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


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AKA.  The fence killer . 
 

Have always been told the centrifugal force of the mower blades would push you right through the fence even with the clutch in and standing on the brakes as hard as possible. .

 

They don’t bring much around here 

Probably should buy something else .

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25 minutes ago, 766 Man said:

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.  

 

 

My dad and his boss worked on tons of 9 series fords that people were cultivating corn with and trying to farm in our area. What you said about 150 hours was very true. Dad said if tractor was used a lot every year they overhauled them

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I have had  a 9N  and an 8N very rugged no frills 8N was the better of the two Better brakes and side mounted dis.

They were very well built and good for the small framer wood lot owner

There was a lot of them around here when I was growing up

Had a neighbor was a WW 1 vet bought one new in 1939 hand it till he passed in 1986

cut 20 acers of hay ,2 acers Potatoes and hauled out 20 cords of fire wood and load or two of logs    every year Served him well

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Just now, lorenzo said:

AKA.  The fence killer . 
 

Have always been told the centrifugal force of the mower blades would push you right through the fence even with the clutch in and standing on the brakes as hard as possible. .

 

They don’t bring much around here 

Probably should buy something else .

They need an overrunning clutch.. cheap insurance but Lordy what a beeech. Always in the wrong gear and there were not enough of em, cant lift the loader if the 3 point is at the top, so you have to chain it down, brakes are a nightmare, cant get the hood off without 3 men and a boy, always need to take the hood off with a full tank of gas. Miserable horrible little beasts, while rick is correct they take modern attachments, when they came out those attachments were just as obscure as everything else. IMO an H/M/C with a 3 point kit is an infinitely superior machine and better money ahead. I sent the 2N down the road this past winter and i have not one single time wished I hadn’t.. and i had a lot into it. 

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7 minutes ago, m.c.farmerboy said:

I have had  a 9N  and an 8N very rugged no frills 8N was the better of the two Better brakes and side mounted dis.

They were very well built and good for the small framer wood lot owner

There was a lot of them around here when I was growing up

Had a neighbor was a WW 1 vet bought one new in 1939 hand it till he passed in 1986

cut 20 acers of hay ,2 acers Potatoes and hauled out 20 cords of fire wood and load or two of logs    every year Served him well

  A situation where tractor was well adapted to chores required.  Cutting hay was an advantage for the Ferguson system which allowed the mower to be raised higher than a trailing one wheel mower.  Where that designed flamed out was pulling tongue heavy implements or implements that had a lot of weight carried on an axle.  The N's sucked at pulling manure spreaders through the mud or a corn picker through the mud or a 100 bushel barge wagon up a 12 percent grade hill which was a lot of times around here.  Jobs best left to a Farmall M or similar tractor.

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Had two of them.  Not sure why I bought the second one since I never cared for the first one.  No live PTO, front would slide sideways, no power steering, so they are not a tractor for any serious loader work.  Always reminded me of a car with big rear tires.

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2 hours ago, 766 Man said:

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.  

 

 

150 hours? That a typo?

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53 minutes ago, Binderoid said:

150 hours? That a typo?

  How so?  Around here a 60 acre dairy would have been typical while the 8N was in production.  Maybe a quarter of that was tilled on an annual basis for small grains and/or corn.  Pasture on a portion.  Maybe 20 hours per year to make hay on the rest.  Spread manure near the barn 5 minutes and 5 minutes back.  Some farmers supplemented with horses into the 1950's so less tractor time.  

 

  Two types of overhauls.  More frequently the valves needed to be ground or replaced, new rings, and new rod bearings.  Less frequently the previously mentioned items plus things like new pistons along with new sleeves, main bearings, etc.  

 

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1 hour ago, carmine@1945 said:

Had two of them.  Not sure why I bought the second one since I never cared for the first one.  No live PTO, front would slide sideways, no power steering, so they are not a tractor for any serious loader work.  Always reminded me of a car with big rear tires.

Welcome Neighbor!!     Great Bunch of Folks Here!!     We Don't talk about old small "Ford" Tractors very favorably Here.

  We usually get scolded by a Few fella's That don't see a need for Farmall  "M's" to Survive on this Planet,......But we still Like'em!!

Jim Droscha

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13 minutes ago, DroschaFamilyDairy said:

Welcome Neighbor!!     Great Bunch of Folks Here!!     We Don't talk about old small "Ford" Tractors very favorably Here.

