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Fordson Tractors Discussion Forum

1961 Fordson Super Major 3 Point Hitch Won't Lift

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11-09-2019 13:40:00

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Good afternoon all. Putting a call out to all Super Major experts. I've got a real stumper. Regardless of what I do 3PT will only go up slowly under no load, regardless of control position. It can be pushed down by hand while this is happening and will just slowly go back up. I have 1700 psi of pressure, have extensively read many posts here and have:

Change oil to aw32, checked and cleaned check valve, removed and polished gently unloading valve, no o ring in place, also cleaned and polished control shuttle, cleaned polished and rebuilt valve chest, replaced exhaust filter, made sure all shuttle valves move freely with gravity.

I am stumped, have rebuilt many tractors and have never had one be quite so stubborn, but I refuse to give up. Have been fooling with this one for just over a year.

I can provide more details but don't want to make this to long to read.

Please help!

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Deutz Lover

11-22-2019 19:27:58

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 Re: 1961 Fordson Super Major 3 Point Hitch Won't Lift in reply to l_i_n_c_o_l_n, 11-09-2019 13:40:00  

If you have not already done it download the free hydraulic section available on the internet.

5_Hydraulik_Verkstadsmanual_147-166.pdf .

Compare the diagrams and parts layout with what you have and make sure someone did not assemble something incorrectly before you got hold of it.

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Deutz Lover

11-22-2019 15:08:19

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 Re: 1961 Fordson Super Major 3 Point Hitch Won't Lift in reply to l_i_n_c_o_l_n, 11-09-2019 13:40:00  

Majorman ask me to chime in, but I probably cannot do any better than him since I have yet to actually lay my hands on a hydraulic system other than look at flow charts and diagrams and repair one solenoid control on a Ford SLE.
The first question I ask is which make of gauge are you using. Reason: My brother was recently working on the hydraulics on a Ford 8210. He said the pressure was 750 psi. I ask him where did you get the gauge. He said (land of almost right). He got a different gauge and it immediately showed 1500 or maybe 2500. I don't rember exactly. After this and cleaning out the pipes and changing filters the front end loader worked again.

If the gauge is correct we can go from there. Sorry, all I know to do is go by the numbers, step by step.

The three point lift on the 8210 was another problem, but we know part of the malfunction was Bubba took apart the electric solenoid which had been working. If your gauges are reading correctly we can from there.

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11-10-2019 01:43:41

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 Re: 1961 Fordson Super Major 3 Point Hitch Won't Lift in reply to l_i_n_c_o_l_n, 11-09-2019 13:40:00  
You are about 1000 psi down on pump pressure, it should be 2500 to 2600 psi.

Low pressure can be caused by blown pump "O" rings, Faulty pressure relief valve or a stuck valve in the Auxiliary Service Chest. If possible, try another ASC from another tractor before getting too involved.

How did you "polish" the valves? Hopefully with a household polish like "Brasso", any abrasive medium like wet and dry paper or emery cloth can terminally damage the parts and make your problems worse.

Faulty "O" rings on the ram cylinder or pressure pipe can also cause low pressure.

AW32 is the wrong oil and will cause wear in the gears in the rear end. It should be Tractor Oil Universal or at least a 20/30W for the lift to work correctly.

Your problem sounds unload valve related if the lift goes up with the control lever in the lowered position but it could also be return valve on the return filter in the lift or just the thin oil bypassing worn lift valves.

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11-16-2019 08:04:08

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 Re: 1961 Fordson Super Major 3 Point Hitch Won't Lift in reply to Majorman, 11-10-2019 01:43:41  
Good morning and thank you for your response Majorman. From all my reading here I had hoped you would chime in as you seem to be the authority on these girls.
I will go longer on this one if you are willing to read a little.

I set out last fall to buy a Diesel 40 - 50 hp basket case to fix up so I could plow and fit the 40 acres of land I have left fallow for the last 20 years up here in western NY. My dad and I picked the Super Major as it was the same model tractor he had used as a young man on the farm, and we both fell in love with its uniquely British looks. You can almost see the bulldog the designer was looking at when he drew her up. I have been a mechanic for most of my life, so fixing her has never been a fear of mine, My motto has always been anything can be repaired up to the cost of replacement, and since a new Tractor that can do what this one will do would run 30 grand or so I've got some wiggle room.

