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Was The Ford 8N or any of the N Series tractors any good?


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Got a question where them N Series Ford's any good? Because there are two 8N's an eary model and a later one coming up for auction this June and two 9N's as well. The oldest 8N has the second gear not working and one of them 9N's isn't running.

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What ^^^^^ he said 

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The 8N with a side distributor would be the best of the N series. I still have my grandpas 8N, it’s a late 1952. It’s one of the last ones made. It was last overhauled in the early ‘70s and still does some occasional work running an auger. They were good tractors for their time, but their time is long past. The newest N series Ford is 70 years old. Unless they have been completely restored at some point most are well worn and could use some work. Parts availability is good because of the amount produced, but I would hate to give very much for one that obviously has problems. They can still do some work if you like keeping old iron running. Many, many people used them to help make a living here and for the most part I think they had a good reputation for what they were. 

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I’ve never been around one, but I know several guys that have them, just because they were kept in the family, or because they bought them for $300 (running condition) and painted them up as lawn/barn decor.  I think their value has been dictated by the condition of their rims and tires, for about the last 20-30 years. Nice rims/tires, they are still under a grand here in NY.

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  Our Farm Is Located in Mid-Michigan,  Henry Ford Made a Major Attempt to Place a "Ford Tractor" Dealerships in the Large Agriculture area of Michigan.

We are 25 miles from the 1920 "Michigan State Collège" ,of course Michigan State University Now.

My Relatives near our Farm had Ford  2N's, 8N's & 9N's, As a kid growing up in the 1950's, I wondered after Riding on an "M" fender all Day Pulling 3-14's and seeing the results of a full day's work.

I asked Myself the Question,....Why would my uncle William sitting on a 2N, pulling a 2-12's consider the slow Pace of that "Gray Painted" tractor modern Farming!!

They Had Many of those Poor excuse for horse power tractors on there farm. 

I racked Hay for my Uncles Family Many times as a Very young child, That steering wheel would jump out of your hands at the slightest rut, 

The smell of Gasoline was always in the air of those awkward sitting Machines.

Did I mention I never could see why a farm would own one??

My 2 cents, Jim Droscha 

 

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8 minutes ago, stronger800 said:

I’ve never been around one, but I know several guys that have them, just because they were kept in the family, or because they bought them for $300 (running condition) and painted them up as lawn/barn decor.  I think their value has been dictated by the condition of their rims and tires, for about the last 20-30 years. Nice rims/tires, they are still under a grand here in NY.

Back in time they were highly valuable for mowing larger yards with 3pt finish mowers..................Alot of them around me did that.  When zero turns came of age and were alot more practical than the "Dixons" like MTO post, all of them were replaced..................In that replacement stage they went from being sometimes worth thousands with the finish mower, down to a thousand if your lucky.  Same applied to the cub's and A's................Not worth no where what they once were with a Woods hanging under them.

I actually don't mind the N's, my issue with them is the lack of overhead valves and crappy brakes.................this day in age, if I had to own something like that, I would want a later Ford with a OHV engine, more power, more reliable.  

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2 minutes ago, mike newman said:

....for further   info, please refer to   @oldtanker.......who gave us many memorable discourse's on this product....:)

 

Mike

If I have to hear another 3pt hitch speech, I might add that to my flow rater enemies list.....................I can hear it now, "I can buy implements for my N, my M is useless, just has a drawbar, everything trailer anything here was scrapped........................"   Oh god...................

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Girlfriends dad (way back in highschool) had one . He was NOT tractor oriented. He should have bought a kubota and a brush hog instead he had this POS

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They were really big around here for a while for guys to have at their camp or weekend property for stuff like pulling a firewood trailer or working a food plot. Now the mahindra or small John Deere oversize garden tractors have taken the place of them. 

My opinion of those tractors has always been that they are too light and geared too high to do any serious work. One with an aftermarket high/ low is definitely better.

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Fords are peculiar to work on. The transmission seemed to stand up. The engines were not as good as An A  international or any other overhead valve design. Jd two cyl at the time were more durable. The flat head v8 and 4 cyl was a sensation in 1932 but that is about when it should have been abandoned by 1940. The starter drive was always a nightmare. They would kick out and not spin engine , this could be fixed by splitting tractor and putting a postive engaging drive on starter from a ford v8. But if starter work was needed you had to split tractor. The flathead was tough on valves and hard to adjust them even if you replaced lifters with adj kind. The connecting rods were light weight and would pull egg shaped. Don’t tell scowling people this but we would shim bearings to make up for loose on top and bottom then sand the side of bearings where the rods were ovaled to gain proper clearance. Done this on many of the little devils. The distributor up front was a pain and always wet from moisture. The 8n fixed this problem. Then the charging system and electrical is not well thought out. In engineer terms it might have been better but in real world it was crap. One thing was a lot of those on cattle farms. When you had to fence or chase cows, bring the milk cows home it was the precursor to the atv. Everybody used their n tractor to chase the cows.

