How Do You Install a Front-end Loader on Ford 8N?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by copperkid3, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. copperkid3

    copperkid3 Well-Known Member

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    Bought a Ford 8N tractor (circa 1950-52 since it has the proofmeter on the dash) several years ago at a farm auction and though it didn't have a battery and couldn't be started, was assured by the family that it was running when the previous owner had it. Let it set around for a number of years, as it was easier to just "borrow" my dads' tractor when I needed to do something, but after I came across a front-end loader made for this tractor, at a private sale, I decided to get down to business and fix it up and put it to work. Had a mechanic friend get it running.......barely......but he said that it had very good compression like it had been recently rebuilt and that it needed a complete tune-up kit to get it purring like it should. Of course, now money is tight, but figured that little-by-little, I'd get the thing done and have a machine that could do some of the chores around the homestead. My main question is: does anyone have any experience in mounting/installing and getting a front-end loader on this tractor and hooking it up to hydraulics to make it function? Is there a manual or diagram that I can find or purchase that would assist in this endeavor? Looking for the voice of experience......pretty please??? :bow:
     
  2. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    I would not recommend it.

    An 8N is a bear to steer without a front-end loader. It's also very light in the rear end. You get a full bucket on the front and it's gonna be nearly impossible to steer. You'll also need a lot of weight on the back to keep the rear wheels on the ground.

    I would never put a loader on anything that doesn't have 4WD and power steering.
     

  3. DaleK

    DaleK Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a couple of them with loaders on them. I wouldn't bother. Pretty well useless once the loader's on and drastically reduces the capacity of the tractor for other jobs. (not that an 8Ns really that useful for anything other than puttering anyway)
     
  4. sammyd

    sammyd Well-Known Member

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    You need to know the manufacturer of the loader. Each brand is a little different.
    As for the hyds. Most will require some sort of seperate pump in order to handle the loader. Some mount on the pto some mount somewhere in front of the engine.

    I would get the tractor running. Shine everything up a bit and sell it as a set. Save the money and buy something that will actually do some work.
     
  5. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Used to have a Wagner front end loader on my 8N. Fun it was not.

    You hoist the loader up in the air, and drive the tractor under it. The fenders have to be removed, and the loader attaches to the rear axles at the fender mount positions. Usually you can attach the fenders to the loader frame.

    The front requires a mounting plate that usually hangs down from the center pin and the engine mount. You have to remove a fair amount of the front of the tractor in order to mount this plate. Once it's installed, you leave it in place and unbolt the loader from it.

    Hydraulic power comes from a pump mounted on the loader at the front. It connects to the crankshaft of the engine, right where the hand crank would go. It requires a special crankshaft pulley. This is the most difficult part of mounting and unmounting the loader. Some use a splined shaft, others use a threaded shaft. You need to remove the shaft from the flange that goes into the crankshaft pulley, and walk the tractor straight back to get the shaft out, or straight forward to get the shaft in.

    Once I got good and experienced, I could usually get the loader on or off in under an hour.

    Then there's the matter of how well they work. And that is downright terrible.

    First is the loss of rear traction. You have none with a loader. The rear tires come off the ground with the slightest load in the bucket. I used a 1,000 lb counter weight on the 3 point hitch just for the empty loader. Another 1,000 lb weight was stacked on that if I was going to use the loader. As this all completely overloads the 3 point hitch you've got to use a jack to pick it up, and use restraints to lock it in place.

    Next is steering. You don't have any. The loader so badly overloads the front end that you cannot turn the wheels. You can brute force them, but you're likely to break something. Instead, you turn with the rear wheel brakes and try to turn the front wheels along to follow. You will also be breating the front axle regularly, and wearing out the front axle pivot pin and wheel bearings.

    Then there is the tremendous wallowing the tractor will do as a result of having the loader on it. What was once a nimble light weight tractor is now a lumbering, swaying wallowing pig. To say it's misurable to operate is an understatement.

    Getting in and out becomes a messy job. The only way is straight up from the back. It will become very important to have the cap on the pto shaft.

    Have fun. I got to where I would mount my loader and use it when absolutely necessary, and kept it off at all other times.
     
  6. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    FUGETABOUDIT!

    There are loaders for 8Ns, they are big heavy and cumbersome and the tractor isn't really made to handle it.
     
