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Right tractor for us?

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DaveIFF
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:46 am    Post subject: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I"ve had a 52 8N for about 6 months now and I"m considering selling it and going into debt for a new tractor off the showroom floor. The most attractive part about the new tractor is the word "warranty".
I bought the 8N because I don"t have much experience working on engines and I thought this would be a great way to learn. Everything is easy to get at and there are no computers to deal with. Unfortunately I"m spending a lot of time "learning" and not much time working in the field. I"ve already replaced some wiring and the starter and now I"ve got carb or spark problems. Not to mention that the headlights have never worked, nor the ammeter.
My small farm is just getting started and so I"m working in town to pay the bills. When I have a couple hours at night to work in the field I"d like to be able to count on the tractor.
I"d like an honest opionion from you guys. Is an old 8N only for people who like the idea of using an antique and like fixing them up or is it a practical tractor for someone who needs to put their time to use working on the farm? I hope your answers will benefit someone considering buying one.

Thanks!
 
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Ken Crisman
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:53 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hi , if you don't want problems like computor glishes , you sure don't want a new tractor . Email me & I can give you more help or advice (hopefully) . God bless, Ken --> callj.j.s@verizon.net
 
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Bruce (VA)
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Location: Old Church VA

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:59 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I work a small veggie farm & have three N's. One I need; the second one was a back up & the third one....well, that's for fun!

For my first & (at the time) only tractor, I found the best running N I could afford.....and then spent about $500 rebuilding or replacing everything I could pull off of it. Why? Because I had to have a dependable tractor & did not want to have a $4-500 a month note to pay on a new tractor that I could not repair when (not if) it broke.

My advice is to first check the compression. If it is over 90 on all four, you have a keeper. Then, pull the generator, starter, v/r & all wires off of it. Rebuilding the generator & starter will be about $90 each. A new v/r is $35 & wiring about $20. If the distributor is ok, just install new points, plugs, condenser, cap, rotor & wires. Replace the ignition switch. Have the carb rebuilt in a shop ($75). Replace the battery & both cables.

Bottom line.....a $10k new tractor w/ a $4-500 a month note, or $500 in new/rebuilt parts & a day or two labor? Your call.
 
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Jim SC
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:03 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You didn't mention how big your farm is and what you expected of your tractor. 8N's are fairly reliable tractors with a few quirks and once you have it running right, they will work fairly well for you if you don't have 300 acres or plan on doing 1500 lb round bales.
Besides, the payment book is a good bit thinner on an N.
 
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Colin King
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Joined: 16 Oct 2001
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Location: Clotho, MN

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:09 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Well, I'd never buy a new tractor, nor for that matter would I ever buy a new car or truck. My time=money=life spent is worth a lot more than the premium charged on a new machine. I don't like donating to overpaid CEOs.

There are thousands of N series Fords in the fields doing the work that any good farm utility tractor can do. They are a great tractor, for serious work, serious play, or just for the fellow who likes having one around.

Take the time to read this board, ask some questions about the troubles you're experiencing, and I'm sure that your N will be running soon.

JMHO

Colin in MN
 
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arthur ward
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:15 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

first, you didn't mention what type of new tractor. china mans? anyway, sure they smell good, until they are used. then you got the same smell and a lighter pocketbook.

now, my 49 8n will pull a two bottom plow with ease. it will quack also with ease. it turns small circles. IT IS EASY ON GAS. it has no electronic boards to fail. speaking of that, if you are thinking of one of those plastic china jobs tractors ... well imagine what the computer or circuit boards will cost you. look at japanese car parts cost! rotors on a ford probe(mazda built)!

sure...initially it will be nice. but i would not go with a new tractor. if you don't have the return out of what you are using it for then why would you do it?

think those china mans tractors will last 50 years? think again.
 
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dwol
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:30 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If you are really serious about having a good running tractor and the N has all of the things you need (ample horse power, and 3 pt) then it sounds like you might want to take your N to a good mechanic and have him overhaul it. Have him fix everything, convert it to solid state, 12 volt system, new carb, gas tank, fuel filters, and what ever else he tells you you need. From there it will be a good reliable tractor that will hold its own for many years. I would think that for around 2 or 3k you will have one hell of a nice rig. Compare that to 12 to 20k for a little tiny rice burner. That will most likely lack in power to the N.
Just my 2 cents. I know many people that have spent lots of money buying new equipment for just the same reasons you say, but it seems like they spend all there money on just a few things. I would rather spend a little here and a little there, and not go to deep into any one thing, especialy on a farm.
 