  We usually get scolded by a Few fella's That don't see a need for Farmall  "M's" to Survive on this Planet,......But we still Like'em!!

Jim Droscha

Yes welcome aboard.

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I have an 8n and two 2ns.  My opinion if they were used like they were suppose to be used meaning small 100 acre farms they weren’t too bad.  Problem I’ve seen is lot of people like to compare them to Farmall Hs and JD Bs or any 2 plow rowcrop tractor.  However they should be compared to Farmall As, AC Bs, or JD Hs.  They were a light duty and I stress “light” 2 plow tractor.  Use them like that I think they were alright.  Farmall As had a small run around here back in the day.  Guys bought them to mow hay including my great grandpa on my fathers mother’s side. But I’m telling you after being around a few including my own and nobody wants to hear this except old tanker, but I’ll take a N series over a Farmall A series back in the day.  Plus The lack of transmission speeds was taken care of by Sherman.  

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JUNK in the worst way!! --- Most useless tractor ever made! Geared too fast to do any decent work, under powered to farm with, and the list goes on!!!! LOL!!!

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5 hours ago, oldtanker said:

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 

Ayup

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15 hours ago, dale560 said:

 Everybody used their n tractor to chase the cows.

Our chase tractor was our 240U.  I know guys like to hammer the N series but our 240 wasnt much better for being 8 years newer. Better durability for sure but still no live pto, and a transmission with only one useable gear.  

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3 minutes ago, Big Bud guy said:

I have an 8n and two 2ns.  My opinion if they were used like they were suppose to be used meaning small 100 acre farms they weren’t too bad.  Problem I’ve seen is lot of people like to compare them to Farmall Hs and JD Bs or any 2 plow rowcrop tractor.  However they should be compared to Farmall As, AC Bs, or JD Hs.  They were a light duty and I stress “light” 2 plow tractor.  Farmall As had a small run around here back in the day.  Guys bought them to mow hay.  Nobody wants to hear this except old tanker, but I’ll take a N series over a Farmall A series back in the day.  

  It was all in how they were sold by the local dealer and his staff.  When the 9N first came out they were being touted as being between a H and a M in terms of productivity at least locally.  Then everybody who bought one on that basis got mad when they could not match a M in terms of running a stationary thrashing machine or PTO driven forage harvester.  Understanding of mechanical concepts was not a principle that many farmers understood back then so a lot of things were learned the hardway and with great irritation.  It's all in what you want to do with a tractor.  I'll take a Farmall A for certain tasks such as cultivating while as said before I think that a N would shine with a 3 point hitch mower.  But if it is 1950 and I only have enough money for one purchase then a Farmall M or JD A comes first.

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18 minutes ago, Big Bud guy said:

I have an 8n and two 2ns.  My opinion if they were used like they were suppose to be used meaning small 100 acre farms they weren’t too bad.  Problem I’ve seen is lot of people like to compare them to Farmall Hs and JD Bs or any 2 plow rowcrop tractor.  However they should be compared to Farmall As, AC Bs, or JD Hs.  They were a light duty and I stress “light” 2 plow tractor.  Use them like that I think they were alright.  Farmall As had a small run around here back in the day.  Guys bought them to mow hay including my great grandpa on my fathers mother’s side. But I’m telling you after being around a few including my own and nobody wants to hear this except old tanker, but I’ll take a N series over a Farmall A series back in the day.  Plus The lack of transmission speeds was taken care of by Sherman.  

We used to terrorize the farmstead with a jd H electric start. We would have been completely dangerous with a ford 9n to go with.

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I have to say, I would prefer a N to a Farmall Off-set.......................other than cultivating, the little off set Farmalls were clubs IMO. 

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5 minutes ago, 766 Man said:

  It was all in how they were sold by the local dealer and his staff.  When the 9N first came out they were being touted as being between a H and a M in terms of productivity at least locally.  Then everybody who bought one on that basis got mad when they could not match a M in terms of running a stationary thrashing machine or PTO driven forage harvester.  Understanding of mechanical concepts was not a principle that many farmers understood back then so a lot of things were learned the hardway and with great irritation.  It's all in what you want to do with a tractor.  I'll take a Farmall A for certain tasks such as cultivating while as said before I think that a N would shine with a 3 point hitch mower.  But if it is 1950 and I only have enough money for one purchase then a Farmall M or JD A comes first.

