What to do with a Cub you just brought home

This is a work in progress that is based on a post titled “What to do with a Cub you just brought home” by Clem on farmallcub.com. As I step through the process, I am documenting the parts that may need to be purchased and the full process I followed to complete the task. Below is a combination of the original post, associated responses, my personal experience, and updates/edits recommended by:

If you are looking for general help or a community to discuss farmall cub tractors, I can’t recommend farmallcub.com strongly enough. They have a great forum for discussing farmall tractors of all sorts, a classified section that they call the “VINE Classifieds“, and a great set of sponsors that all users of their site should support. What follows is my attempt to take some of the advice I’ve found in posts and comments on that site, combine it with my personal experiences, and create a more organized set of information for myself.

Getting Dirty

Air Cleaner

Parts that may need to be purchased:

  1. New rubber hose pieces (quantity 2): are avaialble from TM Tractor Parts
  2. Engine Oil to refill the air cleaner cup (1/2 pint for a Donaldson Type, 3/8 pint for United Type) [Operators Manual pg 21]. (Note: if you don’t have a glass jar on the air breather, you have the United Type)


Air Cleaner maintenance should be performed per the instructions in the Operator’s Manual, page 28 and 29.

Engine Cooling

Parts that may need to be purchased:

  1. Three (3) gallons of Antifreeze (capacity of the system is 9.75 quarts, or just under 2.5 gallons, per the Operators Manual, page 30).


  1. Drain Radiator (location of drain plug can be found in the Operator’s Manual, page 30).
  2. Flush radiator and engine with water
    • Note: When you pull the lower water manifold. Flush the inside of the block’s water jacket and the lower radiator housing- you want to remove any buildup around the bottom of the cylinders.
  3. Add 50/50 coolant fluid (pre-mixed)
    • Note: Do not use pure antifreeze or put in too much antifreeze. Ethelyne Glycol (the active ingredient in antifreeze) has roughly the same freezing point as water and it does not transfer heat as well as water. In short, running pure antifreeze will not protect your cub from freezing in cold temperatures, and may cause it to overheat in high temperatures.


Mention and insert link to Lubrication Guide portion of Operator’s Manual


  1. Grease all zerks
  2. Lubricate the fan


  1. Drain Oil
  2. Flush Engine
  3. Replace Oil Filter (say something here about paper gasket, reuse, etc.)
  4. Replace with fresh oil


  1. Drain Transmission
  2. Re-fill with kerosene
  3. Drive cub around in low gear
  4. Flush kerosene
  5. Replace with tranny fluid (should this instead say “Replace with 80/90 gear oil or hi Tran fluid”?) and be sure not to overfill, as condensation can cause more liquid to come out than should be re-added. (k hutchins, farmallcub.com)

Steering Box

Parts that may need to be purchased:

3/4 of a pint (12 oz) of 80w-90w Gear Oil.

Reference Material:

Operator’s Manual, page 26.


  1. Clean up around the filler plug on the steering box so that when it is removed no debris will accidentally fall into the steering box.
  2. Remove the filler plug on the steering box
  3. Drain Steering Box by removing the drain plug in the steering box.
  4. Clean up the threads and the top of the filler plug with a wire brush (or wire wheel).  Be sure to clean out the vent hole that runs through the filler plug.
  5. Re-install the drain plug
  6. Remove the level plug.
  7. Refill oil in steering box until it starts to leak out of the level plug.
  8. Re-install the level plug and the filler plug.

There is a great video of this process posted on YouTube by the fine folks at farmallcub.com:

Front Wheels

  1. Remove front wheels
  2. Fix dents in rims (not lubrication, but do this first)
  3. Repack front wheel bearings


  1. Remove the pans from the finals
  2. Clean the pan for the finals
  3. Reinstall the pans
  4. Refill the 90 wt gear oil


  1. Cubs manufactured before 1964, came from the factory with a 6V positive ground electrical system. Starting with serial number 224401, Cubs are 12V negative ground system like most modern vehicles. It is not uncommon for older Cubs to have been converted to 12V negative ground.
  2. Replace spark plugs
  3. Remove and fully charge battery
  4. Clean posts/grounds
  5. Dress and regap or replace points. If the points have been burnt, they should be replaced and not just dressed and regapped. New points can be purchased from TM Tractor Parts, which can be accessed from farmallcub.com’s sponsor page.
  6. Check ignition timing and mechanical advance operation
  7. Degrease (keep any high pressure spray away from ignition components)
  8. Lubricate mechanical advance pivot


  1. Spray every nut and bolt with PB Blaster
  2. Check and set the tappet clearance on the valves.
  3. Check the fan and generator/alternator belts
  4. Adjust the brakes
  5. Adjust the clutch


If there is considerable rust in the tank, please see “How to clean rust out of your fuel tank“. Otherwise, follow these instructions:

  1. Drain fuel in tank
  2. Scrub fuel tank
  3. Clean fuel bowl (replace screen & gasket)