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1952 Ford 8N Steering Problems

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by jrrattorney, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. jrrattorney

    jrrattorney LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I just inherited a 1952 8N which has been completely restored - I'm told - everything works great, except the steering. I'm trying to do some mowing and I've got a finishing mower attached and as long as I'm going fairly straight or turning slightly everything is fine, but when I try to turn fairly sharply to the right or left as is necessary when mowing, it is like trying to steer a car with the power steering out. I've got to grab the wheel with both hands and it takes all my strength just to get the wheel turned and then it is almost impossible to get it straightened out again. It seems to work a little better occasionally, but other time seems almost to get hung up or catch. The steering gear/box was almost dry, so refilled that and it seemed to help a tiny bit and I've adjusted the wheels and alignment, which also help a tiny bit, but it is still almost impossible to turn and to straighten back up out of a turn. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My operators manual tells me about adjusting the steering via the sector adjusting screw, but I've looked and looked and can't find the adjusting screw. I see where it is supposed to be according to the manual, but there is no adjusting screw or lock nut where it is suppose to be. It is not that it is missing, it is just not there. HELP!!!
  2. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    You could try to get a replacement gearbox from a junk dealer, but there are 2 brake pedals on tractors for a reason, that being to shorten the turning radius. Step on the left pedal to go left, right for right. Most farm tractors with the single or tri rib front tires are made to steer better in soft dirt than a lawn. Automotive type tires with wider tread may help, you want a wide tire squeezed onto that narrow rim. Also try lifting the mower before you turn! OK has lots of farm tractor junkyards, look around. Welcome to the site!
  3. jrrattorney

    jrrattorney LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I found out the reason I couldn't find the adjustment I was looking for was that the steering box is from a 47-49 8N instead of a 52. But, I discoverd the real problem was that the steering arms which run from the steeting box to the front wheels were not properly adjusted and that the only way to adjust them was to work on them both at the same time while constantly adjusting the steering wheel. It took a while, but once those were set properly, the steering was as it should be. I think there is still a little too much play in the wheel, but I can live with that.

    I know what you mean about using the brakes for the really sharp turns, but when I wrote, I could just barely turn the tractor at all!

    Thanks for the quick response!


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