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Kit Helps Repower Ford 8N With V-8 Truck Engine
When Ron Stauffer began repowering an old Ford 8N tractor with a V-8 truck engine last winter, he had no idea he'd wind up with marketing rights to a key piece of equipment that made the job a snap.
"The key to success is the adapter plate that couples the back of the V-8 to the original 4-cyl. engine's transmission bell housing," says the Portland, Ind., Ford enthusiast and dealer. "I had seen Ford 8N's re-powered with V-8's to use in terracing contests during the late 1940's and early 1950's, but I had no idea such an adapter kit ever existed.
"Early-on in the project, however, I spotted an ad for just such a kit in an antique tractor magazine. After making some inquiries, I learned it had been invented by South Dakota farmer Delbert Heusinkveld. It had even been manufactured for a time by the Funk Aircraft Company of Coffeyville, Kan. I tracked down Delbert and he told me he no longer wanted to be involved in selling the kits, so he and I agreed I would market them.
"Response has been unbelievable. I've sold 27 kits, which sell for $750 apiece, since last winter. One went as far as Australia."
There's good reason for interest in the kits, too, says Stauffer, since putting a V-8 engine in an old Ford tractor would be a difficult job without it.
"If you have this kit, the hardest part is the fine-tuning - installing the throttle and governor and hooking up the gas tank," he says.
Stauffer's adapter kit consists of a 1 1/2-in. thick steel plate 2 ft. in dia. The adapter plate is drilled and tapped so the bolt pat-tern on the back of the engine matches the front of the transmission bell housing. He also supplies a steel frame that runs from the plate and wraps around the front axle of the tractor to help support the bigger engine.
Stauffer first used the kit to repower a 1951 Ford 8N with an overhauled flathead Ford V-8 truck engine manufactured between 1949 and 1953. The 100 hp 239 cu. in. engine replaced the tractor's original blown 25 hp, 4-cyl., 112 cu. in. engine.
"Once I got the engine installed, I had to lengthen the steering rods by 4 1/2 in., the distance the bigger engine adds to the overall length of the tractor," Stauffer explains. "I also had to move the radius rods forward because they help support the axle.
"I also needed a bigger radiator to keep the engine cool. I used one with two outlets on the top and two on the bottom because of the twin water pumps on that old Ford V-8 engine.
"I added triple vertical exhaust stacks, the tops of which are about 5 1/2 ft. above the ground, just for show. If you wanted to do any kind of farming with it, you'd definitely want mufflers on it."
Stauffer says his Ford 8N will do 35 mph, thanks in part to a Sherman step-up transmission he installed with the engine. The transmission now offers 8 forward and 2 reverse gears.
Including $2,000 for the tractor, Stauffer says he has about $7,500 invested in the project.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ron Stauffer, R.L. Stauffer Inc., R.R. 1, Box 233, U.S. 27 South, Portland, Ind. 47371 (ph 219-726-9041).

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #1