An Unusual Ford 8-N

| February/March 1997

National Dir. Fordson Tractor Club 250 Robinson Road Cave Junction, Oregon 97523

While working on the restoration of this Ford 8-N, the idea came to me to display an unusual 8-N, something a bit different from all the other 25 antique tractors at the Fordson Tractor Club headquarters in Oregon. So, over a period of five years, a lot of thought went into how to make it appear MORE unusual and stand out. Originally, it was purchased without an engine, the fenders rusted out, body parts welded here and there, hood crushed in, grill ruined by powering a front end loader. Bill Wallner, a close friend who also lives here in Cave Junction, Oregon, took on the task of finding an engine and overhauling it. Once assembled on wheels it could be moved here and there when the mood came up to do some work on it. While Bill is better known as a specialist on one-lung engines, he had overhauled a number of Fords over the years.

This still left a lot to be done. Since it was intended to enter it into the annual Father's Day Show at Pottsville, Oregon, home of Branch 9, EDGE&TA, and time was running out, it was put on a trailer and taken to Rogue River, about 55 miles away where Dave Storeide has a shop that specializes in the rebuilding of Ford 9- N's and 8-N's. The previous year Dave had displayed a beautiful 9-N that, outside of the blue-painted body, could hardly be distinguished from new. So, the rest of the tractor the body work, wiring, mechanics, etc. was in good hands.

Meanwhile the idea came up to install steel wheels all the way around. The only trouble is that 8-N's never came with steel wheels (as far as is known), so how to go about it? Having a pair of front 2-N steel wheels, it seemed possible to switch front end hubs and wheels with an extra set of 9-N fronts switched for the 8-N fronts. Some time past, two sets of steel wheels were purchased. One set was a single spike model, evidently made to bolt on the outside of the 9-N rubber tires so when the rubber sank in the mud, the steel lugs would take over the traction. The second set were double spikes, so every other one was removed and bolted back onto the opposite side. The bolt pattern fit the 8-N rear wheels, so this would seem to work. In case we wanted the tractor to be reconverted at a later date, new 400-19 tires were fitted on both a set of 8-N and 9-N front wheels. With the spindles changed to 9-N fronts, new rear 11 -20- 28 tires were also bought and installed on the 8-N rims, so any combination of rubber or steel could be used.

Also wanting it to look unusual and outstanding for the show, a gray Ferguson plow was repainted Ford-8-N red and installed. This was the year John Deeres were featured at the Pottsville show, but this unusual Ford 8-N received most of the attention, and thanks to Bill Wallner and Dave Storeide, a 'new' Ford 8-N on steel wheels was displayed for the first time ever seen!