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Massey Harris & Massey Ferguson Tractors Discussion Forum
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Massey 135 Front axle pivot issue / bush replacement

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07-09-2014 09:44:44

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Hi, I have a 1972 Massey 135 with the later straight axle. I have noticed that the bushes seem to have almost gone on the centre pivot point and am wondering if to tackle the job myself.
Has anyone done this or can advise in anyway?
I have been told that I should replace the whole axel beam which seems a bit expensive and maybe unnecessary. I have read a few forums and it seems the bent axle is easier to do. Also, there seems to be a common problem with difficulty getting the pin out.
Any help would be appreciated

If DavidP from South Wales is around, help!



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07-10-2014 21:15:30

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 Re: Massey 135 Front axle pivot issue / bush replacement in reply to Pacer204, 07-09-2014 09:44:44  
On my 2135 I had to carefully cut the pin out of the axle beam with a torch because a 20 ton press wouldn't even budge it. My dads 1991 year model 6640 Ford/New Holland it doesn't have any grease fittings for the front axle pivot, and it doesn't have any slop in it after 23 years.

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07-10-2014 15:34:31

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 Re: Massey 135 Front axle pivot issue / bush replacement in reply to Pacer204, 07-09-2014 09:44:44  
I replaced the pin and bushings on my 148 a couple of months ago. It should be the same setup as your 135.

What happened mine and I cannot believe I did not realise it was happing (granted I noticed the steering was dire and I had trouble keeping it between the ditches when on the road but I put it down to age related wear !) The peg bolt failed as did the retaining circlips and the pin slid back into the belt pulley. I ended up with about an inch machined of the end of the pin and associated damage to the front of the pulley.
I am not much of a mechanic and I do not have much equipment but by taking my time (a lot of time and frustration) I was able to get the bolt and bushing replaced (I left the belt pulley as it was, it was still working and I felt discretion was the better part of valour). I was amazed the difference it made to the steering.

I disconnected the steering rods and used a lidl trolley jack to prop up the front of the tractor. By adjusting the jack I was able to find the sweet spot so that the pin would slide out.
With the pin out you can remove the beam (with wheels attached)). I would recommend getting help when moving the beam as with the wheel attached it is heavy and has a mind of its own when trying to roll it.

To take out the bushings I got a long nut and bolt, a couple of metal plates with a centre hole for the bolt to pass thru and a suitable size socked and I was able to squeeze out the front one and squeeze in the new one.

The back bushing presented a different problem as it apparently had been replaced previously but not before there was ware done to the casting which looked like it had been repaired and a liner fitted to restore the correct diameter. When I tried pressing out the bushing the liner started to come out and I was concerned if that came out I might not easily get it back in, so I got a hacksaw blade and carefully cut out the old bushing. The new one pressed in easy enough. Make sure when pushing in the new bushings that you line up the grease holes.

In terms of replacing the axel beam mine looked fine so I left well enough alone, however when I was getting the parts the guy suggested that I might find wear in the beam and traditionally what was done in these circumstance is that the center of the beam was drilled out and a liner fitted to true it back up. Glad I did not have to go down that route.


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07-10-2014 06:18:48

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 Re: Massey 135 Front axle pivot issue / bush replacement in reply to Pacer204, 07-09-2014 09:44:44  
lube for your new pivot axle bearings
I always use spray graphite on this bearing.
lubes the bearing, but graphite will not collect dirt

I understand the old books said to not lube this bearing.

I had a friend who was a machinist rework the axle bearing on his old tractor.
he machined the bearings to fit the axles, then groved the insides of the bearing to carry and hold the grease,

then he drilled and fitted grease zerks to each axle bearing,

the front axle on his old tractor will last another 150 years. but would have cost $500 in machining time if you had to pay to have the work done by a shop.

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DavidP, South Wales

07-10-2014 03:42:21

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 Re: Massey 135 Front axle pivot issue / bush replacement in reply to Pacer204, 07-09-2014 09:44:44  
You called m'sieur.....
Although similar in principle the design is very different. With the swept axle the one bush is retained in the centre beam section and the pin is retained in the axle casting. The The centre beam pivots of course on the pin. It has been debated whether the bush should be lubricated as the oil or grease would collect abrasive grit.
My preference would be for lubrication.

However the straight axle pin is retained in the centre beam and the bushes are pressed into the axle casting. A circlip is fitted to the rear of the pin in case it should work loose and find its way forward.

A straight axle overhaul is liklier to be more difficult if the axle pin is seized in the centre beam. No matter how much this has been greased it can still seize. If after removing the pin locking bolt/peg (up to UK serial no 434523) the pin is free to turn in the centre beam...the job will be easier.

