In Reply to: Confirming year of 8n posted by Barry on August 28, 2020 at 19:04:39:
Yep -what Bruce and Ken said. ¡ó 8N-281542 ¡ó is a 1950 Model and should have the angle (side) mount distributor. S/N would have the diamond prefix and suffix codes to designate cast iron sleeves were now used. If you don't have the Proofmeter on RH lower dash, no port for it, then it never had one. You can also verify by the casting date code tag on the starter pocket. The Date Code Tag will have a letter, A-L for month, one or two digits for day of month, and a single digit for year engine block was cast. For example, my early 8N has engine date code tag of "I167" which defines block as cast on September 16, 1947. There is also a date code tag on the bottom of the aluminum hydraulic pump housing which should be close to engine date tag code and s/n's. There can also be date tags on the axle trumpets as well. There were a lot of big changes in 1950. I can help you with your restoration - my email is open. I have many OEM 8N parts -carbs, generators, VR's, starters, distributors, gauges, lights, tools, stay bars, stabilizer brackets, and more. Here' more on engine serial numbers and casting code date tags:
Here¡¯s how it worked: Engine blocks were cast at the Rouge Plant without any serial numbers stamped; those came later. Blocks were set aside in a hold area to cure for 30 days. It¡¯s just the nature of the beast. Cast Iron requires a 30 day green period of which to cure otherwise it is too brittle to machine. It is similar to seasoning wood. If you cut green wood, it won¡¯t burn. It must be seasoned for a period before it will burn. The next step is to pull engine blocks that have cured at random from the hold area to the machining area. Engine blocks get fully machined, cleaned, and then set in another hold area, still unmarked. Next, blocks get pulled at random to the engine assembly area where they are fully assembled and sent to yet another hold area. Once assembled, engines get pulled at random to the QC Test Area where they are put on special machines to be fully tested for function and gone through a break-in period. If and only when the engine passes QC Inspection/Testing is it then given a hand stamped serial number and gone to another hold area at random, to then wait to be pulled for final assembly on the line. Serial numbers are stamped in sequential order, BUT they are not maintained in any particular sequential order. A functional, assembled QC approved engine was of no concern to staying in any particular order. If at QC Testing an engine failed, it was either sent to a repair shop and retested or if unusable, would be scrapped out. Its only purpose was to ID the engine block whose serial numbers were technically meant to ID the vehicle serial number. Since many blocks were swapped out, an 8N s/n engine block could have been switched out to a different 8N or even a 9N or 2N and vice versa. Note the date on this Service Bulletin. S/N¡¯s were used on all Ford engines, not just tractors. Also, the capital letter ¡®I¡¯ was used for the numeral ¡®1¡¯; the lower case letter ¡®b¡¯ was sued for the numeral ¡®6¡¯ and the inverted ¡®b¡¯ was used for the numeral ¡®9¡¯. Before April, 1950 cylinder liners were made of steel and thus stamped with a STAR (*) prefix and suffix. Post 1950 Ford changed to cast iron sleeves and then changed to a DIAMOND (<>) symbol. However, in the case of casting code date tag bosses used to identify casting part numbers; date of pouring; and/or foundry trademarks, the numerals used are a different character font from the serial number hand stamps. They should be because the method used on casting date code tag bosses is different than the hand stamp method. The characters and numerals are raised on a bar/band prepared prior to casting and inserted with screws in the sand mold prior to pouring. Each day¡¯s production would have the same tag. It was how Ford could track green castings. My early s/n 1948 8N shows engine casting code as ¡°I167¡±. We know 8N production began in July, 1947, so a September 16, 1947 casting code would coincide. Bear in mind that cast iron requires about a thirty day "curing" period, sort of like "seasoning" wood, before it can be machined otherwise it is too brittle and can create problems with machinery such as broken tooling as well as scrap castings. That being said, don't assume because your engine casting code date boss shows September 16, 1947 your tractor was built on that date, it wasn't. Only the engine block was cast on that date. After cast iron parts were ¡®seasoned¡¯ for at least 30 days ¨Can inherent property of cast iron is it is brittle and requires 30 days curing before it can be machined ¨C then the part, engine block in this case, was machined, cleaned, assembled, then tested in the QC department, and if it passed testing, would now and only now get a serial number hand stamp, not before, not after. Good engines were sent to a hold area where they would be pulled at random and moved to the assembly line to be installed in the tractor. Engines that failed the testing were sent to another hold area to be further scrutinized as to why they failed and fixed if possible then back through the test procedure again. If unrepairable, they were scrapped out.
FORD ENGINE BLOCK SERIAL NUMBER HAND STAMPS:
FORD N-SERIES TRACTOR ENGINE BLOCK SERIAL NUMBER LOCATION:
EARLY 8N ENGINE CASTING DATE CODE BOSS, SEPTEMBER 16, 1947:
* The Engine Casting Date Code ID Tag is affixed on the outside of the starter pocket as it is all part if the casting block. Note, there was no serial number on castings yet. ID Date Code Tags were so parts could be tracked by day to allow a 30 day green period.