Ford Tractor 172 CU Specs

by James Nalley
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The 172-cubic-inch engines were available in the All-Purpose 800- and Row-Crop 900-Series tractors manufactured by Ford Motor. Produced from 1954 to 1962 in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford redesigned its tractors with additions such as front grilles, standard five-speed transmissions and tricycle-style designs with power steering. The diesel-powered 172 engine also offered a direct fuel-injection system that provided power with an eye for fuel-efficiency.

General Features

The Ford 172 engine offered a displacement of 172 cubic inches with a compression ratio of 16.8 to 1 and a choice of four- and five-speed transmission. It included a heavy-duty electrical system with a 12-volt battery and a safety-starter system that required the tractor to be placed in neutral with the starter key switched to the "On" position before it could be started. The 900-Series models included additional features such as standard power steering with power-adjusted rear wheels. Optional Select-O-Speed shifting was also available for all models, which provided 10 forward speeds that ranged from 0.6 miles per hour to a maximum of 18 mph.


The Ford 172 engines were made with heavy-duty aluminum pistons, each with three compression and two oil rings for maximum high-pressure efficiency. Its forged-steel crankshaft was heat treated for strength and rigidity with three main bearings lined with copper-lead. It also included a distributor-type injection pump with four-hole injectors as well as an automatic injection advance system that timed injections with engine speed.

Fuel Efficiency

The fuel for the Ford 172 engines was directly injected into the open combustion chamber. The piston included a recessed dome for uniform mixing of air and fuel for maximum fuel efficiency and easy starting. Optional accessories such as electric heater plugs could be installed to heat the air before it entered the cylinders for cold-weather starting. For maximum power, the engine also included a larger intake and exhaust manifold, muffler and air filter.

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