1948 8N rebuild progress

JJay48

Member
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Just started tearing down my 8n Sunday evening that originally belonged to my grandpa who bought it brand new. I wanted to start this thread because I will have many questions a long the way.

Its going to need many new parts but has great bones to start with. Many of the parts are in great condition and just need cleaned up and painted. I will buy all the parts I can from yesterdaytractor but if another company sells a certain part that is preferable to the one sold here that would be nice to know. I currently have many parts in the cart for the cooling system.

The stock 6v wiring was in bad shape. I think I have settled on converting it to 12v for ease of battery maintenance and working with my charging systems and jumpers. Plus I want to clean things up with the 1 wire alternator.

Question 1: Who makes the best 12v conversion kit?
I watched a YT video about the conversion and the guy mentioned another site had a nice kit and he liked how their adjusting bracket was curved. I have not noticed this though looking at the parts photos.

Question 2: Which Engine rebuild kit?
I want to pull apart the engine and replace all the gaskets and do a valve job. While I am in there I think I should at least replace the rings and possibly just re-sleeve it. I have read about adjustable lifters that allow the valves to rotate. Which kit would be good to go with for the engine rebuild. I want to make sure I get some good replacement valve springs with the correct seat pressures.

Might take the engine to a machine shop if I can find a trust worthy one as it would be nice to have it hot tanked and the head/deck surfaces checked. Not sure how crucial that is with the flat head engine though because most seem to skip this step.

Question 3: What service manuals get the most detailed with specs and directions for the rebuild? I currently have the I&T shop service manual.

I will post up some photos soon.

Thanks
 

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I have 9N-2N Ford service manual 1943 and 9 2 8N IPL, but too big to post here.

I have links to download them but not sure if they can be posted
 
Just started tearing down my 8n Sunday evening that originally belonged to my grandpa who bought it brand new. I wanted to start this thread because I will have many questions a long the way.

Its going to need many new parts but has great bones to start with. Many of the parts are in great condition and just need cleaned up and painted. I will buy all the parts I can from yesterdaytractor but if another company sells a certain part that is preferable to the one sold here that would be nice to know. I currently have many parts in the cart for the cooling system.

The stock 6v wiring was in bad shape. I think I have settled on converting it to 12v for ease of battery maintenance and working with my charging systems and jumpers. Plus I want to clean things up with the 1 wire alternator.

Question 1: Who makes the best 12v conversion kit?
I watched a YT video about the conversion and the guy mentioned another site had a nice kit and he liked how their adjusting bracket was curved. I have not noticed this though looking at the parts photos.

Question 2: Which Engine rebuild kit?
I want to pull apart the engine and replace all the gaskets and do a valve job. While I am in there I think I should at least replace the rings and possibly just re-sleeve it. I have read about adjustable lifters that allow the valves to rotate. Which kit would be good to go with for the engine rebuild. I want to make sure I get some good replacement valve springs with the correct seat pressures.

Might take the engine to a machine shop if I can find a trust worthy one as it would be nice to have it hot tanked and the head/deck surfaces checked. Not sure how crucial that is with the flat head engine though because most seem to skip this step.

Question 3: What service manuals get the most detailed with specs and directions for the rebuild? I currently have the I&T shop service manual.

I will post up some photos soon.

Thanks
Looks like it might have electronic ign installed.....if so and you switch from 6v to 12v, you may be out a couple hundred on new 12 ign unit.
 
Just semantics, but your post says 8N Restoration. Restoration means to restore exactly as it came from the manufacturer when new. There is no such thing as a 12v 8N Restoration. Instead, you are refirbishing your 8N to make it better than it is now. The reason I point this out is there are a few who have actually restored these 8Ns and the effort is remarkable and very difficult.

I would recommend sending the engine to a machine shop if at all possible. If you are going to go through all the work of rebuilding the engine, might as well spend a little more and go all the way. I have done this on all my engine rebuids and they found and fixed many things I would have never recognized.

Your 8N looks great and can't wait to see the progress.
 
Just semantics, but your post says 8N Restoration. Restoration means to restore exactly as it came from the manufacturer when new. There is no such thing as a 12v 8N Restoration. Instead, you are refirbishing your 8N to make it better than it is now. The reason I point this out is there are a few who have actually restored these 8Ns and the effort is remarkable and very difficult.

I would recommend sending the engine to a machine shop if at all possible. If you are going to go through all the work of rebuilding the engine, might as well spend a little more and go all the way. I have done this on all my engine rebuids and they found and fixed many things I would have never recognized.

Your 8N looks great and can't wait to see the progress.
Hi,

With cars we do many levels of "restoration" many of which are not 100% to factory spec. I call it a restoration because I am planning to return it to original condition or better even if all the parts are not 100% original. I am shooting for the middle ground close to show quality but not too nice where I am afraid to use it.