  7. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    All different kinds of loaders for the 9N. Some block side entry so you have to get on from the back. Some have a hyd. pump that runs off the front of the engine, requiring brackets and mounts, etc. The 9N isn't much of a tractor by itself. A loader is limited by it's light weight. If you get a big scoop in the bucket, you lose much of your traction.

    The assembly of the loader should be fairly self explanatory.
     
  8. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    on most small old tractors if the loader could be mounted on it rear ward so the large tires are to the loader end, I have seen some tractors, (I do not know if the small ford will or not, but flip over the differential (so it runs back wards), and then mount the loader on reverse so the bucket it on the rear, and turn the seat around and make extension for all the petals and steering and you may end up with a workable loader,
    as in this picture, http://www.abilitiescouncil.sk.ca/cg_demo/MODIFI/AMPUTE2/IMAGE42.GIF


    but if you can not see how to mount it on forward I doubt if you can do a rearward conversion,

    the other option may be a three point bucket you can move dirt, or materials, and it is on the rear keeping traction and steering,
    a forum thread on the subject,
    picture http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/...73-3-point-hitch-bucket-w-358516-pdrm0011.jpg
    a forum thread on the subject,
    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/hydraulics/32164-3-point-hitch-bucket-w.html
    a different type,
    http://www.machineshed.co.nz/Black Trip Scoop.jpg
    a source there many times avable at local dealers as well,
    http://www2.northerntool.com/farm-acreage/3-point-category-1-implements/item-256079.htm
     
  9. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    8N tractors sure have their followers. They sure were lightyears ahead of their time, but that was 60+ years ago.... The lack of live pto, live hydraulics, power steering, and no safety features makes them kinda not so fun to actually use these days....

    Typically a loader will have a front hyd pump that bolts on to the front engine crank. This gives you enough hyd pressure & live hydraulics.

    After that it depends on the brand of loader you have? Some brackets bolt on to the front or front sides; and some brackets bolt onto the rear axle or rear sides, and it all goes together & you have a loader mounted on the tractor. More details depends on what brand of loader you have, and if you got all the brackets & parts - typically a few are forgotten in the barn where you bought it from, & a welding shop will need to make a few bits for you.

    --->Paul
     
  10. sammyd

    sammyd Well-Known Member

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    They weren't really light years ahead of their time, just cheap.
    Ford about put all the other manufacturers in the poor house with his pricing scheme.
    Once other guys decided to play the price game his grip on the market went away.
     
  11. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    I have never seen the appeal of the 8N's. My grandpa had one when I was growing up, and that was the most aggravating tractor to operate I've ever sat on.

    You couldn't run fast enough to give me one.

    Massey 35/235's weren't much better.
     
  12. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Now thats an interesting idea and solves the weak front end problem, though you would need counterweight on former front end of tractor. However rather than extensively cut up and modify some ancient tractor, think if I were going to this extreme, I would buy an old 1.5 to 2 ton truck chassis and cut that up and make a dedicated loader doodlebug. Heavy duty axles and modern brakes. Those old tractors were underpowered and geared for plowing the back forty, not doing utility work.
     
  13. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    We had a Ferguson 20-85 with a loader (very similar to an 8n). It was our sole loader tractor for years. I wouldn't say it was useless at all!! It was plumbed into the 3pth hydraulics, with a valve on the top plate. You had to chain down the 3pth and turn a bypass vavle to power up the spool for the loader. The hydraulics are tied to the PTO so when you clutch you lose your loader. A front pump would have been better all round; but, you get good at popping it out of gear letting the clutch out and using the loader. Sounds worse than it was. Sure it was a bear to drive, but I was only 12 and could run the thing anywhere.. builds muscle if you don't break your thumbs !! :) I have a Ford 6600 2wd loader now and a 2wd 3000 with a QA Allied loader (soon). Oh yeah and a NH skidsteer......... compared to them the 20-85 was positively terrible. Compared to a shovel and wheel barrow the 20-85 was a back saver!
     
  14. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    they used truck mounted loaders a lot around here in the hay fields at one time they would strip the truck down and mount the loader back wards again and over the rear tires, and then make a platform and reverse the seat and controls, as they used the hay push offs and liked speed for pushing up the hay into loose stacks, most were f11 farm hand loaders mounted on them,
     
  15. idahodave

    idahodave Well-Known Member

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    I loved the Ford....it was the only tractor on the farm that had an electric start. I was a skinny 8 yr old and couldn't crank start the other tractors.
     
