* TEF-20 Starting problem

Posted on June 28th, 2015 by ploughmyfield. Filed under General.

I’ve had an email from a reader Ken from Co Louth, who has rebuilt his TEF-20 but now it’s rebuilt he can’t get it started.

This seems to me to be one of those problems that if you were standing in front of the tractor it would be twice as easy to solve. As Ken has written below it seems as though it should work. does anyone have any suggestions?



Hi Tim, I was hoping that you can give me a few suggestion on how to get my TEF started following a total overhaul.
The engine had a full overhaul and is now back on the tractor, but after fitting the new battery, overhauled starter, new wiring harness and the overhauled diesel injector pimp and injectors, I am struggling to get it to start.
The sequence of events are as follows:
Filled the diesel circuit, and bled the diesel filters, injector pump, and lines at the injectors. I tried starting using the normal method, no luck, tried using the aid of overfuel button, decompression lever, Ki-gass (with kerosene) and heater plug to aid starting, no luck. tried using a blow torch, and a hot air gun at the air intake.  Tried starting with the oil bowl off the air intake to improve air supply.  tried with throttle half open, and fully open,  but no luck.
what I have checked and what happened: 
Injector pump and injectors professionally reconditioned and bench tested, Fitted injectors facing out and connected them so that I can see that they were working (diesel squirting maybe 4 foot from them, is that normal or should they atomise?)
Diesel system connected up normally and fully bled.
I have set the diesel spit timing at 32 Deg BTDC twice (cylinder fuel supply just cut off on the correct compression cycle) and am happy that its correct.
so the injector pump timing to the fly wheel is correct, the flywheel is doweled to the crank shaft, so timing to crankshaft is ok.  I have not taken the cover off the timing chain to check all timing marks as the tractor is fully assembled again and I am told they have been set correctly after the rebuild by the engine shop. When I had the injector pump off, I removed the inspection cover to look at the connecting rods to the rockers.  At 30 deg BTDC (with the 1/4″ punch in the flywheel) the pressure is off both cylinder 1 rocker rod (but I am not sure at what point they close).
What happens when trying to start:
When turning the engine over on the starter I am getting some smoke from the exhaust manifold.
When moving the decompression lever down the engine spins slightly faster, and when moving the decompression lever into normal position, the engine becomes more laboured.
When injecting a couple of pumps of ki-gass, the engine gets much smokier and starts to spin faster (like its going to start).  However, when spinning faster with the kerosene, you can hear a knocking sound from the engine, like its trying to spin faster than allowed or trying to overtake the starter!
When the kerosene is gone, the engine slows back down and reverts back to a small amount of smoke.
When using the Kerosene in the ki-gass, there are wet black spots of oil being exhausted from the manifold (I don’t think this happens when just using diesel).
so, after all that, if you see anything obviously wrong with something I have said, or if you could think of anything could try, please reply.  feel free to put this questionon your web page if you think people might fine it useful / interesting.
I look forward to hearing from you,  thanks Tim

6 Responses to “TEF-20 Starting problem”

  1. Peter Hilje Says:

    Hi Tim, hi Ken,

    it seems, that the air bleeding was successful.

    The injectors should atomize the diesel by opening at 120 atm. pressure.
    As you described, the injectors just have a straight beam/jet.

    Please change the nozzles and set the correct breaking point to 120 atm.
    They should not leak after closing.

    What color has the smoke when you are starting?

    Best Regards

  2. ken Corrigan Says:

    Hi peter, thanks for your reply. I have checked the video that I have on my phone of the injectors, they seem to be squirting the diesel for the first foot or so, and eventually turning to a mist at about 3 of 4 foot. should the injectors atomise the diesel immediately? I will need to check the smoke colour again, but I think its grey / white. regards,Ken.

