Mount Pleasant Farms' Fordson Dexta "Doris" - before photos

General - click on photos to get bigger pictures

Index

Identifying marks
Serial number
Injector pump
Engine number
Casting marks - rear axle
Casting marks - clutch
Casting marks - hydraulics
Identification summary
Areas needing attention
Tinwork
Paint

Electrical and controls
Fuel system
Cooling system
Engine and exhaust
Clutch and gearbox
Axles and steering components
Hydraulics, PTO and linkages
Wheels and brakes
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Identifying marks

Serial number

The marks on the flange on the left hand side between the clutch and engine say "09D925404" which refers to a 1964 Dexta according to this excerpt from Oscar's excellent site at http://www.fordson.freeweb.nl/

"1964 (Jan-Sep) 09D 907332 - 928248 CEASED"

this means that this Dexta is potentially amongst the last 3000 produced.

To qualify this it is necessary to check other marks.

Injector pump

The brass plate above the "Simms" labelled cover, between the brass bolts says "P4696" which is the type of pump. According to the workshop manual, this pump was only fixed to the later new performance super Dextas. Normal Dextas and Super Dextas prior to 09C913383 had the same P4588 pump, with different calibrations for each model. The label above also has the letter "D" below the code, I've no idea what this means. This refers to the mechanically governed pump, not sure where the label is on the older pumps.

Engine number

The code reads "1662163", if the number started with 15 instead of 16 it would have been a normal Dexta engine with smaller capacity.

Casting marks - rear axle

The left of the picture just shows "4B20" which means this was cast 20th February 1964. Note the leaking seal to the right of the picture, no point renewing the brakes just yet!

Casting marks - clutch

This is located on the right hand side of the tractor, the tube at top of the photo is the front axle linkage. Just to the right of the photo you can make out "4G20" which means this was cast 20th July 1964.

Casting marks - gearbox

This is located just above the brake pedal, "4D24" can be made out, this means it was cast 24th April 1964

Casting marks - hydraulics

This is located under the front of the seat, it reads "3E24" so this was cast 24th May 1963, although the E is difficult to make out.

Identification summary

The chassis number, engine, pump and casting codes all fit in with this being a genuine "blue/grey" 1964 new performance Super Dexta.

Areas needing attention

Although I don't intend to restore her to concourse condition, I will keep her as original as possible, she's also very tatty in places and will need a lot of attention.

Tinwork

Her snout has had a few bashes, the badge is snapped, I'll try and repair this by reinforcing the badge from behind, it won't be perfect but she is over 40, you expect the odd wrinkle. She has the correct grille, but the headlamps should be grey.

The right hand wing is mainly corroded on the strengthening tubes and brackets attaching the wings to the foot plates and axle. It looks better than it is, honest!

The left hand wing is split along the bottom above the axle but is hanging on to what remains of the foot plates, both floor plates are shot.

The bonnet is OK but there is corrosion lurking underneath that will need sorting out. The steering box covers are missing, the butler lights on the wings are shot and the number plate light is corroded.

Paint

Trying to get a match for the blue is proving difficult. The Empire Blue that is the norm on this era of Fordson was changed to a slightly lighter shade of blue on the New Performance Dexta's and Major's along with the grey/cream wings, wheels seat and headlamps. However, I chose an area of original paintwork on the Dexta that had not been messed around with and tried a few different paints.

The first picture shows the area chosen underneath the bonnet away from UV light, and above the battery so hopefuly not effected by heat from the engine too much. I cut the area back to remove oxidation and dirt. The second picture shows the different paints so far, I'll try Tractol New Fordson Blue as soon as it is delivered.

So far, Sparex Empire blue is lighter than the original bodywork but the original bodywork is supposed to be a shade lighter than Empire blue. Tractol Empire Blue is slightly greener, more pronounced than the photo shows and Ford Tractor blue is far too dark as expected.

My conclusion so far (without testing New Fordson Blue) is that each manufacturer will have a slightly different interpretation and different batches from these suppliers will be slightly different. Fordson will have used different suppliers and batches of paint so the only way to be truly authentic is to take a sample of paint from your tractor and get some mixed or get the best match you can from available pre-mixed sources.

Electrical and controls

The wiring has seen better days, no lights work, there's bare wire showing through melted insulation and the batteries too long so the bonnet doesn't shut. The tachometer has cracked glass, the temperature gauge's capillary tube is no more, the oil pressure and charge lights don't work, in fact the only thing that works is the starter and ignition switch. I won't be going very far until a new loom has been installed. The back plate of the dynamo has a crack in the casting where the bolt to adjust the fan belt tension is placed.

Fuel system

The fuel tap and primer under the tank is broken and weeping slightly. The rest looks largely OK but the engine stop cable needs sorting and the cable to the tachometer is broken.

Cooling system

The system has antifreeze and isn't leaking, but I'll change it for a known concentration as it gets cold up here in the hills. The cooling fan cowl is missing and I've been told that it is different than the normal Dexta so a replacement may take some finding.

Engine and exhaust

The engine block is not cracked and it starts well with no heat and with little smoke. At last, something that doesn't need too much attention, or so it seems. The exhaust manifold has had some welding at some point and looks a bit messy but works.

Clutch and gearbox

It has a live PTO and the two stage clutch works, its very high and sharp on take off, but I'm used to the hydrostatic transmission on the Antonnio Carraro so this may be how it should be. I can't see any oil leaks between engine and clutch housing so I'm hoping the rear engine seal is OK and I don't have to split the tractor just yet. I may be able to adjust it to be more gentle and lower down, but this will wait for now.

All the gears work and the gear levers and knobs are in good condition. No bad noises.

Axles and steering components

The steering is a bit stiff and there is about 5cm of play in the steering wheel. I'll give it a good greasing and see what happens. Further investigation required.

The rear axle has a leaking seal on the right hand wheel bearing and there is some very dodgy welding around the brackets that hold the wings and foot plates etc. I haven't tested the diff lock yet.

Hydraulics, PTO and linkages

The auxiliary equipment control knob is missing and their are several large washers used in the union to the take off valve at the rear of the seat. Apart from that, it looks OK. The link arms move up and down when the quadrant is moved but sometimes there is a few seconds delay.

To the right of the spring behind the seat, and to the left of the gear stick there are hex headed bolts with a large flange, can these be used as a return for the hydraulics on my log splitter, with the appropriate plumbing of course? The take off behind the seat has the dust cover missing, must get a new one.

PTO works OK and disengages as it should.

The link arms have both been welded at some point, I'll keep an eye out for some second hand replacements. I wonder it this is an original Ford link box?

It seems that the left lift arm was an adjustable one at some time that has been welded at the top. The PTO needs a new cover.

Wheels and brakes

Last but not least, the brakes, they work, but only just hold if you stamp on them, may need adjusting, however, there is oil leaking from the right hand rear axle directly into the brakes so the oil seals will need fixing before the brakes can be made good.

The wheels are rusty but not corroded through on the rims, the tyres are OK but a little cracked on the rear, but from different manufacturers, the fronts are odd and worn.

Last updated 12.35 16th October 2005