Modernising my machine is a labour of love that, wife willing, will be finished by September
A while ago, I decided to set out on a project to modernise and repair the farm's old and very tired Massey Ferguson 35. After a good start, the project has limped along very slowly since suffering from a lack of time and funds. But now some excellent weather and a few bank holiday weekends have re-ignited the MF35 project.
Just to recap, the MF35 has been working hard on the family farm up until very recently. It was purchased second-hand to replace another MF35 that was badly burnt.
The 35 was reconditioned very soon after it arrived because its engine and steering were completely worn out. Since then, it has clocked up more than 8,000 hours and is in dire need of another bout of work.
The engine block assembly, injection pump and injectors all received attention and were covered in the last instalment. Aftermarket parts supplier Vapormatic, under the stewardship of sales rep Shane Rooney, has been very supportive. Anything not available from Vapormatic is sourced from Matt Buckley Tractor spares, Sparex or Bepco.
In addition to the extensive repairs that need to be carried out, it is the modernisation 'wish list' that is really driving the project. The original list to modernise or upgrade the 35 includes the addition or fitting of the following:
• Hydrostatic or power-assisted steering;
• Spin on oil filter assembly for engine;
• Full lighting including indicators;
• Foot throttle;
• Later-type hydraulic pump (with filter);
• Suspended seat;
• Pick-up hitch;
The little 35 is now progressing nicely and ideally I would like to have it completed before the Ploughing in September. That will require many more evenings, weekends, finances and a whole lot of understanding from the wife, but who knows...