You will need to remove the bonnet (hood) and radiator. This will give you a better view of the areas of wear. Ideally the stub axles should be removed as well. If there is only wear in the bushes they should be driven out with a suitable drift or MF tool 322 and handle 550. The same drift or MF 322 should be used to fit the new bushes. The bush faces must be 0.020" (0.508mm)below the web face where the beam makes contact.Six thicknesses of shim are available to bring the endfloat to as close to zero as you can. They are 888 361M1/362M1/366M1 for .25mm/.128mm/.51mm and 1863 312M1/313M1/314M1 for .91mm/1.04mm and 1.17mm respectively. Ensure that the bush grease galleries are clear.

If replacement parts (casting or beam) are required they should be available and not too expensive. Your message sounds like you might be in the UK. If so secondhand might be available from Ron Greet in Devon or a new beam 75 and casting 130 plus VAT are available from Agriline in Worcestershire. Bushes are 3 each and the pin 19.

Let us know how you get on.

DavidP, South Wales

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07-10-2014 06:13:58

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 Re: Massey 135 Front axle pivot issue / bush replacement in reply to DavidP, South Wales, 07-10-2014 03:42:21  
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Thanks all for the advise.
DavidP, a legend as always.
I am in the UK as you guessed, the MF tools you mentioned, are they easy to source or is there an alternative? I am in two minds whether just to pay someone to fix it or to try myself.
The chap who has worked on my tractor in the past found the issue and I can't afford his labour charges, hence my thoughts at sorting myself. This chap suggested that I would HAVE to have a new axle beam, he didn't even mention about the bushes. I can see that the rear bush is knackered. He didn't inspire much confidence in his skills, he came recommended, but maybe he's not done that much on MF 135's before.

I have attached a drawing from the Sparex site. It shows 2 different pivot pins (15 & 26), is this right?

I will pop the rad and bonnet (hood) off at the weekend and see whats going on. I will jack her up too and see where the movement is.
I will report back!

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DavidP, South Wales

07-11-2014 01:42:29

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 Re: Massey 135 Front axle pivot issue / bush replacement in reply to Pacer204, 07-10-2014 06:13:58  
Yes, there are two pin types for the front axle on the later 135.
1869 633M1 is up to s/n 434523 and 1869 634M1 is from s/n 434523. I have a recollection that the difference is in the length of the pin.
If you have basic tools and a safe means of supporting the tractor then there should be no problem. Once you have the new bushes and pin the cost of having a drift machined would be a simple job. Do you know anyone who has a hobby lathe in his garage? It's worth doing to make sure you don't damage the new bushes. If you need to make a puller then I or someone on here will talk you through it and show you what is needed. A worst case scenario would be that you can't remove the pin and have to take the beam and casting assembly to someone who has a suitable press....tractor dealership etc. If all fails then you should be able to hacksaw through the pin on both sides of the beam (don't think it will be too hard) and remove it that way.
With the bonnet, radiator and locking pin removed give the pin a few 'exploratory' wallops
with a heavy hammer or small sledge to see if you have any movement. If you do, you are halfway there!

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07-14-2014 15:11:19

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 Re: Massey 135 Front axle pivot issue / bush replacement in reply to DavidP, South Wales, 07-11-2014 01:42:29  
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Hi David
Thanks for the advice, I'm going to give in a go! Will report back and may attempt a boring video!

Thanks to all for the advice- much appreciated.


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07-09-2014 14:01:44

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 Re: Massey 135 Front axle pivot issue / bush replacement in reply to Pacer204, 07-09-2014 09:44:44  
With the straight axle the pivot has a pin that keeps it from rotating in the axle. The axle support that bolted to the front of the engine has a bushing on the front, and back of the axle support. On my 2135 Industrial tractor it has a similar setup, the rear bushing in the front axle support was gone, and the pivot pin wore into the front axle support itself about 1/8". I have welded up the worn front axle supports, and re-bore them to take a new bushing on a few Massey Fergusons (one going on 25 years now with no problems) just make sure you keep the new bushings greased. I like to give them a shot of grease along with the spindle bushings every day before using it (I've welded up, and re-machined a few spindles where the bushings ride on the spindle). Consider yourself are lucky it didn't wear through the bushings, and I'll also bet your spindle bushings are worn out also..

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07-09-2014 10:22:40

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 Re: Massey 135 Front axle pivot issue / bush replacement in reply to Pacer204, 07-09-2014 09:44:44  
I have replaced the bushing in the axle on my older TO35.

The main pin came out easy on my tractor, but I could see it being stuck inside the bracket would be a major problem.

Might spray the bolt with a good grade of penetrating oil for a few days before you attempt to take it apart.

If the bushing is so worn that the pin has worn into the cross axle, I would replace the axle.

Welding, heating the axle could weaken the axle.

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