9 Massey Ferguson 85 Problems: Troubleshooting Tips and Solutions

The Massey Ferguson 85 tractor stands as a stalwart in the agricultural community, known for its reliability and versatility. This workhorse has been a go-to choice for farmers and enthusiasts, offering a balance of power and efficiency in the field. However, like any machinery, it is not immune to issues that can arise over time.

Importance of Identifying and Addressing Common Problems

Understanding and addressing common problems with the Massey Ferguson 85 is crucial for maintaining optimal performance and prolonging the lifespan of this tractor. Early detection and resolution of issues can prevent major breakdowns, reduce downtime, and ultimately save on repair costs. Farmers and tractor owners can benefit significantly from being proactive in recognizing and troubleshooting common problems.

Purpose of the Blog Post – Troubleshooting Steps for Common Issues

The purpose of this blog post is to provide a comprehensive guide for Massey Ferguson 85 owners, helping them identify, diagnose, and address common problems that may arise during the tractor’s lifecycle. By offering detailed troubleshooting steps, this guide aims to empower tractor enthusiasts with the knowledge and confidence to tackle issues head-on, ensuring their Massey Ferguson 85 remains in peak condition for years to come. Let’s delve into the specific problems and effective troubleshooting strategies.

Common Problems with Massey Ferguson 85

Problem 1: Engine Starting Issues

1. Possible Causes

Engine starting issues can be attributed to various factors. Here are some potential causes to consider:

  • Faulty Ignition System: Check for issues with the ignition switch, starter, or spark plugs.
  • Fuel Delivery Problems: Insufficient fuel reaching the engine due to clogged fuel filters or a malfunctioning fuel pump.
  • Battery Issues: Weak or dead battery, corroded terminals, or faulty connections.

2. Step-by-Step Troubleshooting Guide

To resolve engine starting problems, follow these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Inspect the Ignition System:

    • Check the ignition switch for proper functionality.
    • Examine the starter motor and solenoid for any signs of wear or damage.
    • Test the spark plugs and replace if necessary.
  2. Evaluate the Fuel Delivery System:

    • Examine the fuel filters for clogs and replace them if needed.
    • Test the fuel pump to ensure it is delivering fuel adequately.
    • Inspect fuel lines for any leaks or blockages.
  3. Check the Battery:

    • Test the battery voltage with a multimeter.
    • Clean corroded terminals and ensure secure connections.
    • Consider charging or replacing the battery if it is weak or dead.

Problem 2: Poor Fuel Efficiency

1. Factors Affecting Fuel Efficiency

Several factors can contribute to poor fuel efficiency in your Massey Ferguson 85:

  • Incorrect Fuel Mixture: The ratio of air to fuel may be imbalanced.
  • Clogged Fuel Injectors: Reduced fuel flow can hinder combustion efficiency.
  • Air Intake Issues: Restricted airflow to the engine affects combustion.

2. Tips for Optimizing Fuel Consumption

To enhance fuel efficiency, consider these tips:

  • Regular Fuel System Cleaning: Periodically clean and maintain the fuel injectors.
  • Monitoring Air Filters: Ensure air filters are clean and replace them at recommended intervals.
  • Adjusting Fuel Mixtures: Fine-tune the carburetor for optimal fuel-to-air ratio.

3. Troubleshooting Steps for Poor Fuel Efficiency

If you’re experiencing poor fuel efficiency, follow these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Inspect and Clean Fuel Injectors:

    • Remove and inspect fuel injectors for clogs.
    • Clean or replace injectors as needed.
  2. Check Air Filters:

    • Inspect air filters for dirt and debris.
    • Replace air filters if they are dirty or clogged.
  3. Verify and Adjust Fuel Mixtures:

    • Check the carburetor settings.
    • Adjust the fuel-to-air ratio for optimal combustion.

Problem 3: Hydraulic System Malfunctions

1. Overview of the Hydraulic System

The hydraulic system in the Massey Ferguson 85 plays a critical role in various functions, including lift operations and power steering.

2. Signs of Hydraulic Problems

Common indicators of hydraulic issues include:

  • Lift System Failures: Inability to lift or control attached implements.
  • Unusual Noises: Grinding or whining sounds during hydraulic operations.
  • Fluid Leaks: Visible leaks around hydraulic components.

3. Troubleshooting Steps for Hydraulic System Issues

To address hydraulic problems, follow these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Inspect Hydraulic Fluid Levels:

    • Check the hydraulic fluid reservoir for an adequate level.
    • Top up or replace hydraulic fluid as needed.
  2. Examine Hydraulic Hoses and Connections:

    • Inspect hoses for leaks, cracks, or signs of wear.
    • Tighten loose connections or replace damaged hoses.
  3. Test Hydraulic Pump Functionality:

    • Evaluate the hydraulic pump for proper operation.
    • If the pump is malfunctioning, consider repair or replacement.

