Easy Clean?

We evaluate two interesting products from Bilt-Hamber that could revolutionise the way you clean your tractor, Chris Graham reports

Classic Massey and Ferguson Enthusiast magazine, Jan/Feb 2022

Henry applying Bilt-Hamber’s Touch¬less. We were somewhat hampered by the jet washer not being able to froth the product into the desired ‘snow foam’ layer that could then dwell on the tractor for several minutes while doing its work.

How do you clean your tractor and how regularly do you do it? It’s unlikely to be as often as you clean your car I’d wager but, if you’re a regular on the tractor show circuit and have a restored machine that’s in decent nick, then I imagine that you do your best to keep it looking its best.

The problem, of course, is that tractors are notoriously difficult machines to wash properly. Unlike a car, most of a tractor’s working parts are exposed for all to see, especially on those machines from the vintage and classic eras. So, anyone wishing to clean their machine thoroughly is faced with an awkward array of sponge-snagging pipes, sharp-edged fixings and bothersome bolt heads. As a result, getting Into all the nooks and crannies can be a knuckle-bashing nightmare, and this is surely why many owners are put off even trying.

Painless solution?

The much easier – and less painful – solution is simply to do your best with a hose pipe on all the awkward bits, then run a sponge over the tinwork to remove the worst of any dust or mud that might be clinging. I’m sure that there are plenty of owners who adopt this approach, and never bother with specialised cleaning products to make initial dirt removal more effective, or to enhance the final finish of painted surfaces.
However, the automotive valeting products Industry is nothing if not innovative and one of the more recent technological developments has seen the introduction of ‘touchless’ cleaning products, which are designed to do their work without the need for physical agitation.

I’m sure you’ll all have noticed how car paint deteriorates with age; a process that can be greatly accelerated by careless treatment of the surface. Just stroll through any supermarket carpark on a bright, sunny day and you’ll see many horror stories; bonnet, roof and boot lid panels that are covered in unsightly, swirly pattems. This undesirable effect is most noticeable on dark paint colours, and results from the accumulation of thousands of tiny scratches that are unceremoniously cut into the clear lacquer top coat, either by automatic roller- based car washers, or poor hand-washing techniques.

Touchless cleaning products have been introduced in a bid to do away with the need to have any physical contact with a car’s delicate, painted panels, and thus remove swirl-inducing sponges, brushes and dirty old rags from the paint cleaning equation.  So, I thought it would be interesting to see if this sort of technology could be usefully applied to the tractor world, and was delighted when Gary Anderson, who is the Ferguson Club’s website co-ordinator, offered one of his superbly restored TE-20s as a Guinea pig.

Product choice

For some advice about which products might be best suited for use on a grubby tractor, I approached the experts at Chelmsford-based cleaning product manufacturer, Bilt-Hamber Laboratories.
After some discussion, the company agreed to donate a five-litre bottle of Touch-less, plus some sachets of a new paint protection product called Touch-on, for which we were extremely grateful.

When I arrived at Gary’s Buckinghamshire home with products and camera in hand, he and son Henry were ready and waiting to help. The pair set to work shunting tractors in and out of sheds to release the ‘grubbiest’ example from Gary’s impressive collection – a 1950 TE-A 20, complete with banana loader. Admittedly, it wasn’t very dirty, but there was appreciable grease and grime build¬up on the engine and gearbox castings, and on the rear axle/linkage assemblies, so it was going to be interesting to see how Touch-less coped with that.  The straightforward application methods for the two products are detailed in the separate panel, but we soon ran into a bit of a practical problem. Gary’s pressure washer was unable to generate the layer of snow foam that’s ideally needed to enable the product to sit on the vehicle for the required dwell time. Even the machine kindly lent by a helpful neighbor also failed to deliver the foamy goods, so we just had to do the best we could.  As a result, much of the product ran off too quickly, so the full effects of the up to five-minute dwell time recommended, weren’t available to us, which was a shame. Nevertheless, both Gary and Henry agreed that the cleaning effects achieved were impressive.

Nevertheless, it was still clear that the product we applied was quickly able to soften and loosen the grease, dirt and oil deposits found in all those awkward-to-get-at places.

The top of the gearbox casing was obviously quite grubby before we started

but the Touch-less cleaning process made a big improvement.

The rear axle was another of the dirtier area~ on th!s tractor but, once again, the cleaning power of Bilt-Hamber’s Touch-less IS obvIous.

