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8n Ford Or.. A Fool And His Money

bosephus

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after following some advice from a fellow member on buying new toys while the little woman is already mad
i ended up with this 8n ford .

it sat for at least 10 years but supposedly ran when parked . i have it moved inside my shop and managed to get the hood off and a preliminary inspection done .

the engine turns over freely ... if it has compression is the next question to be answered when i find someone to borrow a compression tester from .

i threw on a resistor to check for spark and not fry the coil and points with a 12v battery .. no spark to be found
so i tested the coil and found it to be doa along with the condenser so no love there .

the sheet metal isnt in to terrible bad shape and is salvageable . the rear wheels however are going to need some rather extensive welding/patching or replacing .
tires are fairly well dry rotted ... but considering i have no real use for the tractor except to a firewood cart around a few times a year if i can get them off to fix the wheels they will go back on after .

i think my first course of action is going to be finding a compression tester and if it has acceptable compression
move on from there ,... if it doesnt . its going to get parted out .

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Nice find.
What the heck if you are all ready in trouble with SWMBO you might as well throw another log on the fire.
I got the same problem with the Kubota I got to find a compression gauge that reads to 500lbs.
*G*
 

RJSakowski

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If it were me, I would look at restoring the tractor. They are extremely popular and command a good price.

My 8N is a 1950 tractor, S/N 319252. I got it in 1972 and it has had several rebuilds. It's a bit tired now but it still is the go-to tractor for general work. It has a low center of gravity and I used it extensively for more than forty years to bring firewood out of the woods as well as hauling deer out during hunting season. It reliably negotiates 30% grades.

Many years ago, I made a box for the 3 pt. which will hold 1/6th of a cord of wood A 3 pt. mounted grader blade has moved more snow than I care to think about.

The 8N was designed to run on either kerosene or gasoline. The spec. for compression was 90 psi, minimum. There were some aftermarket piston sets which increased compression for more hp. You will find that there are abundant parts available.
 

John Hasler

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The compression can be pretty low on an 8N and it will still run. Check the oil pressure as well. If you can't get it running consider rebuilding it. The engine is very simple and easy to work on and parts are available despite the age. You'll want to convert it to 12V if that has not been done already. The starter will work as-is on 12V. I've had an 8N for 25 years and I'm very happy with it.

Take a look at this site: http://www.yesterdaystractors.com/
 

T Bredehoft

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I concur about the 6 volt starter on a 12 volt system. One of my Studebakers had been converted. It really spins that big V8.
 

MikeWi

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I'd love to have an 8n I have a 1946 2n that I've been very slowly restoring. The lack of live hydraulics is a real PITA, but there's a little gizmo that you can rig to take care of that when mowing or grading. I have a Ford 2-bottom plow and a Montgomery Ward bush hog, and some who knows brand of disk harrow that I've used with it.

If the tractor was stored outside over the years without having it's hydraulic/transmission oil swapped out every year, you may have a cracked hydraulic pump. Pretty common in these. The shifter boot can crack and let water in as well. On my tractor, the ignition key can be turned to "start" and then removed, which can burn out your points. Don't ask how I know.. :) Lots of parts available for these, and there's a healthy online presence for owners of these too.

edit: I was going to go back and add the URL for yesterday's tractors, but I see someone else beat me to it. Great site.
 

Karl_T

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I wouldn't worry about compression unless you get a sea of blue smoke when you get it running...

Yep, change to 12 volt. this costs almost nothing, just need to mount a GM alternator, 12 volt battery and 12 volt coil. If you do this, ask me for more details.

I'd also highly suggest electronic ignition. Genesee products has it online. http://www.gp6.com/ it just fits right in the distributor cap. Replace the wires and plugs at the same time. If you do all this it will start so fast, you can't hear it turn over first. For a test, i went out when it was -35F and had not run in months. Took about 15 seconds to start.
 
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bosephus

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I don't look to do a whole lot to it , if it has compression I'll get it to run and kind of play it by ear past that .
and i had figured on a twelve volt conversion. Having to buy a coil anyways I figure why not .. that's near half the cost .

I've blown my fun money for the next few months so there's not going to be a whole lot of progress with it as far as anything that costs real money goes.

I might get ambitious and get the real wheels off and the calcium drained out and see if the wheels are salvageable .. depending on if it has compression .

I don't many concerns about the lack of live hydraulics or pto . Or even if the hydraulics work for that matter

If it'll run and move to pull a firewood cart around I'll be one happy camper
 

John Hasler

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You can tell if it has compression by pulling a plug, putting your thumb over the hole, and cranking it. You may want to take the carb apart and clean it out. Don't bother with a carb rebuild kit. You can cut out a gasket with an Xacto knife. It's better to convert to 12V but not necessary. Check the point gap: it can be fiddly. If you don't use the lights it will run all day on one charge of the battery so don't give up if you can't get the generator working.
 

