Small underlined Fordson chrome emblem fitted to both sides of bonnet. The shifter base was also changed to cast iron. At serial 187030 a thrust spring was added to the front of the camshaft and at 197785 the studs in the engine main bearing caps were replaced by bolts. Both brake pedals were now next to each other on the right side. If the plate has faded very badly, try making a rubbing of the imprint.
There were still a few differences. At serial number 158162 the cylinder head studs were replaced by bolts. The engine, front axle, and cab may all have their own serial numbers. The Ford N-Series tractors were very successful. The early manifolds have a longer drop to the carburetor where the later models had a thicker intake chamber which made this distance appear much shorter.
The steering wheel was changed to a hard rubber outside with 3 uncovered steel spokes in the center. The best way to identify a tractor is by the serial number. If there are no visible freeze plugs Welch plugs as in the photo at left, it's a very early block. This button was mounted lower on the earliest models. The Hundred series and newer tractor serial number location is on the flat area above and behind the starter.
A steel-wheel version photo is provided further down this page. At the time these tractors were designed, Ford Motor Company was using single letter designations for each new development project. The serial number was typically marked in only one location on the tractor. From that point all model 2N tractors could be built like the earlier 9N tractors. The light industrial models were the 2030 and 4030 with the 4040 being the heavy industrial. The serial number plate might be lost. Several improvements were made and new options such as power steering appeared.
You cannot find the exact date of construction, original dealer, or previous owners. A small lever on the right side under the seat switched the system between position and draft control. In late '54 Ford introduced the new expanded line up of the hundred series tractors for '55. However, bad reputations are hard to turn around and the Selecto-O-Speed has kept it's stigma to this day, partially because they are expensive to repair and very few people know how to work on them. Fewer changes were made from 1945 to 1947 because Ford engineers were working on the new 8N tractor design.
Hall headlights which had been in use since '39. How you identify Ford industrial engines depends on the engine in question, and finding the casting number is your primary challenge. At serial 305676 the oil filler cap was changed to a larger model with a replaceable filter element inside. Place a piece of tissue paper over the plate and rub gently with charcoal or a pencil. The confusion starts with the very first year the 9N was built. The 9N and later 2N tractors were painted all gray.
Some of the obvious factory changes to the 2N tractors included; changing several previously chromed items to painted and changing from I-Beam to Tube-type Radius rods part way thru the 1944 production year. Look for a flat spot in the casting a few inches back from the oil filter, just below the cylinder head. They were equipped with heavy duty hydraulic brakes. Small underlined Fordson decals with silver letters on gray background fitted to both bonnet sides. Unless you happen to have the first first tractor off the production line, then your particular number will not be on the list. Surviving industrials are also a rare find.
Official Ford documents, parts catalogs, and expert sources do not agree how many tractors were built in 1939. It is unknown how many of the stripped-down model 2N tractors were actually built between October 1942 and April 1943. You will only see the diamonds on 8N tractors with a serial number after 8N 433578. At serial number 252845 the one piece shifter handle with the small forged knob was changed to a threaded handle with a black plastic knob that screws on. They worked much better than the early ones.