Oliver 550 Problems (Problem Identification + Repair Advice)

You take your Oliver 550 tractor for some work. But unfortunately, you’ve noticed problems with your tractor which can be very annoying!

So, how to fix the oliver 550 problems?

At first, you need to diagnose the problem at hand. There might be problems with the engine, PTO clutch, steering, transmission, etc. or there might be oil leaking from the tractor. You need to find the problem first and then work on them. 

With that said,  let’s jump right into the detail!  We’ve mentioned all the quick fixes down below to help you out!

Common Problems You Might Face with Oliver 550

oliver 550 problems

The Oliver 550 tractor is one of the best tractors out there! However, even with the Olver 550, there might be a few issues. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Problem 1: Engine Problems 

Your engine might not function properly due to overheating. This is a common problem faced by Oliver 550 tractors, especially the older ones. 

Generally, the engine might stumble after operating for 2-3 hours. Then, the engine can start stumbling after a few minutes of use. However, if the overheating continues for too long, there might be something wrong with the engine. 


The main reason behind the problem is due to issues with the coil. Cycling is an issue if the original coil is replaced by an internal resistor coil. 

If you put on a new 6-volt coil without an external resistor, it might create a risk of burning your coil. However, this is only applicable if you are running a 12-volt system.

If it’s 12 volts, you’ll need a 12-volt coil (internal resistor) or an external ballast resistor. 

In such a situation, you’ll need to replace your engine with a Chrysler. You may obtain them from any nearby location.

Also If it’s a Kohler engine then it’s normal for the engine to die once overheats. This happens to prevent overheating. 

Problem 2: PTO Problem

There is a PTO engagement in front of the operator and sometimes it might jump out of gear. PTO problems aren’t the most common, but they’re easy to solve. That said, let’s get into it. 


A plate with four 1/4″ bolts is located under the tractor, where the rear part joins the center section. You have to remove the screws to open the plate. 

You’ll need to rotate the PTO clutch assembly unless a spring-loaded pin emerges from the casting. And the blue arrow should be pointing to that.

This spring-loaded pin will be inserted into one of the notches indicated by the red arrow. To adjust, use a long screwdriver or punch to keep the spring-loaded pin in place, then turn the adjustment nut in with another punch.

If you’re wondering which screwdriver is the best for you, here are our recommendations- 

This nut has right-hand threads. Try a few notches at a time. You need to apply pressure to make the clutch open. Generally, 35 pounds of force is required to remove the PTO lever. 

If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to split the tractor. Afterwards, replace the clutch plates inside the clutch pack. You can also learn how to change the PTO clutch

We’d like to recommend to you some disks for the tractor. Here goes: 

Problem 3: Steering Problems

when you drive your tractor the front tires might clunk badly. Sometimes, you might see one wheel pointing left or right more than the other. In most scenarios, this is caused due to issues with your steering wheel. 


Firstly you should check the rims if the clunking is from there. Then you need to jack up the front end of the tractor to get both wheels off the ground and place them on jack stands.

Once stable, grab the tire on top and bottom, rocking it back and forth. Check for slops in kingpins & bushings.

Problem 4: Gear Oil Leak

In extreme scenarios, you might have oil leaking from your gears. In that case, you need to get to work immediately since oil leaks are most dangerous. So, how do you deal with these issues? Let’s dive into it! 


There are some oil seals inside the central piece that seal sections of the PTO clutch and transmission. In that region, there is no oil. 

Using a small drain pan, climb underneath the vehicle and remove the little square plate that allows you to change the PTO clutch. (4 cap screws, 7/16 inch) 

Keep an eye on the trash as it falls out. Oil is most likely accumulating on the PTO clutch disks. Repairing it isn’t difficult, although the “Z” split is required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How much does an Oliver 550 weight?

Answer: The Oliver 550 weighs about 8210 lbs. It is one of the best-designed tractors of the Oliver family. The 550 is one of the best utility tractors for the time period.

Question: How many horsepower is an Oliver 550?

Answer: Oliver 550 tractor is equipped with an Oliver gasoline 4-cylinder liquid-cooled engine, which produces 35.3 hp power at rated rpm 2000.

Question: Is Oliver 550 a good tractor?

Answer: The Oliver 550 is a great tractor. The 550 was designed as a three-plow tractor and could be ordered with many amenities. The 550 enjoyed the longest run of any Oliver tractor, with production stretching all the way to 1975. It was among the company’s most versatile rigs as well  

Final Words

Struggling with the problems with your tractor can be very bothersome. However, with a bit of effort, you can deal with them easily. 

To make life easier for you, we have discussed all the Oliver 550 problems. From the given article above you can easily solve all the problems stated above. 

Just remember, even after following the tips, if your Oliver 550 is making problems, it might be a sign of something worse. Take your tractor to a workshop as soon as possible

Until then, have a great day! Will catch you next time!

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