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Thinking of buying an old tractor - anyone got buying advice ?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Shamrock92, Aug 28, 2022.

  1. Aug 28, 2022 at 11:01 AM
    #1
    Shamrock92

    Shamrock92 [OP] New Member

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    So thinking of buying an older tractor (50s-70s) for around the farm.

    Got a couple of targets in mind - just not sure what to get and what to avoid.

    What I know - 8n/red belly Fords are obviously plentiful and parts available - simple to work on but limited in what they can do.

    I’d like a Ford 2000-3000-4000 from late 60s-early 70s - good size and HP - finding a few 2000s - the 3000/4000s I find are pretty beat. Most of the 2000s o see though are gas. Any real disadvantage of has vs diesel ? Given my use - I found a couple of very nice/restored 2000s - but think the price is a tad high. I’m thinking 5k max - they seem to be asking 6k range - I mean nice tractor and good useable size - but it is a 50 year old piece of equipment.

    Found a narrow front end Farmall at a good price - but just never really had much experience with them. Fords sold for like 4500 new in the early 70s - IH sold stuff at 6500 - similar to Deere - you can guess what my grandfather bought. In his mind - it was a tractor and price drove the decisions.

    Have had a ton of 8N over the years and the odd Jubilee too - I’d like one as a showpiece/restoration- but can’t see it being highly useful with other SCUT on hand. A 35-50 HP tractor though - I can see filling a need every now and then - just don’t need it daily and don’t want to buy a complete project.
     
  2. Aug 28, 2022 at 12:58 PM
    #2
    dittothat

    dittothat New Member

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    I know if I were buying an old tractor I’d give the South Dakota Tractor Museum a call and get their thoughts/advice. I stopped in there on my way cross country and those guys know their stuff and genuinely love tractors. By donation only (at least when I went), so you know the old timers giving the tour are there because they want to be. Most of the tractors there predate what you’re looking for, but I bet they’d still have good advice. Anyway, just my $.02
     
  3. Aug 28, 2022 at 1:59 PM
    #3
    Black@Blue19

    Black@Blue19 New Member

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    Came with all the lane departure and that stuff, electric tail gate lock, fog lights, 20s, sprayed on bed liner, tint, cat protector, and that’s about it??:)
    Farmall and the Ford tractors are all around and parts can be had because there are a fair bit of them. Bought an H that was gone thru and painted and we put a wide front end on it. Knew a older gentleman that had an old Ford with a blade on the back, just using his eye he would level anything you want!!!:) He did dirt work for years and years with that tractor. Them tractors are still going strong today and do not never seem to stop running!!:) Good luck, they all look sharp when redone!:)
     
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  4. Aug 28, 2022 at 3:47 PM
    #4
    Fitzf15E

    Fitzf15E New Member

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    Grew up running Farmalls, always seemed to be good tractors. Ours were both Hydros, which meant no shifting (other than high or low range) and a whole lot easier going from forward to reverse (or vice versa).
     
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  5. Aug 28, 2022 at 6:29 PM
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    endagon

    endagon New Member

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    I had a lot of hours on the seat of dad's old gas 2000 growing up. It was early enough to be a 4 cylinder but it had the good upgrades over the 8N, like the 2 stage clutch and ohv 33hp engine. It had a 5 speed transmission not the selectospeed that dad intentionally avoided for some reason. Once it was upgraded with a hydraulic remote valve and 12v circuitry it was a decent machine. When it was 6v winter starting was a pipe dream. It could do a 2 bottom plow in 2nd gear but it had little in reserve. Biggest drawback it had was all those widely available replacement parts. It seemed like lowest bidder quality even if ordered thru NH. Crappy carburetors and 6v distributors. Polarizing the voltage regulator if the 6v battery was disconnected was a little scary. Don't have shaky hands when handling the wire.

    I highly recommend the steel pan seat on the C spring. It doesn't crack in the sun and can be quite comfortable.

