Ford Industrial Engine Serial Number Lookup PATCHED
Pitt Auto Electric Company has been a Ford Power Products Distributor for over thirty years. Ford Power Products provides high quality technologically advanced engines to the industrial engine market capable of running on gasoline, natural gas, and LP fuels. In addition, Ford Power Products provides a broad selection of other power train and engine components and replacement parts. Some of the more popular historical Ford industrial engines include the following:
On this page we have listed the various models of Ford tractors produced between 1939 and 1964. We will show unique features and list serial numbers and other identifying marks. We will attempt to list some, but certainly not all, of the noticeable changes made to each of the models throughout the years. By documenting these changes and features it will hopefully aid in correctly identifying the tractors and be a help to restorers who want their tractors to be "as original".
The best way to identify a tractor is by the serial number. Serial numbers on the 9N-2N and 8N tractors are located on the left side of the engine block, just below the head and behind the oil filter.
The numbers are usually not stamped very deep (or very straight). Try different angles and light sources to make the number visible. There will always be either a star or a diamond at the beginning and at the end of the serial number. You will only see the diamonds on 8N tractors with a serial number after 8N 433578. All earlier 9N-2N-8N models have the stars. All models made after the 8N will have the diamond markers. The format for the serial number on the 9N-2N-8N tractors is *8N12345*. All serial numbers will begin with either 9N or 8N followed by the number.
There are no 2N serial numbers; all 2N tractors retained the 9N serial numbers. The exception to the 9N or 8N format is the 9NAN and 8NAN prefix which identifies a kerosene burning tractor. These are common in Europe, but extremely rare in the US. There is also the 9NBN prefix for industrial tractors and the BNO25 and BNO40 prefix used on the MotoTug tractors.
It's also not unheard of to find N tractors with an engine serial number that begins with A253-xx or a similar variant. These were stationary power unit engines or combine engines. Some will have "Ford Industrial Engine" tags attached. Since they were the same as the tractor engine, many have found their way into tractors as replacement engines over the years.
Note that the "font" used on the number stamps was a little unusual. The uppercase letter "I" was used as number "1", and a lower case letter "b" was used a the number "6". That same "b" was turned over to become the number "9". The NAA serial number was the last one to use the model prefix as part of the serial number. After the NAA tractor, the hundred series and up tractors have a model number stamped above a strictly numerical serial number. You will need both of those numbers to identify your tractor.
Some casting codes on 9N-2N-8N engine blocks, transmission housings, and rear axle housings can also help pinpoint a date of manufacture. A code such as G187 would mean the part was cast on or after July 18th, 1947. D252 would be April 25th, 1952. The hydraulic pump housing on the 8N is aluminum and has the actual casting date on it directly in front of the bottom drain plug. However, pumps have been changed over the years, so this date should only be considered to confirm other dating clues. Below are the serial number ranges and some of the features of the tractors in that range.
Visual differences on the right side of the engine from the early 9N to the later 9N and 2N tractors include the length of the carburetor mounting throat on the manifold. The early manifolds have a longer drop to the carburetor where the later models had a thicker intake chamber which made this distance appear much shorter. The early 9N (left) up to serial number 9N16953 had a much smaller diameter generator than the later models (right), and the later model used a spring tensioner to keep the belt tight. An oil line was added to the governor for better lubrication on later models. Also note the upper spindle steering arms. The early arms used only a wedge bolt to keep them in place where the later arms ('43) had a Woodruff key and a bolt across the split rear to keep things tight. They worked much better than the early ones.
The infamous 9N rear "smooth axle" (left) was replaced by a stronger 2 piece riveted axle hub around serial number 9N41500. The smooth axles are coveted by collectors today. A wider 10x28" rear tire and wheel was offered as an option to replace the standard 8x32" inch rear tires.
A safety interlock starter button was introduced at serial number 9N12500. The button was moved from the left side of the dash to its new spot just in front of the shift lever. The operator was now required to have the tractor transmission in neutral before the button could be depressed. The aluminum dash panel went through a couple more changes as the starter button was moved with the ignition key ending up on the lower left side and the red indicator light disappearing. At serial number 9N47508 the dipstick was moved from the upper left side of the transmission cover in front of the filler cap to the right rear side cover on the differential housing.
