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MF 35X Ongoing Restoration and Questions

Discussion in 'Classic Machinery' started by Tigger, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. Tigger

    Tigger Member

    As suggested and in case the OP of the other recent 35X thread doesn't re-appear soon, and to avoid hijacking another thread, here's my own progress thread with some questions as and when they come up!

    Since acquiring the tractor last summer, I've taken the decision to remove the awful cobbled together mess of a front loader attachment - there were totally unneccesary extra valves and not the proper lift cover valve which meant it was an absolute pest to use, and with anything on the back, forget about it! I also have no need for a loader and with the considerable forward weight of the one it had fitted, steering, let alone traction, was difficult. It also did not work well with the side headlights when trying to use the loader at ground level, as they would foul it.


    You can see the hydraulics in this photo - none of that would have been needed, just the simple lift cover three way valve. This system was quite dangerous as either the front or back could potentially drop suddenly, depending on position of the rotary, or the arm valve, or the lever valve!


    While removing the horizontal parts of the loader frame I had the rear mudguard bolts out, and decided to remove the roll bar frames too, and return the tractor to looking as close as possible to its likely 'as built' condition of 1964. I will retain the roll bar though to stay with the tractor should I sell it one day.

    Anyway, first question, of what could turn into quite a few. Seems like a forum of very knowledgeable folk here though so I hope you can put up with me.

    Q) White diesel smoke (not steam) when idling only, disappears under load or higher revving. Seems this could well be an injector dripping rather than spraying properly. It runs quite happily although a little rough when idling, so have been considering removing the injectors and getting them tested. As well as opinions on whether this is worthwhile, did the 35X have different injector pressures to the 35? Reason I ask is that in Chris Jaworski's Workshop Manual book he lists a table of pressures for the A3.152, two types are 120 bar and two are 170 bar... confusing. In any case I would get them professionally done as it's not something I've had any experience of and a vintage machine needs treating with a bit of care.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  2. Mursal

    Mursal Member

    Had a loader like that on a 4 cylinder 35, extremely heavy, think Horndraulic made the one we had.
    It will probably clear with a bit of hard work?
    Lovely tractor ............... (y)

    Vizslaman and Tigger like this.
  3. Tigger

    Tigger Member

    Previous question still open although a couple of posts in another thread (thank you) have made me put this issue lower on the priority list for now.
    Another question while I prepare for the next work session when the weather warms up a bit...

    Q) What is the authentic/factory fitted silencer colour which was used on the 35X (and presumably late 35s too)? I see photos where some are black, some are white(ish) and a very few are grey or silver. I think the 135s were white(ish) originally but would be interested to know as I need to replace my unoriginal horizontal exhaust/silencer with the vertical as-fitted type.
  4. SMID

    SMID Member

    Sorn Ayrshire
    A down swept exhaust was an optional extra the early 35 s had a 2 piece exhaust then one piece Burgess was the main manufacturer off white sandy finish . It is one thing that I hate is a black exhaust they didnt start till the 500s in 77 ,just me being ocd though :D
    two-cylinder, 60North and Tigger like this.
  5. Mursal

    Mursal Member

    Oh, just had a thought, check your heater plug (in the inlet manifold) for a cause of your white smoke, it might be dripping?
  6. Tigger

    Tigger Member

    Hah :LOL:, well if that's OCD then I must be too - to me the black exhaust just doesn't look right, no idea why but.. Anyway seems that the sandy white type is the one to go for - presumably like the one listed here: http://www.mftractorspares.co.uk/ma...t20-white-exhaust-silencer-pipe-original-type
    The one currently on mine is definitely, to the best of my detective abilities, not an original, wrong type and no heat shield on the footplate - I reckon it was switched most likely when the front loader was added on.

    That's a good thought (y) - haven't even given that a look at all yet, will do that first. May even make more sense as the engine was reconditioned just before I bought the tractor, and I was a little surprised if injectors weren't included.
    Mursal and SMID like this.
  7. Tigger

    Tigger Member

    When I'd taken the front loader framework off the tractor I realised that part of it acted as the cover for the gear inspection access underneath the belly - which would be a right pain if needed to access with the loader fitted. Anyway I had to find out the part number needed for the cover and then find the gasket - which arrived today.

    Also delivered today was the oil I'm planning to use for the engine rather than the current 15w-40 universal tractor oil the previous owner had used. I'll use the 15w-40 for everything else.
    Not cheap oil by any means but only having one tractor to look after makes it a bit easier to justify.


