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How to Remove the Starter From a Ford 8N

by Curtis Von Fange

The Ford 8N tractor was a technological icon in the 1940s when it was manufactured. It spelled reliability and independence for the small farmers of America. When restoring these old tractors, the starter is one of the parts that deserves ample attention. Removing it for refurbishing or replacement is an easy task that will continue the fine tradition of this extraordinarily simple tractor.

Determine the battery ground.

Open the tractor hood and determine how the electrical circuit is grounded. The 8N originally came with a positive ground from the factory. Previous owners may have upgraded the electrical system to a negative ground. Locate the battery and determine which battery cable extends directly to the frame of the tractor. Disconnect that grounded cable from the battery terminal with the correct wrench and lay aside.

Farming in a simpler time.

Locate the starter on the engine block. It is located near the rear of the motor where it is bolted to the bell housing. Determine if the starter is actuated by a hand lever located under the lower right side of the dash cowl or via an electrical solenoid usually found on top of the starter. If lever-actuated, disconnect the articulated linkage located above the starter housing by removing the cotter key and retaining pin with a punch. If there is an electrical solenoid, disconnect the main power cable from the solenoid to the starter with a wrench, unscrew the solenoid mounting screws holding it to the starter casing and lay it aside.

Remove the two bolts holding the starter to the engine block using the correct socket and extension. Pull back on the starter, and lift it out the rest of the way. Once removed, put a matching nut onto the two bolts and snug them down. These bolts also hold the starter assembly itself together. By securing the bolts, it will prevent the armature from falling out or separating from the starter housing.

Tip

  • Use some compressed air to blow dirt and debris from the battery tray and starter before beginning. A clean working area is easier to see and work in.

Warnings

  • Use safety goggles when using compressed air to keep dirt out of your eyes.
  • Disconnecting the battery will prevent accidental sparking while working on the starter circuit.

Items you will need

About the Author

Curt Von Fange, an ASE Master Automotive Technician, began writing in 1998. His first article related a memorable experience about panning for gold with his father. It was published by "Gold Prospector Magazine" the following year. An associate degree in heavy equipment repair from Ferris State College helps him write numerous technical articles for trade magazines and webzines like YTtractors.com and Desertusa.com.

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