“Both are easy and convenient to use, caustic chemical free, environmentally friendly, and actively fight corrosion”

It’s important to give the tractor a thorough rinse after applying Touch¬less and allowing it to work. This is the stage that removes the already loosened dirt and grime, as well as any excess product. Touch-less is fully biodegradable and caustic chemical-free, so you need have no concerns about it pollutina the environment.

Bilt-Hamber’s surface enhancer, Touch¬on, can also be applied using a jet washer, but we chose the ‘old school’ approach with warm water in a bucket and a sponge

Touch-on needs to be thoroughly rinsed off with clean water following application, and then the surface must be dried. Leaving it to air-dry can result in water spotting.

Effective performance

Dirt and grease was softened and loosened by the product, making it easy to remove with the subsequent fresh water jet wash rinse. Afterwards, the whole tractor looked immeasurably cleaner and, better still, there wasn’t a bruised knuckle or scratched forearm in sight!

The follow-up Touch-On paint finish enhancer can be applied with either a jet wash or a more traditional bucket and cloth, so we adopted the latter. It contains a modern, ceramic formulation which bonds to the surface and is designed not only to enhance the shine, but also to make subsequent washing eapier as the smoother surface it creates makes it more difficult for contaminants to stick.

Obviously, the true worth of that side of its performance will take several further washes to evaluate, but Bilt-Hamber recommends that its use is restricted to once a month. Consequently, we couldn’t assess its long-term benefits but, in terms of instant results, it certainly gave the

Ferguson’s painted surfaces a discernable, extra shine. Water-beading was also much in evidence.

Whether or not the results come across adequately in the photographs once they’re printed in the magazine remains to be seen, but those of us there on the day can attest to the impressive effects these two products delivered. So, when you add in the facts

that both are easy, quick and convenient to use, caustic chemical-free, environmentally­friendly and actively fight corrosion, these two Bilt-Hamber products get a hearty thumbs-up from us!

Gary .was delighted with the finished job; this Bilt-Hamber product combination certainly gave his grey Fergie a real visual lift.



Bilt-Hamber Laboratories, Swift House, 18 Hoffmanns Way, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1GU
Tel: 01277 658899 : email:

Bilt-Hamber’s Touch-less is sold in a five-litre container costing £19.95.

Touch-on surface enhancer is supplied in a 30ml, one-shot sachet. Each costs £1.19, and they’re available in packs of 10.

© Classic Massey and Ferguson Enthusiast magazine, Jan/Feb 2022

Kent HQ: Downs Court, Yalding Hill, Yalding ME18 6AL

Little Grey Fergie enables us to meet interesting people

A wonderful example of how our Little Grey Fergie enables us to meet interesting people

My experience of being a member of the The Ferguson Club for over 20 years has given me so many memorable experiences of life. Attending country shows, tractor rally’s, road runs, agricultural auctions, the list goes on. Each one of them has a connection somewhere to the Little Grey Fergie. But the one over riding memory is of the people that are involved in all these activities.

Really genuine down to earth people getting on with enjoying life and helping others with a similar interest around them. I’m sure the many readers of Classic Massey will have empathy to these thoughts.

My story here is no exception. The UK has a National Transport Trust, est. 1965 (NTT), it is the only national body which promotes and encourages the preservation and restoration of Britain’s transport heritage in all its forms – road, rail, wings and water.

The NTT’s Annual Awards were being held in the third week of October at Fawley Hill in Buckinghamshire. Fawley Hill is the home of the late Sir William and Lady Judy McAlpine. They have been and Lady Judy McAlpine still is a great supporter of our vintage tractor movement. Sir William was well known for rescuing the Flying Scotsman from its poor state in the USA back in 1973. He was an acknowledged railway enthusiast and built a full gauge private railway running to over a mile long in his grounds. The Ferguson Club Chiltern Vintage Tractor Charity run often uses Fawley Hill’s Railway Station as a base for its run.

It was through these connections that I was asked to supply an appropriate vintage tractor for the NTT Annual Awards ceremony. The patron is the Princess Royal and she was going to be in attendance.

I picked a Ferguson TET20 with a Scottish Aviation Cab, pulling a 30cwt Ferguson trailer, all restored to original specification. It was what I put in the trailer that seemed to draw the most attention though.

A “barn find” Austin J40, it had been sat in a corner of a shed for around 50 years. The big question today for many restorers is do you undertake a full concours style or a patina restoration. Certainly, in the vintage tractor World we now see higher prices for the patina styles than freshly painted. I put a poster up by the TET20 asking the question, “patina or repaint?”

