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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I recently purchased a 1972 Massey 12 Hydro off ebay. Drove 5 hours each way to get it. It is in very good condition. I have a couple problems that I need to address. I am sure more will come up the more I use it. The first problem has to do with the hydro. It can be sluggish and barely move at times. Second problem is the brake pedal. When pushed all the way, as to engage the parking brake, it moves the hydro lever to neutral. I'm assuming it is supposed to do this. Problem is when the lever is at neutral the tractor is still going forward, so to be not moving the speed indicator has to be about an inch below "N". Third problem is that this tractor is loud as hell lol. Will a new muffler simply solve this?

A little background..... I grew up on a 1968 Massey 12 Hydro. It was my great-grandfather's. Unfortunetly my family sold it about 12 years ago when he passed away, For the past year I've been searching for a descent Massey 12. I was real particluar in what I was looking for, as I was trying to match the tractor I grew up on as best I can. I even sent letters to his old neighborhood trying to find the original tractor. No one in family can remember who it was sold to. Nonetheless I am still looking for it, if it is even still out there, but for now I have this one. I am looking for a dozer blade. Thank you in advance.

Mike
 

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Getting Out!
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There are manuals here to download and print for this rig. I would reccommend you do that. I had a later Snapper 1650 and there was ways to adjust the drive lever/pedal so it didn't creep when stopped. Yes, the lever goes back to N when brake pressed. If you have the little disc brake on that, there is a way to adjust that too. Loud part, don't know. Doesn't it just have the small muff sticking out the side,looks like? Maybe guts are gone or rusted out and not functioning? Whatevr, shoud be a simple fix with a new muffler. That is a nice looking rig. With a little TLC and info from the manuals, you should be able to improve it.
 

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Tractorholic
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Nice massey!!! Wish I had one. The week hydro could be as simple as low hydro fluid, or possibly a clogged filter. Also it could be that your linkage to the hdro needs to be adjusted and that could cure your brake problem. A new muffler could help
I would also look for leaks or bad gaskets around the head and pipe.
 

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Proud to be Deplorable
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Glad to hear you got yourself a 12H! Nice little tractors.

The tranny surging issue, I have experienced myself. It was caused by two things for me. First, the spring tensioner wasn't keeping up it's part of the bargain & was allowing the belt to slip. I took it off and lubed it and the pivot for the tensioner up and Ta-Da, it worked. I mentioned two problems. The pivot that the brake / clutch assembly works with (round stock that runs across the tractor, mounted in two holes below the frame under the footrests) had popped out on one end & was binding the process because of it.

You mention the misalignment of the pointer. That coupled with the erratic behavior makes me suggest you read this thread:
http://gardentractortalk.com/forums/topic/13062-massey-12-hydro-cracked-frame/page__hl__massey%20cracked%20frame

It is several pages long, but talks about cracked frames, bent return to neutral levers, and suggestions for repair.

I also found a post regarding the filter.
I got the filter for my 12h at a New Holland dealer. The part# is JAC 545440. It was pricey but it's not something you need to replace often. Definitely worth it for your tractor, I think you'll see a night and day difference. I did find the filter online also: New Holland JAC545440 FILTER, ELEMENT
Hope this helped, let us know what you find.
 

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Super Moderator
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That's a nice solid 12. As well as the other suggestions above I suggest that you download the manuals from the manuals section and have a look at the linkage for the hydro. These linkages can get worn and sometimes bind when not lubricated. This causes some odd behaviour in the speed control. You probably should give the entire tractor a good going over, looking for worn out or broken parts.
 

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Tractorholic
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You have gotten some solid advice on all your problems. I think the only thing not mentioned so far is the cam follower on the Fwd/Rvs lever of the hydro transmission. On my two tractors, that cam follower was worn and loose. I purchased a 1/4x1/2 ball bearing from WW Grainger and used a standard 1/4 bolt to replace the countersunk screw used by the factory. Any way you look at it, you need to remove the seat pan and start examining the linkage. Does this tractor have an oil resevior under the seat? One of my tractors, the parking brake doesn't work very well, mostly because the tensioner pulley doesn't raise very far from the belt. One more than one occasion, I have driven off with the parking lever still in park, then began to wonder if something was wrong because the hydro was no longer responding properly.
 

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Red Tractor Nut & Diesel Addict
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Sounds like the guys have you covered on your 12H Chief. Usually it turns out to be a belt slipping issue. The neutral return likely needs adjusting, or maybe a bushing in the linkages worn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow thanks for all the advice guys. I will start checking things out over the next couple of days. I do have a tank under the seat. I will start with the important stuff first. Cracked frame, linkage, fluids.
 

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Tractorholic
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Maybe I read to fast thru the other post but it may be as simple as the hydro disengage may be turned a 1/8 of a turn instead of a 1/4 turn and that too could cause a sluggish transmission.

If you need pictures of anything I will be more than glad to get them for you.

Is your deck ran by a shaft?
Excellent point Gumby!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Maybe I read to fast thru the other post but it may be as simple as the hydro disengage may be turned a 1/8 of a turn instead of a 1/4 turn and that too could cause a sluggish transmission.

If you need pictures of anything I will be more than glad to get them for you.

Is your deck ran by a shaft?
The deck is belt driven. Haven't taken it off yet. I will keep the 1/8 of a turn in mind. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update

The last couple of days I have had a chance to work on the tractor. Took the seat pan, and foot rests off as well as the mower deck.The sluggish hydro I think is because of low fluid. I looked in the reserve tank under the seat and there was about an 1/8 of an inch of fluid. Checked for a broken frame and it all looks solid. The frame has been repainted but I believe the right side of the frame has been rewelded. Doesn't look original but is clean and solid. I discovered a small axle leak when I took off the wheel weights. The tractor has been sitting for a month and no leaks on the floor so I will top off the axle and keep an eye on it. What kind of fluid should I use? And do I add it where my finger is pointed?? Or is that just a vent?

The last picture here is of the engine. I had a friend over who is a mechanic to lend some advice. Looks like a new head gasket and tune up is the next step. Found the gaskets on ebay.

Going to New York tomorrow after work to get a dozer blade and possibly a tiller.
 

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Tractorholic
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Ok, I'd say that third pic shows a re-enforcement piece welded into place (EDIT: I looked at that again, I was mislead by a shadow. I no longer think that is a re-enforcement peice). From the pic I can't see any breaks in the other side. The hydro fluid and the axle fluid are separate. I used 90 wt gear oil in mine, and would suggest that you go ahead and drain and replace what you have, never know how long it has been since the last change. Plus, the level check plug is difficult to get to. Yes, what your finger is pointing at is the fill for the axle.
Sluggish hydro.....I think early models of that tractor did not have a reservoir tank under the seat, just what was in the tank under the hydro control and pump, which holds 3 quarts. If you have any amount of fluid in the reservoir under the seat, then I would think the hydro should work OK. I'd be more inclined to check my disengagement lever and especially the belt. Make sure that the parking brake is disengaged. Make sure the tensioner pulley (shown in the second pic) is putting tension on the belt. Make sure the cam is moving all the way forward and back and that the unit control lever follows correctly. One more thought, the hydro pulley has 3 1/2 inch belt grooves, the hydro belt goes on the largest, closest to the engine. The large pulley is close to 5 inches in diameter, so if an incorrect pulley has been installed that would cause issues.
 
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