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We have just purchased a ‘new’ Ferguson TEF 20 tractor, in need of restoration.  The first job is to rebuild the engine.


The serial number is 509,339 so that dates it at 1956, and means it was one of the latter tractors to be produced (total production was 517,651).  The agent’s plate is difficult to read, but appears to be Barclays Motors from Bury St Edmunds.  It is just about legible in the photo below.



Regular readers of Vintage Tractor Engineer may already have guessed that there is something wrong with the tractor.  When we aren’t mending customers’ tractors, we buy one ourselves and enjoy the challenge of repairing it back to mechanical perfection (or at least we try!).  So what’s wrong with this TEF?  Well the engine is seized (probably from standing), or so we were told by the person who sold it to us.  And it’s true, the engine is well and truly stuck.

A closer examination reveals that the sump has recently been removed (as seen in the photo below), as there are missing studs, new washers on the bolts and paint missing from the stud heads.  It also looks like the tractor has been split at the engine/clutch housing recently (or at least since the tractor was last painted; 6-8 years since??)

Another anomaly is that the lift arms were in the raised position when we collected the tractor; but the weren’t stuck, as when we shifted the quadrant lever the lift arms lowered.  So if the engine had been stuck from years of standing, then either we have got a tractor with perfect hydraulics (as the lift arms have stayed up for several years) or the engine has been running more recently (hence the lift arms are in the rasied position) and the seizing has been caused by a fault.

Whatever has happened, we are soon going to find out.  We can’t wait to get into the engine and see what has gone wrong. 


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