June 2021 for Issue 104 - Aug/Sept 2021

In the last issue the eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed the error I made on a photo caption by
calling Nick Bryne's truck a Thames Trader, it is not. The Trader was introduced later, and Nick's is an ET6.  Unfortunately, printed mistakes often become quoted facts, so it is necessary that they are corrected,
I apologize.
The National Historic Vehicle Survey conducted by The Federation of British Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC), to
which some of you contributed, makes interesting reading.  In the five-year period between 2015 and
2020 the total number of registered historic vehicles grew from 1,039,950 to 1,538,927 an increase of
some 48%.  The percentage of agricultural vehicles remained at about 10% of the total and, over the
same period, the estimated average age of an owner has increased by two years to sixty-three. The importance of the movement to the economy is demonstrated by the steady increase in the annual value
of the spend, increasing from one point six billion in 1996 to seven point two in 2020, the report can be accessed on the FBHVC's website.
Registration applications for age related and retained registration marks are taking much longer to process
as a result of the pandemic.  The DVLA have been suffering from staffing problems caused both by illness
and working practices introduced that have delayed the service.  Hopefully the situation will improve and return to pre Covid levels shortly, in the meantime applicants must be patient
Newark Vintage Tractor and Heritage Show 2021 - 13th and 14th November 2021- Members
please note:
2021 AGM - we will be holding our AGM on Saturday 13th November at 5.00 pm in the President Suite
which is located on the first floor of the Cedric Ford building. Please join us to hear the latest news
about your Club, to raise questions, and to voice your opinions.
Exhibitor Entries - the show ground is introducing online exhibitor entries for all classes this year. Entry
will still be free of charge to all online entries, via www.newarkvintagetractorshow.com  however postal entries will incur a £5 administration fee.  Entry is available from Monday 14th June with a closing date
of Friday 17th September.
I am happy to assist any member unable to submit an online entry - just give me a call on 01379 677866  ensuring you have all relevant information to hand, i.e., your name, address, telephone number, exhibit  including manufacturer, model, year, and fuel.
Jane Broomhall - Secretary/Treasurer
70th British National Ploughing Championships
9-10th October 2021
Mindrum Mill, Mindrum, Northumberland TD12 4QL
FFA have ten plots at the above Championships on Sunday 10th.
With no qualifying possible in 2020 we would welcome interest
from match ploughmen who are members of the Association.
The closing date is early July so please call 01379 677866 immediately and register your interest.


Your News:

