Tractor Problems

We have an old tractor that says on the side ‘Fordson Narow’ and type 957E. Despite OH ‘tinkering’ it refuses to start. We asked around for people who knew more about tractors than us & had several visits, lots of teeth sucking and ‘I’ll be back next week’ - still waiting.
It also has a fairly modern topper and a rake/harrow. If possible we would like to get it going for our use, but if it’s not possible/too expensive possibly sell it and the implements.

We are in 24500 so if anyone knows of a tractor expert or has any other suggestion we would be most grateful!
Many thanks

Can you give more details? Does the engine turn over? Does it emit any smoke from the exhaust, and if so hat colour?

Try . is it Diesel or Petrol?

Plenty of hits on t’internet for Fordson 957e but the model name is “Dexta”, (is that written on the front?) can’t tie in “narrow”.

If I have the right model it appears that it should be a 30.5HP direct injection diesel.

I’ll bet there are people here who could help (the forum looks active, though not quite as much as SF :slight_smile: )

Edit - D’oh, I should try reading Mick’s post properly - I got as far as www.fordson and assumed it was to the manufacturer (no idea if they are still around).

I should stop posting on subjects about which I know the square root of sod all :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

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Yes, would give you more energy for topics that you are familiar with.:wink:

LOL - where’s the fun in that?

@cheminot’s advise is on the right track, I think - start with the basics.

Is the engine turning, is there fuel, is the fuel pump running and fuel reaching the injectors, if the tractor has been idle a long  time make sure the fuel hasn’t gelled, do the fuel pipes need bleeding, are the glow plugs OK, have the cylinders got compression.

I’d have thought any half decent mechanic could get it going or tell you what he thinks the problem is.

Many thanks everyone,
Yes, we put petrol in but no it doesn’t do anything. When you say mechanic do you mean a car mechanic?
I’ll have a look at the link & see how we get on!

Will report back - thanks again!

Sorry to ask the obvious but if you put petrol in it did you check it was the petrol engined variant?

Pretty much - an engine is an engine after all.

The engine in one of my cars was also used in tractors so that shows how little difference there might between car and tractor engines. I first discovered that fact when I tried to get a carburettor service kit for it and the parts dealer said he couldn’t help because my carburettor was from a tractor not a car. He did sell me a new carburettor though so all was well.
Trying to diagnose any engine problem from a distance is always harder than being hands on. You said it doesn’t start, you later said it doesn’t do anything. The two things are completely different but any mechanic actually there would know all the necessary facts.

Many thanks, When I said petrol I just meant whatever it was that it needed. The first chap who came to look collected old tractors & put either petrol/diesel in but it didn’t show any signs of life.

I meant that when he put the petrol/diesel in it didn’t make any difference as nothing moved, made a noise or produced any smoke. He said he was going to come back but didn’t so we were non the wiser.

So it appears that we need a car mechanic that knows about tractors??


Sorry, forgot to say that the name is done with a large ‘N’ then a gap & then ‘arrow’. We thought it might have been used for vines???


Does the engine turn over? That’s what I don’t understand. You say nothing happens, do you mean nothing happens or it turns over but doesn’t start? There are all sorts of variables that would need to be answered, some old tractors had a mechanism to reduce the compression to allow the engine to spin quickly before full compression was introduced to allow it to fire. Many had 6v ignition systems and a tired 6v battery turning a tractor engine might not leave enough power for a (petrol) engined one to produce a sufficient spark to ignite the fuel. The possibilities are endless.

No nothing happens at all, it doesn’t turn over or start or make any kind of noise. I know nothing about compression/ignition systems etc etc. We were just trying to find someone who would actually turn up & say either it’s dead as a Dodo or it could be fixed at a cost of €xxxxx.

Is it really worth contacting local garages for mechanics that are likely to know about Tractors?


I suggest you go to any nearby agricultural engineers and ask them to look at it.

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Or ask the local farmers who they use/would recommend.

Many thanks All,

We’ll try your suggestions & see how we get on.

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I know that you’d “try our suggestions” and get back to us but I’m curious as to whether your OH is “good with mechanical things”?

If the engine isn’t turning at all then you need to go down that route first - does the battery have charge, is the starter motor OK, is the starter pinion OK and, indeed, has the engine seized with lack of use (again assuming it has been stood for a long while).

A seized engine might well be rescue-able but it tends to be more a DIY restoration project than a pay a mechanic project because its a lot of work and labour costs would be pretty high (but if all you are spending is time then it is not so bad).

Oh, PS photos might help track down stuff on t’internet.

I ran this past an old farmer pal tonight and he agreed with the battery/starter motor suggestion. He said he often cured starter problems by thwacking it several times with a big hammer!