Quick ID Ford Tractors '39-'64

Check our full ID/History page for more detailed changes by year and model that can help with your identification.

The easiest way to identify the year of your old Ford tractor is by the serial number. However, sometimes the number is unreadable due to some damage or the engine/transmission has been swapped from another tractor. Hybrids (8N tractors with 9N engines or 9N tractors with 8N engines, etc) are not uncommon. A lot of parts swapping has gone on over the last 50+ years and lots of these tractors are made up of parts from more than one unit. If that is the case, you will have to use other identifying clues to get a ballpark year on your tractor.

You may need to brush away a lot of rust and dirt before you can read the numbers. The numbers are usually not stamped very deep (or very straight). Try different angles and light sources to make the number visible. There will always be either a star or a diamond at the beginning and at the end of the serial number. You will only see the diamonds on 8N tractors with a serial number after 8N 433578. All earlier 9N-2N-8N models have the stars. All models made after the 8N will have the diamond markers. The format for the serial number on the 9N-2N-8N tractors is *8N12345*. All serial numbers will begin with either 9N or 8N followed by the number.

There are no 2N serial numbers; all 2N tractors retained the 9N serial numbers. The exception to the 9N or 8N format is the 9NAN and 8NAN prefix which identifies a kerosene burning tractor. These are common in Europe, but extremely rare in the US. There is also the 9NBN prefix for industrial tractors and the BNO25 and BNO40 prefix used on the MotoTug tractors.

It's also not unheard of to find N tractors with an engine serial number that begins with A253-xx or a similar variant. These were stationary power unit engines or combine engines. Some will have "Ford Industrial Engine" tags attached. Since they were the same as the tractor engine, many have found their way into tractors as replacement engines over the years.

Note that the "font" used on the number stamps was a little unusual. The uppercase letter "I" was used as number "1", and a lower case letter "b" was used a the number "6". That same "b" was turned over to become the number "9". The NAA serial number was the last one to use the model prefix as part of the serial number. After the NAA tractor, the hundred series and up tractors have a model number stamped above a strictly numerical serial number. You will need both of those numbers to identify your tractor.

Some casting codes on 9N-2N-8N engine blocks, transmission housings, and rear axle housings can also help pinpoint a date of manufacture. A code such as G187 would mean the part was cast on or after July 18th, 1947. D252 would be April 25th, 1952. The hydraulic pump housing on the 8N is aluminum and has the actual casting date on it directly in front of the bottom drain plug. However, pumps have been changed over the years, so this date should only be considered to confirm other dating clues. Below are the serial number ranges and some of the features of the tractors in that range.


N series 1939 - 1952

Just a quick glance from a distance can tell you whether you're looking at a 9N-2N or an 8N Ford tractor. Note the difference in the wheel lug bolt patterns in the photos below.

Tyler Neff's 9N Typical 8N
9N or 2N Ford Tractor 8N Ford Tractor

Serial numbers for 9N-2N-8N tractors are located on the left side of the engine block, just below the head and behind the oil filter.

Serial number location

9N-2N-8N Serial number location

9N-2N dash 8N dash with Proofmeter
1940-'47 9N-2N dash '50-'52 8N dash with Proofmeter


Model 9N 1939 - 1942

1939 Serial number 9N1 - 9N10275
1940 Serial number 9N10276 - 9N46017
1941 Serial number 9N46018 - 9N88933
1942 Serial number 9N88934 - 9N99046

Model 2N 1942 - 1947

1942 Serial number 9N99047 - 9N105411
1943 Serial number 9N105412 - 9N126574
1944 Serial number 9N126575 - 9N170017

9N radius rod 8n radius rod
9N-2N pre '44 "I"beam style radius rod '44 2N-'52 8N oval tube radius rod

1945 Serial number 9N170018 - 9N198766
1946 Serial number 9N198767 - 9N258539
1947 Serial number 9N258540 - 9N306221

9N transmission 8N transmission
9N-2N 3 speed transmission 8N 4 speed transmission