Ian West from Alberta: wrote in April, it's early Spring with daytime temperatures in the high single digits. Night-time temperatures continue to hover around the freezing mark for the most part. Despite this
I've encountered a few mosquitos so Spring proper can't be far off. Unlike coastal climates, no greenery
is visible to date this far inland, but the dramatic seasonal changes never cease to amaze me here after
49 years of residency where in the space of a week, literally, Mother Nature bursts into bloom. Our
Winter is to all intents over and certainly was mild with below normal snowfall here in the greater
Edmonton area. This will have negative implications for soil moisture reserves that largely depend
on snowfall due to annual rainfall in the range of 20inches only. Very briefly, we did experience some
bitterly cold in February in the range of minus 40C which rates favourably in Canadian terms.
Average daytime Winter temperatures would typically range between minus 10-15 with January and
February dropping to the lower minus 15-30C.
Wintertime on a grain and hay farm affords one a leisurely lifestyle by comparison with livestock
producers.  Apart from commodity marketing I choose to perform seasonal machinery maintenance
or restoration in preparation for Spring activities in the comfort of a heated workshop. Alberta is well
served with natural gas throughout the province and is piped to each customer directly. Forced air
heating is the preferred mode as opposed to water/radiators as this maintains much more uniform temperatures.
Now you might ask-how do we handle equipment during such low temperatures? A 60% antifreeze solution
is preferred for a start. Winter grade diesel too is top of the list though I'm finding since the abolition or reduction of sulphur, diesel seems much lighter year-round and much less prone to congeal. Tractors in
daily service are generally kept indoors in heated facilities and may also be equipped with block
circulation heaters, typically in the 1200-1500watt range. Thankfully with modern multi-grade lubricants
wear and tear is considerably minimized. In early 1970's I recall trying to start my Super Major which
was equipped with the aforementioned circulating heater only to discover upon starting that I'd no hydraulics. Once I managed to get indoors it became apparent that as a result of some moisture in
the hydraulic sump -it had frozen the intake screen. Thereafter, annual hydraulic oil changes solved
the problem. Water distribution lines are typically buried 8ft,. particularly under driveways, where frost
tends to penetrate, as a result of compaction and lack of snow cover.
This background of circumstances largely brought about the purchase of my next … Ford 8600 in 1987.
It is a 1975 model, purchased with 3,100hrs at the time, from the original owner in off farm condition.
It came equipped with 3-point linkage, dual rear wheels, heated cab and the standard Dual Power.
Its working life during our pig production term was dedicated to liquid manure hauling, field cultivation
and feed manufacturing using a New Holland 357 Grinder mixer.
In the 10 years of owning the Mix-Mill
we made in excess of 10,000Tonnes of feed and this machine proved to be a life saver in terms of its portability and economics of on farm processing. I made several modifications to the machine and if there
is an interest from the readership, I would be happy to share in a separate article. I've no recollection
of seeing these feed processors in the British Isles, but that doesn't mean they weren't available.
In the 33years of ownership of the Ford 8600, it has proven to be an excellent workhorse with a very satisfactory track record in terms of mechanical reliability.
A complete engine overhaul was done at 10,500hrs after developing an engine knock which was as a result of a couple of worn connecting rod bushings. Even up to that point engine oil pressure was being maintained with minor consumption between oil changes surprisingly. I didn't anticipate the problem to be so basic, even having consulted with more experienced mechanics, so at that point in November 2011, I opted to purchase a used New Holland TM130. Now, faced with a knocking engine … What to do?? Salvage wise I knew I'd take a financial hit as the tractor had been conscientiously maintained and all the other critical components
had been either replaced or repaired so decided I'd do an overhaul myself over the Winter months.
Cylinders were bored oversize, new pistons, crankshaft polished and new main bearings, valves
reground, new injectors and fuel injection pump overhauled. With the engine removed, I overhauled
the clutch with a new disc, pilot, and release bearings also.  By then, with a good portion of the tractor disassembled already and a favourable costing to date, I decided to paint the tractor using a combination
of air spray and aerosol cans as touch up using NH factory paints. I was satisfied with the overall factory grade finish and completed the restoration with a complete decal set in addition to re-upholstering the cab.
About 600hrs after the restoration I encountered a problem as a result of the engine oil pump relief
valve seizing which required splitting the tractor again for sump removal. On installing a new oil pump,
I once again experienced an oil blow out problem, from the base of the spin on oil filter adaptor from
the canister style base, which persisted for a time until I finally secured the correct rubber type gasket
in combination with torqueing the filter adaptor nut to 110ft.lbs. Other items of note during my
ownership … Dual Power clutch packs replaced around 6000hrs and a couple of hydraulic pumps
replaced - one of which failed around the same time as the need to overhaul the clutch packs and
again just ahead of the engine knock issue.  New inner rear tyres and fronts were replaced Summer
2020 and, judging by auction and sales data, the tractor has maintained its value admirably. It's a basic,
no frills tractor by today's standard, devoid of any problematic electronics and is still the preferred
tractor when it comes to lugging ability on heavy field work. We practice conventional tillage here
unlike many of our large scale, highly capitalized operators, using a no-till regime but with a growing
public awareness and suspicion of chemical solutions, I suspect modern arable practices will only continue
to be subject to increasing scrutiny. I also include a picture taken on April 17 of my 8600's inaugural task
to date this year, rotovating a 40acre hay field which will revert back to cereal production.
Unfortunately, at the time of compiling this article Covid19 continues to be headline news here with
an increasing fear of the variants. Our vaccination levels are falling short of projection for a number
of reasons, resulting in vintage events provincially being cancelled for a second year unfortunately. Out
of country travel too looks improbable, unlike in February a year ago when my wife Linda and I had the
great pleasure of attending the Malvern Three Counties show. We are very fortunate in the agricultural community, nonetheless, being able to enjoy the great outdoors as we go about all our cropping and
farming practices unlike our urban folks who potentially have become unemployed and are living under much more restrictive circumstances.
