This poor tractor had a hard, hard life before we got it. I was living away at the time, and came home for a visit and it was there. It should have been sent for scrap.
Dad was on the lookout for a tractor with a loader. He managed to find this one in the fall 1999 for $4000. It had to be the fall, because the bloody thing wouldn’t start anywhere close to freezing! The more he used the tractor, the more problems that showed their head. The steering box and linkages were worn out, and with a load in the bucket, it was unsteerable. The gear shifter was so worn, it’d slip out of the forks. Then we’d have to pull the shift cover off, and line everything back up again.
Power was provided by a Ford-designed 3-cylinder diesel engine. It was direct injected, which usually means that they’re better to start in the cold. Not so with this one. It was probably worn out, though. Sometimes it would not start at all, which turned out to be something adrift in the injection pump.
The clutch failed in it, and we sent it out to get it fixed. Shortly after that, it started to leak antifreeze from the bellhousing. Again, we sent it out. Turned out to be a freeze plug that had rotted out. He decided to sell it shortly afterwards. I think he got $4000 for it, but he spent almost $2000 on it in the year he had it.
We weren’t sad to see it go. It was a lot of trouble, and it would be a while before we’d buy another tractor. Dad had a Honda 4-wheeler for hauling wood, and we bought a plow truck for snow removal. The time would come where we would buy another early-’70’s tractor, with a totally different experience.