The majority of NTT members seemed to be in favour of patina. HRH Princess Anne took great pleasure in studying the Ferguson set up. She was genuinely interested in the question posed and initially said it should be repainted. I discussed the merits of both with her and then she seemed to change her mind. Although I was told by Lady McAlpine that shortly afterwards she raised the subject again and went back to saying a repaint. The fact that you could have such a down to earth discussion with the Princess Royal was really lovely. I was told one of the reasons she took on the patronage of the NTT was because her father, the Duke of Edinburgh, was equally into British engineering and passionate about its future.

© Gary Anderson, John Selley, Classic Massey and Ferguson Enthusiast Magazine, Jan/Feb 2022.

Meadows Engine Ferguson TE.D2

Meadows Engine Ferguson TE.D2

Serial Number 124639
Made 19th March 1950 and registered September 1950

It was a well known fact that Harry Ferguson was not keen on diesel engines, but of course the farmers were. It did not take Frank Perkins long to offer a conver¬sion kit to enable the installation of their P3 (TA) unit to be fitted retrospectively to TE20 tractors. Just for the record is should be noted that Frank Perkins had installed, in his own Ford 2N, a Perkins P4 (TA) and had used it successfully on his own farm.

So eventually in 1950 Harry Ferguson realised that he would have to concede to customer requirements and be able to market a diesel engined TE20. To this end he commissioned three diesel engine manufacturers to provide a TE20 fitted with their own engine for evaluation and field testing. The Standard Motor Company Ltd was the obvious contender so they invited Arthur Freeman Sanders, a light weight diesel engine expert of the time, to work with their own development engineers to produce a prototype engine. Prior to this work for Standard he had designed and built two six cylinder diesel car engines: one he installed in a Studebaker and the other in an Alvis TA21 which he had bought new minus the normal three litre petrol engine (see Alvis Three Litre in Detail by David Culshaw). So it is not surprising to find that to meet Standards request he followed a similar layout, but only four cylinders.

Another contender was Perkins of Peterborough, who, using one of their already available conversions was able to submit that. It is worth noting that the petrol engine of the early TEA20 produced 23.9 bhp at 2000 rpm while the P3 diesel engine produced 32 bhp at the same speed.

The late Harold Beer puts the Meadows tractor to the test.

Another Meadows prototype being prepared to be sent for testing

The final offering for evaluation was built up by Meadows of Wolverhampton, an established firm of engine builders, both petrol and diesel; they were part of a group of engine builders that included Brush Mirrlees and Petter, collectively A.B.O.E.

Before going on to set out details of this engine I feel it appropriate to briefly outline how it eventually came to Coldridge. It was back in 1999 when I was researching for information about the Ferguson LTX prototype tractors and talking to people who had been involved in its develoPI1lent and field testing. It was my intention to commission a model maker, Paul Dimock of Somerset, to produce a limited edition of fifty models in 18th scale of this tractor. It was the late Erik Frediksen (an ex Massey Ferguson design engineer) who kindly arranged for me to meet up with seven or eight men who had been working on that project. It was Nigel Liney a field test driver who asked me if I would like to see an unusual Ferguson TE20, of course I was keen. Yes, there it was, grown in with trees and brambles, no wheels and a big hole in the crankcase on the oil gallery side of the engine where number three connection rod had smashed its way through.

The Meadows tractor arrives at the workshop of David White after 40 years out in the open

A big hole in the crankcase where number three connecting rod smashed through.

I asked Nigel if he would be willing to visit the owner, to handover my written offer so that, hopefully, I could buy it: sadly my offer was turned down.
Anyway, it was eventually bought by David White of Ormskirk a most competent agricultural engineer specialising in vintage machinery who restored it back to full working order – a monumental task.

The story of its recovery and rebuild was fully dealt with in two issues of Vintage Tractor, June/July and August/September .
2004. Having viewed the tractor back in 1999 I made a point of writing to David to compliment him on his amazing achievement, adding the point that if he ever decided to sell it perhaps he would be good enough to give me first refusal. He offered it to me in October 2005, I did not argue over his asking price because I felt it very fair considering the colossal amount of work he’d put into its rebuild. He phoned me on a Wednesday and delivered it to Coldridge the following Saturday, along with several of the parts which he had replaced.

The bent and broken conrod

The exhaust ports were choked with carbon.

