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Subject: In the market for an 8N

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David    Posted 06-14-2017 at 22:02:25 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • In the market for an 8N
  • Recently bought some land that I need to maintain, and have decided an 8N would be a fun way to do it. As I venture out into this new world of searching for a nice 8N, I could use some advice on what to look for, and what to avoid.

    It seems like the price range can vary widely, even for seemingly similar tractors. I'd prefer a fairly recent restoration so I don't need to worry about new paint. I'm mechanically inclined (a car guy for years) but really don't want another project. I want something that looks cool and works.

    Will be used for brush cutting, mild blade work and snow removal.

    Would appreciate hearing from experienced owners. Thanks!

    36 coupe    Posted 06-22-2017 at 16:16:17 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • I passed over 8ns. bought a 640.More HP easier to work on.

    David    Posted 06-18-2017 at 21:06:19 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • Well, looks like I'll be joining the 8N family. The advice and comments shared were all appreciated, including the advice to look at other options. In the end I decided to stick with the 8N because, well, because I think they're cool.

    I have agreed to purchase a '47 and pick it up later this week. The history I have on it is that it spent its entire life in NE Wisconsin. I will be the 4th owner. Owner #2 was a Ford tractor mechanic, and he bought it to restore. He went through entire drivetrain including the rear end and hydraulics. Hardened seats and correct valves were installed to handle unleaded gas. 40-45 psi oil pressure at idle running 30wt oil. Owner #3, who lived a quarter mile down the road, painted it. Original sheet metal, with all its bumps and wear. Everything works as it should, runs great! A solid, honest ol' girl.

    Drove it, and had a ball. I worked the price down due to pretty worn rear tires and the start of a rear axle seal leak.

    Thanks again everyone for your help. The advice on things to look for really helped.

    Jack - Iowa    Posted 06-16-2017 at 22:52:27 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • I have had a 2N for almost 20 years. 20 years before that I had a 8N. When I decided I really needed a little more than the 2N my brother talked me into looking at the 100 series.

    Ended up with a 860. This one has been beat up and abused but has given me great service now for over 14 years. The two stage clutch was not comfortable for me at first but I solved that by raising the seat 4 inches.

    The live PTO is worth it's weight in gold in my opinion. However if you're looking for a road tractor, the 2N with Sherman overdrive is much faster.

    Good Luck,


    K.LaRue-VA    Posted 06-16-2017 at 14:00:27 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • It is very smart to do the research up-front. Many people pay too much for a "restored" 8N, spend a bunch of time and money the first time it won't start, get thoroughly disgusted, then trade-up to something more modern. If you really don't want another project, (and want a tractor that just works) it is hard to beat the small 3-cylinder diesels. Antique gas engines were made when frequent tune-ups were standard procedure. Keeping antique gas engines running right takes a lot of work compared to any of the modern gas or diesel engines we have become used to. I currently have a 2N, 8N, a Ford 3000, and a Flathead V8-8N that will be ready to crank up and drive in the next week or two. My tractors all have gas engines. They all require tune-up work. That is OK with me. I thoroughly enjoy working on my tractors as much as working with them.

    Ultradog MN    Posted 06-16-2017 at 08:51:39 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • This post may ruffle a few feathers here but so be it.
    First, let me give you a few attaboys here for doing your homework BEFORE you buy a tractor rather than after.
    You don't say how much knowledge and experience you have with tractors so if I presume you have little, forgive me.
    Ns are great, small tractors that will do a Lot of useful work for you. But I would not buy one. For about the same money as an 8N you can buy an NAA/ Jubilee.
    A Jubilee will have live hydraulics which when you know more about tractors you will agree is a big deal.
    If you go one model newer than a Jubilee youll get the same live hyds and depending on how it was optioned, you might get more gears, live PTO and maybe power steering. You will also get at least 40% more horsepower from a more modern engine that has overhead valves vs a flat head on an N.
    All of these options will make your tractor more capable, give it better longevity and make your work easier.
    I would definitely steer you away from a "restored" tractor of any type. Too many shysters just wash the grime off of one, squirt some pretty paint on it and call it restored - and add $1500-$2000 to the price. A clean, unrestored tractor is a far BETTER value.
    I always say the next best thing to getting a tractor yourself is seeing a friend get one.
    If you were my best friend I would definitely try to steer you away from a restored 8N and have you buy a clean, honest 600, 801, 2000, 3000 or 4000. They are much more capable tractors that can be had for about the same (or less) $ than a restored N.

