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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Jan 2013
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    4
    Location
    Indian Trail, NC
    Tractor
    1963 Massey Ferguson MF135

    Default MF135 - Hi/Lo will not engage

    Hey guys,

    I've done some searching on the site and can't seem to find an answer to this issue. The tractor died the other week when Dad was scraping the driveway. The tractor cut off at the top of the hill and he was a 1/4 mile from the shop, so he tried roll starting the tractor down the hill and that's when things went south. His description:

    "The tractor won't go into gear at the high/low shifter. The shifter seems to move correctly. When you put it in the low position it doesn't feel like there is any contact with the gear. With the long shifter out of gear you can barely get the H/L shifter to engage in high, but when you engage the long shifter, the H/L shifter pops out of gear. Feels like it was just barely engaged. Feels like there is a gear that has shifted out of position."

    The long shifter works fine. He checked the gears through the fill cap and everything that was visible/reachable with a screwdriver appeared correct.

    Do you fellahs have any insight into what might have happened?

  2. #2
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    18,265
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK-40

    Default Re: MF135 - Hi/Lo will not engage

    Murph

  3. #3
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    18,265
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK-40

    Default Re: MF135 - Hi/Lo will not engage

    Pull your filler plug for the transmission look inside you will see a big gear. Find a level spot shut off the tractor. Push the clutch down & put the high low shifter in neutral to relieve any pressure that might be on the gears. With a long screwdriver or a small pry bar pry the big gear forward if it is hung in reverse. Pry it back if it is hung in first gear. If you happen to go to far it will go in the other gear. You need to get it in the center. You should be able to feel the detent balls pop in the grooves in the shift rail as you move the gear.
    Murph

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    4
    Location
    Indian Trail, NC
    Tractor
    1963 Massey Ferguson MF135

    Default Re: MF135 - Hi/Lo will not engage

    Thanks for the welcome and the response! It's actually not stuck in first gear or reverse...the long shifter shifts through all of the gears without a problem. The Hi/Lo shifter won't go into Low gear & it barely goes in High gear. It will only go in High gear if the long shifter is in neutral. If you get it in High gear and put it in first gear or reverse, it pulls the short shifter out of gear. We played around with the fix you suggested for about an hour when it first broke down, but we didn't have any luck.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    310
    Location
    Gidgiegannup Springs, Western Australia
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 148 .Chamberlain Super 70. Caterpillar D4. Chamberlain 354 FEL.Toro 268 rideon kubota L2002fel

    Default Re: MF135 - Hi/Lo will not engage

    G'day Ross86.
    And I will most humbly welcome you to the forum where i am sure all your problems will be solved!!
    I think you are on the right track ,There could be a sheared of selector fork locating screw or a damaged selector.
    The best way to check and it involves removing the steering box from the gearbox.
    Remove the Bonnet, the battery ,the fuel tank, the air intake hose, undo the small spill pipe at the rear of the tank and gently bend it to the right and back a little bit,both the throttle rods ,hand and foot,dont loose the clips ,both steering track rod ends from the steering box,remove the wires going to the rear lights ,remove them from the light switch , the wiring harness remove from the starter motor ,the neutral safety switch ,the generator wires taking note of the colours as you go,
    The four bolts that hold the fuel filters to the battery box, the small vent pipe that goes on top of the fuel filters, Tractor meter cable from the rear of the engine block and last but not least all bolts holding the steering box to the gearbox.
    Gently ,two people make it easier lift the steering box off and place it out of the way.
    You can now get a good look at the gearbox internals, On the front of the gearbox \steering box mounting face there are four springs ,remove them and below them there are four selector detent plungers be careful dont drop ANYTHING inside.
    If it comes to stripping the gearbox this step has to be done anyway so you are not wasting time ,this will allow you to SEE what is wrong and if you are real lucky you may be able to fix the problem without stripping the gearbox.
    Happy days.
    Hutch.

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Apr 2012
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    4,119
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Tractor
    My tractor is an old MF

    Default Re: MF135 - Hi/Lo will not engage

    This is the filler plug
    Attachment 297679

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    4
    Location
    Indian Trail, NC
    Tractor
    1963 Massey Ferguson MF135

    Default Re: MF135 - Hi/Lo will not engage

    Because the fix is going to be much more time intensive than messing around with a screwdriver in the filler cap, I think he's going to take it somewhere to have it worked on. I tried to talk him into working on it with me, but neither of us will have the time to work on it if it turns into a long project. I went ahead and listed it for sale for $3k locally and I hope we can get rid of it before we have to borrow a trailer and drive it to a shop. He's been looking at some newer tractors, so hopefully he'll get something that's a little more reliable.

    I really appreciate the responses. I plan to stick around and keep learning on the site.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    18,265
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK-40

    Default Re: MF135 - Hi/Lo will not engage

    3K for a broke tractor?? I paid 2.5 for one that works
    Murph

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    4
    Location
    Indian Trail, NC
    Tractor
    1963 Massey Ferguson MF135

    Default Re: MF135 - Hi/Lo will not engage

    I didn't see any MF135s selling for less than $4k around here. I think the plan is to get it fixed and try to sell it for $4k. It really just depends on what is in the area and what people are willing to pay.

  10. #10
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    373
    Location
    Darlington, SC
    Tractor
    1957 Ferguson 35, 1977? Yanmar 2200, 1963 Cub Cadet Original

    Default Re: MF135 - Hi/Lo will not engage

    Ross, I'm going to run this one by you. It may be something to look at, it may be the same simple fix with yours as it was with mine. Mine is a TO-35 but basically the same tractor, yours is just newer, the pic above looks like mine anyway.

    When I first got mine it was in high range and would go to the center neutral position or back in high but would not go to low range. It felt stuck or was binding against something. I got lots of suggestions including seperating the tractor to get inside the tranny to check the planatary gears. I seperated it, everything looked good. Really stumped my toe on this one. An old fellow local happened to learn my situation and sugested I pull my 'neutral safety switch' which is located on the top right side of the tranny, screws straight down into tranny housing and has a ball bearing spring loaded switch that works against/into a notch in the rail of the high/low shift. I screwed the switch out and everything worked perfect. Over the years the switch was unwired/bypassed, had gotten cracked, moisture had collected in it and the ball bearing had rusted not letting it work back n forth. When I screwed it out it allowed the rail to travel freely back n forth in both high and low. Seperating the tractor is a major job. Unscrewing the safety switch is a simple 5 min job. Do that to check just to see if that might be your problem too.

    It's a long shot but a simple test. I had hrs invested in mine to learn a 5 min fix was all I needed. Screw the neutral safety switch out and see.

    Did the high/low work proper before this happened? Even if it did, the ball bearings work in a v notch in a way it was holding mine off from going into gear.

    I never knew my old tractor had a neutral safety switch until I discovered this. It was bypassed anyway, never knew it was there.

    Sometimes we feel it's a major problem when a simple fix is all we need.
    modify, adjust and improvise....a country boy can survive

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