Jump to content

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


U-C
 Share

Recommended Posts

27 minutes ago, jeeper61 said:

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 

Did they sell the implements or scrap it? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, bitty said:

Did they sell the implements or scrap it? 

They were gone the next day

It is very possible they are haying with them I see horses there 

They have a few fields that could be hayed 

Never saw a Ford tractor there IRC maybe and old AC  

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Cattech said:

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.

The same prices out here, many stay listed for months .

 

A neighbor had 2 one to run a post hole auger for orchard planting. Would not surprise me if he drill 100,000 holes with that thing he did it over 30 years. Cut a bit of hay and one with a loader not much of a loader but 100% better than a shovel. He was meticulous about maintenance and had brakes that worked. But orchards where place most you would never go with tractor of any kind, so brakes where a must. He went years without over hauling engines.

 

But other than 3pt jobs like post holes and such no real ability to get much done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours 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.  

The Farmall A was 20 HP and AC B was 17 HP while the 9/2/8 were in the 21-25 HP range. That being said farmers were used to working sun up to set. An N, Farmall A or AC B with lights let them work later. But then the average farm was smaller too. 120-160 acres for a dairy. Figure between 20 and 40 acres of pasture, 5 in the farmstead and of the remaining about 1/2 in hay. So they were only tilling between 60 and 100 acres at the most each year. Ford was way behind the curve with the flathead. Lot of farmers were still farming with horses into the early 50's. Figure like this. Between Ford and IHC they made about 1.5 million tractors between 1939 and 1953. Add in all the others? You might be pushing 3 million total. Back then there were about 35 MILLION farmers. Yea more than one of 2 were plowing with horses for a long time.

 

Rick

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Cattech said:

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.

Most that I see at auction are going about 1500 for a real nice one anymore. About the same for an M with good paint and near new tires. I haven't seen an M or an H being used for anything in a very long time. Heck a nephew here is using an 826 as a chore tractor.

 

Rick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, oldtanker said:

The Farmall A was 20 HP and AC B was 17 HP while the 9/2/8 were in the 21-25 HP range. 

 

Rick

The 9N and A were both 16 hp at the drawbar.  Yet one was rated to pull 2 bottoms.  The one that wore out faster.  The 8N was 20 drawbar hp.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/29/2021 at 1:37 PM, Binderoid said:

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.

I don’t know how many hours most farmers ran them in a year here. I very distinctly remember hearing my grandfather tell me many times that people here who used them to plow very much overhauled them every year. The dry sleeve engines never had a reputation here for being durable for heavy tillage, and yet almost every farm had one. He never used his as a primary tillage tractor. His 8N was a 1952 model that he purchased in 1955 after the neighbor who bought it new traded it in to the local Massey dealer. He always plowed with the 1950 model A John Deere and several two cylinders after this one later on. The Ford was a secondary tractor, as most were in this area. He had a three point John Deere two row planter and that was the Ford’s main job back then. I know some farms probably did depend on small Ford’s to do all their work, but not many, if any did here. It has been 50 years since this tractor has been overhauled and it still runs good. Most of the problems that I ever saw with the brakes on these tractors was caused by leaking axle seals. I always thought the brakes were adequate if they weren’t oil soaked. If a person can do some/most of their own wrenching these tractors, in my opinion, can still be useful. Just the same way an old IH, JD, Allis or other can still be useful. The problem I see around here is people who don’t even know which end is up when it comes to farm machinery buy an old tractor because it is “cheap”. I have seen hobby farmers and small operators do the same thing. They decide that a 986 would be more than adequate, so they start tractor shopping and run across a 4366. They think they are the same price so obviously a 4366 would be the better choice. Then when problems inevitably occur they claim they are junk and never were any good. All this not realizing the tractors they purchased no matter the color is 40-75+ years old and it is just worn from years of hard use. Just my two cents. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They may only last 150 hours running a 2 bottom plow but my neighbors used them as hay tractors for years between rebuilds. They typically had a 40 acre cattle farm. They put up hay, brushoged, worked the garden up etc. 

I never saw one doing real tillage. Get an H or M for tillage.