Model 8N 1947 - 1952

1947 (8N) Serial number 8N1 - 8N37907
1948 Serial number 8N37908 - 8N141369
1949 Serial number 8N141370 - 8N245636
1950 Serial number 8N245637 - 8N343592

Front mount distributor Side mount distributor
'39-'50 front mount distributor '50-'52 side mount distributor

1951 Serial number 8N343593 - 8N442034
1952 Serial number 8N442035 - 8N524076


Part number identifiers cast into "N" series engine blocks (left rear side)
9N-2N-early 8N blocks - none
8N after serial 42161 - 8N
8N after serial number 263843 - 8N-B side distributor block
8N after serial number 433577 - 8N-C side distributor block with .090" sleeves

The Jubilee-NAA 1952 -1954

In late '52 Ford introduced the new NAA series tractor for '53 which marked the end of 8N production. 1953 was Ford's 50th anniversary so the new tractor was called the Golden Jubilee in celebration of that event. The NAA - Jubilee had a more powerful overhead valve engine, live hydraulics, and redesigned front sheet metal with the "cyclops" medallion in the center of the hood. It was slightly taller, longer, and heavier than the 8N.

The '53 NAA Jubilee
The 1953 NAA Jubilee

Serial number location on the first 22,238 NAA models was on the left front of the
engine block just below the head as shown in the photo below.

Early NAA serial number location
Early NAA serial number location

Serial number location on later NAA models was on the left side of the transmission case
just below the flat above the starter bulge as shown in the photo below.

Later NAA serial number location
Later NAA serial number location

1952 Serial number NAA 00001 - NAA 04929
1953 Serial number NAA 04930 - NAA 77474
1954 Serial number NAA 77475 - NAA 128965

''53 Jubilee hood emblem '54 NAA hood emblem
1953 NAA Jubilee hood emblem 1954 NAA hood emblem

NAA and Hundred series dash
The NAA and Hundred series tractor dash panel

The Hundred series 1954 - 1957
600-700-800-900 Series Tractors

In late '54 Ford introduced the new expanded line up of the hundred series tractors for '55. First came the 600 and 800 series followed by the 700 and 900 series. The 600 series was basically the 134 cubic inch NAA with a few updates. The hydraulic lift was improved and the rear axles were redesigned as one piece to eliminate the separate axle and hub used on the 8N and NAA. The 800 series had a 172 cubic inch engine which provided a lot more power. It's hood was raised 2 inches to allow for a larger gas tank and the rear differential and housing was larger and stronger than the one on the 600 series. The 700 series was the row crop tricycle version of the 600 series and the 900 series was the row crop tricycle version of the 800. A wide front end option was available for the row crop tractors. Two transmission options were available, a standard 4 speed and a 5 speed that could be had with or without the two stage clutch live pto option. The model number identifies the tractor options within each series. For example, a model 640 tractor is a 600 series with a 4 speed transmission (non-live pto), hydraulics and a pto.

Hundred series hood emblem
The hundred series tractors carried a front hood emblem identifying them by series number.

800 series utility 900 row crop
Hundred series utility tractor Hundred series row crop tractor


NAA, Hundred and Thousand series axles
The 8N-NAA rear axle hub (left photo) was attached with a large nut in the center.
The '55 and newer tractors had one piece axles and did not have that nut.

Hundred series serial number location
The Hundred series and newer tractor serial number location is on the flat area above and
behind the starter. The first number is the 3, 4, or 5 digit model number, depending on the series. Below that is the actual serial number.
A diamond symbol denotes the beginning and end of the serial number. This photo shows a
model 850 (800 series) with serial 93706 (1956). Use the chart below to decode your model
number, then find your serial number in the appropriate series to determine the tractor year.


