Are you having trouble with your Ford 8N hydraulics? Here are some suggestions to get you started fixing your tractor. While these tips are specifically for the Ford 8N, many other models of antique tractors will show similar symptoms when their hydraulics need attention.

If the hydraulics drift down, that usually means the relief valve is squeaking by. This is easy to check – just remove the side door and watch the oil move. If the oil is leaking out of the piston top, the seal or o-ring could be damaged. While the 8N piston originally came with steel rings, many have been upgraded with a Jubilee style o-ring.

If the hydraulics don’t go up at all, it’s likely that the ball socket is the problem (worn out or jumped out of place).

If the hydraulics either go all the way up or all the way down (with no control in the middle), the problem is likely with your pivot pins. They simply wear out and need to be replaced.

If it seems like your hydraulics just aren’t doing anything, be sure to check that the PTO lever is engaged and then try.

In any case, don’t forget about fresh oil! It makes a big difference. I recommend hydra-trans oil.

A short tutorial of hydraulic repair on a Ford 8N is available here.

Of course, once you diagnose the problem you still need to fix it! Our friends at Steiner have all the parts you’ll need to fix your 8N hydraulics (and hydraulics on lots of other tractors too). Just give them a ring to get started.