Ferguson TE20 TEF20 lift cylinder and lift cover top rebuild.

Following the replacement of the entire back end several weeks prior, the time came to rebuild the lift cover top and lift cylinder of the TEF20. Doing so ensures strong hydraulic lift, and no weeping from the cylinder means you can park the tractor and power off without the implement dropping. It’s also a good idea to do things right whilst the back end is empty of oil otherwise I’d have to drop all 25L out again to do anything!

All the bolts were FT (second letter stands for tight, use your imagination for the first letter!)

Making a start on taking the lift cover top off the old back end (prior to stripping for the new back end – More on how to disconnect the lift cover top in this post here

After the lift cover top was off, it’s a case of slackening off the 4 bolts holding in the lift cylinder and taking out the lift/pump mechanism. The draft control lever also needs to be removed from the side of the lift cover. You’ll be left with components looking like the below – All in need of a good clean although not bad to say they probably haven’t been apart in 70 years!

The piston in the lift cylinder can be an absolute dog to remove – But be patient. A quick phonecall to my granddad (An engineer by trade) proved handy – He recommended putting ice inside the piston which would likely shrink quicker than the cast body of the cylinder.

I put ice cubes inside the piston and knocked it against a block of wood. Persistence and patience paid off and eventually bit by bit the piston slid out of the cylinder.

The piston rings were easy enough to change with some ring pliers, and all are identical, so not a massive drama to get them all in the right slots. As ever with piston rings, go steady with the ring pliers as you can snap them quite easily if you extend them too far!

After changing the rings, a good clean down of the component parts was required, and removing the old gasket from the cover top – As much as these tractors are bomb proof and can deal with being filthy inside – It’s worth spending the time doing things properly!

Once cleaned up, it was a case of putting it back together – Ring compressor is essential to put the piston back into the cylinder – Although you can use zip ties if you’re feeling cheap!

Make sure that you put the gasket on the right way round – If you don’t the gasket will sit over the oil vein between the back end and the lift cover top!