Thx-Ace 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

I don’t know how many hours most farmers ran them in a year here. I very distinctly remember hearing my grandfather tell me many times that people here who used them to plow very much overhauled them every year. The dry sleeve engines never had a reputation here for being durable for heavy tillage, and yet almost every farm had one. He never used his as a primary tillage tractor. His 8N was a 1952 model that he purchased in 1955 after the neighbor who bought it new traded it in to the local Massey dealer. He always plowed with the 1950 model A John Deere and several two cylinders after this one later on. The Ford was a secondary tractor, as most were in this area. He had a three point John Deere two row planter and that was the Ford’s main job back then. I know some farms probably did depend on small Ford’s to do all their work, but not many, if any did here. It has been 50 years since this tractor has been overhauled and it still runs good. Most of the problems that I ever saw with the brakes on these tractors was caused by leaking axle seals. I always thought the brakes were adequate if they weren’t oil soaked. If a person can do some/most of their own wrenching these tractors, in my opinion, can still be useful. Just the same way an old IH, JD, Allis or other can still be useful. The problem I see around here is people who don’t even know which end is up when it comes to farm machinery buy an old tractor because it is “cheap”. Then when problems inevitably occur they claim they are junk and never were any good. All this not realizing it is 40-75 years old and it is just worn from years of hard use. Just my two cents. 

  There was a salesman at the local NH dealer around 25 years ago that had his career go back to around the late 1940's selling Ford agricultural.  His assessment for around these parts was that there were more than a few farms that solely relied on a N series tractor or tractors to do all of a farm's work.  Not that it lasted long as farms grew and simply needed more power than what one or two N's would offer. As a side note he told me about a year (1951?) where he won a sales incentive from Ford which included a trip and some cash for exceeding a goal in terms of selling 8N's.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Rawleigh99 said:

They beat looking at the south end of a northbound mule all day, but that is about all I can say for them!!!!

  They were OK for what they were.  They were never going to take the place of a M in terms of capability.  If I had to guess given the post WWII boom into the 1950's that many new 8N's found their way onto a few acres that somebody had on the edge of town back then.  They worked a garden, fetched firewood and plowed snow which they were fine for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ive fixed up a few 8ns and they really don't pull any money.  They sure can't skid logs or pull a much of a disc or any trailing implements either but, I  suppose  that's not their  thing. They're nice little mowers with an overrun clutch.  The last one I had I traded for my latest Farmall M.  With that M I have skidded tons of sawlogs for the mill plus lots of firewood, pulled my 3 bottom Little Genius,  a 9' disc, plus the Brady Crop Chopper.  The 8n is fine for its size, just that it's size is small.  I had a Dearborn cultivator for the 8n and did roadside stand vegetables but I much preferred using the A to cultivate.  If I needed 2 rows or more,  an H or even an old B would be 20 times better for cultivating.  I  don't have anything against them, they're easy to work on but just not my cup of tea.  Sit on one, and if you like it, get it!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you pay any attention to the Mecum "Gone Farmin" auctions twice a year in Davenport, Iowa,  the bottom has dropped out of the 8-2-9 N markets.

   And just like Barrett-Jackson in Scotsdale, AZ, Mecum sets the market.

   Think there were only 4 N-Fords around where I grew up. Neighbor across the road and 2 taking up shed space, one even had a FUNK OHV 6 cyl truck engine.  The FS feed mill had one for snow removal till it needed work, then it got scrapped and work hired done. And small local trucking guy had one to load his dumptruck, '63 C-60 Chevy.

    Neighbor still uses his Oliver Super 77 around his farm.  My M would do ANYTHING that Oliver could do,  just take a WHOLE lotta work to get it out of the shop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here in ohio a solid, working 8n is worth about $1200-1500. A restored one is $2200-2500. If you need a three point hitch there isn't much else available in that price range. If you dont need the three point for that same money you can have an H or sometimes even an M, or a JD B or A. Those are a lot better tractors for the money if you dont need the three point. We still have and use a JD A for raking and tedding hay, running the bale elevator and pulling wagons. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sold a good running but smokey 2N last winter, loader with trip bucket, snow plow, weight box and a set of Bombardier tracks. Had done brakes and axle seals, rewired it, new carb, fresh battery, I almost think i had the generator rebuilt. And it lived indoors. I hated plowing snow with it, needed a shower and a change of clothes after running it, with the underslung exhaust and the smoking it made your eyes water, tried it on the wood splitter but every time the splitter cycled it would belch smoke , could have fixed that but hated the tractor. Got 24 or 2600 , i can’t remember now, best thing ever! ... about 10%  of a Kubota. For a tractor that was 5 % of one. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

I sold a good running but smokey 2N last winter, loader with trip bucket, snow plow, weight box and a set of Bombardier tracks. Had done brakes and axle seals, rewired it, new carb, fresh battery, I almost think i had the generator rebuilt. And it lived indoors. I hated plowing snow with it, needed a shower and a change of clothes after running it, with the underslung exhaust and the smoking it made your eyes water, tried it on the wood splitter but every time the splitter cycled it would belch smoke , could have fixed that but hated the tractor. Got 24 or 2600 , i can’t remember now, best thing ever! ... about 10%  of a Kubota. For a tractor that was 5 % of one. 