About the engine. It is quite clear that Meadows/Petter produced the block to fit exactly in place of the Standard petrol/TVO engine. As can be seen from the photographs it follows the flange of the clutch bell housing exactly and although the cylinder head was a purpose made casting, the sump was taken directly from a Standard built petrol engine, likewise the water pump, oil filter (early vehicle type) and the oil filler cap. The fuel tank was especially fabricated with a saddle base so that it sat neatly over the engine, which is slightly higher by about two inches (50 mm) but the bonnet closes normally to the dash panel. The engine is a direct injection unit fitted with a CAV inline pump with an excess fuel button. The 6 volt starter motor is retained, but the tractor has a 12 volt battery. Needless to say it fires up instantly at below zero. It has been used at an autumn ploughing day on hard red Devon soil hitched to a MF three furrow 793 plough set at 12 inches (300 mm). It purred along in second gear as sweet as a nut. When the late Harold Beer was driving it he decided to try it in third gear, it worked but the black smoke was disgusting, a not to be repeated test. As Nigel Liney told me back in 1999 the Meadows engine tractor had the best pulling characteristics against the Perkins and the Standard 20C. I would certainly validate that!

Engine designation and specification:
• Meadows engine No.BXA 105 Type 4DC 1/35
• Bore 80mm, stroke 110mm, capacity 2212cc. Output not known as I do not have a dynamometer.
• The Standard Petrol engine: Bore 80mm, stroke 92mm

© Mike Thorne, first published, Ferguson Club Journal, Issue No.90 Winter 2018/19

The Story of the Standard Motor Company Prototype Dumper Truck

The Story of the Standard Motor Company Prototype Dumper Truck

I was recently informed by the well-known Massey writer, John Farnsworth that a Standard Motor Co. Prototype dumper truck was being offered for sale in one of the tractor magazines. After taking down the details I made contact with Robert Thompson who is based near Alcaster: he gave me a bit of background to this machine which he had owned and used for about twelve years: we agreed on a price but it was up to me to collect. This I did, tying the collection in with the AGCO press release concerning the relocation of the Massey Ferguson Banner Lane collection.

When I collected this prototype dumper, Robert was able to give the name and phone number of the previous owner, Bill Davies. In due course I made contact with him and it is him who we have to thank for most of the basic history of these machines. Let us first look at the background of this project before going onto review the specifications. Why should a major car and tractor manufacturer consider building dumper trucks? Well, they did a prototype 4×4 vehicle with perhaps the idea of competing with Land Rover in the late 40’s.

The vehicle code named FGPV (Farmers General Purpose Vehicle) named Langard: looks a bit like an Austin Champ. They also produced some prototype tractors of their own, an early one is here in the Coldridge Collection, sadly missing its commission number, another late one in Robert Crawfors Collection, Serial No. X678.

I was told by ex-Standard Motor Co. employee, Ron Easterbrook that a batch of 12 of these dumpers were made for export to Israel but the order was cancelled at the last minute. Bill Davies recalls all 12 were sold to a Coventry Building contractor and eventually one or two were sold off to Benfords. Who then dismantled them to evaluate their construction (seems a strange thing to do). Bill bought this example in 1968 to use in connection with his ready mixed concrete and concrete block making business. He used this dumper truck to deliver small batches of concrete to customers in the nearby town; hence his need to register it for road use. This was done on 12-12-69 with the Warwickshire County Council and given registration WAC 942H, which it still carries today.

The specification is as follows:
– Engine; Single Petter Diesel. No. PHTT 393PHI, handstart. According to Bill Davies three were fitted with Ruston diesel engines. Clutch, Borg&Beck 9ins. Gearbox, 4 forward & reverse syncromesh directly from Triumph Herald. Propellor shaft, Hardy Spicer, one piece. Front axle, Triumph diff unit with power fed into reduction dropper boxes. Brake, internal expanding hydraulically operated with separate mechanical operation of park brake by Girling. Front tyre 750×16 traction type. Rear tyres, ribbed. The rear axle and steering, fabricated beam with central pivot point. The hub swivels are taken from the Herald parts bin and carry the road wheels but no brakes. Steering; fitted with Ferguson TEF20 type steering wheel, as is the driver’s seat pan. The skip holds about 1 cu.yd of material and is mechanically tipped and off counter balanced design with a pair of springs to absorb shock loads when tipping.

All in all, a robust little dumper – would just need a rollover frame and a flashing beacon to bring it inline with todays Health & Safety requirements, plus a few other warning stickers!

I would be delighted to hear from anyone who can shed more light on this story; please give me a ring on 07966 328600.

Thank you – © Mike Thorne, 2021.

