Prior to Ernie creating this website, our sole method of communication was via the magazine, the only other alternative is by post which unfortunately must be ruled out on cost alone.
The magazine has proved to be an excellent vehicle for disseminating club news and I do not see this changing, however, it is clear that as Ford and Fordson Tractors is a bimonthly publication and as the deadline for copy to be submitted to it is about a month before it drops through your doors, some three months can pass between an item of interest coming to our attention and to your being told about it.
To try and keep you better informed we shall, for a trial period, be publishing a regular ‘Club News’ item on this website. It will also feature items sent in by area representatives of ‘happenings’ they would like brought to your attention and you the members who have something you would like aired.
Please email items that you wish to be featured either to Ernie or to myself Pat Pawsey and we will do our best to include the most topical. We shall also include stories of interest that have missed publication previously due to editorial constraints or for other reasons.
Make no mistake this is your club and we need both input from you and feedback on the content we publish if it is to work properly.
Above in the blue header you can see the Isues 64-69 of "In the Chair" 2015.
Cick on the Month & Number you want to view and this will open on another page for you.
Click In the Chair 2014 button in the blue header to return to this 2014 Main page.
I hope you enjoy reading these In the Chair information pages as it is my way of keeping the Members upto date with what is going on with Your FFA.
From The Chair 2015 (for Issue 64 Dec/Jan 2015)
Another season is coming to its close, only ploughing matches and the Boxing Day road runs left to look forward to. On the whole the weather has been kind this year, in fact it really was rather a good summer, a notable exception, as far as I was concerned was Dorset, but then, any show is only what you make it and I for one enjoyed it despite the rain.
The nights are drawing in fast and it is taking longer to get light in the morning, but it hasn't turned cold yet. I have to say I like this time of year, now is time to get out in the shed and catch up with what needs doing and of course for those who have acquired another little gem / project / basket case, call it what you will, the fun is just starting as it's time to get it ready for next season, or the one after, or the one after that depending its condition and your plans for it.
A Topical Note on Antifreeze:
At this time of year, when Jack Frost is creeping about, is the only time most people think about antifreeze. Its use, properties and benefits are generally poorly understood, some years ago I did some research and thought the result might be of interest and perhaps save you some cash and a lot of trouble.
Important Note; ethylene glycol based solutions are highly toxic, they are sweet tasting and careless disposal leads to many pet cats and dogs dying every year from poisoning, do please dispose of spent solutions safely. Also never mix different types, as they are totally incompatible.
Antifreeze is actually formulated to perform three important functions. The first is obviously to prevent frost damage, the second is to prevent corrosion and also importantly cavitation and the third is to improve the cooling capability of the system. Cavitation is a problem that besets wet liner diesel engines, put simplistically, it is caused by the pistons setting up vibrations which cause the formation and collapse of bubbles on the outside of the cylinder walls during the combustion cycle. These air bubbles implode repeatedly against the liner and may eventually form 'pin holes' into the combustion chamber. Some of you will, no doubt, have experienced this phenomenon, it was a common cause of engine failure particularly of the earlier BMC / Leyland power units.
There are three basic types of antifreeze:
1. Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT) this is the common green or sometimes blue stuff that has been around for over 70 years. It is based on ethylene glycol and contains both silicate and phosphates, these additives are fast acting and provide good protection for cast iron, aluminium, copper, brass and solder. For this reason it is usually recommended for use in older engines like ours. It has a life of two to three years and is highly toxic both to humans and wildlife, even in diluted form.
2. Organic Acid Technology (OAT) this was introduced around 1995 and is usually orange, sometimes yellow. It is based on propylene glycol and contains a completely different additive package called OAT, which is slower acting and does not degrade as fast. It is not normally recommended for older vehicles primarily because of the lead based solder used in their radiators. It has a life of three to five years and is not as toxic.
3. Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT) this is usually specified for vehicles made after 2002, it is normally yellow but comes in other colours including green, pink, blue, red and orange. As post 2002 tractors are as yet not normally exhibited on the rally field I will say no more about HOAT!
