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Fordson Tractors Discussion Forum

Fordson noobie!

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Lynn Patrick

02-23-2021 08:01:19

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I'm a long-time member on the Ford sites but just bought a '52 Major. I have a life-long relation w/Fords but know nothing about Fordsons except that they have always interested me. Anyway, I will probably have a ton of questions as I tune, plug leaks, & mostly play w/this one! Let's start w/what manuals are available? Is the I&T FO-201 the right one?

Thanks! Lynn

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Lynn Patrick

02-26-2021 05:43:41

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 Re: Fordson noobie! in reply to Lynn Patrick, 02-23-2021 08:01:19  
COOL!! (Boy! That shows my age!) Are the mechanical solenoids available? Those pics are a HUGE help as to what mine is supposed to look like.

I have a manual ordered - hope it's as good as the ad claimed! Will know next week when it comes.

Also have downloaded a manual but have not had time to do much looking yet.

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02-25-2021 06:36:13

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 Re: Fordson noobie! in reply to Lynn Patrick, 02-23-2021 08:01:19  
I found my DEXTA manuals at fordson-dexta.de. Free down loads. Not very good at computers you should find Majors also.

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Lynn Patrick

02-25-2021 06:16:46

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 Re: Fordson noobie! in reply to Lynn Patrick, 02-23-2021 08:01:19  
WOW!! Thanks guys! First time I have ever really had a rare tractor! Your info is MUCH appreciated! Can't wait to get out to the shop to see if there is any of the cable pull starter left over. The cable is there & I had wondered what it was supposed to hook to!

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02-25-2021 01:46:58

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 Re: Fordson noobie! in reply to Lynn Patrick, 02-23-2021 08:01:19  
The engine is a Fordson (England) design developed from around 1944 to run on petrol, petrol/kerosene and diesel with only basic changes. It was used in tractors, trucks and industrial applications from 1951. The problem that you have is there were only 25,000 spark ignition engines made as diesel became the more popular engine and carried on production until the middle 1960's. Spark ignition engines ceased production in 1956.

Most modern workshop manuals do not cover the spark ignition engines so you would need to get a copy of the original manual. You may find sites that have details of the Diesel versions but few know about the spark ignition versions. I have been involved with these tractors since 1954 when my father got a diesel version, I then went to work at a large Fordson tractor dealership servicing them. I have owned my own 1952, petrol/kerosene Major since 1974 and still use her on our fields.

At the Ford 500 rally over here in 1999, out of over 1000 tractors on show, there were only 11 spark ignition (New) Majors, indeed from 1951 until 1974, including working for the dealership network, I only came across 2, one of which was mine. Now, in 2021 I know of around 30 world wide.

From the clutch housing rearwards the tractor is the same as the diesel Major although there were small changes as HP increased, so parts for that area are readily available along with the tinwork.

The starter is operated by a pull cable from the dash panel, like the choke cable, the pull type solenoid is under the firewall on the left. The starter is an inertia one with a Bendix unlike the diesel version which was engaged via a push down lever.

I will get some pictures of mine and post them over the next few days.

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02-26-2021 05:01:32

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 Re: Fordson noobie! in reply to Majorman, 02-25-2021 01:46:58  

Starter solenoid, cable pull type.

Dash panel. Top left oil pressure. Top right temperature guage, Middle left starter pull, Middle right Choke, Bottom left Ampmeter, Bottom right light and ignition switch. Middle is horn

Radiator shutter control.

Gearbox oil level only.

Rear axle and hydraulic oil level only.

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02-24-2021 19:21:49

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 Re: Fordson noobie! in reply to Lynn Patrick, 02-23-2021 08:01:19  
Here are a couple photos of one I owned. Note the fuel pump has been blanked off
and an electric pump with a pressure regulator has been added. The starter appears
to be a standard starter with a solenoid somewhere, just don't see it. Must be mounted on the back of the firewall near the oil bath air filter. This one also
has an alternator to replace the generator. I believe they were 12 volt. The ignition parts are the same as or similar to an English car of that era. The radiators
have fins closer together to get rid of more heat than a diesel, yet they also have
shutters for cold weather warm up. I think this one is more or less original, but
can't guarantee it. Upon investigation, I found the hub was broken out of the camshaft
gear. How this weakness made it to production is hard to imagine. The manuals show that
it was a persistent problem that was dealt with by various fixes. The gear from a diesel
looks interchangeable with a thicker web, but the thickness has to be machined off the gear wheel rim to fit behind the original cam gear cover.

All in all, the engine looks like a Model A Ford engine treated to all the updates, such as
oil pressure, overhead valves, and counterbalanced crankshaft, with 5 mains. The gas engine is 200 cu inch, as was the Model A. [But slightly different bore and stroke] It produces
about 10 more horsepower, and is quite a bit heavier.

Your tractor is different from my 1953 because it has wheels carried over from the E27N. The hood sides should just say Fordson Major, no mention of Diesel. [Mine were missing]
These early models also have a reveal that follows the arc of the fenders. Not on later versions. The mountings down by the axles are weak and could be broken from rust and
vibration. The seat spring is a rubber bumper, like a Dagmar off of a Cadillac.

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