Vintage Tractor Restoration

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Swing Swang

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Vintage Tractor Restoration
« on: December 06, 2018, 09:42 »
Hi all,

(Note - a similar post to this has been uploaded elsewhere - hope this isn't against the rules)

The "hedge tractor" that was left on the smallholding when we moved there in July 2017 has been restored and returned to her original colours. She is a 1957 FE35 often nicknamed a "Goldbelly" and as she was made after Massey Harris and Ferguson merged she's the last of the grey Fergies, or the first MF35 (they were virtually identical), take your pick.

She'll help me do 100s of jobs around the place - this lady was rebuilt to work - oh, and for any tractor nerds that know this model was hard to start (Standard 23C 4cyl diesel), well that's all sorted too - 5s of pre-heat on a frosty morning is all she needs.

Enjoy the pictures:

As she was - a runner, but only just - unfortunately the tin work was far to gone and a decision had to be made to replace much of it and loose 60 years of patina - a real shame - but as she formed part of the history of the farm the decision was made to save her rather than to break her for spares - financially the wrong decision, bur sometimes you have to go with your heart...


Still in the workshop (not mine) with a period(ish) linkbox:


One hour on the clock, and being driven for charity by a friend of a friend

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John

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Re: Vintage Tractor Restoration
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2018, 12:21 »
What a fantastic job!
I really like the fact it's still working rather than being a museum piece .. or a bag of spares. Simple, small farm tech.

I'm not up on tractors but with Rotavators my 1976 Merry Tiller beats any modern machine I can afford. OK, it's not as fuel efficient or quiet as a modern one but it starts, runs and does the job. I spend longer getting my new equipment going than doing the job sometimes.

How long did it take to get into that condition?
Check out our books - ideal presents

John and Val Harrison's Books
 

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Swing Swang

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Re: Vintage Tractor Restoration
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2018, 13:14 »
Just over a year, but with a LOT of help from a local ag. engineer, with a passion for old machinery, who did the work. As the tractor came 'free' with the smallholding I'd just about get back what I've spent on it.

On a smallholding there are so many jobs to do so felt that renovating the holiday letting and house was better use of my time (because I can do that) rather than learn about vintage tractor engineering/restoration/painting etc (which I would have preferred to do, but which would not have been the most profitable use of my time).

Really pleased with the holiday cottage which can be seen here (if I am allowed to do this):
Facebook page is "Kitts Farm and Cottage"
The commercial/bookings agency is: https://www.holidaycottages.co.uk/cornwall/north-cornwall/kitts-cottage



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rowlandwells

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Re: Vintage Tractor Restoration
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2018, 16:03 »
that's music to my ears Sing Swang what a wondaful restoration both tractors look like they have just come out of the Massey Ferguson factory  at Coventry that's sadly no longer there


we have 6 ferguson

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rowlandwells

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Re: Vintage Tractor Restoration
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2018, 16:55 »
don't know what happened there started so Il finish as i was about to say we have five T20 Ferguson's one 35 and a David Brown 990 sad to say only one has been restored that's a T20 but we still use the 35 but she won't start without using easy start a friend of ours that's been a MF engineer from a boy always says MF was over engineered one of my tractors came new to a farm across the road in 1955 when i was in short trousers that Tractor has a lot of sentimental history attached to it for me and there's  only one person still living in the village that drove it from new

we use both tractors on our allotments  both for cultivation and transporting equipment and plants and manure  from the house to the allotments about a mile away if I lost my faithful Ferguson  that would be the end of the allotments for me  I'm  afraid

still plenty of restoring tractors  to be done given the time and money being a member of the Friends of Ferguson Heritage we get a lot of news and information about Ferguson past and present to those who still own them

to me  these tractors are part of our nostalgia and restored or not still give many people both old and young a good experience of the past farming days when Harry Ferguson revolutionized farming and cultivation with the Ferguson System


i love your topic  :D :D

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Swing Swang

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Re: Vintage Tractor Restoration
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2018, 18:42 »
Thanks Rowland,

Yes the FE35/MF35 with the 23C Standard engine was a real %&@@#% to start - in fact it's the fact that everyone who knows a smidgen about tractors will tell you - indeed my father-in-law had one on the farm in South Africa and it's the first thing both he and his two brothers said.

In fairness getting it to start as well as it does now was long and protracted - made sure it's loosing absolutely no compression (new liners, pistons, rings, some valve seats, some valves etc) - uprate the electrics - fit a DB starter motor (which has higher rate of turn) - put glow pugs into each cylinder (instead of keeping the pre-heater on the inlet manifold). This engine was used on the Vanguard which by then had glow plugs fitted as standard.

Oh dear, I've turned into a tractor nerd, and if a tidy DB came along at the rights price...

So nice to hear about your T20 story, thanks for sharing

>we use both tractors on our allotments  both for cultivation and transporting equipment and plants and manure
Yes, main reason for the link box - the neighbouring smallholder keeps horses and I can reverse the link box into the rotted end of the pile and get as much free manure as I want (a bit seedy/weedy, but light excluding membrane works wonders). Win-win situation as otherwise he pays to get rid of it.

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John

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Re: Vintage Tractor Restoration
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2018, 19:38 »
.....
Really pleased with the holiday cottage which can be seen here (if I am allowed to do this):
Facebook page is "Kitts Farm and Cottage"
The commercial/bookings agency is: https://www.holidaycottages.co.uk/cornwall/north-cornwall/kitts-cottage
The rule is that we don't allow postings to carry 'advertising' but we'll let this one go. Note - this is a one off!

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Swing Swang

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Re: Vintage Tractor Restoration
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2018, 19:56 »
Thanks John - Philip


 

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