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  1. #1
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    Default Ford 8N with Sherman vs 661 Powermaster

    I am considering a Ford 8N with Sherman over-under drive and a 661 Workmaster with live PTO and power steering. For $600 more than the 8N, the 661 is probably the best choice. The 8N is a $2,000 tractor with new paint. The 661 has been actively used on one farm for the past three decades. I doubt if I need the live PTO of the 661 but the power assisted steering would be good. I would like the low ground speed that the Sherman offers. The five speed of the 661 does not have a high-low range option.

    I have never owned a tractor. When I was young my father was a farmer with small acreage. My goal is to purchase a small tractor that can assist me in landscaping my rocky residential property: grading, leveling, building retaining walls etc. I have been using a wheel barrel but some boulders are too large to handle by hand. I would want to use a box blade and would probably get a ROPS.

    Probably the biggest requirement is dependability. I don't want to be making repairs on a frequent basis.

    Would either of these tractors be a good choice or should I look for something else? I prefer to spend less than $3,000. If these tractors are good candidates what do I look for in judging the overall condition?

    Tim

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    265 MF / JD 310B Backhoe

    Default Re: Ford 8N with Sherman vs 661 Powermaster

    Never have seen a 661 but had an 861 from the late 50's that was very nice. My time on an 8N was not positive but I am not a flat head man.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    SW OH - near Dayton, OH
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    1978 Kubota L285, 1951 Farmall h, 1946 Farmall m, 1950 John Deere A, 1953 Ford NAA Golden Jubilee, 195? Ford 850, 1948 Case DC

    Default Re: Ford 8N with Sherman vs 661 Powermaster

    The 661 also has live hydraulics where the 8N will not. No brainer go with the 661. While the 661 does not have a hi/lo tranny that 5 speed has good gear speed choices. 2nd gear on the 661 will be like 1st gear on the 8N so you do have at least one lower gear over a standard 8N.

  4. #4
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    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: Ford 8N with Sherman vs 661 Powermaster

    I would go with the 661.

    I have heard that the axle trumpets may not be strong enough for a ROPS on a 8N.

    Try out the hydraulics on them. See if it smokes. See if the engine and trans fluid look milky. Check the steering for play. Check anything you would on a car pretty much.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member kf4uda's Avatar
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    Middle TN
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    NH TD5030, 861 Ford Powermaster, 555A Ford Backhoe, S150x SnapperPro ZTR, Polaris Ranger XP800

    Default Re: Ford 8N with Sherman vs 661 Powermaster

    I would go with the 661 as well. Just too many advantages with it vs the 8n. Some of those include 10-12 more horsepower, live pto and live hydraulics.
    Chris



  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ford 8N with Sherman vs 661 Powermaster

    I was hoping someone would say to get both Ford tractors.

    One person who buys and sells many of these old Ford tractors told me that the condition of the sheet metal is often a general indicator of how well the tractor has been treated. A few dings here and there is normal. I have yet to see both tractors in person. The photos of the 8N shows a cleaned up and shiny tractor, but the 661 looks like a working tractor, doesn't appear to be beaten up. The 661 is not even steam cleaned - which is better for me to judge it. The old farmer who owned the 661 for thirty years has recently retired. The seller never claims the 8N to be restored. There are retired men who "restore" old tractors by painting them.

    I also like Wheel Horse garden tractors. I don't have a long term use for a Ford tractor but a Wheel Horse like a C-160 would handle many of my landscape chores, just slower - but lots better than the wheel barrel I have been using. I've been using a 10-feet long 2-inch diameter steel bar to lift boulders that weigh as much as pianos and will continue to use that method. I have no intention of flipping a tractor. A Wheel Horse would spin its wheels where a Ford with better traction could flip. A Wheel Horse with Unidrive has 267:1 final drive in low-low but they are definitely limited by weight and traction.

    There is also an 801 Workmaster Ford, but the asking price is $1,000 more. It also has a recent rattle can paint job as the tires were poorly masked. FORD 801 WORKMASTER TRACTOR
    New paint on old equipment confuses me. I've heard that tractors like these sell for low prices at auctions.



    Tim

  7. #7
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    265 MF / JD 310B Backhoe

    Default Re: Ford 8N with Sherman vs 661 Powermaster

    We had both 600 and 800 series. The heavier 800 had more pulling/moving power for sure but if you are going to use a bush hog, tiller, etc PTO based equipment the double clutch 5 speed combo is NICE.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ford 8N with Sherman vs 661 Powermaster

    I got a chance to look at the tractors. The "8N" is actually a 9N, does have the Sherman. The "661" is actually a 641 - has power steering. It is good running but only the four speed.

    Tim

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    Frederick County, VA
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    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: Ford 8N with Sherman vs 661 Powermaster

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Keith View Post
    I got a chance to look at the tractors. The "8N" is actually a 9N, does have the Sherman. The "661" is actually a 641 - has power steering. It is good running but only the four speed.

    Tim
    Stay away from a 9n.

  10. #10
    New Member
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    Sep 2015
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    Festus, Mo.
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    Ford 661

    Default Re: Ford 8N with Sherman vs 661 Powermaster

    What Bullit said. 9N's are pretty primitive. IMO, the number of gears on a tractor don't seem to mean much after about three. Unless you enter drag races with your tractor.

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