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I need some help decoding the serial and production codes on my Ford Thousand Series tractor. I've looked at many many websites and can't find how to read these numbers. Can any of you Ford guys out there tell me what these mean?

6A 23B
B36
(star)8200 68(star)

This is close but maybe not exact. I'm not completely sure about the 8 before the last star on the bottom row.
Someone has stuck some stick-on letters on the hood that say "3000" but I'm not sure that's correct.

Thanks in advance for any info you can share.
 

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6A23B looks like a production code, which would mean that it was made on January 23rd of some year that ends in a 6, liker 1966, 1976, etc. If it is a true "thousand" series, then it would be 1966.

The B36 doesn't mean anything in terms of a model number, serial number or production code that I can see.

The number between the stars is supposed to the be the serial number, but it should start with a letter. Could the first character possibly be a "B" instead of an "8"? Even then it would still need another numeral to be a complete serial number.

It is possible that the transmission was replaced at some point and the person who replaced the transmission didn't know what they were doing when they stamped the numbers into the flat spot.

Post some pictures of the tractor and we might be able to help you better. These are typically the pictures that would tell us the most:

1. Picture of the front of the tractor showing the grill, headlights if any and the front axle and steering linkage.

2. Picture of the rear of the tractor showing the rear axle.

3. Picture of the right side of the tractor showing the gear shift and the right side of the engine.
 

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Here are some pictures. The tractor is up in a shed and I don't want to start it and move it out until I have flushed the fuel system so my camera angles aren't great.
 

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From the grill and sheet metal and the rear axle pictures, it is definitely an 1965-1968 2000 or 3000 model tractor.

Since it has the 8 speed transmission, I would bet that it is a 3000 since the 2000 was usually the "bargain basement" model and not many of them were made with the 8 speed, the early 2000's were mostly 4 speeds and the later ones were mostly 6 speeds.

So my best guess would be a 1966 3000.

Those numbers definitely look like they were stamped by someone who either didn't know what they were doing or was intentionally trying to hide the true numbers.

It definitely looks like it needs a good cleaning and a number of seals and gaskets replaced at the very least.
 

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I can't clean it where it's at. My next job is to flush the fuel system and tank so I can move it out to reach it. There's no fluid underneath it so I think the seals are weeping but not completely failed. I had new tires and tubes put on it today and that was a chore. There was water in the tubes but one of them was torn and the water badly corroded the inside of the wheel. One step at a time.

Thank you so much for the information. I'm going to proceed on the basis that it is a '66. Many of the parts appear to be interchangeable across a wide range of model years.
 

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The "water" in the tires was most likely a mixture of Calcium Chloride and water, as that mixture can be close to twice the weight by volume than plain water, plus it doesn't freeze, so that is why it was used as liquid ballast. The down side, as you have discovered, is that Calcium Chloride corrodes metal much faster than plain water would rust the metal.

Good luck with it, and keep the posts coming. We like pictures of people's projects as they progress. And questions are always welcome. As they say, the only stupid question is the one that isn't asked.

Here are a few of the changes in the 3000 model over the 10 year production run:

1. April 1, 1968 - Changed the sheet metal and grill design from the earlier style with the wrap-around grill and louvered hood sides to the later style with the flat grill and smooth hood sides. They also changed the model designator in the stamped numbers from a 3 to a C. (Yours doesn't have either, so that one is a moot point)

2. October 1, 1968 - Changed from the earlier style power steering pump with the external reservoir to the later style with the reservoir integrated nto the pump housing.

3. They switched the 3000 diesel models back and forth between the CAV rotary injection pump and the Simms in-line pump a few times.
 

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I just noticed a couple more things in your pictures. I was in a hurry yesterday and only glanced at them when made my post above.

The headlights inset into the grill mean that it was made in one of the European factories, so I'm thinking that the B36 might be the beginning of the original serial number and it was made at the Basildon UK plant.

I didn't even think about it when I first looked at the pictures, but that 4th picture clearly shows a flow control valve, which the 2000 did not have, so it is definitely a 3000 and not a 2000.
 

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Thanks for the observations. Do you know of any sources for owner's and service manuals? Either reproductions or .pdf files would be a huge help.
 

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I see some out there that are third-party manuals such as IT publications. I have also seen several different publications that look like actual Ford products but are different from each other while still saying that they are for the 1000 series.
 

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There were two different "thousand" series tractors from Ford. The earlier one only was made from 1961-1964 and included 2000 and 4000 models only and they had 4 cylinder engines, and were basically slight upgrades to the earlier 4 cylinder 600/601/800/801 series.

The later "thousand" series was made from 1965-1975 and consisted of the 2000, 3000 and 4000 3 cylinder engine models and the larger 5000 and 7000 series 4 cylinder models.

Here is a link to the Operators Manual for the 3000 (includes 2000 and 3000 as well) for the 1965-1976 years, which would be the one applicable to your 1966 3000, as things changed slightly on the tractors and the manual changed as well in 1968:

3000 Operators manual 1965-1967

Here is a link to the Ford shop manual for the 1965-1975 thousand series tractors:

http://www.yesterdaystractors.com/65FTSM_5799.htm

The I&T FO-31 manual is less expensive and covers most maintenance, while the Ford service manual covers a few things that the I&T does not, but the I&T includes some alternate procedures for adjusting things where the Ford manual only gives the factory approved procedures that call for specialty tools that are generally no longer available, so it s a good idea to have both manuals. I have the soft cover I&T manual and I have an electronic (PDF) copy of the Ford service manual that I got off of ebay for around $10.00. I use the I&T manual most of the time, but if it isn't clear or doesn't cover something, I just look it up in the Ford manual on the computer.
 
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