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09 NOV 2010–Finishing Touches

I am determined to start the engine and take the 2N for a drive this coming weekend. The engine is full of oil, tranny and differential are full. I made a temporary gasket for the oil cup on the air cleaner until I can get the correct part. Headlight wiring is done and the headlight buckets are installed. New 12-Volt Bulbs have been ordered.

This may be a mistake. Instead of ordering sealed beam headlights, I am going to fit H1 halogen conversions to the N-Tractor headlight buckets. Enclosing the heat of halogen bulbs in a sealed housing may prove to be a mistake. Stay Tuned, GRIN.

11 NOV 2010–Tail Lights

At this point funding for a project like this is already way over any original estimates. You may also not see the sense in buying "just like original" tail lights for a working tractor. They are not cheap. If you want tail lights, but don't want to spend much, these el-cheapo trailer lights are an option.

[Image Round Plastic or Metal Trailer Light]

Suitable trailer lights can be found in several versions with plastic or metal housings, the ones I like bolt directly to the N-Tractor tail light brackets. Most trailer lights will have dual-filament bulbs. I'm going to hook up the running lights, and ignore the extra wire for now. The brake light elements could be wired to a flasher for extra safety if you take your tractor down the road on a regular basis.

If you don't like the factory finish, they can be easily painted (below).

[Image Trailed Light Painted Gray]

I didn't like the bolt threads sticking out the back of my lights. The carriage bolts are just press-fit into the housings. I pressed them out, turned them around, and pressed them back through the Ford tail light bracket. The nuts now go on the inside of the housing.

If you plan to use the ground path through these bolts, make sure you clean the paint off where the carriage bolt heads hit the bracket. This also applies to any other attachment points. The ground path must make metal to metal contact everywhere

This is another reason I run ground wires to all of my lights. I don't like scraping paint off new parts. These lights do not have a convenient place to attach a ground wire, but with the bolts turned around it was a simple matter to attach a ring terminal under one of the nuts on the inside. Slipping that wire around the socket, and out the back of the housing with the other wires, was the difficult part.

The reward for all that effort is a cleaner installation that nobody but me is probably ever going to appreciate.

13 NOV 2010–Went for a ride Today!

[Image 2N is Operational]

The 2N fired right up today and we went for a ride. There's plenty of oil pressure, and the shop-repaired radiator seems to be a good one. The conversion headlights look good and work great. I had to cut a gasket to go between the headlight ring and the lens. They were a little loose. There was plenty of room in the housings for the bulb, but not for a connector plug. I simply installed ring terminals on my headlight wires, and bolted the wires to the H4 bulb terminals with #4 nuts, bolts, and washers. Yes, #4 is teeny-tiny hardware, nearly too small for my fingers, but that's the largest size that would fit through the square holes in the lugs on the H4 bulbs.

[Image 2N and 8N]

I like the way the paint turned out. Painting the hub centers like the 8N gives it an updated look. They match the 8N paint scheme a little better than if I'd painted the entire rear hub red. Out in the sun there is not as much difference in the gray as I expected. Maybe I won't be repainting the 8N as soon as I thought.

[Image 2N and 8N]

The 2N hood emblems are the el-cheapo aluminum ones, I hand-painted the field blue and followed with a little bright silver paint on the letters. It looks a little rough up close, but photographs well.

Yes, it started right up and went for a drive, but I would be less than truthful if I let you believe that the hero rode off into the sunset, happily ever after, The End.

NO, It aint' done yet. Some folks would have you believe their tractors always work flawlessly after a major overhaul like this. I wish mine did. In most cases, there is probably a trial period where we discover things like loose bolts, seals that don't seal, or any number of other really weird problems. I hope I'm not the only one who finds that mice have nested in their muffler!

When we finish a new building project we do what is called a punch-list. This list covers all the minor details the Contractor needs to complete before the project is done. OK, Here's the 2N punch list:
1—The carb is not right. The engine wants to quit if the choke is allowed to open completely, even after it's warmed up.
2—The wiring for the lights is incomplete.
3—Something is seriously wrong with the start pushbutton.
4—"Restore Rear Rims" is still on my list.
5—The lower lift arms were replaced after I was through with the red paint, so these don't match. I cleverly concealed that fact in the photos, GRIN.

14 NOV 2010–When I went to fire it up the third time yesterday, nothing. It would not crank, GRRR. The battery and starter are fine. It turned over using a jumper cable between the battery and the starter. Yes, I double-checked neutral position before doing that (didn't want this saga to include a trip to the ER).

After some checking, my START switch wouldn't make contact, even after taking it off and working it with a BIG pair of pliers. Best I could get out of it was an intermittant connection. This switch looks brand new, so I didn't consider replacing it. There is no printing anywhere. They apparently weren't proud enough to put their name or country-of-origin on it. JUNK Parts again, a new one has been ordered.

[Image Guts of a Fried Start Switch]

Here's what the inside of a burned-up switch looks like:


With all of the fresh paint, there is no longer a good ground connection between any lights and the frame of the tractor. The last thing I want to do is scrape off new paint between panels or under bolts to create a good ground path. So, my wiring for all lights will need to include ground wires to the tractor frame. I am using ring terminals under 3/8" bolts that go into a major cast iron part near each light.

There is no way two #10 wires are going to fit through the bolt into each headlight housing. The problem with tail lights is similar. The bulbs were all grounded inside the fixture housings, the housings were intended to be grounded to the hood or fender, which in-turn would be grounded to a major casting. My wiring into each fixture housing will be the largest gauge wire I can fit, terminated with plug-ins to the #10 hot and ground wires close to each fixture.

My light switch has two positions. I'm connecting it so the first position turns on head and tail lights. The second position will turn the work light on. That's the way I want it to work. The 52 is currently wired like a car, first position is tail lights, second position adds the headlights. The work light is always HOT and controlled by a switch on the worklight.


I may go ahead and pull the carb for a good cleaning. It was working fine when I removed it. I thought it would be fine, but sitting for many months and drying out may have clogged some passages.

21 NOV 2010 - The new Start switch from just8ns.com fixed the no crank problem. Now that it starts reliably, I tweaked the carb adjustments and it settled down and started running right. Fresh gas may have "cleaned" the carb some. Here's another series of photos:

[Photo Nothing Spacer]
[Image 2N in Shop-Front]
[Image 2N in Shop-Back]
[Image 2N and 8N]
[Image 2N Close Up of Nose]
[Photo Nothing Spacer]

11 DEC 2010–The carb problems didn't go away. The tractor started and ran fine a few times but started running rough. Diagnosis was easy, fuel running out the botom of the carb = float stuck. I gave it a couple of whacks and it stopped, hmmmm. This carb may eventually sort itself out, but who wants to wait for a maybe? This is why I keep a few spares handy.

[Image Carb]

Pulled a rebuilt M/S carb off the shelf and spent about 15 minutes swapping carbs. The tractor fired right up and we went for a ride. Wow! Big difference. I should have known better. No, The carb isn't really that orange. It's just another example of a weird color showing up on digital photographs.

That will end this Step-by-step series.



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