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Subject: Ford "Wartime" 2N

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Caleb    Posted 02-16-2023 at 11:21:56 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Ford "Wartime" 2N
  • Hi all, I'm new here... stumbled across this page in search of a 2N tractor to restore to wartime condition. I have not yet purchased a tractor as I am doing the research and parts availability legwork first.
    My current hang-up is that the 2N magnetos and particularly the magneto drives are hard to find. (I did take a look at the introduction to the "warhorse" pdf on this site. It was very useful.)
    In my searching, looking and pondering, I have been looking at the magneto drive and the side mount distributor drive on the N series tractors. It looks to me that they are very similar if not identical. It would also make sense to me that Ford would have used the magneto drive that they had already engineered when they updated to the side mount distributor.
    Can anyone confirm that they are the same? If they are the same, I have been able to find N series tractors with the side mount distributor, and if I could swap the distributor with the magneto, that would be awesome.
    As a sidenote, I am not looking to build a 100% perfect wartime 2N. I primarily want to build a functional 2N with the magneto ignition. If it ends up being built with parts outside of the wartime years, I am fine with that.
    I will try to attach two images of the distributor and the magneto drive for reference. I'll try to insert them, if that doesn't work, the links will be below that.
    I apologize for being so long winded. Thanks in advance,



    Tool Pro    Posted 02-19-2023 at 12:20:41 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Ford "Wartime" 2N
  • Caleb - You should post the parts you need on the ADS forum here for starters. Meantime, here is some valuable information on the magneto and the other warhorse special features if you don't already have them:


    FORD 9N-9700A CHOKE ROD:



    Your FORD MPC parts list and the I&T FO-4 Manual has a chapter on the MAGNETO and wiring.

    From MPC:

    Tom (WI)    Posted 02-17-2023 at 12:26:57 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Ford "Wartime" 2N
  • Hi all, looking for warhorse parts can take years and $$$$$ is really true. Took me about 10+ years but finally got them all but an original hand crank. Still on the lookout but can use what I have for now. Idler pulley and front wheels are a couple of the hardest parts that I have tried to locate. I had to do a 300 mile one way road trip for the front wheels but I would imagine that the idler can be fabricated. I do have an extra original mag and drive that I may be willing to part with if anyone would be interested. I also have a plug for the ammeter hole that I fabricated that can be welded or jb welded in place that I would part with also. Not sure if the mag is hot, have not tested it. E-mail is open. Good luck on you hunt for these parts and tractor.

    Tool Pro    Posted 02-18-2023 at 06:09:36 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Ford "Wartime" 2N
  • Yep, and equally, if not even more elusive, is the Ford-Ferguson MOTO-TUG! Most all units that survived have all been scarfed up by restorers now and parts are rare as hen's teeth today. As with many parts, they were not cast or stamped with a part number, date code ID tag, and/or the FORD logo so you have to had done your homework and know exactly what to look for. There is a guy on YTMAG ADS Forum with a 1939 9N for sale, no connection to me. I see a horizontal bar grille and 4-spoke steering wheel but those two early 9N parts are now repopped with good US quality and probably what he has, not an issue. Also note 32" rears on smooth hubs, but larger generator with the cutout, oval tube rad rods, and 16" fronts would not be on a '39.

    1939 9N AD: https://photos.yesterdaystractors.com/cgi-bin/photoads/classifieds.cgi?search_and_display_db_button=on&db_id=727781&query=retrieval

    The 2N-17040 Handcrank, used on the Warhorse, had a wood spinner handle and a spring loaded device to retain the crank in the kingpin. No electrics to start, you used the handcrank with the front choke lever to start the tractor with. Some guys made their own. I think Chris Eby did that so you might ask him. You can get a spring at Century Spring. There was a ho-made drawing of the crank somebody did years ago but it is wrong. The original crank was 11/16" in diameter but the repop drawing has it at 5/8". New, aftermarket cranks are sold at Just8Ns -see link. I don't know how accurate they are but you can add a spring and wood handle to make a warhorse crank.

