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Show Parts for Model:

Hydraulic motor creeper drive for Super A

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Author  [Modern View]

01-23-2009 04:44:14

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I recall Hugh mentioning the fact that some maker..might have been Farmall themselves...offered a hydraulic motor creeper drive for the Super A and it's cousins.

Finding one of the originals is probably next to impossible, and probably has assumed a coating of 24 carat gold over the years.

But.....if I knew what type/size/capacity hydro motor to use and how to feed and control should be easy to assemble such a set up from off the shelf parts.


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01-23-2009 09:48:12

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 Re: Hydraulic motor creeper drive for Super A in reply to Mark, 01-23-2009 04:44:14  
I think the IH Hydra Creeper was an over designed attempt to obtain low a speed. From an OEM point-of-view, perhaps it was cheaper than just using a large capacity direct coupled hydraulic motor.

Every motor has a displacement. For a given GPM input, a larger displacement motor will turn slower than a smaller one. Yep, the torque will increase but that can be controlled with a regulator. Too much torque might shred the tranny if the tractor ran into a "brick wall".

Goto the Charlynn site and look at the tables regarding displacement, speed, and torque. If you find something that might work, goto eBay and watch the hydraulic motor listings. I recently bought two motors that way to speed up a hydraulic driven sickle bar mower and another to power a 2nd countershaft in my W-9 for creeper service.

Or you could get a Farmall H and couple the motor to the belt pulley gear box. No need to mess with the throw-out bearing. The main clutch and tranny could still control the tractor. No need for a hydraulic valve; only two hoses and a properly sized motor. You disengage the creeper system by shifting the BP gearbox out of gear.

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01-23-2009 14:32:41

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 Re: Hydraulic motor creeper drive for Super A in reply to Wardner, 01-23-2009 09:48:12  
I neglected to mention that the above set up with a H would need live hydraulic power as furnished by IH, M&W, or Behlen. Clutch would have to be disengaged. Shifting into hydraulic creep could only be done with engine off. Shifting out could be done at any time.

If you wanted complete forward, stop, and reverse control, an open center valve would be needed.

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Hugh MacKay

01-23-2009 07:31:05

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 Re: Hydraulic motor creeper drive for Super A in reply to Mark, 01-23-2009 04:44:14  
Mark: First off it was an option with SA and SC after 1951. The first thing you need is a heavy duty clutch release bearing. That was an option from IH way back when. I have seen these units in operation, however I didn't take a close look. I do know these units had a short lifespan. If you look through a manual showing speeds and speed loss on pulling power these were very inefficient.

I don't remember the roller chain reduction Bob is suggesting you might use, however I think it is a good idea, as you will have difficulty finding a hydraulic motor with enough torque to power the tractor at that slow PTO speed. PTO speed is probably going to be less than 100 rpm to give tractor speeds you require.

I looked at building one of these at one time. I abandoned the idea as I figured it would be less cost to find a gear reduction that would fit in the torque tube. If such a unit is gear drive, it will actually increse draw bar pull. Bear in mind your PTO speed will reduce at same ratio as transmission, but you will be able to use it. You will also have full hydraulic function.

I might also add, I did a bit of searching for a planetary that could reduce final drive speeds at top shaft, or attach at the drive wheel. I also looked at building a heavy 3/4" plate box to replace cast extension between transmission and right final drive. Build that large enough to house a 4 speed transmission. It would slow tractor speed, however it would add to wear on differential gears. These ideas would not affect 540 PTO speed.

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01-23-2009 07:58:39

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 Re: Hydraulic motor creeper drive for Super A in reply to Hugh MacKay, 01-23-2009 07:31:05  

This is another one of those "long winter day" musings....when a man has little else to do.

I first thought I"d try to find a small diesel offset with hi/lo range...but everybody says they are crap....not to mention way overpriced.

It won"t be long before it"ll be time to dust off the SA and go back to gardening and I am so pi$$ed with the high speed for early cultivating work.

While doing some research, I learned that Farmall used a different type of clutch bearing and I am sure that mine does not have that. Evidently operating with the clutch depressed over extended times is hard on the standard (graphite?) bearing.

Hydraulic motors are easy to procure...but knowing which one to choose becomes an issue for me. Furthermore....tapping into the hydraulic system and affixing the proper controls is another spider web for me.

