My New Performance Super Major Story.

This forum is for the Fordson New Major, including the Super Major and the Power Major.
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Ian H
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My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Ian H »

Hi all, new member here!

I have recently purchased a NPSM off ebay. It has turned out to be a very good purchase as far as I can tell. It was sufficiently close by that I could easily go and see it and test it. Although looking a bit tatty the mechanicals seemed to be very sound. Engine started straight away from cold with no smoke, Gearbox was quiet, that is no whining in any gear although I did not have an opportunity to put a heavy load on it. Clutches (live drive) worked OK and so did the brakes! It had low hours too - just under 2,900 which I would perhaps of regarded with suspicion if it was not for the fact the general wear and tear seemed commensurate. There were a couple of down sides - the front wheels were a mismatch and in very poor condition. Best I can say about them was that they were round and one didn't have a slow leak! The other was hydraulic issues, mostly it would seem being caused by stuck or sticking valves as it was allegedly stored for 10 years. Gearbox/back axle oil was horrible which probably did not help.

It also came with a lot of spares, most of which it did not need. Tried to do a deal without the spares but he insisted it was a job lot and he would not split. So I bought it for £2000, and have since sold the spares on for around £600 so about a net cost of the tractor about £1400.

https://imgur.com/a/l2eUxbk

Best Regards,

Ian H.

Billy26F5
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Billy26F5 »

Nice Major you've got there (odd badges for it though). I would expect the 2900 hours to be more like 12900 or even 22900, but the easy way to tell is the pedal foot pad wear. If worn flat you can probably add at least 20000 to anything on the hour counter. If I'm right about this I think you need new brake pedal springs (the pedals don't appear to be locked on but they're not up against the footplate as they should be). They also seem to be very low, so I suggest you adjust the brakes too. Hydraulics can be a bit awkward but it depends on what problem you actually have. A good service is always a good idea. I don't know exactly what you mean by no whining for all Major's I've ever heard make plenty of gear noises (but just as would be expected from spur gears). The gearbox and rear axle oils are separate, so if it seems to be at unusual levels it could be a failed seal between them (but it depends on what the levels are to identify the failed seal). As for front wheels they should be pressed steel but either the normal 6.00-19 or the optional 7.50-16 that would normally be used for front end loader fitted tractors. I don't think you have the usual types but I can't see well enough to be sure.
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Ian H
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Ian H »

Hi, yes the badges are a later fitment, it did have the correct Fordson Decal underneath though. It does seem at one stage someone wanted to backdate the look. The layers of paint on the rear wheels is grey/white/orange, on the mudguards it is grey/white/blue as is the grill. Not much wear on the pedals - perhaps very slight at the edge. It would appear that the engine is original too.

It would appear that the gearbox seals are Ok, but there was a lot of water contamination. All oils have been changed. It has also had new wiring loom and a new battery. Was surprised to find the dynamo charges OK when connected up! Brakes might benefit from adjustment, but for the time being they work well enough to lock the wheels so would be a little way down the to do list.

I have now fitted a horndraulic loader, which works well. Did not pipe it up in the conventional manner as the auxiliary valve was well and truly stuck in the 3 point position. When I realised that the pump outputs straight up to this little casting with the valve in it (passing the pressure relief valve on the way) I took it off and made an adaptor so I could take off pressure directly, then via a spool valve to the loader and then return to a modified gearbox filler cap. Works very well, although it does mean I can't use the 3 point hitch for now.

Billy26F5
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Billy26F5 »

I assume you mean rear axle filler cap, as if not you'll drain the axle into the gearbox. It is unusual to have little pedal wear. Some more pics and the serial number and casting codes would be great. Now you have the external service plate off you can get it fixed (not too difficult) and then refit it to have the more usual setup. You won't need to send any surplus oil to the filler cap with that and the arms will be usable too.
Even if the dynamo does charge I think it will be a good idea to repolarise it, you'll get far more charge out of it when you do.
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Ian H
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Ian H »

Sorry yes, I do mean the axle filler cap. I am also powering a backhoe from the pump, so I needed the return anyway. I have included a filter in the return, so it also means that as long as the PTO is engaged and fluid is being circulated, it is all getting properly filtered rather than just relying on the internal mesh screen.

The auxiliary valve is really really stuck though. I have unscrewed the knob on the valve and by using suitable spacers a washer and a nut and turned it into a makeshift puller. I stopped as I was worried I was going to strip the threads if I tightened it up any more. I do have a 20T press on the way, so if I can employ that I might be able to get it to shift.

The Dynamo seems to work well at the moment, so I think I will leave it alone for now.

Billy26F5
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Billy26F5 »

I'm not sure if you know about polarising, but it's very easy and simple. Try putting some diesel into the plate to help shift the valve. I would hope that will sort that without the 20 ton press. Sounds good to have the extra filter with the dirt that's probably still in there (it can be quite difficult to get out with a simple oil change).
Here's the manual on the hydraulics, it should help with getting the valve working again.
http://www.fordson.se/6A_Hydraul_Suplem ... 01-024.pdf
Sandy
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Ian H
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Ian H »

Thanks for that. The valve has had quite a soak in penetrating oil, but no joy. I am not in a hurry to fix it at the moment, but if a plate turns up on ebay or wherever at a good price I might take that route.

Ian H
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Ian H »

Latest update - got it road registered! V5 came earlier in the week and just got the plates yesterday. So hopefully I am all set to participate in road runs. Seems a bit weird being the first registered keeper of a tractor that is older than I am!

mathias1
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by mathias1 »

Ian H wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2023 4:20 pm
Latest update - got it road registered! V5 came earlier in the week and just got the plates yesterday. So hopefully I am all set to participate in road runs. Seems a bit weird being the first registered keeper of a tractor that is older than I am!
Great news Ian,

how is your tractor going?