Call it what you will though.

I dont know much about the 8n besides the basics and the research I have done so far. I used this tractor a lot growing up though and will never sell it as it has sentimental value.

If I can find a good machine shop I trust I may use them. Lots of horror stories from friends getting their motors rebuilt with local shops though. It would be nice to have the motor hot tanked and the head and deck surface trued and the valves done by a pro.

Thanks
 
Degreased and pressure washed it today.
 

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Finding a good machine shop will be a tough thing. I'm in the same boat any more when it comes to engine work. No machine shops left for basic engine machine work. It would be worth traveling to find a good shop.
 
Finding a good machine shop will be a tough thing. I'm in the same boat any more when it comes to engine work. No machine shops left for basic engine machine work. It would be worth traveling to find a good shop.
I have trust issues with these kinds of things lol. I had been burned too many times so I try to do all I can myself. I have done a few rebuilds but far from an expert.

I am not sure if the way the paint is worn off the head is normal or if it has been over heated. My dad said it got low on coolant once and it started to steam so he shut it off and added coolant. So my main concern is possible effects from that.
 
Hi JJay48. Just something more to think about. If you want to retain the 6 volt system, you can get a 6 volt positive ground one wire alternator. Alternator parts dot com is one place. They make the whole kit too.
Like you said, you will have lots of questions. Have fun and enjoy your project.
 
Great looking tractor, he (or they) took good care of it. Rebuilding the flat head is easy, you can do it. I would definitely re sleeve it while you are at it. Depending on how close you want the work to look original, Dennis Carpenter has a wire harness that is cloth wrapped and looks more original. Plug wires also. This is a resto-mod, so maybe it doesn't matter. This is an early 8N since it has a front distributor, so it may not have the rotating valve lifters. I don't know what year they started using them. Easy enough to find though. I got mine for my 2N off Ebay. Working on a Family heirloom is always fun.
 
Great looking tractor, he (or they) took good care of it. Rebuilding the flat head is easy, you can do it. I would definitely re sleeve it while you are at it. Depending on how close you want the work to look original, Dennis Carpenter has a wire harness that is cloth wrapped and looks more original. Plug wires also. This is a resto-mod, so maybe it doesn't matter. This is an early 8N since it has a front distributor, so it may not have the rotating valve lifters. I don't know what year they started using them. Easy enough to find though. I got mine for my 2N off Ebay. Working on a Family heirloom is always fun.
Thanks for the info. I like the idea of stock looking wires. The main thing I wanted checked at the machine shop was cracks and to see if there was any warping of the head or deck. I can inspect the bearings and rotating assembly. The valves need work too I am sure as I think they were not sealing too well. Not sure if that is due to the exhaust being too tight or just build up around the seat.

I have been doing lots of research on how to rebuild the hydraulics, steering box, and replace the axle seals and brakes. I want to completely strip the cases and clean them out good and paint it piece by piece.

My grandpa loved this tractor. Even though he sold the farm in the late 70's he still held on to this tractor. It had been kept in a barn with a concrete floor most of its life. Most of my life I know my father always wanted to rebuild it so I want to get that done while he is still around. My dad is a really good body man and has restored many cars. Some to 100% original spec down to what markings were on the radiator hoses and what color every specific part was suppose to be. Not as worried with that on this tractor but I do want that original feel so I wont be adding too many mods besides the 12v. Most everything will be the correct color but if the starter gets painted black instead of red its not a huge deal to me.

This tractor will be my warm up before I start on my 56 Chevy sedan but the more I learn about these 8N's the more I like them. I also have a Bobcat S630 which is great as it comes in handy a lot but I could have used the tractor last year to drag my yard. The bobcat with wheels is not the best for dirt work because of the weight.
 
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You better have a torch if you want to disassemble one of these old 8N's lol. Will most likely be getting that out today for some of the pins.

How do you guys get the drag links loose without damaging them? I was hitting the drag link end with a hammer and prying up on the bar but no luck. Might have to get out the air hammer and use an old nut so I don't damage the original one.
 
Lots of discussions on pros and cons of 12 volt conversion. Your choice. There is no right or wrong here. The twelve volt conversion kit sold on this site works well. At one time I owned 11 vintage Ford tractors. I am down to onl;y 3 now. I did most of the work myself but I was fortunate to work with two great machine shops. You need to find a quality machine shop. Not easy to find.
 
You better have a torch if you want to disassemble one of these old 8N's lol. Will most likely be getting that out today for some of the pins.

How do you guys get the drag links loose without damaging them? I was hitting the drag link end with a hammer and prying up on the bar but no luck. Might have to get out the air hammer and use an old nut so I don't damage the original one.
Pickle fork is what you need to pop off the drag links.
 

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