IH 37 Disc Saga

I bought a used International 37 transport disc recently:

IH 37 Disc

These were considered good discs, and I feel this 9’7″ model built between 1956 and 1959 woudl be a good fit for my Allis D17.  The big challenge for this disc is replacing the disc gang bearings.  This earlier model used a  “spool” style bearing that is no longer available from IH. My plan is to upgrade this disc to the new frictionless (ball bearing) style.  I am able to get all the parts from IH except the mounting plate, which fortunately can be fabricated.  The problem with theses parts is they are very expensive when bought at a Case-IH dealer. 

I will document my progress in upgrading/reapiring this machine, and my attempt at getting these parts at a lower price.  If possible I will offer these parts for sale to other IH 37 Disc owners who would like to take on the same project.

42 Responses to “IH 37 Disc Saga”

  1. Ken Says:

    Any progress with the disc? I’m looking at a 12 ft version of the same.

    • Scott Says:

      They are a new site I came across and offer great prices on all disc replacement part as well as planter and many other parts. Good service too!

      • DON MILLER Says:

        SCOTT – WOULD BE INTERESTED IN KNOWING THE SITE YOU FOUND FOR DISC PARTS. I AM LOOKING FOR SCRAPER BLADES FOR IH 37 DISC HARROW. DEALER WANTS TO SELL ME THE ARM AND BLADE ASSY. FOR ABOUT $90.

  2. Tom Yaz Says:

    Well, my farm is 4.5 hours from where I live. The next thing I am going
    to do is take a couple gangs off and being them back and tear into them.

    I have learned a few things…
    I have found one supplier that has the old spool bearings. However they
    do not know which disc it goes to! IT looks much like mine. They state it
    is 7″ long whisch seems a bit too large since my disc spacing is 7.5″. If you take into the account the spools that go on either end of the bearing, this 7″ length seems to large. They are also made in China…Big red flag. I dont need to be fixing these again when they break.

    On the regular ball bearing, you can use a ST-491A bearing which combines the flange and ball bearing, as opposed to the ST-607A bearing, which calls for seperate flanges and is MUCH more expensive.

    I hope to write up on this in the future when I get the samples in mind.

    The other thing I am finding is these aftermarket parts sources seem to be using the wrong part number for the 37 model, or list a part that seems to
    work for the 37 but is not listed…Its really confusing. I wont be able to make some solid conclusions till I have the OEM parts in hand. I hope to get to the disk in June…

  3. Steven Crane Says:

    I have a bigger version of this disk that I will be working on soon. I will need a couple of the spools and disk. Does any one have a parts list for a 37 or direct to a good parts source?

  4. Tom Yaz Says:

    You can get the spacer spools from a Case-IH dealer, but take some vaseline with you. I am working on finding some lower-cost aftermarket
    versions but it is going to take a while. I can send you a copy of the dealers part manual if you send me a note via the contact page on yazallcrop.com

  5. Adrian Steudler Says:

    Hello
    I have the same problem with the 37.
    Use frome IH Case:
    472592R3 Spool (15.35$can.),
    BST491A Bearing(48.47$can),
    472591R3 Spool (20.01$can.),
    652383R1 Spacer (5.99$can.).
    This all together is abouth 1/4inch larger and you trimm a little of from the larger Spool. You have to make the 8 Brakets. Or you can only repair the front gang with the new bearings and take the old front spools as parts for the rear.
    Please excuse my englisch, i live in a french speecking provice in Canada.

  6. Tom Yaz Says:

    Adrian,

    You came to the same conclusion I did, 472591 will need to be trimmed down.

