Tractor Restoration The 8N Ford Tractor was an all-purpose tractor for the average farmer in the 1950sThe Ford Tractor was a huge step up in farming back in the 1950s. The Ford Company made a farmer’s life much simpler because of its price and all the options that were available to buy with the tractor. Ford 8N was more unique than other tractors that were made at the time. The Ford 8N was simple and compact. The Ford 8N was a farmer’s dream tractor. The first 8N Ford Tractor was made in 1947 and was manufactured through 1950s. The Ford 8N had a four-cylinder gas engine that was about 22 horse power to the drawbar.
The tractor had a four speed manual transmission and was 2-wheel drive. (“Easterlund, Peter”). The 8N tractor had a three-point-hitch and it was very unique for a tractor in that time. The 8N had a hydraulic control, which made the tractor very useful for a lot of different varieties of implements. The 8N was made an all-purpose tractor for a farmer with a small farm. The 8N Tractor had changes every year (“The History of Ford N Series Tractors”). The 8N was looked at to be the top-selling individual tractor that was ever made in America.
The reason why the 8N was ore unique than the 2N and the 9N is that it had a new two color paint job (Red motor and transmission/grey fenders and hood). The 8N also had a 4-speed transmission instead of a 3- speed, which was in the 2N and the 9N. The 8N had an increase in power at the drawbar and the Power Take Off. The 8N had a change in lugs. The 8N had eight lugs on the rear wheels instead of six. The 8N was produced with the “Ford” logo on the hood and the fenders and was in red lettering. Ford dropped the Ferguson System and decided to just be named Ford.
Ford still used the Ferguson three-point hitch though (“The History of Ford N Series Tractors”). The 8N was also different than the 2N and the 9N if the rear wheel was dished and had a huge nut in the center of the hub. The 9N and the 2N model tractors had a flat rear wheel instead of a dished rear wheel. The 8N had hydraulic three-point arms that had a halfway position that is between fully up and fully down. The 9N and the 2N only had the draft control. Later in the making of the 8N Ford put a lever under the seat that was called position control and could have the three-point at any height.
The 8N has both brake pedals on one side. The 9N and the 2N ad a brake pedal on both sides. The 8N is easy to identify because the serial number starts with 8N. The 2N and the 9N both started with 9N which made it difficult to identify if the tractor was a 2N or a 9N (“Ford Tractors”). There is a huge interest in the old 8N Ford tractors for collectors in the past several years. The demand for the original parts and all the accessories is huge as well. All the manuals that come with the tractor and the sales literature is in huge demand for a collector. The Ford tractor also came with a part manual.
In the manual there is lots of part numbers and anything and verything for the tractor. At the front of the manual it explains the torque ratings and how the wiring is supposed to be wired and how every piece or part goes together on the tractor (“Old Ford Tractor Accessories”). There was a light kit option when an 8N tractor was bought from a dealer. The rear lights had a zinc platted brass toggle switch on the side and a four inch inside frosted lens that had a ford logo on it. The front of the tractor has two lights on the hood and they are mounted on the side. Most 8N Fords came with lights on the front.
The rear of the 8N Ford tractor also has n option of having a brake light and it mounted of the right side fender (“Old Ford Tractor Accessories. “). Some 8N Fords were available with a nob on the lower right side of the dash. The nob shifted the transmission into overdrive. The transmission was offered with overdrive, underdrive and dual range over/underdrive models. Most of the 8N models had a shifter lever on the side of the transmission, but some were offered with the nob lever. The nob lever rusted and froze up a lot, the nob lever was canceled and Ford decided to just use the lever on the side of the transmission.
The four peed transmission with overdrive is very hard to come by. The four speed transmission went ten miles per hour. The four speed transmission with overdrive went twenty miles per hour. Just like the Ford cars in those days, the 8N tractor had running boards. The 8N also was the first to have a left side clutch with two independent brakes on the right side. The 8N Ford tractor in the last two years of its production had a side mount distributor on the motor and a Proof meter on the lower right side of the dash (“Old Ford Tractor Accessories”). The Ford 8N had twenty different implements.
The Ford 8N ad the Boom Pole. The Boom Pole was a crane. The Boom Pole was used for lifting. It usually had two lifting attachment points, there was one at midpoint and one at the other end and it attached to the three-point on the rear of the tractor. If the Boom Pole lifts too much weight the tractor will get light in the front end and may rear up. This implement was great for a farmer that worked on a farm and worked alone. The boom plow would lift more than the tractor could handle and could be very dangerous if the farmer was not taking the proper precautions (“Common Implements for the Ford N Series Tractors”).
The Ford 8N was good with dirt work and was available with a Box Blade. The Box Blade worked best with the 8N tractor. The Box Blade was used to drag or push dirt for leveling. It worked better than grader blade because it was more forgiving. The box blade worked good for leveling. They used the box blade to level dirt for building and landscaping (“Common Implements for the Ford N Series Tractors”). The Brush Hog was a perfect implement for a farmer that had a lot of tall weeds or grass. The Brush Hog was a rough cut mower. The Brush Hog could be bought for the three-point of he tractor or could be a pull behind.
The Brush Hog was available in four, five and six foot widths for the use of the N series. The five-foot Brush Hog was recommended for the 8N because it would cover the tire width of the tractor. The Brush Hog was available in lightweight or heavy duty from the dealer. The Brush was a heavy unit no matter if it was a lightweight or heavy duty (“Common Implements for the Ford N Series Tractors”). For haying with the 8N Ford the Sickle Bar Mower was available. The Sickle Bar Mower was extremely efficient on horse power. The recommended mower for the 8N Tractor was he five or six-foot mower.
