Farmall M Reviews: The Tractor That Does It All (Best 2023 Guide)

Are you looking to get more out of your farming operation? Then the Farmall M tractor might be the perfect addition to help!

From easy maneuvering through tight spaces to hauling heavy loads, the Farmall M offers a range of features that will make any farmer or agricultural enthusiast smile.

In this blog post, we’ll provide an in-depth review of the Farmall M tractor so that you can see firsthand why it could be worth adding one – or even more – to your lineup.

Key Notes:

  • The M models were powerful IH row-crop tractors between 1839 and 1954.
  • The M tractors were ideal for multiple operations due to the 38 HP and 39 PTO HP.
  • The later tractors (Super M, Super MV, 400, 450) featured diesel engines, an air suspension seat, a closed cab, ergonomic control levers, and electronic draft control. But they were later produced and updated. The first M model was only the beginning.

What you need to know about the Farmall M tractors

The Farmall M is packed with features that make it a powerful and efficient workhorse. Look at the features to see what makes this tractor one of the best on the market.

Farmall M history

does a farmall m have live pto

The Farmall M tractor was first introduced by International Harvester between 1939 and 1953. The Case IH Farmall quickly became the market’s most popular three-plow row-crop tractor. It’s still considered one of the best farm tractors ever made. Its design combined power, strength, and versatility, making it an ideal workhorse for today’s agricultural conditions.

The total number of produced tractors included 57,092 machines.

Over time, it has been heavily modified and improved with new features, including engine upgrades, power steering, and more. Nowadays, the machine is known as the Case IH Farmall Super M tractor.

The Farmall M remains one of the most popular tractors today for large farms, small operations, and hobbyists. With its iconic design, reliable performance, and broad parts availability, the Farmall M remains a tractor of choice for many farmers.

The machine was sold for the original price of $2,500 (1954). Due to changes over time, the serial numbers also changed. So, you can find the following numbers to match your parts and replacements:

  • 1952: SM501 (Farmall Rock Island plant)
  • 1953: SM21074 (Farmall Rock Island plant)
  • 1954: SM51977 (Farmall Rock Island plant)
  • Final: SM52627 (Farmall Rock Island plant)
  • 1952: SML500001 (Louisville plant)
  • 1953: SML501906 (Louisville plant)
  • Final: SML512541 (Louisville plant)

Farmall M gasoline engine

The first Farmall M model used the International Harvester C264 gasoline engine with four cylinders.

However, the updated version – the Farmall Super M tractor used the specific International Harvester LP gas 4-cylinder liquid-cooled vertical I-head 284 ci (4.65L).

The update meant more power and efficiency, so the new Farmall Super M tractor surpassed the previous version in popularity.

1. Gasoline Engine International Harvester C264 gasoline 4-cylinder

liquid-cooled vertical I-head 264 ci (4.3 L)

Bore/Stroke4.00×5.25 inches (102 x 133 mm)
Fuel use3.657 gal/hour (13.8 l/hour)
Air cleaneroil bath
Rated RPM1450
Idle RPM400-1600
Firing order1-3-4-2
Starter volts6
Oil Capacity8 qts (7.6 L)
Coolant capacity26 qts (24.6 L)
Sparkplug gap0.023 inches [0.584 mm]
Intake valve clearance0.017 inches [0.432 mm] (hot)
Exhaust valve clearance0.017 inches [0.432 mm] (hot)

2. Super M LP Gas engine International Harvester LP gas 4-cylinder liquid

cooled vertical I-head 284 ci (4.65 L)

Bore/Stroke4.00×5.25 inches [102 x 133 mm]
Fuel use5.211 gal/hour [19.7 l/hour]
Air cleaneroil bath
Rated RPM1450
Starter volts6

Farmall Super M mechanics

The Farmall Super M tractor has a 4×2 2WD chassis, manual steering, differential mechanical dry disc brakes, and an open operator station. This combination of components creates a reliable and effective machine for performing any agricultural task.

Its lightweight design makes it easy to maneuver, while its strong and durable construction ensures it can handle heavy loads. With its well-engineered mechanical specs, the Farmall Super M is an ideal choice for anyone looking to purchase a dependable tractor.

Chassis4×2 2WD
Brakesdifferential mechanical dry disc
Cab openoperator station

Farmall M dimensions

This tractor’s dimensions allow it to easily navigate fields of all sizes, providing a smooth ride and excellent maneuverability even in tight spots. Its reliability makes it a perfect choice for small farmers needing to get their work done quickly and efficiently. The Farmall Super M combines size, power, and performance perfectly.