Decoding the 3 digit model numbers on Hundred series tractors -

First number
6** - Four wheel utility type with adjustable front axle, 134 ci gas or LP-gas engine
7** - High clearance row crop with134 ci gas or LP-gas engine
8** - Four wheel utility type with adjustable front axle, 172 ci gas or LP-gas engine
9** - High clearance row crop type, 172 ci gas or LP-gas engine

Second number
*2* - Four speed transmission, no PTO or 3 point lift
*3* - Four speed transmission, no PTO
*4* - Four speed transmission with PTO and 3 point lift
*5* - Five speed transmission with 3 point lift and non-live PTO
*6* - Five speed transmission with 3 point lift and live PTO

Third number
**0 - Hundred series, '55 - '57

Hundred Series tractor serial numbers -
1954 Serial number 1 - 10614
1955 Serial number 10615 - 77270
1956 Serial number 77271 - 116367
1957 Serial number 116368 - up

The "01" series 1957 - 1962
501-601-701-801-901 Series Tractors

In late '57 Ford introduced another expanded line up for '58 renamed the "01" series. These included the 501 (offset) 601, 701, 801, and 901 series tractors. Several improvements were made and new options such as power steering appeared. Horsepower increased across the line and some color schemes were changed. The 134 cubic inch gas or 144 cubic inch diesel engined 501, 601, and 701 series became known as the Workmaster tractors and had an all red hood with gray only on the grille, fenders and wheels. They retained the earlier NAA-600 style grille. The 172 cubic inch gas or diesel engined 801 and 901 were known as the Powermaster tractors. Their paint scheme included a red hood center with gray sides and new "egg crate" style grille. All got a new medallion for the front of the hood and new styled rear fenders.

01 series hood emblem 01 Industrial hood emblem
The "01" series hood emblem was the first one to be made of plastic

'601 Workmaster series 801 Powermaster series
The 601 Workmaster series tractor The 801 Powermaster series tractor

'5 speed trans shifter Select-O-Speed shifter
The 5 speed transmission shifter The Select-O-Speed transmission shifter
Used 1955 - 1964 Introduced in 1959 used thru 1964

Model and serial numbers for the "01" series tractors are located in the same place as the hundred series tractors.

Decoding the 3 digit model numbers on "01" series tractors -

First number
5** - One row offset tractor with134 ci gas, LP-gas or 144 ci diesel engine
6** - Four wheel utility type with adjustable front axle, 134 ci gas, LP-gas or 144 ci diesel engine
7** - High clearance row crop with134 ci gas, LP-gas or 144 ci diesel engine
8** - Four wheel utility type with adjustable front axle, 172 ci gas, LP-gas or 172 ci diesel engine
9** - High clearance row crop type, 172 ci gas, LP-gas or 172 ci diesel engine

Second number
*1* - Select-O-Speed transmission, no PTO
*2* - Four speed transmission, no PTO or 3 point lift
*3* - Four speed transmission, no PTO
*4* - Four speed transmission with PTO and 3 point lift
*5* - Five speed transmission with 3 point lift and non-live PTO
*6* - Five speed transmission with 3 point lift and live PTO
*7* - Select-O-Speed transmission with single speed PTO and 3 point lift
*8* - Select-O-Speed transmission with dual and ground speed PTO and 3 point lift

Third number
**1 - "01" series '57 - '62

Suffixes
-1 - Tricycle with single front wheel
-4 - High clearance with wide front
-5 - Factory wide front end
-S - Sherman transmission
-L - LP gas engine
-D - Diesel engine


"01" Series tractor serial numbers -
1957 Serial number 1001 - 11996
1958 Serial number 11997 - 58311
1959 Serial number 58312 - 105942
1960 Serial number 105943 - 131426

Near the end of 1960 Ford introduced the first of the Thousand series tractors as Industrial models. These tractors were painted red and "buff" and were basically modified "01" series models with a different seat, industrial tread rear tires, and a heavier fixed width front axle. The light industrial models were the 2030 and 4030 with the 4040 being the heavy industrial. It was basically the same as the earlier 1801 industrial tractors.