The old 8N did something that Kubota is incapable of, running quietly.

Every Kubota I have ever heard running , was noisy as heck, wonder why tractor noise is never discussed.

They should be sold with Mickey Mouse ears!

 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funny but I have an M sitting here on a flat tire. Flat because it's an M and isn't worth fixing. Fix and it will sit there without being used anyway. Haven't run it now in 4 or 5 years. My N's when I still had them I ran each one about 50-75 hours a year. And the M sat there.

The thing that makes most of you guys mad is that the Ford N series outsold anything IH made. It's a lot of fun egging you guys on about it too. I found another button to push with you guys is the fact I don't much care for the letter series IH tractors. If IH made it and it's older than the 60 series I don't want it. 

Gotta rebuild the backhoe engine thins year. I'm thinking once it's running again of maybe just digging a hole and hiding the M eye sore. The N's are gone replaced with a Ford 860 and a zero turn. 

I know that old tractor prices here have crashed. What was a 2000 dollar 8N is now 800-1000. Fully restore might bring 1500-1800. Haven't seen a bare H or M bring over 1000 in a while. Last running H I saw sell at auction looked pretty good and ran well. Rubber was OK. 600 bucks. Real nice M with PS and an all hydraulic loader, new rear tires brought 1200. Heck the rear tires cost more than that!

 

Rick

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, oldtanker said:

The thing that makes most of you guys mad is that the Ford N series outsold anything IH made. It's a lot of fun egging you guys on about it too. I found another button to push with you guys is the fact I don't much care for the letter series IH tractors. If IH made it and it's older than the 60 series I don't want it. 

No, not really, not out sold, just more made than any one model IH built. The N series comprising of the 9N, 2N, and 8N were one model of tractor improved with each new designation. Total production of about 831,000.  IH had the A, B, C, H and M in that time period with total production in the 900,000 range for the A,B,  H and M. Add in the C and W standards and the numbers go up more. If Ford had multiple models then most likely the N series numbers would have been lower.  The Farmall H was and still holds the title of best selling row crop tractor. 

I will say that of course a 3 point hitch makes a tractor more useful than a tractor without, Which is why I installed one on my H!

Hope you are having a good Memorial Day Rick, just lightly pushing your button! ?

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, TomH said:

No, not really, not out sold, just more made than any one model IH built. The N series comprising of the 9N, 2N, and 8N were one model of tractor improved with each new designation. Total production of about 731,000.  IH had the A, B, C, H and M in that time period with total production in the 900,000 range for the A, H and M. Add in the C and W standards and the numbers go up more. If Ford had multiple models then most likely the N series numbers would have been lower.  The Farmall H was and still holds the title of best selling row crop tractor. 

I will say that of course a 3 point hitch makes a tractor more useful than a tractor without, Which is why I installed one on my H!

Hope you are having a good Memorial Day Rick, just lightly pushing your button! ?

And now to rub salt into the wound....and in spite of the H IH failed and closed it's doors.

Farmall sold H and SH...about 420,000 units from 1939 to 1954.

Ford 8N from 1948 to 1952 about 524,000 units.

You'd think that by 1948 farmers would have gotten the word about what a poor tractor the N series were and they all would have been buying H's?! Or they all sold as chore tractors. Makes me wonder who bought all those Deerborn implements I see at auction all the time. Heck for every old IH 1 or 2 bottom plows I see up for sale I must see at lease 3-4 2 bottom Deerborn plows. But no one bought those to do any fieldwork with?. Musta been bought as yard art ?.

Good Memorial Day? I broke my tailbone doing something stupid. They can't do a damned thing for you. So I'm sitting at home doing nothing......

 

Hope you are enjoying your day.

 

Rick

 

 

 

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, ihrondiesel said:

Pictures of your M, Rick?

Maybe later. I'm not walking out there right now.

 

Rick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rick,

    Sorry your banged up! Hope you heal up quickly.

How is the shop coming? 

  I'm not a N hater. It appears to me they were used on a lot of farms as a utility, especially after they had been around a few years and newer and bigger stuff came out. We all have to remember things were a lot different then. Farming practices,  building sizes, farm sizes for that matter also. The Ns could get in low small buildings of the day so I suppose loaders made sense to clean small livestock buildings.  A lot got Bush mowers mounted in the summer and blades in the winter. Yes a lot had tillage implements early in life and were sole power on small farms for a number or years. But for heavy tillage I believe ih and others did outshine them.  And different parts of the country made the Ford a better or worse  choice as well. I can see them being good for a small tobacco operation?

