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Subject: My first tractor (8n)

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Jeff    Posted 06-24-2018 at 00:49:59 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • My first tractor (8n)
  • Hello all,
    Just acquired a '48 8N from my dad who got it from his dad. I'm planning on using it on my small horse farm.

    It's in good condition, starts right up, runs good, but has a few issues I have questions about. First up, it sounds like the engine misses at all RPMs and under load. My dad said it's done that as far as he can remember but it has always ran good enough without any noticable loss in power. If you hold the choke out a little it doesn't do it as much. I suspect something in the distributor is amiss. Points maybe? It doesn't have muffler. Can there lack of back pressure cause issues?

    The other issue is the left brake sometimes stays down after being pressed. Brake doesn't seem to be applied though. I'm guessing a weak return spring if there is such a thing.

    Last thing for now, and this may be normal, but is the clutch supposed to be so darn hard to press? I just drove it around a bit to get used to it and that little bit gave my left leg a workout!

    The engine was professionally rebuilt in 1999, but I'm not sure what all they did. It hasn't been used much since then. Carb has been rebuilt twice.Anyway, thanks for any help. Any newbie advice, tips and tricks, or maintenance tips to get it ready for work again would be great!

    steveVa    Posted 06-24-2018 at 22:44:27 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • You say It sounds like it misses but with no loss of power.
    You may have an exhaust leak at the number 4 cylinder. It will sound like a miss but the tractor will run fine. Common item with an 8n.

    Jeff    Posted 06-24-2018 at 23:57:11 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • Thanks! I'll check it out!

    PatrickB    Posted 06-24-2018 at 09:50:59 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • Jeff, when your in the "how-to" section of this site you might want to read about straightening a radius rod. And, not to be negative, I would suggest using heavier hold downs when trailering the tractor.
    I wish my N looked that good.

    Jeff    Posted 06-24-2018 at 10:28:35 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • Thanks Patrick! Trust me, I wish I had heavier tie downs at the time. I was a bit nervous about that but fortunately it was only a 30 minute drive.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 06-24-2018 at 11:15:46 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • One should check with their state's laws on transporting heavy equipment too. I don't know if those straps are legal or not. Here in Michigan you must have adequate chains and binders. I've seen some of the fabric straps but are HD and think they are OK. I'd also politely suggest to distribute the weight of the tractor better on the trailer. Have the rear axle of the tractor directly centered over the rear axle of the trailer.

    Tim Daley(MI)

    carl nny    Posted 06-25-2018 at 15:41:10 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • Tim, I agree with your positioning of the tractor if it is drove on . His tractor is backed on..Not sure when backed on, never have hauled that way.

    r geiger    Posted 06-24-2018 at 09:10:57 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • I can mow for an hour and only use the clutch once, so I don't notice it being stiff. my left brake pedal does what yours does also.Doubt that your tires are the original tires. Good looking tractor. I would install a muffler on it tho. Enjoy!!

    Jeff    Posted 06-24-2018 at 10:32:06 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • Thanks Geiger! My dad was always into restoring classic cars so he couldn't leave the tractor go lol.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 06-24-2018 at 04:49:16 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • Welcome aboard! Nice 8N ya got there. I see an original grille guard/bumper -optional dealer accessory, never an OEM stock item. You don't see many straight ones. The tires are very good. Turf tires on the rear are no longer made and good for when mowing your lawn, not so good when plowing a field. The 16" fronts were also options, intended to use with a FEL. You say it is a '48 Model so we know by that it is a front mount distributor. Next important thing to know is if it is still the original 6-VOLT/POSITIVE GROUND electrical system or has it been switched over to a 12-VOLT/NEG GRN system? Either way, if it isn't wired correctly, you will have issues. Muckin' with the choke lever to make it run could be a carb issue. When was the last time a rebuild was performed? Missing could be electrically related or fuel related. Time to do a thorough root cause problem solving procedure. You say it has been 'like this' since your dad had it. Also realize that just because some 'professional' worked on your tractor does not mean they knew about old Fords and did things correctly. Many pro car shops are OK with cars, but tractors, especially 6V/POS GRN Fords, confuse them, so the first thing they do is switch over to 12V. I don't know very many 'pro' shops who don't take shortcuts, think their methods are the way to go, and 99.98% of the time are incorrect set ups. There fellas that do know what is what are a minority these days, and most don't own their shops. We have a ton of DIY projects in our HOW-TO's forum. Suggest you A) get the essential owner/operator manuals for your 8N; B) get a copy of Brice(VA)'s "75 Tips for N-Owners"; and C) download a copy of "WIRING PICTOGRAMS by JMOR" from 'Electrical' to start with. Don't buy any new parts until root cause is determined. If you need your carb and distributor rebuilt, I can help -email is open.

