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How To Change Hydraulic Oil, Ferguson FE35


Hi there,

I have contacted you in the past and your information was very helpful. I am having a problem with water in the oil and don’t know how to get it out of the hydraulics can you give me any ideas.


Brenton Bain

Hi Brenton,

Is it milky?

You will have to let the oil out and change it. There are 2 drain plugs. The oil in the rear transmission is the same reservoir for the gearbox and the hydraulics. Filler next to main gear lever.

Over the years they get condensation in this oil, or if the gear lever rubbers are split/perished.

The manual suggests changing this oil annually because of the condensation. In fact the less often the tractor is used then the greater the problem and more often the oil needs chaging.

Steve, VTE

Thanks for your reply yes the oil is milky. Can you tell me how to bleed the lines.

Thanks again

Brenton Bain

Hi Brenton,

Because the lift cylinder is built with metal rings (similar to piston rings) any air will automatically escape as the system is used. Therefore there is no need to bleed the hydraulic system after changing the oil. The pump will also automatically re-prime itself.


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35 Responses to “How To Change Hydraulic Oil, Ferguson FE35”

  1. Hi Steve, Does this apply to a Massey Ferguson MF65?

    Thanks, Russell

    • russell capps
  2. Hi Russell,

    This info does also apply to the MF65. In fact the hydraulics and gearbox are exactly the same in a 65 as in the 35 (that is the non Multi-Power version of the 65).


    • Vintage Tractor Engineer
  3. Thanks Steve this is very helpful

    • russell capps
  4. where are the two drain plugs positioned to release the hydrulic and gear oil in MF 35?

    • Kevin Morahan
  5. Hi Kevin,

    They are on the left hand side of the transmission housing, obviously towards the bottom of it. One is directly under the clutch pedal and the other is under the pto lever.

    Steve Ridsdale

    • Vintage Tractor Engineer
  6. My Massey 35 hydraulics when let down and you are moving, it jumps up and down. What could be the problem.

    • todd
  7. i just bought a mf65 with multi-power..it is low on rearend oil…what type do i use?

    • tyler
  8. Hi Tyler,

    Just multi-use oil will be fine.


    • Vintage Tractor Engineer
  9. hi i have a mf 35 mf.where is the filler for oil stick by the pto lever. what does it oil

    • william sellers
  10. Hi William, the filler is between the gear levers. The oil reservoir is for lubricating the gearbox and for an oil reservoir for the hydraulics.


    • Vintage Tractor Engineer
  11. thank you,what weight oil or is it hydraulic oil

    • william sellers
  12. I have an MF 205 industrial, the instant reverse gearbox uses ATF and the MF65 back axle says SAE90. How do you fill the rear axle, there is a small plug which looks like a filler plug under the seat, on the top cover, but oil won’t flow down this! Can anyone help?

    • Rich T
  13. Bonjour je viens d’acheter un massey ferguson 50B de 1976 (tractopelle) quelle huile mettre dans boite de vitesse et communique t-elle avec le pont arrière je recherche aussi la revue technique pour se tracteur merci a tous.

    • claude
  14. I have a mf 65 after 30 mins of use my lift will no longer lift or if i turn it off my lift will drop hard. do any idea of what’s causing it?

    • wade
  15. I have a 1958 MF65. Ready to change rear oil. Spec call for mineral oil which is very difficult to find. Local Tractor Mart indicated it is OK to use a universal oil/hydralic Fluid. The viscosity is not at all the same weight as mineral oil. Any input, I want a good oil in the rearend. Thanks!

    • Ed
  16. hey guys- i’m a tractor girl! Is the hydraulic plug located to the left of the gear shift?
    thanks for your help!:)

    • candice
  17. I have a mf 135….I changed the hydraulic fluid for the lift because it was pretty milky…the lift was still working, but now with the new hydraulic fluid my lift does not work…any help would be greatly appreciated….

    • Clovis
  18. Hi Candice,

    Yes that’s the hydraulic plug next to the gear lever.

    Hi Clovis,

    If you remove the side cover from the right hand side of the transmission housing you will be able to take a look inside the system. TAKE CARE, DO NOT PUT YOUR HANDS INSIDE IF YOU NEED TO RUN THE TRACTOR ENGINE WHEN DOING THE INSPECTION. Can you see that the control linkages are working when you move the quadrant levers? If so these should move the control valve. With the tractor engine stopped, you may be able to see through this side cover if the levers are shifting the control valve and if it moves backwards and forwards in its housing (probably need to lower the oil level in order to see this).

    Other potential problems are relief valve stuck open, blown o’rings on stand pipe.

    When you put the tractor to lift the linkage does the engine labour? i.e. is there any pressure.

    Let us know how you get on.


