One of the most popular tractors for vintage tractor enthusiasts is the Ferguson 135, and many of these tractors are still used daily on farms. However, as they come onto the market, they are slowly being bought up by enthusiasts who are restoring them back to original condition.
I thought this video typified what many people are doing with these Massey 135 tractors, taking them home to their workshops, dismantling, painting, replacing parts and then taking them to a show. Here the tractor is taken on its first outing with the new paint job to Inniscarra Agricultural Show, where we see the line up of tractors, old machines, seats, a steam engine threshing, then animals and the people enjoying the sunshine.
All these small agricultural shows are a great day out to meet friends from the rural communities and watch the farming traditions. Vintage Tractor Engineer likes to get to 4 or 5 shows each year if time allows, and nowadays there is often a vintage tractor show incorporated as well.
In recent years the classic tractors have begun to get involved, standing in line against the Grey Fergies, Dexta’s, Cropmasters, Allis Chalmers, Field Marshalls and Standard Fordsons. We are getting all sorts of tractors on display, but quite a few Ford 2000,3000,4000,5000 and lots of MF135′s.
For some reason the Ferguson 135 is so popular. But why? It would seem they have more followers than the 165 or 168, so is it the manoevrability and the brilliant 3 cylinder Perkins AD3-152 engine?
Please let us know what it is you like about the Ferguson 135, we are interested to know what it is about these tractors. Leave a comment in the box below.
Well known author John Farnworth has written A Worldwide Guide To Massey Ferguson 100 And 1000 Tractors 1964-1988. At over 300 pages it is an extensive guide to this era at Massey Ferguson and includes chapters written by Massey Ferguson employees, photos and specifications of all the models.
We have a customer who has a problem with the hydraulics on his Massey Ferguson 35 tractor. Joe has sent in a picture of his tractor, which looks absolutely superb.
The lift arms are dropping whenever he depresses the clutch pedal, here is what he says…
I enjoyed the MF 35 Hydraulics DVD. It is professionaly done and very informative. I’m wondering if you can help me diagnose a symptom that wasn’t discussed in the trouble shooting portion of the video.
The hydraulics on my MF 35 have been working well ever since I’ve owned it (about four years). In the past, I could leave the arms in the raised position and for several days they would stay raised with very little down ward drift (I didn’t make a habit of doing this). However, this spring when I first attempted to use the tractor (after it sat for three or four months), the hydraulics starting acting up. Specifically, the lift arms would rise as they should, but as soon as I depressed the clutch (to put the tractor in gear), the arms drop (very quickly). As soon as the tractor begins to move, they rise and assume the proper position. Any idea where I should begin looking in the hydraulic system??? Is there a check valve in the hydraulic circuit that prevents the hydraulic fluid from flowing out of the lift cylinder once the clutch is depressed? If not, what prevents the the hydraulic fluid from flowing out of the lift cylinder once the clutch is depressed–the control valve? I have a single stage clutch.
If the tractor has been stood for a few months and the symptoms have developed all at once then it is most likely just the o’rings on the stand pipe. Just remove the cap (front right hand side of hydraulic top cover, under seat) and pull the stand pipe out. Replace the 3 o’rings (1 under cap and 2 on stand pipe) and also preferably the back-up washers (nylon spirals).
It is obviusly a leak on the system somewhere, but the reason I suspect the o’rings is because they do not sit in oil and so may have dried out.
I think that will solve your problem.
Vintage Tractor Engineer
Last week we sent out a Massey Ferguson 35 Hydraulics DVD to Mr Alan Clark from Ontario Canada. He has made his own bracket to help flip over the hydraulic top cover, and has made such a good job of it Vintage Tractor Engineer thought it was worth showing the pictures here on the website.
After watching the DVD, Mr Clark sent us an email – and here’s what he wrote….
Many thanks for the Hydraulics DVD.
I especially liked the way you admitted that some things i.e. the dismantling of the lift cylinder/spring assembly, took more than five minutes.
