My Tractor Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Good Morning...now that I have basic info on the Ford tractors from mid 50's to about 1964 I have a couple of questions.

1) One huge advantage of newer version tractors is that many/most are 4WD. With my use in somewhat rough field "mowing", trail maintenance and mowing and working in the woods selectively logging, clearing and generally "managing" my acreage...how much of a disadvantage will I find the 2WD and what is the traction on these Ford tractors like? How often do you either lose your traction and/or get stuck? ie...how often do you wish you had 4WD?

2) Also curious...when did these tractors get electronic ignition? I would guess it is late 80's or '90s???? Never did learn how to "tune"...timing/points etc. I do believe it is not too difficult to learn :)

BTW...While I mentally jump between $5K 50's Ford and $30K new JD...the checkbook will limit my actions! Also, given that I have not owned a tractor I really do not know what or how I will actually make use of 3pt hitch attachments and the hydraulics...particularly a FEL (see I am learning the "jargon"). Sure seems like the place to start is a 660/860 or 2000/4000 series Ford with 5spd and live (if that is the term) PTO...or I could fall in love with an 8N or NAA...:thanku:Tom R

Thanks for the great info...
 

·
Old Guy With Old Toys
Joined
·
1,178 Posts
Tom, The only time I have a problem with 2wd traction is when the ground is very soft and I should not be in there anyway. That said, I've had my 4WD assist Deere stuck several times. I guess it is the 'bravery symptom' with the Deere. The individual braking system helps prevent getting stuck. You learn to use it. Good deep ag tread helps.

A points system works fine on these old tractors if maintained. Points installation is a no brain er, a slight bit different on a front mount N. Points and coil set up on the early Ns do seem to be problematic. If it is not working, replace cheap parts on the points system verses electronic controls on the electronic stuff.
I do not play with any of the newer stuff so I can not answer your question on when electronic ignition became available.,. There are adaptors available to install electronic ignition in the early Fords but I fail to see the advantage.

I will not tell you stay away from an N, just be mindful of the advantages of each feature of a tractor and see what you can live with.

Good luck in your decision
 

·
1981 Ford 1100 4WD
Joined
·
876 Posts
Comments from some of the guys that own the "bigger rigs" will be more relevant than mine.

The Ford 1100 I own has a gross weight with plow around 1300#. I use it primarily for snow plowing these days, used to use it for a home firewood logging. Since most of the weight in this tractor is over and in front of the front wheels, 4wd has been essential, plus the ability to lock the rear wheels.

One area where you would not expect an advantage is going down steep slopes. In 2wd the brakes work only the rear wheels. Declining a slope shifts your center of gravity to the front and the rear wheels loose traction. Enter 4wd, now the front wheels have traction and you won't slide. Take it out of gear on the slope and the brakes will also try to stop the front wheels (because the gearing ties them to the back wheels).

I should mention that my 1100 does not have filled tires in the rear but does have 66# of wheel weights.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,674 Posts
4wd is nice but just remember that when you hang up a 4wd then you are twice as stuck since you get deeper in before yo realize you are in trouble. That said I can do everything I need to do with 2wd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,864 Posts
I've only ever been stuck once in a tractor.. and it was 4wd.

never been stuck with my 2wd jobs.

remember.. even the ones without diffy lock can be helped inthe traction department by selective use of the steering brakes to transfer power to the wheel with traction, from the one that is slipping.

EI is for gas jobs... since gassers went out of popularity in the late 70's ( exception being lp/propane ) EI is mostly an afterthought. oil burners pretty much took over at that point.

soundguy
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,998 Posts
Your original post says that you do a lot of trail and woods work, so smaller is better in terms of not hitting low branches, etc. The newer you go, the smaller you can go and still have the power to do what you need to get done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Your original post says that you do a lot of trail and woods work, so smaller is better in terms of not hitting low branches, etc. The newer you go, the smaller you can go and still have the power to do what you need to get done.
Good point. My concern is if I go too small you get a tractor that lacks core strength, power and attachment capacity that might be helpful/required for some of the applications besides mowing and brush mowing. Example might be box blade work on driveways, trails and in field...and maybe in woods. ALso, I fear I might stress a loader on a smaller unit.

It does appear that some of the mid size compacts...say 33x0 series JD are somewhat smaller than the 50's Fords...also have 4WD but cost a world more.

My fundamental issue is never having owned a real tractor I truly do not know how much I would use it...that is where a nice mid to later series Ford might prove to be a great "entry" tractor. I may be too conservative to actually pay $30K for a 33x0 with attachments.