So, to answer your questions. I polished everything with a extremely light polishing compound meant for removing swirl marks from paint on cars somewhere in the neighborhood of 3000 grit. It did a nice job of removing most of the corrosion, and not much else. I will admit though that I appear to be 3rd or 4th in line attempting to repair this, the 3pt arms had obviously been removed decades ago and had to be "found" when I brought her home. so I have no clue what the last owners did, but there is obvious evidence of heavier hands... All shuttles now move freely with gravity, in other words you can hear them knock back and forth when you tilt the assembly. I used a factor service manual I found online to take everything apart, and fashioned tools as needed so no large hammers were used. She came with a valve chest from another model, I traced the casting number to a ford 8OO series, 806 may be, (I was a parts guy for 10 years so I know how to dig) it has a pressure out and return port, that is where I measured the 1700PSI. The 3pt did nothing, so I found a correct valve chest on EBAY and bought it, along with all the parts to rebuild, (O-rings plugs and such) from Agriline across the pond. It did come to me with very contaminated aw32 in it. I rebuilt the new valve chest, the one spring loaded shuttle for the flow control in it was stuck, 2 weeks of patient heating and a fabricated extraction tool got it free. Polished and reassembled, I took apart the ram assembly, removed the obviously wrong o-ring from the unloading valve, polished and put back in with no o-ring. I removed the leveling valve assembly, polished gently, everything looked in order, the deflector cone on the level valve was pretty bent up, but the valve slid freely with no force so... I refreshed all the O-rings, and added fresh(and wrong) oil.

Now the 3pt arms would raise extremely slowly and 20 or 30 LBS of force could push them down. Obviously pressure was leaking into the lift ram from somewhere, but none was getting to the actual control circuit. When you pull out the auxiliary service valve on the valve chest the arms would lock wherever they were, but there was no flow out of the aux port. Also you could not hear the pump whine like I had been able to with the original valve chest. I did pull the little set screw in the chamber that contains the flow valve in the valve chest, and QUITE a bit of oil came out there. I got a bath when I cranked it and forgot to hold the shutoff for the motor... I did put the old valve chest on again, and same result, still makes pressure at the port.

SO, I tore her apart again, I appreciate that the designers balanced the top cover so nicely at the front seat mount bolt, the must have known someone would be in here a lot. This time I drained the oil again, replaced the return line filter or muffler with a new one from Agriline, the old one was paper and heavily contaminated, it reqired 30PSI to start to pass oil. Then cleaned all again replaced a bunch of O-rings again and put new aw32 again. Oh yea, I also pulled the screen from the bottom and cleaned it and the housing, everything was already pretty good but...

No change... That's what brought me here. I love a good challenge, and prefer to do the research and figure these thing out on my own, I have a 60+ hour a week high stress job and these "puzzles" are how I unwind, but after a year of off and on failures, I am ready for a lifeline.

Majorman, after I post this I am going to go grab a couple pails of "universal Tractor oil" like you recommended, I believe it is several orders of magnitude thicker than AW32 so fingers crossed, and see if anything changes. will update! The previous owner was running a log splitter with it for a small firewood business so I know the pump is at least OK.

I do not have access to another tractor to swap valve chests with, so If anyone in the Western New York or Finger Lakes area would like to chime in I would love to try that, I have a new gasket and O-rings for you! Majorman, I would be willing to pay postage to mail it to you as well for testing. If you are in to that sort of thing. I haven't tackled getting pictures on here yet, but if that would help let me know.

I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this, we refuse to give up on her, and honestly I need a little win right now, overcoming this problem for me would be like a kid at Christmas at this point! I also promise not to drop the ball after my problem is solved. I spend a lot of time reading different forums to see what others have done and nothing is worse than following a thread only to never know if the problem was solved or how!


