This V-8-N is a 1950 Ford 8-N tractor with a 350 cubic inch Chevrolet engine. I had the urge to attempt such a project for some time. My urge peaked at the national Ford/Fordson show when it was held in Kinzers Pa. It was amazing the attention that was paid to the Funk flathead Ford conversions especially if they had headers or straight pipes and made some noise. I came home from that show and knew right then that I would start the next show year with an overhead valve V-8 engine. I did, and also showed an 8-N restored right down to the proper nuts, bolts etc. along with my new V-8-N. Guess where the attention was focused? You are right; they stumbled over my restored antique 8-N to see something that was out of the ordinary. My two tractors were the only Fords at the show among the fields of red and green machines. My number one question was, "How fast will it go"? My standard answer was, "Faster than I want to drive it". I was also invited to pull the tractor. My answer was that I built this tractor as a self satisfying accomplishment and if I attempt to pull the tractor I know I will break it, my goal was to build a tractor to show and that is where my self satisfaction lies, not in pulling it. When we do a conversion to an 8-N we must remember that the gear train is designed for 24 H.P. and as long as we remember that, the gear train will remain intact. My primary goal when I built this tractor was to preserve the original profile as much as possible. The only visible change to the V-8-N from the original 8-N is naturally the engine and the wheelbase is 4" longer, requiring me to fabricate a cowl extension and lengthen the radius rods and drag links. I kept the conversion as simple as possible. I have also made engine conversions in automobiles so I was familiar with the obstacles I would have to overcome. The adapter plate was made from two 1/4" plates with the proper width spacer welded in place. The frame was fabricated from 2"x 2" x 1/4" wall tubing. All work was done in my shop with the exception of some metal rolling and the machining and redrilling of the Chevy flywheel to accommodate the standard Ford 8-N clutch and pressure plate. A bushing was also made to adapt the Ford pilot bearing to the Chevy crankshaft and a tapered plate to level the carburetor. I used a Hurst shifter cable connected to the standard 8-N hand throttle to act as an accelerator cable to operate the carburetor. This method is extremely simple and works great.

One very important item never to be overlooked in a conversion such as this is to be sure and utilizes the standard neutral starter switch. This was accomplished by using the original 8-N starter solenoid mounted in the dash area. I then ran the starter wire for the Chevy solenoid through the 8-N solenoid and connected the original 8-N starter wire in its normal position. The V-8-N is then started in neutral only, the same as the 8-N. I used the original Ford tractor radiator, which was recored with double the amount of cooling tubes. I used copper pipe to connect the Chevy water pump to the Ford radiator outlet, which is located on the opposite side. I also used a high volume electric fan to keep it cool. I mounted the fan high on the radiator to gain adequate clearance. Then to make the engine accessible I bolted all hood components (hood, side panels and grille) solid and made the hood to tilt forward. This was accomplished by enlarging the original boltholes that were formerly used to secure the hood side panels and I ran a single rod through both hood side panels to form a hinge. It may be said, " What is a conversion like this doing at an antique tractor show". Well I look at it this way, this is something I created from an antique tractor and I would like other people to see it because I am proud of it. There is no judging in our tractor shows so everyone's restoration or conversion can be looked at with an open mind and any one of us can share our ideas with fellow collectors who have common interests. That interest may be a restoration, conversion or just a plain old tractor still performing its duties on the farm. I have made some great friends in the tractor show circuit and will do many more restorations and other conversions in the future.

Marvin Baumann
May 1997