Saturday, January 13, 2018

The things we build... Mini 8N

Back when my son was 2 , I was looking for a powered vehicle for him to ride around on, I wasn't impressed with the commercially available offerings and having had an Ford 8N around for farm for about twenty years I set out to make something along those lines. A visit to a Maine antique and scrap yard produced the remains of an old two wheel tractor (like a rototiller) and the tractor-treaded tires proved to be almost exactly half the height of the 8N tractor tires. Also about that time a local hospital was replacing their Fortress Mobility scooters and I dragged a couple of them out of the dumpster. I laid the components out in the shop and the project began to take shape.

Because the rear tires were sized so perfectly it was easy to scale down the various body parts and as I had a friend with thermal forming capabilities, I built some wooden bucks to vacform a 1/2 scale 8N in Kydex.

With two 12 volt batteries under the hood, and the Fortress motor geared down to suit the larger tires the powertrain worked quite well. Now to finish up the bodywork and paint it.

Now a tractor to ride around on is good but having things to tow around is much better. So various implements and trailers were fabricated.

While in Maine on vacation we took it to the Owls Head Transportation Show truck and tractor show, and I was commissioned to build a second one.
Of course kids grow up, both tractors were used hard for about 5 years and have now been moved on to the next generation of kids, and I'm still maintaining the things!