At the risk of too much repetition, my preference is to repair rather than replace parts. Used original parts are most often much better quality than current replacement parts. Original parts are only rarely damaged beyond repair.
This is an original front bumper for the N-Tractors. Other than the bottom rung, this bumper is in better shape than most.
That bottom rung is really bad. The right way to straighten this might be with a torch or a shop press. Many people don't have a torch that burns hot enough. Propane won't even come close, and I'm not sure the Mapp gas version would be much better on 1/4" thick steel. It may be even less likely for the average tinkerer to have access to a shop press.
Most people working on a tractor will soon have a floor jack, and heavy steel chain can be found at the local hardware store for a lot less than buying an acetylene torch or shop press. Just to show what is possible, I used my floor jack and a logging chain to bend the bottom rung close to where it should be. It took several different "presses" with various chunks of wood and scrap steel to put the force right where it would do the most good. Don't try to get it all in one shot, and don't be standing, or have any body parts lined up with anything that may suddenly fly loose. Chain is better for this type of work than just about anything else that might be handy. Rope of any kind stores too much tension, and will jump out and get you when it breaks. Break a chain and the broken link relieves the tension, usually before coming completely loose. Run back and forth with several lengths of chain, and there is no way the floor jack is strong enough to break it.
The pictures taken of the 8N bumper for this write-up came out pretty awful. This is a different bumper, same problem. The setup is about as simple as it gets. Bolts and washers can be used if your chain does not have grab hooks. The jack can be repositioned, and different chunks of scrap can be used to put the pressure where it will do the most good. Steel has some spring in it. The trick is to go just enough past, so it springs back where you want it to be. That springy steel is also a danger. Stay well away from anything that might break and jump around. Always release pressure from the jack before trying to adjust anything.
This could be improved with a few more pushes, but it's far enough along to show what can be done with a floor jack. Clean this up, shoot a little primer, paint, and this will be a decent-looking original bumper.
These photos show two of the new aftermarket replacements for this bumper. Others are similar to the photos above. Some have two vertical bars, some have three. Very few have the drop down side bars like the original. To me, none look anywhere near as good. Even some of the new "restoration quality" bumpers are bent a little differently. If you want to go that route, stick to the Dennis Carpenter version. If they say it's "just like original" it really is.
This is a fairly common problem with the 8N lift linkage. This control rod should be straight. It appears to be a cast part. Anything cast is often brittle and doesn't bend without breaking. Since this one bent, I'm just going to assume it can be carefully bent back the way it should be.
With anything bent as much as this, it should be straightened most of the way with the piece just laying on an arbor plate. One thing to be careful with on this piece is the small ball end. We don't want to snap that off. Once the bend has been partially corrected, use whatever is handy to raise the part so the bend can be pushed a little past straight. There is some spring in any steel part so it will spring back some when we release pressure. The rope isn't tight or doing anything (hopefully). I've had a few things come flying out of the press, so the rope is just there if something should slip. It might save me from a trip to the ER with a hunk of greasy tractor linkage stuck somewhere.
This had a lot more spring in it than expected. It's slowly getting better. This time the press plates are spread out more and only the small piece of steel bar is used to make sure that small end of the linkage isn't touching anything.
It's starting to look good. There is still a slight bend near the small end. One more whack should do it, then I'll make sure it's straight side-to-side. I'm not using any heat because I feel working it cold may harden the piece a bit and make it a little less likely to be bent again. I also have no idea how heating and various methods of cooling might affect the strength of this type of metal.
These are samples of the work many of us greatly enjoy doing to preserve/restore these tractors.
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