massey ferguson 383 problems

Top 12 Massey Ferguson 383 Tractor Problems & Their Easy Solutions

Founded in 1953, Massey Ferguson is an esteemed American manufacturer of agricultural machinery including a wide range of tractors, of which the 383 tractor is perhaps the company’s best-selling model. 

The Massey Ferguson 383 tractor is loaded with features including wet disc brakes, and power steering. 

Even though the Massey Ferguson 383 tractor is a well-built machine, it does showcase a few issues, 9 of which I have listed below and their easy solutions. 


12 Massey Ferguson 383 Tractor Problems and Solutions 

1.  Engine Starts Hard or Fails to Start 

There are several reasons why a Massey Ferguson 383 tractor has a sluggish start or won’t start at all.

The first thing to check for is a dirty fuel filter. 

Next, check for air trapped in the fuel pipes, and if so, bleed the pipes. Adding to this, look for a damaged or clogged injection nozzle, and clean and replace it if necessary. 

2. Diesel Engine Shuts Off While Driving

The Massey Ferguson 383 tractor is equipped with a robust diesel engine. If the engine shuts off while driving, the timing of the fuel injection pump may be wrong. 

Refer to the owner’s manual and adjust the pump as required. Additionally, the fuel filter element may be dirty, in which case you’ll have to change the filter element. 

3. Engine Overheated 

Just like a vehicle, the engine of the Massey Ferguson 383 tractor can overheat at times, especially after long periods of use. 

Shut off the tractor immediately and wait for the engine to cool down, after which check if the radiator cap is damaged. Next, take a look inside the radiator to see if it’s clogged, and clean if any dirt and debris are present. 

4. Engine Stalls at Idle

The engine of the Massey Ferguson 383 tractor may stall when the machine is idle. The valve clearance isn’t correct and should be adjusted. 

If the valve clearance is on point, then the fuel injection pump may be faulty. In this case, you can either fix the fuel injection pump or replace it. 

5. Oil Pressure is Insufficient

The oil pressure of the Massey Ferguson 383 tractor can suddenly drop, and a low crankcase oil level is probably the cause of the issue. 

In worse cases, the oil pump may be damaged or the engine oil filter may be plugged. If you aren’t sure how to replace the oil pump, get in touch with an official Massey Ferguson 383 dealer. 

6. Transmission Making Excessive Noise

If the transmission of your Massey Ferguson 383 tractor is making excessive noise, the cause of the problem could be worn-out gears or incorrect backlash. 

Start by adjusting the backlash to the right level and install new gears. Additionally, check if the shift forks are damaged and change the defective shift forks. 

7. Gears are Hard to Shift 

The gears of the Massey Ferguson 383 tractor may feel rough when shifting, which is usually caused by worn-out gears or rusty gear shift linkage. 

Buy a lubricant and lubricate the linkage and adjust the worn-out clutch. If the clutch is damaged or worn out, it must be replaced by a professional. 

8. Little or No Transmission Pressure 

The biggest cause of low transmission pressure is low fluid level so top up the fluid and see if this resolves the issue. Before adding the transmission fluid, check if the filter element is clogged and clean the fluid filter. 

9. Low Oil Pressure in the Hydraulic System 

Just like the transmission pressure issue, a low oil pressure problem indicates insufficient hydraulic fluid or a clogged hydraulic fuel filter. 

After refilling the hydraulic fluid to the right level and cleaning the filter, take a closer look at the hydraulic pipe and check for any leaks. 

Further, inspect the hydraulic system particularly the spool valve to ensure that it’s set properly. 

10. 3-Point Hitch Doesn’t Lift Properly or Won’t Lift at All 

The Massey Ferguson 383 tractor is fitted with a 3-point hitch, which sometimes won’t lift properly or may lift slowly. 

The main reason for this problem is a failed hydraulic pump, for which replacing the hydraulic fluid pump is the only option. 

11. Hitch Not Dropping or Dropping Too Slow

The mechanism of the Massey Ferguson 383 tractor hitch involves a hydraulic cylinder, which at times can fail to drop the hitch. Furthermore, the hydraulic control valve may have to be adjusted. 

Refer to the user manual for the right hydraulic control valve adjustments and/or replace or install a new hydraulic cylinder. 

12. Hard Steering

A hard on Massey Ferguson 383 steering is caused by insufficient fluid in the steering system.

Inspect the oil level and also check if the fuel pump is damaged. 

If you’ve recently replaced the steering wheel, you may have mounted it incorrectly or you may have installed a defective steering column. 


What year is a Massey Ferguson 383? 

The Massey Ferguson 383 model was first released in 1996 and has had several new iterations since then with the latest model released in 1997. 


Are Massey Ferguson tractors good? 

Massey Ferguson tractors are known for their superior performance and durability and are backed by industry-leading warranties. 

In fact, Massey Ferguson tractors have also served at the United States military level, which speaks volumes about their quality. 


What HP is a Massey Ferguson 383? 

The Massey Ferguson 383 tractor is powered by a Perkins 4-cylinder diesel engine, which produces 81 HP. The 383 Massey Ferguson tractor is available in 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive models —both weighing 6400 lbs. 


Final Thoughts 

The Massey Ferguson 383 tractor is one of the best models in its space but is prone to certain problems. Some of these can be fixed easily, but others may require technical assistance. 

I’ve listed 12 common issues and their solutions. But if none of them fix your problem, consult a Massey Ferguson dealer in your area.