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Harry Ferguson Tractors Discussion Board

TO30 camshaft problem

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Posted by John (AR) on August 30, 2012 at 14:16:02 from (

I have started evaluating a TO30 (Z129 engine)that I purchased 2 years ago and parked in the barn until I had the time to work on it. When I bought it I was able to get it to "run" and compression was OK and even, but it has obviously been neglected for a long time and the oil was black, but no water in it.

I dropped the pan and saw that the aluminum drive gear on the oil pump was pretty chewed up, so I put in a rebuilt pump. The timing gears looked a little beat up too, so I pulled the timing cover to replace them also.

Well, I found the cause of the gear wear. The camshaft gear is wobbly on the camshaft! I have not been able to remove the retaining nut to get the gear off. If I hold the gear from rotating (by keeping the crank from turning) the camshaft turns with the nut. I noticed this when the rockers started to move. So, probably the Woodruff key is sheared or dropped out, the gear is wallowed, and the end of the camshaft is worn, but I have not been able to take off the nut that retains the inside part of the governor and the camshaft timing gear to really see.

OK, so here are my questions for someone who has been here before and could suggest what might work:
1. How can I keep the camshaft from turning (from inside the crankcase) while loosening the retaining nut? Is it normal rotation thread? Would vise grips on the rough part of the camshaft be OK to keep it from turning? Any other ideas?
2. Because the engine is not inverted (still on tractor) what is a good way to keep the tappets from dropping out when I do get the cam to come out? I have read about using "pencil magnets" down the pushrod holes. Anyone have luck this way?
3. How do I keep track of the timing issues as I go along? I documented the relative position of crank, cam, distributor rotor and flywheel before I started messing things up, so I hope I can get the timing back. Oddly, the marks on the timing gears were together when piston #4 was at compression top dead center rather than piston #1 as I have read. The distributor rotor was pointed to plug wire #4. When #1 was at firing TDC the marks on the cam gear were 180o off. Does this make any difference as long as the ignition and valve timing are synchronized?

Please forgive this long thread. I wanted to give enough information so someone with experience with these engines could point me in the right direction. Thanks for taking the time to read it.


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