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A brief history of the N-series Tractors:
The first of the 'N Series' of Ford tractors was the 9N. It included the first three-point hitch system on tractors, which is still utilized today. The three-point hitch system was labeled as the Ferguson System, and Ferguson would eventually break off to become a competitor as Massey Ferguson. The 9N was first demonstrated in Dearborn, Michigan on June 29, 1939. It was designed to be an all-purpose tractor for use on smaller-scale farms.
The Ford 9N was revised a number of times, until being relaunched as the 2N in late 1941. Some of the main improvements included a larger cooling fan and a pressurized radiator. Conservation methods began to be used in the U.S. during World War II, so some 2Ns can be seen with all steel wheels, and also the lack of sleeved engines. Batteries were reserved for the war effort, so the steel wheel tractors came with a magneto ignition system instead of a battery. After the war the steel wheels and magneto system were replaced with rubber and batteries. All of the 9N and 2N models featured a front end distributor which was difficult to service.
Official production of the Ford 8N tractor began in 1947. The most noticeable difference between the 8N and its predecessors was its appearance and the inclusion of a 4 speed transmission rather than the traditional 3 speed in the 2N and 9N. The 8N has running boards and was painted gray on the sheetmetal and red on the body, while the 9N and 2N were all dark grey and featured foot pegs instead of running boards. A rare 8N variation was the US Air force adaptation which was a 6 cylinder flathead engine design. In 1950 the 8N design changed to feature a side distributor which was more easily serviced. In 1952, the last year of production, another noticeable change was the switch to eight lugs on the back wheels instead of six and improved brakes.
The 8N was the first model to feature a clutch on the left side, and independent brakes on the right side. One of the drawbacks to the 2N, 8N, and 9N was the lack of hydraulic live lift. In order to raise an implement, the power take off, or PTO, was required to be running. This system could make it difficult to raise a mower when bogged down, as the PTO was required to spin to engage the hydraulic pump. In the next year, 1953, Ford would issue the first overhead valve engine in the Golden Jubilee, also known as the NAA Ford; this tractor was larger than the 8N and featured a live lift system.
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