8n Fords

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by papaw, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    Tell me all about the 8N tractor. I'm really in the mood to buy one and I need some opinions from folks that use them. I'll use it on 20 acres of already farmed land. I'll need to plant posts, mow, spread the drive and plow a small garden. No stump removal and not much else in the way of clearing land. Would this be the tractor for me?
     
  2. gspig

    gspig Well-Known Member

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    I am quite fond of my little 8N. I have a 6 foot sicle mower, 2 bottom plow and a back blade. I haven't tried a post hole digger, but the absence of live hydraulics may make it more of a chore than a time saver. An 8N should be able to handle a 6 foot bush hog easily. You will need an over running clutch to use a rotory mower with the 8N. The PTO has to run for the hydraulic lift to work and the PTO, when engaged, will back feed power to the rear wheels even if the clutch is pushed. The 8N runs about 26 hp, but delivers a quite a bit of torque. Nearly all repair parts are available as new aftermarket parts, and used parts are easy to find.
     

  3. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

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    The N-series tractors have become "collectibles".
    The good thing about this is there are more aftermarket parts becoming available. Of course, the down side to this is tractor prices are going up.

    They're a pretty decent tractor. I inherited one with a permanently mounted belly mower, which made it an over-sized lawn mower. It did the job just fine; but when it needed an engine overhaul, I sold it and bought a bush hog for my Ferguson.
     
  4. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

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    There are a few tricks to using a post hole digger with an old tractor - and they vary from tractor to tractor. It's somewhat of "a challenge"; but once you get used to it, it's definitely a time saver.
     
  5. Momo

    Momo Well-Known Member

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    Hubby loves his. It requires little repair/maintenance. He mainly uses it for a bush hog in the pony field. He has made a homemade drag implement for it too. It's what he used as a kid on the farm so he knows how to jimmy rig whatever he may need.
     
  6. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I had an 8N as my first tractor. Used it a lot in starting large gardens, pushing snow with a back blade, and using that blade in leveling the drive.
    I sold the 8N and got a 9N with a front end loader. For that one I got a post hole digger and use it a lot in hauling firewood with a home made utility trailer fabricated from the box of an old chevy half ton. Both N tractors gave me good use, and they apparently don't lose any value.
     
  7. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    "Live hydrolics" ? Tell me about that? Why would I need it to run a posthole digger?
    Ozarks,
    What are the "tricks"?
     
  8. gspig

    gspig Well-Known Member

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    "Live hydraulics" means that you can use the 3-point lift without the PTO turning. 8N doesn't have live hydraulics. If the post hole digger starts screwing itself into the ground instead of lifting dirt out, you will have to disconnect the auger and unscrew it by hand.
     
  9. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    Well that's not good!
    So, what's the trick to allow a post hole digger to be used on an 8N? I see them attached to 8N's, people must use the tractor for this.....
     
  10. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    if your are quick you can lift the auger out spinning before it corkscrews . if you have no stone then the going is not bad. two stage clutch on the newer models makes things easier.
     
  11. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

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    ford major's right ... that's one of the little "tricks" I mentioned. Another thing you'll have to watch (and get a feel for) is how high you can raise the digger before the driveshaft will bind.
    Sometimes you'll find it necessary to soak the spot where you intend to dig the hole with water. It makes the job much easier.
    I've dug a lot of post holes with my tractor (Ferguson TO-20, which is similar to the Ford N-series) and managed to get the auger stuck only once. It's a pain in the butt to get the auger unstuck, but you learn to pay close attention to what the digger's doing so you won't have to do it many times again.
     
  12. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    Thanks,
    I need lots of advice on the hows and hows not to stuff ... please feel free to give me all you can.
     
  13. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cute tractor, don't work to well. You're welcome to mine if you want.

    No live hydraulics. PTO shaft driven by main transmission. No locking differential. It all leaves you with a tractor that gets stuck easily and doesn't work well. If all you want to do is pull a plow blade, they're fine. But even bush hogging becomes a bit complex when trying to stand still and such.

    If I were to do it again, I'd buy a more modern tractor, at least a 600 series Ford. They cost less and work better.
     
  14. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    Foxtrapper,
    I've heard others say that, but I'm wondering why? If these tractors have so many problems, why are these still so many of them being used and why do they cost so much?
     
  15. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    Many a farmer made a good living with the 8N in the 40's and 50's. I love mine. They are popular because they're easy to work on, easy to get parts for and are reliable. They last forever if you take care of them; just look at how many are still around. Paid $2500 for mine with a 5' brush hog, repainted and in good condition. Yea, they have their drawbacks, but for the price, you can't beat 'em.
     
  16. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Steve,
    How bout the Woods belly mower ... is it something that will work ok?
     
  17. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    you can get a diesel 275 ih with a bush hog for about the same price. two stage clutch and more power plus better fuel economy. my favorite? ya gotta ask? more advanced than a 2,9,8n though have been looking at a 8n that would double as a four wheeler /colecter . they have their place but lots of others in the fileld!
     
  18. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Back in the day, compared to a horse, they were a marvel. They are cute, nimble, easy to work on, and basically tough as nails. All things that seem to make them a collector tractor.

    Many folks, myself included, wanted a tractor that was relatively cheap, and wanted something semi-primitive. The 8N fits that bill. And truthfully, the machine does work.

    But after a while the limitations really start to shine through. And if you ever use a modern tractor, it becomes painfull.

    I suppose it's a lot like computer. You can get by with an old XT (pre 286) computer. They work and function. But if you use a modern computer and surf the web a few times, you'll probably chafe at using the old XT.
     
  19. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

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    papaw, the one thing I forgot to mention (and no one else touched on) is that you'll probably want to do an electronic ignition conversion on that 8N. Fooling with the old points system gets real tiresome after a while. The conversion kits generally sell for around $100, install simply, and make a HUGE difference.
     
  20. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I haven't bought one yet. It still sounds like something that I'd use. I know it's not a "new" machine and I know there have been many imporvements between 1950 amd now, but many are still in use and I know they must be good tractors.
    For those who like them , what are the advantages of say .. a 1952 model over a 1948? Are there parts available to "update" the PTO or hydrolics?