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Massey Harris & Massey Ferguson Tractors Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

MF 135 stuck in gear

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Author  [Modern View]

12-23-2009 10:22:11

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My freind has a MF 135 that stuck in gear while pushing snow. I have not been around many MF. Does anyone have an idea to the cause and have an idea on how to get it back out.

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Rob N

12-24-2009 12:28:12

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 Re: MF 135 stuck in gear in reply to teach, 12-23-2009 10:22:11  
The text below is from Big Dean's original post (which can be found in the archives of this discussion fourm).

About a month ago I got my 135 stuck in gear. I was unable to resolve the problem following the advice of Big Dean. I ended up having to take my tractor down to the MF dealership--and they also weren't able to get it unstuck using the "ol' screwdriver trick" suggested by Big Dean. The MF mechanic was very surprised that he was not able to resolve the problem using the technique. He ended up having to pull the top plate off of the tranmission housing--which cost me $116.00.

Lesson learned: SHIFT SLOWLY USING THE PALM OF YOUR HAND (Instead of grabbing the shift knob and pulling up as you shift).

Merry Christmas!!

Big Dean's "Screwdriver Trick"

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. Through the years I have probably unstuck at least a 1000 of them this way. It is a common problem on the Massey tractors after they get a little wear on them.

The transmission main shaft lever hanging up is very common on most models of the MF tractors. The shift lever is held down by a spring & when you start to shift it you will unconsciously lift upon the lever. This causes the shift lever to go into the other shift fork on the other shift rail. That rail can not be moved because of the lock on the back of the transmission to prevent it from going into two gears at the same time. Once you have both shift rails in the neutral position you can
then move the shift lever.If you will use the palm of your hand When changing gears to push the lever into neutral then get hold of the lever
to put it in the gear you want it in. Shifting it that way it will not hang on you again. Below is the article from my web site that tells how to
get the lever unhung. If I can be of further help Email me at

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Laurence Lombard

12-23-2009 23:38:36

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 Re: MF 135 stuck in gear in reply to teach, 12-23-2009 10:22:11  
Big Dean had an informative article on the subject, but I cannot seem to find it on the inernet anymore. The web host that he used has closed down. Does anyone know if his website is still online/available somewhere?

The laymans (my) way of solving the gear stuck problem is to open the transmission filler cap and using a small crowbar or big screwdriver to rather aimlessly try and move gears backward and forward, without knowing which to move and sooner or later one moves the correct one which solves the problem. Big Dean had a more reasoned approach. Apparently the locking is caused/aggravated by pulling on the gear lever as you change gears. The advice is to avoid pulling on the lever.

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Gerald J.

12-24-2009 09:24:25

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 Re: MF 135 stuck in gear in reply to Laurence Lombard, 12-23-2009 23:38:36  
However, when the lever slants back as much as it does, its really hard to not pull up on the lever when shifting from 3rd to reverse. I think the problem comes from shifting rapidly from 3rd to reverse which happens a lot in snow. I know that's how I got mine stuck in gear. I call it slapping it. Going rapidly from 3rd to reverse with lots of side pressure on the lever so it slips through the neutral gate while the 2nd/3rd shifter and gear is still sliding, the detent fails to stop the assembly and it goes on to 2nd gear. Fortunately that gear is closest to the oil filler plug so recovery with the pry bar is easy.

My prescription is to shift straight out of third pausing in neutral with a little pressure to the right if there is any side pressure. Then gently slipping across the neutral gate to engage the 1st/reversed shifter rail and continue the shift. This technique has worked for me for a decade since I last locked my 135 in gear.

Gerald J.

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12-23-2009 11:29:41

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 Re: MF 135 stuck in gear in reply to teach, 12-23-2009 10:22:11  
Do a site search for "stuck shifter" and you will see that this is something all MF older tractor owners kniow how to fix. We have all done it once.

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135 Fan

12-23-2009 22:45:50

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 Re: MF 135 stuck in gear in reply to garvas, 12-23-2009 11:29:41  
In about 30 years I've never had it happen. Knock on wood. Don't lift up on the shifter when shifting. Dave

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Gerald J.

12-23-2009 11:23:40

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 Re: MF 135 stuck in gear in reply to teach, 12-23-2009 10:22:11  
It happens from slapping the shift from third to reverse. You end up in second with the shifter lever over in the reverse/first notch. Shift slower with a definite pause at neutral, then lever straight left in neutral to go to reverse.

Gerald J.

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12-23-2009 10:31:29

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 Re: MF 135 stuck in gear in reply to teach, 12-23-2009 10:22:11  
Unscrew the cap to the right of the shifter place a large screwdriver in the hole and pry the fork either forwards or backwards, it will pop out of gear. We had a 135 when I was a kid, this happened with it more times than I care to remember.

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