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  1. #11
    Platinum Member tessiers's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
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    669
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    Central Maine
    Tractor
    05' JD 790 - 49' Ford 8n - 53' Ford NAA - 70' Massey Fergusen 135 diesel - 1950 John Deere MC - 1992 Thomas T-83 skid steer

    Default Re: How much repair do the old timers require?

    I run some old tractors on my small farm. Hay is about as time sensitive as you can get, and I trust them as much as my new (2005) tractor. I do a few minor things to them from time to time, but no more than the newer equipment, and the cost is much lower. I will say this, I am a tinkerer at heart and do not get intimidated by working on equipment, if you are not handy find a good dealer weather you buy old or new. I have a local dealer who still treats my 53' Ford like I bought it last week, actually they deal in most of the equipment I have. I do most of my own work but they get parts unbelievablly quick for the old equipment.

    I agree the two biggest cons are fuel, the old tractors are thirsty, and comfort, they were built for work and you came home tired and dirty to prove it. I have a theory that just because a tractor has survived 50+ years may not mean it was a good model but it does means it must be a good tractor, otherwise it would have been parted out or scrapped long ago. The theory has proven true with my equipment anyway.

    Good luck in your endevor.
    check us out at www.tessiersfarm.com

  2. #12
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    7,514
    Location
    Mt Washington, Kentucky
    Tractor
    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: How much repair do the old timers require?

    Quote Originally Posted by tessiers View Post
    I run some old tractors on my small farm. Hay is about as time sensitive as you can get, and I trust them as much as my new (2005) tractor. I do a few minor things to them from time to time, but no more than the newer equipment, and the cost is much lower. I will say this, I am a tinkerer at heart and do not get intimidated by working on equipment, if you are not handy find a good dealer weather you buy old or new. I have a local dealer who still treats my 53' Ford like I bought it last week, actually they deal in most of the equipment I have. I do most of my own work but they get parts unbelievablly quick for the old equipment.

    I agree the two biggest cons are fuel, the old tractors are thirsty, and comfort, they were built for work and you came home tired and dirty to prove it. I have a theory that just because a tractor has survived 50+ years may not mean it was a good model but it does means it must be a good tractor, otherwise it would have been parted out or scrapped long ago. The theory has proven true with my equipment anyway.

    Good luck in your endevor.
    I'd say SOME older tractors are thirsty.....SOME aren't. My MF150 is as easy on fuel as ANY tractor I've ever been around. Pound for pound, HP for hp, the Perkins AD3-152 3-cylinder diesel is still amongst the most thrifty engines EVER built, even against the best of todays tractors.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  3. #13
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    342
    Location
    NYS--Various Parts
    Tractor
    Ariens/Simplicity/Sears

    Default Re: How much repair do the old timers require?

    Quote Originally Posted by flusher View Post
    My 1964 MF135 diesel (45 hp engine, 37 hp pto, 2WD, power-assist steering) is running OK, but there's an oil leak (probably the oil pan) and a seal on the pto shaft is dripping oil. Bought it in Jul06 for $3600. It's a field tractor that has been lowered for use in olive orchards around here. Spent a few bucks to rewire it and repaint. It's a good tractor for mowing, discing, plowing, etc.

    Attachment 227387Attachment 227388Attachment 227389

    Attachment 227390Attachment 227391

    You can find 135s on eBay and craigslist quite often.

    Good luck
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Apologies to the OP--not trying to hijack.

    Cool looking tractor, Dude!

    It looks more like a sand rail than a tractor, being low, and especially with those big meats out back--LOL

    To lower it, were the roundish-looking gear boxes that drive most tractors (I can't recall what they're called right now--arrgghh) REMOVED, and the rear axle modified, or is that entire rear axle specifically made for orchard work (i.e., built as it appears, like an automotive "straight" rear axle?) The (missing?) gear boxes I'm referring to are there to RAISE a traditional tractor's ground clearance, I believe.

    Nice machine, and nice price, IMO (though I am no expert).

    Gear drive or ?

    Great thread, OP--I'm interested in seeing more responses, as this is a question I've had for some time.

    Perhaps someone could point out a downside of older machines that I've read about, like Ford 8N's, IIRC? The problem is, some tractor's hydraulic system only functions when the tractor is MOVING, if I've got it right? IOW, you can't move the FEL unless the tractor is moving forward, IIRC? Is that true?

    If so, is it to do with not having a "live PTO," or some other reason?

    Obviously, I don't really know what I'm talking about, but I've had a few people tell me that most of the front end loaders on the old stuff don't work while the machine is not moving.

