All things tractors thread


Jem knows his stuff.

Only thing I might add is that the correct amount of oil in the gear box is when it comes out the lower plug hole. A lot of inexperienced people fill those gear boxes up to the top (thinking more is better). But the box needs to have some air so it won’t blow seals when it expands (same for packing wheel bearings).

The Bush Hog brand mower I used to own didn’t have any place to drain oil. I called them about it and they said nobody ever changed the oil in the gear boxes anyway, so they quit machining the gear boxes for drain pugs. Boo!


Thanks. I told her to hold off on those, but she did get a few 5/16" grade 2 bolts/nuts/washers while she was there. I think she said she got 3 sets or so, and all of it was no more than a dollar. Hopefully those won’t be too thin. But, when I was down in the barn looking at the broke bolt, I measured the hole, and it’s about a half inch, so the 5/16 should be OK. We’ll see.

I’ll check the gear box oil, it has a large nut screw bolt (1/2?) that can be removed for checking/adding. I haven’t checked it in over a year, but then it had enough in it then, but I’ll make sure it has the right amount. If it is low, what kind of oil would it use?


A 5/16" might work, if you are doing light mowing. But the shear strength of a 5/16 is considerably less than 1/2. It might wallow the holes out a little to. But believe me, your by far not the first one to use an under sized pin.

Generally 80/90 wt. oil is what you use in those boxes.


OK, thanks. I told her to get he 5/16" because the hole didn’t seem to be quite 1/2". I don’t know if all brands have a half inch hole there or not. If need be, I’ll pick up some half inchers tomorrow when I go to town.

Now I gotta figure out how to get that sheared bolt out, I guess using a hammer and a metal rod of some type to pound it out would work.


If it’s not half inch. It could be 7/16. Hammer and punch is fine to drive the old one out


Use the 5/16" bolt to pound out the old one. If you want some friendly advice- DO NOT use that much smaller 5/16 grade 5 bolt in the 1/2" hole. The slop is not good. I could go into it, but I will just say I’ve been around tractors and farm equipment for quite some time and have seen and had to fix life’s mistakes.

I can almost certainly say it will be a 1/2" hole where the pto shaft to gear box shear is. Unless possibly your cutter was imported from Mars. :slight_smile: These are as standard as the shaft coming out of the gear box. Also the thread on the 1/2" bolt used for shear protection should extend beyond where it shears on both sides of the inner gear box shaft. If not it will shear with a little less torque because of the reduced diameter of the threads.


OK, thanks. I’ll get some half inchers tomorrow. I don’t really have to do any mowing anytime soon, so no rush. I plowed on Sunday, so my next task will be to run the disk over the turned sod. But, gotta wait for it dry out a bit more. We’re not supposed to get any rain for the next week, so I’ll prob do that then.

Alrighty then, got to get outside and enjoy some of this nice weather. Thanks again guys for all the help, having someone with such knowledge on such matters is so invaluable, another reason why this forum rocks.


Hey friends. I’ve got a tractor problem and I am hoping some of you who know about tractors can give me some insight. My little compact tractor has a big problem as of about an hour ago…the PTO just abtuptly stopped working.

I was mowing, and I DEFINITELY heard a strange sound coming from what sounded like it was under my tractor (not on the mower). It was a whining sound- sort of like a belt was slipping but of course there is no belt on my tractor. I even checked my mower belt but it wasn’t the source of the sound. Like a dummy I kept mowing and about 5 minutes later the PTO just stopped turning. It didn’t make any type of noise at the point it stopped. It just didn’t turn the mower or even turn at all anymore. The mower still ran and seems fine.

Any guesses at all?


Oh man, I don’t know what that could be, but doesn’t sound good. A few questions, what brand and model of tractor and mower? Does the tractor run fine otherwise? Do you keep good maintenance on it, like change the oil, hydraulic fluids and filters on it?

I’m not leading anywhere with the questions, just trying to get a baseline of info for those guys on here who know more about these things than I do.


Unless you have previously stated the make and model of your tractor, there are too many variables to make a guess. There are different types of PTO’s. Can you tell us about your tractor?
Is the mower you’re speaking of a belly mower or a 3 point mower? …


Kevin, I’d agree that some more details would be helpful here. But even without the specifics of brand and model there are a few things that would help:

Is your mower PTO powered? Did it stop turning when the PTO stopped? Are you sure it is the PTO that stopped vs say a shear bolt breaking in the PTO connector shaft? Did you try disconnecting everything from the PTO and seeing if it would turn unloaded?