By addressing these common problems and following the provided troubleshooting steps, you can enhance the performance and longevity of your Massey Ferguson 85 tractor.

Problem 4: Transmission Problems

1. Common Transmission Issues

Massey Ferguson 85 owners may encounter various transmission problems, including:

  • Gear Slipping: Difficulty in maintaining gear engagement.
  • Unusual Noises: Grinding, clunking, or whining sounds during operation.
  • Transmission Fluid Leaks: Visible leaks under the tractor.

2. How to Diagnose and Address Transmission Problems

To diagnose and address transmission issues:

  1. Check Transmission Fluid:

    • Ensure the transmission fluid is at the correct level.
    • Replace the fluid if it appears dirty or contaminated.
  2. Inspect for Leaks:

    • Examine the transmission for fluid leaks.
    • Address any leaks by replacing gaskets or seals.
  3. Evaluate Clutch Operation:

    • Assess the clutch for proper engagement and disengagement.
    • Adjust or replace the clutch if necessary.

3. Preventative Maintenance Tips

To prevent transmission problems:

  • Regular Fluid Checks: Periodically check transmission fluid levels.
  • Timely Fluid Replacements: Follow manufacturer recommendations for fluid changes.
  • Proper Clutch Adjustment: Ensure the clutch is properly adjusted to prevent premature wear.

Problem 5: Electrical System Failures

1. Signs of Electrical Problems

Identifying electrical problems is crucial. Look out for:

  • Failure to Start: Difficulty in starting the engine.
  • Dim Lights: Lights appearing dim or flickering.
  • Blown Fuses: Regularly blown fuses.

2. Step-by-Step Guide to Troubleshoot Electrical Issues

To troubleshoot electrical problems:

  1. Check Battery Voltage:

    • Test the battery voltage using a multimeter.
    • Charge or replace the battery if voltage is low.
  2. Inspect Wiring and Connections:

    • Examine wiring for frays, cuts, or damage.
    • Tighten loose connections or replace damaged wiring.
  3. Test Electrical Components:

    • Check the alternator and starter for proper functionality.
    • Replace faulty components as needed.

3. Importance of Proper Electrical System Maintenance

Proper electrical system maintenance is crucial for:

  • Reliable Starting: Ensures the tractor starts consistently.
  • Optimal Component Functionality: Promotes efficient operation of electrical components.
  • Preventing Breakdowns: Reduces the risk of unexpected electrical failures.

Problem 6: Overheating

1. Causes of Overheating in Massey Ferguson 85

Overheating can result from:

  • Coolant Leaks: Loss of coolant due to leaks.
  • Malfunctioning Thermostat: Thermostat failure leading to improper temperature regulation.
  • Clogged Radiator: Reduced heat dissipation due to a clogged radiator.

2. Preventative Measures

Prevent overheating by:

  • Regular Cooling System Checks: Inspect for leaks and coolant levels.
  • Thermostat Maintenance: Replace the thermostat at recommended intervals.
  • Clean Radiator: Ensure the radiator is free from debris and dirt.

3. Troubleshooting Steps for Overheating

If your Massey Ferguson 85 is overheating:

  1. Check Coolant Levels:

    • Ensure the coolant levels are within the recommended range.
    • Top up coolant or address leaks.
  2. Inspect Thermostat:

    • Test the thermostat for proper functioning.
    • Replace if it fails to regulate temperature.
  3. Clean Radiator:

    • Remove debris and dirt from the radiator fins.
    • Consider radiator flushing for optimal performance.

By addressing these transmission, electrical, and overheating issues, you can ensure your Massey Ferguson 85 operates smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

Problem 7: Steering Difficulties

1. Common Steering Problems

Owners of the Massey Ferguson 85 may encounter various steering issues, such as:

  • Hard Steering: Difficulty in turning the steering wheel.
  • Loose Steering: Excessive play or a lack of responsiveness in the steering.
  • Uneven Steering: The tractor pulls to one side during operation.

2. How to Diagnose and Fix Steering Issues

To diagnose and fix steering problems:

  1. Check Power Steering Fluid:

    • Inspect the power steering fluid levels.
    • Top up or replace fluid if it is low or contaminated.
  2. Inspect Steering Components:

    • Examine the steering linkage, tie rods, and steering gearbox for wear or damage.
    • Tighten or replace components as needed.
  3. Assess Wheel Alignment:

    • Check and adjust wheel alignment to prevent uneven steering.
    • Align the front wheels to the manufacturer’s specifications.

3. Regular Maintenance to Prevent Steering Problems

To prevent steering issues:

  • Regular Lubrication: Ensure all steering components are properly lubricated.
  • Timely Repairs: Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.
  • Routine Inspections: Periodically inspect the steering system for signs of wear.

Problem 8: Braking System Failures

1. Signs of Brake Problems

Identifying signs of brake problems is essential. Look out for:

  • Squeaking or Grinding Noises: Indicates worn brake pads or shoes.
  • Reduced Braking Performance: Longer stopping distances or a spongy brake pedal.
  • Brake Fluid Leaks: Visible leaks around brake components.

