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We have had an email from Richard, who had previously bought the MF35 Engine Rebuild DVD.  Richard has sent in a video of the engine starting after the rebuild.  Vintage Tractor Engineer has also spotted the Ferguson plough in the foreground of the video.

Richard went on to tell us a bit about the rebuild of his tractor, here’s what he had to say…

The rebuild took much longer than I expected, there are just not enough weekends

I used the Barco engine kit and considered the parts very well made.

As this tractor was always a bad starter, I contacted the old owners to find that out, I decided to fit glow plugs.  (Although I didn’t use them on the youtube video).


When I assembled the mains big ends, as I have experienced before, the shells seem to touch before the caps bolt down. This gives too big a tolerance. So wrongly or rightly, I carefully filed down the four edges of the shells to give the correct clearance as measured by the plastigauge. I hope this will be OK but it seemed to rotate well and I have a good oil pressure.

One comment re your video. I bolted the engine to gearbox then assembled the engine. When doing the timing you said set engine at TDP using the flywheel mark or if assembled, turn engine and use the front crank key way as a guide. This sounds OK but in reality, it is not possible to get an accurate position using just the key way. Had I known, I would have marked the TDP location in the starter motor hole, prior to fitting the g/box to engine. Then it would have been easy to set the correct position.

The Rocker shaft from new is a sliding fit in its 4 holders, over time this shaft had become very worn so effecting tappet clearances. I had to make new supports.

The camshaft chain sprocket was a very loose fit (+0.25mm) on the camshaft. This needed sorting and was probably why it didn’t start well and always needed easi start to start.

This tractor does not have live drive, and I have a replacement live drive g/box that needs fitting some day. But first I will enjoy it as it is and also check everything is OK.

Finally, do you have a service schedule for this model available. I have the main manual but it doesn’t detail the maintenance schedule.

Kind regards and thanks for doing the DVD.


Heater plugs fitted to massey ferguson 35 4 cylinder head to aid starting

Richard fitted heater plugs to the head

Spacers between the head and the heater plug have been used to stop the plugs protruding too far in and affecting the fuel spray.

I think what we meant to say in the DVD (…and OK, so maybe its our fault for not explaining very well – sorry everyone) is that the protractor method could be used to time the engine if it were still fitted to the transmission.

Well done to Richard for completing the rebuild.  This Massey 35 now looks set to have another 50 years of life in front of it.

We’ve got an owners manual for the 3 cylinder variant, which will have the same servicing routines for the rest of the tractor but obviously the engine servicing will be different.  We will try and find that manual to let Richard know the details.  If anyone has info on the recommended servicing for the 4 cylinder engine then please let us know.