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FARM CLASSICS: Ford’s TW-15 a big hit with the Irish

May 11th, 2022 10:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

This restored TW15 still earns its keep on the Walsh farm in Belgooly.

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Farm Classics with Peter O'Brien

IT is hard to believe that Ford’s legendary TW range of tractors was launched over 40 years ago in 1979. The TW range was bold-looking tractors with a domineering straight line stance, and more importantly, the tractors had the power to back it up. The initial line-up consisted of the TW-10, TW- 20 and TW-30, and were produced at Ford’s Antwerp production plant in Belgium.

These tractors, which were built on the proven platform of the 8700 and 9700, received a revamp in 1983 and were upgraded with a ‘5’ on the bonnet morphing the range into the TW-15, TW-25 and TW-35.

Due to its high power output and moderate size, in comparison to its long nosed siblings, the TW-15 was a huge hit in Ireland.

The tried and tested 6.6l Ford 401 engine was employed across the TW series and produced 143hp for the TW-15.

Transmissions were also uniform with a dry clutch, constant mesh 16F/4R gearbox providing the speeds.

Enclosed by a guard bar, 1-4 as well as reverse is selected on the main round handled gear stick, with Hi, Low and a park gear on the shorter second lever.

Ford’s ‘DualPower’ splitter is activated by a floor switch which is usually located to the main gear with a rocker switch.

The ‘crash’ gearbox can be unforgiving with mistimed gear changes. However, it is renowned for its durability. Weighing in at just over 6tons, the TW-15 had a lift capacity of 4.5t as well as an oil flow of 58l/min.

Fitted with Ford’s Q cab, the controls and comforts are basic but very functional. The logical dash layout features a large rpm dial, with four smaller dials placed to the left and right displaying the tractor’s vitals, along with adjustable steering wheel.

The cab boasts a large Viking Bostrom seat, but was lacking any cab-mounted work lights.

One of the key upgrades for the TW-15 was the change from an offset four-wheel drive system to an inline unit which improved the turning lock of the tractor, making it more manoeuvrable.

Engaging the four-wheel system was achieved by flicking a dash-mounted switch, whereas was previously lever-operated on previous TWs.

A variable-speed viscous fan was also fitted for more efficient cooling, as well as an assistor ram at the rear linkage.

Ford had introduced its performance monitor – which used radar to measure acreage worked – and this became an option on the TW range, fitted on top of the dash.

Contact Peter at [email protected] or see Instagram @flashphotoscork

 

VITAL STATISTICS

Tractor

Ford TW-15

Horsepower

143hp

Engine

Ford 401 6.6l

Years of manufacture

1983-1986

(Generation 1)

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