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They were crazy popular round here as utility tractors. They were not popular as crop tractors.

As a utility tractor they were very popular until round balers came out on small cattle farms. The 3pt makes them useful for small chore work. However they will not pick up big round bales of hay.

If you are running a small brushog, box blade and other light equipment they are fine.

Thx-Ace 

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I have a Ferguson TO20 bought mostly restored at auction for $1000.  The seller was the estate of a good friend.  It's very similar to an N series Ford but has an overhead valve engine.  It starts and runs very well and works great on load out augers.  I thought it would be great for mowing lawn and weeds, but it doesn't have enough power for a 72" finish mower and the three point settles on a 60" bush hog so you need limit chains on the three point.  Also I never thought about having to have the the PTO engaged or the three point doesn't work.  So if you park it the bush hog on, you have to put blocks under it or unhook the PTO while you raise the bush hog.

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3 hours ago, 801486 said:

I have a Ferguson TO20 bought mostly restored at auction for $1000.  The seller was the estate of a good friend.  It's very similar to an N series Ford but has an overhead valve engine.  It starts and runs very well and works great on load out augers.  I thought it would be great for mowing lawn and weeds, but it doesn't have enough power for a 72" finish mower and the three point settles on a 60" bush hog so you need limit chains on the three point.  Also I never thought about having to have the the PTO engaged or the three point doesn't work.  So if you park it the bush hog on, you have to put blocks under it or unhook the PTO while you raise the bush hog.

Try one with a loader sometime!

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6 hours ago, 801486 said:

I have a Ferguson TO20 bought mostly restored at auction for $1000.  The seller was the estate of a good friend.  It's very similar to an N series Ford but has an overhead valve engine.  It starts and runs very well and works great on load out augers.  I thought it would be great for mowing lawn and weeds, but it doesn't have enough power for a 72" finish mower and the three point settles on a 60" bush hog so you need limit chains on the three point.  Also I never thought about having to have the the PTO engaged or the three point doesn't work.  So if you park it the bush hog on, you have to put blocks under it or unhook the PTO while you raise the bush hog.

I would have parked the tractor where the mowing already occurred or on the driveway or something. 

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A non running 9N is worth no more than 300 bucks if the tires and rims are good. An 8N with a gear out is worth about the same. That makes both about 10 times more valuable than a M or H Farmall today unless you are looking for a trailer queen.

 

Rick 

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run, run and then run far far away - i dont have anything really positive to say about them, worked for 3 different farmers with a total of about 10 of them. it was a crap shoot which one might run/work, none had brakes that would stop you, under powered, 3 point crappy,  I loathed working for the farmers with them. 

 

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In 1950 if you wanted 3pt hitch and a loader there wasn't anything else.  They were handy for that time but soon got left behind by similar sized tractors with more power.  

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Around here today the late 8N is worth at least 1,000 dollars running with good tires and rims.  The same tractor restored is worth just a little more than 2,000 dollars.  As far as buying a non-running and rough N for scrap metal prices that does not happen but very very seldom.  It would take a lot of bad for a 2N to go under 600 dollars.

 

  Locally, back in the day they did not sell well because they were marketed as being able to go toe to toe with 3 plow tractors that lacked three point hitch.  But in a number of areas where marketed intelligently they sold well and in some instances were sold as being a primary tractor for a farmer and in many cases a secondary tractor.  

 

  In terms of operation they were never a market leader but did not have much more in the way of drawbacks than other competing tractors.  As far as reliability they were OK and in terms of durability they were a bit below average.  Most tractors back then were intended to run several years before an overhaul but the N's seemed to need an engine overhaul every 100-150 hours depending on how they were used.  I think we all tend to be a little partial to the tractor that dad or grand dad had though if he could be honest he would tell you about all the work required to keep his tractor operational regardless of brand.  It's easy to be nostalgic about something when we have time and distance to separate us from the days when that old tractor did not want to start or conked out at the worst possible time.  

 

 

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When I was in grade school I helped a recently widowed neighbor. I had forgotten how awkward that tractor was until reading these posts. It did have the 2 speed on the dash so you could really fly when no one was looking . When I would get stuck or some other problem Dad would help me out and it usually ended with him grumbling how Henry Ford never did know how to build a tractor. 

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