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Ford 420 Death Rattle

3639 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Donald A.
Hello everyone....

It's with sad news that my Ford 420 industrial with FEL may have seen its last days.:cry::cry::cry:

The tractor has plenty of oil. The engine started growling then start shuddering/squealing and intermitten smoking. Then I shut her down.

Not too long ago my old battery shorted out and caught fire. I caught it just in time and put it out. Just the wiring that goes to the hour meter behind the glass and all of the wiring for lights/turn/etc. None of those items were working anyway. Had to replace the diesel return hose and bought a brand new battery. It seemed to work just fine after that.

I can send you a video of it briefly starting. You will have to message me or I can send it email.

I can't attach the video here as the server cannot handle a video.

I wonder if it will be worth the $$$ to get this workhorse of a tractor going again? Or is it time to make it into yard art?

This Texan is sad.....
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Before throwing in the towel I'd have someone look at it first. I'm sure you know some good mechanics or I'd check local tractor dealers, one who does side work.
Of course once problem(s) figured out you weight repair cost and it's value if properly running.

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"The engine started growling" ..... The most expensive thing about overhauling most any engine is if you have to replace the crankshaft. Usually a crankshaft doesn't "growl", unless it's one of the end roller bearings. I'd drop the pan and see what's happening/you hear when turning the engine over with a bar before I threw in the towel. An In-frame on that 3-cylinder should run less than $1,200 if you can do the work yourself, even if the crank is bad ($600 for in-frame kit + $600 for new crank) . You'd be hard pressed to replace that tractor with the FEL for even double that $$$$ in parts......
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Dropping the pan on a Ford Industrial Tractor can be a real PITA:

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Reading the original post "The engine started growling then start shuddering/squealing and intermitten smoking.", could you tell where smoke was coming from?
It had a battery problem...suppose the alternator locked up? The belt would smoke, engine shutter, etc.
That's why I suggested troubleshooting. An older mechanic who has worked on lots of industrial tractors I'd want to look at it.

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I have a nephew who is a diesel mechanic, but learned on the newer computer/electrical injection systems and not old school. He was very helpful though, as y'all as well.

He said for me to try to drain about a quarter of oil out in a pan and check for metal fragments. He said to also see if the oil smells like diesel. If I had a fire on top of the engine then I could have burned/bad injector(s) or even something sime as melted O-rings on one or more injectors causing sucking air or dumping diesel in a cylinder then into the oil. The smoke it was putting out, when starting it, was intermittent and white. So it maybe injector related.

When I started up that tractor I had a hard time finding my cutoff switch because I was ducking for cover. I was thinking the engine was going to blow up and land in my lap. This old man can still move. Lol.

Let yall know something later.

Thank y'all and God bless Texas
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Update #2

This is what my oil looks like after setting several days.


(The brown lump in the oil is a speck of mud that was already on the tire.)

And this is what it looks like after starting/running it for a few seconds.


The tractor is still hard to start, smokes intermittently, and the engine chirps loudly. At one point it seemed to run normally for a cycle or two then back to the smoking/chirping.

So is this the death of my Ford 420?

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