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I was very impressed by your web site, I hope you may be able to help.  

I have just bought a little grey who’s owner told that it had always been kept inside – he owned it, his father before him ect ect, he told me that he had a minor problem with the starter motor.I have removed the starter, which from the outside looks as if it has recently been re furbished.  I had a local repair company look at the starter and they told me that it was full of oil, and because there is a fault in the engine somewhere the same thing would occur if I repair the starter and re install it.

Can you tell me what the problem might be, and if it is a big or small job to repair. I forgot to mention that the model of the tractor is a TEF 20. Any help you can give would be much appreciated.

Many Thanks, DM

VTE replies….

If there are no visible external oil leaks, then the only way the oil can get into the starter is from the flywheel housing. Oil can enter the flywheel housing from either the engine shaft seal or the gearbox seal.
Any leaks into the flywheel housing should drip out of the drain hole in the bottom of the flywheel/clutch housing. This drain hole should have a split pin in it – this is supposed to vibrate about and keep the hole clean. Sometimes the whole gets bunged up with dirt, leading to a build up of oil in the flywheel housing – which then gets flicked into the starter motor when the engine is running. The oil often gets onto the clutch as well and so can require clutch replacement.

Therefore, the first thing to do is make sure the drain hole is not bunged up. The leak from the seals could be very small, and may have accumulated for over 50 years! If either of the seals need replacing, you will need to split the tractor to access the problem.