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Fordson Tractors Discussion Forum

restarting a massey 55 diesel

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mike hartigan

10-30-2010 21:17:41

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Hi, I am hoping someone can help me! I have my deceased father inlaws massey 55 diesel tractor. It was his first tractor and he bought it new in 1955/56. He used it all of his life and it was his baby. It did it's last field work in 1992. From about 1980 on the wiring for the electric starter went to hell and he used to park it on a small rise in the yard and roll start it when he needed it. I watched him do this many times and it usually would start in about 10 to 15 feet of travel. When he retired he kept the tractor and parked it in running condition in his back yard in 1999. A few years later, he found one of the neibourhood boys filling up the fuel tank with earth from his garden. That boy is lucky to be alive today I can tell you! He took the fuel tank off and had it cleaned. This opened up the fuel system to air. He told me that a field hand had run this same tracter out of fuel once, and that the 55's were a real bear to start again, and that it took three days of fiddling to get her going again. There are no mechanical issues with this tractor, and no adjustments have been made to her arrangements beyond cleaning, and reinstalling the fuel tank. We have towed her around the yard on several occassions, but have not been able to get her to start. There has to be air in the system someplace.

My question is, does anyone know the proper sequence for bleeding the fuel system for a massey 55 diesel with a bosh fuel pump?

I have an old d315 & a d318 pair of cat gen sets which I use every day in my work. Grand old grrrl's they are, and if they run out of fuel, which has happened on occassion over the last twenty years, i have no trouble bleeding the air out of the system to get them going again! But the 55 has me stumped.

Hoping to hear something good. Mike

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10-31-2010 12:59:41

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 Re: restarting a massey 55 diesel in reply to mike hartigan, 10-30-2010 21:17:41  
The only Massey 55ís I find on Tractordata or Tractorhouse are Massey Harrisís made between 1946 and 1955. I assume that it is a Continental diesel engine, and from the photos I have seen that it is a gravity feed system to the injector pump. If you have eliminated air and debris from the fuel system and gotten good clean fuel flow from the bleeder nipples on the injector pump then the next thing to do is loosen the compression nuts at the injectors and turn the engine over to see if fuel is getting to the injectors. If fuel is getting to the injectors but you get no smoke from the stack at all then the injectors need to be pulled out and worked on. There are many other entries on this site explaining how to diagnose the problems as well. If it is the injector pump that is faulty it requires a nice clean bench somewhere with an experienced pump tech to fix it.

Years ago a friend of mine asked me to help him get a John Deere R Wheatland going after it had been sitting out for a while. I said what the heck and hopped on while he pulled me around the yard with his pickup. The wheels just locked up when I engaged the clutch even though I had it in high gear. It would not turn over. After a bit of head scratching and required cursing, we tried again only this time I pulled a lever on the left side of the dash, which I had no idea what it went to.

Boom Boom Boom, the 2 lunger took off with roar and a geyser of gallons of rusty water, which fell back to earth precisely on my head. I had opened the compression release valve. To add to the adrenalin rush the engine revs kept increasing even though I had pulled the fuel shut off lever. I frantically jumped off to look for the fuel shut off from the tank while my friend stood there laughing. The shut off was of course right above the spinning clutch drum, which added to the fear factor. The rated maximum RPM for that engine was 1000 and Iím sure it must have been turning 3600 before it shut down but it didnít blow and Iím here to tell the tale so thatís all good.
My friend still has the old girl and I am almost certain it has not been started since that rusty water day. If anyone is interested he lives northwest of Fort Worth Texas in a town called Paradise.

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J. Schwiebert

10-31-2010 08:48:26

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 Re: restarting a massey 55 diesel in reply to mike hartigan, 10-30-2010 21:17:41  
I sent you an e-mail. Please let me know if you receive it. J.

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