My 1974 Leyland 255

A place for general Leyland tractor questions and chat
LDRcycles
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:37 am
Australia

My 1974 Leyland 255

Post by LDRcycles » Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:55 am

Hello from sunny Australia! I'm on 55 horribly overgrown acres in south east Queensland, and needed to get a tractor. With dollarydoos in short supply, a Kubota (acknowledged here as the best) of any age was out of the question, so I did some searching and found a Leyland 255. I never knew Leyland made tractors, but parts availability looked good, and the price was low enough to take a gamble.



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She's not exactly in showroom condition, but nothing a whole lot of elbow grease and rattlecans can't fix :)

The price went even lower when I picked it up, as it refused to start, just clicking even with a jump start. When I got it home I worked out the solenoid was bad, so ordered one from the UK ($40 cheaper than getting it from a city 3 hours away :roll: ). That didn't fix it, so I took the starter into the local auto electrician and three weeks later (they lost the paper with my number :roll: ) it was back with the stuck brushes freed and commutator machined. Still no go.

It turned out the battery was no good under load, so on went a new battery, and she fired up first time and ran beautifully :mrgreen:

I've painted three of the panels (Sky Blue, which is lighter than the correct colour but it's cheap to buy) and hopefully I'll have the rest done within a week or so. Then there's a piece of stainless steel to go on in place of the missing grille, the radiator needs a REALLY good flush, an oil change, remove and replace the who-knows-how-old fuel, and fix the slasher. Plenty of other minor things to do like tidying up the electrics.



Dixie normous
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:13 pm
Great Britain

Re: My 1974 Leyland 255

Post by Dixie normous » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:11 pm

Hello from a wet UK! looks like the old leyland will still do a good days work, might rattle the fillings from your teeth though! If you clean the cooling system make sure it has the correct thermostat, the 4/98 engine will overheat if it has no 'stat or the wrong one. The correct one has a disc on the bottom to close the bypass loop when the 'stat opens. Happy mowing!

LDRcycles
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:37 am
Australia

Re: My 1974 Leyland 255

Post by LDRcycles » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:01 pm

Thanks for the tip, I'll make sure to check it out. I've done the oil change and radiator flush, and I'm about halfway through the painting (the bonnet in particular looks just marvelous now :mrgreen: ). I've removed the instrument cluster as none of the gauges worked, and the screen is very dirty. Unfortunately most of the screws are rounded out so it'll be an annoying chore to get it open the hard way.

I've started stripping the cracked, corroded wiring and replacing it with new cables as well.

Another obstacle I forgot to mention is the clutch needs adjusting, which should be a simple job. Unfortunately a previous owner had set it by winding the adjustment rod all the way out, and then welding the pivot to the spline where he wanted it :roll: Can't say I'm looking forward to this job but a bit of elbow grease should have it right.


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LDRcycles
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:37 am
Australia

Re: My 1974 Leyland 255

Post by LDRcycles » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:06 am

Well getting the instrument cluster open wasn't as difficult as I thought (which is not to say it was easy!)

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After-




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Hmm, not what I wanted to see. A quick search shows any tractor instrument clusters to be ferociously expensive, so I'll have a crack at cleaning them up to see if they can work again, but I think it's more likely I'll modify things to fit cheap new generic gauges.

When I opened it up, I found 15 little cylindrical pellet things in two grooves above the tachometer, any clue on what they're for?


In better news, I was able to remove the bent slasher blade and get it straightened up.



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User avatar
JohnP
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:05 pm
Great Britain

Re: My 1974 Leyland 255

Post by JohnP » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:47 am

The "Pellets" are there to absorb moisture. They can be dried out by putting them in a hot oven for a while.

Looking at the rust the obviously worked well!!!
JVP

If it ain't bust don't fix it!

LDRcycles
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:37 am
Australia

Re: My 1974 Leyland 255

Post by LDRcycles » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:53 am

Gradually chipping away at it, I had a closer look at the clutch adjustment last night. The adjustment rod was at the limit of its travel, but the clutch still doesn't fully disengage. My first thought was that a previous owner had welded the pivot arm onto the spline at the wrong angle, but when the pedal is fully depressed there isn't much room between the pivot arm and the footplate. Either the pivot arm is supposed to just about contact the footplate when its fully disengaged, or there's some sort of issue with the clutch itself?

Another panel has been sanded back and primed, so with a bit of luck I might have the painting just about finished after this weekend.

I've got new water temp, oil pressure, and voltage gauges on the way, and tried to measure the resistance of the fuel sender last night to see what gauge would suit. I didn't have any luck, but after some google searching I think I just had the negative probe in the wrong spot. Does anyone happen to know what the resistance range should be?

Neil Jackson
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:59 am
Great Britain

Re: My 1974 Leyland 255

Post by Neil Jackson » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:25 pm

Your gauges look like the standard bi-metallic strip Smiths type with an external voltage regulator, as fitted to many Leyland cars of the same era. Senders for these were 270 ohms (empty) to 30 ohms (full) approximately. I say approximately because each one was different, there was quite a tolerance.
Regards
Neil

diggerdeano
Senior Member
Posts: 427
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:04 am
Great Britain

Re: My 1974 Leyland 255

Post by diggerdeano » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:43 pm

hi if all your gauges are not working i would first try the voltage regulator /stabilizer if it fails all your electric gauges will stop working its an oblong on three spade connectors within the cluster . your clutch levers are missing the washers that fit in the slot and also act as a key to turn the crosshafts now sometimes the crosshafts become stiff with a lack of use and they twist as opposed to pushing the clutch and you end up with a clutch that wont disengage fully another thing to check is the release bearing fork is tight on the crosshaft these use the same washers as the levers and can work loose its possible the clutch has been replaced and not set up correctly leading to all the welded shafts etc there is a measurement you can use to check this but im buggered if i can remember it . the upside of a 255 is they dont have the power to hurt themselves and if generally used and not abused they will last for years

LDRcycles
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:37 am
Australia

Re: My 1974 Leyland 255

Post by LDRcycles » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:20 am

I got tied up with other jobs and didn't get to do as much on the tractor as I wanted over the weekend, but did manage to find the right large electrical connector for the Lucas alternator. I should be able to fit the new wiring this evening. I'll be taking the canopy off before I paint the mudguards and dash, as the roof is a bit rustier than I first thought.

Not a Leyland item, but I opened up the slasher gearbox to drain the oil, and what a tasty sight that was!



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The "gasket" for the top plate was a cereal packet and some silicone sealant :lol:

Nowtnew
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:49 am
Great Britain

Re: My 1974 Leyland 255

Post by Nowtnew » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:59 am

Hi
Going back to your instrument issue:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Leyland-Mars ... Sw8T9dohMN

I am not suggesting that this is necessarily suitable, but this shows that these come up from time to time. It might be worth biding your time rather than embark on an expensive alternative course of action.

Good luck

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