In closing, I would welcome any enquiries anyone might have pertaining to my submissions to date.
I can be reached preferably by email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  In the meantime, Stay Safe and continue
to maintain all those Ford & Fordsons!!
Martin Carley reports on the progress Miguel Davis is making with his Dexta in France: 
Miguel writes a combination of public holidays and annual leave has allowed me to continue my restoration.  The electrical part of the tractor is now finished, and I have reassembled the dashboard and the
instruments panel.  Other work has included: replacing the glow plugs, and fuel supply pipe have all
been replaced, as have the water pump and water hoses.  The radiator has been cleaned and repainted
and is ready to be reassembled.  I also had a problem on the front part of the engine (aluminium dirt fell
into the crankcase), which required me to disassemble the axle and wheels to repair.
John Skipper fits a Horn-draulic loader to his Super Dexta:  
A few years ago I managed to find a 24:1 loader to go with my International 434. After a considerable
bit of restoration I achieved a great working combination: loader easy to mount and dismount and
simple to operate. But I could tell that Dilwyn the 1964 Super Dexta was not happy and ready to prove
that he too could enter the fray.
In the middle of last year I spotted an advert for a Dexta loader. At last. So off I trundled to a remote
corner of Carmarthenshire to find this assembly of brown metal and perished hydraulic pipes sitting in a
nettle patch, begging to be saved. "What sort is it?" I asked. "No idea", came the response, "but it was
made in Cardiff so it must be good. But haven't used it in 30 years as the Dexta was used as a yard
scraper".  A bit of elbow grease revealed the identity: HORN-DRAULIC LOADER, manufactured by
Steelfab Ltd. Serial number AB2927.
Many readers will be familiar with this brand name but it was new to me. I was lucky enough to be
put in touch with Julian Carder from JCB, who had inherited a vast pile of Steelfab literature and has researched the history of the company. Julian described 'thousands' being manufactured for a wide
range of small/medium sized tractors like the Fordson Major, Dexta and many other makes. Steel
Fabricators Ltd was based in Cardiff and the company was the UK licensee for Horn-Draulic loaders
and the Shawnee Digger, a detachable backhoe for tractors.
A search uncovered the long history of Steel Fabricators Ltd going back to its formation in Birmingham
in 1935. Production of loaders, after its move to Cardiff, was indeed prolific, but was badly affected
by the downturn in farming in the 1990's and, after six decades, they went into receivership in 1998.
I have been trying to find instruction manuals for those fitted to the Dexta. The earlier Horn-draulic
Dexta loaders threw up quite a few problems apparently, with mine eventually identified as the later
Model 502.  I've got the 502 sales brochure - but no instruction manual! The sales brochure is for
Steelfab Ltd, making my 502 version after 1962, when the company changed their name from
Steel Fabricators.
Restoration of my Model 502 was pretty straight forward. The quality of the steel under the surface rust
was excellent. There was also some of the beige paint left on the loader frame and Empire Blue on the
dirt bucket. The hydraulic hoses, rams and simple 'up-down' control box were in very poor shape, with
£350 spent getting them professionally restored (contrasting with the £40 I paid for a rusty pile of
potential scrap).
Type 502 Horndraulic loader is complicated to fit, a bracket fits on the bellhousing beneath the tractor
via 4 bolts. The loader supporting arms (rams attached) are then fitted onto this with the rear supported
in a bracket mounted beneath the rear axle. These brackets are still mounted on the original Dexta,
but I've tracked it down and only Covid restrictions have prevented me heading off to reclaim them.
Given that so many Horn-draulic loaders were made I've found it pretty difficult to get hold of anything specific to mine. The search continues, but no matter, I'm getting close and I reckon Dilwyn will only have
to wait a little longer.
Gerard Schoenmakers progress creating his Roadless Ploughmaster 6/2.
After buying a Fordson Super New Performance Major, an industrial 590E engine and 38-inch rear wheels
the project started.  The first job was to swap the live drive gearbox with a standard box. (Roadless 6/2
had standard boxes). We only swapped the gears so that the date code of the housing matches the
other castings.
The engine had not turned for at least 20 years and needed a complete overhaul. After overhauling we
tuned the injection pump and adjusted the injectors. 
It ran fine right from the first start. Because of the position of the pivot point of the A-frame we had to
alter the aluminium sump.
The industrial 590E has the reservoir in the middle so we had to move this to the back. We used the
bottom of an aluminium sump off an industrial four-cylinder Fordson and welded this in the cut-out section
of the six-cylinder sump. We had to machine the upper side with a mill because the welding had distorted
the sump a bit.
Then we fabricated the special Roadless parts, we were lucky to have had sight of the original drawings
and my friend Jurrie made new metric drawings. In his workshop I drilled all of the holes (and that were
quite a lot).  Because of the adaptor plate between the engine and the gearbox Roadless uses
a special flywheel that is 30 mm thicker than normal.  We fabricated one by combining two Fordson flywheels, one for a live drive clutch and one for a heavy duty single clutch.
The live drive flywheel is bolted on the crankshaft and then the single clutch flywheel is bolted to its back. We  still have parts to fabricate and will report on our progress.


Forthcoming events:  

Old Ford Rally: 18th July -  The British Motor Museum, Gaydon CV35 0BJ: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01926 649649. For FFA enquiries:   Lee Coxon on 07768 136225
The Old Timer Tractor Rally: 31st July 1st Aug - Wooferton, Nr Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 4AW;
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Weald of Kent Steam Rally -  7th and 8th July - Little Engeham Farm, Woodchurch, Kent  TN26 3QY.
For FFA enquiries John Vowell on 07803 003047 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Marsham Show: 14th - 15th August, Orchard Cottage, Allison Street, Marsham, Norfolk.
Enquiries: Bob Parke 07860 174906. For FFA enquiries: Ian and Lin Prince on 07745 171516 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Witchampton Tractor Rally - 29th August at Wimborne, Dorset:  Meet at the Witchampton Club, BH21 5A
Refreshments available ahead of 11.00 am departure. Trailers are welcome on this approximate
4-hour run around the beautiful Crichel estate and surrounding areas. Then back to the club for live
music and food. One of the largest events for the club and the first rally since 2019, let us make it a
special day. Enquiries:  John Maiden, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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