    I was told grandpa had a diesel 4000 and that was a solid 3 bottom tractor. Lot bigger
     
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  6. Aug 28, 2022 at 7:46 PM
    #6
    BIGUGLY

    BIGUGLY I the SheepDog. I have the capacity for Violence.

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    The Farmalls have a good reputation and like the old Forn 8 and 9 n's parts are plentiful. Do not go narrow front if you will have any hills, this is just for safety sake. Grew up on narrow but can make quite the pucker factor.

    Currently we're still using a Farmall super M "Emily". This was my wife's grand father's tractor he bought new in 1952. She's not pretty anymore but still runs augers and moves equipment in the sheds and yard.

    Honestly that thing has to have well over 10,000 hours in it as it was her grandfather's main tractor and her dad used it for spraying when he started farming in the mid 70's.

    Gas motor will suffice and be easier to get going in cold temperatures.
     
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  7. Aug 29, 2022 at 3:41 AM
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    Shamrock92

    Shamrock92 [OP] New Member

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    Holy shit - these tractor people are worse than most any other group of sellers I’ve ever ran across. True replies to inquiries I’ve made yesterday:

    #1 - cash only (this I understand) - will not deliver more than 5 miles away (said delivery available - not sure if he was planning on driving the damn tractor or what - but basically unless we are neighbors - no delivery) - not sure what size engine is with it or what make the attachments listed and not pictured are or what size they are - but pretty sure their red (oh - ok - well as long as their red - that helps me in no way possible - like people don’t spray paint stuff regularly - and how do you not know how to look up a serial number or engine?)

    #2 - I’m weighing if I’m going to accept an offer from some guy who looked at it Friday (ok - that was 2 days ago and we are talking a cash offer - my money is no more or less green - so why wouldn’t you care to hear my offer and just go with the larger of the 2?)

    #3 - I’m not sure what engine is in it or if it’s gas or diesel (seriously ?!?) - runs great though - I’ve had it for 12 years and never a problem (guess not because you have obviously never driven it once - how do you not know what fuel it takes) need to sell ASAP so hurry up and make me an offer (should I wire funds to your uncle in Nigeria too and just let you transport to me via UPS)

    Seriously - I get private sellers at times are beyond clueless and just straight up shady / but these guys make the used truck sellers look bright.
     
  8. Aug 29, 2022 at 3:44 AM
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    Shamrock92

    Shamrock92 [OP] New Member

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    Interesting - my only question would be - how pricey is it to replace a 60+ year old hydro - agree it’s very useful on a modern tractor - especially with a loader (basically a must have). Just worry you could get into a huge repair bill on one today buying older.
     
  9. Aug 29, 2022 at 3:48 AM
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    Shamrock92

    Shamrock92 [OP] New Member

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    Thanks - yea. Have definitely heard that on the narrow front ends. Actually have a bid in on one now - but it’s super low priced and if nothing else if I get it might just try to flip it. They are basically worthless where I live (steep hills) - but go 100 miles to the big open flat farm land of Ohio and plenty of fans.

    Good info on gas - never thought about that but makes sense.
     
  10. Aug 29, 2022 at 4:53 AM
    #10
    BIGUGLY

    BIGUGLY I the SheepDog. I have the capacity for Violence.

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    Replacing a hydro could be simple or not so simple. At this age they will leak, if your ok with this then just keep oil handy. A lot of times you can get these rebuilt or buy a used one from a parts donor.

    We have a 3 point hitch on the Super M just for moving equipment around. It's probably 40 plus years old and does leak but not enough to cause a issue or have to add oil everything we need it.
     
  11. Aug 29, 2022 at 4:57 AM
    #11
    BIGUGLY

    BIGUGLY I the SheepDog. I have the capacity for Violence.

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    Word of caution. If its paint is shiny, and you can find overspray, like a bad non factory paint job be cautious. Unless it was properly restored, which should look factory like. Seller may have tried to polish a turd.

    These old things are iron and steel, they will rust if you look at them funny, won't hurt function just not pretty.

