as best I can. The IH experiments with diesel engines in the 22-36 chassis date back to about 1927 or 1928. The engine was not theirs, initially. Similarly, they had experimented with 6 cylinder engines in similar configuration in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Guy Fay pictures some of these early attempts in his Prototype Tractors book. The engines that would finally be used in the 40 series were not new by the time the W40 series entered production. They had been introduced in the TA-40 in 1932 and the TD-40 in 1933. IH Gas Power Engineering photographs from March of 1934 show tractors Q-2609 and Q-2610. I have to pull my photos to know which was which but one was listed as W40 with 4 3/4 x 6 1/2 4 cylinder diesel and the other was W40 with 6 cylinder 3 5/8 x 4 1/2 or words to that effect. 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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  #38  
Old 12-23-2014, 12:39:03 AM
Mark Schneider Mark Schneider is offline
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Eric...Thanks for very informative post. Some of this recent discussion helps explain why the W-40's had a good survival rate even though they had a rather small production run. And as Eric pointed out timing probably played a big part in this. My line of thinking goes something like this:
All W-40's are built prior to WW2 and are the big tractor going into the war. The W-9's are not very easy to get during the war and those that do get them find out that that the older W-40's are still a close match in the drawbar department. IH trucks with the RED and RD motors get very popular after WW2 and into the 50's and repowering the W-40's becomes an option and keeps it's field performance competitive through the Super W-9's, the 600's and the 650's. It appears that the first serious competitor is the IH 660 and by this time the "W-40" generation is retiring and the younger generation is upgrading.......
There probably also another big factor here and that would be how much disposable farm income was available during this time. The generation that grew up in the depression was very creative to make improvements when their budgets did not allow replacements. I find these farmer modified tractors most interesting. Several of these still exist locally....the pair of TC 17-28's on steel that both pulled 4-14's up until the late 50's. Then there's the TC FT that has the high compression G Moline parts that pulled 4-14's at 5mph...motor locked up while on a feed grinder....pulled out back and left to the elements...
They are still around but sadly not as plentiful as they was once were.

Eric...Have you considered recording these lectures and posting them on Youtube?
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  #39  
Old 12-23-2014, 10:11:21 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Mark - I think folks get quite enough of me in these posts! Video would be more than they could stand.

With respect to the 660 and the rest of the 60 series, they represented IH's first attempt to build another 6 cylinder farm tractor following the W-40 - roughly an 18 year hiatus. The introduction of the 560 was not without its hiccups, again, primarily related to the speed of the engine and the way it interacted with the gearing.
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:20:09 PM
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Default Re: McCormick WK-40 FBB to Red Diamond RePower

Being a long time user of the Big Red, I have often pondered why they didn't simply extend the block and add 2 more cylinders to the 4 cyl engines used in the M and it's big brother in the W-9 for their gas motors on the newer models instead of adapting the too light duty pick up truck motors. Those time proven motors were way better suited for the job. F.J.W.
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