6 Problems with Ford 3600 Tractors (Explained)

Private Ford Tractor

The Ford 3600 tractor is a top vintage utility tractor manufactured in 1983. 

However, like other models in the Ford Tractor line, users are faced with several issues. 

A common problem with the Ford 3600 tractor is the hydraulic setup. The levers tend to easily develop faults. 

You should look out for this and a few other problems if you are thinking of buying the Ford 3600 tractor. 

1. Diesel Engine Fails to Start

No doubt, the Ford 3600 tractor has some of the most robust loaders attached. This is one of the many reasons some people still prefer to buy them.

But a recurring problem of the tractor is the engine, especially the diesel models.

This problem is not surprising, though, considering it is an old tractor and production has stopped for a while. 

However, the tractor comes in either a 2.9L 3-cylinder diesel or gasoline engine. And the problem is also noticeable in the gasoline engine variant. 

The diesel does not crank immediately when started until after a few tries. This is regardless of the fuel used. 

Also, many users complain that the jet nozzle loses momentum after many work hours. 

The starter issue of the diesel engine combined with the fuel pipe problem can be a pain. 

Of course, this problem can be easily fixed, especially if you are a DIY kind of person. But for others, it can be a source of frequent frustration.

2. Power Steering Turns Easily

If there’s one thing to love about the Ford 3600 tractor, it is its rugged nature. 

That being said, the rate at which the steering turns freely is a cause for concern. And as if that’s not enough, the steering seems to turn freely in one direction. 

The main culprit for this problem is the steering cylinder.

When the cylinder loses its effectiveness, it will begin to wobble below the steering pump. Unfortunately, this happens in too many cases to be chalked up to coincidence.

The steering pump is another part you want to keep an eye on.

It can develop faults that could lead to a dangerous episode, especially if you’re using the tractor on a bumpy field.

This problem is not unconnected to the common hydraulic problem of this tractor. 

3. Axles Make Much Noise During Operation

Another common issue you should be aware of is the excessive noise generated by this tractor when in use. 

Much of the noise comes from the front and rear axles, especially when you try to make a turn.

Most users will naturally assume that applying some oil will take care of the problem. Of course, the noise will die down after oil application. 

But it will return after a while.

If you know anything about the workings of tractors, you’ll be quick to figure out that the problem is not just about noise but with the gear teeth and roller bearing.

Not correcting the issue can lead to bigger problems.

Over time, the noise will worsen as the metals grind against each other. It won’t take long before a crash will likely happen in the rear axle when the tractor is in use. 

Repairing the worn-out axles could be a real bummer and require the services of a qualified technician to change them completely. 

4. Diesel Overheating 

For most tractors, operating the machines for long work hours may result in overheating. 

And while the Ford 3600 4WD tractor might be a beast, it is definitely not exempted from this common problem. 

To its credit, the machine can work effectively for long hours. But you will have to deal with diesel overheating issues sooner or later.

To give you a clearer perspective, diesel overheating is not a specific problem for this class of Ford tractors. Instead, it is a general problem for the entire lineup of Ford tractors. 

It is common to hear users ask what the lasting solution for diesel overheating is.  

Of course, not using your tractor for long hours of work isn’t a practical solution. After all, you may have plenty of work to do and shouldn’t be hampered by overheating.

One of the most effective ways to counter this problem is to include a cooling system in the diesel setup.

In case you are not aware, the diesel setup of this tractor does not have a coolant or antifreeze system. 

You probably already know that without a cooling system to control the temperature of the diesel engine, things can get very hot after a while of running the machine.

The challenge with correcting this problem is that only an experienced mechanic can handle it. 

That’s because you’ll probably be looking at changing the entire setup to create space for the coolant. 

Yet again, you might be having trouble with the fan belt. 

This is especially the case if you experience overheating within a short period of using the tractor.

The belt could be slipping or there’s too much tension. In some cases, the fan belt has become too weak to be effective. 

If the problem is from the fan belt, it is a lot easier to fix.

5. Hydraulic Failure

The hydraulic setup of the Ford 4WD utility tractor is the underlying cause for many of its issues. 

The lift lever arms always rise when the tractor makes a cranking sound, no matter the load in the loader. 

Sometimes, the hydraulic oil gauge is not up to capacity due to the oil consumption, and this could lead to stiffness in the hydraulic system. 

If the lever is needed in the up position, it takes some time to readjust. This can cause a huge problem for users who need to move loads using the loader. 

6. Subpar Customer Support

The Ford Tractor company has been in business since the early nineteen hundreds and has consistently produced more tractor models.

Yet, their customer support leaves more to be desired. 

With the rising need for updating spare parts, you will have to make do with contacting third-party sellers. 

General Pros and Cons of the Ford 36OO Tractor


  • Generally reliable
  • Spare parts are readily available 
  • Plenty of models to choose from


  • They are expensive to maintain
  • They usually require an experienced mechanic to work on most tractor parts

General Review of the Ford 3600 Tractor

While there may be some hiccups with the Ford 3600 tractor, lots of users regard the model highly. 

Some farm owners prefer using a classic tractor, like the Ford 3600 tractor, because of its reliability. 

Considering the availability of the spare parts and the right amount of horsepower, it is easy to see that this tractor is a good buy. 

With plenty of experience over the years, the Ford Tractor Company is likely to be in business for a long time. 


A good way to make an informed buying decision when looking for a utility tractor is to check out in-depth reviews. 

Of course, the Ford 3600 tractor is a classic piece with rugged functions. But it is not without its drawbacks. 

Unfortunately, you are not likely to find the flaws on the company’s website. 

Thankfully, you have read this down-to-earth review. 

Now, you are in a better position to decide whether or not the Ford 3600 tractor is worth buying.

Related Article: 6 Problems with Claas Tractors (With Solutions)


Ford 3600 hydraulic problem

Ford 3600 troubleshooting 

Ford tractors Pro and cons 

Farm tractor – Ford