Vintage Spanners & Wrenches in Australia


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Ferguson, Ford Ferguson, Massey Ferguson Tractors

Range of Grey Fergies displayed by the Harry Ferguson Club at the Korumburra Working Horse Festival 2008 © Ozwrenches

All images on this website are copyright. Should you feel the need to use any of them - do the right thing and make contact on the link below and make you request.

Additional info and examples of Ferguson spanners and wrenches are welcomed - please make contact on the link below

Table of Contents

Some Ferguson Tools availble for sale on this page


History Notes

Harry Ferguson

In about 1934, in company with David Brown, Harry Ferguson formed the Ferguson-Brown Company and the two men produced the Model A Ferguson-Brown tractor with a Ferguson-designed hydraulic hitch. Ferguson surmised that the tractor hitch was the key to having a better plough and designed a simpler tractor attachment for it.

In 1938 Ferguson made a handshake agreement with Henry Ford to produce Ferguson System Ford-Ferguson tractors using Ferguson's own self-regulating three-point hitch system, beginning with the Ford-Ferguson 9N tractor. This tractor is recognizable by the blue Ford emblem on the front of the hood and the Ferguson System emblem on the grill. The three-point hitch soon became the favorite hitch attachment system among farmers in North America and around the world. This tractor model also included a rear Power Take Off (PTO) shaft that could be used to power three point hitch mounted implements such as sickle-bar mowers. This PTO location set the standard for future tractor developments.

In 1946 the Ford Motor Company parted from Ferguson and a protracted lawsuit followed involving Ford's continued use of Ferguson's patents. Ford altered the hydraulic design of its postwar tractors to avoid Ferguson's hydraulic system patent, but continued to produce machines equipped with the basic Ferguson hitch arrangement. Equipped with the three-point hitch, the postwar Ford 8N became the top-selling individual tractor of all time in North America.

After the split with Ford, Ferguson took the opportunity to have the Standard Motor Company of the UK produce a new design, the Model TE20. The model name came from Tractor, England 20 horsepower (15 kW) but is affectionately known as the Little Grey Fergie. There were several variants of the TE20; the first tractors were designed to run on petrol, and were known as the TEA20 following the introduction of the TED20 which ran on TVO (tractor vapourising oil, similar to paraffin). Later a diesel model was introduced, the TEF20. There were other variants with narrow wheelbases for working in vineyards and orchards, like the TEB20 and TEC20.

In all over 500,000 Little Grey Fergies were built between 1946 and 1956, and a surprising number survive today. So successful was the TE20 that Ford nicknamed it the "Grey Menace" as sales of the tractor spread across the world. They were even used on an expedition to the South Pole in 1958 by Sir Edmund Hillary, a testament to the durability of the machine. Ford ultimately settled the legal proceedings with a multi-million dollar sum that allowed Ferguson to further expand his own manufacturing interests.

There is a monument in Wentworth on the junction of the Darling and Murray Rivers in Australia commemorating the time in 1956 when both rivers flooded and a fleet of little grey Fergies was used to build levee banks to save the town.

The principal feature of the Ferguson System was the three-point linkage. This allowed trailed implements to be supported on a hydraulic system with the two drag links attached under the rear axle and a single compression link, connected to the upper rear transmission case, that was automatically regulating the hydraulic suspension's height. Thus the implement could be built at a minimum weight because it needed no attached wheels, manual controls and so on. It was also assisting the tractor to maintain traction because it was applying a combined drag and rotary force to the axle that kept the driving wheels, on that axle, on the ground and the steering wheels held onto the ground too. Consequently the "rearing and bucking" of overloaded tractors was overcome, making tractors much safer.

Ferguson designs for tractors were the first with single-wheel brakes that allowed the driver to turn sharply by braking the inside wheel. The TE20 was one of the first tractors to have a four-speed gearbox with integrated Differential and hydraulic system.

