A new to me Ford 600 series
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  1. #1
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    A new to me Ford 600 series

    Hi All,

    New to the forum and I guess new to tractors and working on the land as well. Looks like you guys have a great community and I hope to incorporate my self into it. We live in the NW burbs of Chicago and last fall picked up 20 wooded acres in Pullman Mi. The land was possibly logged 150 or so years ago but has since been left alone except for a dirt trail that runs along the perimeter of the property. Mostly the trees are beautiful tall oak. We picked up a camper model trailer and try to spend every other weekend there. The land is totally unimproved with no electrical (they want to clear a path 12' wide if we want electric service and we wont do that so currently on generator and will be putting up solar) and no well. The undergrowth has a lot of thorny bushes and there are downed trees and various dry brush that I want to clear. Currently we do have some Utility ATV's but I managed to convince the family that we really need is a tractor!

    After looking around a bit I really fell in love with the Ford 600 series trailers. I liked the philosophy that Ford had at the time, with making these things simple and easy to repair in the field. I like the way form and function are blended on it. I also felt it was just the right size. Heavy and powerful enough to do meaningful work yet small enough to maneuver and move around on a trailer if needed.

    I was looking for a model 600 that at minimum turned over and a bonus for a loader, back hoe, or brush guard. it also seemed like the 641 or the 651 was the way to go. Power steering would be a big plus but I'm a pretty big guy and if anything could add it later. I could not find anything that "spoke" to me until I came across this sad looking guy in NJ:

    s-l1600 (3).jpgs-l1600 (1).jpgs-l1600 (4).jpgs-l1600.jpgs-l1600 (2).jpg

    I liked that it came with the Shawnee Loader and Back hoe. The tractor was about 13 hours away and I figured this would be a good opportunity to go with my two boys, 12 & 9, to go on a man trip. We rented a 22' trailer and hit the road on 5-6.

    I realize it was a bit of a risk all around. I don't know enough tell what exact 600 series model or if that's even possible and the person selling could not located the serial number. On connecting with the seller I found out out that the tractor was owned by the sellers husband who parked it in the middle of the lawn more or less and passed away. She covered it as best as she could and just decided to sell it as is two years on.

    Her husband picked up the tractor in 1967 (she had the original bill of sale) and used it to build pretty much everything on their 5 acres property. According to her he was mechanic and really loved the tractor. He had it perfectly restored at some point but all signs of that are now gone. She also had a few extra parts (front rims, rear tires, tubes, a few cylinders) to throw in.

    I examined the tractor as best as I could and it actually looked pretty good up close. Or at least better then in the pictures. The hydraulics will need a lot of new hoses but the cylinders look great with no pitting. Tires need to be replaced. It still had engine oil and does not look to be leaking. The engine cranks but wont start. Me and the boys decided we loved it and the seller was nice to enough to get her brother and his boy to help us load the tractor. A few hours later it more or less looked like this:

    IMG_20160507_175158182.jpg

    Another 16 or so hours later it looked like this on our land in Michigan:

    IMG_20160508_074134250.jpg

    And yet another hour or so later it was more like this:
    tractor.jpg
    Last edited by leavundst; 05-09-2016 at 02:34 PM.

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    Lovesthedrive (05-09-2016)

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    Now I have a wonderful very understanding wife who puts up with and sometimes even partakes in my various insanities but this was mothers day weekend so I did not have too much time to spend with the tractor. I still did not look at the serial number so don't know what model it is. I quickly tried to start it with some fresh gas but no dice and I did not want to torture it or make matters worse. All the controls and levers look pretty good.

    I will return to the land the weekend of the 20th and will try to clean the carb, change the oil, bring a battery and try to fire it up. Fingers crossed. If it fires up I have a tractor supply store 20 min away and might try to get some new hoses and try the attachments. If not I guess I will have to do the usual and check for fuel, spark, compression, etc...

    Either way very excited with the purchase and glad to be here. Will keep you guys posted. In the meantime any thought, advice, or experiences is much appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by leavundst; 05-09-2016 at 02:35 PM.

  5. #3
    Moderator John(IN)'s Avatar
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    Congrats on your new tractor. A good choice in my opinion. And welcome to ATF!
    Learn something new every day!

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  7. #4
    -Willy- Lovesthedrive's Avatar
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    On the left side of the tractor. Look at where the starter bolts to the bell housing. The numbers are stamped there. Here is what mine looks like on my 641. I cleaned the paint off for my tired eyes.



