The start of a long list of jobs – How to remove a Ferguson TEF20 Lift Cover Top?

I wanted the tractor at home so I could work on it without travelling to it over lockdown, and the first job getting her running again to load her onto the trailer – With a lazy starter and the poor compression mentioned in the previous post, a quick tow off got her going. Knowing I’d struggle to get running again at the other end, I decided to leave her running on the trailer.

Given that the cooling system hoses were badly perished, the cooling system was a little less than watertight, so I brimmed it and drove like hell for the 5 miles between the farm and home!

The Boss inspecting the new arrival

Both rear tyres were knackered, and given that I’d found the back end casting was cracked by the hinge pin – No time was wasted taking the back wheels off and taking them back to the farm out the way – Leaving the tractor resting on some agri-spec axle stands!

I began inspecting and taking photos of the tractor – A scroll in the gallery below gives a good impression of what condition she was in under all the dust from being parked up for 20 or so years.

With both the back end and the front end needing serious work – It was hard to choose where to start… I decided to start tearing apart the back end ready to replace – and I did it in the following order:

  1. Drop the oil out the back end – Make sure you’ve got plenty of buckets as it holds 22-25L of oil
  2. Side plates off the back end – Dipstick and PTO lever
  3. Unbolt the small retaining bolts from either side of the hydraulic valve lever assembly
  4. The most fiddly annoying task of unhooking either side from the hydraulic control valve – Go steady with this, you don’t want to break anything
  5. Unbolt and remove the lift cover top – Typical that the last bolt I went to was rounded badly and needed some encouragement…. – Pictures below

Tip: Get at least 25l worth of buckets for the back end oil – There’s plenty in there!

You can just see where the bolt goes between the vertical pieces – Note: earlier Ferguson TE20 models do not have the middle bridge part and there are no bolts to remove.

With the lift cover top bolt finally encouraged out, it was time to take the top off. This took a big pry bar, two fat boys, and a lot of swearing. Be persistent as they can be stuck fast – I found a pry bar between the diff casing and the triangular plate in the photo above to be the best point to lever on.

I was pretty happy with the condition of the back end – On the left is my lockdown TEF20 back end, and on the right is the back end of another TEF20 that I’ve been working on in January 2021 –

What causes the oil in a Grey Fergie back end to go yellow? Water… The water causes the oil to change colour, and on the right hand side you can see the water has also caused the aluminium of the gearbox housing to blow and has dropped filings into the oil also – Not good!