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Right tractor for us?

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David Masury
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:58 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I think that you just need to start asking questions to get you going on the right track... what is wrong with your tractor...

I will echo one contributor, buy the manuals.. they are available here on this site. Then you can proceed to having a good tractor.

I purchased an non-running 9N for$1500, it had four brand new tires and tubes, a new radiator, and looked pretty bad. In less than a week and less than $100 I had a great running tractor that I know how to fix. I admit that I asked a few questions here and looked in the archives.

I want another tractor, not a new one.

DHM
 
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old
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

An 8N can be one of the best most dependable tractors out there or it can be the biggest pain in the back side you have ever seen. But it you would do a full rebuild and fix all that might be wrong with it then you will have a tractor that when your dead and gone will still be running strong and if your kids take care of it it will out last them also. Now you take one of these new tractors with a price tag of $10,000 plus well it might last you 10 years if your lucky. So if you say put $2000 into the 8N to fix it you will be money and tractor ahead . Or keep the 8N and buy another tractor that way you have something to play with and learn on because you will need to know how to fix one if you buy a new one since it will never last half as long as that 8N
Hobby farm
 
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Kenster
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:29 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Dave, I think the root of this is that you are frustrated. I get that way, too. I can do a lot of things with the tractor, and have learned to do many more with help from this board and the manuals. I don't have the skills or equipment to do major overhauls and the thought of splitting the tractor really scares me. However, I love the old tractor (52 8n) and if I had the money to buy a new tractor, I would definitely instead, haul her in and spend a couple of G's having her totally overhauled, rewired and all systems rebuilt. Pretty much make her new again. That ought to take care of the major stuff for several years and allow me to take care of the minor things and hone my skills in the process.
Good luck in your decision.
 
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Dukester
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:52 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Dave, we don't know what kind of farm, size, tractor requirements etc. That being said...if you absolutely have zero interest in working on a tractor - ANY tractor then get one with the warranty and haul it to the dealer when you have problems - and you will have problems sometime!

On the other hand, if you don't mind tinkering and have the time, then keep your N and ask yer questions here. Believe me, I've been helped many times over on this forum. BTW, do ya really need the headlights? I've had my 8N for 6 years and turned them on once maybe? These folks here can help, regardless.

The middle road would be to keep the N and get someone else to overhaul it right away so you can keep on farmin. May have to enlist a neighbor's help or hire someone in the meanstwhile..

Cheers!
Dukester
 
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Danny in CO
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Dave,

I've had my 48 8N since 1999 and use it on my 13.5 acres. In 2002 I rebuilt it and that is all I have ever done to it. That is other than oil changes. I have not even had to change the points or plugs.

In my opinion once you get the kinks worked out you will have a dependable tractor with a LOT more money in your pocket.

All tractors will break down at some time. If your new off the showroom floor breaks, will they come to your place to fix it or do you have to take it to them?

Only you can make the decision as to what you want to do. It's your choie.

Good luck,
Danny
 
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Fitter Roger
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Well, I am in the same boat as you, I bought my farm last fall and work a night time job to support my farming habit.

Let me tell you a quick story. The farmer behind me had been farming for 30 years. He has plenty of larger tractors (IH 1086 seems to have been his smallest.) Between his land and mine is a small spring fed creek that was full of junk iron, tanks, cars, tractor parts and dead animals. When I bought into this mess he and I decided to clean up the creek with the help of the DNR and the World Wild Life Federation. He bought a brand new New Holland utility tractor. I came up with GrandaPa"s 8n. They are both the same size, he has 27hp, we both used a 6 foot back blade, he has a loader on the front I don"t. I use a back bucket. It took us 3 weeks of day in and out cleaning. His New Holland got wet around the dashboard and POOF no more electronics. NOT COVERED UNDER WARRENTY. Repair cost: $1200 and the having the shame of a 57 year old 8n drag a week old machine home. So we ran the 8n down by the creek in the silt and keep the NH on the junk wagon duty. In the dashboard repair time we ran the 8n for 3 days solid. When the NH came back for repair it died again on the junk wagon. The 8n dragged it 6 miles to the repair shop. This time it was a covered defect that took 2 days to repair, OH and the shame of having a clapped out 8n drag in a brand new NH back the dealer! You could hear a pin drop in the shop as the ole 8n dragged the NH into the repair bay! While at the NH dealer I bought 2 12volt bulbs and had headlights for the way home!
 