Does it still has the original engine? Would like to know the engine number, so we can date your tractor.
Fordson Super Major New Performance
County Super 4 built on the Fordson Super Major
Selene built on the Fordson Super Major New Performance with Silvant winch

Ian H
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Ian H »

mathias1 wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2023 12:20 am


Great news Ian,

how is your tractor going?

Does it still has the original engine? Would like to know the engine number, so we can date your tractor.
Not bad thanks. Not done much on it recently. In fact it seems to be fairing a bit better than my other vehicles - at one point it was the only road legal vehicle I owned that worked!
It would appear to be the original engine - in fact pretty much original everything. The engine and all the castings appear to be dated within about two weeks of each other, sometime in early '64. Consequently on B suffix age related plates. The only bits I know that are not original apart from a few minor items are the front wheels and the bonnet - got swapped with one that had the exhaust through the top to fit the loader. It has previously been repainted at least twice, but under the flaking paint is still the remains of the original grey for the wings etc.

Next job is to change the coolant, not sure how much antifreeze it has in it but I am not going to wait and find out the hard way!

Billy26F5
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Billy26F5 »

3 gallons of coolant, I would suggest you allow for more cold than you get just in case with the antifreeze content in the coolant, it should be ethylene glycol coolant with suitable corrosion inhibitor.
Glad you still have original paint too.
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shepp
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by shepp »

It would be nice to see pictures of the engine number, casting codes on the block and head and gearbox etc., pictures of the lift cover back and front, engine etc., it all adds to the information that we all like to see and digest.
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.

Ian H
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Ian H »

First proper cold start today! With frost on the ground she still started quickly on all four cylinders the first go, despite the starter turning a bit slower than usual. Certainly can't complain!

Billy26F5
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Billy26F5 »

Just what you expect from a Major!
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shepp
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by shepp »

Any further photos.....?????
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.

Ian H
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Ian H »

OK, a little more info: Engine no. 08D949730

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Gearbox date code 4 A 17

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Hydraulic top date code 4 A 20

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Rear axle date code 4 A 15

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I did have the date code somewhere for the front casting too which was similar, but I did not get a photo.

Billy26F5
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Billy26F5 »

Very late January 64, looks pretty original from the codes.
Sandy
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Ian H
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Ian H »

So a little update. I have been connecting up the lights, not quite as straightforward as it could have been since a PO had just basically cut the wires for the headlamps, so they were soldered up to new ones with the correct bullet connectors for attaching to the replacement loom. The rear lights and sidelights were non existent, so I have for now got some non original ones on the wings. One thought though, I am somewhat surprised that there does not seem to be provision for fuses on the electrics? OK I suppose with minimal electrics and what with it being diesel if it went up in smoke it would still get you home and replacing the wiring loom is not exactly a huge undertaking, but I do wonder if anyone has retrofitted fuses as I would rather replace a fuse than a loom!

I also took it out for its first run in the wild so to speak - just to the nearest fuel station to get some diesel as there was not much in the tank. I knew the steering had a bit of play but did not think it was that bad. Lets just say I am glad the roads where I live are wide, and a new drag link with ball joints has been ordered from Agriline. And it is not going back on the road until it is fitted...

Billy26F5
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Billy26F5 »

Sounds like you've made good progress. No fuses originally, but over here many were given a 30A fuse on the wire from the solenoid to the ignition switch. What drag link do you have, as if you somehow have the early one you don't need to replace it. While you're there check the tie rod and spindles too as they can make the steering even worse.
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Ian H
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Ian H »

I think it may be the later drag link. Anyhow it is also bent and complete replacement with new is not expensive. This is one of the things I love about the major, and makes me understand why there are so many unrestored examples still running around on farms and elsewhere doing the job they were doing half a century ago!

Billy26F5
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Billy26F5 »

I didn't know it was bent, that changes things. Ford just got it right with the Major, and that's why so many carry on in good condition today without major work having been done.
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Ian H
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Ian H »

Fitted the new drag link yesterday. Big difference. Still some play in the steering as there is slack in the steering box, but it feels like I have at least halved the amount of overall play if not more. Hopefully next time I take it out it will feel a little less scary! It is also starting to snow. Wonder if it will be the usual couple of inches then it disappears by the next day, or whether I will be towing people out of drifts with the Fordson...

Billy26F5
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Billy26F5 »

Glad that's better. I think many people with Major's and snow have their Major out to shift snow and help other vehicles when they get stuck.
Sandy
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Ian H
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Ian H »

I took the major out for its first little job since fitting the new drag link, taking a trailer loaded with scrap to be weighed in. Pleased to report a significant improvement on the steering, It has gone from "terrifying" to "more play than I would like". I might have to have a look at the steering box also. Cheeky guy at the scrap yard asked if I was weighing the lot in or just what was on the trailer... :shock:

Billy26F5
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Re: My New Performance Super Major Story.

Post by Billy26F5 »

Glad the steering is better. I would check the axle first as it's easier to fix than the steering box, make sure the spindle arms are tight and are set at 0.025" from the extension (with no jacks). There should be no play in them, but they can become a problem if at some stage they were allowed to get loose, with many people welding them on making spindle repairs far more difficult. Also check the tie rod and make sure that the toe-in is 0 (it's not meant to be adjustable but some tie rods are not as accurate as they should be, as we found out with Super Billy). If the tioe rod needs to be dismantled be prepared for a long battle, as many have got very stuck making dismantling very difficult. The tie rod pins should be a press fit in the ends, if they're not you'll likely need new pins and tie rod ends, the ends are not that easy to find new but they are around. I also suggest you adjust the wheel bearings too.
The scrapy seems a bit terrifying!
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