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How to Operate a Ford 8N

Ryan Hotchkiss

The Ford 8N is a vintage four-cylinder tractor that has four forward gears and one reverse. It is equipped with a PTO and a three-point hitch. The fuel tank holds nine gallons and it has a one gallon reserve tank. The electric system runs off of a 6-volt battery.

Ford 8N tractors have simple components and are basic to operate.

Service parts are readily available and mechanical work on the Ford 8N is simple and intuitive. Operating the 8N requires you understand the clutch, gear and break system, the PTO and the three point hitch. The following instructions explain these operations.

Operating the Tractor

  1. Place the gearbox in "Neutral" and engage the emergency brake. Turn the ignition to the right to fire the tractor. Place your foot on the brake and raise the RPM to 1/4-capacity. The RPM lever is on the steering wheel arm, push it down to increase RPM.

  2. Push in the clutch and put the gearbox in first gear. Disengage the emergency brake and release the clutch slowly. Check your speed. If you want to increase it, raise the RPM or shift into second. If you want to go slower, lower your RPM.

  3. Shift to third and fourth gear as you need to increase your speed. Raise the RPM for subtle changes in ground speed.

Operating the PTO and Three-Point Hitch

  1. Stop the tractor. Put it in "Neutral" and apply the emergency brake. Push in the clutch and engage the PTO lever. Look over your shoulder to check that the PTO is spinning.

  2. Press the hydraulic pump lever back to raise the three point hitch. Put the lever in "Neutral" to maintain the hitch's position. Press forward on the lever to release pressure from the hitch's hydraulic lines and lower the hitch.

  3. Check to see if the PTO is spinning and that the three point hitch is in the proper place. Push in the clutch and put the tractor in gear. Put your rpm at 1/4-capacity and release the emergency brake. Release the clutch and you are operating the tractor with a functioning PTO and a positioned three point hitch.