In 1953 Ferguson and Massey-Harris merged and the combined company Massey-Harris-Ferguson (later shortened to Massey Ferguson) became the manufacturer of the tractors and other designs. By then many manufacturers had developed their own three-point linkages and the linkage had become standardised worldwide.(1)


1. Ferguson wiki

Spanners marked Ferguson are uncommon. The vast majority are of the form of a double end spanner, jaw sizes 11/16" x 1-1/16"(AF) with centimetre and inch markings on alternate sides of the shaft. Most commonly found (in Australia) with the embossed "EN18" near the large end. There are other types - a double ended ring spanner, same sizes as mentioned previously, but marked "Ferguson" or "Dufor". These two basic types of Ferguson spanner were designed to fit all the nuts on a grey Fergy tractor that would be needed for maintenance by an operator. For the workshop, there were a bewildering array of special service tools, made by Churchill Tools and Britool. Many of these would be unknown to the collector, and not obviously recognised as Ferguson Tools.

In the UK, Britool made a ring spanner the same as the Australian Ferguson & Dufor, marked Britool FTB27. Also Vapormatic supplied some ring spanners.

On the Continent, Matador made at least two variations of their Ferguson ring spanner.

In the USA, the Ford Ferguson and the Ford 9N tractors had a range of spanners or wrenches as they are known over there. Some had "HARRY FERGUSON" embossed on the shaft, others had TO17014 across the jaw. Some had the Ford logo in script in an oval circle, later there was FoMoCo in an oval also. By the time of Massey Harris Ferguson (later just Massey Ferguson), the serial number had changed to 180108 M1.

Rare Ferguson spanners: - there is a 2 ft long single ended spanner which was supplied with one type of Disk Plough, the one which was built around a cylinder. This spanner resided within the cylinder when not in use.

There are Ferguson spanners supplied with the TEF series of diesel tractors, based on the Standard Motors engine block (not the Perkins) - this is commonly referred to as the "Elbow spanner". It has a flare nut end for the diesel injectors, and a ring on the other end which fits the oil filter nuts. I am told there are two sizes in this, but I have only ever seen the one. Another rare Fergy spanner is single ended like the Disc plough spanner, but has a flattened bent end at the handle, which was designed for moving the slats on a Fergy trailer. A spark plug tube spanner, just a tad longer that the EN18, and a blue spot grease gun were also found in the Fergy toolbox. Most of these spanners are pictured below.


Ferguson DOE as supplied with Ferguson Brown tractors, note the Whitworth sizes. © D Symons

A new and unusual Ferguson Ring Spanner is shown here courtesy ©Adam Branfield. Any info welcomed.

Here is another oddity, a Ferguson Spanner marked 7/16 x 5/8 (WW) note the different jaw size marked to the FergusonBrown up above. ©Adam Branfield
Note that the 7/16 BSF is the same size as 3/8WW, if this is so, why a mixture of BSF(small end and WW large end). Info welcomed.

Another oddity  only marked M$ and inches on reverse ©Adam Branfield

Another new Ferguson Ring Spanner marked with maker BIRDSON shown here courtesy ©Con O'Regan. Any info welcomed.

Pictured above are front and back markings on the Birdson Ferguson spanner and below a Brenco spanner. Note the similarities
in style. Con O'Regan has supplied these images to perhaps explain where the Birdson spanner comes from.

An EN16 another variant of the EN18 back has cm measurements, ©D Symons

An EN19, another variant of the EN18 back has cm measurements, ©D Symons

An EN24 another variant of the EN18 back has cm measurements, ©D Symons

Basic Toolkit for the Grey Fergie - Greaser, Spark Plug Tube Spanner, and two variations of the most common EN18 double ender© Ozwrenches

Fergy Bluespot Greaser - made in England by Tecalemit Cat No GC 3021. This greaser also appeared in early model Jaguar Cars © Ozwrenches

4161C VBW - Variation on the EN18 VBW in the Staffordshire Knot is Vaughan Brothers of Willenhall © Ozwrenches

EN19 - modern day Ferguson spanner - reputedly being made in France right now © Ozwrenches