Assuming that you use antifreeze I expect you already correctly use the IAT type, but many vehicles have cast iron engines with alloy ancillaries for example water pumps, the presence of dissimilar metals will cause electrolysis unless corrosion inhibitors are present, the resulting corrosion has to be seen to be believed. To prevent this the antifreeze solution should be changed regularly as the inhibitor package wares out. Over the years I have replaced several liners in JCBs and other wet liner diesels, as well as choked radiators and numerous head gaskets caused by lack of coolant maintenance - antifreeze doesn't just prevent frost damage!
We "Old Codgers" have a duty, to those who come after us, not to pollute the environment. So a question for you, if you use antifreeze and do you actually change it as recommended what do you do with the old stuff? . Actually there is a 'win, win' solution here, as you can both save a few bob and have no disposal problem. Just think about the cost, do you need to pay Mr Bluecol and his ilk good money for expensive antifreeze when the frost protection properties are undiminished and all that has deteriorated is the anticorrosion package?The short answer is no.
There are machines readily available to recycle coolant and test equipment such as refractometers but these are uneconomic from our point of view. You may have a hydrometer but that merely tells you if the concentration is sufficient to prevent frost damage. Anticorrosion additives for 'summer use' are readily available and I would suggest that the 'fill and drain' contingent amongst you might consider using one, particularly if you run something similar to a P6 or a BMC diesel!
Kits are however available to extend the life of antifreeze solutions. Fleetguard makes the one I use. The kit contains test strips and an additive that is used to 'precharge' the system at the initial fill and replenish spent inhibitor thereafter. The strips are used to monitor both the frost protection and the inhibitor levels of the coolant, a packet of four costs about £1 each and half-litre bottles of inhibitor are about £6.
So how do you ensure that your coolant lasts the vehicles lifetime?
For your tractor, drain and thoroughly wash out the system using a good quality flushing agent. Replace any suspect hoses; I would replace them all, after all the coolant is going to be in there a long time and use new hose clips unless the old ones must be retained for authenticity and then only if they are really serviceable.
Refilling, do use deionised water, this is because tap water can be 'hard' causing scale; it also contains other dissolved salts. Rainwater is of doubtful cleanliness but deionised water, is of a known purity and inexpensive. This should be mixed with IAT antifreeze to give a final dilution of 50% including the 'primary additive charge'. The quantity of additive precharge required is dependent on the capacity of the system but to give an indication a Fordson Major E1A requires 1 litre. Thereafter the coolant should be tested twice a year and more additive added if required. The amount is determined by comparing the test strips to a chart supplied. Any coolant used to top up the system thereafter must be the same mix as the original fill.
This system is not new and the manufacturers claim that if correctly maintained the coolant will last the lifetime of the vehicle. That is quite a saving as the cost of filling an E27N is getting on for £50 just for the antifreeze at present day prices and every two years and you must remember to change it, dispose of the old coolant and fork out another wad of dosh.
Of course the 'lifetime' route has additional costs, the initially flushing of the system, plus cost of the additive precharge but thereafter there are considerable savings. There is also the not inconsiderable value of peace of mind; but that is for you to price!
*Lifetime is defined as the period between major engine rebuilds*
The Great Dorset Steam Fair:
This year Stuart Cottony invited the Club to mount a special display to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Ford Motor Companies launch of the 6X World Wide Series of tractors, more commonly today known as the 1000 series.
Previously tractors in the UK had been built at Dagenham but Ford was fast running out of space there and a decision was made to build a brand new factory at Basildon solely for tractor production. There were two other Ford tractor factories worldwide one at Highland Park in Michigan and the other at Antwerp but Basildon was the main manufacturing centre and built all the engines.
Building the plant commenced in April 1962 and it was largely complete by the end of 1963; of Ford's total investment of £35 million in the 6X programme £20 million was spent on Basildon alone. It was the most modern plant in Europe that extended to some sixty acres and was justifiably known as 'the tractor centre of the world'.