2. Troubleshooting Steps for Braking System Failures

To troubleshoot braking system failures:

  1. Inspect Brake Pads and Shoes:

    • Check the condition of brake pads or shoes.
    • Replace if worn beyond recommended limits.
  2. Check Brake Fluid Levels:

    • Inspect brake fluid reservoir levels.
    • Top up or replace brake fluid if it is low or contaminated.
  3. Examine Brake Components:

    • Inspect brake calipers, rotors, and drums for wear.
    • Replace or resurface components as needed.

3. Importance of Regular Brake Maintenance

Regular brake maintenance is crucial for:

  • Safe Operation: Ensures the tractor can stop efficiently in various conditions.
  • Extended Component Life: Prevents premature wear and tear on brake components.
  • Reducing Repair Costs: Timely maintenance minimizes the risk of major brake system failures.

Problem 9: PTO (Power Take-Off) Malfunctions

1. Overview of the PTO System

The Power Take-Off (PTO) system in the Massey Ferguson 85 is responsible for transferring power from the engine to attached implements.

2. Indications of PTO Problems

Common indications of PTO problems include:

  • PTO Engagement Issues: Difficulty in engaging or disengaging the PTO.
  • Unusual Noises: Grinding or clunking sounds during PTO operation.
  • PTO Shaft Issues: Vibrations or misalignment of the PTO shaft.

3. Troubleshooting Guide for PTO Malfunctions

To troubleshoot PTO malfunctions:

  1. Inspect PTO Engagement Mechanism:

    • Examine the PTO engagement lever and linkage.
    • Lubricate or adjust components for proper engagement.
  2. Check PTO Shaft Alignment:

    • Inspect the alignment of the PTO shaft.
    • Address any misalignment or vibrations.
  3. Test PTO Clutch:

    • Assess the PTO clutch for proper functioning.
    • Replace the clutch if it fails to engage or disengage smoothly.

By addressing steering difficulties, braking system failures, and PTO malfunctions with the provided troubleshooting steps, Massey Ferguson 85 owners can ensure the reliable performance and longevity of their tractors.

Read More: Massey Ferguson 124 Baler Knotter Problems (Include Solutions)

Preventative Maintenance Tips

Importance of Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is paramount for ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of your Massey Ferguson 85. By conducting routine checks and addressing potential issues proactively, you can prevent major breakdowns, reduce repair costs, and maintain the tractor’s reliability. Neglecting maintenance may lead to increased wear and tear, diminished efficiency, and a higher likelihood of unexpected failures in critical components.

Recommended Maintenance Schedule

Establishing a consistent maintenance schedule is key to keeping your Massey Ferguson 85 in top condition. Here’s a suggested maintenance timeline:

Daily Checks:

  • Fluid Levels: Regularly check engine oil, hydraulic fluid, and coolant levels.
  • Tire Pressure: Ensure proper tire inflation for optimal traction and fuel efficiency.
  • Visual Inspection: Look for leaks, loose bolts, or any unusual wear.

Weekly Checks:

  • Air Filters: Inspect and clean or replace air filters.
  • Belts and Hoses: Check for wear, cracks, or damage in belts and hoses.
  • Battery: Verify the battery charge and clean terminals if needed.

Monthly Checks:

  • Fuel System: Inspect fuel filters and lines for any clogs or leaks.
  • Steering Components: Check for any play or unusual sounds in the steering system.
  • Brake Inspection: Examine brake pads, shoes, and fluid levels.

Seasonal Checks:

  • Cooling System: Before warmer months, check the radiator and coolant levels.
  • Heating System: Before colder months, ensure the heater and defroster are working.
  • Grease Fittings: Lubricate all grease points to prevent friction and wear.

Tips for Keeping Massey Ferguson 85 in Top Condition

To maintain your Massey Ferguson 85 in peak condition, consider these tips:

  1. Documentation: Keep detailed records of all maintenance activities, repairs, and replacements.
  2. Proactive Repairs: Address minor issues promptly before they escalate into major problems.
  3. Proper Storage: Store the tractor in a dry, covered area to protect it from the elements.
  4. Operator Training: Ensure operators are trained on proper usage and maintenance procedures.
  5. Use Genuine Parts: When replacing components, use genuine Massey Ferguson parts for compatibility and performance.

Read More: Massey Ferguson 12 Baler Knotter Problems: Overcoming Knotty Challenges


In conclusion, proactive and regular maintenance is the key to unlocking the full potential of your Massey Ferguson 85 tractor. By adhering to a recommended maintenance schedule and implementing preventative measures, you not only enhance the longevity of your equipment but also ensure its consistent and efficient performance in the field. Remember, a well-maintained tractor is a reliable partner in your agricultural endeavors, contributing to increased productivity and reduced downtime. Take the time to care for your Massey Ferguson 85, and it will reward you with years of dependable service.

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