What kind of radiator cap do I need?


Believe it or not, but one of the biggest returns here at Steiner Tractor Parts is radiator caps. There are a few different styles of radiator caps, and radiators get replaced so frequently that it can be difficult to know exactly what you should be asking for.

When you are ordering a new radiator cap, here’s what you need to know.

1. Does your tractor have the original radiator? Radiators can be interchangeable. Just because you have a Ford 9N doesn’t mean it has the original or correct radiator on it. In fact, chances are good it’s been swapped over the years for a radiator from a Ford 8N – which uses a different radiator cap. This applies to all models of tractors, but we see swaps from the original most often on Ford and Farmall tractors.

2. Is your radiator pressurized? A non-pressurized cap is flat on the underside, and a pressurized one will have a flap to create a seal. Because pressurized systems tend to circulate the water better, it’s not uncommon for a tractor that would originally have a non-pressurized system to get an “upgrade” to a pressurized system over the years. The underside of the cap can be a good initial clue into what you’re working with.

3. How does the cap connect to the neck of your radiator? Some radiator necks have a jaw that the cap grabs onto and seals tight (common in pressurized systems). Other types are held on but not locked on, with an ear that can let the pressure release.

4. If the cap is pressurized, how much pressure? There’s a difference between a cap that will hold 4 pounds of pressure and a cap designed for 6 pounds.

A simple awareness of these things can often go a long way in helping you order the right replacement for your radiator cap. If you’re still unsure, though, let the folks at Steiner know when you place your order. They’ll help you double-check to be sure you’re getting the right part.

Mecum Gone Farmin’ and Steiner Tractor Parts

2015-Mecum-Iowa-HeaderWe will be joining our Mecum Auctions friends at their Iowa Premier Gone Farmin’ Tractor Auction in Davenport, Iowa on Friday, November 6, 2015 through Saturday, November 7, 2015.

Come and see us at the Mississippi Valley Fair Center! We will be on hand with our free 2015 print catalogs and tractor repair tutorial DVDs. Be the first to stop at our booth and receive a free orange and camouflage Steiner hat. Limited supply, one per attendee. Check out auction details. See you at the auction!

Repair the loose steering on your Ford tractor




Does the steering on your Ford tractor need repairing? Watch this free instructional video demonstrating a complete steering gearbox replacement on a Ford 8N. The same technique can be used on a Ford Jubilee, NAA, 600, 800, 2000 4-cyl., and 4000 4-cyl. In this newest series of tractor repair videos offered online at SteinerTractor.TV Rachel takes you step by step to disassemble your dash and to install the new steering gearbox and drag links. She also shares helpful tips along the way to achieve straight steering. Start watching today >>

How to Determine Your Tractor’s Value

How much is this tractor worth? It’s a question I’m asked a lot. Determining the value of an antique tractor can be a tricky thing, especially if the tractor is rare or in an unusual condition. Whether you want to sell your tractor, insure it, or are just plain curious, these tips can help you determine the tractor’s value.

rachel gingell value of my tractor price for sale

My prefered method to determine a tractor’s value is to see what similar tractors have sold for in the area. You can find recent selling prices by looking at:

  • Auction results. Many auction companies will publish the results of their auction sales. In my opinion, this is the absolute best way to determine fair market value.
  • Ebay. Don’t just look through the current “for sale” ads, though – that will tell you what people are asking for their tractors, but not what they are selling for. Instead, use an advanced search option (in the left menu bar) to search only for the sold listings.
  • Classified ad websites like Craigslist or Tractorhouse.com. These contain listings from many areas, but you’ll need to use caution. The sites will give an idea of what people are asking for, but some sellers ask for unrealistic amounts. Balance these findings with the more reliable results from auction sales and sold listings on Ebay.

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If your tractor is rather common, these methods can usually give you a good picture of your tractor’s value. Just be sure that you account for your tractor’s condition (which could be better or worse than the comparable ones you find) and your location – prices can vary across the nation.


If you don’t find good results from online listings, though, there are some more options to consider:

  • A tractor value book (commonly called a Blue Book) will probably have your model listed. You may be able to get one from your local library, or you can buy a copy for yourself. Just be sure the book is rather recent – prices can change a lot over the years. My friend Machinery Pete publishes a tractor value book, which you can purchase from him here.
  • Get a professional appraisal. This is particularly useful if you want  to insure or donate (and claim a tax deduction for) your tractor.

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But perhaps you have a really special tractor – something very rare. If you can’t find sale results and your model isn’t listed in a tractor value book, you’ll have to make an educated guess on the value of your tractor. You may be able to consult collectors’ books to determine how many of your model tractor were manufactured (fewer built = higher value). Then, you might be able to find out what equally rare models of tractor from that same brand have sold for, which can give good insight into the market. When in doubt,sell it at a national collectors’ auction.

Muscle Up Your Classic Ford Tractor


There’s something beautiful about a perfectly restored Ford 8N tractor – but there’s a big soft spot in my heart for a V8 conversion job! It’s one of my favorite custom projects that we’ve done in the shop. Here’s a quick walk-through of conversion kits and the basic steps you’d need to take to muscle up your own Ford 8N tractor. With a proper conversion, you can get an 8N tractor up to 100 horsepower!


