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TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTERDESCRIPTION
1 THE FIND, A 1951 FORD 8N TRACTOR
2 FLATHEAD V8 ENGINE REBUILD
3 ENGINE TO TRANSMISSION ADAPTER
4 WINTER WEATHER AND SMALL PROJECTS
5 FRONT AXLE, FRAME, AND SUPPORTS
6 HOOD, GRILL, AND DASH MODIFICATIONS
7 PAINTING AND FINAL ASSEMBLY

THE FIND — 1951 FORD 8N TRACTOR

[Image 51 8N As Found]

I was looking for a 9N, so I would have one of each. This tractor was advertised as a 2N but I could see a proofmeter, 4-speed shift knob, and side distributor engine in the photos. It was obviously a late 8N Tractor.

[Image 51 8N As Found]

The ad wasn't generating a lot of interest, so I decided to keep an eye on it. Apparently two other people had the same idea and threw last-minute low bids. It was close, this time I guessed right, and the others bid just a little too low.

[Image 51 8N As Found]

Sorry about the image quality for these shots. This is how it sat on the lot when I picked it up. This tractor looks no better than the others, and it's the first one that wasn't running when I bought it.

[Image 51 8N As Found]

The engine isn't locked up, the 6-volt battery is still good, and it even cranks. It won't start. We also have a steady stream of gas running out the bottom of the carb. Hmmm, turn gas back off. It's time to get cleaned up and take the wife to dinner. I'll have to play with the tractor later, GRIN.

[Image 51 8N As Found]

The good news is the battery holds a charge and the engine cranks over easy. Front rims/tires are 15". These tractors came with 19" or 16" rims. Tire selection for those sizes is very limited. This is another good set of 15" rims welded to tractor centers. I sold the last set of these I had.

A few more BEFORE photos:

[Image 51 8N As Found]

THE FUN BEGINS

[Image 51 8N As Found]
[Image 51 8N As Found]

WOW, never would have believed a year would pass before I got back to this web page. My apologies to anyone who was expecting another speedy step-by-step tractor rebuild, it just ain't happening this time. The engine has little or no compression, so it needs to be torn down and rebuilt. That put this tractor project on hold. Engine rebuilds can easily cost more than one of these tractors is worth. If everything else was in great shape, it might make sense to rebuild the engine. This tractor needs a lot of work just about everywhere, and I already have two good working tractors.

Interesting, it seems there may be a few Flathead V8 engines available nearby. That idea has rekindled my interest in this project. Always wanted to combine some of the best ideas I've seen and do my own Flathead V8-8N conversion.

4 CYLINDER ENGINE TEARDOWN: The cylinder head came off easy, and looks good. Then, all cylinders miked out round and look good. There are no score marks from broken rings, just a little corrosion at the top of one sleeve where that piston was parked for a long time. The valves on three cylinders are still sticking open as the engine is turned over. It's pretty obvious why this engine would not start for the previous owner.

Penetrating oil, a rubber hammer, and a short session of "whack-a-valve" got the valves going up and down again. This engine might run now, but the right thing to do is pull all the valve assemblies, thoroughly clean them, and make sure the valve seats are done right. This engine does not appear to have any terminal problems. My current engine stand is a bit light for a V8 so there is no reason not to go ahead and pull this 4 cylinder and put it on the stand.

UPDATE DEC 2013–Still waiting for the V8 engine to magically appear. Disassembly of the tractor is progressing very slowly with no V8 engine to be excited about.

UPDATE July 2014–The tractor is split. Next the transmission comes off. The intent is to completely rebuild the transmission and rear axle. To my knowledge, there are no problems in there. The only reason to disassemble them is to make sure they are 100% for the extra power a V8 engine will have.

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