    FORD 8N TRACTOR ESSENTIAL OWNER/OPERATOR MANUALS:

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Jeff    Posted 06-24-2018 at 08:53:50 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • Thanks Tim! It's hard to see in the picture but the grill guard is bent lol. My dad believes the tires are original to the tractor also, but they are cracked throughout pretty badly. I need R1's for my property anyway. It is still a 6 Volt system but has been converted to a negative ground. My dad was adamant that the 6 volt system was adequate and the only reason manufacturers switched to 12 volt was to save money on the thinner/lighter wires etc. I think the carb was rebuilt in 2015. It still runs with the choke fully in, but when pulled out slightly the engine miss is a little less.

    I have the original manual, the I&T Ford shop manual, and a parts catalog. I've also been reading the "75 tips for N-Owners". I've pretty much been on an internet information binge the last few days lol.

    Fortunately I'm a mechanically inclined individual thank to my dad so I'm not afraid to dig in where needed. I've included an image of the wiring diagram on this tractor. Please let me know if you see any flaws. Thanks again for your input Tim!

    Jack - Iowa    Posted 06-24-2018 at 20:58:46 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • Jeff,

    Disregard my previous post! MY ERROR! It's been over 30 years since I owned a 8N. Currently own a 2N and a 860. Forgotten, if I ever knew, the 8N had a starter solenoid. The 2N did not.

    Jack

    Jack - Iowa    Posted 06-24-2018 at 18:55:26 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • Jeff,

    Amazed the other's did not pick up on this! Your diagram shows a Starter Solenoid and a Starter Push Button.

    Those are NOT factory original and likely means your safety which keeps the tractor from starting in gear has been disabled. BE VERY CAREFUL! These tractors generally start easily and will run over you.

    Good Luck,

    Jack

    Jeff    Posted 06-24-2018 at 20:47:11 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • I'm not sure when or why things were changed. My dad actually drew the diagram. One thing I know for sure is the starter button can NOT be pressed (locked out) when in gear. When in neutral, the starter button can be pressed and the starter will crank but the engine will only start when the ignition switch (key switch) is turned on.

    Another thing he added, and I'm not sure if the diagram depicts this, is a toggle switch to disable the ignition switch. My grandparents had 53 grand children so he wanted to ensure the it couldn't accidentally be started by a youngin playing on the tractor.

    K.LaRue-VA    Posted 06-24-2018 at 20:38:04 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • The wiring sketch looks like a standard 6 volt 8N system to me. Hitting the zerks with some grease might "fix" the lazy brake pedal. Check the linkage for the clutch pedal under the left footboard. If it broke, that may have been cobbled together any number of ways that might increase pedal effort.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 06-24-2018 at 11:09:40 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • Yes as TOH pointed out, your sketch does show it to be wired as a positive ground system. Unless you switched something, nothing wrong with it as is. The only problem would be when switching the battery ground you now need to polarize the generator so it spins the right way. That's why when doing a motoring test always apply power as it will be used as. If 6V/POS GRN, power is applied to the ARM terminal via the NEG battery connection. The GROUND is made via the positive connection to the FILED terminal. Those tires as I said are rear Turf Tires, never an original Ford Tractor item. Firestone made a similar tire back in 1947-1950 but they didn't call them TURF TIRES, like 12 x 24. The fronts are 5.50 or 6.00 x 16 style, not OEM to the 8N but offered as optional dealer accessory items. The original sizes were; F = 4 x 19 single rib style and B = 10 x 28, now listed as 11.2 x 28 style. Also as I mentioned, engine miss is most likely a carb setting issue. Get a new muffler/exhaust pipe and clamp installed. Note clamp goes on one way - The original VR was supplied by AUTO-LITE -see picture. It was their p/n as VRR-4008-A used with the 3-wire/3-brush generators with 11.5 AMP output. The 20 AMP generator used the AUTO-LITE VAZ-4008 VR. There were a few reasons why the industry switched to 12 volt systems - faster starting, brighter lights, and able to power 8-Track players...... ; > ) GRIN, and other 12V accessories like pumps and sprayers, for just a few examples. I don't think it was a conspiracy to save on costs with thinner wires/cables.

    ORIGINAL EARLY 8N WIRING SCHEMATIC:


    RESTORED 8N DASH WIRING & AUTOLITE VRR-4008 VOLTAGE REGULATOR:

    MY EARLY 1948 RESTORED FORD 8N WITH REPOP FIRESTONE TIRES:


    Tim Daley(MI)

    TheOldHokie    Posted 06-24-2018 at 09:38:31 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • The diagram shows + ground - perhaps a drafting error? You can draw a lucid circuit diagram so you are no dummy when it comes to electricity. In any event it is working fine and the choice of grounding polarity doesn't matter a wit - leave it alone.

    Your engine miss sounds like a fuel issue and do put a muffler on it.

    TOH

    Jeff    Posted 06-24-2018 at 20:51:11 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: My first tractor (8n)
  • Wish I could take the credit but my dad drew it

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