  3. Cyril Furey Says:

    Hi Tim,

    Have you checked the fuel pump? Push the prime button the fuel pump and then pull the engine stopper..if the pump prime button does not pop back out and stays pressed in this is the problem, it is struck on the wrong sequence. I have seen this before with a perfect engine that cut out / stalled because was idling to low and stopped on the wrong position. The cure if it is this is easy thankfully!!There is an inspection plate held in place by 2 long screws on the pump, when removed you will see the internal pump springs. On the top of the 4 springs you will notice a row of plates which will move slightly horizonally every time you push the prime button, even if already pushed in. Using a screw driver gently push any one of them (all connected)horizontally and then push the prime button to move them back, except this time the pump is in the correct starting position, and I expect your engine will fire immediately. Before you put the plate back into place, I would ensure the the pump is filled with light thin oil as this is supposed to splash onto these plates to lubricate this movement. Check the pump tap is closed and that there is not damage to the plate seal which allows the oil to leak out and they start running dry and sticking out of sequence causing the starting problem. Best of luck!!

  4. Ken Says:

    Hi Cyril / Peter. After your suggestion Peter, I took the 4 injectors back to the professionals for retest. They all open at 120, and they maintain that the spray pattern is correct for a needle type injector. I took them home and refitted them and re bled the system (there is no diesel in the leak off lines, I assume you don’t need to prime these). Trying to restart, it was the same. Engine turning well, and some smoke (it was a gray / white colour Peter). Still no joy, so I tried something I had not done before, I removed the heater from the air inlet, and when turning give a spurt or two of easy start. The engine sped up, and sounded like it was starting and filled the shed with smoke, but when I let go of the gear lever it died out straight away. What does this tell me? Would it suggest, I have compression, and the valves are correct? I am not getting fuel at the correct time? I set the pump to 32 degrees before top dead center as per procedure that Tim put up on this site. (However a copy of a service manual I have says set to 30 degree, it could be a miss print). Cyril, I checked the over fuel button, and it’s latching correctly. I have captured the sequence nicely on video, but not sure if I can upload it here. Running out of ideas, apart from start stripping the engine and check everything from scratch. Any ideas, please let me know. Thanks folks, Ken

  5. Ken Says:

    Hi all, good news is that I got the engine started and is ticking over nice. The issue was with the spit timing on the diesel pump. I had followed the procedure to the letter, but I had set it up on the wrong cycle. The procedure said that when turning the injection pump “you will know that your on the correct cycle, as you will have just seen injection value 2 closing” but this assumes that the pump was fitted in approximate the correct position to begin with. So all is well that ends well, and another bit learned. Thanks for your suggestions, Ken

  6. Cyril Furey Says:

    Great news, would be great if posted some footage or pictures. Best of luck!

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Current Hot Topics

Recent Pictures

Hover over to view images. Click to show bigger.



Plough - Ferguson
Plough - Match




10-AE-28, 2 Furrow Plough
A-LE-A20 Cordwood Saw
5A-EE-B20 Rear Mounted Mower
C-UE-21 Crane
T-JE-A20 Transport Box
S9-KE-20, Spring Tine Cultivator - to be added
K-JA-30, 2 TON Trailer


Ferguson Spanner
A-TE-61 Hinged Seat and Feetrests
A-TE-66 Belt Pulley
A-TE-70 Tractor Jack
A-TE-78 Dual Wheel Kit
A-TE-87 Lighting Kit, Full
A-TE-A90 Pick Up Hitch - to be added
Ferguson Accessory List


Newark Tractor Show 2010
Newark Tractor Show 2007
Donegal Holiday 2008
Beamish, Steam Day 2007
FoFH Day 2004


Samuel Wilson & Son, Ltd (Sheffield)
John I. Fearn (Agricultural) Ltd


My YouTube Video's

Old Ploughmyfield Web Pages:

Previous Index 7
Previous Index 6
Previous Index 5
Previous Index 4
Previous Index 3
Previous Index 2
Previous Index 1

Old Pictures:

Initial Pictures
First Pictures
Second Pictures
Third Pictures
Fourth Pictures
Fifth Pictures