Did you try disengaging the PTO and seeing if the noise stopped when the PTO stopped turning (back when it was turning)? Did the noise change in “time” to the speed of the PTO?

If you have several speeds/gears to the PTO, have you tried a different one?

Have you checked the transmission/gear box oil level?

Hard to get more specific without more details, but bearings can make a whining noise too, especially if they are not getting enough lube.

Probably need more details to get much deeper, but for a first pass these would be the questions I would ask…


I have been working on my Massey 1145 for nearly a month . Finally got all the parts . Front Axel and bearing and gear troubles . 4 wheel drive .Going back together tomorrow . It was ugly . Ground up gear teeth , bearings , seals . Former owner did a lot of lifting & hauling on the front .


@subdood_ky_z6b , @jem, and especially @Steve333 and others who may come along- THank you so much for responding to my question. I desperately need help figuring this out. I don’t think you will be able to actually teach me how to fix whatever is wrong, but if I had some idea how serious it is it would really help me form a game plan for how to move forward. There are no tractor repair businesses ANYWHERE around here, so I’m not sure what to do.

Let me also go ahead and tell you that I’m about as ignorant about the mechanical operation of a tractor as a person can be. It is downright embarassing, to be honest. Even some of the questions steve asked had me lost. So keep that in mind as I try to address the questions or you give any guesses you may have.

My tractor is a Ford New Holland Compact 1530. It is probably about 10 years old and hasn’t seen a lot of use. I bought it with my little minifarm all together. The mower is a woods mower and is PTO driven. But I’m pretty sure it is the PTO on the tractor that has stopped working. After Steve asked, I unhooked the mower and the PTO on the tractor still did not turn at all.

I didn’t try disengaging the PTO back when I heard the whining noise before it stopped working. The noise sounded a lot like a slipping belt but was comming from what seemed to be under the front of the tractor- where there is no belt. It wasn’t comming from the mower or its belt for sure. I didn’t notice that it changed with the “time” of the PTO drive but then again the PTO was engaged at pretty high speed and a constant speed so I probably wouldn’t have noticed.

I think my PTO only has one speed- either it is engaged or it isn’t. I have checked the transmission oil level in the body of the tractor and also at the very back above the PTO shaft there is a place to add oil and a way to check it (dip stick). All have good levels of oil.

Since I know so little that I can’t even answer all your questions, I’ve taken some photos that might help you see what I have. Here they are:

If there is anything else you can think of, let me know. Thank you very much for taking the time to try to help.


Hi Kevin.

Thanks for the info. I am not familiar with that model or line of tractors, but a couple more questions for you and perhaps a thing or two to try:

  1. It looks like that tractor has a hydro-static type transmission (sort of an automatic). And I would guess (but it’s only a guess) a similar gearbox (auto/hydraulic) for the PTO. Do you have a manual clutch on this? Do you have to push in that clutch to engage the PTO or just move the level? Can you engage/disengage the PTO while running on the fly? Have you done that a lot?

  2. Have you done any testing on the PTO other than seeing that it does not turn? For example, with the engine off, can you rotate the PTO shaft by hand (no tools you do not want to score the metal splines on the shaft)? Does it make any diff if that PTO engagement level is in engaged or disengaged positions to how easily the PTO turns?

  3. Have you tried moving the PTO level forward and backwards (engaged/disengaged) to see if that makes any diff with the PTO turning while the engine is on? Does moving the PTO lever to engage noticeably change the speed the engine is running at (eg does it make the engine slow a bit like it was trying to move something hard)?

  4. I did a bit of checking online, and it seems Ford/New Hollands have auto tranny type control for the PTO (solenoid and brake). There may be adjustments for those, and they can wear out too. You might want to do some online searching; I find this forum to be quite good

  5. If my guesses on the HW your tractor uses are right, then there are a couple of things to check. Like all “auto transmissions” the PTO could fail to engage if its fluid is low. I know you said you checked the fluids, but if you can check your owners manual and be sure that the PTO fluid is full (it may be a separate fluid from the tranny or not). This would be the simplest and easiest fix if it is the problem.