    REStracTORATION and Mursal like this.
  8. 20/50 is the best for these old engines
    That Castrol is good stuff as well
    Tigger likes this.
  9. MrNoo

    MrNoo Member

    Tigger and REStracTORATION like this.
  10. MrNoo

    MrNoo Member

    Yes, I remember 45 gallon drums of the stuff, used to be the only oil on the farm and ended up in everything, ran it in all the cars tractors the works! Agricastrol!!!!
    Not like these days where you have to have a certain oil for this and that and end up with drums of the stuff everywhere!
  11. In our car side they've stopped stocking most oils only the run of the mill 5-30 10-40 etc
    As it's easier to get the correct oil with a service kit

    If you put the wrong oil in something now it spells disaster in something modern
    MrNoo likes this.
  12. Kidds

    Kidds Member


    Halfords is cheaper than that Opie link above. A trade card will get it cheaper still.
    I restored classic cars in a previous life and the Halfords oil was highly thought of within those circles (and those cars were worth a whole lot more than tractors are yet). No idea if a diesel tractor engine v a petrol car engine makes any difference but I don't see why it should in this instance.
    Tigger and MrNoo like this.
  13. Tigger

    Tigger Member

    Ok, a couple more questions to kick April off - and I jolly well hope the weather warms and dries up a bit, winter has dragged on for too long!

    1) Can T-Cut be used on enamel tractor paint to, in my case, clean up and remove some black markings from mildew on the bonnet paintwork, where the tractor had to be stood outside under a tarp while the shed was built? The paint was only applied last year by the previous owner, it's Agriline Super Red. And if not, what might work? I've already tried a standard car-wash soap procedure with no luck.
    If I'm out of luck, I'll just have to live with it until it goes for a big birthday next year.

    2) Is there a specific recommended coolant to use? I have a minor leak/drip (still trying to trace but looks like the clamp securing the flexible hose to the engine block) and will need to top mine up soon, or do a complete change.

    Been busy this past couple of days, got the loader bits sold, blanking plugs fitted into lift cover, 'proper' seat to replace the existing Ford x000 one prepped and first coat of paint added, same with numberplate bracket. New numberplate arrived, now to drill the holes needed to get it fitted to the bracket and the holes in the seat back for the bracket.
  14. Mursal

    Mursal Member

    T-Cut will be fine, just do a test patch first, so your happy.

    But on a good day, to keep away the rust a 50:50 mix of any antifreeze and water.
    Glycol type antifreeze will be the most commonly used.
    Tigger likes this.
  15. Tigger

    Tigger Member

    Thanks for that - I tried it out and it worked very well with the T-Cut (bottle must be getting on for 20 years old...) and completely removed the marks from what is admittedly not a very great finish anyway. So it's looking a lot better already.

    Blue antifreeze is I assume the best stuff, another job to do shortly, along with oil change and fuel filters.
  16. Red antifreeze is organic
    Blue isn't
    We use blue in the old stuff and red in newer things
    Use 20-50 engine oil and clean the filter in the fuel tank to

    Was going to say t cut will be fine but you have already done it.
  17. Tigger

    Tigger Member

    Well, what an annoying day, I removed all the radiator hoses and drained coolant, fully expecting a kit of 3-cylinder 35 hoses and wire clips from Old20 Tractor Parts to be a decent replacement.

    Oh dear.

    To be fair, all except two of the hoses were fine, but the two short straight bottom hoses that connect each side of the steel curved water pipe are a little too large, 40mm Internal Diameter and not 38mm.

    The kit of wire hose clips though, Reference 1260059W, was just a complete disaster.

    The two smallest clips (at 30mm) do not fit the smallest (bypass) hose, in any way whatsoever, as it needs 35-40mm diameter clips.
    The four largest clips (at 60mm) are far too big for the three largest hoses, which need 45-50mm clips.
    The two medium size clips (at 50mm) actually do fit one of the large hoses but not the intended right angle hose which needs 40-45mm clips...

    So in a kit of 8 clips (which actually should be 10, as there are 5 hoses), only 2 were any use. The rest I've had to order from Ebay.

    And on top of that, the engine block coolant drain tap appears to be blocked, and as paint has been liberally applied to the area, I can't undo the brass nut to remove the fitting...

    I might have to leave that one for its REStracTORATION next year.

    On a positive note, my painting jobs are nearly done, so will be fitting the new seat and restored seat bracket and PTO shield next week.
    REStracTORATION and Mursal like this.
  18. Mursal

    Mursal Member

    Yes, we all get days like that, nothing fits and everything is over tight.
    As long as you don't make more work on days like that, you're winning. Sometimes the red mist comes down and a lot of additional work can be caused.

    The tap on the block I think is 9/16 (or a tight 14mm) but you can only get an open end on it, because of the tap. Might came easier hot, but probably not today, the way things are going for you.
    tomlad and Tigger like this.
  19. Tigger

    Tigger Member

    Spot on - it is a 9/16 or a tight 14mm. I tried both, but the brass of the nut was yielding before any movement occurred, so have left alone for now not wanting to do any further damage and round the nut completely. Not an easy place to get to either.
    Mursal likes this.

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