   In their day and time they had a place and still can if you like them and don't mind working around their short comings.

I too would like to see a picture of your M when you feel up to it. 

46 minutes ago, oldtanker said:

Good Memorial Day? I broke my tailbone doing something stupid. They can't do a damned thing for you. So I'm sitting at home doing nothing......

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, oldtanker said:

And now to rub salt into the wound....and in spite of the H IH failed and closed it's doors.

Farmall sold H and SH...about 420,000 units from 1939 to 1954.

Ford 8N from 1948 to 1952 about 524,000 units.

You'd think that by 1948 farmers would have gotten the word about what a poor tractor the N series were and they all would have been buying H's?! Or they all sold as chore tractors. Makes me wonder who bought all those Deerborn implements I see at auction all the time. Heck for every old IH 1 or 2 bottom plows I see up for sale I must see at lease 3-4 2 bottom Deerborn plows. But no one bought those to do any fieldwork with?. Musta been bought as yard art ?.

Good Memorial Day? I broke my tailbone doing something stupid. They can't do a damned thing for you. So I'm sitting at home doing nothing......

 

Hope you are enjoying your day.

 

Rick

 

 

 

I guess you could say that in spite of the N series success Ford farm equipment suffered the same fate as IH. You can no more buy a brand new Ford tractor than a brand new IH. By this logic the John Deere Two cylinder tractors are the only ones that were any good since they were built through the end of the 1950’s and the company is still in tact? I don’t see what one has to do with the other. If lack of a three point hitch is someone’s main complaint this is easily solved today with the availability of attachments for many old tractors. 
 

i think farmers in the past were much more astute than most people give them credit for. Just because a Ford salesman said it was a two plow tractor doesn’t mean that every farmer believed them. They knew what they were, especially by 1948. My grandfather had a Dearborn plow as well, but did not use the 8N as a primary plow tractor. Just because they won’t pull two bottoms as well as Ford claimed doesn’t mean they are useless either. I remember him recalling with laughter about many salesman's claims back then. Specifically how long it took to attach/remove fully mounted corn pickers and use the tractor for a different purpose that often required different tread spacing. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, oldtanker said:

Funny but I have an M sitting here on a flat tire. Flat because it's an M and isn't worth fixing. Fix and it will sit there without being used anyway. Haven't run it now in 4 or 5 years. My N's when I still had them I ran each one about 50-75 hours a year. And the M sat there.

The thing that makes most of you guys mad is that the Ford N series outsold anything IH made. It's a lot of fun egging you guys on about it too. I found another button to push with you guys is the fact I don't much care for the letter series IH tractors. If IH made it and it's older than the 60 series I don't want it. 

Gotta rebuild the backhoe engine thins year. I'm thinking once it's running again of maybe just digging a hole and hiding the M eye sore. The N's are gone replaced with a Ford 860 and a zero turn. 

I know that old tractor prices here have crashed. What was a 2000 dollar 8N is now 800-1000. Fully restore might bring 1500-1800. Haven't seen a bare H or M bring over 1000 in a while. Last running H I saw sell at auction looked pretty good and ran well. Rubber was OK. 600 bucks. Real nice M with PS and an all hydraulic loader, new rear tires brought 1200. Heck the rear tires cost more than that!

 

Rick

 

Comparing them to An H or M isn't really a fair comparison as i have pointed out, the Ferguson 3 point wasn't more universal in 1939, but drawbar implements were , reall an A/B/C would be a more fair comparison as i do not believe much heavy tillage ever was done with an N, just as the N had a host of implements to go along so did the smaller letter series, along with many other manufacturers, personally i have always had a thing for an Allis G, i maintain that the 3 point is an OK design compared to the other proprietary hitches of the day, between fords low price, sales internationally and the sheer volume that sold once they wore out beyond practical usage there were still implements to be used,fords patents ran out first and they had the good sense to get outside companies to manufacture implements for them. If you have a huge market for your new tractor if it will work with old implements farmers have already it makes sense to copy that hitch design. 
i don't hate the ford due to IH loyalty, because i have none, i hate the ford because it sucked, I have experience working on them, using them and i will tell you i hate them, 3 points or not. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Massey Harris te20 and 35 very similar in fact the same and as my father told me bloody useless when they were new can see why they would be any better now they are old,they were running TD40 TD9. W9 s and Oliver 80s at the time had a demo with one on a2 furrow 3point linkage plough went 150 yards on clay soil and died, don't call us we will call you hardly fair against that line up but hey-ho there you go

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...