BE AWARE!!! there are likely different fluids in each of these reservoirs and putting the wrong fluid in the wrong place can be very bad and cost big bucks to repair. So spend the time to make sure you have the right place and the right fluid before filling anything up. I’d guess you have at least 3 different lubricants: engine oil, transmission fluid and hydraulic fluid. And maybe more.

It’s just a start, but these are the things I’d look at first. I am not familiar with the PTO mechanics of these tractors. You said that the noise was coming from the front of the tractor. Does it have a mid/front PTO shaft, if so that may have been the source of the noise. If you do have those PTOs have you tried them?

Anyway just a few thoughts.


Steve pretty much has is covered. You have a hydrostatic drive tractor with L/M/H (I/II/III) ranges. You should be mowing in M. (low is for grunt work and High is almost strictly for road travel) Your PTO is either on or off and it’s speed is directly proportional to your engine rpm’s. You should engage your pto with the rpm’s at low idle and increase the engine rpm to the speed which correlates with your PTO being at 540rpm. (With very few exceptions, the pto should almost always be run at 540. It’s just what most implements are designed to run at. There are exceptions, like post hole diggers and a few others.) There should be a tachometer on the dash which points to this 540 pto rpm.
Your PTO, on and off, is controlled by the lever. Yours looks to be a manual engagement. Some hydro tractors have electric switch for pto engagement. If you’ve taken the shaft off of the PTO to ensure that the problem is with the tractor, as Steve has suggested, I would first check the linkage from the lever to make sure it is engaging the PTO. Your “transmission” is hydrostatic. There are no gears, (so you won’t have transmission fluid) just different fluid output rates- 1rst-2nd-3rd. The higher to output rate the more engine power it requires.
My guess is that if it’s not a sheer pin, is that a stick or something has broken part of your linkage from the lever to where is connects to the engine to engage the PTO. It’s also possible the lever needs some adjustment to fully engage. You could check this by tracing the linkage, disconnecting it, and pushing it in and out at the source.
If it’s not a simple fix like this, as you have previously stated, I’m afraid it’s beyond your comfort level to fix yourself, because it would mean tearing into the engine.
If you have a correct grade 2 bolt for your sheer pin, I would doubt you stripped the PTO internally. If someone installed a grade 5 or grade 8 for the pin, then all bets are off.
Do as Steve says and check your hydraulic oil, take the shaft off and try to turn the pto by hand.


Was wondering if you found out what was wrong with your tractor @thecityman.


Was curious if you got your tractor fixed, sounds like it would be a bear of a repair.


Yes I got it repaired . Not terribly hard . One side that I did cheap still ran about $ 500. I had the dealer do the first side as I could not find out or figure out how it came apart . So I got the instructions with the finished assembly . Still have not received the bill . I bet it will be $1000 + .


Don’t know any more than I did. I finally found someone to fix it and they promised to come pick it up a week ago and I haven’t heard a word since. Gota love undependable repairmen.


Hey Steve- I am feeling about 2 inches tall right now. When I saw your post about the jumping goat it got me wondering if you ever replied to me about my tractor, so I went to look. Well, it turns out that you not only replied, but did so extremely well and thoroughly. You even did some research on my behalf. And somehow I just completely missed it. Didn’t see it until today. The worst thing about that is that because I didn’t see it I didn’t get to thanks you. Worse yet, I even replied to Bob who asked if I had it repaired yet…so you must have thought “well, I know he has been back to this thread so he had to see my post” and yet not a word out of me. I have no idea how I managed to see Bob’s comment and not yours but I promise that is what happens.

I’m at work now so I can’t dig into the details of your post now, but I will when I get home. However, just this morning I had someone pick my tractor up for repair. It was almost impossible to find someone, in spite of the fact that I live in a farming community! First, I’ve learned that most of the farmers around here have big giant million dollar tractors (mostly John deer), and when they break down they call the company who sends out a mobile repair shop. Most of the smaller farmers with small tractors have mechanical skills themselves and are able to do their own repairs for the most part. Then, what very few people I tracked down who do small tractor repair work were all booked up this spring. The guy I finally got to agree to work on mine swore he would come get it LAST Monday (10 days ago) and just got here this morning. So we aren’t off to a good start at all and I’m already worried about him. This is the first time in 34 years that I haven’t put out a garden and it is KILLING ME!!! Hopefully this guy will fix it soon enough for me to still plant a mid summer garden. There will still be time for some things.

Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to try and help!!!