FORD Tractor Story

By Staff
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2821 Wilmington Road, Lebanon, Ohio 45036

Here is a group of pictures of my 1955 Ford tractor, model 850,
serial number 22047. This story is about the finding and restoring
of the tractor that I had hoped to obtain when I was sixteen, but
did not get until I was forty.

I was raised around a 9N Ford and a 1952 8N Ford tractor. After
graduating from college and spending many years teaching school, in
1980 I started looking around for a 1952 Ford 8N. I could not find
one in southern Ohio. I finally found a 1955 Ford 850 that had been
mechanically overhauled and was for sale. At Christmas of 1981 I
bought the Ford tractor and a grader blade. Since that time I have
bought a Dearborn two-bottom plow, a six-foot disc and a lift pole.
I have tried to restore all these pieces of equipment mechanically
and cosmetically since that date. In 1986 I found a gentleman who
agreed to steam clean and paint my tractor. He did a great job. We
also got the radiator and starter rebuilt when we had all the sheet
metal off the tractor.

In January of 1991, my wife bought me a book called Ford
by Robert Pripps. In the book I noticed a bearded
gentleman by the name of Bill Ficken, manager of Strojney Implement
of Mosinee, Wisconsin, in a picture holding a crankshaft for a
Ford. I wrote the company and a few weeks later the gentleman
called me after school. I asked him if he could find a lift arm for
the left side of the three point hitch on a Ford 850. He said yes,
so I sent him the money and I received the arm a few days later.
The old one had been welded. I then continued to search for two
radius rods. The ones on the tractor had been welded because the
first owner had a loader on the tractor. I finally found two radius
rods in a tractor graveyard near Springfield, Ohio. I carefully
sanded, undercoated and painted the three new pieces of iron for
the tractor and put them on. This made the tractor look better in
my eyes. In 1993, I needed to get a new tube, tire and rim. The
calcium chloride had destroyed everything on one side of the
tractor. I ended up buying two tires, two tubes and one rim. This
was expensive but I really had no choice.

During the 1998 summer I repainted the red belly of the tractor.
The tractor really does look good. I use the tractor in the spring
and fall to plow and disc my garden. During the winter I need to
keep my long driveway cleared of snow. During the fall I cut wood
to heat our house. I really have used the tractor every weekend of
September 1998. The pictures I have sent are of recent times using
the tractor to haul wood out of the woods to my house. I cut 100%
hedge apple trees or thorn trees (osage-orange) with a big green
apple on the trees. These trees are really a pain on cattle, bush
hog mowing, tires on tractors, and your skin when cutting the
trees. I am not cutting valuable trees such as maple, oak, hickory,
ash, and other hardwoods, but I am trying to clear a rather large
cow pasture of this unwelcome invader of southern Ohio, hedge apple

I am trying to find two ribbed 6:00×16 front tires for my
tractor. I cannot find two-ribbed, only three-ribbed tires, which
seem only to be available in southern Ohio.

Maybe somebody will start making these tires again. I would be
interested in knowing if anybody makes them. I thought Miller Tire
Company of Wauseon, Ohio, would get them for me, but at the
Portland, Indiana, show this past May 1998 I talked to them and
they did not have the two-ribbed tires.

I have enjoyed the sixteen years I have spent with my 850 Ford
tractor. I wanted to buy this tractor when I was in high school but
I had to wait for 22 years before I could afford the time, money
and energy to get the tractor.

I hope the pictures prove to be of interest to some readers.

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