Tractor Identification and Restoration Assessment.

This forum is for the Fordson New Major, including the Super Major and the Power Major.
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Not Quite Blue Yet
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:15 am

Tractor Identification and Restoration Assessment.

Post by FordsonRod »

Hello, Rod here, I'm new and this is my first post.
I am in Western Canada.
I am starting from the beginning with my first Fordson tractor. It's looks well used, and somewhat abused.
The hood badge reads Fordson Major Diesel.

To begin with I probably want to identify it as to a specific model, year of production, special features, modifications or alterations, and any atttached accessories.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Further to that I welcome any suggestions regarding things I might expect to encounter and what to look into and in what order. I am trying to figure out how to post pics so members can see it in case that is helpful.
Today I will try to post the image I made of the metal tag (data plate) which I found located on the engine side of the firewall, at the top. Is this possibly the tractor's serial number? Is this number useful to me?
I also found a number stamped on the engine block above the injection pump. I need to get a better picture of I it, I can't read the one I took. I am pretty sure that it starts with the letter S. A new picture will possibly take me a few weeks to get because the tractor is located at my homestead and I am presently some six hours drive away. I will be in Vancouver next week, after that I will be returning to my home in the central interior, where the tractor is at my workshop.

Btw, the rear wheels are seized fast and tight since I got it. They don't even hint of turning. I didn't see water in the transmission, but haven't checked the rear end yet. I am wondering if it might be the brakes, or something more serious...
The engine was hard to rotate at first, but in the end did yield with a pipe wrench on the front crank pulley shaft. I did only turn it a tiny smidge, I think it's free and I don't want to cause harm if there might be rust from sitting or such. I believe it has sat parked without operating for at least 4 years, if not ??? longer. The engine oil is dirty, but otherwise appears uncontaminated. The radiator smells like coolant inside, and not anything else.

Hopefully the pic of this data tag will help with identification, provided too that I can manage to post it here.
I have numerous other pictures from various angles as well if they might be beneficial.

Thanks in advance,


True Blue
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:24 pm
Location: Lancashire

Re: Tractor Identification and Restoration Assessment.

Post by shepp »

Hi Rod

The number looks like 1345537 and if this is correct the tractor was built in June 1955. The same number should be stamped on the flywheel housing flange immediately behind the starter motor on the left of the tractor.

From the factory the engine number and serial number are the same, and the fact that your engine has a number stamped on it indicates that it has had an engine change at some point as it was later in 1956 that the number stamped behind the starter was moved to the pad on the engine. Furthermore, an engine number beginning with "S" indicates this is an industrial engine. There are two possibilities, the first is that the tractor has been fitted with a used engine from a compressor or generator or something similar. The second is that it has been fitted with a new engine during the period from late 1964 to around 1974 - industrial versions of this engine continued to be assembled at the Dagenham factory for about 6 years until 1970 after Fordson tractor production ceased in 1964, these all had serial numbers starting with "S" and were available as replacement engines for the tractors. From 1970 to 1974 Ford sold Ebro built engines as their own engines so that there was a 10 year availability of new engines for the tractors after Fordson tractor production had ceased, this was the standard obsolescence period, these Ebro built engines also had serial numbers starting with "S".

Tractors supplied to the USA and Canada did not have a handbrake, the latch on the footbrake pedals was used as the parking brake. If the tractor has been parked up for a long time with the footbrake pedals latched down it is likely the brake shoes have stuck to the drums. Ensure that the brake pedal latch is released and give the brake back plates (not the drum dust covers!) a few sharp knocks with a copper hammer, this combined with rocking the tractor back and forwards might release the shoes. Otherwise you will have to strip down the drumbrake assemblies and clean them up.

Post more pictures when you can, everyone will be pleased to help with tips and advice.
1946 E27N, 1952 Major Diesel, 1959 Power Major, 1962 Dexta, 1962 Super Dexta, 1963 Super Dexta NP, 1964 Super Major NP, 1965 Super Dexta 3000, 1966 Major 4000, 1967 3000 PF, 1994 5640,plus Basildon built NH.

True Blue
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:01 am
Location: On Billy

Re: Tractor Identification and Restoration Assessment.

Post by Billy26F5 »

First things first, give your Major a good clean and change all oils before you even attempt to move anything, dirty oil can bite back with very expensive results.
Make sure you check behind the starter motor, to confirm the origin of the engine, although it sounds like a replacement.
The parking brake is fine, but don't engage it and press the pedals down. As for the rear wheels, are you in gear? other than that it's likely to be the brakes, but you might want to lift the top cover, just in case. Billy had a diff pinion failure that only became clear trying to go round corners.
Once you have him going you'll have a tractor that you'll want for everything!
Keep the pics coming.

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