One thing...this site and tractorbynet are sure great in accelerating the learning experience. Now I need to get some "seat time" to add some actual driving experience :)

Thanks...Tom R
 

·
Old Guy With Old Toys
Joined
·
1,178 Posts
It has been a long thread, I may have missed it. Keep in mind the lack of power steering on the earlier Fords. I believe it was available with the xx1 series. Aftermarket is available. A loader tractor wo PS is not a fun machine to operate although do able.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,864 Posts
actually available as an option in late 54 for the 00 series according to my 660 owners manual.. but as you point out.. rare.. and usually seen more often in the 01 series.. though the rowcrops did seem to get it more often.. etc.

soundguy
 

·
Member of the 0.4k Club!!
Joined
·
412 Posts
Good Morning...now that I have basic info on the Ford tractors from mid 50's to about 1964 I have a couple of questions.

1) ....how much of a disadvantage will I find the 2WD and what is the traction on these Ford tractors like? ...

2) ... electronic ignition? I would guess it is late 80's or '90s???? Never did learn how to "tune"...timing/points etc.

BTW...While I mentally jump between $5K 50's Ford and $30K new JD...the checkbook will limit my actions! Also, given that I have not owned a tractor I really do not know what or how I will actually make use of 3pt hitch attachments and the hydraulics...particularly a FEL (see I am learning the "jargon"). Sure seems like the place to start is a 660/860 or 2000/4000 series Ford with 5spd and live (if that is the term) PTO...or I could fall in love with an 8N or NAA...:thanku:Tom R

...
Seeing as how this thread's a month old, I hope I'm not too late to the party. I've owned an 8N and still have my 601 so maybe can offer a couple of observations.

Tom, on 2wd vs 4wd: Be aware that the early N's & 600/800 series Fords didn't have a dual speed tranny. Sometimes when using a blade, I'd want my groundspeed very slow but RPMs high .. couldn't do it. The gearing was just too high. And without a low-range, using a tiller would be tough, too. On traction, I've never had a problem with either the N or the 601. You mentioned the 2000 which, I think, was the successor to the 601. Good tractor and I believe it also had the dual range tranny.

On electronic ignitions, Pertronix makes quite a few after-market setups. In fact I installed one on my 601 and am tickled pink with it. If you run a points ignition every day, you're less likely to have trouble with it. Mine has to sit once in awhile and it seemed like I was forever cleaning & adjusting points. Not difficult, mind you, but just an extra chore when all I really wanted to do was crank it up and go mow for awhile. On the N's, you usually find a front-mounted distributor. Strange little beast and not any more difficult to adjust than the side-mount, though the front of the engine seems a little oilier and dirtier. The 8N, somewhere around 1950-52, came out with a side-mounted distributor more like what seemed "normal". Very easy to get to, and probably can be retro-fitted with electronic ignition.

On 6 volt vs 12 volt, I'm not a purist. I just want it to have good spark and be reliable. I converted the 8N to 12V and never had any trouble with it. The 601 I have is 12 volt, and I think it probably started life as a 6 volt as well.

On a good "starter" tractor: I was doing the same kind of studying on the problem 25 years ago that you're doing now, and ended up the 8N. No regrets except one: the dual range tranny issue. Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, I wish I'd known to look for that feature. A FEL? Now that I have one, I sure like it but my budget then didn't allow for it. A boxblade, though, would sure be a good tool to go along with a mower for an N, 6XX or 2000 type tractor.

Hope this helps you a bit. It's been kinda fun for me to reminisce.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,864 Posts
Tom, on 2wd vs 4wd: Be aware that the early N's & 600/800 series Fords didn't have a dual speed tranny. Sometimes when using a blade, I'd want my groundspeed very slow but RPMs high .. couldn't do it. The gearing was just too high. And without a low-range, using a tiller would be tough, too. .
I think you should 'be aware' that that statement is false.

you could get aux pre and post trannies for the 9n thru the 6/801 series for the 3 or 4 spd trannies ( not on 5 spds )

this includes tiller and trencher post trannies for rotovators and trench differs, as well as pre trannies that gave you overdrive, under drive, or combination ( reverse trannies too ).

soundguy
 

·
Member of the 0.4k Club!!
Joined
·
412 Posts
I think you should 'be aware' that that statement is false.

you could get aux pre and post trannies for the 9n thru the 6/801 series for the 3 or 4 spd trannies ( not on 5 spds )

this includes tiller and trencher post trannies for rotovators and trench differs, as well as pre trannies that gave you overdrive, under drive, or combination ( reverse trannies too ).

soundguy
I wondered if someone would remember aux trannies like the Shermans. The key is "You could get ..". Correct. But finding one today might be another matter. Not impossible, but not very common either.

