The Ford N series was introduced in 1939 in the USA. This was a reintroduction of tractor production to the USA. Fordson production in the US was halted to use the plant for Model A production. This resulted in production of the Fordson tractor moving to Ireland.
The US factory in Rouge had stopped tractor production to concentrate on the Model A Car in 1928. Fordson Tractor production also started in Cork in Ireland (Part of the UK at that time) in 1919 till 1922. Then in 1928 restarted with the transfer from the USA of the Rouge assembly line for the Fordson Model F. The Cork plant shut in 1933 when Ford Model F production moved again now to the Ford Plant at Dagenham, Essex. The main advantages of the Model F Standard Fordson over the earlier Model F were a more powerful engine of 27 h.p., a higher voltage ignition system, water pump and mudguards (rear fenders) as standard equipment. Pneumatic tyres were an extra cost option. Starting in 1935 a Power Take Off (PTO)was available as an option on the Model N.
Ford 9N - 1939-41
The first of the 'N Series' of Ford tractors was the 9N. The 9N was produced as a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Harry Ferguson an Irish inventor and Motor vehicle dealer. The 9N was based on the Ferguson-Brown Model A, the first tractor to be offered with three point hitch, but which did not have a rear PTO as standard equipment. The 9N was the first tractor to include both the three-point hitch system and PTO, which is still utilized today. The three-point hitch system was labelled as the Ferguson System, and Ferguson would eventually part company with Ford and become a competitor, setting as Ferguson Tractors following a dispute with Ford. The 9N was first demonstrated in Dearborn, Michigan on June 29, 1939. It was designed to be an all-purpose tractor for use on smaller-scale farms.
Ford 2N - 1941-47
The 9N was revised a number of times, until being relaunched as the 2N in late 1941. Some of the main improvements included a larger cooling fan and a pressurized radiator. Policies to conservation materials began to be implemented in the United States during World War II, so some 2Ns can be seen with all steel wheels, and also the lack of sleeved engines. Batteries were reserved for the war effort, so the steel wheel tractors came with a magneto ignition system instead of a battery. After the war the steel wheels and magneto system were replaced with rubber tired rims and batteries. All of the 9N and 2N models featured a front end distributor which was difficult to service.
Ford 8N - 1947-52
Official production of the 8N tractor began in 1947. The most noticeable difference between the 8N and its predecessors was its appearance and the inclusion of a 4 speed transmission rather than the traditional 3 speed in the 2N and 9N. The 8N has running boards and was painted grey on the sheet metalwork and red on the body, while the 9N and 2N were all dark grey and featured foot pegs instead of running boards. A rare 8N variation was the US Air force adaptation which was a 6 cylinder flathead engine design. In 1950 the 8N design changed to feature a side distributor which was more easily serviced. In 1952, the last year of production, another noticeable change was the switch to eight lugs on the back wheels instead of six and improved brakes.
The 8N was the first model to feature a clutch on the left side, and independent brakes on the right side. One of the drawbacks to the 2N, 8N, and 9N was the lack of hydraulic live lift. In order to raise an implement, the power take off, or PTO, was required to be running. This system could make it difficult to raise a mower when bogged down, as the PTO was required to be rotating to drive the hydraulic pump.
In 1953, Ford would introduce the first overhead valve engine in the Golden Jubilee, also known as the NAA Ford; this tractor was larger than the 8N and featured a live lift system.
The Ford 2N model was superseded by the Fordson Major & Dexta in ?? in the UK.
These tractors arr popular with collectors both in the UK and USA, due to compact size, availability, ease of repairs and the number built. A lot of collectors also grew up with models like thes and they can be used for 'Work' still on small holdings & mowing the garden. For main details of preserved examples see the individual model articles.
Additional information regarding production changes to the N series of Ford tractors can be found at N Tractor Club site.
- collector related pages
- Shows and Meets
- Clubs Listing
- Ford and Fordson Association - Collector / enthusiast group for all ford based tractors.
References / Sources
Wikipedia for base article
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