Posted 01-29-2011 at 21:52:30 [URL] [DELETE]
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Surviving Aluminum Hoods
By combining our registry with the registry over at the Ford & Fordson Collector's Assn website I find that there are 60 known surviving tractors in the 9N1 to 9N675 serial number range, which is generally thought to be the correct range for the aluminum hoods. About 80% of these tractors still have the aluminum hood on them.
Actually, this is a higher survival percentage that I thought I would find. I wonder how many are still out there undiscovered? Between Jim (UT), don b and Don Church I have heard about few more that are still working or are stored and not for sale.
My survey also seems to put to rest the idea that the aluminum hoods were flimsy and cracked easily and many were replaced as a warranty repair. Now that I own one I can see that they were absolutely massive and weighed in at about 75 lbs. That's a lot of aluminum and, other than broken off lip areas where the hood wraps around the instrument panel, mine has only one slight stress crack. They were most definitely sand castings and not injection molded. You can see the impressions of the sand on the underside. The top of the hood must have been polished smooth by Ford prior to painting.
I guess it still puzzles me that the folks at Rosewood Machine will pour exact replacement grilles, battery box doors and doglege, but not the hood. I know that it's a philosophy thing and not a manufacturing problem because that's what I was told. I also worked summers in a foundry when I was going through college and we poured a fair amount of aluminum so I know how it is done. Frankly, it would not be that much of a problem to pour hoods.