I found it a great encouragement.
I am currently replacing and older, no filter, hydraulic pump with a new, later unit, with a filter.
I will be able to set everything up properly now, after cleaning out the sludge from 50 years of neglect, on this, my neighbour’s 1959 MF 50
I had already made the bracket, from the info on your website.photo attached,great idea adding the 0-8cm scale.
You will note I have fitted a shackle, to cheat, and help me lift the top cover, must be my age.
I will be asking for your Engine DVD, as Christmas nears.
It’s always nice to receive such emails and know that people are working in their garages all over the world restoring these old tractors and enjoying their work/hobby.
Mr Clark has sent in some photos of the bracket he has made, and what a neat job it is!!! The plate is cut cleanly, the pin is held with an R-pin and washer, painted Massey Ferguson red and the addition of the shackle on to the handle/stand.
A perfectly manufactured bracket (which puts Vintage Tractor Engineer’s rusty old bracket to shame!!!)
Alan reports temperatures of +2 degrees C in Canada at the moment and snow flurries forcast for later in the week, so he’s trying to get the MF50 back in working order before the weather closes in. So good luck Alan.
Today I found myself on YouTube surfing over the tractor videos (something I can spend hours doing if I am not careful!!!). I was looking over the Massey Ferguson 135 videos and it brought back many memories for me.
Above, we see a 135 ploughing with a 2 furrow ferguson plough. Other YouTube videos were of 135′s hay turning, baling, topping, collecting wood and cultivating. It takes me back to my childhood, where my first jobs on a 135 were rotavating, loading soil with the front end loader and also using a MF135 with a Cameron Gardner rear mounted forklift. The Cameron Gardner was fitted to a 135 at a neighbouring field scale salad grower’s nursery where they grew lettuce and leeks. The tractor was superb in the fields for lifting pallets of lettuce plants and cut lettuce, bins of leeks and bags of fertiliser. Too much weight on the back of the forklift certainly made the tractor light on the front end, even with a front weight carrier loaded with old wheel and four stone weights.
It’s not just the noise of that engine which is unforgettable, but the connection to the earth – the driver feels like they are really working on the land and the soil.
In 1960 my grandfathers best friend, a farmer called george Hill or Chummy as he was known, purchased a new Massey Ferguson 35, reg number 307 5RF, serial number SNF 187716. My grandfather allowed him use of the tractors on our farm and he allowed my grandfather use of his little 35 aswell. Sadly Chummy passed away over 10 years ago and the 35 was left to his nephew, who had no interest in tractors. Despite many offers from different people wanting to buy it, he wouldnt sell. Now the tractor had stood for over ten years in a barn, and in 2008 i approached him and asked to buy it, now weather it was because his uncle was my grandads best friend, or the fact he knew i wanted to keep it and work it, and not just sell it on and make a quick buck, but he sold it to me. Me and my dad went to collect it, we checked for oil and water and some form of brakes, we towed it out onto the lane with one of our Fergie 20′s and jump started it. Bird poo,cowmuck and dust flew everywhere and despite not running for over 10 years she roared into life and started to run well !!
We have had the tractor for over 18 months now, and she has been fantastic. We have replaced a few bits when needed to include control box,waterpump,brakes,injectors serviced. She is in constant use and does many things including powering a haybob,carting timber, powering a sawbench,chain harrowing and carting some of our other tractors to shows and rallies.
I have toyed with the idea of overhauling the engine and painting her for some time, and at the start of this week i have taken the plunge and split the tractor in two. I am currently waiting for the engine overhaul kit from Massey and will attempt to paint it when all the mechanical parts have been done.
I am very much looking forward to getting it restored and up and running again. I am the second owner on the log book and the tractor is still kept only 400 yards from its original home in 1960.
Thanks for sending in the photos and story about your tractor. It is really nice to know that the tractor is just next door to where it has worked all its life.
Mark’s website is a really good read, so follow the link above and have a look at his other tractors and how he uses them.