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Combine Front End Mounted On Farmall
Larry Klahn turned a 915 IH combine steering system into a wide front end for his Farmall Super M TA (SMTA). The wide front made the SMTA a more useful loader tractor.
“The previous owner bought the SMTA new in 1954 and for the last 25 years used it to fill and pull a feed wagon,” says Klahn. “However, with its narrow front end, when it was loaded, it was really hard to steer.”
Klahn runs a welding business in addition to farming and was tired of taking his loader off when using his loader tractor for farming. The SMTA was going to be a dedicated loader tractor for use around the welding business and farm.
“I made a quick attach for the bucket and loader and built a set of pallet forks for moving pallets of seed or steel,” says Klahn. “I decided I needed power steering and a wide front end.”
Klahn looked for OEM and after-market wide front ends made for the SMTA by companies like Speeco and Schwartz. Everything he found was very worn. Power units made for the tractor by Behlen and Char Lynn were hard to find.
Klahn found a solution when a neighbor suggested he make a wide front with parts from a 915 combine.
“My neighbor had been parting out the 915, and the steering system was about all that was left,” says Klahn. “I bought the steering axle, steering motor, steering wheel, and all the hydraulics with it.”
Klahn removed the narrow front-end pedestal and fabricated a mount for the combine axle that fit in its place. He also removed the steering shaft and replaced the steering wheel on the throttle/steering wheel post with the steering wheel and motor from the 915.
“I kept everything original, in case I want to change it back at some point,” says Klahn. “I can just unbolt the combine parts and bolt in the OEM parts.”
Initially, he tapped into the OEM hydraulics to power the steering. However, the SMTA had been underpowered hydraulically for the loader. All it had was a small belt-powered pump off the engine. It couldn’t handle both the loader and steering.
“I put a pto-powered hydraulic pump on the tractor and mounted a set of valves for it and auxiliary hydraulic needs,” says Klahn. “The loader had been designed for one arm to be used as a hydraulic reservoir, but it wasn’t needed with the OEM pump. I cleaned it out, filled it, and tapped the pto pump into it. I left the OEM pump to handle the steering.”
Klahn made one more change to the SMTA. “I took the original rear 13.6x38 tires, rims, and castings off the rear of the tractor and replaced them with larger castings with a double bevel, 14-in. rim and 15.5x38 tires,” says Klahn. “Double bevel rims are more readily available, and the larger tires handle heavier loads.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Larry Klahn, P.O. Box 236, Hooper, Neb. 68031 (ph 402-720-1032; redswelding@gmail.com).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #6