TRACTOR TALK

1969 MASSY-FERGUSON 1130

The early 1960s marked the beginning of the large scale application of turbocharging to diesels in the tractor world. Massey-Ferguson’s (MF) first big turbo diesel tractor was the 1965 1130 and it gave them a big, powerful six-cylinder tractor for market parity with the other players.

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The high-platform 1100 series tractors debuted in 1964 as Massey-Ferguson’s first in-house-built big tractor. After the Massey-Harris to Massey-Ferguson transformation in 1953, the bigger Massey-Harris tractors were quickly phased out. Long term plans for a new line of big tractors were enabled but in the short term, MF was left without big tractors in the lineup… and that hurt. By 1958, they had resorted to badge engineering, buying repainted and rebadged Minneapolis Moline GBI and GVI units, calling them the Massey-Ferguson 95. The MF-95 was replaced by the MF97 in 1962, which was a M-M 706 with red paint and MF badging (see DW June 2018). That carried them until the work was done on the new line.

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A well layed out control layout and what was reported as a comfortable seat, the MF “Airluxe.” Power steering was standard but the tilting, telescoping steering column was at extra cost. Power brakes were standard as well.

The 1100 was an all-new, high platform design, very up-to-date, and featured a 94 horsepower, 354 cubic inch, direct-injected Perkins six. It was a big tractor, weighing in at 11,000 pounds. Later in the year, the 1100 was joined by the 1130, which was basically a turbocharged version of the same tractor that developed 120 PTO horsepower in a 1966 Nebraska tractor test. That put them well up the food chain in the new tractor horsepower race. In 1970, MF upped the ante again with the 1150, which used a 135 PTO hp, 540 cubic inch Perkins V8 installation into the 1100 platform… but that’s another story.

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The 1100 series came as standard Rowcrops or as Westerns, the latter having a nonadjustable width front axle, wider standard tires, chaff guards, rounded fenders and (generally) only a swinging drawbar and no 3-point hitch. MF offered a cab with AC and heat, and the 1100 line came standard with power steering and brakes. A 6-speed mechanical gearbox was standard, but the 12-speed Multi-Power was an option, essentially offering a shift-on-the go splitter for all six main gears. MFWD was an available option soon after the 1100 series went into production.

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The 6.354 was an evolution of the ill-fated ‘53-59 R6 Perkins, which itself was an evolution of the legendary 1938 P6. The direct-injected 6.354 made 354 cubic inches from a wet sleeved 3.875 x 5.000 inch bore and stroke. Development started in 1957 and the unit began production in 1960. The engine was an immediate hit worldwide in all venues; truck, stationary, marine and tractor. It combined a great output with compact dimensions and low weight. With revisions, it was in production to 1996 and over a million of these engines were produced in England alone. It was licensed for production in the USA, Mexico, Argentina, Turkey, Peru, South Africa and Brazil. The crankshaft was well supported by seven main bearings. Naturally aspirated, flywheel output hovered around 120 horses and turbocharged were around 140. Flywheel torque was around 265 flywheel lbs-ft at 1300 rpm for the NA, and the turbocharged unit cranked out 365 lbs-ft at 1600 rpm.

The 1100 was offered with both a 320 cubic inch gas/LPG engine (starting in ‘66- it was introduced with only a diesel) or the naturally aspirated Perkins 6.354. The 1130 was only offered with the turbocharged 6T.354 (A.K.A. 6.354T). You hear the name “Perkins” a lot when dealing with MF because they had owned Perkins since 1959. It was a “fire sale” kinda deal, where Perkins was struggling with losses partly due to the intro of a problematic diesel in 1953. That R6 engine had some teething issues that were solved quickly but, as these things tend to go, the mistake cut deeply into the Perkins reputation and afflicted sales. Overall, it turned out MF and Perkins were a good match and both companies are still with us today.

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The working end of the Rowcrop 1130 featured a Cat II/III hitch and swinging drawbar, as well as a 540/1000 rpm PTO. The “Pressure Control” draft control system MF used was touted as being top line

The 1130 was joined by a less muscular sibling in 1969, the 1080, which was a similar size tractor but with the 81 hp Perkins 318 ci four-cylinder replacing the six. And, as mentioned, the 1150 V8 joined the group in 1970. MF went from a mediocre big tractor lineup in ‘63, to a stellar one and the line had very few hiccups in the market. By ‘73, the line was due for a refresh and the 1085, 1105, 1135 and 1155 replaced the 1080, 1100, 1130 and 1150 units, showing new tin, minor power upgrades and many small refinements. Though dwarfed in number by products from the other big players in the tractor market, Massey-Ferguson’s 1100 series, pound for pound, was the equal or better of it’s contemporaries. Still is!