John's Old
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1943 2N FORD

This is a 1943 Ford 2n. This was my first tractor restoration and it really should be all gray. Not having the resources when I restored it, I painted it to match the paint that was on it which turns out to be the 50's Ford red (slight orange color) and late 40's Ford gray. This tractor will get repainted one of these days.

The seller of the tractor stated it was a 1953 8n. It wasn't until checking the serial numbers on some strange Internet board did I understand that this was a war time 2n. This is the first tractor I worked on and I was new to Internet forums. I never took a before shot but the tractor at first seemed to be in average shape. It did have a big loader on it that made it nearly impossible to steer and use as a mowing machine. Without any lifting equipment I unbolted the loader, jacked it up off the tractor, and backed the tractor out from under it.

The 2n first came into the shop for a leaking water pump. This is when I learned about mission creep. Before I knew it I had started to go through everything forward of the tranny/rear end split. What I found was that everything related to steering was either broken or worn out. The front axle had been welded in 5 places, the steering gears were shot. and the tire rod ends were shot. This is not my tractor but is representative of the condition upon tear down. While needing some repairs the tractor ran like a Swiss watch.

The steering box was rebuilt, tie rods replaced, as was the front axle support and axle. The spindles and front hub bearings all had to be replaced.  When I sandblasted the front wheels they looked like Swiss cheese and had to be replaced. Little by little the front end was taking shape.

The tractor was converted to 12 volt as it was the only tractor here and used almost daily.

The hood was rusted through in the 4 common places, The areas were cut out and new metal welded back in. The donor hood parts came from a TO20 hood I found in the pole barn.

Before long the front end was done and the 43 resumed working.

Prior to working on the back half of the tractor I blew a head gasket moving dirt. Overloading a box blade can be harmful to your tractor. I installed a new head gasket and it was back to work. I bought a replacement radiator from a local shop and it simply would not fit. Another one from eBay bolted in but was too short to clear the hood. Another one from eBay had the filler neck off center. Eventually the short radiator won with multiple shims installed under it

With the front end completed and some time off it was time to start the rear half. The tractor had no brakes due to leaking rear axle seals. The axles were removed uncovering badly pitted axle bearings. All new axle bearings and seals were installed. I also added sure seals hoping that the 2 seals per axle would keep it out of the shop for a long time.  In order to replace the bearings and original seals the bearing retainers have to be removed(destroyed). The new axle retainers are heated to red and installed allowing for a shrink fit. has been over 6 years since the seals were replaced and no leaks to date.

The hydraulic sump and rear end were thoroughly cleaned and rear end oil changed. The hydraulic cylinder was honed and piston was upgraded to the single oring style used in the NAA. The seals were changed on the PTO shaft.

Once assembled its just a matter of prepping. I use a variety of power tools with different wire wheel attachments along with solvent washing. My theory is that what paint remains isn't likely to peel anytime soon. I sandblast any items that can be removed and solvent washed now.

The red tractor parts were painted with XO Rust Alkyd Enamel from True Value stores with hardener added. It was the closest match to what was on it although I later learned that they were the wrong colors.

One fender was rusted through and a replacement was found on eBay from a seller in the South West. The fenders were sandblasted, dents were pounded out, and a minimal amount of bondo was used to return them to near new condition.

The sheet metal was painted with my blend of Van Sickle Ford Gray and Dark Ford Gray and hardener. I used a Dennis Carpenter powder coated part as the sample. While my match is right on its obviously the wrong gray.

After rebuilding my 8n Hybred the 43 was returned to 6 volt. Here's a picture of it after changing back to a generator. You'll also notice that by this time the tractor has had new rear tires and Ford hat rims installed.

This is a recent photo after fabricating a set of 16" front rims using a set of 19" centers. The photo is deceiving as the tractor now sets just lightly higher in the rear. The rear tires are Firestone 11.2x28. The front tires are Goodyear 5:50x16. The front bumper is clearly an aftermarket but I added rivets to it to kind of back date it.

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