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Fitter Roger
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Sorry to cut off my story from my other post. The bottom line......We tend to push our tractor to do things we should really think twice about. The older tractor seem to take the abuse better and are cheaper to repair. So far I have under $500 in my 8N in brakes and hydraulic repairs. I want to paint it, fix a front oil leak and get new tires, under $3000 total. My neighbor has $23,000 in his new New Holland. It is 2 months old and has been back to the shop twice, once his fault, once NH"s fault. I would say that new NH is a great tractor, if I had the cash I might think about getting one. It is so idiot proof to operate and real safe. BUT It still need routine repairs and maint. work done to it, just like the 8N.

Now for my soap box. The auto industry had spoiled us. Most cars and trucks today run with very little problems at all. Most can go for 7500 miles between oil changes and spark plugs and anti freeze last for 100,000 miles. NOT TRACTORS.

Roger
 
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Briar Creek Stables
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Dave,

I have a horse ranch and just started raising cattle in another barn. I started out small and bought an 8n off a coworker to get me buy. I've run that 8n for the last several years to do everything from snow removal to spreading manure.

The 8n is getting tired and I wanted to get something I could run a haybine and some other larger equipment with. I ended up purchasing a Massey 1135 this year. I figured 130 horse would do all.

I had planned on selling the 8n and just using the massey for everything.

The Massey has cost me more money in the last 2 months in repairs than the 8n has ever cost me including the purchase price of the 8n. Carberator problems are a pain for sure, try replacing an injection pump. I would much rather deal with a carb any day, price and labor. The massey pto clutch went the first week in operation. It's deffinately been a money pit.

My plans have now changed some. Being that the 1945 8n with it's little worn four cylder that smokes bad enough to look as if it were on fire, has bailed the big 130 horse massey out time and time again...We're keeping the 8n and rebuilding the engine. I'm still hanging on the larger tractor, I just know I can always depend on the 8n if needed.

In the 6 years I have had the 8n, it roughly cost me $100 in repairs. In the 4 months I had the Massey it cost me well over $3000.

Just a little food for thought
 
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tool kat
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

The question to be answered first is can you live with 27 hp at the pto and non live pto and hyd. If the answer is no, than if you could buy the best N in the world for $1, you have paid $1 too much.
My guess is in 50 years people will still be using Ns and many other new tractors will be forgotten
The N is nice and nimble and can be a joy to use if you can live with the above. Like any old machine, it needs fiddling from time to time.If that is not you, a newer tractor may be a better choice.
Just my two cents.
Tool Kat
 
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Dunk
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Would you believe that we live in a disposable society these days?

Most everything made now has a calculated lifetime so that a a new one can be sold.

That was NOT Mr. Ford's plan.

Would you believe that every part on an N tractor that wears is replaceable?

That WAS Mr. Ford's plan.

LONG LIVE N TRACTORS!!


(Yes, I would love to have live hydro, and live PTO, I have no use for one without the other)

I have accomplished miracles with 1949 8N *236763* over the last nearly 25 years for a total cost of less than $3,500, including implements.

And it stil amazes me what I can do for $5 of gas, well change that to $15 lately.
 
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dlplost
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

For $2,000 to $3,000 you can buy another "N" in good working condition, work on and learn with the other "problem" "N" on the rainy days when you cant work in the field. in the end you'll have 2 of the MOST reliable tractors EVER made, and they will both out live ANY NEW tractor you can buy today. These tractors were built to be serviced and repaired by the pre WWII era farmers with a bare minimum of experience.
Back when we needed to replace the clutch on our 8N, my kid and one of his friends asked what we had to do to replace it. I told them split the tractor, and showed them where the clutch was in the tractor. 4 hours later the tractor was back out of the garage and working with a new clutch in it. Neither of them had ever worked on a tractor before that day. They split it, replaced and adjusted the clutch, and put it all back together without a BOOK or any help from me.
 
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TheOldHokie
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:05 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


My .02.

