A Mostly British Obsession

Category: ’55 Ferguson TO35 (Page 1 of 2)

The Only Thing That Pulls Its Own Weight

Farewell to Ferguson and Miata

I found new homes for the Miata and the Ferguson. I had Fergie for sale (forever, so it seems) for amounts ranging from “here’s what I have into it,” to “surely it must be worth this,” to finally “OK, I guess that no one cares if it’s restored or not.”

I sold the Miata to a friend here on the island for $1,500. (I gave him a discount as he really needs a car and doesn’t have a lot of spare cash, a situation I’m all too familiar with. Saves the hassle of selling it, too.) I had the car a year, and new top aside, it didn’t need anything other than a flex hose for the rear brakes. The Miata got a consistent 30 – 31 MPG, too.

Summer 2010

1963 MGB, 1968 F250

Sigh…still no shop (or even a garage) and many, many things with wheels (not all pictured). I’m thinking of selling the Ferguson–it seems pretty unlikely at this point that I’ll have a use for it…and it’s overkill for even an acre of lawn. Especially one you don’t want field-tire tracks in.

Now Those Are Snow Tires

1955 Ferguson TO-35

As it turns out, we did get some snow, albeit a day late. As you can see, the drifts are nearly insurmountable–we may not be able to get out of the house for weeks. (Well, OK, this is a typical Puget Sound lowlands snow, a couple of inches which, none-the-less, sends the locals into a panic.)
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Where I Left Off on the Ferguson…

1955 Ferguson TO35

Since most of what I have left to do on the Ferguson is rattle-can painting, and it really should be dry and above 50 degrees to do so–and since we live in a hole with only an open carport on the north side of the building…well, it will be April before I can finish. But you can see above I got a lot done, and the machine looks 100% better. It doesn’t stand up to “concours” level inspection, but then again it will be bouncing around the field acquiring scratches and such. Hopefully I can avoid major incidents and keep up with a touch-up brush until I get tired of that.

All that remains, really, is to assemble and paint the hood.

More Ferguson Work

1955 Ferguson TO35

So far I’ve added the following to the list in the previous entry as I discover things wrong:

  • New manifold, my old one is cracked
  • The front pivot pin and axle bushing need to be renewed–they are really worn
  • The front wheel bearings on both sides and the bushings in the front uprights

I found a lot of the old governor in the sump, broken into nice little pieces–that might explain why it didn’t work!

Quite an expensive little overhaul, but the tractor should be ready for another good number of years afterwards–and without looking like it was pulled from a scrapheap.

My shipments of goodies will be:

  • Nearly everything mechanical from Yesterday’s Tractors, out of Port Townsend. I use their forums a lot and their prices are in line with other suppliers
  • Most of the remainder of the mechanical items from tm tractors, a seller on eBay. I’ve ordered from him in the past and had good service. He had a few things YT did not.
  • All new wiring and electrical stuff (minus the starter and generator, which seem in OK condition) from Agri Services in New York. They use original materials and their harnesses are indistinguishable from what was originally on the tractor. We’ll see, but I have high hopes.
  • A new used disk for one of the rear wheels, which is currently incorrect. This came from Helm’s Farm Machinery in South Carolina. They were helpful and if YT wasn’t handy, I would have ordered the bulk of my stuff from them.

The remaining big spendy item is going to be new tires. I’ll be picking those up at the local Les Schwab, who will mount them for free, with a small fee to transfer the fluid in the tubes from old to new.

Add in a visit to Autosport Seattle to do the machining on the axle bushing and swivel pin uprights, plus some welding from Mark at Britsport, and my summer fooling around with cars budget is exhausted. I must say I enjoy working on the old machine, though. Pretty nicely engineered and built to last.

Finally, I’ll be buying a new propshaft for the mower, it no longer has a shield and that’s an unnecessary danger that can be fixed for $100 or so (a shield by itself is as much as the entire shaft with shield). I don’t want myself or anyone else getting caught up in the rotating shaft…there is no escape if you get caught.

Summer Ferguson Work

1955 Ferguson TO35

I have my trusty Ferguson apart to fix a few “niggling” details and to give it a quick cosmetic restoration.

The mechanical list includes:

  • Rear axle seals
  • Repack rear bearings
  • Adjust brakes
  • Front left wheel bearing
  • Steering column bushings
  • New governor
  • Carb rebuild
  • New exhaust
  • New lift arms
  • Adjust valves
  • New hoses and belts
  • Replumb oil pressure gauge
  • New right rear wheel
  • New tires
  • New wiring, voltage regulator and starter relay


  • New fenders
  • Headlights and work light
  • Repair battery box
  • Repair grille lower panel
  • New grille
  • Repair right foot board
  • Repair hood
  • Paint (a quickie spray bomb job)

That’s probably enough. Not a complete restoration but the tractor should work better and be way more pleasing to the eye when I’m done!

Ferguson Refresh

1955 Ferguson TO35

My car project this summer is going to be giving old Fergie a face-lift. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just a bit of a dress-up over her current condition, which is pretty scruffy. I have a new pair of fenders, a new wheel center, and a few bits and bobs…and a couple of cans of paint. New tires, too. The machine will still need a full restoration at some point, but for the short-term this will be great.

Carport of Doom

1963 MGB, 1954 BSA, 1955 Ferguson

This is what a carport should look like. Reggie, Fireball, and Fergie. Old Yeller sits outside, knowing that come winter he will take the place of the two fair-weather machines. Or something like that, anyway. Bike is running OK, though the blasted carb is really a piece of junk. Time to try a different one, me thinks.

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