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Case Tractors Discussion Forum

My 1930 Case L plowing

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Ron Sa

02-25-2014 17:33:46

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If you copy the above address and paste it into the Internet address window, you can see my 1930 Case L plowing for about 8 minutes.

I bought this tractor at an auction in Galva, Illinois in about 1985. I suspect the cold manifold was not original equipment because it has two compartments in the fuel tank. I pulled the head and found the biggest bore Aluminum pistons and sleeves offered by M-W for the LA in great condition. I added some further modifications. The local tractor pull insisted on dynoing all tractors and the L had no PTO. An LA rear assembly fit the rear of the L and that gave me the PTO and a hyd system. You may notice the 4 bottom plow has hyd lift. I added a propane head off an LA. The big pistons and propane head raised the compression ratio high enough that it takes some real muscle to crank it. The rear tires were not competitive at the local tractor pulls where serious tractors came and competed. The L spins out long before it powers out. When plowing, it can spin its land wheel in 2nd with relative ease. All the parts that I removed were kept so they could be put back if I wanted to. The original head was kept dry in a small, rickety shed that I rented from an elderly widow in the neighborhood a mile away. She died. I did not know who took over the property. I intended to find out but I was too slow doing so. You know the saying one manís treasure is another manís junk. One day, I came home from my work at Cat. During the day, a hole was dug in the ground, the shed pushed into the hole, and the area leveled. I never saw the digger in the morning or the evening. It was probably an industrial end loader. My treasures/junk got buried with the shed. OOPS. As a kid growing up, the LA became my favorite big tractor. My neighborhood in eastern Kansas in the 40s and 50s never had any tractors bigger that the M Farmall or DC Case except for one G John Deere. At about age 10 in 1949, I hear this STRANGE engine sound coming up the road from behind the tree line where we farmed. It was a new LA!!! There were very few new tractors in my neighborhood. This tractor was both new and big. A neighborís son had shipped it to his dad in eastern Kansas from western Kansas to tear up some sod. The big LA was popular in western Kansas for the large wheat fields. For me, the LA was love at first sight. In later years I wanted an L for a big antique toy. I eventually got one.

The 3 bottom Centennial plow has its own unique story

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C. Amick

02-26-2014 16:55:54

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 Re: My 1930 Case L plowing in reply to Ron Sa, 02-25-2014 17:33:46  
Here's a link to click on. Enjoyed watching.

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02-26-2014 06:58:07

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 Re: My 1930 Case L plowing in reply to Ron Sa, 02-25-2014 17:33:46  
Great story and video. I'm working on an L that I'm putting back on steel. We have a Grand Detour one-way that I plan to put behind it. This summer?

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Bob in Australia

02-25-2014 19:14:15

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 Re: My 1930 Case L plowing in reply to Ron Sa, 02-25-2014 17:33:46  
Enjoyed the video

My grandfather owned a couple of L's, then after WW2 bought a couple of LA's but kept the L's (in fairly large scale wheat farming)

He preferred the L's for ploughing (plowing?)- said the gearing was better. However the ease of driving LA's to distant fields, and having electric starters made them seem good to me. I still have one of the LA's, and bought a good one owner L a few years ago.

With either L's or LA's in heavy work, you now need a fuel tanker following them around!

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Ron Sa

02-26-2014 04:04:29

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 Re: My 1930 Case L plowing in reply to Bob in Australia, 02-25-2014 19:14:15  
third party image

third party image

Bob, G'day down under from us bloaks here in the USA.

About the time the L of the 1930s was getting towards retirement from the mainstream work, WW2 happened and new tractor production got cut to a trickle. Then, the 1930 vintage tractors had to do another 5+ years of heavy work. I heard a story of one L having grooves in the front axle worn by wheat stubble.

There is more to my tractor story. I am now 75 and cranking the beast with the high compression became harder and harder. To make matters worse, the mag got weak and would not fire the engine at low speed after the impulse kicked out. It would hit once, kick out the impulse and die. During the era of the video, 2005 we were having to pull start it.

They say necessity is the mother of invention. The L needed a starter and a distributor so that is what it got. See the pictures. Rube Goldberg would be proud. Its okay to snicker a little but it works. No generator. The battery charge out last me so both me and the battery stop at the same time for a recharge. LOL Actually, I do not intend to run it very long at a time so no need for a generator.

The starter and ring gear are 8830 Ford parts. Actually, it spins the engine real well. The starter button is mounted up front where I can work the choke and press the starter. I just have to remember to be sure the tranny is in neutral and engage the clutch. OSHA would not be happy.

I did not burn any bridges or make any new holes to make the installation. The pulley half and the mag are safely in storage.

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02-26-2014 05:00:59

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 Re: My 1930 Case L plowing in reply to Ron Sa, 02-26-2014 04:04:29  

Well done, my grandpa farmed with L cases and my uncle always talks about how hard it was to crank over. Great old tractor.

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02-26-2014 04:56:05

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 Re: My 1930 Case L plowing in reply to Ron Sa, 02-26-2014 04:04:29  
I have a 32 C with a Wehr road roller on it that I have started working on. It needs to be cranked up in behind the front wheel where the crank itself just barely makes it past the goose neck. I think for safety's sake and the value of my arm it will get a starter similar to yours. Been working on it in my head since I bought it.

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Ron Sa

02-26-2014 06:26:46

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 Re: My 1930 Case L plowing in reply to DKase, 02-26-2014 04:56:05  
Another reason I put the starter button up front at the lower right side of the radiator is I can engage the crank and help the starter get beyond the first compression stroke. I pull up on the crank with my right hand and push the button at the same time with my left hand.

After the first compression, the engine turn much easier because after top dead center the compression then helps turn the engine.

The three bolts that hold the starter mount have generous clearance holes. That, plus the ability to shim the starter in or out, allows adjustments to get the proper clearances between the ring gear and starter pinion. Should plan for some amount of shim in case the starter needs to be moved inward.

Actually the starter button is a spring centered toggle switch with a rubber protector over its lever. NAPA parts.

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