The N series tractors are a historical marvel. They are inexpensive to maintain and quite capable of many general agricultural tasks. But they are 1940's technology and lack a lot of very useful and desirable features you will find in many recent vintage tractors. Henry Ford knew that and his later models are a testament to that. If I had to limit myself to one tractor for real agricultural work it wouldn't be (and isn't) an N. I'd look for a good used machine with (my highest priority first):

1) More HP, weight. and 3pt capacity
2) Live hydraulics w/remote - more GPM the better
3) At least 6F and 2R gears with a dual range rear end (or Hydrostat!)
4) Differential lock
5) Front loader
6) Power steering
7) 4WD
Cool Mid PTO
9) Diesel
10) Cab/ROPS

Depending on your particular usage requirements you might want to shuffle the order of the last five but I think the first five are nearly universal. Any newer tractor is going to be more expensive to fix - that's a given. Some are worse than others. I have a 80's vintage 17HP 4WD Kubota Diesel, incredibly reliable, easy on fuel, and parts are only modestly more expensive than N parts. And unlike the N's I have yet to find a part that is NLA. Doesn't plow worth a darn and has limited ground clearance. But has a FEL, Cat 1 3pt, and will work rings around my N moving dirt or mowing grass. In the 15+ years I've owned thes two machines I've spent way more time fixing the N - parts are pretty close to even but that includes a full rebuild of the N's motor. The Kubby still runs strong but it's coming.

I've looked at new Case/IH, Ford, and Kubota machines in the not too distant past and passed them by because of the $$$. I also looked at a couple new inexpensive Chinese machines but passed them by because of concerns over parts availabilty. I can pick up the local classifieds and easily find a pretty decent 35+ HP used machine with many of the features I listed for well under $10K. My neighbor bought a used 4WD Kubby with hydro and a FEL for $12K last year and I lust after that thing. Probably about 35hp and #3000 without the loader. Runs like a top and has about 1500 hours on it. If he takes care of it it will almost surely see 3000 before it needs any real attention and may well go way past that.

I'm very fond of my N but it's my "hobby" tractor - not my daily worker.

TOH
 
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ED-IL
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:38 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hey Dave - I understand your frustration. More than once in the last 6 years I have thrown my hands up in the air and said, "that's it - I am selling it!"

It is easy to remember only the down time with my 2N and it is easy to forget all the times it started in 10 degree weather to plow snow, and all the times it mowed acres of brush in 90 degree heat, and every evenly mowed blade of grass in the yard.

Truth be told, once you undo what the idiot owner before you screwed up, these are tremendously reliable and economical tractors. At 61 years of age my 2N seems to just be getting its second breath. Granted that breath has some oil smoke in it, but shee does like to work.

Good luck in your decision, and try not to spend too much money.

Ed
 
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john hunt
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:39 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

hey dave REMEMBER THIS

FIX
OR
REPAIR
DAILY
SURE LOVE BAILING WIRE AND BUBBLE GUM AND HAMMER, SCREWDRIVER and cresent wrench.. KEEP MY old tractor RUNNING
that why you keep tool box full of tools and part on that tractor ... " if we quit micky mouse it back together and not really fix right. will alway going have breakdown " hope this make sence to keep old tractor run as long we can..
 
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Steve B
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: Right tractor for us? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I can relate to your concern. For what it's worth, I bought a small 25 acre farm 5 years ago and planted Christmas trees and nut trees on 8 acres. The rest is in hay that I have to bush hog twice a year. My first tractor purchase was a rebuilt Ford 1951 8N. I thought it would be a simple, reliable machine for not much more than a riding mower. Well, the previous owner didn't tell me everything and I ended up fixing a major electrical problem right away because the battery kept going dead. The tractor ran great after that (started up "bang" first time every time) for about 1-1/2 years. Then my carburetor started to get wacky, air filter clogged, etc. and I just can't get it back the way it was. It takes forever to start and when it does, the thing overheats every 5 acres. I finally got tired of messing with it as my farm work was getting farther behind. My neighbor would finish up with his new tractor but never asked for any gas money-nice guy! So, I bought a new Kubota and have been using it ever since. I didn't realize how hard I was working with the old 8N until I got the nice, easy to operate, hydrolic clutch, independent PTO Kubota. My greatest justification for this tax deductible expense was needing to get work finished for a change instead of spending hours tweaking the old ford. I am going to post it on ebay soon if anyone's interested. The Ford 8N is just not worth my time.
 
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