Ferguson Ring Spanners marked Ferguson and BritoolFTB27. It is not known who made the top one, but likely made in
Australia. These two spanners are the same size - my camera was playing tricks. Is there anyone out there who had some
experience working in the Australian arm of Ferguson and have some knowledge of where and by whom the ring spanners
marked Ferguson were made? Please make contact on the link below and enlighten us all
. © Ozwrenches

Dufor Ring Spanner an Australian version of the Britool Ring Spanner (Dufor is the trade name of Duly & Hansford)
See also advertising below
© Ozwrenches

Advertising from Duly & Hansford from 1958 for their new release tools, inclyding the ferguson ring spanner. © Ozwrenches

Two variations of Ring Spanner by Matador Germany, sizes 11/16"AF x 1-1/16"AF © Ozwrenches

Ferguson Elbow Spanner, supplied with TEF20 Grey Fergy Diesel, fitted with the Standard Motor Co engine. Flare nut end fits injectors,
the ring end fits fuel filters - usage demonstrated below. We have two sizes of the flare nut end, and there is supposed to be another size © Ozwrenches

Ferguson Spanner for Disc Plow, note the size compared to an EN18 © Ozwrenches.

Long spanner said to be for the Ferguson Mark 1 trailer, fits wheel nuts and upturn is to lever out the sides. The spanner is 21 inches long and has the
part number marked on the shaft (A1128) and also has Vaughan Bros Willenhall Staffordshire knot.

EN5C - another varation on the EN18 © Ozwrenches

EN18 on a strongly ribbed shaft - not common © Ozwrenches

EN18 type marked FERGUSON TO-17014© Ozwrenches

9N17014, Ford USA © Ozwrenches

9N17014, Ford USA This one comes after the Ford script above. ©D Symons

EN18 type marked KVERNELANDS, not sure if there was any Ferguson arrangement with this one, these are found in Europe © Ozwrenches

EN18 type marked 180 108 M1 "MHF" at the top, followed by little brothers © Ozwrenches

EN18 Type marked "FERGUSON 180-108-M1 Showing both sides - jaws 1-1/16 x 11/16 © Dustin Gurley FENA member who writes:
EN18 type Ferguson spanner from the "transition" time period of the Ferguson branding to the Massey Harris Ferguson. The spanner has the Ferguson brand imprinted
on one side but the 180 108 M1 on the other.  It is essentially the same as the Ferguson TO-17014 but the TO part number system has been replaced with the
Massey Harris Feguson system. This wrench would be circa late 1954 to early 1956.

Flat plate spanner marked M. Ferguson. It is now thought that this spanner is by Mephan Ferguson, a prominent engineer in Melbourne in its formative days and preceeds Harry Ferguson by a hundred years or so. © Ozwrenches

Info required.

185931 M1 Open Ended Spanner uncommon , can't find a listing for it. Probably a Massey Harris spanner, info required © Ozwrenches

Ferguson plough spanner 1129S © Ozwrenches

Special for Ford and Ferguson a very uncommon spanner from the USA © D Symons

Matador / Germany DOE inch measurements © Ozwrenches

A smilar one to the Matador above, but only marked ENGLAND © D Symons

<MHF> 628823 M1 Ring Spanner uncommon, can't find a listing for it, pls make contact if you have info © Ozwrenches

REF. No 827.439.M1 uncommon spanner , can't find a listing for it, pls make contact if you have info © Ozwrenches

Ferguson Elbow Spanner - flare nut end on an injector © Ozwrenches

Ferguson Elbow Spanner - ring end on fuel oil filter © Ozwrenches

Grey Ferguson Toolbox © Ozwrenches

Grey Ferguson Toolbox Inside © Ozwrenches

This handy Ring Spanner was used by some Ferguson maintenance people to shock-loosen "rusted on" wheel nuts © Ozwrenches

This DOE Spanner marked SPAREX was supplied as an aftermarket tool.© D Symons

This DOE Spanner, looks unmarked, but it would appear that the  SPAREX name has been carefully ground of - a common procedure, not known why.©

Wrench set for Power Adjusted Variable Track (PAVT) Wheels on an MF135, English spec's [pic's courtesy James Rogers]

Schrader supplied tyre inflators which functioned from the engine compression via a spark plug hole
Here are two examples of the types seen, not sure if either of these came with a Ferguson Tractor

Dwayne Russell has restored this Ferguson tractor which was originally owned by his grandfather in Canada.

