Text Box: Rock Island F
Tractor Summary

 Weight: 4700 lbs

 Engine: Buda 4 1/2 x 6 YR (27 to ~29?) YRA (~29?+)

 Mag: Dixie 46C or 46T

 Carb: Stromberg M3

 Serial numbers: 270xxx - 290xxxx?

 Nebraska Test 144

F 1927 - 1935

FA 1929 - 1935

The Rock Island F was the longest running line of the Rock Island tractors, with multiple variants. Introduced in 1927 the F was the highest horse power and most modern tractor Rock Island produced at the time. The F was initially labeled just the 18-35 but was shortly thereafter advertised as the F 18-35. The 1927 Nebraska Test 144 rated out at 30-36 on distillate making it an underrated tractor. Although the G2 seems to be more common in preservation, the F/ FA now appears to have been produced in far greater numbers with at least 2884 produced.

 

Although the F 18-35 designation was kept until 1935, it did undergo some internal changes including the switch from the Buda YR to the YRA engine around 1928 - 1929. There is evidence from third party parts manuals that at some point the Buda YTU engine was also used but no mention is found in the 1938 Case/Rock Island parts list. In 1930 a special variant of the F was released in Canada called the Canadian Special 18-35 and 24-45. Both tractors utilized a Waukesha DSR engine.

 

The standard coloring was the normal Rock Island Grey and Red scheme. A few examples are painted all red which is not indicative of their actual status as Canadian Specials. The Fs feature distinctive side panels, buda engine and a larger overall size. Very early Fs under 270251 appear to have had some unique features not found on general production Fs. Advertising of that time indicates a few external differences including fenders and a missing air stack.

 

A dedicated look at the 27 F

 

At least some Fs were sold with an all red paint scheme (mistakenly attributed to Canadian Specials). According to Mark Paskevich who owns a 1928 F that was originally painted in this scheme, this was a Canadian Paint scheme from Waterloo, Rock Islands Canadian distributor. I so far have no direct evidence in the form of literature or advertising to corroborate this, Waterloo materials I so far have seen all show the standard Grey and Red.

 

Starting with the 1929 parts list, at 29000 the transmission case changed from the same parts number as the G2 to its own part number. Coinciding with that, in 1929 a new version of the F was introduced, the FA (serial numbers for an FA will begin FA29xxxx). Both tractors continued to be manufactured until 1935. The FA had different gearing (the gearing for the F also changed at serial 290000)

at 29000 the transmission case changed from the same parts number as the G2 to its own part number. Coinciding with that, in 1929 a new version of the F was introduced, the FA. Both tractors continued to be manufactured until 1935. The FA had different gearing from the standard F (the gearing for the F also changed at serial 290000)

pre 290000 2 diameter spline shaft, high speed pinion, low speed pinion, 26 tooth bevel gear, 16 tooth pinion

post 290000 2 diameter spline shaft, high speed pinion, low speed pinion, 27 tooth bevel gear, 15 tooth pinion

F also had:
68 tooth ring gear
12 tooth bull pinion and shaft

The FA is listed as:
69 tooth ring gear above 290000
11 tooth bull pinion and shaft above 290000
26 tooth bevel gear and 14 tooth pinion only on 2 spline shaft (a 13 tooth pinion was used but was superseded by the 14. Looks like they kept using the pre290000 spline and bevel gear)

numerous changes between earlier YR and later YRA engines in components

at 290496 the 46-C magneto was replaced with the 46-T, possibly around the same time the M-2 Carbarator was replaced by the SF-3, though no serial number break is given in the SF-3 section.

Oil pump changed at 290599
crankshaft and oil slinger changed at 290455
Governor changed around 270251, but no serial is actually listed. prior was an internally adjustable governor and housing, later was externally adjustable.
290400 twin disc clutch assembly changed
air intake assembly change at 291805
front axle assembly changed at 280613
clutch shaft changes at 290000 and at 291866
spark advance and throttle assembly change at 291365
shift fingers change at 290000

shift mechanism appears to make the change from ball and stick to slide shift at 291866
another casting change occurs at 291934 for transmission case cover, upper case cover and inspection plate cover.

belt pulley gear changes at 290000
double reverse gear changes at 290000
brake lever assembly changed at 291427
A high altitude manifold is listed as an option

Other changes occurred at serials 270042, 270251, 280133, 280613, 280699 and 290000. Luckily, the F parts list is easily available through Jensales.

I have an ongoing restoration log for FA HERE. Eventually it will get its own webpage.

HP 18 - 35

Rock Island 18-35 FA

 

Copy write 2011, 2012, 2013 not for republication or sale without express written consent. All images are the property of their respective owners and are not to be reused without their express permission.

Left: Craig As 18-35 F Right: Rock Island 18-35 FA Below: Various F and FAs

 

 

F/FA Instruction book (click to open)

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The short lived Canadian Specials were produced in 1930 for the Canadian market. The two main features were a Waukasha DSR engine and a heavier front axle design. The Serial number for these Canadian Specials started in F400xxx.

 

Dedicated Canadian Special Page HERE

1930 Canadian Special

Above: 1927 F brochure.

 

 

Right: revised 1928+ F brochure

 

 

Above: Cutaway of the Rock Island F