But .. I'll defer to the experts. Was just giving my experience. :trink39:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,268 Posts
Having a bunch of old ford tractors from '41 up to '63 I can tell you when I want to get some real work done I'm not hoping on my 9n. I going for something with PS and power. The 800 or 801 or 4000 series IMO is the way to go. It uses more gas then the 600 / 601 /2000 but you have more power.
Going price in this economy in my area for a decent one is about $3000 Or if you want to go for a new plastic one they are about $30,000. Your choice.
I pull timber and never got stuck in the woods. I use 2wd 340 IH. You will learn how to work the brakes. If you have that much mud on your property buy a set of used chains for about $100.
This of course is only my opinon and I'm sure others will differ.

Kirk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Having a bunch of old ford tractors from '41 up to '63 I can tell you when I want to get some real work done I'm not hoping on my 9n. I going for something with PS and power. The 800 or 801 or 4000 series IMO is the way to go. It uses more gas then the 600 / 601 /2000 but you have more power.
Going price in this economy in my area for a decent one is about $3000 Or if you want to go for a new plastic one they are about $30,000. Your choice.
I pull timber and never got stuck in the woods. I use 2wd 340 IH. You will learn how to work the brakes. If you have that much mud on your property buy a set of used chains for about $100.
This of course is only my opinon and I'm sure others will differ.

Kirk
Thanks Kirk...All the input has moved my focus to 600/601/800/801/2000/4000 series with a preference for the larger engine 800/801/4000 series. Also w/PS which I understand you find more frequently in the "later" models.

BTW...what is a 2wd IH...I assume International Harvester. Is it comparable to the Fords I am looking at?...particularily size wise...I do not want to move up to a "full" size tractor in my search :) Thanks...Tom R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Seeing as how this thread's a month old, I hope I'm not too late to the party. I've owned an 8N and still have my 601 so maybe can offer a couple of observations.

Tom, on 2wd vs 4wd: Be aware that the early N's & 600/800 series Fords didn't have a dual speed tranny. Sometimes when using a blade, I'd want my groundspeed very slow but RPMs high .. couldn't do it. The gearing was just too high. And without a low-range, using a tiller would be tough, too. On traction, I've never had a problem with either the N or the 601. You mentioned the 2000 which, I think, was the successor to the 601. Good tractor and I believe it also had the dual range tranny.

On electronic ignitions, Pertronix makes quite a few after-market setups. In fact I installed one on my 601 and am tickled pink with it. If you run a points ignition every day, you're less likely to have trouble with it. Mine has to sit once in awhile and it seemed like I was forever cleaning & adjusting points. Not difficult, mind you, but just an extra chore when all I really wanted to do was crank it up and go mow for awhile. On the N's, you usually find a front-mounted distributor. Strange little beast and not any more difficult to adjust than the side-mount, though the front of the engine seems a little oilier and dirtier. The 8N, somewhere around 1950-52, came out with a side-mounted distributor more like what seemed "normal". Very easy to get to, and probably can be retro-fitted with electronic ignition.

On 6 volt vs 12 volt, I'm not a purist. I just want it to have good spark and be reliable. I converted the 8N to 12V and never had any trouble with it. The 601 I have is 12 volt, and I think it probably started life as a 6 volt as well.

On a good "starter" tractor: I was doing the same kind of studying on the problem 25 years ago that you're doing now, and ended up the 8N. No regrets except one: the dual range tranny issue. Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, I wish I'd known to look for that feature. A FEL? Now that I have one, I sure like it but my budget then didn't allow for it. A boxblade, though, would sure be a good tool to go along with a mower for an N, 6XX or 2000 type tractor.

Hope this helps you a bit. It's been kinda fun for me to reminisce.
Thanks Luv2Q...all the info on this site has been very helpful. I have pretty much moved past 8N to later models...with a target on 600/601/800/801/2000/4000 with a preference to later models (and power steering if available).