    The top row is the model number. A 641 means it has a 4 speed transmission. Below that is the serial number and you can find the year with the link below.
    http://www.tractordata.com/farm-trac...-ford-641.html
    Last edited by Lovesthedrive; 05-09-2016 at 04:32 PM.

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  9. #5
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    Before you try to start it again, remove the bowl on the oil bath air filter to make sure that it hasn't filled with water, I just went through that with an 871, it makes a real mess if it manages to fill the carb with water. After you change the engine oil and check the rest for water contamination the fun begins.

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    leavundst (05-10-2016)

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    Moderator Jim in NC's Avatar
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    Welcome to ATF! If you have not done so go to the Member Introductions board and introduce yourself to the group. you can add the link to your above post there also and it may get more views.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from a cornfield." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

    "Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." Henry David Thoreau

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    Senior Member Kirk-NJ's Avatar
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    Welcome.
    How did you sneak that old ford tractor from right under my nose in NJ without me knowing about it?
    Your tractor might be an 800 instead of a 600. The numbers on the lower sides of the engine block will tell But the easiest way to tell is a quick look at the rear housing. The 800 will have the toplink mount recessed into the casting the 600 will not. I think I see the recess in one of your photos but kind of hard to tell with the backhoe in the way.
    Some front end attention may be needed because of the bend radius rods. Maybe some spindle hub work, axle pin replacement or axle carrier repair.
    This tractor still appears to be 6 volt positive ground system. If the wire are shotty and you need a battery it might just pay to convert it to 12 volt but that's up to you. Before making that decision I would what to get it started first.
    I would bypass the electrical system and hot wire to 12 volt. clean carb and use a temp gas tank off a lawnmower.
    CAUTION bypassing the electrical system also bypasses the neutral safety system. Make sure the tractor is in neutral and wheels are chocked up.
    An old ford tractor like this will be a good learning experience for your boys and judging from your last photo they can't wait to hear it run.

    Kirk
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  15. #8
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    Thank you all for your feedback and please bear with me as I am very new to tractors and never worked on a 6 volt system.

    Lovesthedrive - Thanks, pics make it so much easier for me. I will look for the numbers the next time I am back on the land. I did get the title and I think the title says 600 series but if they do titles in NJ like they do here that means nothing

    Grizz, Doh, thanks for the point. I hope I did not suck any water in the carb. My kid just did that on his little honda 50 and it ended up being easier to just buy a new carb since the pilot jet got so corroded. Thanks for the tip.

    Jim in NC, thanks for the welcome and I will do an Intro.

    Kirk - NJ, First, you are so lucky because in my opinion the countryside by you is even more beautiful then in the TN area. I'm stuck on the plains and grew up in the city. I like my plot of land but I would absolutely love something in the mountains and with a creek. Oh well, maybe next time around.

    Secondly, on 600 vs 800 I am not 100% sure but I thought a noticed that the shock was disconnected. I will have to take a closed look. Thanks for tip.

    Lastly, on the 6v. I have no battery and I noticed that the ground was red but I figured that was just because at some point someone had two red cables and used them for the ground. I'm not at all familiar with this system. Hopefully I did not mess anything up but I connected a booster ground to what I thought was the ground (wire went to chassis) and the positive to the cable going to the started. It cranked great but no signs of life. I agree that if it's 6v I might as well convert to 12. Also thanks for the point on the front end. I will take some measrments and just downloaded the service manual.
    Last edited by leavundst; 05-10-2016 at 10:35 AM.

  16. #9
    -Willy- Lovesthedrive's Avatar
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    Hey Kirk? Would you like to try that again about the casting on the differential? I dont have that indent on my 1959 641. Maybe that was a year thing.


    I am in Maine. Kirk is in NJ. Sorrento is up in the Bar Harbor area if it matters.

  17. #10
    Senior Member 1950AllisWD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizz View Post
    Before you try to start it again, remove the bowl on the oil bath air filter to make sure that it hasn't filled with water, I just went through that with an 871, it makes a real mess if it manages to fill the carb with water. After you change the engine oil and check the rest for water contamination the fun begins.
    We had that happen to our WD. Didn't relize it until I was movin snow last winter and the tractor wouldn't run right it eventually died and lo and behold I found a giant block of ice sitting in the oil bath air filter.
    1949 Allis Chalmers WD with 2 bottom plow
    1942 Farmall M with 4 row cultivator
    1949 Farmall M with Heisler 9 speed
    1973 John Deere 110 with blade
    1960 John Deere 45 combine
    1970 International Cub 154 lo boy
    1969 John Deere 112 blue patio with blade
    1962 Cub Cadet Original
    Free ain't cheap.

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