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  1. #1
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    May 2012
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    Massey Ferguson 135

    Default 135 Manual Steering

    So I've torn into my manual steering problem with my 135. When you cranked it all the way to the left it seemed to bind up and took a lot of force to turn. Turning it to the right was ok. I took everything apart and pulled the shaft out and it looks like the lower bearing is the culprit. It was toast. The housing was full of water so I'm sure that caused the bearing to give out. The pitman shafts look ok. My question is, do you think it would be better to just order the parts I think I need to replace, or order a whole new steering assembly complete with a new ball nut. I was leaning towards replacing everything until I saw the price.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 135 Manual Steering

    If the bearing is the only thing that's bad, why replace everything else? If it isn't broke, don't fix it. Although, I would go ahead and replace all the seals while I had it apart. BTW: I'm also rebuilding the manual steering box of my Massey 135 tractor, as a part of the full restoration (Link in my sig) I'm doing.
    .

  3. #3
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    May 2012
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    Massey Ferguson 135

    Default Re: 135 Manual Steering

    That's a nice 135. I can't wait to see it when your done. Now you've really got me wanting to tear mine completely down and do a full restoration. I was lucky to find a diesel that had all of it's body panels intact. It has a few leaks but runs like dream. I've always loved the 135's. My grand dad had one so that's probably why. I took the time today to go piece by piece of my steering gear box and all of the pieces look good and are intact except the upper and lower bearings so I will probably just order those. When I first took it apart I thought it would be easier to just replace it all, but I think I'll take your advice and just replace whats bad. One thing I tried to be careful of was not letting any of the balls fall out of the ball nut, but no luck, a few still found their way to the garage floor. I think I have them all so now it's just a matter of figuring out how they go back in. Good luck with your project. I will definitely be following it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 135 Manual Steering

    Quote Originally Posted by koolhand233 View Post
    That's a nice 135. I can't wait to see it when your done. Now you've really got me wanting to tear mine completely down and do a full restoration.
    I strongly advise caution, while restoring a tractor is a very rewarding experience, it's also very expensive and requires a great deal of skill and patience. Having restored many cars over the last 30 years, I must admit that I was surprised at just how much work is involved. Regardless, I love doing it and can't wait until it's finished so I can look foreward to eventually restoring another one.

    Quote Originally Posted by koolhand233 View Post
    I was lucky to find a diesel that had all of it's body panels intact. It has a few leaks but runs like dream. I've always loved the 135's. My grand dad had one so that's probably why. I took the time today to go piece by piece of my steering gear box and all of the pieces look good and are intact except the upper and lower bearings so I will probably just order those. When I first took it apart I thought it would be easier to just replace it all, but I think I'll take your advice and just replace whats bad. One thing I tried to be careful of was not letting any of the balls fall out of the ball nut, but no luck, a few still found their way to the garage floor. I think I have them all so now it's just a matter of figuring out how they go back in. Good luck with your project. I will definitely be following it.
    My next Massey 135 will be a diesel. Considering that I have zero experience repairing diesel engines, it should prove to be an interesting experience. I've heard that the Perkins diesel is easy to start, sips fuel and is darned near indestructable, which has me intrigued to say the least.
    .

  5. #5
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    My tractor is an old MF

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    Quote Originally Posted by koolhand233
    So I've torn into my manual steering problem with my 135. When you cranked it all the way to the left it seemed to bind up and took a lot of force to turn. Turning it to the right was ok. I took everything apart and pulled the shaft out and it looks like the lower bearing is the culprit. It was toast. The housing was full of water so I'm sure that caused the bearing to give out. The pitman shafts look ok. My question is, do you think it would be better to just order the parts I think I need to replace, or order a whole new steering assembly complete with a new ball nut. I was leaning towards replacing everything until I saw the price.
    It appears you know what your doing. I'd tear it down like your already doing to see just what needs replaced. It might be cheaper than you think. Since it has water in it, you know your going to have to break it down and clean it. That's when you can do a good evaluation. It can't be that difficult to repair. When replacing entire assembly, one might run into fitment problems. If it where me, I'd repair the original when ever possible. Good luck to you. -Robert

  6. #6
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    May 2012
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    Massey Ferguson 135

    Default Re: 135 Manual Steering

    I agree, restoring anything can cost a ton of money and time, neither of which I have a lot of right now. Unfortunately, my 135 will be a fix it when it breaks type of project right now. I bought it to bush hog and maintain 28 acres of land we purchased with the hopes of one day restoring it to it's past glory. All the sheet metal is almost perfect and would be really easy to restore and the perkins is a great engine. Your right that it sips fuel. I mowed for about 20 hours in 2 days and only used 8 gallons, and that's with a pretty good leak at the injector pump. As for the steering, after further inspection here is what the breakdown is. The right sector shaft is bad. Supposed to be a 9 tooth gear, but the 9th tooth was broken off and down in the housing. I found it when I was cleaning it out. Both upper and lower bearings were toast. The rollers fell out of them when I took everything apart. And the worm gear/ball nut I believe is damaged as well. It has a catch in it like the grooves aren't lining up just right. Guess I'm gonna have to hit the boss up for some overtime. In the meantime I'm gonna live vicariously through Massey and watch his progress on his and hope I can learn enough for when I do start mine. And do half as good of a job as he is. Thanks for the reply's. I love to learn about new things and this site and everyone on it is awesome. I'm not new to tractors, grew up on a farm, but have never had to tear them down to this extent.

