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Harry Ferguson Tractors Discussion Forum

TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out?

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01-29-2019 18:01:44

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Hey all,

I recently bought a TO35. Itís my first tractor and Iíve been disassembling it, cleaning, and painting it. As Iíve come to the back of the tractor Iíve gotten to the hydraulic system and 3pt hitch. In another thread I questioned the 3pt hitch dropping rapidly (in less than 10 seconds with no load). As the hitch still works currently I think I may leave well enough alone for the time being however I have the following question:

I opened the inspection cover and the oil was slightly overfilled, and it was a caramel-brown color. I also removed the drain bolt and got about a tablespoon of slightly lighter Carmel colored oil and then a steady stream of the caramel brown oil. Based on what Iíve read here, this is a good color for the oil? Is there a need for me to change it?

Additionally I noticed that there was some ďcrudĒ on some of the surfaces inside the inspection port. Almost like some oily dirt? It seems to have caught in some of the corners of the parts visible through the inspection port. Is this ok/normal? Is there a need to clean this all out or is it better left in-disturbed.

Considering the lift already falls quickly (possibly worn pump rings?) is it necessary to do anything in the meantime to prevent more wear or damage? Or should I leave well enough alone and address the issue when the lift gets worse?

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01-31-2019 08:05:59

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to MBlaxland33, 01-29-2019 18:01:44  
one last thing. do the EASY stuff first then pursue the more complicated.

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Boss Hog

01-30-2019 17:23:42

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to MBlaxland33, 01-29-2019 18:01:44  
If you take that stand pipe out, make sure the 3 point hitch is down before you un-bolt the stand pipe cover. If you don't, you'll get a stream of oil shooting out of there that will go clear up to the ceiling of your shop and splatter everywhere.
Or so I've heard. Not that it's ever happened to me or anything... :wink:

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01-31-2019 16:00:20

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to Boss Hog, 01-30-2019 17:23:42  
Oh good call! Wouldnít want to make any more of a mess than I already have in my garage.

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John Deere D

01-30-2019 07:37:17

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to MBlaxland33, 01-29-2019 18:01:44  
If you remove the TOP lift cover.....here is what you will see...this is the Sister Tractor to your TO 35..."MF FE 35 "

I also replaced the COUPLING that connects the PINION to the OUT PUT shaft of the Transmission....Coupling internal splines were not serviceable:

Yellow picture is a TO 35:

NOTE* Owner of TO 35 Installed NEW updated PUMP with OIL SCREEN:

Bob..Owner of MF FE 35 X...TEA 20 and other colored Tractors:

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John Deere D

01-30-2019 08:31:07

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to John Deere D, 01-30-2019 07:37:17  
I have never removed and or installed a LIFT COVER and or ever done any work on the LIFT COVER and or replaced any components under the LIFT COVER with out checking the lift (ensure arms stop travelling upwards) and PSI with the ENGINE not running:

Take NOTE of failed LIFT COVER....the results of a YT mender operating a MF that had been out of service for some time,as well as not having any experience with the MF lifting design:

On a previous post you had on "YT" I entered the TITLE of a Gentleman who had a good rendition of his TO 35 HYDRAULIC adventure,well worth reading:

Ultimately it's your $$$$$$$.

All the best:


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John Deere D

01-30-2019 08:44:25

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to John Deere D, 01-30-2019 08:31:07  
Coupling was replaced due to excessive wear/ back lash:

Lift cover does not have to be removed to replace Coupling on MF 35:

Cover was removed as HYD PUMP was replaced....fractured due to WATER FREEZING:

BOb....MF FE 35 X..

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01-30-2019 05:49:07

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to MBlaxland33, 01-29-2019 18:01:44  
That's a real common find, in fact finding one without water in the transmission is rare.

Before draining it, do some diagnostics.

Open the inspection covers, raise the lift with a load, look inside and see where the oil is going.

If it's coming down out of the cylinder, the seals are bad, possibly the cylinder too, but it might hone out.

There is a stand pipe that brings oil up from the pump to the cylinder. There are orings at each end, one may be blown.

There is a pressure relief valve on the pump. If it is leaking oil will be swirling beside the pump. Raise it up, shut off the engine, look for the swirling.

Just don't reach in there with it running!

All that can be repaired without removing the pump.

If the lift raises fast and steady, the pump is good. If the motion is jerky and slow, the pump valves have failed and it will need to be repaired or replaced. I recommend replacing, they have close tolerances, are difficult to repair and replacement parts don't always fit correctly.

