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Model and serial numbers for all Ford tractors were hand-stamped into the cast iron engine or transmission housing. The exact location changed and is described below for each model. Hand-stamped means the numbers may be difficult to read if the hammer didn't get a really good whack on each character. The N-Tractors used an odd font with lowercase "b" substuted for "6", flipped upside down for "9" and the capital "I" substituted for "1". The hand-stamped engine serial numbers for 9N,2N,8N tractors only indicate approximately when a tractor was built. These hand-stamped numbers were the last identifying mark added before final assembly of a tractor. There are no identifying marks to indicate the exact date a tractor was assembled.

Cast parts were have date codes that the factory used to make sure parts were properly cured before being machined. Fresh "green" castings are brittle and will break tools or the casting if machine work is attempted too soon. Casting date codes will have raised or recessed numbers and letters on a tag that was attached to the mold with screws. The tag and screws are visible on the casting. Date codes varied but the most common code found on the 9N, 2N, 8N tractors is a letter indicating the month A=Jan, B=Feb, C=MAR... The next two numbers indicate day of the month, a final number indicates year. The date code F262 indicates June 26,1959.

Again, the fresh "green" castings are too brittle for machine work, so they were placed in a holding area for at least 30 days. Engine blocks were then pulled from the holding area to be fully machined, cleaned, and then set in another holding area. Machined blocks were then taken to the engine assembly area where they were fully assembled and then placed in another holding area. Assembled engines then went to the QC Test Area. Wnen each engine passed QC Inspection/Testing, the hand stamped serial number was applied, and the engine was placed in another holding area.

What all that means is the casting date code on any part must be at least 30 days prior to the part being machined. In the case of an engine block, final assembly and testing had to take place before the hand-stamped serial number was added. Tractor assembly would probably have been several days or longer after the engine passed QC and was stamped with a serial number. It is very common for one of these tractors to have parts with casting date codes that don't exactly match. The backlog in holding areas for different parts could vary significantly. Engines were pulled for final assembly on the line. Serial numbers were stamped in sequential order after passing QC, but they were not maintained in any particular sequential order for final assembly.

For later model Ford tractors (especially after the model/serial numbers were moved to the transmission housing) the hand-stamped model/serial number code was added as the tractors were assembled, so the model/serial numbers for those tractors do indicate the actual date the tractor was assembled. I have no idea exactly when the hand-stamped serial numbers became "tractor" rather than just "engine identification.


This has been expanded to include four cylinder tractors thru the early thousand series and 3-cylinder models thru 1975. My Ford 3000 was a 3-cylinder version built after 1965. Refer to tractordata.com to find photos and information about other years, makes, and models of farm and industrial tractors not covered here.

Ford 9N


The Ford 9N Tractor went from handhake to production in just a few months. The very aggressive schedule resulted in some differences between the first models and later models. A cast aluminum hood was used because the stamped steel hood could not be manufactured in time. Other items included parts borrowed from Ford cars and trucks. Serial numbers were stamped on the upper/left/rear corner of the engine block above the starter. All numbers start and end with a star and have the prefix "9N" to indicate 1939 model.

Built from June 1939 - 1942
Serial Numbers -

1939 ☆ 9N1 ☆ to ☆ 9N10275 ☆
1940 ☆ 9N10276 ☆ to ☆  9N46017 ☆
1941 ☆ 9N46018 ☆ to ☆  9N88933 ☆
1942 ☆ 9N88934 ☆ to ☆  9N99046 ☆

Tractor production was halted on Feb 10, 1942 by order of the US War Production Board (WPB). President Roosevelt established the WPB in January 1942 by Executive Order 9024. The WPB consolidated federal agencies to more efficiently direct the conversion of U.S. industrial production capability and raw materials from peacetime products to miliraty products. The WPB rationed products such as gasoline, oils, metals, rubber, plastics, and paper. The WPB was replaced by the Civilian Production Administration shortly after the defeat of Japan in 1945.

Ford 2N


Mr. Roger Kyes (president of the Ferguson-Sherman Corporation) came up with the idea of producing a tractor without rubber tires, battery, or starter. The Model 2N was born but production of the stripped-down tractors did not start until October 1942. Few 2N tractors found today will look any different from the 9N tractors. The stripped-down steel-wheel version was produced in very small quantities for just a few months before Ford was allowed to return to the pre-war specifications for tractors. A steel-wheel version photo is provided further down this page. Some of the obvious factory changes to the 2N tractors included; changing several previously chromed items to painted and changing from I-Beam to Tube-type Radius rods part way thru the 1944 production year. Few changes were made from 1945 to 1947. Ford engineers were busy working on the new 8N tractor design. Serial numbers were stamped on the upper/left/rear corner of the engine block above the starter. All numbers start and end with a star and still have the prefix "9N" to indicate 1939 model.