Weight5603 lbs (2541 kg)
Wheelbase89.25 inches (226 cm)
Length134.6 inches (341 cm)
Width84.5 inches (214 cm)
Height (steering wheel)79 inches (200 cm)
Ground clearance15.5 inches (39 cm) (frame)
Clearance (rear axle)26.25 inches (66 cm)
Operating weight4,858 pounds (2,204 kg)
Ballasted weight6,770 pounds (3,070 kg)

Farmall M power & PTO features

how many horsepower does a farmall m have

The Farmall Super M has a very powerful rear Power Take-Off (PTO) transmission with a tested drawbar and belt of 44.23 HP (33 kW) and 47.07 HP (35.1 kW), respectively, when running at 540 RPMs.

This makes it an ideal choice for any high-power applications and challenging jobs. The Farmall Super M is a reliable and versatile tractor that will make any task easier.

Rear PTO transmission

Rear RPM540
Drawbar (tested)44.23 HP (33 kW)
Belt (tested)47.07 HP (35.1 kW)

Farmall M Transmission

The Farmall M has a sliding gear transmission with five forward and one reverse gear, powered by a 12-inch dry disc clutch. The oil capacity is 52 quarts (49.2 liters).

This makes the Farmall M an ideal tractor for those who need to operate equipment in challenging terrain or work quickly without interruption due to refueling needs. The combination of power and agility makes the Farmall M a reliable and capable machine.

Type sliding gear

Gears5 forward and 1 reverse
Clutch12-inch dry disc
Oil Capacity52 qts (49.2 L)

Farmall M belt pulley

The IH tractor is reliable and powerful enough to handle a variety of tasks on the farm.

It is also equipped with adjustable fan blades, allowing maximum airflow control. It’s ideal for farmers who need a reliable power source to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

With its excellent performance and durability, the Farmall M belt pulley is a worthwhile investment for any farm.

Diameter11 inches (27 cm)
Width7.5 inches (19 cm)
Speed2588 ft/min (788.82 meters/min)

Farmall M tires

Tires provide excellent grip and traction, making them ideal for various agricultural applications. In addition, the design allows it to traverse rugged terrain easily, aided by its powerful tires, which provide superior stability and maneuverability.

Reviews of the Farmall M have been overwhelmingly positive, praising its robust build quality and excellent performance in all conditions. With these reliable tires, it is easy to see why this legendary tractor is a popular choice among farmers and agricultural workers.

Ag front6.00-16
Ag rear12-38

Farmall M electrical system

The Farmall M’s electrical system is powered by a positive ground and features a generator as its charging system. This basic setup ensures the machine has reliable power, making it an ideal choice for those needing durable machinery that can withstand tough workloads.

Charging systemgenerator

What are the alternatives?

Farmall M tractors are a popular choice for many farmers. However, other options are available depending on the user’s needs.

does a farmall m have hydraulics

1. Farmall M vs. updated versions

The Farmall Super MV and the Farmall Super M TA are two models of the classic Farmall M tractors that provide more power and features than the standard Farmall M. Both tractors are diesel, with added torque amplifier and fuel-efficient. But, they were produced after the IH M model.

Both models feature an upgraded engine, increased fuel efficiency, a three-point hitch, and hydraulic lift capacity, as well as an adjustable air suspension seat for comfort.

The cab with electro-hydraulic components, ergonomic control levers, and electronic draft control only increases the maneuverability and versatility the IH tractors offer.

2. Farmall 400 vs. M

The Farmall 400 provides advanced technologies such as a side-shift transmission, heavy-duty clutch, and independent PTO for even more power and capabilities.

The IH 400 tractors are also diesel models with higher torque, better hydraulic lift capacity, closed cab, electro-hydraulic components, and a better steering wheel.

All three models above feature updated styling and easy-to-use control to make them suitable for modern farming operations. They offer incredible hydraulics, and the torque amplifier adds even more working power.

3. John Deere vs. M

For those looking for something with greater horsepower and torque, John Deere’s 6M series offers more power than the Farmall M while maintaining fuel efficiency.

4. Kubota vs. M

Kubota also offers a line of compact utility tractors that provide the same features as the Farmall M but are compact in size and less expensive.

5. Massey Ferguson vs. M

For those wishing to maintain a traditional tractor style, brands like Massey Ferguson and International Harvester provide classic models with modern updates.


The Farmall M is an excellent choice for those looking for a durable, dependable machine that can handle challenging workloads. It offers reliable power and features a generator as its charging system.

Although the alternatives offer better versatility since they’re produced later, the Farmall M will continue to be an ideal option for those looking for a dependable, powerful tool on the farm.

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Ben Bareja

Ben Bareja, the owner-founder-webmaster of This website was conceptualized primarily to serve as an e-library for reference purposes on the principles and practices in crop science, including basic botany. Read more here

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