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This information cross references the serial numbers and date / year of manufacture for the Ferguson FE35, Massey Ferguson 35 and Massey Ferguson 35x tractors.

1001 – 9225 1956

9226 – 79552 1957

79553 – 125067 1958

125068 – 171470 1959

171471 – 220613 1960

220614 – 267527 1961

267528 – 307230 1962

307231 – 352254 1963

352255 – 388382 1964

FE35 Standard petrol, V.O. or 23C diesel engine. Up to serial No 74655. 1956-1957

MF35 Standard 23C diesel engine. 1957-1959

MF35 Standard petrol or V.O. engine. 1957-1964

MF35 Perkins 3.152 diesel, from serial no. 165596. 1959-1962

MF35X Perkins A3.152 diesel, from serial no. 302413. 1962-1964

Although the 23C engine has a beautifully sweet sound to it, it had a reputation of poor starting performance – particularly at high engine hours.  The change to the Perkins 3 cylinder diesel made these tractors fantastic and many are still in use today.  The 23C engine can have good starting performance if rebuilt correctly (link to 23C Rebuild DVD) and with a small modification to the pre-combustion chamber outlets.

The Perkins engine was very popular and the 35X tractors are always in demand and achieve high prices at auction.  The 3 Cylinder Perkins Engine Rebuild DVD, was filmed on a pre-X tractor, but the engines are so similar (just a change in cubic capacity) that the DVD also relates to the X tractors.

What people have said….
campbell says:

February 9th, 2008 at 10:47 am
Great site, considering that today my FE 35 was delivered. Problem is I don’t know which hole to fill with petrol or VO. Come to think of it, what is VO?{City bloke} I changed the plugs, cleaned the carb and with a bit of splutter it’s great. It has less than 4000 hrs and as far as I can see is origional, but is red and grey. I would also like to know if it has a hydraulic pump and if so, can it be used to drive any other implement?

The Vintage Tractor Engineer says:

February 9th, 2008 at 12:07 pm
Hi Campbell,

The smaller tank was originally used for petrol, just for starting and
warming the engine. Once the operating temperature (as indicated by the
temperature guage) is reached then you can change over to VO. VO was
considerably cheaper than petrol and the tracotr would then be able to run
on VO from the larger tank all day.

You can mix VO (vapourising oil) yourself using this information


Only thing to make sure of is to check that it is a VO engine and not a lamp
oil engine (you’ll see the link from the webpage of how to identify your
type of tractor). If you put lamp oil in a VO engine or vice-versa it will
cause you problems.

Presumably the tractor has 2 levers on the right hand side of the seat and
lift arms on the back of the tractor? If so, then it has a hydraulic pump
and system. This can be used to tip trailers, lift a front loader or
operate other hydraulic rams. The pump is a low capacity pump (litres/min)
compared to a modern tractor and so can only be used to power very small
hydraulic motors – not really a good application for these tractors.

If you need something posering with a large capacity hydraulic motor (e.g.
hedge cutter) then I would suggest
powering an external hydraulic pump/motor system from the pto. (the pto. is
the power take off shaft that protrudes from the back of the tractor!)

Hope that gives you some useful information.

Larry says:

August 8th, 2008 at 6:30 pm
My MF35 3cyl just few more days get running
Found in barn Wales one of my customers
Needed lot new & used parts
Ser No. puts it mid 1961