    Also, is it true that many of those old FEL's do NOT have "down pressure?"

    And I've heard that BRAKE REPLACEMENT can be a hassle on some models, something HST owners probably wouldn't think about, not having to use them much (or at all?)?

    I hope my questions are helpful to the OP--and I hope I was clear enough that someone can answer them! LOL

    My Hoe

  4. #14
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    1,612
    Location
    The County, ME
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    Kubota M5640SUD

    Default Re: How much repair do the old timers require?

    Quote Originally Posted by My Hoe View Post
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Apologies to the OP--not trying to hijack.

    Cool looking tractor, Dude!

    It looks more like a sand rail than a tractor, being low, and especially with those big meats out back--LOL

    To lower it, were the roundish-looking gear boxes that drive most tractors (I can't recall what they're called right now--arrgghh) REMOVED, and the rear axle modified, or is that entire rear axle specifically made for orchard work (i.e., built as it appears, like an automotive "straight" rear axle?) The (missing?) gear boxes I'm referring to are there to RAISE a traditional tractor's ground clearance, I believe.

    Nice machine, and nice price, IMO (though I am no expert).

    Gear drive or ?

    Great thread, OP--I'm interested in seeing more responses, as this is a question I've had for some time.

    Perhaps someone could point out a downside of older machines that I've read about, like Ford 8N's, IIRC? The problem is, some tractor's hydraulic system only functions when the tractor is MOVING, if I've got it right? IOW, you can't move the FEL unless the tractor is moving forward, IIRC? Is that true?

    If so, is it to do with not having a "live PTO," or some other reason?

    Obviously, I don't really know what I'm talking about, but I've had a few people tell me that most of the front end loaders on the old stuff don't work while the machine is not moving.

    Also, is it true that many of those old FEL's do NOT have "down pressure?"

    And I've heard that BRAKE REPLACEMENT can be a hassle on some models, something HST owners probably wouldn't think about, not having to use them much (or at all?)?

    I hope my questions are helpful to the OP--and I hope I was clear enough that someone can answer them! LOL

    My Hoe
    Hi Hoe...it's all good. A while back I was picking up a load of manure for the garden at a nearby horse stable and the owner offered to load it up for me with her antique FEL. I don't know what kind of tractor it was but there was allot of lurching and jerking involved with getting the load into the bed of the truck. I was relieved that I got away from there without any dents in my pickup. It may have been what you describe.

    The main purpose for this machine will be for mowing and I want something that's affordable and can efficiently handle 60 acres or so. At some point I'm sure there will be other projects and task that will involve more than that though...maybe there's a 4wd compact in my future too??

  5. #15
    Super Star Member
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    Mar 2009
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    16,145
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: How much repair do the old timers require?

    I am pretty much in agreement with everyone else, we own tractors from 1953 to 2011 though I am not quite as skeptical of the newer tractors as some others.

    My brothers use the older tractors with the newest being an 87 MF. We bought a very used 60's Case 995 close to thirty years ago for bush hogging and all we have ever done is regular maintenance and tire replacement.

    Don't be concerned about age, but focus on mechanical condition. My brother checks out the used tractors we buy and have even come out ahead buying with problems and fixing them. Have a knowledgeable person help you evaluate one prior to purchase and good luck.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  6. #16
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    6,421
    Location
    Northern California-Tehama Co.
    Tractor
    2008 Mahindra 5525, 1964 MF-135 diesel, 1951 Farmall Super A, 1951 Minneapolis Moline BF, 1945 Oliver 60 Row Crop, 1949 JD B widefront

    Default Re: How much repair do the old timers require?

    Quote Originally Posted by My Hoe View Post
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Apologies to the OP--not trying to hijack.

    Cool looking tractor, Dude!

    It looks more like a sand rail than a tractor, being low, and especially with those big meats out back--LOL

    To lower it, were the roundish-looking gear boxes that drive most tractors (I can't recall what they're called right now--arrgghh) REMOVED, and the rear axle modified, or is that entire rear axle specifically made for orchard work (i.e., built as it appears, like an automotive "straight" rear axle?) The (missing?) gear boxes I'm referring to are there to RAISE a traditional tractor's ground clearance, I believe.

    Nice machine, and nice price, IMO (though I am no expert).

    Gear drive or ?

    My Hoe
    That MF135 diesel has a basic gear drive tranny 6F/2R with multipower-a hydraulic setup that gives you two more ranges for a total of 12F/4R.

    Roundish gear boxes? Are you referring to the bull gears that are used on the rear axles of some high crop tractors--like the 1951 Minneapolis Moline BF tractor that I'm restoring now?