    I do have a new development. I might have found a aftermarket source for the old spool style bearings. They look right, but the seller doesnt know what model they fit. (Go Figure!!) I plan to buy a set and try them out. What concerns me is they are made in China and so I have doubts to their durability (and lead content LOL!)…

    Dont worry about hte English, you probably write it better than many supposedly educated Americans…

  7. Christopher Johnson Says:

    I have two of these disks, 12 and 13 feet. The 13′ has the spool type bearings and the 12 has standard disk bearings. I have the 13′ working well and plan to sell it. The 12′ needs some work and I need the adjustable hitch for it. If anyone knows where there is a scrap disk that has one I would be interested. THANKS c.a.johnson14@gmail.com

  8. Heath Says:

    I just finished working on an old 8′ IH disc and I had the same problem. Mine has 1-1/8 axles and 7″ spool bearings, I couldn’t find them anywhere. Everyone was telling me to convert it to the new style bearings but I didn’t want to, I ended up buying 7-1/2 spool bearings and putting them in a chop saw and cutting them down where the spool starts tapering up to support the discs. It works great! Now I just wish I knew what model disc it is, the parts man at the IH dealership told me it had the same style bearings as the 37 series but the frame is a little different. Mine frame is made out of channel iron not angle…?

  9. Tom Y Says:

    Hi Heath,
    Well a picture is worth a thousand words..you got one you can share?
    I havent done much to mine yet…dont have a job so money is tight, but I must have it ready for spring. As I said I think I found the spool type that will work, but I am afraid of anything made in china. Still debating which way to go…

    Tom

  10. John_SWPA Says:

    Tom,

    I’m not sure if you ever got anything figured out with the disc, but I have an older 7 foot IH pull type non-transport disc that has the same part numbers on the spools and everything. I found it in Chicora and paid $100 for it. I have a #37 disc, and needed one of the gang hangers for the old style. If you were interested in buying the rest of it for parts, let me know. I am an hour and a half below Mercer.

  11. yazallcrop Says:

    John
    I am going to go with the new style ball bearing gangs so I dont think you would have anything I could use. Some of the large spools may interchange but not much more than that. I have gotten a quote to make the new gang hangers for the newer ball bearing arrangement—over $50 each. Not so bad when you only need one or two, but I will need 8.
    OUCH!!

  12. John_SWPA Says:

    Ouch is right! I think I paid $200 for my IH 37. Of course, it did need a lot of the blades replaced, 2 tires, and a hydraulic cylinder, but I got that covered pretty easily. http://www.agrisupply.com/notched-disc-harrow-blades/c/4500010/ Less than $10 a piece including shipping for all new notched ones up front and smooth in the rear. Notched really wasn’t necessary, but the smooth ones in the 3mm thickness were the same price and I figured it would help some with corn stubble. I think it will pay off for you in the end. I probably will spend more in grease gun cartridges over the life of the disk, than you will have spent on retrofitting to the newer style. Let me know if you find an easier way to farm!

    • Paul Says:

      Hello, I know its been awhile since you wrote about your disc but i was wondering if the blades from agrisupply worked very good, does it matter that they are not the raised center like IH has . I want to do the same to my disc but was wondering before i ordered. Thanks

  13. yazallcrop Says:

    Not bad a price(made in China?), what size do you use? I think my originals were 20″. As I stated in an earlier post, I think I can get the old spool style bearings, but cast+China=Trouble IMHO. Its looking like this disc is going to cost a fortune. Since I will have all new blades, hangers,
    bearings and some new spools, I wonder If I should go whole hog and
    get the axles as well. Can one assume they will eventualy fail?

  14. John_SWPA Says:

    I had 14″ blades on the disc when I got it, so I stayed with 14″. I probably could have gone 16 or 18 for the same price, but I have had good luck with 14″s in the past. I plow with 16″ bottoms, disc 2 or 3 times, run everything down with a cultimulcher and plant corn and beans 1.5″ deep, so they have always been deep enough. I’m sure they are made in China, I really didn’t pay attention to that since most of the new hand tools I buy are made in China with lifetime guarantee and it seems their steel quality is headed towards US quality. Not to get into a debate over buying American made. I am pro-American, but I am not making a dime on the farm, so I take what I can get. Chances are, if I do ever make a dime, I will keep farming with older equipment, but will buy better parts. :-)

    As for your axles, the only time I have seen an axle fail is when the gang comes loose and the blades start working on the axle, eventually, they will round the axle over, and then start cutting into it. I had my Allis Chalmers disc break an axle last spring. I just welded it back together and it has been holding up just fine. Then again, if I had the money to spend, I would probably buy everything new, knowing that it will be reliable, and tight.

