Free information is often worth exactly what you paid for it. I have found a few trusted sources, but none of us is perfect. All information on this page is based on the most reliable sources found so far. Information published in actual FORD documents, such as the Ford Tractor Master Parts Catalogs, should be more reliable than any books or urban legends circulating the web. Several of the antique tool dealers I have come in contact with have been useless. They speak like experts, but when I try to verify what they say, the actual documentation is different. Like everything else on the site, this page is a work-in-progress, and will continue to be updated as I find new (reliable) information or errors are pointed out to me. A special Thank You to some true experts: Mr. Don Barkley at just8ns.com, Mr. Tim Daley, and Mr. Marvin Baumann, for taking the time to provide additional information, and corrections.
You will see many references in books and on the web for the Ford 7 Piece Tractor Tool Kit. You can even buy complete Ford 7 Piece Tractor Tool Kits on eBay. However, it might be surprising to learn that none of the Ford N-Series tractors came with a "7 Piece Tool Kit". Some tractors may have been delivered with seven or more hand tools, but the official Ford Tractor Master Parts Catalog does not list a "7 Piece Tool Kit". What we find in the parts manuals are listings such as 9N-17004 Kit (tool) - Consists of the following: B-17005-A Bag, 01A-17015 Wrench, 01a-17016 Wrench, and B-17025-A Pliers.
In the rush to get the earliest 9N Tractors into production, some of the tools were taken from current automobile tool kits.
Other items listed in the parts manuals are the Tractor Jack (9N-17078), Storm Cover (9N-17049), Tire Pump (9N-17052), and Grease Gun (9N-17125-A or B). In 1949 two additional tools were added. These are for the new adjustable valve assemblies, RH and LH Tappet Wrenches (8N-17045-A & 8N-17046-A). Additional tools and accessories may have been included in sales by some dealers.
I have a copy of an Ohio Tractor & Implement Company Service Bulletin dated April 17, 1950. This bulletin is addressed to "all dealers" and states that, effective with serial number 8N-260796, the Grease Gun (59C-17125) will no longer be supplied in the tractor parts kit. This same bulletin also states that, effective with serial number 8N-22137, the Adjustable Wrench (01A-17021-A) will no longer be supplied in the tractor parts kit.
This certainly appears to be an official service bulletin, but I cannot say if it applied to all dealers, or just all dealers in the Ohio area.
This is already confusing enough, but in spite of what the official parts lists indicate, original owners across the country disagreed widely regarding exactly which tools and accessories were furnished with their new tractors. Some 8N tractors may have been furnished with only the plow wrench (17014).
Advertising and selling a "COMPLETE Ford 7 Piece Tractor Tool Kit" is not wrong. For most 9N, 2N and early 8N Ford Tractors, a complete set of standard plus optional tools will usually be a total of seven (7) hand tools. A complete tool kit for the late 8N tractors should also include the tappet wrenches (17045-A & 17046-A). Some will argue that the tappet wrenches are not really "hand tools". It might be more accurate to consider them accessories since they are only used when adjusting valves. My research did not stop with the 8N but I had to draw the line somewhere for these web pages.
If even a partial set of original tools was included when you bought your tractor, you are fortunate. Most of the tools usually ended up in the first owner's toolbox. In most cases the only way to buy them now is as "Antique Ford Tools". It is up to you to be able to identify the correct "Tractor" tools. BUYER BEWARE! Just because the ad says "Ford Tractor Tools" does not make it true.
If you are interested in putting together a set of these tools for your N-Series tractor, the information I have provided should help you identify the correct tools. There are of course, other web pages and other more expert sources. Please keep in mind that my addiction to these tractors did not begin to take hold until late 2004. There are others who have lived with the addiction for much longer.
You can save a bunch of money by doing your own searching for old Ford tools locally. These tools can often be found on ebay as individual tools, in lots with other tools, and sometimes as complete "Ford Tractor Tool Sets", but BUYER BEWARE!! The condition of the tools offered for sale varies widely. LOTS of look-alike tools are often incorrectly advertised as "Ford Tractor Tools". The usual ebay winning bids seem to run about $10 to $20 plus shipping for individual tools, except for the screwdriver. A good screwdriver with a decent handle and a tip that has not been ground is hard to find for less than $50 plus shipping. Complete sets of seven tools usually go for at least $150 on ebay.
When the Ford N-Series Tractors were being manufactured, there was a lot of pressure to keep the selling price as low as possible. With the success of the automobile assembly line, it was only natural to incorporate current automobile engineering, parts, and components into the new tractor wherever possible. The flathead engine assembly is one example. Some of the tools in these kits such as the Screwdriver, and Spark Plug-Cylinder Head Wrench were standard Ford items that were also found in the automobile tool kits. Other tools, such as the plow wrench, were unique to the tractors.
For my opinions regarding the "GAS GUAGE" wrench click THE FORD "GAS GUAGE" WRENCH LEGEND.
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