  7. #7
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    My tractor is an old MF

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    Quote Originally Posted by koolhand233
    I agree, restoring anything can cost a ton of money and time, neither of which I have a lot of right now. Unfortunately, my 135 will be a fix it when it breaks type of project right now. I bought it to bush hog and maintain 28 acres of land we purchased with the hopes of one day restoring it to it's past glory. All the sheet metal is almost perfect and would be really easy to restore and the perkins is a great engine. Your right that it sips fuel. I mowed for about 20 hours in 2 days and only used 8 gallons, and that's with a pretty good leak at the injector pump. As for the steering, after further inspection here is what the breakdown is. The right sector shaft is bad. Supposed to be a 9 tooth gear, but the 9th tooth was broken off and down in the housing. I found it when I was cleaning it out. Both upper and lower bearings were toast. The rollers fell out of them when I took everything apart. And the worm gear/ball nut I believe is damaged as well. It has a catch in it like the grooves aren't lining up just right. Guess I'm gonna have to hit the boss up for some overtime. In the meantime I'm gonna live vicariously through Massey and watch his progress on his and hope I can learn enough for when I do start mine. And do half as good of a job as he is. Thanks for the reply's. I love to learn about new things and this site and everyone on it is awesome. I'm not new to tractors, grew up on a farm, but have never had to tear them down to this extent.
    One more thing. If you haven't removed your steering wheel. Here's an easy way to do it without a lot of special tools. Jack your front end up on a jack stand so you can turn your wheel easily in both directions. Get you a hefty size hand rubber mallet and start banging the bottom side close to the center three or four hard licks then turn to the next wheel spoke. Bang it, turn a third bang it. Keep doing that and it will jar the wheel loose and eventually lift it off with no marring of the wheel. I did mine in about twenty to thirty minutes. -robert

  8. #8
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    Maryville, TN
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    Massey Ferguson 135

    Default Re: 135 Manual Steering

    I was actually fortunate enough to have a steering wheel puller that fit under the center of the steering wheel. The plastic was broken and I'm gonna replace it anyway so I knocked off the rest of the plastic and a few turns of the wrench it popped right off. A question I have for anyone who may know though. When I took the shaft and ball nut out some of the steel balls inside the ball nut/worm gear fell out. I've been looking at how to put them back in but can't find any information on how to service it. The only thing I can find is that the steering shaft and ball nut are serviced as a complete unit. If I can figure out how to get the ball nut back together it will save me a couple of hundred dollars. I just read through your restoration thread on your 65. I think mine is a 70 but hard to tell because the serial plate is gone. I'm thinking about going ahead and sanding down all the metal and painting mine while I have everything off. Might replace the gauges too. How did the ones you got off Ebay work?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 135 Manual Steering

    Quote Originally Posted by koolhand233 View Post
    When I took the shaft and ball nut out some of the steel balls inside the ball nut/worm gear fell out. I've been looking at how to put them back in but can't find any information on how to service it. The only thing I can find is that the steering shaft and ball nut are serviced as a complete unit. If I can figure out how to get the ball nut back together it will save me a couple of hundred dollars.
    While I haven't taken my steering ball nut apart because it is generally serviced as a complete unit, I can say that it appears as if it shouldn't be too difficult to get back together. If you can be more specific about the problem you're having, I may be able to help.
    .

  10. #10
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    Massey Ferguson 135

    Default Re: 135 Manual Steering

    The problem I had was when I took the shaft out and was turning the nut in my hand to feel how smooth it spun, some of the steel balls fell out. I ended up disassembling it to see what was going on and I couldn't figure out how to get the balls back in without them all falling out again. I just spent a little time working on it in the man cave (garage) and I think I got it figured out. On the outside of the ball nut there is a bracket that holds two tubes in place. When I first started messing with it I didn't realize that the balls actually travel through these tubes when the shaft turns. I ended up getting all of the balls back in and the bracket on and it all seems to be working like it should. I think it has been disassembled before and not put back together correctly. I'm gonna take it all apart again and let it soak in gas for a while and clean it up then put it back together. Hopefully it's all good and I just have to order a right sector gear, upper and lower bearings and some seals. Hey Massey, I've gone all the way back and started reading your restoration thread from the beginning. You definitely have a fan in East Tn.....

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