The 8N also worked well with the hay rake/sweep rake. The rake was good for making rows of hay for the baler to follow. The rake was easy to operate and hook up. The Ford 8N was not a good tractor to pull a baler. The tractor was too high geared and wasn’t fit for a baler. The Ford 8N could use a baler if the baler was equipped with its own motor (“Common Implements for the Ford N Series Tractors”). Farming was suitable for the 8N. 8N Fords could use planters and drills. The planters were used for corn and sunflower. Drills were used for wheat, millet, etcetera.
The drills and planters were light-weight and low-draft implements. The 8N worked great with a two-row planter and a drill with thirteen openers and were seven inches apart. The Ford 8N had no problems using a plow. The 8N can handle a sixteen inch single-bottom moldboard plow or a fourteen inch two-bottom plow (“The Big Book of Ford”). Henry Ford had his mind set on creating a machine that was big enough to make daily living easier. The first thing Henry Ford did rite was make an automobile. When the automobile hit the market it was extremely durable, so farmers started using the automobile in the field.
When Henry figured out that the car was big in farming he decided to create a tractor. The Ford tractor worked for the farmer and also was at a cost that the farmer could afford. The 8N was introduced and the 8N Ford Tractor made history in America because of how durable and how long the tractor would last for a farmer. There is a lot of 8N Ford series tractors on farms and in collector’s hands today (“Garden Guides”) was one of many series built by the Ford Motor Company under the Fordson tractor company. The 8N meant that it was the eighth model of the series.
The 8N was the last in the N series hat did not have the Ferguson hydraulics on the three-point hitch system (“Garden Guides”) tractor was created the Fordson manufacturing company had an agreement with Harvey Ferguson to use the Ferguson three- point system. All the fords that were made when Henry Ford was the owner they had Ferguson controlled hydraulics. When Henry ford Jr. took over the Fordson manufacturing company, he ended the agreement with Ferguson. When the Ferguson agreement was canceled the 8N Ford Tractor was then manufactured.
When Ford made the 8N the hydraulic hitch setup was so similar to Ferguson’s design that the Ford company as sued by Ferguson. The lawsuit ended the making of the 8N The 8N tractor Before the 8N series Ford Tractor because of the settlement between Ford and Ferguson. After the 8N was out of the picture, Ford replaced the 8N with NAA which was also called the “Golden Jubilee”. The 8N Ford tractor is still known by most people, because of how many were made and how many are still in working condition to this day (“Garden Guides”) The 8N series Ford Tractor was built between 1947 and 1952.
The 8N series tractor was built in Highland Park Michigan and through them five years there were five hundred and twenty-four thousand manufactured. The year that the 8N tractor was manufactured can be determined by looking at lists of production dates and serial numbers on the side of the block. The serial number that is on the tractor will be the production model of that year. The serial number will be within two different years. That will determine the production year identification (“Garden Guides”) The Ford 8N had a sister that was older, the Ford Model A car. The Ford 8N was manufactured to be an everyone tractor.
The Ford 8N was built simple. The Ford 8N was so simple that most people could maintain their own tractor themselves. Every tractor that came off the lot brand new, came with a packet of tools that could be used for normal maintenance such as changing oil, replacing or checking a spark plug and loosening and tightening a bolt or nut. The Ford 8N also came with a hand crank for turning over the motor if the battery was dead or something else was wrong and wouldn’t start. The buyer also had an option of having an air pump that screwed into the spark plug hole and when the motor was started it would pump up your tire (“The Big Book of Ford. )
The Model A is so much alike the 8N Ford, because the four-cylinder motor is basically what the Model A has in it. The design of the four-cylinder motor is about 75 years old and is by any motor standards, the easiest four-cylinder engine you can own and work on. If a person can rebuild a motor from the last thirty-five years, a person can easily rebuild a motor in an 8N Ford tractor with no problems and should be able to restore the 8N tractor. The 8N Ford tractor engine is built better than the Model A Ford car in a few different ways. The block is heavier on the 8N and with the block being heavier helps with heat of the motor.
The 8N motor has more displacement which gives it more power. The 8N has sleeves around the cylinders instead of just a motor block, unlike the Model A. The sleeves are a better option, because the sleeves get worn down and can be replaced. Without sleeves and just a motor block around the pistons, the motor block will wear down and eventually be very expensive and a person will have to replace the motor (“Manchester Albert”) When overhauling the motor there are many steps. First the hood and the radiator need to be removed along with all wiring. The Ford 8N motor needs to pulled apart from the transmission and put on a motor stand.
All the bearing and sleeves and pistons need to be taken out and replaced. The valves need to be grinded and new piston rings need to be put on the pistons (“Manchester Albert”) The 8N tractor has so many similarities to automobile that a person doesn’t have to stress out about getting parts in a short bit of time. Most parts for the Ford 8N can be found in a local car part store and are usually considered crossover parts. The local car part store parts is usually less expensive than if the parts were bought of a tractor dealer and usually parts from the car part store are on hand and there is no waiting for the parts to come in.
The Ford 8N is very common and parts can be found about anywhere and a person will not have to stress out and drive around town or search tractor dealerships for parts. The 8N Ford is a tractor that usually will be seen running and being used on a farm. The 8N Ford is not a tractor that will be seen slowly rotting in the weeds. The 8N Ford is a tractor that will be seen running or a tractor that can be very easy to get running if it is not. The Ford 8N.
Tractor brings around three thousand dollars if it is fully restored and in perfect running conditions. Most 8N Ford Tractors bring around one-thousand dollars if they are not restored and just running (“Manchester Albert”) Clearly the Ford 8N tractor made the farmers life easy and simple. The tractor was definitely a success in the 1950s with all of its options and is a sought after collector’s item today. The Ford 8N is definitely worth the investment and time. The Ford 8N is a tractor that will meet many recommendations and standards to this day.