  15. Adrian Steudler Says:

    Hello
    About the axels. D’ont change it! If the part is undamadged and still good, leave it in the machine. The IH37 is made over 40 years ago. Quality, quality, quality, strong US Steel. If it made 40 years, you can run it another decade. I’m farming in on rocky farm in Quebec and use my machine in the last 20 years. The spools get used and need replacment, the disks get smaler and brake some time, but i never toucht the axels.

  16. steven Says:

    Hi all, I know this IH 37 saga is a bit dated but maybe some of you are still working on this. I have an 8 ft IH 37 (identical to the picture at the start of the “saga” but 8 footer) and broke an axel yesterday (left front gang). 1 1/8″ square by 46″ long. The shortest IH axels that I can find are 49 1/2″. Any thoughts on where I can find axels? Other parts beyond places already mentioned? How did your re-build turn out?

    • Scott Haycraft Says:

      Steve we are a parts distributor and have the 49 1/2″ axles on hand for $36.79 each and we are also a full service machine shop. We could cut the head off one and weld it back on for your needed length then hand grind it back down to fit. We would charge $15 for the welding and grinding. If you are interested please let me know.
      Thanks
      Scott

  17. Tom Yaz Says:

    Hi Steve,

    This “saga” is very much alive, just that it is not going anywhere! I have yet to move forward. No time, less money. My next step is to get the new brackets powder coated and new bearing put on. thats going to be $300 min. As for axles, ask for Butch at GlobalAgparts.com http://www.globalagparts.com/

    The site doesnt list that size (got one smaller, one bigger) but good chance he has them.

  18. steven Says:

    Tom and Scott, thanks for the quick response. I spent some time on the CaseIH parts website and was able to track down the axel I need at a relatively local (2 hours away) CaseIH dealer. Spendy ($60) but it’ll get me back in the field. They also have on hand the older spool type bearings ($83/spool) which I might pick up and do a rebuild on all 4 gangs. I like this disc (the ability to change the angle to change aggresiveness) and wouldn’t mind finding a 12 footer. I’ll check into this site now and then to see how it goes.

  19. Tom Yaz Says:

    Glad you found one. Weird about the spools. when IfI recall, when I called my IH dealer they said no longer available. You might have found a dealer that still had old stock on the shelf. But wow, thats going to be 8x$80! Maybe I dont feel so bad about my costs for the conversion to ball bearing..

    I do like adjustable gangs. What I really liked was the older IH drag discs where you could lift a lever on the hitch while on the tractor via a rope and adjust the angle by moving the rig forward or backward. Very convenient. Dont know why they didnt carry that design forward..

    Please check back every now and then. Even if I never get my disc done, this thread can serve as a place for owners of these discs to discuss their issues…

  20. Bob Ha Says:

    Our 10′ IH #37 had a bearing lockup on us last week. I ran across this website doing my research on how to fix my issue. I’m going to try something different and will let everyone know how it turns out. First of all my IH 37 has the newer bearing brackets with older type sealed bearings so my issue is not as complicated as some. I’m going to use bearings FD209RM which is 4 bolt, 5″ bolt pattern, 1 /18″ square bore with grease fittings for less than $20 per bearing. I only ordered 1 bearing to give it a try.

  21. Tom Yaz Says:

    Bob,
    So you are going to put the shaft right to the bearing skipping that intermediate “tube” in between the bearing and shaft that forces you to
    a 1 3/4″ bearing…Hope it works but I would think IH would have put that tube in there as a reinforcement for a reason…Let us know what happens.

    • Bob Ha Says:

      Tom,
      Your correct on bypassing the sleeve and attaching the 1 /1/8″ square bearing to the 1 1/8″ axle. I’m not sure how the spacing will work out due to the length of the sleeve not being included. How long is the sleeve? Are you thinking by eliminating the sleeve I could have a less stable setup? I will find out this weekend and post back my findings. Last weekend I had trouble getting the spool/spacer off due to it twisting (kinda like a square peg in a round hole) on the axle. This weekend I’ll apply heat and see if that helps. Also, last weekend I didn’t have a replacement for the 1 1/4″ spacer so I had to be gentle but now I have a replacement so I can be tougher.