Built from 1942 to 1947
Serial Numbers - (Note Prefix is still 9N)

1942 ☆ 9N99047 ☆ to ☆ 9N105411 ☆
1943 ☆ 9N105412 ☆ to ☆ 9N126574 ☆
1944 ☆ 9N126575 ☆ to ☆ 9N170017 ☆
1945 ☆ 9N170018 ☆ to ☆ 9N198766 ☆
1946 ☆ 9N198767 ☆ to ☆ 9N258539 ☆
1947 ☆ 9N258540 ☆ to ☆ 9N306221 ☆

Ford 8N


The most obvious change for the new Ford 8N was the new "Red Belly" paint scheme. Mechanical improvements included a 4-Speed Transmission and added Position Control to the 3-Point Lift. Serial numbers were stamped on the upper/left/rear corner of the engine block above the starter. All numbers have the prefix "8N" to indicate 1948 model. The stars changed to diamonds in 1951 when the engines went to thick-wall cast iron sleeves rather than steel sleeves used previously.

Built from July 1947 - 1952
Serial Numbers - (Note Change To 8N Prefix)

1947 ☆ 8N1 ☆ to ☆ 8N37907 ☆
1948 ☆ 8N37908 ☆ to ☆ 8N141369 ☆
1949 ☆ 8N141370 ☆ to ☆ 8N245636 ☆
1950 ☆ 8N245637 ☆ to ☆ 8N343592 ☆
1951 ☆ 8N343593 ☆ to ♢ 8N442034 ♢
1952 ♢ 8N442035 ♢ to ♢ 8N524076 ♢

Ford NAA


The new model NAA tractors built starting in 1952, for the 1953 model year, got a special "Golden Jublee" hood medallion to celebrate Ford's 50th anniversary. The big change for this model was the new overhead valve "Red Tiger" engine. Serial numbers were stamped on the upper/left/front corner of the engine block until 22238. After that serial numbers were stamped on the left/front/side of the transmission housing. New for the NAA models was stamping zeros so all serial numbers have five numbers until the 1 was added at NAA100000.

Built from 1952 - 1954
Serial Numbers - (Note Change To NAA Prefix)

1952 NAA00001 to NAA04929 
1953 NAA04930 to NAA77474 
1954 NAA77475 to NAA128965 

Ford Hundred Series - 600,700,800,900

tractor photo

For the new "Hundred" series Ford began to offer many more options than previous models. There were now row-crop versions. two different size engines, different transmissions, with various clutch, and PTO options to choose from. More tractor models and options does create a problem. Parts can be much harder to find and more expensive than for earlier tractors built when only one model was available for several years. Model and serial numbers were stamped on the left/front/top of the transmission housing. Serial numbers start and end with diamond symbols.

Built from 1954 - 1957
Serial Numbers -

1954♢ 1 ♢to♢ 10614 ♢
1955♢ 10615 ♢to♢ 77270 ♢
1956♢ 77271 ♢to♢ 116397 ♢
1957♢ 116368 ♢and♢ Higher ♢

Starting with the Hundred series in 1954, Ford began using a model number prefix to indicate options such as engine size and transmission type. If you have your model and serial numbers written down, GoTo Decode Table.

Ford 01 Series - "Workmaster" 501,601,701, and "Powermaster" 801,901

tractor photo

Ford continued to offer even more models and options with the '01 series. Power steering and diesel engines were now available. The Workmaster tractors had an all red hood and grille. "Powermaster" tractors had gray on the sides of the hood. Model and serial numbers were stamped on the left/front/top of the transmission housing.

Built from 1957 - 1962
Serial Numbers -

1957 1001 to 11996 
1958 11997 to 58311 
1959 58312 to 105942 
1960 105943 to 131426 

If you have your model and serial numbers written down, GoTo Decode Table.

Ford Thousand Series - Early Models

tractor photo

A few thousand series tractors were built as light and heavy industrial models beginning late in 1960. The light industrial models were very similar in appearance to the '01 series. Model and serial numbers were stamped on the left/front/top of the transmission housing.

Built from late 1960 - 1963
Serial Numbers -

1961 131427 to 155530 
1962 155531 and Higher 

Ford Thousand Series - 2000, 4000, 6000

tractor photo

In 1962 Ford introduced the thousand series utility tractors. The hood/grille was changed doing away with the round "cyclops" hood emblem. The paint scheme for utility tractors was changed to the new corporate blue and light-gray colors. A few industrial models were red and buff color. Model and Serial numbers are stamped on left/front/top corner of the transmission housing.

Built from 1962 - 1964
Serial Numbers -

1962 1001 to 11948 
1963 11949 to 38930 
1964 38931 and Higher 

If you have your model and serial numbers written down, GoTo Decode Table.

Ford Thousand Series - 3-Cylinder Engines

tractor photo

The Thousand Series continued until 1975. The big change for 1965 was the new 3-cylinder engine. Serial numbers are in three parts stamped on right/front/top corner of the transmission housing. Note - These numbers were started at an even hundred for each year.

Built from 1962 - 1964
Serial Numbers -

1965 C100000 to C124199 
1966 C124200 to C161299 
1967 C161300 to C190199 
1968 C190200 to C225999 
1969 C226000 to C257599 
1970 C257600 to C202099 
1971 C292100 to C327199 
1972 C327200 to C367199 
1973 C367300 to C405199 
1974 C405200 to C450699 
1975 C450700 and Higher 

If you have your model and serial numbers written down, GoTo Decode Table.

Here's a link to 9N/2N/8N specifications and General Information .

Or a link to my site INDEX.


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