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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ford 3550 Backhoe [Fluids]
I always buy manuals for my tractors, but I haven't had time yet in this case.
Does anyone know what fluid the transmission uses on this tractor. I believe it's called a shuttle shift. There is the gear shifting lever and another shifting lever to the left that is forward and reverse. I didn't run it through all the gears but did check all the hydraulic movement.
It has a 3-cylinder diesel that runs well.
Any input is appreciated.
Right now, the tranny fluid is my question. It may not be low but before loading it to haul it home i want to check it and fill.
Ill change all the fluids when I get it home.
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I haven't investigated where to check and fill the tranny yet. I purchased it yesterday! Its wearing almost all original paint and isn't covered in oil and grease from leaks. I prefer buying something that hasn't been pressure washed and poorly painted. No coverups.
I have the hood but haven't found the grill.
Tell me what you know about my new Tractor. I need those manuals.
Thanks Mike



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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thats great to know. I was at Tractor supply this morning and had one hand on a 5 gal. pail of that but hesitated to buy. I will pick some up.
It's been cold and windy here, so I haven't spent a lot of time looking over details. Cold is ok but wind and cold sends me indoors.
I don't see an Intake heater like my Perkins on the NH. or a block heater. It could be hidden.
It started at 35F on Thursday but took a minute too fire. Two 30 second cranking sessions.
The battery was weak so i used jumpers. I brought the battery home and got it warmed up and charged up for my journey to go get it home tomorrow morning. The battery took about 10 hours at 2 amps to fully charge. Its not an old battery but sat for 9 months since last start.
The temperature is supposed to be low 30's F. Hoping she starts. Its only about a 35-mile trip to get it home. I have the grill facing south for less wind exposure. I never use starting fluid to start. I'll come back another day if it won't pop. I'll have that big warm fresh charged battery to help. Hopeful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My N.H has that thermostat type heater. Sizzles vapor and ignites.
I also prefer block heaters. Nice warm block no matter what the temperature. I also cover with a tarp when block heaters plugged in.
Thanks for the help. I'm anxious to get it home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My N.H has that thermostat type heater. Sizzles vapor and ignites.
I also prefer block heaters. Nice warm block no matter what the temperature. I also cover with a tarp when block heaters plugged in.
Thanks for the help. I'm anxious to get it home.
Big T
I found a short video online that shoes the location of that manifold heater. It's to the front as you said close to where the hoses hook on going to the air cleaner. It's on the side facing the engine of the manifold air inlet. I'll check it for voltage in different key positions. Some are activated by a key turn back one click and some have a key position to pre heat one click before the start/crank position. I'll also take a jumper wire with alligator clips as a backup plan. Old ignition switches and wiring get old. TLC is in order.
I didn't see a hand prime lift pump yet but if it's there it will be easy to see. I didn't get a lot of time to look over the engine. It's not a leaker. The injector pump is dirty but dry.
I'm learning some from searching the internet but still need a manual. I want a real book, not a pdf file.
Tomorrow, I bring it home as long as it will start. It should start but it's been in the low twenties F. here at night the last couple days. The tractor is in cold open pasture. It runs good but older diesels and cold can be tough. I don't know the tractor well yet.
When its home a block heater is on my priority list along with fluids and filters.
It appears the 3550-tractor a lot carried over from the 1960's 4,000 tractors.
Thanks Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now thats a good Idea. In the past on my NH skid steer I have put a propane torch to the outside of the intake for a minute.
Your method is better.
The manifold heater on the 3550 is burned out. I tried a jumper wire right to the battery and got nothing. I have a new one ordered. It started at 30 Deg. F yesterday without help but takes about 30 seconds of cranking and to me that's more than desirable cranking time.
I'll look for the most convenient freeze plug for a block heater and install one. It's easier on the engine to start with the coolant and cast iron warmed up some.
Thanks for the great suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Starting fluid will often detonate at the wrong time in cylinders. When it fires in a cylinder that's not at full compression stroke. Bad damage happens. I won't use either even when desperate. I have warmed oil pans with steno. Cautious with fire. The oil pan needs to be clean of grease and oil.
I converted a continental gas engine in my Hyster fork truck from gas to propane. If you ever take an engine that has only ran on propane, they are clean inside. No carbon. I like propane engines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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The circled freeze plug in the picture is on this 3550 Industrial 3-cylinder tractor. I have the manual now but I can't find the diameter of the freeze plug. As you can see it is pretty easy to access. I'll use an autobody dent puller [slide hammer] to pull it out of the block.

I need to order a block heater to install and need to know the diameter.
Does anyone know the diameter? I may be able to get the digital caliper in there, but it will be difficult, and it needs to be accurate.

Someone here that has rebuilt one may know the size. It has the 158 C.I. 2.3-liter 3-cylinder Diesel engine.
Thanks Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thats excellent Information, Thanks
I was hoping to have the block heater read to install when I pull the frost plug. Your information helps narrow it down. I have inside calipers and bore gauges.
If I clean it better, I should be able to measure to the edge of the plug flange and use your information to verify.
It's a 1972 tractor that has confirmed history.

It was owned by Bear Grove Township Illinois then bought by a local general contractor in Mo. and he owned it until about 23 years ago. That third owner used it to do footings and prepare for flat work on a 50x100 retirement building. The owner got hurt putting the last piece of sheet metal on the building and it hasn't used it in 23 years. Sad story! He fell and crushed his pelvis at 60 years old. I bought it out of that building buried behind machinery.
A long story to say that I believe the engine came with the tractor. If it was ever changed it was early in its life while Bear Grove Township owned it. I don't see any evidence of ever had any wrenching on. Never know.
The hour meter works well. It shows 1,645 hours I would like to think it's true, but it may be 11,645 hours.
I talked to the contractor that sold it. He said it had low hours but couldn't remember how many. He was getting away from doing dirt work.
There aren't any weld repairs. I haven't found cracks but could. I know where the FEL's crack

The paint is thin and original. Someone sprayed some primer on some paint blisters on the loader boom and hoe boom. I have repainted quite a few tractors and do it right. I would rather start with thin paint like pictured than three sloppy dealer repaints.
She is no beauty but she in mine. I do have the hood
I worked it hard yesterday pushing a stump back up into the woods dodging trees. The stump had a lot of dirt with a flat bottom. The weight of the hoe on the tires are the only reason it even moved it. No lugging by the engine.
I think I'm getting carried away here rambling and bragging.
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