    • Vintage Tractor Engineer
  19. Hello, I have a MF 35. I need to change the oil and do not know what weight of oil to use and how many quarts. I also need to change to hydrolic fluid but Im not sure what type to use on it either or exactly how to do it. If anyone could help me. Thanks

    • bill
  20. I have a question regarding the hydraulic lift on my Massey Ferguson 35. Is it normal for the lift to lower when you press the clutch down or do I a problem with the lift? If I do, then what do i need to do to correct it?

    • Bill
  21. Hi Bill,

    Presumably your tractor has a single stage clutch. When you depress the clutch pedal this disengages the drive to the hydraulic pump and therefore it will stop pumping hydraulic fluid. This will obviously stop the hydraulics from raising, but shouldn’t let the lift lower (without putting the levers into the ‘down’ position). Therefore, it would seem that hydraulic fluid is leaking out of the system somewhere and hence letting the lift arms lower.

    The ‘leak’ in the system could be coming from one of several places. Control valve, o’rings, pump, lift cylinder could all be the culprit. You can remove the side plate from the transmission housing and take a look inside to start with, but I would think you will need to remove the hydraulic top cover and take a look. Easiest thing to check before removing the top cover is the stand pipe (remove cap from under right hand front corner of driver’s seat) which pulls out and you can check the o’rings.


    • Vintage Tractor Engineer
  22. i have a british 4 cylinder diesel massey ferguson 35 which i am restoring, i do believe its a 1956 and need to change the oil and not sure on what type to use… and does ne1 no how i can register the tractor as i have no documents or number plate

    • adam bell
  23. Hi there when i put my lever to lift my 3 pt hitch it labours the engine,and the arms won’t come up. With the lift lever in the up position i lift the arm all the way up and the pump stops and the engine stops labouring. Could this be just a dirty filter? Thanks

    • Brian
  24. Good morning, I have a massey ferguson 65. my power steering need fluid, what type of fluid should i buy and are the motor and transmission fluids the same. Thank you

    • rudy
  25. How come it is so difficult to find a good repair shop? Where would ya recommend I begin?

  26. Good afternoon,
    I read through the advice u have given on the massey furgeson 65
    Ours is a 1958 model. Looks like it was propane converted to gas. The fluids are milky and I was in the process of changing them. I did see the oil drain plug under the pan. Menthe gear box drain and the rear plug under the seat? I bought multiple purpose transmission/hydraulic fluid for the tranny/gear change. I noticed the tranny filler cap said sae 90 or 80 so I stopped. Is the fluid I purchased ok for the tranny/ gear or do I need sae 90 for eveything?

    • Trey Tovar
  27. I just purchased a 1984 IMT 539 which looks to be the same tractor as the MF35 , it has a 3 cyl perkins diesel motor …. I hooked it to a two row disk and the tractor wouldn’t lift it … oil was milky so I changed it .. the guy at the parts house said use a (non foaming) 90 weight … after I changed it the hyd’s worked great .. but after running the tractor for 30 minutes my hyd oil got milky again and now the hyd’s don’t work as good ?… I can’t find a hyd filter on the tractor … need help BAD ..

    Thanks MIKE

    • Mike
  28. How many gallons of hyd oil should it take to make the lift and pto work? I drained it and put 5gallons in it now neither of them are working now, please help.

    • Jeremy
  29. I have a 1963 mf65. What is the weight limit for the 3point lift?

    • Travis
  30. I have a 1976 massey ferguson 135 disel tractor and having probglems with hydraulics. fluid was milky removed put 5 gallons disel in drove and then drained and put new fluid in and still not working. do i need to change filter and how do i do this?

    • don dennis
  31. I have oil coming from a 5 mm hole under the Gear box on a Massey 135. what is the hole for and why is the oil coming out?

    • Glen
  32. Hi Glen,

    The hole is there to allow oil to drain onto the floor if it enters the clutch housing. The hole should have a split pin in it which is designed to joggle about to prevent the hole from getting blocked with dirt. The oil can either be leaking from the engine or the transmission side of the clutch housing. Excessive amounts of oil can get onto the clutch plates and then ruin the clutch, so if there is a lot of oil then you would need to split the tractor and replace the seals.


    • Vintage Tractor Engineer
  33. VTE. I own a 1964 MF 35 Turf edition. my 3 point hitch doesn’t lift as high as it once did. I would like to change my hydraulic fluid to see if that helps. At my local “Tractor Supply” they offer “Traveller Universal Tractor Trans/Hydraulic Fluid”. Is this satisfactory to use in my Rear Hydraulic gearbox? Also, can you tell me the approximate quantity of fluid it will use, so i can purchase the proper amount?

    THank you
    Ron Spurgeon
    Fort Wayne, Indiana USA

  34. VTE … New question…
    I have a leak in my MF35 Turf special, steering column. THe leak appears to be occuring in the upper portion just beneath the steering wheel. What is your best guess that is causing the problem. THanks/Ron

  35. How much oil & what weight is needed in the Massey transmission?

    • Jennifer
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