This tractor was converted by Gary Gray of New Jersey.
This tractor was converted by Gary Gray of New Jersey.


You’ll find tractors on the market today that were converted to a V8 using a kit produced by Funk Manufacturing (which was primarily in the aviation business, aka Funk Aviation or Funk Aircraft) of Coffeyville, Kansas. Dealers sometimes bought the kits and converted new tractors themselves, while others were purchased by farmers who already owned an N and wanted to increase their tractor’s power. Funk marketed these kits directly to farmers – my favorite slogan from their literature is “A Husky Beauty with Power to Spare!”


These conversion kits were in high demand in the late 40s and early 50s as farmers began to demand more horsepower. The introduction of the 8N wasn’t enough for farmers who wanted to use a 3-bottom plow. Ford couldn’t supply more power fast enough, so these conversion kits became popular. A fire in the Funk factory destroyed many records, so we’re unsure just how many conversion kits were produced. While I’m writing specifically about V8 conversions, Funk also made 6-cylinder conversion kits. Eventually, the blossoming popularity of these kits and the demand from the farmers lead to the Golden Jubilee tractor, which spelled the end of the conversion kits.


While other manufacturing companies have made (and continue to make) conversion kits, the Funk Conversion is probably the most common. Sometimes people will refer to any V8 conversion as a “Funk Conversion,” but a true Funk-manufactured conversion kit has some telltale signs, like a cast iron oil pan, a bump in the hood near the dash, and notable raised and extended hood. Funk kits are no longer in manufacture, but can sometimes be found at auction sales.

Ford 8N Conversion Tractor

 You don’t need a special kit to do a conversion, though – in fact, it can be a lot of fun to strike out on your own! With some solid fabrication skills (and access to a machine shop), you can muscle up your own N-series tractor.

Ford 8N Funks conversion in progress


There are a lot of things to take into consideration in doing your own conversion. Here’s a list (that doesn’t include everything!) to get you started.


  • Choose a flat head engine (without a cast iron bellhousing).
  • You’ll have to stretch the entire tractor to accommodate the longer engine – including the radius arms, steering components, and the hood.
  • The radiator will need two water inlets and outlets. Overheating is a common problem with these conversions. I recommend using a radiator from a 9N with a bigger tank on top, cutting two holes in it so that both water pumps from the flat head engine are operable.
  • Get creative with the gas tank. You can either make it smaller to fit under the hood, or put it somewhere else – the fenders, behind the back seat, longways inside the hood, etc.

Gas tank Ford 8N V8

  • Anything goes with the carburetor! I’ve seen successful conversions with a tri-power, dual quads, or a single carburetor.

Tripple barrel carb

  • Offenhauser or Edelbrock aluminum heads are popular, but this is another area where you can have some fun and get creative.

Alluminum heads Ford 8N

  • Exhaust can be a challenge, but it’s worth figuring out how to make a dual exhaust. Many companies offer kits that you can use.
  • You’ll need to make your own adapter plate.
  • The original ignition can work if you wire it into a modern distributor, or you can replace the entire system.
  • The flywheel and clutch can be one of the biggest challenges to a do-it-yourself approach. The original clutch is too big to fit into the tractor bell housing. We’ve tried out a few different solutions in the shop with our conversion jobs. One time we used a Ford 600 (tractor) clutch plate with a flathead V8 car pressure plate – a shorter one can fit in the bell housing. The clutch was slightly smaller than the original one, but it still worked.
  • The other really challenging part is the starter. Most people will use a flathead starter to match the flathead’s ring gear and flywheel.

Ford 8N V8 engine


How about you – have you ever completed a V8 conversion? Share your best tips below in the comments.



Ford Tractor Valve and Gasket Replacement

Ford Valve & Gasket Replacement

Does your tractor have low compression on one of the cylinders? Watch this free instructional video demonstrating a valve job and head gasket replacement on a Ford 134 cubic inch engine. In this newest series of tractor repair videos offered exclusively online at SteinerTractor.TV Rachel takes you step by step to remove and install new seats and valves and sahres many tips along the way! Start watching today >>

Replace your distributor bushing with our handy kits

Distributor Bushing Kits

Replace your distributor bushing with our handy kits

Can’t keep your points adjusted? Check for play in the distributor shaft. The bushing may be worn and need to be replaced. Try one of our USA made kits, complete with all the parts necessary for replacing the bushing in your Delco distributor, IH 353898R11 horizontal distributor or Ford Jubilee – 4000 4-cylinder tractor. View kits >>

View our winning photos for the 2016 catalog

2016 Catalog Pics

We received over 800 photo entries and the results are in! Visit SteinerTractor.com/tractor-photo-winners to view the photos chosen to appear in our 2016 tractor parts catalog. See our choice of winners for the top three categories as well as many other winners for the multiple brands. The top three winners will receive their choice of either a $300 Steiner gift card or a $300 Shutterfly gift card. The other photos chosen for the 2016 catalog will receive a $25 Steiner gift card. Thank you for participating and we encourage you to participate in next year’s contest. Also watch your email for our 2nd Annual Calendar Photo Contest. Congratulations to all those chosen and thank you again to everyone who participated.