After diagnosis, then drain the oil, rinse it out with diesel or kerosene if desired, not required.

I like to refill through the inspection cover holes. It fills faster, no chance of overfilling or flooding the clutch with oil, as can happen when filling through the fill hole. As for the oil, 15w-40 motor oil is a common substitute. The 90 weight mineral oil (not to be confused with 90w gear oil) will work, but will be slow to operate the hydraulics in cold weather.

Water tends to get in the cases through bad shifter boots, and the boot over the top link under the seat.

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01-30-2019 03:42:41

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to MBlaxland33, 01-29-2019 18:01:44  
oil is not cheap nor is it very expensive. here is what do when I buy a new machine:

run machine until it reaches operating temp.
drain hyd. oil and let the oil drain for a few days.
your lift dropping could be bad O rings on the standpipe. while oil is drained replace said O rings. easy job.

refill with oil. (slowly) I still use the 90W mineral. your call tho.

after filling restart and see where you are.

before doing any of that get yourself a MANUAL if you do not have one.

pic is O rings I have bought from hardware store.

I have four TO-35's. well actually one is a MF-35.

have fun !

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01-30-2019 03:36:31

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to MBlaxland33, 01-29-2019 18:01:44  
I do have a shop manual and and owners manual is on the way. Is there anything else I should replace if Iím open it up to clean everything and replace the oil? Pressure relieve valve?

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01-29-2019 23:17:19

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to MBlaxland33, 01-29-2019 18:01:44  
Contaminated oil can have an effect on the hydraulics. Your problem may be no more than changing oil.
If you desire, you can pour in 5 gallons of diesel and rinse it out. You could also pull the cover and get a pump up spray bucket and rinse out the corners with diesel. The TO-35's might be running UTF 303 or GL-1 90W mineral oil and you might be able to run 15/40 heavy duty oil, not diesel grade. The diesel grade keeps particulates in suspension, while the heavy duty lets the crud settle to the bottom.

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John Deere D

01-29-2019 21:43:46

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to MBlaxland33, 01-29-2019 18:01:44  
Good evening. Do you own a SERVICE MANUAL,Operators Manual...TO 35..?

Have you removed the Lift / TOP HYDRAULIC COVER???

Given the vintage of this machine, there are enough components (couplings,etc,as per picture that can be suffering from excessive back lash due to years of operation) that may Justify the lifting off of the TOP HYDRAULIC COVER????

Bob...Owner operator MF FE 35 X

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01-30-2019 18:37:01

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to John Deere D, 01-29-2019 21:43:46  

Thank you for all the great responses! So Iíve decided this is my plan. Iíve got some parts coming to do a bit of a tune up and get the motor running well, once those come (hopefully tomorrow) I plan on diagnosing the state of things within the hydraulics cavity as it is currently.

Once I determine (via the excellent feedback I received here) I will move forward with whatever seems the best, ultimately ending with some fresh oil at minimum. If I can avoid removing the top cover Iím going to, however, now is probably a good time to do it if it seemed necessary.

I will try to document the process and post pictures and comments as I go.

Thank you all so much!

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02-01-2019 17:07:35

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to MBlaxland33, 01-30-2019 18:37:01  
So tonight I ran the tractor for a while to warm it up, and then pulled off the right inspection plate and took this video.

So (stupid me) the only reason the 3pt was falling so quick was because the levers werenít in the right position. So now even if I shut off the tractor it takes a few minutes to drop the arms down fully.

There is a slight leak I think from the piston but it seems like itís only for the first part of the travel? I chained the arms down and they were stopping about halfway up. Maybe a little less.

Overall the only reason I could see right now to take the top cover off would be to clean (it looks awfully dirty up there in the video). But is that really necessary? Plus Iím not even sure that itís dirt. When I pulled the standpipe out to check the o rings it was like this putted buildup on the top portion of it. I couldnít even scrape it off. So maybe it would all be for nothing. I know the hydraulic pump has a filter on it so maybe itís fine as is? Change the oil and leave well enough alone for now?

What do you guys think?

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02-01-2019 17:12:26

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to MBlaxland33, 02-01-2019 17:07:35  
Iím having a hard time getting the video to upload

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02-01-2019 17:41:35

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 Re: TO 35 Hydraulic Clean Out? in reply to MBlaxland33, 02-01-2019 17:12:26  


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