8N clutch replacement - what to watch for? (2024)



  • Oct 4, 2023
  • #1

My late 1952 8N needs a clutch replacement. I have all the tools/lifts etc, but am eager to know if there
are any pitfalls to watch for before I start work. Thank you.


Bruce (VA)

Well-known Member
  • Oct 4, 2023
  • #2

Splitting the tractor & replacing the clutch is covered nicely in the I&T FO4 manual. (see tip # 39)

See tips 12 & 59 before you split it. I always use cribbing instead of jack stands. And of course, never concrete blocks!

Check the ring gear & replace it if need be.

Have the flywheel resurfaced.

I'd have the clutch & p/p rebuilt. And I'd replace the t/o & pilot bearings & front transmission seal while I was in there.

Use the main shaft as your clutch alignment tool.

If you don't have a local rebuild shop, try these guys:

Automotive Manufacturers Inc
2400 N Lombardy St Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 321-6861

They do mail order work. They rebuild carbs, clutches, pressure plates, water pumps, alternators, generators, starters & reline brakes.
If you prefer new parts, do NOT order them off of eBay or buy them at TSC. Get parts (and the manuals) from Dennis Carpenter, Yesterday's Tractor or nnalert's.
75 Tips



  • Oct 4, 2023
  • #3

They're a stupidly easy tractor to do a split/clutch job on. As mentioned, look at the flywheel ring gear for damage and replace if necessary. But also be aware that a lot of the new aftermarket ring gears are a little too loose on the N flywheels, sometimes requiring a few tacks of weld to prevent it from slipping. In theory, you should always get the flywheel resurfaced, but if the pressure plate hasn't worn down to the rivets and you want to be quick/dirty, you can probably get by without it. For all most folks do with an 8N these days it'll still probably last for years. It's not a major, 'Do everything you can while in there' tractor surgery: If you have to go back in a couple years down the road to do a ring gear or something it's only a couple hours to split and put back together. Clean all fasteners with brake clean/acetone and use 243 loc-tite (or equivalent) going back together. Make sure you block the engine from pivoting on the front axle with some wooden wedges. Do the pilot bearing while in there. For most tractors I prefer to use good sealed/2RS bearings rather than the low-quality and shielded ones that you get from most parts suppliers, but I wouldn't get hung up on it for an N. You can't go too wrong. Some enthusiasts tend to think there are all sorts of special tidbits to know about the N's, and to some extent it's true - but no more than it is for all other makes. Ultimately they're extremely simple, extremely easy to work on, straight forward tractors. I've done sewing machine repairs that are tougher than a clutch job on an N -you won't have any trouble.


Lynn Patrick

Well-known Member
  • Oct 4, 2023
  • #4

2X DanielW. For me the 3 most needed are block the front axle w/wedges & check/replace the throw-out & pilot bearings.
Oh, & don't tighten the bolts so tight you twist off a bolt in the flywheel! BTDT!!


Roger in Iowa

Well-known Member
  • Oct 4, 2023
  • #5

Check the pins and adjusting link external to the clutch mechanism. You may need to replace a pin or get the adjusting link loosened. You will probably need to adjust this area after installing new clutch parts.


Jim L WA

Well-known Member
  • Oct 4, 2023
  • #6

In addition to what the others said, take your time and think SAFETY. Also it's been suggested to replace the front transmission seal while your in there.

John Deere D

Well-known Member
  • Oct 4, 2023
  • #7

I use this rig (with transmission attached and or removed) on my MF 35.....Ferguson TEA-20...Ford 2-N

8N clutch replacement - what to watch for? (2)

8N clutch replacement - what to watch for? (3)


Jim in LA

  • Oct 4, 2023
  • #8

I have purchased the complete clutch kit for each of my 8Ns(49 and 51) and had no problems at all, and I had never replaced a clutch or split a tractor before. Take pics if necessary when disassembling. Just make sure to get the disc in the right orientation. I took two 7/16 X 4 bolts and cut the heads off and slotted them and used them for guide dowels when joining engine to tran. It is easier doing it on concrete,I have gravel floor and slung front half of tractor with boom pole. Put PTO in gear and turn if necessary to get splines lined up with clutch disc. Check out some of the YouTube videos on 8N clutch replacement.


Jim in LA

  • Oct 5, 2023
  • #9

I had to order two ring gears for my '51, both from this site. I couldn't heat the first one hot enough to expand sufficiently and ended up ruining it. The second went to a machine shop where they had to put the flywheel in a lathe and cut a few thousands off because they couldn't get the ring to expand enough and they did know what they were doing. Foreign steel I guess. Anyway the ring stays put.


Tim PloughNman Daley RIP

Well-known Member
  • Oct 6, 2023
  • #10

Start by first having all the Essential Manuals available for references. Gotta have a roadmap to know where you are going. The OEM Owner/Operator's Manual, the I&T F0-4 Service Manual, and the 8N Dealer Service Manual are what I would have on my bench. Suggest to print out copies of those chapters so you can just take them out to the shop and get greasy as you want so you don't have to get your original manuals all dirty. Having a copy of the 39-53 MPC should always be a handy staple as well.


8N clutch replacement - what to watch for? (4)

8N clutch replacement - what to watch for? (5)

8N clutch replacement - what to watch for? (6)


8N clutch replacement - what to watch for? (7)

8N clutch replacement - what to watch for? (8)

8N clutch replacement - what to watch for? (9)


8N clutch replacement - what to watch for? (10)

8N clutch replacement - what to watch for? (11)


8N clutch replacement - what to watch for? (12)

Tim Daley (MI)


Well-known Member
  • Oct 6, 2023
  • #11

Think safety! block the front and roll the back as John Deere D posted.



Well-known Member
  • Oct 6, 2023
  • #12

I did mine with a bottle jack under the front, a floor jack to roll the back section to the rear, a sheet of plywood on top of gravel, Longer trans mounting bolts with the heads cut to use as guide pins for reassembly.
Leave the trans in 4th gear and the PTO engaged with a long wrench to turn the trans gears IF the clutch does NOT line up.
Wedge the front 1/2 from pivoting on the center axle pin.

Are you doing a new regular clutch disc? Or a Kevlar?
Kevlar does NOT freeze in place like the new ones do compliments of the EPA and the loss of zinc, copper, asbestos and more in the clutch material.
Yes, boys and girls you can go Kevlar but those disc while they will not freeze in place, do not tolerate oil leaks or slippage. Either one will drastically shorten it's life and the new fangled metallic clutch disc now need to have the clutch pedal held open while not moving.
Either a 'C' clamp or a block of wood to keep the pedal depressed while not in use.

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8N clutch replacement - what to watch for? (2024)


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