  16. lostspring

    lostspring Well-Known Member

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    I had an 8N with the loader hydraulic pump run off the front of the crankshaft. It bolted in thru the lower fan belt pulley I believe. It was the first loader tractor I had and it was my third hand. I had a small material bucket and a snow bucket for it. You couldn't dig with it because the bucket was narrower then the front tires, but it did a good job lifting as long as you were careful not to overload it. It sure beat a wheelbarrow or a cart LOL.
     
  17. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, they came out in '39? They had that 3-point deal which made it easy to swap implements which went up & down without moving a heavy hand lever.

    They had electric start.

    They had a wide front end & small & squat - utility style.

    That 3point deal make them pull a lot more plow than the average trailer plowing tractor could - weight transfer.

    They had rubber tires.

    Now, a lot of other companies were looking into or just starting all these things too - but the Ford was all new in one handy package, all the neat features together.

    The 3pt probably set it apart the most.

    As you say, the pricing & manufacturing also put it on the map as much as anything else.

    --->Paul
     
  18. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The 3-point hitch wasn't Ford, that was Ferguson. He owned the design, just wasn't getting off the ground well with tractors. He and Ford ginned up a contract to make a little tractor together using it. Neat devise, but it wasn't a Ford idea or design.

    The utility layout was nothing new. Others had used wide front ends for decades. Same with pneumatic rubber tires and electric starters. Which all went for the war efforts.

    The N did not have remarkable plowing capacity. It was no greater than other tractors of the era. Draft control was the difference. That was a remarkable difference. But it wasn't a Ford design, it was pure Ferguson.
     
  19. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think there is a difference between the Wheatland type of tractors others had, and the utility of the N series - small, compact, light but useful.

    I'm aware of the partnership & feud Fergison & Ford had over the years; nevertheless these features came out to the masses on the Ford tractor, doesn't matter who invented or held the patent on it.

    If you were in tough soils, you could appreciate the advantage of a mounted or semi mounted plow over a trailer plow. The weight transfer is areal thing. Trying to set up a trailer plow to add weight to the rear axle while plowing is not nearly as easy as just plowing with a mounted/ semi-mounted plow. Draft is also of value I agree.

    No big deal, just opinion. :) The N series got a lot of inovations & handy size & power all together into an affordable package at just the time it was needed, when labor was short and the demand for a mechanical system was there.

    A tractor for the masses. Right time & place.

    Have you seen the compact tractor New Holland is coming out with this year, to look retro like an N series? Of course it is all cosmentic, but kinda cool.

    --->Paul
     
  20. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    My daddy had one of those 8 N's with a front loader as did an uncle. My dads was a Suepior {s/p} brand. It had the rims turned wide side out and the loader clamped to the rear axel. I sure can't remember how the front hooked up though. It used the pump run off the front crank shaft with some thing like a love joy coupler. Yes the manure bucket was narrower than the front wheel tread but it went down a bit below that tire level.Dad had a half a 55 gallon drum on the back hooked to the 3 point full of rocks.
    That front loader was the cats meow for rock picking as the ones to heavy to pick up by hand the loader got, ya could dump them farther out in the swamp too. When the snow melted and the fields dried that front loader beat the heck out of tha 5 tine manure fork. In the winter with the heat houser on dad made some extra money with that tractor and loader with the wide snow bucket on. He could dig out a drifted in drive and pile that snow up rather high.
    When it came to doing the heavy farm work the Masseys were better.

    My uncle used his in his side line gravel pit. His also had the fenders on, the wheels turned out wide. His had a hydrlic dump bucket which he would place over the tail gate of his dump truck and tow the little ford hither and yon. He used the other half of the 55 gallon barrel that dad used I always thought, full of concrete as a rear weight. He used that tractor loader till 1981 when he retired.

    My dad traded his in 1964 for a ford 2000 with the same brand of front loader. Even though the tractor had power steering dad found it to be a big pain in the rear. the bucket was way to big. If you had a good sized load and hit to quick of a bump the bounce would blow the seals out of the front mounted pump. The cylinders mounted low so you had to be careful and not let a stick or frozen manure hit the hoses or they broke off.
    Dad blew the pump seals one day said thats enough to frost your balls and took off to town. I thought he was going to get pump seals. He came home a bit latter with a 1960 Massey Ferguson 65 diesel and front loader. The Ford went back to town and never returned. My brother still owns the massey today. But he uses a 6ft bervac to blow the drives clean rather than a front loader bucket.

    :D Al