Tractors of a Lifetime: 1951 Ford 8N and 2008 Kioti DK40SE

Dad and I both had an itch to rebuild an old tractor.  We’d both liked the little grey Fergie, and when an 8N came up, we bought it.  It was a basket case.

The poor old tractor had lived a hard life.  It had a bad brush paint job, and at best ran on three cylinders.  We were lucky enough to get it for a song, though, and started picking away at it.

It was all there, but had been “modified” at some point.  You can see the truck rims and drums on the front there, but the worst to come was the engine.  It did not run well at all.  It didn’t have the power to move in fourth gear at all, and the amount of blowby gave a good indication of the engine’s lack of health.  Our intention was to replace the sleeves in the engine, but after sending the engine to a machine shop, they’d said the sleeves had been removed, and a set of V8 pistons installed instead.  They were very loose in the bore and explained the poor running.

You can see the sleeves in this picture of the replacement engine.

A replacement engine was obtained from Fawcett Tractor, and the tractor was reassembled.  The new engine ran very nicely – smooth and quiet.  We did have to weld up and fill the hood and fenders, but once assembled the tractor worked out well.

We had some fun with the tractor, leveling off a piece of property that Dad had gotten for a summer cottage, and some occasional plowing when the plow truck wouldn’t go.  We intended to keep the 8N for a while, but upon getting the new-to-us Kioti tractor, we had nowhere to store this one and decided to sell it.  It went to a nice home where the owner was looking for a simple tractor to play with.  I hope it served him well.

The tractor which replaced it and the Massey 135 has been excellent.  A 2008 Kioti DK40SE, it has proven to be trouble-free in the 7 years that we’ve had it.  I’d thought of it as a knock-off Kubota, but it really is a well-made machine.  The hydrostatic controls are intuitive, and the layout of all of the controls all fall readily to hand.  It does have an indirect-injected diesel 4-cylinder engine, but the glow plugs must be good.  It always starts and runs nicely.  Other features, like electric over hydraulic 4 wheel drive and PTO clutch and a strong set of hydraulics for the loader make it a treat to run.  Even the rear lift arms have adjustable locks to keep them in place, and a release to allow you to move them into position to hook up attachments easily.  I’d recommend one of these tractors to anyone.

Anyhow, thanks for reading.  I hope you have enjoyed my stories.  I am glad to have done it.