Want to check out our tractor maintenance videos? Click here to see what we've got!
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.
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.
It depends on the climate in your country and the anticipated lowest temperatures.
It’s really worth getting an antifreeze hydrometer, then you can use it for all your vehicles. Try searching the web for antifreeze tester or antifreeze hydrometer – the tools are only a few pounds. The ones which contain 3 or 4 floating balls work perfectly well and will indicate the ehtylene glycol concentration.
Most people would use a 40-50% mix. But if you are in places of extreme winter temperatures such as Canada then you would need a stronger mix.
A more accurate tool for determining antifreeze concentration in the coolant is a refractometer, but these are more expensive. A hydrometer is a sufficiently useful tool for most situations.
It is possible to use propylene glycol, but it is more expensive and not very common. Just be aware that the product exists when you are measuring concentration levels.
how ya now.how much anti freze should i put in to my maassey fergusonn 135 for the winter
The details of how to put the plugs into the head are not on the DVD. We didn’t do this for that engine (on the DVD) and it starts really well, but I understand that some people prefer to put the heater plugs in to aid starting if the engine is partially worn or starting performance isn’t brilliant. What I would say is to take a look at the condition of the timing chain and the backlash in the injection pump drive gears, as these can both improve the situation.
For anyone in Northern Ireland then these people are set up with a jig to do the job…
what a great idea fitting glow plugs into the cylnder head are you able to tell me the type of plugs used and are there any water jackets near by or are these details on your dvd regards david
Hi Steve, enjoy reading your site, i work in a mixed farming area, cattle, sheep, hay, vineyards, orchards and vegetable gardens. Most prevalent tractors are MF, Ford, JD and David brown, with more Landinis getting around. Always something breaking down somwewhere so am kept very busy at all times. I work alone and mainly mobile, but have a workshop at home, I live on a 50 acre farm in the Chittering valley north of perth. Keep up the good work. Regards Chris
Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and reminding us all to take care when starting a tractor.
What sort of tractors and machinery do you work on? (Maybe it isn’t possible to answer that question too succinctly). Is it an arable or livestock area?
Love reading your site, I am a professional self employed ag mechanic of over 40 years experience in Australia. Re the video of starting FE35, never, never, never start a tractor without sitting in the driver seat, too many people have been killed or seroiusly injured by using Richards method, not to mention damage to the starter/ solenoid, and here in Australia all those flying sparks would start a bushfire in no time.