      FYI: this thread has been a great help! Thanks for all the info.

  22. Tom Yaz Says:

    Bob
    Not at home to measure but it is approx 4-6″ long. As for having a less stable setup I dont know. I’m just speculating as to why IH would have done it the “sleeve way” when the direct way your trying is simpler. I wonder if the sleeve distributes the forces better?

    On your spool spacer…the spool “hole” should be square to mate with the square axle…you dont have that??

    • Bob Ha Says:

      Tom,
      Yes, the spacer has the square hole that matches the axle but I guess over time and friction the square spacer hole twisted on it’s edges. Hard to explain… Square hole of spacer twisted half inch on the square axle. Now it doesn’t slide off untill I rotate the spacer back to square on square.

      I understand what your saying about why IH didn’t originally do it that way… maybe didn’t have square hole bearings… I don’t know. I’m a simple person and like things simple but simple doesn’t always work. thanks again!

  23. Tom Yaz Says:

    Bob,
    Gotcha on the spool..

    Yeah I know what you mean on the K.I.S.S. …Well I hope it works out; let us know.

    Tom

    • Bob Says:

      Tom,

      I was able to get my disk fixed this weekend like I explained earlier but I will say I think your method works better. Using the sleeveless method does work but I think it’s not going to last as long due to the small play between the spacer and bearings. The sleeves fitting in the spacers removes that issue and When I replace all the bearings this winter it will be like you suggested. Thanks for all the info. Now, any knowledge of tractor clutches… mine went out this weekend. Again thanks for the IH 37 info! Bob

  24. paul Says:

    Tom I didn’t see it but do you know of anywhere to buy the spool bearings , china or otherwise , I don’t use this disc too much and I don’t ant to invest a small fortune in it , the spool bearings from case/ih dealer are 100.00 per half ! .also can you use blades that aren’t the ih blades with the flat center , will the regular ones still work ? Thanks for your help

  25. Tom Yaz Says:

    Paul,

    To get the spool style your going to need the two out halves and the center. Read further up Steven said he got his for $80–but dont know if thats for the whoe sheang or a piece of it.

    At Agri-supply they have something:

    http://www.agrisupply.com/category.asp?start=9&c=4500009&c2c=sc

    but Lord know what discs they fit on!

  26. paul Says:

    Tom yes I saw that my dealer was per half . Almost $200.00 per bearing , the agri supply bearing isn’t correct , I bought one half to see , its a smaller cap , I was going to order the spool to fit their caps but they only come in 1” axle size , need. 1 1/8. Thanks for the help

  27. Gary Says:

    Hello all,
    I ran across this site and glad I did. I have a set of 37 disc’s that are appx. 10 feet I purchased at a dealership last year. I had a gang get loose on me last fall. I tightened it up to get through the job at the time. Today I tore that gang apart to check the axle, go ahead and replace the new style bearings, clean it up and re-torque the gang. I assumed I had 7 1/2″ spools, but after the disassembly I found I had 7″ (worn to about 6 7/8″) spools with the new style bearings. I didn’t realize that the 7″ spools were old style until reading the comments on this site. I really didn’t know what I had until now!
    I guessing someone before me retro-fit new style bearings with old style spools? Gary

  28. Tom Yaz Says:

    Gary,

    Wells thats a new one on me! Got a pic of that? I guess we can rack that up to a farmers way of “baler-wiring” a repair eh?
    Well I ahve neglected my project, but I will be getting my bearing mounts powder coated in the near future as I got to take some all-crop parts to the blast/coat shop.

  29. Brad Davis Says:

    I have the same problem replacing bearings, are you mfging the bearing bracket plates.? Any info is appreciated.

  30. Tom Says:

    Brad,

    I had my plates manufactured for me…I can have some made for you. Wont be cheap. (out of my control) Expect $50-$100 each. Will have to get them re-quoted as its been a while! – As one can probably infer, this project has been shelved for a while, but I think I will be picking it back up this summer a bit.

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