Author Topic: Minneapolis-Moline 283 A4 tractor  (Read 994 times)

Minneapolis-Moline

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Minneapolis-Moline 283 A4 tractor
« on: 22 August, 2018, 01:06:25 pm »
Greetings gentlemen - I hope I have come to the right people for some advice regarding repairs to my 90yo fathers 1948 Minneapolis-Moline 283 A4 tractor. Last Easter we got it out after 50 years of dry storage, inflated the tyres, serviced the distributor and carburetor, cleaned the spark plugs, put fuel and a 6 volt battery in it and towed it until we got oil pressure.
It started and ran perfectly immediately and father drove it with tears of joy. After about 10 minutes water began leaking from the core/welsh/freeze plugs. They are the old school concave discs not the common cup type. Unfortunately the lay out of the OHV engine is a common cast crank case with 2 x 2 cylinder blocks with heads attached. There is a 1cm gap between the cylinders. The core plugs in that cavity are leaking and inaccessible. Does anybody know if is possible is to partially remove one cylinder block with it's pistons carefully ensuring they don't come out? If so I will need gaskets.
The interweb says there are numerous parts/gasket suppliers in the US. Wondering if there was suppliers left in Aus. Prefer to support the locals.
Thank you in anticipation - Lindsay

cobbadog

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Re: Minneapolis-Moline 283 A4 tractor
« Reply #1 on: 22 August, 2018, 02:33:31 pm »
G'Day Lindsay,
Welcome to the forum. If it is worth doing take it apart and replace the gaskets. Those disc type welsh plugs are readily available through Repco and alike. I make nearly all of my own gaskets but there are gasket makers in Sydney and up on the Gold Coast from memory. Do a Google search and they will come to light and somewhere near where you are. For the small amount of extra work the final product will be very pleasing.
Cheers, John & Dee. Coopernook. NSW.

franco

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Re: Minneapolis-Moline 283 A4 tractor
« Reply #2 on: 24 August, 2018, 09:52:38 am »
It might be worth trying Chemiweld. I have not used it myself though I still have a tin put away somewhere for emergencies, (I have a 27 Chev - these have an evil reputation for cracking heads), but have heard favourable reports from people who have used it to repair cracked cylinder heads and leaking welch plugs. I remember years ago a sugar cane harvester owner cracked the cylinder head on a 354 Perkins engine only a few weeks into the cane crushing season. He tried Chemiweld for an emergency repair to keep working until a new head arrived, but it ran with no further problems for the rest of the season The beauty of it is that you don't have to dismantle the engine. If I remember correctly they do emphasize that it must be used according to the directions.

Frank.
Cairns, Queensland

cobbadog

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Re: Minneapolis-Moline 283 A4 tractor
« Reply #3 on: 24 August, 2018, 02:18:47 pm »
Yep, chemiweld does work I used it on a Gemini to get rid of it and I have seen other engines that have had it and or other similar products used. BUT, there is a price to pay and as time goes by other parts get sealed up until you have reduced the circulation by quite a lot. It is not that different to using those tyre inflators after getting a puncture. It gets you out of trouble at the moment but when it gets taken apart for a proper repair that is where all the mess and clean up comes into it.
Cheers, John & Dee. Coopernook. NSW.

wee-allis

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Re: Minneapolis-Moline 283 A4 tractor
« Reply #4 on: 24 August, 2018, 03:10:03 pm »

John,
I've used Chemi-weld in a lot of different engines over the years and have not experienced the problem you describe, unlike a lot of other so-called stop leak products.
Steve.
If it's old, treat it like gold.
C1300 Inter, 38 Allis B,47 VAK1A David Brown,48 TEA Fergie, 53 Morris Six,  Moruya, Sth coast NSW.

cranky crank

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Re: Minneapolis-Moline 283 A4 tractor
« Reply #5 on: 24 August, 2018, 06:47:01 pm »
the proper fix would be to pull off one bank of the cylinders.If its leaking through the welsh plug it is rusted.If you are doing 1 plug do the lot.You will have to remove enough parts off the engine to remove i bank of cylinders.Normally a paper gasket on bottom.May be able to leave head in place and pull up cyl assembly leaving pistons still in lower crankcase. with some packing you can position them staggered to re enter the block instead of trying to get them back in together .
It will be a big job and they are very heavy.

Minneapolis-Moline

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Re: Minneapolis-Moline 283 A4 tractor
« Reply #6 on: 03 September, 2018, 03:37:09 pm »
Thanks cobbadog, franco & wee-allis.

While I have to have used Chemiweld with success I prefer Seal-Tite it doesn't block your radiator quite as much.
Yes we have been able to source the dished core/welsh plugs OK thank you.