Around serial number 9N15000 the snap-in battery/fuel cover door was replaced by a new door with a hinge on the front end and a winged latch on the rear to keep it closed. It can now be flipped forward for access and stays attached so it won't get lost. Note the through-the-hood type air cleaner inlet extension. These were a dealer installed accessory option available to fit the 9N-2N tractors.
The last big change of the year was at serial number 9N45899 when a new steel grille with vertical bars (right) was introduced to replace the fragile aluminum grill used since '39 (left). Known as "the '41 grille" it was used only about one year and is different from later grilles which have additional slots in the center bar.
At serial number 109503 the 9N radiator was replaced with new 2N radiator which was slightly smaller and was pressurized to 4 psi to increase the boiling point of the coolant. The new radiator cap was stamped steel and was painted black. Also at serial number 109503 the front steering arms and spindles were changed to a keyed design.
The serial numbers are usually not stamped very deep (or very straight). Try different angles and light sources to make the number visible. There will always be either a star or a diamond at the beginning and at the end of the serial number. You will only see the diamonds on 8N tractors with a serial number after 8N 433578. All earlier 8N models have the stars. All models made after the 8N will have the diamond markers. The format for the serial number on the 8N tractors is *8N12345*. All serial numbers will begin with 8N followed by the number. The exception to this is the 8NAN prefix which identifies a kerosene burning tractor. These are common in Europe, but extremely rare in the US. Note that the "font" used on the number stamps was a little unusual. The uppercase letter "I" was used as number "1", and a lower case letter "b" was used a the number "6". That same "b" was turned over to become the number "9".Some casting codes on 8N engine blocks, transmission housings, and rear axle housings can also help pinpoint a date of manufacture. A code such as G187 would mean the part was cast on or after July 18th, 1947. D252 would be April 25th, 1952. The hydraulic pump housing on the 8N is aluminum and has the actual casting date on it directly in front of the bottom drain plug. However, pumps have been changed over the years, so this date should only be considered to confirm other dating clues. Below are the serial number ranges and some of the features of the tractors in that range.
8N production started July 7th, 1947. These tractors were sold as '48 models, so it's technically not correct to refer to one as a '47 8N. It should probably be referred to as an 8N built in '47. Early models up to serial number 27940 had a clutch pedal linkage consisting of a bolt on the pedal which pushed on a short lever arm to release the clutch. They were prone to breakage and at 27941 the linkage was updated to the style that continued through the NAA tractors. Some of the earliest tractors still had holes in the grille for the Ferguson System badge that was used on the 2N but they were covered with brass plugs. The radius rod front clevis resembled the 2N type, and the PTO engagement lever mounted on a cast iron cover. The engine block was the same as the 2N block and did not yet have the "8N" cast into it on the left side behind the starter.
At serial number 42161 the engine block casting was changed for better cooling around the valve guides. At the same time the old mushroom valves were replaced with straight stem style valves, one piece guides, shorter valve springs, and heavier valve lifters. The engine block now has the "8N" casting mark on the left side directly to the rear of the starter. The radius rod clevis was redesigned and the 8N3405-C replaced the -A sometime mid year. The camshaft and head were upgraded between serial number 70000 and 85000. At serial 111758 the 4 blade fan became standard and the 6 blade fan became optional. At serial 137685 the generator changed to the larger capacity 8N10000-B generator. Most other changes were minor or internal and not visible.
There were some notable changes in '49. At serial number 158162 the cylinder head studs were replaced by bolts. At serial 168356 the engine pistons were changed to aluminum with chrome top rings. At serial 179073 the oil filler tube was shortened. At serial 187030 a thrust spring was added to the front of the camshaft and at 197785 the studs in the engine main bearing caps were replaced by bolts. Starting at serial number 215759 the top link rocker was changed from a single hole to a 3 hole design. The steering box was changed at serial number 216989 to a Spicer type with tapered sector shafts for better backlash adjustment. There are set screw adjusters on both sides of the newer style steering box. The dash panel was also changed to fit properly with the new steering box. At serial 237336 the 8N486A "long pin" was eliminated as part of the Ferguson lawsuit. At serial number 245261, nearly the end of '49 production, an inner grease seal was added to the rear axle housing to help stop the common problem of gear lube leaking onto the brakes. New axles were required to accommodate the new seals. 2b1af7f3a8