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Help with TO30 Diagnosis

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Jeremy in DE

12-06-2017 07:20:16

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I have a TO30 that I use regularly around the place.

Using it yesterday I noticed a rattle/clank that is new. Imagine a wrench rattling in the toolbox in front of the gas tank. Except I emptied that toolbox and cannot find anything else loose on the tractor.

I'm speculating it's internal to the engine, but not positive.
My diagnosis skills are sometimes limited. But I figure the combined wisdom of you guys might help me figure out where to start.
It happens right at 1500 RPM or above. So for yesterday I just ran it at 1450 or below till I got the job done.

It definitely seems to be coming from the front. As a check it will happen stopped, in neutral, with the PTO disengaged and clutch depressed.

Load doesn't seem to matter, though yesterday's work wasn't loading the engine to it's limits.

Idles fine. Works strong and well at 1000-1250 RPM. Oil pressure about 30psi at working RPMs. Hot idle oil pressure at 15psi.

Somehow I suspect the right Ferguson guru would know right off the bat if he could examine the tractor. But I am not that person.

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12-08-2017 17:39:43

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 Re: Help with TO30 Diagnosis in reply to Jeremy in DE, 12-06-2017 07:20:16  
The tank baffle is a really poorly designed item on the TO-20 and -30. I have a "54 TO-30 that I bought in "96 and the baffle was broken off completely. You must have a low hour tractor or have one owned by a flalander that made few sharp turns and didn"t pitch up and down much to have one that is still even partially attached.

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Jeremy in DE

12-07-2017 11:30:34

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 Re: Help with TO30 Diagnosis in reply to Jeremy in DE, 12-06-2017 07:20:16  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

First I poked around with a magnet as suggested by Ron(Ont). Found the baffles, but nothing loose that stuck to the magnet.

Then I tried a section of 1/2 inch cpvc. The piece I use to check fuel level once in a while. Jammed it against the back baffle, pried up. The sound went away. Let go, sound came back.

Problem identified, I think.

Any problem of just letting it rattle?

But it's annoying. And if someone's listening it sounds like the tractor has serious issues. Not that I should care, I guess, but still....

Is there anything to do? Price for new fuel tank is $208 on this site. Not worth that much to me at this point. But I wish I could make it go away or at least be less.

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12-08-2017 08:50:12

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 Re: Help with TO30 Diagnosis in reply to Jeremy in DE, 12-07-2017 11:30:34  
Chances are the baffle will soon break completely free and fall to the bottom of the tank.

Not much that can be practically done. If that is the original tank, chances are it is getting thin from rust. One of those cases of if it works, don't fix it...

Once it does develop leaks, or if the broken baffle causes rust to break loose and clog the fuel system, then it will be time for a new tank.

The new tanks are aftermarket. It won't be that same quality as the original. If you are serious about keeping it original, the old tank can be cut apart and repaired, but unless you can DIY, that gets expensive!

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12-06-2017 14:04:21

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 Re: Help with TO30 Diagnosis in reply to Jeremy in DE, 12-06-2017 07:20:16  
Do you have one of those flexi-rods with a magnet on the end? Clean it well and move it around in the tank and see what you can catch.

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Tom Bowman

12-06-2017 13:16:23

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 Re: Help with TO30 Diagnosis in reply to Jeremy in DE, 12-06-2017 07:20:16  
There's definitely a baffle in the tank, and there's a pretty good chance that it's loose.

Steve mentioned the mounting bolts: you might also check the front mounting bolts themselves, where the tank bolts to the bracket on the water outlet.
If those bolts were loose, it could make a pretty wicked rattle, especially if the leather/rubber/fabric pad was gone.

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Jeremy in DE

12-06-2017 12:01:45

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 Re: Help with TO30 Diagnosis in reply to Jeremy in DE, 12-06-2017 07:20:16  
Reporting back...

I really liked the crankshaft pulley idea, but after heaving on it I think it's tight. I would probably never classify as someone's "heaviest friend" but I'm guessing that's not the problem.

I took off the fan belt. No change.
But... and maybe you'll think I'm nuts, but then again I said from the top my diagnostic skills aren't all that great...

I was standing there looking at it run at 1600RPM wondering what in the world could be rattling. Put a pipe in my ear and touched various parts. Alternator--seems quiet. Water pump--seems quiet. Block-- hum, but nothing more than I would expect though what do I know. Certainly cannot hear a clatter. Head front and back--rattle of the valves, more than a perfect engine, someday that may need work--but not the new clatter I'm looking for.

Then touched the pipe to the gas tank. Is there a baffle or something inside that could be loose and rattle like the dickens at the right RPM? I certainly may be wrong, but I'm wondering if the rattle is from the tank--or the sound transmitted through the tank?

I assume the definitive test would be to take the tank off, set it on a high bench, run a fuel line to the tractor, and fire it up in the shop. But I don't have time at the moment. Perhaps tomorrow.

Keep the ideas coming since I'll say again that my diagnostic skills are limited.

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12-06-2017 12:28:00

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 Re: Help with TO30 Diagnosis in reply to Jeremy in DE, 12-06-2017 12:01:45  
I believe there is a baffle in the tank.

Can you reach in through the filler with a stiff wire, try to poke around, see if the sound will change?

Or loosen the mount bolts, lift up, push sideways, any change should change the harmonics and the sound.

I would still not rule out the governor coming apart. Try holding some pressure on the governor linkage. See if it will change the sound or if you can feel any unusual vibration in the linkage.

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12-06-2017 09:39:30

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 Re: Help with TO30 Diagnosis in reply to Jeremy in DE, 12-06-2017 07:20:16  
As tony said,
I had the same noise from the front of the motor on my TO35,
Looked everywhere sounded like the front rod was loose from time to time
Finally an old farmer friend came over and looked at it, listen to it run
Ran his hand over everything

Then he ask me, is that large bolt that hold the crankshaft pulley onto the crankshaft suppose to be sticking out that far,

Bingo, that was it, the bolt had backed off and what I was hearing was the pulley vibrating from time to time,

He helped me tighten up the bolt, that was years ago, no more noise,

Hope yours is this simple to fix,

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Tom h.

12-06-2017 08:08:12

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 Re: Help with TO30 Diagnosis in reply to Jeremy in DE, 12-06-2017 07:20:16  
Also could be the governor came apart. I picked up a TO30 last year with front knock and when I removed the oil pan the parts of the star wheel that holds the governor balls was in the pan. Balls where in the front cover. I would drain the oil and remove the pan. Watch for any trace of metal flakes or dust, even big pieces in the oil.

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John Deere D

12-06-2017 07:56:53

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 Re: Help with TO30 Diagnosis in reply to Jeremy in DE, 12-06-2017 07:20:16  
Remove the FAN engine......get back to "YT" and let us know if the noise is the same, less, or non existing.....

I had a noise that was evident when the engine was around 975>1200, and water pump packed it in......NOT pretty!

Bob....Owner operator.... TEA-20 Ferguson & MF FE 35 X

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Tony in Mass.

12-06-2017 07:45:32

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 Re: Help with TO30 Diagnosis in reply to Jeremy in DE, 12-06-2017 07:20:16  
Sometimes the nut on the crankshaft pulley loosens up, not a lot, but enough to rattle. Got to get a? 1 1/16"? box wrench on it, maybe put a pin in the flywheel locating hole, and reef on the wrench. Best way is an impact tool, but you'd have to remove the whole front of the tractor to get there, so use lots of muscles or get your heaviest friend over for a visit.

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