Fordson Dexta

The Fordson Dexta, produced from 1958 to 1961, is a versatile utility tractor renowned for its reliability and robustness. Manufactured by Fordson in Dagenham, England, it offered a choice between a diesel and gasoline engine, catering to various agricultural needs. With a power output of 32 horsepower and a practical transmission system featuring 6 forward and 2 reverse gears, the Dexta proved efficient for a range of tasks. Its compact chassis, manual steering, and differential mechanical expanding shoe brakes provided maneuverability and control, while options like live PTO and a 2-stage clutch enhanced functionality.
Fordson Dexta Specifications
ManufacturerFordson (a part of Ford)
TypeUtility tractor
Production Years1958 – 1961
FactoryDagenham, England
VariantsDiesel 2000 (USA), narrow model (52-inch width), industrial model, Dexta Special (Germany)
Engine Power32 hp (23.9 kW)
Drawbar Power (claimed)23.0 hp (17.2 kW)
PTO Power (claimed)31.41 hp (23.4 kW)
Drawbar Power (tested)27.03 hp (20.2 kW)
PTO Power (tested)31.41 hp (23.4 kW)
Engines Overview
Diesel EngineFord-Perkins 2.4L 3-cylinder
Gasoline EngineStandard Vanguard 2.2L 4-cylinder
Diesel Engine Details (Ford-Perkins F3.144)
Displacement144 ci (2.4 L)
Bore/Stroke3.50 x 5.00 inches (89 x 127 mm)
Power32 hp (23.9 kW)
Air CleanerOil bath
Rated RPM2000
Torque93 lb-ft (126.1 Nm)
Torque RPM1200
Firing Order1-2-3
Starter Volts12
Oil Capacity7.66 qts (7.2 L)
Oil Change Interval100 hours
Coolant Capacity9 qts (8.5 L)
Intake Valve Clearance0.010 inches (0.254 mm)
Exhaust Valve Clearance0.010 inches (0.254 mm)
Gasoline Engine Details (Standard Vanguard)
CoolingLiquid-cooled inline
Displacement133.5 ci (2.2 L)
Bore/Stroke3.425 x 3.622 inches (87 x 92 mm)
Firing Order1-3-4-2
Starter Volts12
Coolant Capacity6.9 qts (6.5 L)
Spark PlugChampion L10
Spark Plug Gap0.031 inches (0.787 mm)
Intake Valve Clearance0.010 inches (0.254 mm)
Exhaust Valve Clearance0.006 inches (0.152 mm)
Gears6 forward and 2 reverse
ClutchDry disc
Chassis4×2 2WD
BrakesDifferential mechanical expanding shoe
CabOpen operator station
Pump Flow4.42 gpm (16.7 lpm)
Tractor Hitch Rear TypeI
Power Take-off (PTO)
Rear PTOTransmission, live (2-stage clutch) optional
Rear RPM540
Battery Volts12
Ag Front5.50-16 or 4.00-19
Ag Rear12.4-28 or 10-28
Wheelbase71 inches (180 cm)
Length118.5 inches (300 cm) for diesel, 121 inches (307 cm) for gasoline
Width64.5 inches (163 cm)
Height (Steering Wheel)54 inches (137 cm)
Height (Hood)46.5 inches (118 cm)
Clearance (Front Axle)21 inches (53 cm)
Clearance (Rear Axle)12 inches (30 cm)
Shipping2980 lbs (1351 kg)
Operating3300 lbs (1496 kg)
Ballasted6000 lbs (2721 kg)
Dexta Serial Numbers
LocationLip of bell flange between engine and clutch, left side of tractor
1957957E 1
1958957E 144
1959957E 22558
1960957E 44432
1961957E 71921, 957E 312001, 09A 312001
196209B 702592
196309C 732031, 09D 900001
196409D 907332, Final
Fordson Dexta Overview

The Fordson Dexta, an iconic utility tractor manufactured by Fordson from 1958 to 1961, stands as a testament to the rich history and innovation within the agricultural machinery industry. Hailing from the Dagenham factory in England, the Dexta epitomized the reliability and versatility that farmers sought during its era. Notably, it was offered in both diesel and gasoline variants, underscoring Fordson’s commitment to meeting diverse agricultural needs. Its diesel engine, the Ford-Perkins F3.144, boasted a displacement of 2.4 liters and a power output of 32 horsepower, while the gasoline version, equipped with the Standard Vanguard engine, delivered comparable performance.

One of the defining features of the Dexta was its practicality and ease of use, thanks to a transmission system comprising 6 forward and 2 reverse gears coupled with a dry disc clutch. This setup provided farmers with the flexibility and control necessary to navigate various terrains and accomplish a wide range of tasks efficiently. Additionally, its compact 4×2 2WD chassis, manual steering, and differential mechanical expanding shoe brakes ensured maneuverability and safety on the field.

The Fordson Dexta’s legacy extends beyond its mechanical prowess; it symbolizes an era of agricultural modernization and technological advancement. Sold in the United States as the Diesel 2000, it became a staple on farms worldwide, embodying the spirit of innovation and productivity that characterized the mid-20th century agricultural landscape. Its availability in multiple configurations, including narrow and industrial models, further highlighted its adaptability to different farming practices and environments. Today, the Dexta remains a cherished relic of agricultural history, revered for its durability, performance, and enduring impact on the farming community.