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11-18-2019 04:36:29

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 Re: 1961 Fordson Super Major 3 Point Hitch Won't Lift in reply to L_I_N_C_O_L_N, 11-16-2019 08:04:08  
Just a quick update, I did change the fluid to universal tractor this weekend, no change in symptoms. Not sure what to do next.


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11-19-2019 01:38:35

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 Re: 1961 Fordson Super Major 3 Point Hitch Won't Lift in reply to L_I_N_C_O_L_N, 11-18-2019 04:36:29  
Hi Arne,

I am still thinking about your problem, not as easy as when you can see it in front of you. It still seems to me that the unload valve is not shuttling but why, I cannot think. Have you checked the check valve, the ball and spring, right at the front of the lift housing behind a hexagon plug?

Just a point, the only ASC plate that will work with your lift is the original Fordson one. Ones for different Ford tractors, apart from the Fordson Dexta, may look the same but porting is different and, in some cases, the tractor hydraulics will not function correctly. Oil from the pump goes firstly to the ASC and Flow Control before going to the ram cylinder or external services and leaks on the ASC valve spool can give all sorts of weird problems.

These are just musings rather than answers, I still have the ice pack on my head. :0)


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11-23-2019 01:15:06

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 Re: 1961 Fordson Super Major 3 Point Hitch Won't Lift in reply to Majorman, 11-19-2019 01:38:35  
Looking at the pressure side of the problem, you either have a massive oil leak or a faulty pump.
1. Have you checked the pressure pipe from pump to rear axle housing for leaks. I have seen the brazing crack around the joints.

2. If you have a 1961 Super, the return pipe filter was originally mounted on brackets brazed to the pressure pipe. It was later modified to a bracket bolted to the pump pedestal. Holes could appear where the brackets were brazed to the pressure pipe. Is the return filter and valve still in position? If not, this could be your problem as they are needed to keep a pressure of 12 to 15 psi in the system to work the unload valve.

3. Have you had the pump out and stripped down? There are "O" rings in the pump which can blow. If you strip the pump be sure and mark everything as you pull it apart as it must go back EXACTLY where the parts came from. The two bearing blocks and the gears have cut their own surfaces and the positions must not be changed. Saying that however, if they have been wrongly assembled by someone else, check that the large gap on the bearing blocks is opposite the intake port on the housing and the small gap towards the pressure port.

4. Check that the drive key in the pump drive gear is not sheared off.

Note: The pump can be removed without draining the oil. We used to do it by feel under the oil. There are three bolts and then the pump should lift straight out with a bit of wriggling to free it off the dowels.

5 Check that you still have the two "Broken spring washer halves" in place around the pressure pipe where it goes into the top cover. (On my first ever lift job, I thought it was a broken spring washer and threw them away!!!! Then had to spend a long while crawling around the dirt floor in a dark shed to find them).


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11-25-2019 07:06:21

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 Re: 1961 Fordson Super Major 3 Point Hitch Won't Lift in reply to Majorman, 11-23-2019 01:15:06  
Can you confirm that you have checked the check valve please.

The check valve is behind the hexagon plug underneath the ASC tapping with the pipe in the picture.

I have included the flow diagram so that if you had not seen it, you can follow the oil flow and (possibly) my thinking. A faulty check valve could help prevent the unload valve working.


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11-29-2019 15:28:14

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 Re: 1961 Fordson Super Major 3 Point Hitch Won't Lift in reply to Majorman, 11-25-2019 07:06:21  
Good afternoon gentlemen, sorry I disappeared, work has been more trying than usual and has eaten all of my time/ energy. I did check the check valve assembly, or at least had it apart, it did not look terrible.

I hope to have some more time to look into it this weekend.

Where is the best place to check pressure? When I had the incorrect valve chest on The tractor I was able to check it at that chests auxiliary port, but with the new and hopefully correct one I have, there is no pressure or flow at the auxillary port when the valve is pulled out. Should I be checking it at the port on the right side of the top cover? Will it develop pressure there if the auxillary port is not dead headed? I will take some pictures tomorrow and post them. I do have the factory service manual, so I think I am using the correct terms, but you never know. Thanks again for sticking with me, I know we can beat this.


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