    Caleb    Posted 02-17-2023 at 14:59:15 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Ford "Wartime" 2N
  • This one just sold today for $1300: https://www.equipmentfacts.com/listings/farm-equipment/auctions/online/220977141/ford-2n?_gac=1.53738202.1676258349.CjwKCAiAuaKfBhBtEiwAht6H76GfxT6xvknL7cXjEvpd4HMhGUWqOTEEjOilO0c_TOdni-Sl-nRBdRoC2sAQAvD_BwE They look like the original steel wheels to me, but I'm not sure. I missed the auction anyhow.

    Tool Pro    Posted 02-18-2023 at 05:23:57 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Ford "Wartime" 2N
  • You didn't miss anything, Caleb. That 2N is suspect; the auction guy didn't even list the serial number on block for one. The generator isn't for a FORD 2N tractor for another. Also, those rear wheels are not the steel wheels for a warhorse. They are the Tip-Toe aftermarket wheels that were sold and you added them to work with the existing wheels. There is a guy in The N-NEWS AD section with a 1942 2N with the steel wheels. You'd have to deal with him to get more info and get the s/n and pictures to determine if they are the correct steelies. Here is how his AD reads:

    "1942 9N Ford tractor, serial number 9N-90753, All steel wheels, built during WWII. It runs. $2500. Ed 903-987-4414 (TX)"

    His s/n confirms it is a 1942 9N and would fit the warhorse criteria if so. He may have other warhorse parts and didn't list them or just doesn't know. I have no connection to him, just spotted browsing thru the ADS. No pictures. Could kill two birds though with a '42 9N and the steel wheels. He's in TEXAS so you'd have to factor in hauling too. Good luck.

    Tool Pro    Posted 02-17-2023 at 09:22:57 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Ford "Wartime" 2N
  • Caleb-
    The FORD-FERGUSON 2N WARHORSE tractor was built on a 9N Tractor having the front mount distributor, and as stated already, the Magneto will not adapt to a later 8N engine after 1950 made with an Angle (Side) Mount distributor. The Magneto used was the FAIRBANKS-MORSE No. FMJ-4B73. I see them pop up on fleabay on occasion. There are however, several other special parts that were used on the 2N Warhorse that are even harder to locate for restorers. Some have spent ten or more years searching for these parts. There are a lot of old posts in the archives on the warhorse - plug in keywords '2N warhorse' and select 'ALL' from the MATCH box on the left then from the 'ALL' list on the right arrow down and select the N-Board forum by post numbers you want, and you can select and read the old posts. Veteran members like David 'Stumpy' Knowles and Chris Eby have restored 2N warhorse models and may be able to offer you advice and/or have some original items they'd part with. Here are some of the original 2N parts that were on the Warhorse. The steel wheels are pretty easy to find, they pop up all the time too, but all the rest are like tring to find a dinosaur egg.

    2N WARHORSE PARTS, inconclusive:
    No Electrics or Rubber
    Steel Wheels
    Idler & Pulley Assembly
    Marvel-Schebler TSX-38 Carb, with double throw choke lever
    Front Choke lever from Carb to RH Dogleg
    2N -17040 Spring Loaded Hand Crank
    Steel Plate/Plug welded on AMMETER dash port
    Steel Plate/Plug on Starter Pocket
    Wiring Loom

    Some parts like the plate plugs can be made, the hand crank can be made from a standard 9N crank making the added spring and spinner handle, and the front choke lever can be made as the print is here on this site somewhere. I have a TSX-38 carb I might sell. The other parts will be hard to find and could take years to locate.