The Twin City is a family keeper. I believe in doing things properly. Looking at the attached image is scary.
As much as it is going to be a big job I am leaning towards cranky crank's advice. We have several leaks and probably more lurking. The chemical approach is meant to be a stop gap. Replacing everything that is suspect with one 2 x cylinder block removed is the only way we can get access to all the present and future annoying culprits. We will be servicing the radiator, water pump and replace the old hoses then adding inhibitor.
On our MM the oil pan is a big cast unit - part of the crank case - flange bolts onto the bell housing.
I would rather not get involved in removing it to undo the big ends.
Compressing the rings to get them back inside the cylinders from beneath without breaking them frightens me also.
Will let you know how I go.
Thanks for your input gents - Lindsay

cranky crank

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Re: Minneapolis-Moline 283 A4 tractor
« Reply #7 on: 03 September, 2018, 04:32:42 pm »
Hi,
I have removed and replaced the 2 cylinder banks on a fta twin city without too much of a problem.Like I said,put packing under the base of the piston on both sides (4 lots of packing ) and have them staggered so 1  piston enters first and the packing will keep the pistons square as you lower the block.It would be easier with the head off as once you remove the head bolts,nothing retains the head in place anyway.I have done this by myself but a few helpers would be a great assistance. Like you said,only remove 1 bank of cylinders as then you can access both banks to remove and replace the welsh plugs .
The block on my fta has a taper on the bottom to help the rings re enter the bore but a ring compressor would be good or I have used a bit of HT fence wire bent to a curve and shaped with 2 handles without any problems and used it on each individual ring as it enters the bore.

wee-allis

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Re: Minneapolis-Moline 283 A4 tractor
« Reply #8 on: 03 September, 2018, 07:01:14 pm »

A big hose clamp substitutes for a ring compressor in times like this. If you can't get one big enough, join two smaller ones.
If it's old, treat it like gold.
C1300 Inter, 38 Allis B,47 VAK1A David Brown,48 TEA Fergie, 53 Morris Six,  Moruya, Sth coast NSW.

Minneapolis-Moline

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Re: Minneapolis-Moline 283 A4 tractor
« Reply #9 on: 04 June, 2019, 03:52:05 pm »
Happy to report:
Followed cranky crank's excellent advice and removed and refitted the muffler, bonnet and radiator, 3 x manifolds and entire front pair of cylinders, head push rods & rocker gear and replaced all 4 x 2" and 4 x 1.5" concave (not cup) core plugs in the block and head.
They are a bit of a trick to install. There was a very accurate/informative video on a similar Minneapolis Moline twin city prototype tractor restoration on Youtube. We meticulously cleaned their stepped cavity paying attention to the inner 90 deg radius, applied Permatex aviation form a gasket to the plugs for insurance and belted them with a big drift until they were slightly ~ 1mm indented like in the video. They expand in the hole. While the cylinders were off we flap wheel die grinded a small top ring lip off the bores. For re-assembly we put it in gear with one piston all the way up. Encompassed that piston with an improvised tin/hose clamp oiled ring compressor and securely suspended the cylinder block over the long studs coming out of the crank case and gradually lowered it over that piston. (Yes cranky there is a 45 deg radius on the bottom edge of the cylinders) Once that pistons rings were well inside the cylinder we removed the compressor to the other piston, put the tractor out of gear and gradually turned the crank lowering cylinders with the inserted piston at the same time and the ring compressed second piston rising into it's cylinder. It literally all slid back together very nicely. We had an owners manual that emphasizes that you attach and torque the exhaust/intake, top water and left side water manifolds before torquing the head to avoid gasket later leaks. Different sources quote cylinder head torque specs around the 95 - 100'lb. Surprisingly the only gasket we needed/cut was the block to crank case. The cylinder exhaust/intake manifold and head gasket are laminate copper, paper, copper type that cleaned up nicely with thinners. We sprayed the head gasket with Hylomar blue compound, used high temp silicone on the exhaust manifold and lubed all threads with copper coat.
Once it was all assembled we fire hose high pressure flushed from the cylinder head manifold, through the engine and out through the water pump and removed an considerable quantity of shale. This also tested the retention of the core plugs - no issues  :)
We replaced the belts and water hoses and clamps. The top radiator hose cast flange had a rust growth and warped where it met the radiator. We filed it flat and butane torch sweated the brass riveted inner and outer top tank plates off. The plates solder had degraded and come away from the tank. We made a 2 x half inner flange plates to get inside through the hole with 4 x tapped threads. Purchased countersunk head stainless bolts, made a gasket and fastened our new inner and outer flanges to the top tank with sealant. Surprisingly a Nissan all model Skyline 78 deg c stainless thermostat only required a small buzz with the die grinder to fit snugly in the top neck which we fitted to our refurbished top tank. The muffler needed a few new pieces to be made and welded in.
We put fuel and water in the old dear, engaged the choke, turned on the ignition - 2 turns on the crank - wellah!! Away she went like a Swiss watch. We drove it around for half an hour. The water pump sprung a leak. We removed and cleaned the blocked grease nipple, gave it a few pumps - not a single oil or water leak any more. The radiator cap has lost it's grip but for what the tractor will be doing it's not an issue. Next is a good dose of coolant/inhibitor, an oil change, a small wiring tidy up and our 90yo dad has got his favorite farm mobility scooter ready for when we get warmer weather.
In total 3 days work for 2 happy campers.
Thanks again for your support lads. Gave us the confidence to tackle the task.

cobbadog

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Re: Minneapolis-Moline 283 A4 tractor
« Reply #10 on: 04 June, 2019, 04:11:15 pm »
What a great story and result, well done.
I would have left the lip on the bore if you were re using the old rings but it sounds as if it has worked for you.
Cheers, John & Dee. Coopernook. NSW.

Minneapolis-Moline

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Re: Minneapolis-Moline 283 A4 tractor
« Reply #11 on: 04 June, 2019, 04:57:10 pm »
Cheers John - thank your for your advice/support also - Lindsay