Bob Korves

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You cannot really check the compression on an engine that has not been run in years. It will not have oil in the rings and on the cylinders, and may have some rust on the bores. You will not learn much. As John says above, turn it over with the spark plugs out and test for compression with your thumb, turning the engine over by hand, If it pushes air past your thumb on all cylinders then it has enough to start the engine. If the engine truly turns over freely, squirt some oil in the cylinders, change the oil in the crankcase, drain any fuel from the tank and lines and clean them if they do not flow freely, fix your ignition problems, and start it up and find out what you have there...
 

GK1918

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No No no parting out, these are desirable tractors Dennis Carpenter has everything you need 1939-1952.
Squirt oil down there if your thumb pops >good enough. Also they do sell 6vt pos ground alternators for
these. Me too, my generator took a dump so I'm using 8vt battery.
Also these engines are half a V8 so they run smooth and silent as a cat.
Or get a head gasket from Napa check things out, wouldn't doubt some sticky valves too.
sam
 
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If it sat for 10 years I'd mix up a batch of 50/50 automatic transmission fluid and acetone and pour some down the plug holes, Let it sit for a day then turn it a 1/2 turn and repeat for a few days. The rings will probably be stuck and the valve guides as well. Just went through this with a little Kubota diesel that had no compression after sitting 20 years. It runs like a top now. Not sure whats in the atf but it beats oil hands down for softening carbon deposits. Makes the best penetrating oil I've ever used as well.

Greg
 

bosephus

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i sure do wish i could tell you guys that it wont end up parted out and i'll take the time to fix the old girl up .
but i cant . to put it in quite simple terms .. i dont have any real need for a tractor and living on a fixed income i have other needs and wants for my fun money .

now with that out of the way lets not get the idea that i wont give an honest effort to save it .... there are two factors working in its favor .. the motor is free
and i am a very persistent cheapskate with a plan .

i notice i am not the only fan of atf and acetone for a penetrating oil ... gosh its wonderful stuff and dirt cheap .

i may not have mentioned it but before i rolled the engine over the first time i pulled the plugs and gave each cylinder a healthy dose . i know some might not agree with checking compression on a engine that has sat for so long . but the thumb over the hole method doesnt tell a person much other then its moving air . but a compression tester with a few squirts of heavy oil gives a lot more info .
if it will show a minimum of 50-60 psi to support combustion i'm willing to take a gamble and throw a few bucks at it with a new coil points plugs and wires .

if it doesnt show a 50-60 psi minimum i'll pull the head off and give it a look over ... but at that point it isnt likely to bode well for the old girl .

my inner cheap skate has a budget in mind of $500 i gave $300 for the tractor and spent $7.67 in gas getting it home .
so once my funds allow it it has $192.33 left in the kitty .... i think i can do it and still have enough left for a pizza or two .
 

John Hasler

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At $300 you stole it. Before you replace any electrical parts clean them up and inspect them. If the wires aren't cracked they are probably ok for now . You can probably clean and regap the plugs. Before you replace the points see if you can clean them up with a bit of sandpaper and set the gap. If it runs at all it's worth at least $1000. If you place an ad saying you are parting it out people will assume that it is seized up or has a broken piston or something.

If it gets spark, air, gas, and enough compression to move your thumb it will run. You may not need to spend any more money at all to get it going.

You'll want to clean out the air filter. It's the oil bath type.

[Edit] Pay some attention to the carb. It may be plugged up due to the old gas having been allowed to dry up in it.
 
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John Hasler

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At $300 you stole it. Before you replace any electrical parts clean them up and inspect them. If the wires aren't cracked they are probably ok for now . You can probably clean and regap the plugs. Before you replace the points see if you can clean them up with a bit of sandpaper and set the gap. If it runs at all it's worth at least $1000. If you place an ad saying you are parting it out people will assume that it is seized up or has a broken piston or something.

If it gets spark, air, gas, and enough compression to move your thumb it will run. You may not need to spend any more money at all to get it going.

You'll want to clean out the air filter. It's the oil bath type.
[Edit] Pay some attention to the carb. It may be plugged up due to the old gas having been allowed to dry up in it.
 

bosephus

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I'm not to concerned about the carb... it looks a lot like a marvel carb to me . If so they are about as simple as a carb can be .
I'm sure it's full of varnish from the old gas shouldn't be a big deal I hope .

