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  1. #1
    Platinum Member sawtooth's Avatar
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    Default Low hour Ford 4600

    Guys I'm considering buying a "supposedly" low hour Ford 4600. Apparently, it was used in a very small field to mow a couple times a year over the past 25 plus years. For the past 3 years it has just sat in a barn and has not been cranked. I have not looked at it yet in person but will do so in the next few days. Here is what I know so far. Less than 2000 hours, supposedly has original paint "i will verify" but looks like it OEM everything in pic. Looks to have lightly worn replacement tires which works out about right for tractor hours. From pics has about 30% wear on knubs of brake pedals and 60-70% wear on clutch pedal. Pedal wear seems about right for flat land and small acreage operation. Looks to have all original components including muffler, decals, sheet metal, seat, tach etc. I have tons of old literature / pics on these tractors so can get very detailed with them. Again this is going from only pictures but I'm well above average in picking out this stuff as I am constantly scouring the net and local papers for these tractors and accessories. Yes i have a problem "LOL". Once I see the tractor I will be able verify if the hours are close or not. Unless it was used just for PTO power to run another device it should be no problem for me to verify this. Anyways, the only thing is that I'm a little worried about is that i'm not sure what to look for regarding a tractor sitting for a long time having internal engine rust, bad seals etc. Can anyone provide me with some tips on what to look for, test or check etc? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by sawtooth; 08-22-2013 at 12:02 AM. Reason: added more detail to post

  2. #2
    Veteran Member jimmysisson's Avatar
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    W.Mass
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    1993 NH 2120 (the best), 1974 MF 135 (sold, but solid), 1947 Farmall A (bought, sold, bought back, sold again), 1956 MH50 lbt (sold, in 1980, darn it)

    Default

    Stuff you know but might not see if you're enthusiastic. Stuck clutch or brakes, battery, dried tires belts hoses, cooling system crud, mice in the wiring. I would not think of internal rust, depending a bit on climate and barn conditions. Seals can go any time and aren't stressed by sitting, unless a shaft gets rusty.
    Maybe something broke is why it got parked? Any chance of interviewing the operator?
    Good luck anyway, those are good old units.
    Jim
    "Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly" Mae West

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Bigfoot62's Avatar
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    W. Central Louisiana
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    JD 5085M; NH TN70A; Ford 2600

    Default Re: Low hour Ford 4600

    I have a 2600 diesel that's 32 years old and has only about 2000 hours on it. I know that's accurate, since I've had the tractor for the past 29 years. (It had 125 hours on it when I got it)
    Really, for just occasional use by a homeowner, the hours sound about right. I know of tractors that don't get nearly that much use.
    As far as what to check for, just ask to start it and operate. (with something on the PTO, if possible) I'm sure the battery is totally dead, but you don't need a good battery to start it. Just hook it to the back of your truck and pull-start. Get it rolling, then pop the clutch. Put the transmission in 3 or 4 high range, that will make it easier to pull. Of course, check the oil level and air up any low tires first. And, don't forget to push the kill knob in before you try to start it.

    The x600 series are some of the best tractors ever built. It should be fine.

    If you do buy it, change all the fluids and filters before working it. (including coolant)
    '10 JD 5085M Cab MFWD FEL
    '07 NH TN70A MFWD FEL
    '81 Ford 2600

    JD 457 round baler; JD 265 & Kuhn GMD 600 disc mowers; Sitrex V-10 rake; Hardee 10', Rhino 7', & Modern 5' rotary mowers; JD 13' & Ford 6' tandem discs; HayKing 10' rennovator plow (sub-soiler); etc, etc.
    My other tractor is a '95 Kenworth.

    Donít ever wrestle with a pig. Youíll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member sawtooth's Avatar
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    Default

    I just looked at tractor. Overall seems nice for age. Couple question: tractor has sit for several years. Engine cranks well and runs smooth. One thing is that white smoke comes out when reving engine just for second then clears. Comments? Also what tire brands came on these when new?

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Jerry/MT's Avatar
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    Western Montana
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    New Holland TD95D, Ford 4610 & Ferguson TO-30

    Default Re: Low hour Ford 4600

    White smoke generally indicates unburned fuel on a cold engine. Does it do that when at operating temperature? At operating temperature my 4610 shows a momentary bit of black smoke (and that's normal for an accel). Since it clears up it doesn't sound to me like a problem.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member sawtooth's Avatar
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    Default

    Yeah even warm it does it. So heres more info. As the story goes this tractor had a freeze plug go about 10 years ago due to lack of antifreeze as it only had water in it. So to replace plug you need to split tractor i guess. Anyway worried it overheated on him and did some damage. Tractor has been in storage for several years so i know fuel is old too. I also noticed coolant was very low and it overheats after a bit. Thoughts? Again oil looks great and no signs of water.

  7. #7
    Gold Member rdbigfarmboy's Avatar
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    1

    Default Re: Low hour Ford 4600

    Any water on the block maby behind the starter. Expect to at least replace the head gasket.
    I would run from this machine, unless you get it for near scrap cheap. If the block is cracked they are difficult near impossible to fix correctly the liquid sealers work but always leak some.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Jerry/MT's Avatar
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    New Holland TD95D, Ford 4610 & Ferguson TO-30

    Default Re: Low hour Ford 4600

    Quote Originally Posted by sawtooth View Post
    Yeah even warm it does it. So heres more info. As the story goes this tractor had a freeze plug go about 10 years ago due to lack of antifreeze as it only had water in it. So to replace plug you need to split tractor i guess. Anyway worried it overheated on him and did some damage. Tractor has been in storage for several years so i know fuel is old too. I also noticed coolant was very low and it overheats after a bit. Thoughts? Again oil looks great and no signs of water.
    There is a core plug on the back side of the head or the block as I recall. Start it up without the rad cap on and look for bubbles in the coolant.That's indicative of a head gasket leak.
    Since you say it instantaneous and clears up after an accel, it sounds like the fuel air ratio during the accel is too high so you're getting some unburned fuel. What's the airfilter look like? Is it clogged?

  9. #9
    Platinum Member sawtooth's Avatar
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    Default

    The air filter didn't look all that great so i would say there is some restriction there. Not obviously clogged but not very clean either. Unfortunately i left and didn't add coolant to check for bubbles so not sure on this now. Long drive too so going back to is out unless I buy it. How many of these tractors end up with cracked blocks? A head gasket is not a issue to me but cracked block is scary. I really liked the tractor though as its got original weights front and rear, flat top fenders, and spin out rims. Original paint is good and spin out rims are in great shape as they don't have ballast (no calcium worries). Front end is very tight showing limited wear and rear lift works great with no hiccups. Overall its one of the better condition 4600's I've seen. If it wasn't for the low coolant issue i would have bought instantly. Has Armstrong front tires and Firestone rears. I don't think Firestones came on them as option so am sure there not the originals. With close to 2000 hours i wouldn't expect them to be originals anyway.

  10. #10
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Kubota l3400

    Default Re: Low hour Ford 4600

    how much are they asking?
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
    "Ok, hold my beer and watch this.........."


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