    There will most likely be leaking oil or hydro fluid at places. As long as its not a lot it should be fine
     
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  12. Aug 29, 2022 at 5:35 AM
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    Shamrock92

    Shamrock92 [OP] New Member

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    Absolutely - plenty of morons with a couple of rattle can restorations out there. If your lucky they masked off emblems - or bought a cheap new set off eBay and just pasted over the old painted over ones.

    Understood just like a car - these things WILL leak and have minor issues. I keep thinking of buying an old solid 8N and trying my hand at a restoration someday. I could probably do it here at home and obviously it’s easier to restore something simple like that to start vs tackling a classic car. Mechanical work would be the challenge - either a lot of YouTube and trial and error/researching on internet or just getting lucky and finding someone whose probably now in their late 70s and still works on these things. I know side distributors are easy to work on - about all I ever learned from my old man and grandfather.

    I just think it would be nice to have a few still roaming the grounds of the farm. Eventually everything is getting donated to a conservatorship - so thought have these around to clear some trails, maintain and plant food plots and possibly put up a small amount of square bales. Something as a living history lesson for people to see how it was done 50+ years ago and realize how freaking hard farming was.

    Old tractors are just like everything else metal from the era - no one junked them - just kept them around and stopped using them - and now 20-30 years after their last use - someone’s grandkids think it’s old so it’s gotta be worth a fortune - and tries to pretty stiff up in hopes of boosting values and finding the right sucker.
     
  13. Sep 17, 2022 at 12:48 PM
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    Shamrock92

    Shamrock92 [OP] New Member

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    Down to a couple of choices

    a Ford 2910 or a Massey 255

    - Fords a bit newer be Massey which is a bit bigger and more powerful.

    Either would seem fine to run a 6’ brush hog and handle hills ok while not feeling too tippy - and both are generally reliable machines.

    Price is near equal at 6k -

    any thoughts on which to go with - having experienced AgCo parts pricing - kinda lean Ford - but then I think might be worth going a bit bigger in case I wind up doing our own hay in the near future. Always seems like no one wants to put up hay - but always buyers for square bales as no one wants to mess with bailing and storing them. Kind of debating just buying the equipment (relatively cheap) and having someone come out and bale for us/tossing in the barn that sets empty and selling as I can.
     
  14. Sep 17, 2022 at 1:14 PM
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    Northbound Train

    Northbound Train Masshole

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    A tractor with a front end loader will cost more up front but is money well spent. If you get one you'll wonder how you ever got by without it. I have a John Deere with a loader and set of forks, very useful. I even used the forks when I swapped my small gas tank for the 38 gallon.IMG_0833.jpg
     
  15. Sep 17, 2022 at 3:04 PM
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    Shamrock92

    Shamrock92 [OP] New Member

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    Agreed - they are useful.

    Both my smaller “tractors” have loaders on them and have a set of forks. Useful for moving heavy stuff into the bed of a truck.

    On this one - I’d like a loader - for weight distribution on hills of nothing else. Being able to lift over 900 pound or whatever the limit on the 2025 is would be nice too. Had a bigger Massey with loader - but don’t think the old man used it much.

    Older tractors with loaders actually scare me a little - or not knowing how they were cared for scares me. Simple fact is not everyone is super attentive when running machinery and they can misuse a tractor very easily. Properly maintained - these things can last 80 years - but they aren’t as tolerant as over use/abuse as some of the more modern stuff.

    Be super helpful to be able to put a spike on the front and move hay around - but not there yet.
     
  16. Sep 17, 2022 at 5:24 PM
    #16
    RoadtripJim

    RoadtripJim 25 Ton Off Roader

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    Lots of great advice. Everything I’ve worked on is much older but I tend to lean towards case or IH. Lots of good equipment available in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Good luck in your search.
     
  17. Sep 17, 2022 at 7:13 PM
    #17
    BIGUGLY

    BIGUGLY I the SheepDog. I have the capacity for Violence.

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    Of the two, personal choice would be Massey, unless you have an abundant amount of Ford parts available close by
     
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