What might be neat is if a man could figure out how to convert to pure hydrostatic by gutting the transmission and installing a pump off the crank and a hydro motor to the rearend."d be a Rube Goldberg at best.......but it just might work. I use my SA solely for cultivating......all other chores goes to the big tractor.

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Hugh MacKay

01-23-2009 09:33:59

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 Re: Hydraulic motor creeper drive for Super A in reply to Mark, 01-23-2009 07:58:39  
Mark: My creeper gear ideas never got beyond musing stage on a cold winter day. Why, you might ask, plain and simple you'd soon gobble up $1,500. and find yourself the full backer of the warrenty.

Tune up that tractor a bit so it will idle well, you'll have no problem cultivating around small plants. I run 12.4x24 on my 140 and have no problem, never did.

I might add, other than potatoes, I use my cultivators very little, at least not in the year it is planted to vegetables. My garden vegetables, other than potatoes are notill. I tilled it all up last fall, early enough so frost got and weeds that sprouted, and after 3 crops of buckwheat the weeds were damn few.

My garden area is divided into 3 sections, this years garden, last years garden and next years garden. Next years garden will be planted to 3 crops of plow down buckwheat during this summer. That crowds out just about every weed, known to man. Last years garden will be used as a place to disk in vegetable waste and other compostables all summer. Since this years garden was in buckwheat all last summer, was all tilled level last fall, I will drill in or transplant my plants and seeds. That area will not be touched with a cultivator or any other tillage tool this summer. It's close to 1/3 of an acre and I will probably do all hand weeding in less than 10 hours spread out over 3 months. After that plow down buckwheat last year, my yields will be well above average.

By the way, I wouldn't own a rototiller.

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01-23-2009 08:37:31

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 Re: Hydraulic motor creeper drive for Super A in reply to Mark, 01-23-2009 07:58:39  
A distinction to be made, Mark, on the throwout bearings. The graphite bearing was strictly for a conventional transmission set-up, and the bearing surface was pressed or molded into the carrier so that it was a one-piece affair. The Hydra-Creeper required the roller bearing which, unlike the graphite type, required a separate carrier to fit in the fork, for just the reason you state -- the roller bearing would hold up better than the graphite when you locked down the clutch pedal for extended periods.

My only other question is what kind of ground have you got there? You're on the mark (is that a pun?) about your ground speed being too fast to run a PTO driven tiller, and some sort of gear reduction or hydro-drive, even Goldbergesque, would be needed for that to work.

That said, if you're talking about mounted cultivators, my BN was the only cultivating tractor to take care of 50-80 acres (depending on the rotations in any year) of rowcrops for the 40 years that she worked for a living, and she was pretty well suited to the work.

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01-23-2009 16:10:09

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 Re: Hydraulic motor creeper drive for Super A in reply to ScottyHOMEy, 01-23-2009 08:37:31  
Absolutely no intention of running a tiller with the SA.

My little red tractor is in fine tune, idles perfectly. And it has to be used at idle to cultivate the first time or two with very small and tender plants. This old clay ground can be tough and many times when going through a rough spot...I think I can actually see the fan blade momentarily stop as it almost chokes the engine. Oil pressure is not present on the gauge and the engine just clucks along. I doubt the head has ever been off the engine and I am sure it has been ran this way since 1952.....evidently with no ill results. I would be pleased to raise the RPM"s to the point that good steady oil pressure showed and the machine would crawl through the garden. I admit that perhaps my old ways are a waste of time and effort...but I just think things grow better when the ground is kept loose and arable. I don"t live in the Dust Bowl region and not concerned about conserving moisture...we generally have plenty of rain. It is obvious that crops don"t have to be cultivated.....corn and bean operators proved that long ago.....but they use plenty of herbicides to make that happen. I also think those crop varieties they raise have been genetically bred (increased hardiness) to grow under less than ideal conditions. Not many home vegetable strains have been so developed.

So, I continue to cultivate to kill weeds, keep the soil loose and to side dress fertilizer as well. Once the plants are up to 8" or 10", you can plow hell out of them and not worry about covering them up. An SA/100/130/140 et al will allow a person to throw the hoe you can literally "hoe" the garden with the cultivators if you know what you"re doing.