    -dscf0088-small-jpg-dscf0091-small-jpg-dscf0012-small-jpg

    If so, the answer is no--my 135 is a standard field tractor without bull gears like a high crop. No modifications were made to the rear axle. The original owner replaced the 28" dia rims that you generally find on the rears of field tractors with 16" dia rims carrying Goodrich 6-ply 18.4-16A rubber. He used shortened spindles on the front axle to keep the tractor level. He used it mainly for mowing and discing his olive orchard, essentially converting a field tractor into a low-squat, high-floatation orchard tractor. BTW--this is a simple way to modify a field tractor for mowing steep slopes. The 18" wide rears are used on a variety of big ag equipment (swathers, combines, etc) and are readily available at places that sell ag tires, like Les Schwab out here on the West Coast.

  7. #17
    Veteran Member JDGreenGrass's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    Maine
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    John Deere 770

    Default Re: How much repair do the old timers require?

    The JD770 that I own has 2670 hours on it and everything works as it should.

    I have had no break downs in the 100+ hours that I have operated it. It's a 1992.

    I wouldn't be nervous buying an "older" tractor. But, before buying a certain brand, check parts availability. That would be important to me.
    JD770 '92 4x4 SMC FEL JD Ballast Box 6' CountyLine Back Blade 6' CountyLine Rake CountyLine CarryAll
    64" Frontier Snowblower

    Favorite Color....Green

    The sky was yellow and the sun was blue.

  8. #18
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Central florida
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: How much repair do the old timers require?

    Quote Originally Posted by keegs View Post
    Hi all,...My question is about the age of the machine. As I mentioned there are many out there for sale and affordable but they are in many cases older than me. So I have to wonder how often a fifty plus year old piece of farm equipment will break down?

    TIA ..for your insights.
    find a good one, or find one and make it good and it should last a long time.

    Like FWJ, I have a barn full of tractors. only 1 of them is new-ish.. and it's 11ys old.. past that my next newest in in the 70's, with some in the 60's, 50's and 40's.

    the oldies get the most use..

    for large acerage you need large machines.. i'd look at 35-75 ish hp as you want a 6-10' mower.... heck.. look to 110 and that gets you into the 15 and 20' batwings, which, if you look around can be had cheap and then repaired. I paid 2500$ for a jd 1517 15' batwing mower. it needed 1 hr of repair to weld up a couple cracks, and seperate a seized pto shaft.

    if going bigger thansay.. 48 hp.. go diesel.. gas will get too $hard$ to feed a large tractor.

    I think I'd really look for a diesel in the say.. ford 4XXX, 5XXX, 66XX, 7XXX, 8XXX, 9XXX tw15 range.

    those old large beasts will go for pennies on the hp/dollar from when they were new.

    not uncommon to get a 50-70hp used classic tractor inthe 4-6000$ range

    you could go smaller.. like inthe 35-45 hp range with say a ford 3XXX or a 8XX series ford.. but you will get alot of seat time doing that much mowing .. even at 6' width.. that's alot of mowing.

    if you plan to mow it htat often..

    post back

    lots of options.

    ps.. I'ma ford guy so I reccomended fords.. there are plenty of flavors out there that will work...



    soundguy

  9. #19
    Super Star Member brin's Avatar
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    Georgia - Mt. Vernon by The Store just 5 miles east and right by the big oak tree then to the creek.

    Default Re: How much repair do the old timers require?

    Really a good thread and I agree, the old machines without all the computers , bells and whistles are the best. I would just add to be careful and try before you buy, take someone with you that knows tractors , if you don't and try it out at the sellers location before you buy...Again, a great thread.
    Bob

    WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES, it takes away today's PEACE.


    NH - TC-29 , FEL, Bush hog, Bush hog brand finishing mower, Post hole digger, 6' Back blade, sub-soiler, Pallet forks, 20KW PTO Generator , 21 hp Murray Mower
    JD -3020 with FEL and a 16 HP. K-Grow Lawn Tractor (bought from K Mart 1994) and runs great !
    Clark 130 EN Mig Welder

  10. #20
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota M5640SUD

    Default Re: How much repair do the old timers require?

    Quote Originally Posted by brin View Post
    Really a good thread and I agree, the old machines without all the computers , bells and whistles are the best. I would just add to be careful and try before you buy, take someone with you that knows tractors , if you don't and try it out at the sellers location before you buy...Again, a great thread.
    That's in the plan. I've been working with a retired farmer/logger on projects around the place who I think doesn't own anything built prior to the mid-sixties. From what I've gathered from conversations, he knows his way around farm equipment.

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