Ferguson Club – 25th Anniversary – 1986-2011

The Ferguson Club – 25th Anniversary – 1986-2011

fc25thbadge“Special Anniversary Badge – free to all who were paid up members during 2011, our Silver Anniversary year.”

Formed in the Autumn of 1986 ,the Club had only 180 members by the end of that year. Officially recognised by Massey Ferguson(UK) Ltd., the Club was administered by David Bates ( Editor ), Ken Goodwin ( Membership Secretary ) and Geoffrey Smith (General Secretary). The principal objective was to promote interest in the late Harry Ferguson, his designs for the mechanisation of agriculture and in particular “the Ferguson System”.

The Club covered – Ferguson A (Ferguson Brown), Ford –Ferguson 2N,8N & 9N, TE20, TO20,, TO30, USA & UK implements, and by agreement with Massey Ferguson the MF35 & MF65.

Right at the beginning they decided to issue 4 Quarterly Journals per year, to the Membership, who paid the princely sum of £10 per year.

The Journal ( Volume 1 No 1 ) promised to give Members the opportunity to advertise Sales & Wants, help other members with technical queries, and publish Member’s articles on their Tractors with Photographs.

Membership at this early stage included Members from USA, Australia & Ireland.

The first Technical Article gave valuable data on the TYPE TE-F20 (1951/2), this being a Diesel engined version of the TA-20 petrol Tractor, and listed the Special tools from V.L. Churchill & Co Ltd.

This Journal included the recipe for TVO ( Tractor Vapourising Oil ) as :

5 Gallons of 28 second Central Heating Oil /1 Gallon Petrol /½ Pint Universal Engine Oil. (TVO–25 litres @£8.50)

It also gave the costs of a TE-A @ £ 395, and many more items.

The Club has a very privileged and proud connection with the Ferguson Family, and in 1989, Mrs Elizabeth Sheldon (daughter of the late Harry Ferguson) became the Patron, and followed later by her son Jamie Sheldon,our first President under the new Constitution.

Recently the Club announced that Mrs Sally Fleming & Mrs Caroline Blest ( Mrs Sheldon’s daughters ) had accepted the invitation to become Vice-Presidents.

Publication of the Journal continued without any missed years and currently Journal No 68 is much improved , and has a current circulation of approx. 1500. Colour pictures having been introduced in 1996, by the then Editor Alan Dunderdale.

In 1994, the Club became, as it is now, a totally independent Members Club, and income relying mainly on annual subscription . Some income is also derived from advertising in the Journal and Sales of Merchandise .

3 very dedicated people have succeeded in ensuring that the Club is structurally sound — John Cousins( General Secretary) Ian Halstead (Chairman) & Lawrence Jamieson (Membership Secretary) were elected in1995, and these Officers were instrumental in keeping the Club in good shape, implementing a 5 year Plan, whilst unfinished business was completed. The first Constitution & Rules were agreed in 1995, and have only been modified to take account of new Officer positions. The Club is financially secure and Membership continues to increase year by year, and is currently 1500.

In 2001 the Club produced the new “Handbook”, which contained Maintenance information, Tractor data, the Constitution & Membership application Form.

The Club organises annually, a large number of Rallies, Shows, Ploughing matches , Harvest work-ins, Charitable events, Workshops, Agricultural shows and a host of recreational events across the UK.

A highlight of the Club’s activities was” the Grey Ferguson Challenge” , held in 1994 at Wickenby, when over 100 tractors ploughed together in one bout covering over 1000yards.

Management of the Club is carried out by the Executive Committee- ( Chairman, Vice Chairman, General Secretary, Treasurer & Membership Secretary) and Area Representatives forming the General Committee, with the Executive Committee. The Club Rules include the tenure of office for the Chairman & General Secretary, serving for only 2 consecutive years.

It is worthwhile noting that in 1986, the number of Area Reps. was 8 , rising to 18 in 1989, 30 in 1991 and 37 in 1993.

The Club has also appointed members to be responsible for :- Commercial Advertising, Website Co-ordinator, Area Rep. Co-ordinator, Merchandise Co-ordinator, DVLA Officer, Safety Officers & Technical Team.

The Annual Members Weekend & AGM is held around the UK, in order to give members the opportunity to meet new faces and to take part in the AGM, as well as seeing other members tractors, and has proved to be a great success.

The 25th Annual Weekend & AGM was held in Beamish, Co. Durham and our 2012 event was held in Sheffield.

The Club is enjoying probably the best years now, since formation in 1986, with a high level of interest by the Members and the Management.

Harry Turkington

General Secretary/Executive Committee