    Chris Eby's finely restored 2N Warhorse, before and after:


    Now, you do know that not all 2N's were Warhorse models, right? That is a misconception often made by some. On February 10, 1942, all US manufacturing came to a halt at Ford. It was not just Ford, it was all US manufacturing. rationing was enacted, and There had been plans at Ford to make some new changes and release a new model soon, the 2N, but steel wheels, magneto, and no electrics or rubber were never part of those changes. The war changed that. The 2N was not produced, did not begin production, until October, 1942 and the 6372 units built then were ALL warhorse models. By releasing it as a new model, the 2N Ford-Ferguson was able to get away with adding some of their planned changes plus making it the steel-wheeled/magneto warhorse unit approved by the War Board. It also allowed them to increase the sticker price as well. Warhorse production was over by April of 1943 as Ferguson went to Washington DC to plead his case that the country needed tractors to support the US war abroad as well as domestic efforts for food production. President Roosevelt had Harry bring a standard 9N tractor and a few implements to his farm in upstate New York to demonstrate. Roosevelt came and saw, loved the tractor and what it could do, bought the 9N and all the implements on the spot and the next day began to rescind his War Board directive restricting homeland production for all US companies. By late April, 1943 the new 2N model was ramping up production and now with electric starter and generator and on rubber tires. Only about 12, 000 units, maybe up to 15,000 Warhorse units were actually built. You'd have to take the block serial number to determine if it falls into the model years of late 1942 thru early 1943. However, many guys have built a warhorse with their 9N or 2N that really weren't orgininaly and that is fine, you wouldn't be the first and it is after all your tractor and you can do whatever you want with it. You will need to get an early block to use or find another 2N that will work. Good luck and keep us posted.

    Caleb    Posted 02-17-2023 at 14:56:15 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Ford "Wartime" 2N
  • Thanks for all the info! I am aware that not all 2Ns were "wartime" models. I'm just looking to get a 2N as close as I can with the parts I can find. I like the idea of the history behind them and the rugged simplicity. What was the purpose of the hand crank with the spring? A lot of N series tractors could be started by hand, but not all used the spring hand crank, right?

    Steve Dabrowski    Posted 02-16-2023 at 17:17:26 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Ford "Wartime" 2N
  • Several years ago I looked at a 2N that was sitting in a field in Shafter, Ca. It was pretty much abandoned and had been there a long time. It had been converted to an orchard tractor with narrowed axles on the rear. It had a magneto. I have wondered if it was still down there, but have not been there in at least 6 years. Also talking to Mike, the owner of Tractoropolis in Fresno, CA- he said he had gotten hold of one a while back. Might try giving him a note, should find his shop on-line.

    Caleb    Posted 02-16-2023 at 18:34:41 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Ford "Wartime" 2N
  • Thanks for the info, I'll try looking him up. I was kind of hoping that at least the lower housing of the distributor mount would be useable from the 8N side mount distributor models. It looks as though the magneto bolts up the same to the lower housing, but without having them side by side I can't know for sure. If the lower housing is a common part, it would be easier to find the magneto with upper housing.

    deanostoybox    Posted 02-16-2023 at 23:50:33 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Ford "Wartime" 2N
  • If you look at the parts manual and see how the magneto drive is made, it is obvious that it will not.
    See page 53 in

    The late 8N distributor does not have a lower housing. It is installed into the front timing cover which is a different part from the earlier front mount distributor timing cover. Cam shafts are different. Side mount cam has a helical gear on the end, mates with a helical gear on the end of the distributor shaft. Front mount has a slot on the end, mates with a tang on the distributor. Magneto drive has a tang on the end to mate with the slot on the cam. Has bevel gears to the shaft that goes up to a coupling that mates with the magneto.

    With some fancy machine work and a bit of engineering it could be possible to cut down a side mount distributor and make an adapter that would work with a magneto, someone put a GM HEI distributor on a side mount (I think) 8N block.

    deanostoybox    Posted 02-16-2023 at 14:25:08 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Ford "Wartime" 2N
  • Not the same. The magneto used on "Wartime" 2N and some industrial engines bolted to the timing gear cover same as the front mount distributor. The mid '50 through '52 8Ns with side mount distributor have a different timing gear cover which the distributor mounts into.

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