Shane White's TED Fergy, before and after restoration pictures

Ferguson Hitch for a Sickle Bar Mower

Ferguson 3 point linkeage, later type.

Visit Tim Ray's website for more interesting Ferguson information:


Two tiny Ferguson lookalike spanners
These spanners turn up in Australia from time to time, not common, but because they remind me of a midget version of the 10 inch Fergy spanner (EN18, EN19, EN5C etc)
I have collected them in the hope that they could possibly be Fergy related. New info on suggests that they are indeed Ferguson spanners.

I have one of these to swap for info / listing which proves them to be Ferguson spanners.

I live in hope that some catalogue proof can be found soon - Fergy Owners - if you are at all interested in the tools that were supplied with Ferguson tractors, and you have some catalogue (or for our US friends some catalog) info, don't be afraid to to make contact on the link below. Be assured that any info supplied will be posted with your credits, and Copyright to yourself.

Cleaning Rusty Iron & Steel

Electrolytic Removal of Rust for Collectors

I have often been asked how I prepare rusty spanners for display - here is my method:

I use a 10 amp battery charger which the specs say is 4 amp continuous - this works fine for me.
The modern ones with smart electronic circuits that can measure how flat a battery is are of no use for this.

Set up a tub of water, big enough to acommodate your item.
Then some Washing Soda - in my area - it is called "Lectric Soda" (Sodium Carbonate). Other salts can be used such as Caustic Soda and Bi-carbbonate of Soda, but avoid Caustic Soda as it is very corrosive to humans.
Next we need a sacrificial electrode. A sheet of iron or steel will do, (not galvanised), the bigger the surface area - the better, make it tall enough to protrude from the water.
Set up your outfit outdoors under cover. I first had it running in my workshop, but the vapours released made every iron and steel item in there rust quick smart!
Place the sacrificial electrode in the tub at one end.
Dissolve about a cup full of Washing Soda in hot water and pour into the water filled tub.
Connect the Red terminal of your battery charger to the sacrificial electrode, but make the connection out of the solution or the alligator clip will get eaten away.

Connect your rusty object to the black lead and immerse it in the solution on the other side of the tub. This lead can be immersed, without problems. Ensure that your rusty object never touches the sacrificial electrode creating a dead short and likely destroying your battery charger.

In action, the rusty object will start fizzing - tiny bubbles will be seen rising (this is hydrogen gas, another reason to do it outside).
After say a half day, remove the rusty object and wipe it down with a rag - large amounts of the rust will be removed, and it can go back in or move to the next stage.Wash the object and scrub with a bristle brush. You can now move to the wire wheel to remove the loosened rust. I use a slow wheel, about 700 revs and brush it gently keeping the dark oxide intact. If you lean hard on the wire brush it will remove the patina and leave bright shiny steel - not a good look in my opinion.

If there are still some areas of rust, put it back into the electro bath for a few more hours. Once you have cleaned your object and removed as much rust as you desire, it needs to be protected from re-rusting. Some people use preparations such as WD40, and other similar products or laquer or paint. I store my spanners indoors, so a coating of shellac is sufficient to protect my spanners from further rust. Shellac can be readily removed by a short soak in alcohol, so a new owner can apply whatever finish he desires. Shellac also dries in short order and it is non greasy - a bonus if you plan to use a camera to record your item.

Further info on Electrolytic Removal of Rust can be obtained on the HTPAA website on this link .There is a detailed diagram and a discussion on the chemistry behind it.







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