I did learn something todAy ... 8n's have 4 speed transmissions. Go figure I didn't think there was much differance between the 9n and 8n except the brakes and a couple horsepower .
 

kvt

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I was going to say the carb as well. If just trying to get it to fire and start then try a shot of starting fluid. The if it fires off start working on the fuel stuff, If not mistaken that had a old manual pump on it. Be careful as the diaphragm may have cracked etc which will et gas into the engine. Also will not push the gas to the carb. (don't ask how I know about such things).
 

bosephus

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well guys it isnt looking good ... i knew the rear wheels needed quite a bit of work . but they might just have met their end .
i pulled the visably worse of the two off and gave it a few pokes with a screw driver .
its not good .... itll need at least two to three more inches cut out to find good metal . if i can find another 28 inch rim to cut sections out of it might be do able
but new rims arent in the budget .... donations anyone ?

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John Hasler

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I was going to say the carb as well. If just trying to get it to fire and start then try a shot of starting fluid. The if it fires off start working on the fuel stuff, If not mistaken that had a old manual pump on it. Be careful as the diaphragm may have cracked etc which will et gas into the engine. Also will not push the gas to the carb. (don't ask how I know about such things).
Good point about the starting fluid. The 8N has no fuel pump, though. Just gravity. The screen in the settling bowl could be clogged, and of course make sure the valve is open. Simplest test of all that is to unscrew the drain plug on the bottom of the carb and see if gas runs out.
 

MikeWi

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[Edit] Pay some attention to the carb. It may be plugged up due to the old gas having been allowed to dry up in it.
I had a strange no-start problem that baffled me (long story, but it was very intermittent). Turned out there was two grass seeds in the bowl of the carburetor. Sometimes they'd block the fuel flow, and sometimes not.
 

Karl_T

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I run an air compressor many hours a day in winter to prune apple trees...

The 8N is the most fuel efficient engine I've found for this job. The key is low RPM, about 500. You'd think they could have built a better engine for low hp use sometime in the last 80 years since this machine was designed. I have the carb set extremely lean - something you can't do on newer higher RPM smaller engines. its also way quieter than an 8 or 10hp air cooled engine that most people use for a portable air compressor

Karl
 

bosephus

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Well some good news ...it has acceptable compression. . 1-4 respectively. . 68 .74,83,87 psi so the rings Re mostly free and the valves can't be in to bad a shape .

At the point I'm nearly 98% sure it will run .
so before I get to carried away I need to come up with a solution on fixing the rear wheels
 

kvt

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Like you said I have seen them taken off and patch welded, I have depending on how bad they are, I would patch them then look for some used ones. For some reason I think they may be the same ones used on several of the older tractors. There may also be some reproduction ones that fit.
 

Silverbullet

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Dont judge the compression till you let it set with some oil and atf mix in the cylinders , one of the main problems with them is the rust factor. They are a very easy rebuild and last forever, The wheels can be had if needed, a cheap comp tester can be had from HF 20 bucks or less. When you buy on the sperm of the moment , things usually cost more to make right. Your budjit dosent seem to be enough maybe you can sell it to someone for a little profit who will fixit and love it?
 

bosephus

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It has enough compression to start and run , and like you all sY it should improve once it's run a bit .

As to my budget ,.. oh I think I can squeak bye provided I can find a used wheel to cut patches from and weld up these .
I have a lot of confidence in my thrifty nature.

The coil points and such aren't a lot of money , I can go twelve volt including a one wire alternator for not a whole lot more then $100
so my confidence is high
 

bosephus

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Well we can say goodbye to the tractor .... got bored this afternoon and fooled around a bit with it .

I topped the radiator off back when I first started playing with it just in case it started .

Today I noticed one of the head bolts had a few drops of water around it .

So off came the head .... and viola water problem found .

A freeze crack running about the entire lenght of the water jacket .
Its not a great pic but if you squint you can see it .

That's the death knoll ... it's off to craigslist for parts to get me cash back out of it .
uploadfromtaptalk1467159671033.jpg

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kvt

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Sorry to hear that. Some would say sleeve it but I know this is not really what you wanted. So if you can sell part or all of it for parts and get your money back out of it. Then go for it.
 

bosephus

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well if a person was inclined to take a risk the engine would probably still run ... the crack doesn't go into any of the cylinders . It runs long ways along the water jacket .

But it would just be a ticking time bomb .... getting my little bit of money back out of it won't be any kind of problem at all .

There's a butt for every seat and I know there's a guy out there with a 2n or 9n out there just itching to have a four speed transmission and brakes on the right side
 
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