How I"d love to have a 25 horse offset with a hydro tranny, live power and power steering and a 3 point for handiness. It would be great to have draft control on the cultivators too so they"d always run at the exact depth. Oh"ll never be built...but I"d like to have one.

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Hugh MacKay

01-24-2009 07:34:52

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 Re: Hydraulic motor creeper drive for Super A in reply to mark, 01-23-2009 16:10:09  
Mark: There are a number of items I use on clay ground. First is a grain drill disc each side of row, far enough from plants that one doesn't cut the plants. The cutting of the disc blade shatters the clay crust around the small plant. Another item I use under same conditions is a rotary hoe wheel or wheels. I can set those within 2" of a line of small plants.

Having said that, you would be surprised what 3 plow downs of buckwheat the preceeding season can do to a heavy clay soil. Besides the buckwheat all but eliminates weeds. I couldn't mount and do a seasons time of adjusting cultivators in the time it takes me to hand weed. Buckwheat will keep soil loose around those plants, the resulting green manure grows vegetables like you wouldn't believe. I live in an area of 36" annual rainfall and will chalange anyone to grow higher yields of most vegetables than I can. Seeds are not bred for notill, they are also not bred to have their small roots sheared off by a cultivator once per week.

I thought like you the first 50 years of my life, then I saw the light. Buckwheat to loosen soil and keep it perminately loose. Secondly germinate all weeds in top 3", and don't disturb the soil after that. Very few weeds below 3" will germinate.

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01-24-2009 06:42:53

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 Re: Hydraulic motor creeper drive for Super A in reply to mark, 01-23-2009 16:10:09  

Have you considered changing your cultivator ?

I'm cultivating with a Super C and a Buddingh basket weeder. I use it for greens and radishes once they are big enough to see. My row spacing is 12" and I'm using 9" wires.

Check with Roeters. They usually have used ones and mounting hardware for an IH cultivator.


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01-23-2009 16:36:40

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 Re: Hydraulic motor creeper drive for Super A in reply to mark, 01-23-2009 16:10:09  
Sorry, Mark, if I crossed a line with you. I can argue tractors but not farmin'. When it comes to your ground and your crops, nobody on here, least of all me, knows any better than you do.

My reference to my BN cultivating year in and out is mostly with knee-high beans or corn, when they're big enough for you to whistle right through. But that was also on a quarter-section farm where there you could dig down three feet in places and still be in topsoil -- nothing like the kind of clay it sounds like you're working in.

As far as your oil pressure, I shouldn't be surprised if your gauge or the passages to it aren't gummed up. It won't free up the gauge, but a dose of a good treatment like Seafoam in the crankcase will help clean out the passages. If you're not concerned with keeping things original, you can pick up a gauge at your local auto parts for pretty reasonable that will thread right in place of the one you have, and read pressure in pounds to give you a better idea of whether you have oil pressure problems or not. My BN has an original-style gauge, but I put one with pound readings on it when I first fired it up after the rebuild, just to get a reading, then cleaned it up and packed it away in the drawer with my compression gauge for testing use in the future.

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Bob M

01-23-2009 06:31:27

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 Re: Hydraulic motor creeper drive for Super A in reply to Mark, 01-23-2009 04:44:14  
IH offered the “Hydra Creeper” as a field attachment for the 100, 130, 200 and 230 tractors. Most likely it could be adapted to work on a Super A as long as it has live hydraulics.

Have never seen Hydra Creeper for sale except on Ebay (and as I recall the starting bid was insane….)

Wouldn’t be difficult to build your own however. You’ll need a hydraulic motor sized to the output of the tractor’s hyd pump, a sprocket to fit the PTO shaft, a 2nd sprocket to fit the live pump, roller chain to connect the sprockets, a suitable bracket to mount the pump, and hydraulic hoses to connect the motor. Also need some sort of latch arrangement to lock the clutch pedal down. And if the tractor doesn't already have one a 4-way hydraulic valve.


Operating a creeper is pretty straight forward. First the clutch pedal is locked down (ie. so the clutch disengaged). The PTO clutch is then engaged and the desired forward gear - usually 1st - is selected. Tractor can then "creeped" forward (or backward) simply by operating the remote 4-way valve.

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