Ford 660 & A Rear Fork

By John Spyker. Published in the N-News Winter issue, Jan-Feb-Mar 2019, Volume 34 Number 1

Ford 660

John Spyker’s 1956 660

I bought my 1956 660 from a farm auction in the spring of 2015. To make the delivery, I drove it the twelve miles up the valley to our family cabin. It was a nice spring day. I called my mom who was watching my son, Isaiah. They were playing a game at the picnic table. When I came up over the hill, Isaiah realized it was me and came running out to the end of the drive, smiling ear to ear.

The tractor was in solid shape. It had brand new rear tires and a finish mower attached to it at the estate auction, which upped my top bid price. I don’t get to work on it very much because it is at our cabin and I don’t want to take up all of my weekends doing repair work, so I get a local shop to do many of the repairs. It has needed the oil tube going to the pressure gauge replaced and a new radiator.

The tractor is unrestored at this point. I like the dings and faded paint – it gives it character. The right fender has the paint worn off where the previous owner rested his arm while mowing. The trailer in the picture above is made from the axle of my maternal grandpa’s model A dump truck that was used on their farm. My dad and his dad had Ford tractors, so there is some family history.

I didn’t know much about Ford’s before buying it other than dad had one. His had a narrow front, maybe it was a 901, but I’m not sure. Mom had to sell it when Dad passed away in 1984. I do remember that it was a Select-O-Speed. I loved riding around on my 660 with my son and passing on a life in the outdoors. Isaiah and I also rode in the Fulton Fall Festival tractor parade in McConnellsburg, PA this past year.

We use the 660 mostly to drag or haul in wood, move stones, grade and plow snow. Our tractor is a worker. My feeling is that once a tractor is fixed up and painted, I would only want to show it. For now this 660’s major job is to get firewood, but we still enjoy riding it in the parade.

The fork at work cleaning the road

The fork at work cleaning the road.

I rebuilt a tandem axle trailer after pulling it out of the weeds. I’m a self-taught welder for the most part. I picked up hints and ideas from welders and took some classes. I bought a welder at auction and started practicing. The trailer was one of my first projects.

I also built a set of forks for the 3-point hitch. I got some of the materials at auctions and also at the junk yard. The pipe I bought at the junkyard. I had to buy the entire length, so I have enough for my next project – a lift boom. The gussets and diameter holes were burnt at my workplace, Habot Steel in York, PA. (I have worked in the steel industry since I was 19). They let me use the plasma machine. I cut everything else on my neighbor’s bandsaw or with my acetylene torch.

building the fork

In the shop building the fork.

This involved lots of grinding and welding. I tell my son, “You can make anything with a torch, grinder and welder.” When I told him about this article he said, “I’m going to be famous! I’m going to be famous!” His name is Isaiah and he loves tractors. He has inherited his great grandfather’s Wheel Horse, which we take to the tractor parade too.

Isaiah helping to bring in the firewood

Isaiah helping to bring in the firewood!

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1954 NAA

By Wayne Musser. Published in the N-News Summer 2016. Vol. 31 No. 3.

Wayne Musser's NAA 1954

Wayne Musser’s beautiful NAA 1954 newly restored. The overhaul boosted the NAA’s horsepower by 18%!

Like many N-News readers, I spent my youth on tractors. Much of that time was spent on my grandfather’s farm in central Pennsylvania. My grandfather started farming with horses, and then he progressed to a Farmall F-14 tractor, then to a Ford 8N. He was so impressed with the 8N, he purchased a second one. After a few years of farming with the Ns, he traded one for a used 1954 NAA. The two year old NAA showed an improvement over the 8N with more horsepower and a Sherman Over/Under transmission that provided twelve forward speeds and three reverse speeds. It was also equipped with the live PTO option.

Wayne Musser's NAA 1954

The rear view of Wayne Musser’s 1954 NAA with the live PTO (which his family used for hay bailing).

Wayne Musser's 1954 NAA PTO lever

Live PTO lever (lower left), cup holder and an extra handle on the fender.

When I was about twelve years old, I learned to drive the tractors. I was doubly blessed in that both of my grandfathers were dairy farmers, so when one grandfather didn’t need me to help put hay away, the other one did. My grandfather chose the NAA with live PTO for hay baling.

The live PTO worked fairly well, but it didn’t always engage smoothly. My job was to stack the hay on the wagon. With the erratic engagement of the PTO, I sometimes found myself sitting down faster than I planned. My second cousin was stacking hay on the top of the hay wagon when he suddenly found himself on the ground after somersaulting off the back of the wagon!

Musser's NAA 1954 PTO operatiing sticker

Pay attention!

When my grandfather died, my father took over the farm. He worked as an automotive technician during the day and farmed the sixty acres at night, growing corn and oats. I guess you could call him a “heavy hobby farmer.”

Wayne Musser's dad atop the 1954 NAA

The author’s father, Ralph Musser, planting corn circa 1998.

When my father died, my mother decided to keep the tractors in the family rather than sell them. She divided the Ford tractors among my sisters and myself. My father had acquired the 1954 NAA, a 1953 Jubilee and a 1958 Ford 800 series. Since I am the oldest in the family, I had first choice of the tractors. I chose the 1954 NAA because it had belonged to both my father and grandfather.

Last winter, I restored the NAA. I ordered the power pack overhaul kit which provided the tractor with approximately 18% more horsepower for a total of almost 35 horsepower. I installed new axle seals, brakes, clutch, pressure plate, and new tires.

Wayne Musser's NAA 1954 in the shop

At the beginning of the restoration process.

The tires are loaded with a methanol mixture and there are also wheel weights on the inside of the rim. We found that with our clay soil, plowing with any of these Fords required extra weight. I chose Firestone 13.6×28 6-ply SAT 11 23 Super All Tractor tires. They certainly weren’t the cheapest, but they work well for us. This tractor has proved very reliable over the years and I hope it will continue to provide reliable service for the next generation.

Wayne Musser's 1954 NAA with wheel weights.

Inner wheel weight and trailer plug.

Because I occasionally pull a trailer on the road with this tractor, I added a set of flashers on top of the fenders and also a trailer plug to the rear fender to plug in the lights on the trailer.

I also added an extra knob on the left hand fender to help me get on and off (see the top left image). I didn’t drill any extra holes, I just used the fender skin bolt holes that were already there.

Wayne Musser's 1954 NAA front view

Wayne Musser’s 1954 NAA front view post-restoration. Not only does it work harder – it looks as good as new too!

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Workers: An 8N With a Job to Do

By James Morrison. N-News Autumn 2014. Vol. 29 No. 3

When the summer issue of the N-News arrived in my mailbox, my wife and I had just returned from grocery shopping. I immediately pulled a chair into the shade on the porch and began reading. I’m not sure my wife cares for the magazine, so it was her task to unload the groceries. Of course, I would have done it had she waited a while. Continue reading