Curious how the Kubota compares to the 601...power wise? Do you still find yourself using the 601 much? Thanks...Tom R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,268 Posts
The 340 IH (international Havester) is about the same HP as the 601. I have the industrial model similar to the utility model but a little more heavy duty. They also made a 340 in a row crop.
You also mention that you didn't know how much you would use the 3pt hitch. When pulling timber I use mine all the time. I have found the the box blade works well. I just back the tractor up to the log, hook a chain up to the log and raise up the box blade. This keep the end of the log from digging in. I have a 5 footer which I have found to be easier to manuver in the woods. Whewn not in use pulling timber I can use to turn the garden over with the scarifiers, take them off and grade the driveway. Old beat up but earns its keep around here.
Here is a photo of the 340 to give you an idea of the size. Here I'm putting in a walkway with the box blade by using the scarifiers first to rough it up then pull the dirt out with the blade and then push it in a pile by using the back of the blade. Beats a shnel and wheelbarrow anyday. After the walkway was it I use the box blade to grade off around it.

Kirk

Kirk
 

Attachments

·
Member of the 0.4k Club!!
Joined
·
412 Posts
... I have pretty much moved past 8N to later models...with a target on 600/601/800/801/2000/4000 with a preference to later models (and power steering if available).

Curious how the Kubota compares to the 601...power wise? Do you still find yourself using the 601 much? Thanks...Tom R
I'm sure with you on power steering. In the range of models you mention, the later models would be the 2000/4000 which, I think, were built late '50s-early '60s. Some were diesels, some had the dual-range tranny.

I'm not sure if any of those models came with p/s but I have seen after-market p/s units marketed at one time or another. No idea of how involved an installation would be, though.

Comparing the 601 to the B2320 Kubota power wise? It's a pretty big difference. Around 31-32 PTO HP on the 601 vs ~17-18 with the 2320. The 601 can handle a 5' shredder ("bush hog" in some parts of the country) and not break a sweat in fairly tall grass. By comparison, the Kubota is probably better off with only a 4' shredder. The same tall grass wouldn't bother it, either; it just takes longer to get the job done. And the power steering and 4wd on the Kubota would make the job more pleasant even if it takes longer.

Do I still use the 601 much? Only about twice a year to clean up pastures. Without p/s, it about works me to death but it does get the job done. The Kubota's used for mowing up closer to the house, driveway maintenance (boxblade) and whatever landscape work The Boss has in mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I'm sure with you on power steering. In the range of models you mention, the later models would be the 2000/4000 which, I think, were built late '50s-early '60s. Some were diesels, some had the dual-range tranny.

I'm not sure if any of those models came with p/s but I have seen after-market p/s units marketed at one time or another. No idea of how involved an installation would be, though.

Comparing the 601 to the B2320 Kubota power wise? It's a pretty big difference. Around 31-32 PTO HP on the 601 vs ~17-18 with the 2320. The 601 can handle a 5' shredder ("bush hog" in some parts of the country) and not break a sweat in fairly tall grass. By comparison, the Kubota is probably better off with only a 4' shredder. The same tall grass wouldn't bother it, either; it just takes longer to get the job done. And the power steering and 4wd on the Kubota would make the job more pleasant even if it takes longer.

Do I still use the 601 much? Only about twice a year to clean up pastures. Without p/s, it about works me to death but it does get the job done. The Kubota's used for mowing up closer to the house, driveway maintenance (boxblade) and whatever landscape work The Boss has in mind.
Thanks John...if I found the right model might end up with PS/live PTO/live hydraulics/dual range tranny...and still have a pretty nostalgic, reasonably priced tractor...that would be pretty functional also...Tom R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
The 340 IH (international Havester) is about the same HP as the 601. I have the industrial model similar to the utility model but a little more heavy duty. They also made a 340 in a row crop.
You also mention that you didn't know how much you would use the 3pt hitch. When pulling timber I use mine all the time. I have found the the box blade works well. I just back the tractor up to the log, hook a chain up to the log and raise up the box blade. This keep the end of the log from digging in. I have a 5 footer which I have found to be easier to manuver in the woods. Whewn not in use pulling timber I can use to turn the garden over with the scarifiers, take them off and grade the driveway. Old beat up but earns its keep around here.
Here is a photo of the 340 to give you an idea of the size. Here I'm putting in a walkway with the box blade by using the scarifiers first to rough it up then pull the dirt out with the blade and then push it in a pile by using the back of the blade. Beats a shnel and wheelbarrow anyday. After the walkway was it I use the box blade to grade off around it.

Kirk

Kirk
Kirk...looks like your making good use of it! Is it similar size as the 601 as well as HP? Looks pretty close in the picture. Are the 340 very "available" and can you get parts? Thanks Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,268 Posts
Tom
the 340 is about the same size as the 601. Parts are still available although ford parts are more available. Some 340 came with a 2pt fast hitch although I have a 3pt on mine. Not as much 2pt fast hitch stuff as 3pt. Just punch in ford tractor on ebay and it will be up over 10,000.

Kirk
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top