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Order Ford 861 Parts Online

Looking at 861 - what should I focus on?

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DD in WA

10-10-2012 08:40:13

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I've been an 8N owner for the past 15 or so years and know them pretty well. I've been interested in getting something with more power to hay as it's been a challenge with the 8N. I'm going to go look at an 861 gas but I know very little about them or what typical problems they've had. Some ideas on what to be looking out for would be much appreciated.

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10-10-2012 16:42:55

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 Re: Looking at 861 - what should I focus on? in reply to DD in WA, 10-10-2012 08:40:13  
When they are worn, it doesn't take much of a hill

to pop it out. Like showcrop says, drive it up and down hills

with your hand off the lever.

Since 3rd and reverse are at the top, and usually

most used, it's usually 3rd that slips out.

when you shift into third, watch the shifter when you let it go.

worn ones will creep back toward center when you let it go

and will probably pop out.
Still not a showstopper. I had a 860 for years that slipped out.

I put a spring loop on the dash and just slipped it over the shifter

when in 3rd. (not too tight)

The main thing you want is to stop it

from slipping out.

every time it does it, it makes it easier for next time.

It was always on my list to just fix it, but traded it away before I got to it.

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Ultradog MN

10-10-2012 16:42:26

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 Re: Looking at 861 - what should I focus on? in reply to DD in WA, 10-10-2012 08:40:13  
I'd say you got some good advice for the guys below.
Aside from the transmission look for the usual drips and leaks. I have gotten so I verify that the cotter pin in still in the tranny/clutch housing as there have been enough stories of folks finding the hold plugged and the bell housing half full of oil.
If you've had an 8N for that long you will find the Hundred tractors mostly familiar to you and typical trouble spots will be the same. Slow starting, blue smoke, oil pressure, shakes, rattles, welds, tires - did I mention tires?
The steering on late 8N through the Hundreds is almost identical.
Everything on a Hundred will be a bit heavier but not much more complicated than an N.
861 will definately eat an N's lunch.
Bring your camera and post some pictures of it here, whether or not you buy it.

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10-10-2012 12:30:46

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 Re: Looking at 861 - what should I focus on? in reply to DD in WA, 10-10-2012 08:40:13  
I bought an 850 for a good price last January. Since then I've assembled a long list of things that need attention....maybe not such a great deal after all.

Maybe this list will help you as you evaluate the one you're looking at.
1. Steering very loose. Seems to be play everywhere: at the sectors and at the spindles.
2. Lift needs addjusting and probably some parts. When I put the lever all the way down, the lift arms don't go as low as they should. If I switch it to draft control, the lift arms will drop another 8". Put it back in position control and they come back up.
3. Brakes are not great. My other 850 has great brakes. You're probably not used to having good brakes with an 8N, so you may not even notice.
4. Transmission won't stay in 1st gear unless I hold the lever in place. Since I do most baling in 1st gear, this is a pain.
5. Temp gauge never moves. Either the gauge is bad or the t-stat has been removed. I've worked it pretty hard and I'm thinking the gauge is bad.

On the bright side, the engine fires right up and runs smooth. And the sheetmetal looks really good!

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DD in WA

10-10-2012 15:46:09

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 Re: Looking at 861 - what should I focus on? in reply to Jim.UT, 10-10-2012 12:30:46  
It seems there's a common thread with the tranny and it popping out of gear. Another suggested going down a steep hill in gear to see if it pops out. Any other suggestions on how to test if this is a problem? Does yours pop out only when under a load or all the time?

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10-10-2012 18:28:02

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 Re: Looking at 861 - what should I focus on? in reply to DD in WA, 10-10-2012 15:46:09  
Usually if a tranny is going to pop out of gear it will be when NOT under a load. Mine will actually work in 1st gear if I hold the lever in place until I'm underway as long as it's under load. But if there's any slowdown, like a gentle decline in the ground I'm working, it will pop out.

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10-10-2012 11:25:57

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 Re: Looking at 861 - what should I focus on? in reply to DD in WA, 10-10-2012 08:40:13  
Check for jumping out of third while going down a steep grade with the engine holding you back. Check to see that the lift holds a load without bouncing.

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10-10-2012 08:50:53

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 Re: Looking at 861 - what should I focus on? in reply to DD in WA, 10-10-2012 08:40:13  
Check to see if the trans "jumps" out of 3rd gear when you drive it. This is very common on the 5 speed.
Confirm that the dual stage clutch works properly. Have the seller demonstrate to you that the PTO starts turning when you let the clutch pedal half way up and the tractor starts moving when you let the clutch the rest of the way up. The dual stage clutch costs around $400 for a rebuilt unit.

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