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Tractor Profile

The Farmall M
Farmall M Parts


A Brief History

The Farmall M is one of the larger tractor in the Farmall letter series, capable of pulling a three or four bottom plow. Production began in 1939 and continued until 1952 when it was replaced with the Super M. The diesel MD was added to the lineup in 1941 and cost one and a half times as much as the gasoline M.

Affectionately called the "Big brother to the Model H", it had the same frame and layout of the Model H so that mountable implements were interchangeable.

The Farmall M was most popular with large-acreage row-crop farmers. It was powered by either a high-compression gas engine or a distillate version with lower compression. Options included the Lift-All hydraulic system, a belt pulley, PTO, rubber tires, starter, lights and a swinging drawbar. It could be ordered in the high-crop, wide-front or tricycle configurations. The high-crop version was called a Model MV.

Enjoying a production run that spread out over 14 years, over 290,000 of these machines were produced. Around 1940, the cost of the Farmall M was around $1,100. The cost of the Farmall MD was around $1,700.


The Farmall M Today

Many of the Farmall M tractors are still in use today, and parts are readily available. As far as collectability, these are the least popular of the letter series, most likely due to their large size. A wide-front version is worth more than the narrow-front version, and if you come across one with original steel wheels you should expect to pay a premium price.

Three-point hitch kits are available for these tractors which allows them to utilize modern 3-point implements. For use on a large farm this makes them just as useful as the more expensive modern tractors. With their horsepower, they can be used for some of the hardest jobs on the farm.


The Specs

Air Cleaner: Donaldson, oil bath.
Battery: Auto-Lite (Special)
Brakes: Two; operated by foot pedal individually or locked together.
Carburetor: IHC, 1-1/4 inch
Clutch: Rockford or Atwood, single plate, dry disc, spring loaded.
Generator: Delco-Remy (Special)
Governor: IHC, centrifugal, variable speed.
Ignition: IHC, high tension magneto with automatic impulse coupling.
Oil Filter: Purolator, replaceable element.
Radiator: IHC or McCord, fin and flat tube.
Radiator Cover: Hardy shutter (Special)
Spark Plugs: Champion 15-A, AC-85S com., Auto-Lite BT8 or Edison Z147, 18 mm.
Starter: Delco-Remy (Special)
Engine: IHC, 3-7/8 x 5-1/4, 1,450 rpm, 4-cylinders, vertical, valve-in-head, cast en bloc; piston displacement 247.7 cubic inch; removable sleeves
Pulley: 11 x 7-1/2, 899 rpm and 2,588 fpm at normal engine speed (special)
Speed: MPH forward 2-5/8, 3-1/2, 4-1/4, 5-1/8, 16-1/4 and 3-1/8 reverse, on 11-38 tires.


Nebraska Tractor Test Results

TEST NO. 328

International Harvester Co., Chicago, Illinois

DATE TESTED: September 11 to September 20, 1939


Although the tractor presented for this test was virtually identical to the Model MD in Test No. 327, Harvester did indeed use two different tractors for these parallel runs. Specifications indicate that Serial No. FBK-ME533 was used for this test, while No. FBK-742 was used in Test No. 327. A comparison of these two tests indicates only slight differences in horsepower output and fuel economy using either distillate or gasoline fuel. Test H for rated drawbar load records a fuel economy of 10.51 horsepower hours per gallon of gasoline, compared to 8.99 in Test No. 327. Horsepower output totalled 26.23 for Test No. 328, along with a pull of 3,102 pounds at 3.17 mph. The low-gear maximum pull as noted in Test G came to 4,233 pounds at 2.17 mpg with slippage of 15.57% and an output of 24.49 drawbar horsepower. Test D for rated brake load shows 33.46 horsepower with an economy of 11.81 horsepower hours per gallon of gasoline. At operating maximum load (Test C) the Farmall M delivered 36.07 horsepower with an economy of 12.16 horsepower hours per gallon. During 53 hours of engine running time no repairs or adjustments were noted except for the temperature gauge becoming inoperative.


Serial Numbers

Serial Numbers (From 1939 to 1952)
Year Starting Serial Number
1939 501
1940 7240
1941 25371
1942 50988
1943 60011
1944 67424
1945 88085
1946 105564
1947 122823
1948 151708
1949 180514
1950 213579
1951 247518
1952 290923

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