I agree.  The N series were sold as a 2 row 2 plow tractor while the Farmall A and Allis B were sold as 1 row 1 plow tractor.  Yet the Ns didn’t have anymore power then the other two.  So I think they got used harder.  If I was a salesman back in the day selling Fords I’d tell customers don’t pull more then you could with a team of horses.
 

 Far as which one to choose for cultivating to me it’s a tough choice.  You are going to get twice as much done with the N vs the A.  It is nice to see the row though on the A. I’d probably take the A for garden work and the N for actual rowcrop.  

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5 minutes ago, Big Bud guy said:

I agree.  The N series were sold as a 2 row 2 plow tractor while the Farmall A and Allis B were sold as 1 row 1 plow tractor.  Yet the Ns didn’t have anymore power then the other two.  So I think they got used harder.  If I was a salesman back in the day selling Fords I’d tell customers don’t pull more then you could with a team of horses.
 

 Far as which one to choose for cultivating to me it’s a tough choice.  You are going to get twice as much done with the N vs the A.  It is nice to see the row though on the A. I’d probably take the A for garden work and the N for actual rowcrop.  

  For cultivating corn late probably neither.  I'd take a H or M or equivalent to gain clearance and number of rows.  My understanding was that a lot of corn got cultivated during late July and into August around here back then.  A N series around here would almost be a luxury tractor based on the crops plus other work of a 100 plus acre dairy.  It would shine with a 3 pt sickle bar mower but then again just about any other tractor would be satisfactory for the same job.  Maybe handling a 3 point planter or tugging a 13 X 7 drill.  But even then a N would be moot by 1960 as guys were going to 4 row planters and wanted remote hydraulic capabilities including double acting cylinders.

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My Papa started his 8n while standing next to it.  It knocked him down and ran over him.  He kept his head out from under the rear tire but the brush hog skid caught and removed a knee cap.  Thankfully the pto was not engaged.

When he got better he traded for a new diesel 2600 with a 6 ft. sidewinder brush hog.  He splurged and had a full belly pan made that kept the brush from beating him to death.  

He only used them for mowing.

Don't start your stuff standing next to it..................

 

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In the 50's many of our neighbors had them on small tobacco farms in coastal South Carolina..  When new they were OK, not up to Deere 30 or 40 series or IH Super A's in durability but easier to operate (great steering without power I could drive one fine when I was 8 years old) with a good 3 point and PTO.  One neighbor had to overhaul the engine every other year to keep it going, his share croppers just worked it too hard.  Most people who were Ford fans  moved to the new 600 tractor in 54.  The engine is more durable.  Only issue on that Ford model was the brakes were sort of an after thought, just copied from the 8N. 

IF you are shopping for a 8N The side distributor 8N would be the easiest to work with. I am amazed at how many of  the 9N and 8N tractors are still  around. Probably got the best repair parts support of any of the old tractors. BUT I would choose the 600 any day over the 8N if I was looking for a Ford.

Good luck with your projects.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, 766 Man said:

  How so?  Around here a 60 acre dairy would have been typical while the 8N was in production.  Maybe a quarter of that was tilled on an annual basis for small grains and/or corn.  Pasture on a portion.  Maybe 20 hours per year to make hay on the rest.  Spread manure near the barn 5 minutes and 5 minutes back.  Some farmers supplemented with horses into the 1950's so less tractor time.  

 

  Two types of overhauls.  More frequently the valves needed to be ground or replaced, new rings, and new rod bearings.  Less frequently the previously mentioned items plus things like new pistons along with new sleeves, main bearings, etc.  

 

I was taking it from the view point of a 40 hour week. That would be an overhaul every 3 weeks. (Depending on what an overhaul is considered) . So if a 9N is overhauled 3 times it would only have approx.  450 hours in 70 years. Not debating you at all, just kind of a stunning discovery.

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Whether you like or hate them, they sure do ask for some $$$ here in MN. I was just looking at local CL ads and the average is around $4000. One that looked like a pile of parts for $1250... nicely restored with a loader $6500. Not saying they're actually selling for that price.

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Saw a full set of early Ford implements setting out side an old barn the other day

Rake, baler etc. All in good shape 

Place was run down a few years ago and it sold new owner's got it cleaned up good.

Nice old brick farm house 

That stuff was likely in the barn 

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