Pre '63 2000 Industrial
A 1961 2000 Industrial tractor

1961 Serial number 131427 - 155530
1962 Serial number 155531 - up

The Thousand series 1962 - 1964
2000-4000-6000 Series Tractors

In 1962 Ford introduced the first Thousand series utility tractors, the 2000, 4000, and 6000. The 2000 and 4000 series tractors were basically the same as the 601 and 801 series tractors but with a slightly restyled grille that ended 10 years of the "cyclops" front emblem. The 6000 series was an all new and much larger 6 cylinder Select-O-Speed tractor. The thousand series tractors were painted the new Ford corporate blue color with a lighter gray trim and the familiar red and gray was gone except for a few red and "buff" industrial models.

'1963-64 series 2000 1963-64 series 4000
1963-64 2000 series 1963-64 4000 series

A 6000 built in '62
A red painted model 6000 built in '62
The '63 and newer models were blue


Model and serial number location on early thousand series tractors
is the same as the hundred and "01" series tractors


Decoding the 5 digit model numbers on 2000-4000 series tractors -

First number (1 digit)
2**** - 134 ci gasoline or 144 ci diesel engine
4**** - 172 ci gas, LP-gas or 172 ci diesel engine

Second number (1 digit)
*0*** - Industrial models produced prior to 1963
*1*** - Industrial and agricultural models produced after 1963

Third number (2 digits)
**10 * - Row crop
**11 * - Offset
**20 * - Utility-type w/adjustable front axle
**21 * - Orchard type w/ non-adjustable front axle
**30 * - Utility-type tractor w/non-adjustable front axle (light industrial)
**31 * - Low center of gravity (LCG tractor)
**40 * - Heavy duty industrial tractor w/sub frame
**41 * - Heavy duty industrial tractor w/sub frame & cast grille

Last number (1 digit)
*1**0 - Four-speed w/o PTO
*0**1 - Four-speed w/o PTO or hydraulics
*1**1 - Four-speed w/PTO
*0**2 - Four-speed w/hydraulics, w/o PTO
*1**2 - Five-speed w/live PTO
*0**3 - Four-speed w/hydraulics and PTO
*0**4 - Select-O-Speed w/o hydraulics or PTO
*1**4 - Select-O-Speed w/o PTO
*0**5 - Select-O-Speed w/hydraulics and single-speed (540 rpm) PTO
*0**6 - Select-O-Speed w/hydraulics, 540 and 1000 rpm PTO and ground-speed PTO
*1**6 - Select-O-Speed w/two-speed (540 and 1000 rpm) independent PTO
*1**7 - Select-O-Speed w/540 and 1000 rpm independent PTO and ground-speed PTO
*0**9 - Five-speed w/live PTO

Suffixes
-1 - Tricycle with single front wheel
-4 - High clearance with wide front
-L - LP gas engine
-D - Diesel engine


Thousand Series tractor serial numbers -
1962 Serial number 1001 - 11947
1963 Serial number 11948 - 38930
1964 Serial number 38931 - up


Part number identifiers cast into 134 and 172 engine blocks (lower right side)
EAE 6015 - 134 1953-1957
EAF 6015 - 172 1953-1957
310905 - 134 1958-1959
310609 - 172 1958-1959
B9NN-6015C - 134 late 1959 early 1960
B9NN-6015A - 144D late 1959 early 1960
B9NN6015J - 172 late 1959 early 1960
B9NN6015B - 172D late 1959 early 1960
C0NN-6015G - 134 sleeveless late 1962-1964
C0NN-6015H - 144D late 1960-1964
C0NN-6015C - 172D-G late 1960-1964
C0NN-6015J - 172 late 1960-1964



If your tractor looks something like this one, it is a 1965 or newer
3 cylinder model and is beyond the scope of this webpage.
Information on these tractors is available HERE

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