John's Old
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1940 Ford 9n

This is my 1940 9n Ford. It was manufactured in late 1940. This tractor is currently being restored. This is how it looked when I unloaded it. Bought in early 2008, this tractor has hard to find smooth rear axles, an aluminum dash, and other parts unique to the early N's. It also came with an 8n front axle assy and doglegs, rotting rims, and bad tires. Additionally, this tractor had not run for some time.

The story begins in the fall of 2007 when I purchased an early 1940 9n on eBay located in Northern IA. Being a pretty nice find I wanted to find the remaining parts that are unique to the 1939 and 1940 tractors like 32" wheels, smooth axles, etc.

Following up on a lead from YTMAG, I located a set of early smooth axles. The good news was that they were for sale, the bad news was that they came with a tractor which did not run. Knowing that these axles are a highly sought after item I bought the late 40 for a price that was fair for both of us. Once home I went to  work trying to get the late 40 to start. Initially it had no compression and the fuel system was all gummed up etc. After a month of soaking the cylinders it was starting to show compression. With a rebuilt carb and a temporary gas tank I managed to get the late 40 to run. At this point I had a new problem, which tractor to keep?

Not being independently wealthy I knew one had to go, after a couple of months running both tractors I decided to keep the late 40 as it had a Sherman OD, the smooth axles, and the aluminum dash was in better shape. Once again I began to move parts around ensuring I would end up with a correct late 40. The early 40 received the 8n front axle assembly, a new paint job, new wiring, and a new owner. When it left here it was in much better shape than when it arrived. While the wrong color if you sell N tractors you know not too many cars stop to look at gray ones, mostly just red ones.

With the early 40 gone it was full speed ahead on the late 40. The rear rims had been on so long they had seized to the stud bolts. No amount of beating, penetrating oils, or heat would free them. I finally sacrificed the wheel centers in order to remove the wheels which were in extremely bad shape.

After swapping parts between the two 40's and hunting for more parts I had located a set of 32" wheels and tires west of  St. Louis, and ordered an aluminum front grill. The late 40 was beginning to look like and early N again although it was not running right.

Some of the things that are unique to the early Ns are that the gear shift lever, leveling box handle, and hood latch were chrome plated. A little chrome remains on mine.

Another item unique to the early Ns is the aluminum dash and transmission cover. Part designs changed frequently on the early Ns and there are numerous versions of these parts depending on serial number.

After running the late 40 for most of 2009 with no improvement on idling and compression I decided it was time to restore the tractor. Currently it has no brakes, the gear shift rubs on the transmission gears when in neutral, the clutch sticks badly, the transmission leaks, but the hydraulics work well. In this photo of teardown the early non-pressurized radiator is visible. This one holds water but is beat up bad. I have a couple more of them each with its own problem, one day they are all going to the radiator shop and I hope to return with at least 1 good one. You may also notice that the tractor is now gray. Prior to a parade appearance last year it received a quick rattle can paint job so it was mostly 1 color.

Here the engine block has been removed and disassembled. The block is currently at the machine shop being decked and the valve seats ground. Friday I received a call from them stating that front main cap was not from this block and it needs line bored. This would explain the poor oil pressure it has when hot. 3 of the head stud bolts broke when being removed. They were removed by drilling and retapping the holes. That's a good way to kill a Saturday.

While the block is at the machine shop I am starting the rebuild beginning at the rear end. The rear axles will be removed so that the lower lift pins can be tightened. New axle seals and brakes will be installed with the axles out.

Today I removed the axles. You start by backing off the brake adjusters and removing the nuts from the six bolts holding the bearing retainers. Both of the adjusters were froze up and had to be  loosened up with some penetrating oil. Once backed off the axles came out without incident.

A temporary solvent tank was made to degrease parts. I used a 50/50 mix of gas and kerosene. I would prefer to do this outside but its February and I live in Western IL, its cold outside.


The remainder of the tractor is knocked down. The transmission was removed, the left trumpet is removed allowing access to the differential. The differential is removed and inspected. This one looks like new as do the bearings, this is good news.

The right trumpet is pulled leaving just castings. Its possible to do this without a hoist but considering I have one..... The casting weights around 75lbs.

Close inspection reveals lots of debris in the hydraulic cavity. These are small hard crusty pieces originating from the top hydraulic cover caused by condensation.

Finally, the rear housing casting is cleaned in preparation of tractor assembly.  I would prefer to do this on a warm summer day but that isn't in the cards this time. This casting weighs around 120lbs.

Its now time to inspect the transmission. The transmission is noisy and needs to be looked at. The transmission case is setting on sawhorses but is still chained to my gantry for safety.

The main shaft was removed and is in great shape. The bearings appear to be replacements.

The counter-shaft is a different story. The front bearing fell apart removing the shaft. The rear bearing has chips in the rollers.

The gears are all damaged, looks like someone has tried to shift gears while the tractor is rolling. This transmission is not designed for shifting while rolling.

                                        Click here for 1940 9n Ford part 2

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