Mark Pugh's Petrol Dexta

The picture (243 KB, opens in new window) of the Dexta, me driving, is the only picture I could find at the moment. Note the exhaust on the right side of the hood! My friend and I own the tractor, and we purchased it at an auction in Leicestershire. I stumbled across an article in a farming paper advertising an auction just after Christmas 19??.

In the listing was a petrol Dexta! 'Surely not', I thought, and my friend was also in doubt. On contacting the auctioneers, however, we were told that it was correct and viewing would be on that day! Off we went! While we sat eating a bacon sandwich, in came this ruff looking item on the back of an arctic lorry, flat tyre and seized. Oh no was it really worth it...? Well you know how it is, you set your heart on something. The time came for bidding. It started low and did not get going much. When it went quit I started to bid, on and on we went until just the two of us were left. The result, well, we bought it!

When we finally got it home, we thought we had bought a bad lot. It did not take much to get it free, however, so we gave it plenty of lubrication without the cylinder head fitted. The engine itself is very similar to the 85 mm bore TE 20. We actually used a head gasket of the Fergy engines and it fitted like a hand in a glove. On replacement of the head we timed the engine, fitted a battery and turned on the petrol. Full choke, after 5 turns on the starter it burst into life, we were very chuffed!

It is a fantastic little machine and runs just like a watch. Fuel consumption is not too bad either. We have tried to find information on these tractors, but Ford destroyed all records of the pre-6610 series. We are led to believe that they were produced as competition again the petrol Ferguson, but the down side was the use of an engine exactly the same.

Petrol Dexta's are longer than diesel Dexta's. Aside from the make fit extensions to the hood and the location of the exhaust manifold (on the right side of the hood), another interesting item is the clutch to cast box section. This is a different casting to the diesel Dexta's; it's due to the longer starter motors. In addition, the dashboard is different (see picture, 53 KB, opens in new window):

Information gained from persistent badgering at Ford Dagenham, claims that less then 50 of these machines were built for the world. Believable or not?

We did have plans on restoring it, but due to no one believing that it is a factory job, we have decided to postpone restoration for at least 5 years.

Cheers! Mark Pugh
Leominster, England

NOTE: see also Questions and Answers for more info on the petrol Dexta (with pictures)!

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