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Jameson Lee
Jameson Lee

2n Ford Tractor Serial Number


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.




2n ford tractor serial number



The hundred series and "01" series tractor serial number location is on the flat area above and behind the starter. The first number is the model number. Below that is the serial number. A diamond symbol denotes the beginning and end of the serial number.


Model and serial numbers for all Ford tractors were hand-stamped into the cast iron engine or transmission housing. The exact location changed and is described below for each model. Hand-stamped means the numbers may be difficult to read if the hammer didn't get a really good whack on each character. The N-Tractors used an odd font with lowercase "b" substuted for "6", flipped upside down for "9" and the capital "I" substituted for "1". The hand-stamped engine serial numbers for 9N,2N,8N tractors only indicate approximately when a tractor was built. These hand-stamped numbers were the last identifying mark added before final assembly of a tractor. There are no identifying marks to indicate the exact date a tractor was assembled.


Cast parts were have date codes that the factory used to make sure parts were properly cured before being machined. Fresh "green" castings are brittle and will break tools or the casting if machine work is attempted too soon. Casting date codes will have raised or recessed numbers and letters on a tag that was attached to the mold with screws. The tag and screws are visible on the casting. Date codes varied but the most common code found on the 9N, 2N, 8N tractors is a letter indicating the month A=Jan, B=Feb, C=MAR... The next two numbers indicate day of the month, a final number indicates year. The date code F262 indicates June 26,1959.


Again, the fresh "green" castings are too brittle for machine work, so they were placed in a holding area for at least 30 days.Engine blocks were then pulled from the holding area to be fully machined, cleaned, and then set in another holding area.Machined blocks were then taken to the engine assembly area where they were fully assembled and then placed in another holding area. Assembled engines then went to the QC Test Area. Wnen each engine passed QC Inspection/Testing, the hand stamped serial number was applied, and the engine was placed in another holding area.


What all that means is the casting date code on any part must be at least 30 days prior to the part being machined. In the case of an engine block, final assembly and testing had to take place before the hand-stamped serial number was added. Tractor assembly would probably have been several days or longer after the engine passed QC and was stamped with a serial number. It is very common for one of these tractors to have parts with casting date codes that don't exactly match. The backlog in holding areas for different parts could vary significantly. Engines were pulled for final assembly on the line. Serial numbers were stamped in sequential order after passing QC, but they were not maintained in any particular sequential order for final assembly.


For later model Ford tractors (especially after the model/serial numbers were moved to the transmission housing) the hand-stamped model/serial number code was added as the tractors were assembled, so the model/serial numbers for those tractors do indicate the actual date the tractor was assembled. I have no idea exactly when the hand-stamped serial numbers became "tractor" rather than just "engine identification.


Mr. Roger Kyes (president of the Ferguson-Sherman Corporation) came up with the idea of producing a tractor without rubber tires, battery, or starter. The Model 2N was born but production of the stripped-down tractors did not start until October 1942. Few 2N tractors found today will look any different from the 9N tractors. The stripped-down steel-wheel version was produced in very small quantities for just a few months before Ford was allowed to return to the pre-war specifications for tractors. A steel-wheel version photo is provided further down this page. Some of the obvious factory changes to the 2N tractors included; changing several previously chromed items to painted and changing from I-Beam to Tube-type Radius rods part way thru the 1944 production year. Few changes were made from 1945 to 1947. Ford engineers were busy working on the new 8N tractor design. Serial numbers were stamped on the upper/left/rear corner of the engine block above the starter. All numbers start and end with a star and still have the prefix "9N" to indicate 1939 model.


The new model NAA tractors built starting in 1952, for the 1953 model year, got a special "Golden Jublee" hood medallion to celebrate Ford's 50th anniversary. The big change for this model was the new overhead valve "Red Tiger" engine. Serial numbers were stamped on the upper/left/front corner of the engine block until 22238. After that serial numbers were stamped on the left/front/side of the transmission housing. New for the NAA models was stamping zeros so all serial numbers have five numbers until the 1 was added at NAA100000.


For the new "Hundred" series Ford began to offer many more options than previous models. There were now row-crop versions. two different size engines, different transmissions, with various clutch, and PTO options to choose from. More tractor models and options does create a problem. Parts can be much harder to find and more expensive than for earlier tractors built when only one model was available for several years. Model and serial numbers were stamped on the left/front/top of the transmission housing. Serial numbers start and end with diamond symbols.


Starting with the Hundred series in 1954, Ford began using a model number prefix to indicate options such as engine size and transmission type. If you have your model and serial numbers written down, GoTo Decode Table.


Ford continued to offer even more models and options with the '01 series. Power steering and diesel engines were now available. The Workmaster tractors had an all red hood and grille. "Powermaster" tractors had gray on the sides of the hood. Model and serial numbers were stamped on the left/front/top of the transmission housing.


A few thousand series tractors were built as light and heavy industrial models beginning late in 1960. The light industrial models were very similar in appearance to the '01 series. Model and serial numbers were stamped on the left/front/top of the transmission housing.


In 1962 Ford introduced the thousand series utility tractors. The hood/grille was changed doing away with the round "cyclops" hood emblem. The paint scheme for utility tractors was changed to the new corporate blue and light-gray colors. A few industrial models were red and buff color. Model and Serial numbers are stamped on left/front/top corner of the transmission housing.


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 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.


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