Massey 515

The Massey 515 was the last in the line up of the successful 400/500 series built from the early sixties at Kilmarnock Scotland, This late model 1970 would be one of the last as the models were replaced by the 525/625 built very much upon the chassis of this combine from 1971.

This model that has just joined my collection here in Somerset UK was previously sold new in January 1970 by local MF dealers John Wallis Titt over in Wiltshire Salisbury depot.

i purchased the combine from a local farm it hasn't been used for many years and upon inspection it would need much TLC to get it back into harvest order but thankfully it's bodywork was very good for 50 yrs old and obviously it had been kept undercover and looked after by previous owners.

The combine was picked up at the beginning of June 21 and with harvest only a few weeks away I had my work cut out to carry out all the necessary work to get her in order, a start with a good clean first to remove 50 years of harvest grime, a previous owner had at one time hand painted the combine and this was now flaking off, as there was no etch primer or indeed any key done to the panel work , the pressure washer removed this to show the original patina underneath.

Where to start ? Well in this journey one I have travelled many times I usually start with the engine , in this case the Perkins A6 354 engine another bombproof performer something not to worry about.

A service oil change filters etc.. the various gauges water temp, oil pressure, fuel, the various controls would need testing when table is attached at a later date.

 Then belts for Hydl pump water pump and dynamo, check the condition of the cylinder drum rasp bars, elevator chains, and slats, check the condition of all the belts both sides of the combine working from front to back several would need replacing we are fortunate to have a stock of some new and also second hand belts which have came in through breaking combines or indeed on the internet, all of the chains were removed cleaned and soaked in a diesel and light oil mix for a week before drying off and replaced.

Another job was to check the various pulleys for any movement on shafts with a pry bar to determine if any bearings were shot and would need replacing.

one vital job is to inspect the straw walker block bearings and crank bearings also the condition of the walkers themselves, also remove the sieves clean and free up the adjusters and replace , the underside returns auger tray inspect for corrosion or holes as well as the grain pan.

The fanning mill was seized solid and the multiflow slip clutch had at one time been welded and would need either replacing if I can find another? Or repairing,

whilst running up the combine one of the elevator trunk rams burst a hose and the water pump belt shredded itself ! this belt looked ok but obviously when retensioned it decided it had had enough.

we are probably 20 hours in now with the jobs in hand and just about ready to put the table ( header) back on combine.

 Table .

The 12 ft quick attach table obviously had sat redundant as long as the combine and looked quite sorry for itself but it was just a matter of TLC the knife looked in general good just a few sections to replace the belts still serviceable a change of oil for the wobble box and a grease around, one thing that was odd the table skids which the table sits on when working were all missing ? Which is a shame as these protect the underside and also connect up to the ATHC Automatic table height control! So another few items on my list to hopefully obtain in the future.

After connecting the table to the combine and reconnecting the hydraulic services and drive coupling the plan is to operate each service independently and pin point any issues if any.

Almost immaediately a reel lift ram hose burst and another issue was the reel speed foot button diverter on operators platform wasn't working , so 2 jobs to start with before progressing with anything else, replacing hoses is something you would expect as probably these are original looking at the make up of them, the reel speed diverter only needed freeing off, the table auger required nothing all fingers were present and working, several knife sections were replaced as they were damaged, the knife condition will make all the difference between a good job or a hard job and shouldn't be overlooked. 

On an early summer wet morning the 515 leaves the resting place ready to hopefully start another chapter in its life.

It would take many hours of cleaning to remove over 50 years of harvest grime !

All of the recent flaking paint can be seen here around the tyre and over the ground.

The red paint can be seen here on the floor obviously the painted panels were brushed painted and probably not on any etch primer surface or any keying of panel surface which allows the paint to flake off when power washed reavealing the original patina underneath.

Very fortunate to have a good quantity of new and secondhand hand belts which is a must for these combines.

With the steps removed to gain better access to the belts , chains, and pulleys work progresses.well on the combine.

Counting down the endless list of jobs on the combine in preparation for attaching the Table (header)

Almost ready to run up and asses any other issues that may need addressing before harvest!

Part 2 TLC on 12 foot Table.


28.08.2022 17:06

David Tighe , ( related many generations ago to Jo

Hello, I have read with interest the story of your MF515.
I have an MF 187 which is in running order and has cut a few acres this year. I am near Andover and have great interest in old combines.