    Jim in Montana    Posted 06-16-2017 at 05:10:27 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • David,
    I see you have had a lot of good advice. However, I will add my two cents worth. I have a 52 8N, with a Doze Blade for the front.

    I might suggest that when exploring the worth of a "N", sometimes looks/paint is not so important. I found that a strong, good running, tractor is much more important than a pretty one. To me the hydraulics, clutch, compression, and transmission is the MOST important items. Mine was in great mechanical shape, but certainly not very pretty. Ugly, actually. And, I have grown to love it's non-beauty.

    Just some thoughts for you,

    Good luck,

    David    Posted 06-15-2017 at 22:54:22 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • Thanks everyone for the advice and comments! Very much appreciated.

    I've noticed many advertised do not have a blade or other implements. Kind of hard to confirm everything works on them without something to play with.

    Also, have to consider the added cost of the implements I need like a brush/grass cutter and blade.

    Rustyal    Posted 06-15-2017 at 17:29:52 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • You can plan on doing repairs. Even on a restored tractor.

    Farmer Brown    Posted 06-15-2017 at 15:14:07 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • Be suspicious if there is not something heavy attached. You'll have no way of knowing how good the hydraulics are.

    Ozlander    Posted 06-15-2017 at 13:15:09 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • While the 8N is a fairly good tractor, I would rule out a NAA or 300 ford.
    Should be about the same price, but more features.

    Ozlander    Posted 06-15-2017 at 13:17:21 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • That should have been, "would not rule out"

    Dean    Posted 06-15-2017 at 09:24:33 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • FWIW: Most buyers will pay dearly for a pressure wash paint job, which is of little value, but will not pay for substantial mechanical work.

    I would look for a 51 or 52 with a Sherman combination transmission, good rims and tires and a proper flat-finned industrial core radiator, preferably OEM.

    I would verify that it starts easily, whether hot or cold, does not smoke, does not leak badly (nearly all will drip a bit), has properly functioning brakes, functioning charging system and relatively tight steering. I would avoid any that have evidence of worn hubs/axles or previous FEL work.

    Verify that the lift will lift and hold a heavy implement such as a rotary cutter with the engine (or PTO) off. If possible, do this when the oil is fully up to operating temperature.

    Of course, you will want to do a compression test and inspect all fluids.

    Paint is of little value to me unless done properly, which is rare, and is good camouflage to hide other issues. Unless I well know the seller, I would rarely consider one that has a recent pressure wash paint job.


    Ed Gooding (VA)    Posted 06-15-2017 at 06:55:26 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • John Smith wrote a nice FAQ entry that may be of help to you, David.

    David    Posted 06-15-2017 at 22:48:10 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • The FAQ document was great! Thank you. The write up on things to check was a great list of things to check out and inspect. A lot there!

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 06-15-2017 at 06:28:30 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: In the market for an 8N
  • Welcome to the wonderful world of Ford Tractors. For what you want to do, an 8N is a good choice -4-speed, Position Control, and 20 more improvements over the previous 9N and 2N models. Now, if unfamiliar with these old N's, many of us suggest you first get the essential Ford N-Series Tractor manuals, three in particular: The I&T F-04 Manual; the Operator's Manual, which release will depend on which model year you end up with; and a copy of the '39-'53 MPC (Master Parts Catalog). We have a few of these for download in our MANUALS forum. The others are good too -dealers service manual and a Dennis Carpenter Parts Catalog. Read them like your Bible. SAFETY issues are very important -know the proper method for pulling -flipping over can be fatal is pulling the wrong way. We also have our HOW-TO's forum with many DIY projects and a ton of goo d info on PM for these old tractors. You also can ask any questions on the N-BOARD. As far as which 8N model to get, I would lean towards a later one; a mid 1950-1952 model with the side mount distributor. These are better than the previous front-mount distributor models. I wouldn't be concerned with 'good paint' -a new paint job doesn't ensure the machine is mechanically in good shape. Often sellers apply a rattle can paint job to mask other problems like oil leaks and cracked blocks. You will want a machine that isn't ready for an engine rebuild, hydraulics work, tires good, steering good, electrical is not a spaghetti/convulsion nightmare, and more. Prices vary on regions, but a good running, non-restored machine goes for about $1500 or so; a restored unit will go for double that and up...Many have been converted from the original 6-volt/positive ground electrical systems to 12-volts with an alternator. Not necessarily a bad thing if done properly. You can get a copy of JMOR's Wiring Pictograms in our HOW-TOs to see the correct ways to do that. Get copy of Bruce(VA)'s 75 Tips For N-Owners as a reference on do's and don'ts too.


    Tim Daley(MI)

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