Basildon was designed with the capacity to build 500 engines and 300 tractors per day. The first tractor was completed on 15th May 1964 although the range was not launched until 1965.
To start with there were just four models, the 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000. Initially called the Dexta, Super Dexta, Major and Super Major in England to get farmers used to the new tractors. The range was extended and we had a good selection of models on display that includes some of the more esoteric conversions.
The only drawback was the rain, Dorset is either a dust bowl or a quagmire and this year it was the latter. Consequently vehicle movement was kept to a minimum for safety reasons and we were only allowed one parade, which was disappointing. However our fraternity is a hardy lot and I heard very few complaints, all of which were good-natured and although getting about was hard work in the mud everyone enjoyed the show.
In line with our now normal practice judging was by members and entrants; the class winners are as follows:
Best at Show
1st Mike Sheppard Roadless 75
2nd Tim Pearman County 754
3rd Conrad Hopkins Ford 4000
1st Mike Mitchell Roadless 65 & being presented below with his rosette by Conrad Hopkins
2nd Bill Pollock Ford 4000
3rd John Brunt & his Ford 5000 SOS
One you would like to take home
Rodney Broadley (aka. Wurzel) Ford 2000
In addition the winner of the Symington Trophy for the Best new Restoration was awarded to Sue Arrowsmith driving Tim Pearman's recently restored Ford 2810.
The Henham Grand Steam Rally:
Celebrating its 14th year this coincided with a change of tractor steward & proceedure.
Because of the number of tractors that entered the parades they were split into odd and even numbered entries on alternate days, although this was not strictly enforced. This is an ever-popular rally with plenty to see and do, there is always a strong Ford and Fordson tractor entry and this year was no exception.
I was particularly taken with the three Fordson 'All Round" tractors that we managed to line up on the second day. One of each colour, owned by R. Pratt, W Hill and R Pavitt, a sight not often seen and they looked absolutely splendid in the sunshine.
Southern Ploughing Championships:
Conrad Hopkins writes; the Club was again invited to this year's Ferguson Club ploughing match staged at Fornham St Martin by kind invitation of Henry Castle.
When we arrived Henry had already marked out the plots for the 65 ploughmen and ladies expected to attend. About 30 turned up on Saturday to practice but at about 2.30 heavy rain brought a halt to proceedings. The rain stopped at five and a few went back to plough until the light failed.
Sunday started off with rain and when Henry arrived at 8 a.m. he said that there had been 10 mm over night. There were puddles on the field but the four by fours managed to park there while lorries parked on the hard farm access road. By 09.30 all the competitors had booked in and paid their entrance money (in aid of the air ambulance) we were each given a plot number and at 10 a.m. ploughing commenced. There was a good turn out of spectators armed with cameras and talking to competitors. Ploughing completed we awaited the judges deliberation and as usual there was the usual good natured banter whilst anticipating the results.
Our very special thanks to Henry Castle and the Ferguson Club for an enjoyable weekend, also the two judges, Ken McVittle and Eddie Wharton, members of the Rochford Hundred Tractor & Engine Club.
More than £200 was raised for the East Anglian Air Ambulance
1st Terry Stinson - photo below
2nd -Mike Debenham
1st Paul Clements
2nd Max Cherry
3rd Paul Butcher
1st Ken Bailey - Photo Below
2nd Conrad Hopkins
3rd Roger Starling
Ploughman of the day for the Ford and Fordson Club was awarded by the Ferguson Club to Paul Clements.
Well Done Paul, a superb effort & result for you.
This is "YOUR" club and these are "YOUR" pages in the magazine & Website. We need to know what you are doing in your neck of the woods.
That restoration you have done, and more particularly the problems that arose whilst doing it and how you overcame them.
The shows and rallies you go to and what was there; in fact anything of interest to other members. Don’t be shy if it interests you it will almost certainly interest others, so share it with us.
I look forward to hearing from you