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crazy8
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Most of us have more than one tractor, each has a purpose. If the tractor is unreliable and a burden get rid of it. The newer tractors are much more user friendly, mechanic friendly?, not sure. You have to figure what your down time really costs you. I would look for a good used model,low hour etc.
 
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rich3
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:03 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You have to look at how well used your tractor is, many things can be rebuilt, but is the usefull life already used up, a well used tractor can be used up in 20-30 years or so, impossible to rebuild everything that has a chance to fail or worn beyond repair, the 8N is 65 years old. If it was previously a hobby tractor then it has a lot of life left. I don't think they had an hour meter, so it would be hard to tell. There are lots of newer used tractors from John Deere/Ford/Massey/Kubota similar size might be a good choice. If you buy from a dealer you would have some sort of warrenty and service. My two cents. I bought a 20 year old little used tractor and could not be happier.
 
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Scott(Ks.)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:08 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I bought my 1951 8N in 1964 when I was 25 years old. I knew it wasn't going to be enough tractor at the time, so I went completely through it. Overhaul, new wiring, paint, tires, carburetor etc. I have done this twice. This has been a working, haying, feeding tractor for all these years. It and I are now pretty much retired and it just pretty much does yard duty. It is still very dependable and I know it will start when I want it to. However, as with any thing mechanical, maintenance items will occur. I would suggest you keep yours and get one of those throw aways to complement the Ford.

My grandson and me.

 
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Scott(Ks.)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:13 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

A picture of my son "driving" the tractor in 1966.

 
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D Squared
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I got my N as an upgrade from a large riding mower that I blew the transaxle out of twice. The N had been overhauled 1 year before I bought it. I have 6-1/2 acres that is half grass half woods. I mow,spread gravel on my drive, haul firewood out of the woods, ditch, pulled an engine or two with the boom, and haul grandkids on the carry all. I'm not saying that I wouldn't be happier with a new one that has hydraulics that would pick up your pick up, but my wallet is happier. It's your call. The N is a good general purpose tractor that you could have fixed for a lot less than a new one. My maintenance costs for the last 10 years, a tune up, a water pump, a starter drive and replaced my 50 year old tires with 2 new front tires and rims.
 
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Keith 44_2N
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:42 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I had a 51 8N that I completely went through. The tractor was as solid as any N, but it had its' inherient limitations that drove me nuts because I wanted to get real work done quickly and safely and I felt that the N just was not cutting it. I now own a Kubota Gand L3130, and it is an amazing machine. It does everything a N can do effortlessly and safely and comfortably. And yes it even has a cup holder. Price tag for this 30 HP, disel, pwr steering,fully independent PTO, 4wd, fully snyched tranny with almost limitless gear selection, and FEL was around $17K. Worth every penny. BUT, I missed that old N. My uncle was selling his very good original shape 1944 2N so I picked it up cheap and fully plan to restore it someday with my son. But I know the N's limitations now, and I plan on using it for lighter chores and shows and fun. Morral of the story, keep the N, becasue you'll miss it even with a new machine around, and it never hurts to have two tractors Smile!!!
 
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Dan
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Location: Garland, Texas

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:49 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Dave - you have a common frustration. Problem here is, most Ns are run into the ground and not maintained properly, then when they get to the point that they are constantly breaking - they are sold (to unsuspecting buyers, much like yourself). This new buyer thinks he is getting a workhorse, when in reality he is getting a project! You have been given some good advice already - I will second the words - spend some time and money to fix as much stuff as possible, you will find you have a reliable tractor that will do the work how you want, and more importantly, when you want. These tractors have not been around for 50+ years because they are built poorly, I would wager those new foreign tractors will not be here in 50 years. Besides, what good is a warranty if you have to haul it back into town and wait for weeks for them to fix it - that still does not address having it when you need it for work...

I obtained the worst rusted out excuse for the scrap heap tractor I could find, spent $5k and rebuilt EVERYTHING. I now have a hard working tractor that starts every time, works like crazy, and never gives me a lick of problems. Sure, this is a extreme case, but how much tractor would $5k buy you at a new tractor dealers lot?

Dan

 
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arthur ward
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:52 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

that picture is worth a thousand words.
 
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