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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I recently bought a Ford Industrial tractor on Craigslist. I've been searching like a maniac to nail down the model, so far I'm still in the dark, and hoping someone here will be able to come up with a final ID. I know that it's 1975.

Model number: K5011F
Production number: 5E15B
Serial number: C467239

Engine: Serial K732085, Production # 5A30N

The loader is model 735.

Any help is appreciated!

 

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i bought a international 2500A a few years ago.it also is a industrial tractor.there is very little information on the net.i then talked to this guy that works on farm tractors and he informed me that this tractor is the same as the international 574 farm version same parts.i would find a knowledgeable repair person and see what yours is related to in the farm version.the only difference between the 574 and the 2500 industrial is the 2500 is built heavier.
 

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K5011F looks like a typical 1965-1975 model number, except for the K at the beginning. The 50 means industrial chassis, the first 1 means a diesel engine, the second 1 means no PTO, and the F at the end means it has the 4x4 power reversing torque converter transmission. The K at the beginning is the confusing part.

The 735 loader was sold to fit the 3000 and 4000 series tractors, and your picture sure looks like a 4500 to me, but that K at the beginning of the model number should be a D if it was.

My first guess would be a 4500 with a screwy model number stamped on it or maybe a 3500, and then either a 335 or a 445, but they had different loader frames that were beefier than the one in your picture, but the loader could have been swapped out at some point. the 3500 and 4500 were made from 1965 through 1975, and the 335 and 445 were both made from around 1975 to around 1983, so the production code of 5E15B would put it as being made on May 15, 1975 by the day shift. Even though the date code could be 1965, the 1965 3500 and 4500 had louvers on the side of the hood that your picture doesn't have, so that's why I'm saying 1975.

Post some pictures of the rear axle and I might be able to tell you more as I think that the 3500 had a different rear axle than the 4500.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the reply. The rear axle is just like my 4100, with inboard wet brakes. I had first thought 3550, but they had generators, mine has an alternator. There is no evidence that the loader is anything but original. I'm now leaning towards the 420, which from what I can find was made '75-'78, but I have no real evidence. The parts book for my 4100 covers the 420, and I haven't found any contradictions looking through that.

The 4500 was discontinued in 1974 and had a different front end. The 3500 likewise didn't make it to 1975 and had outboard brakes.

<edit> I had emailed Ford NH with the numbers a couple of weeks ago, no response. I decided to call customer service just now and got a very helpful young woman who took my info and said she'd call back. She did, but said their records don't go back far enough, so not even a guess. She said she'd kick it to someone who may have the resources to find an answer, I guess I'll see if I ever hear from them again. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I got the call back from a man who said he was from Kobelco?? Based solely on the serial number, he said the tractor was a Model 445. The problem is I'm not believing it, it simply doesn't square with what I'm seeing sitting in my driveway. :( How could you do a tractor ID without considering the model code?
 

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From my understanding, they used sequential serial numbers for all tractor models from a particular factory, not matter what model came off the assembly line next, it got the next serial number. At least that's what I understand about the 1965-1975 thousand series.

What makes you say that they stopped making the 3500 and 4500 models in 1974? It was my understanding that they made all of the original 3 cylinder thousand series (2000, 3000, 4000, 3400, 3500, 4400, 4500, etc.) into 1975. You may be correct, but it's not what I've been told in the past by others who seemed to know what they were talking about.

From comparing your pictures to what's on the net, you may be right about it being a 420. It definitely doesn't really look like any of the 445 pictures out there. The loader frame onthe 445's mount to the nose of the tractor differently than the 4500 and 420, and yours looks like the 420 or 4500 type of mount.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
What makes you say that they stopped making the 3500 and 4500 models in 1974? It was my understanding that they made all of the original 3 cylinder thousand series (2000, 3000, 4000, 3400, 3500, 4400, 4500, etc.) into 1975. You may be correct, but it's not what I've been told in the past by others who seemed to know what they were talking about.
I don't know it for a fact, but that's how it seems going by the date annotations on the Ford NH parts lookup.

In retrospect I don't think the people I talked to today knew what they were talking about, the woman I first talked to had it as a Ford 5000 gas, again based solely on the serial number. She (the official Ford NH customer service person) found it on TractorData.com. Gee, why didn't I think of that. :banghead3

The Ford NH parts lookup has the 445 not being made until 1978, so I guess that's that. If I Google "1975 Ford 445", I basically get nothing relevant.
 

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Well, someone else posted a similar set of numbers on the Ford forum over at yesterday's tractors on Saturday. His is a K5012K, which is basically the same model as yours, but with a trans driven 540 rpm PTO and a 6x4 manual reversing transmission, and his has a 1973 production code and serial number, but you're saying that they started making the 420 in 1975, so that doesn't really jive. I'm thinking more and more that the K model designator was just a special model designator that they started putting on the 4500 after some certain date in the early 70's, but I don't really have any concrete information go go on, just a semi-educated guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm thinking that the "K" may have been used with more than one model. I've also seen people swear that the K indicated a 3550, but mine clearly isn't one.

I'm going to call mine a 420 until I find out otherwise. Comparing it to others on the net (I've really studied all of the available photos), and also comparing part numbers with the 420 parts list, I'm not finding any inconsistencies with what I'm looking at in my driveway. I've got to call it something, 420 is my very best guess based on the info available. :)
 
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