8n Steering box

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I inherited a 48' 8n from the wifes granddad and a while back the steering shaft broke so I replaced it with a new one and the steering has not been the same since.
The first issue was the amount of play, I had a full 360 deg of wheel play and of course this is no bueno. I actually used it a few times like that but now something in the steering box has locked up and it will only turn one direction. the tractor is in rough shape cosmetically but runs like a champ. I'm hesitant to put a new steering box on simply because it doesn't seem too smart to put between $600 and $800 into something that might not even be worth that much when fixed.
There is a bit of sentimental value to it that makes me want to fix it though. Locally, I've found a 9n someone has listed on fb for 'parts or restoration' for $300 but another gentleman on here told me that the 8n & 9n steering boxes are not compatible in any way so I'm open to suggestions on how best to proceed.
Can this be rebuilt at any meaningful savings over the cost of a replacement one?
If I did choose to replace it with a new one, what other parts would I need to purchase?
I've seen reference to 'newer models' of steering boxes being better than the old ones. I'm not sure what specifically they are referring to?

Thanks much for reading and any help is greatly appreciated.
 
Yes, they can be rebuilt. But, they also have some adjustments to take out some slop. The early steering box like you probably have there is not as much as the later 8N boxes had.

You say you have a 1948 8N, but engines get swapped out frequently so it is best to verify the type of steering box you have. Does your steering box have a circular steering arm housing where it comes out of the box? Or, does it have a big flathead screw on each side for adjustments?

Also, I suggest you grab a copy of the I&T FO-4 Shop Manual. It goes over step by step how to work on these great machines including how to rebuild and adjust your steering box.
 
I inherited a 48' 8n from the wifes granddad and a while back the steering shaft broke so I replaced it with a new one and the steering has not been the same since.
The first issue was the amount of play, I had a full 360 deg of wheel play and of course this is no bueno. I actually used it a few times like that but now something in the steering box has locked up and it will only turn one direction. the tractor is in rough shape cosmetically but runs like a champ. I'm hesitant to put a new steering box on simply because it doesn't seem too smart to put between $600 and $800 into something that might not even be worth that much when fixed.
There is a bit of sentimental value to it that makes me want to fix it though. Locally, I've found a 9n someone has listed on fb for 'parts or restoration' for $300 but another gentleman on here told me that the 8n & 9n steering boxes are not compatible in any way so I'm open to suggestions on how best to proceed.
Can this be rebuilt at any meaningful savings over the cost of a replacement one?
If I did choose to replace it with a new one, what other parts would I need to purchase?
I've seen reference to 'newer models' of steering boxes being better than the old ones. I'm not sure what specifically they are referring to?

Thanks much for reading and any help is greatly appreciated.
The 8N tractor had two steering boxes; an early and a late model. The late one was much better and easier to repair -SEE PIX to ID yours. The prior 9N & 2N Steering Boxes are different and not compatible with an 8N. Early used the Saginaw Reciprocating Style. A PITHA to get adjusted. John Smith once said he would never do a an early box again. Will replace with a later one when needed. Get your manuals to guide you.

Tim Daley (MI)
 

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I inherited a 48' 8n from the wifes granddad and a while back the steering shaft broke so I replaced it with a new one and the steering has not been the same since.
The first issue was the amount of play, I had a full 360 deg of wheel play and of course this is no bueno. I actually used it a few times like that but now something in the steering box has locked up and it will only turn one direction. the tractor is in rough shape cosmetically but runs like a champ. I'm hesitant to put a new steering box on simply because it doesn't seem too smart to put between $600 and $800 into something that might not even be worth that much when fixed.
There is a bit of sentimental value to it that makes me want to fix it though. Locally, I've found a 9n someone has listed on fb for 'parts or restoration' for $300 but another gentleman on here told me that the 8n & 9n steering boxes are not compatible in any way so I'm open to suggestions on how best to proceed.
Can this be rebuilt at any meaningful savings over the cost of a replacement one?
If I did choose to replace it with a new one, what other parts would I need to purchase?
I've seen reference to 'newer models' of steering boxes being better than the old ones. I'm not sure what specifically they are referring to?

Thanks much for reading and any help is greatly appreciated.
There are some YouTube videos pertaining to 8N steering box rebuild.
 
Thanks much gents. I had looked before but this time I found a phenomenal video that shows everything you need to know about the steering box rebuild, including the needed parts and part numbers.

I've attached a pic of my steering box and it appears to be the early type according to the pics Tim uploaded.

On another note, the serial number of my tractor appears to have an 'I' (uppercase i) at the beginning. Is this actually a 1? (pic is attached)

I'm including the link to the video I referenced.


thanks again guys,
Joe

IMG_7910.jpg
IMG_7911.jpg
 
Yes, you do indeed have a early 8N steering box. And yes, the "I" is a "1" in the serial number. It is kind of a pain to line up the steering sectors inside the box with the steering wheel shaft so take your time as it is easy to get a tooth off. Also, the round housings are concentric so rotating them is how you adjust for wear.
 
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Yes, you do indeed have a early 8N steering box. And yes, the "I" is a "1" in the serial number. It is kind of a pain to line up the steering sectors inside the box with the steering wheel shaft so take your time as it is easy to get a tooth off. Also, the round housings are concentric so rotating them is how you adjust for wear.
FORD used a special hand stamp to mark vehicle serial numbers. Early s/n's had a STAR ★ symbol, late s/n's went to cast iron sleeves and marked with now wth a DIAMOND symbol ♦. Star Symbol prefix and suffix to designated steel liners were used. ALL 9N & 2N tractors began with the '9N' number - never a 2N s/n mark. The 8N used a '8N' prefix number. ALL FORD vehicles used this method, not just the tractors. NOTE date on Service Bulletin scan. Your s/n ★ 8N 127694 ★ is a 1948 Model year. NOTE #2: S/Ns only were stamped when the assembled engine passed QC Inspection and a Break-In Period. Vehicles were never marked on the assembly line as they moved down. S/Ns were stored at random then got pulled at random to the line as needed. S/N's were meant to also double as the vehicle s/n but a lot of engines got swapped out so not always the case. You can only say you have bragging rights to that year designation and move on. Don't put a lot into a s/n in other words. Casting Date Code ID Tags were cast raised on the starter pocket and this defined the actual date the block was cast at the Rouge Foundry. Coding on " A3 -0 " as shown defines block was cast on January 3, 1950. ID Tags were attached on the sand casting mold and never hand stamped like a s/n. Engine block serial numbers on the N's were only stamped in one place as shown -by the oil filter housing near the head. Some other parts had casting date ID Tag codes as well like axles and hydraulic pump bases. Share & Enjoy.

Your Mileage May Vary,
Tim Daley (MI)
 

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