Lockdown liability

At the start of 2021, and already owning two Grey Fergies, various implements, tools and more, the possibility of a “lockdown” began to loom and I started to panic that I wouldn’t have enough to keep me busy.

I’d just finished a never ending list of problems with my second TED20 (more on that in a later article) and completed the Knaresborough YFC tractor run in early March when I started to look for a more involved project to get my teeth stuck into if we were indeed “Locked down” whatever that meant!

The second TED in my collection at the Knaresborough YFC tractor run in March 2020

Lockdown struck on the 23rd of March, and I began looking more seriously for a project, and with money starting to burn a hole in my pocket I was getting more and more desperate to find something to add to the collection!

By the 10th of April, I had found, negotiated a good price on and collected a Ferguson TEF20 built in 1954 (Standard Motor Company 4 cylinder diesel engine)… In a real sorry state from where it had been parked up for over 20 years.

Luckily dry stored, but clearly forgotten about – This is one of the original pictures from the eBay listing.

The engine wouldn’t start, but would turn which is pretty much all I needed to know as I was quite keen to do an engine rebuild anyway. It was unloaded at home and it was decided the best way to try start it was by towing it off behind the teleporter.

Despite best efforts, she wouldn’t start and I began to delve deeper into why, I stripped the inspection cover off the injector pump, and the number 1 injector was stuck “up” so no fuel was going to that cylinder. Not knowing how to fix this, a call was made to a local old school mechanic who worked on these machines as a lad and he advised to whip the injector pipe off, take out the spring and valve and push it back down from above. TOP TIP: I wasn’t equipped to do this an had limited tools – A fork found in the teleporter cab from a previous packed lunch came in handy – If you need to do the same, bend forward one of the “forks” and use it to push the injector down.

Believe it or not – The same best “injector pump valve loosening fork” actually got used again in January 2021!

Tightening everything back up after bleeding through, and towing off again it took approximately 1 mile of towing up and down the lane before she fired, and it became immediately apparent that whilst she ran, she was breathing really heavily out the breather pipe, suggesting worn/cracked piston rings and explained the poor compression/starting!

A video of the TEF running on her first day home – You can see her breathe in the first half of the video – Not anything daft, but enough to warrant a bit of work.

As you can tell, at this point she was a real ugly duckling, bits missing, covered in shite and really rough around the edges, but the start of a good solid tractor, and running! So better than it could have been!

And that’s how the “Lockdown Liability” project purchase started! The start of a massive learning experience and a thoroughly enjoyable project! There are a few photos of it below!