New-to-me 1987 MF 1030L



Silver Member
May 6, 2014
SW Missouri
JD 5075E
I recently purchased a Massey-Ferguson 1030 MFWD with about 3400 hours from a local seller. He bought it at a farm auction from an old man (probably the original owner) to do some loader and blade work and then got done with the job and decided to sell it as well as the Woods 165 loader and the 6 foot box blade he had attached to it. I recently moved and have about an acre of lawn/ditch and an acre of fenced-in former horse paddock that we want to turn into a garden and orchard, as well as 10 acres of woods that we'll clear off some of. An about 30 hp compact with a loader and box blade would be about perfect. This is where the tractor will work:


The seller didn't have the tractor for very long and didn't know much about it. He had a manual for a Massey-Ferguson 1030 that came from the old man and that's about all he knew about it. I determined by serial number and some differences between the manual's description and the tractor's transmission, front axle, and fuel filter that it's a 1987 1030L. In case anybody wonders, the differences I can tell between the 1030 and 1030L are:

- 1030L has a 4-range, 3-speed synchro transmission vs. a three-range four-speed non-synchro transmission
- 1030L has a live PTO with a two-stage clutch vs. a non-live PTO with a single-stage clutch
- 1030L uses a spin-on fuel filter that looks like an oil filter vs. a cartridge-and-bowl fuel filter
- 1030L MFWDs have a slightly different front axle with two front diff fill and check ports vs. one check and one fill port.
- The switch between 1030 and 1030L happened during the 1986 model year and all 1987-on tractors are 1030Ls.

The 1030L appeared to be in pretty decent shape with no obvious issues on my walk-around and test drive. He didn't have any PTO driven implements to hook up so I just checked and saw if the PTO lever caused the PTO to engage and disengage and it did as expected. There were a few minor sheetmetal issues and the battery hold-down was broken, nothing major.

The first thing I did after hauling it back after lifting a 72" rear finish mower off my truck with the loader was to give it a good once-over and change all of the fluids and filters. Here's what I found:

- Notes in old man cursive in the manual suggest the old man replaced the clutch, MFWD hub seals, and did something with the engine, possibly a head gasket.
- The guy I bought it from didn't grease anything. I used up a full tube of grease to hit all of the zerks.
- The hydraulic fluid looked like it got some water in it at some point as it looked like condensed milk.
- The PTO clutch is either sticking to the flywheel or is about at the end of its life. I adjusted the clutch clevis to the very end of the rod and still have about 1.5" of free play and the PTO never clutches and there is sometimes (but not always) a little grinding on engagement of the finish mower. The transmission drive clutch functions perfectly normally with a pretty typical amount of clutch travel to engage/disengage.
- The left front gear reduction hub had been patched just to the outside of where the tie rod attaches.
- The old man obviously used SAE tools when working on the tractor and slightly dinged up some of the fasteners in the predictable fashion. This is despite one of the first sentences in the manual reading "All fasteners on this tractor are metric" in bold print.

Apart from needing to get the PTO clutch worked on, the tractor runs well. I have used it to mow with the 72" rear finish mower once (discovering the PTO clutch issue) as well as pull out some old wooden fenceposts. The creeper gears in the tractor are very handy for loader work and the tractor is pretty handy. Here are some pictures I snapped inside my garage with the mower attached. The tools and chain in the bucket are from my fencepost removal.


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