I bought my first tractor (an 8N) in 1971, and learned a lot from it as it needed serious fixing and an o'haul. We hadn't bought our "country place" yet, but did soon thereafter. It became my main tractor for moving dirt, landscaping, post hole drilling, brush hoggin, snow plowing and every other task known. In the early 80's, I began renting land and making horse hay. The 8N was hooked to the sickle bar for the season, after which it earned its keep plowing snow for the neighbors. Soon, I felt the need for a heavier tractor for baling safety on the rented hills, and bought a badly beat-up 8000 (cheap!) from the Ford dealer. The Lucas electrical system was a bad joke, so it got rewired with a Delco SI 10 and became a reliable tractor. All of the cab glass had been busted by vandals while it was on the dealer lot. I had a friend who could cut safety glass. A paint job and 3 new tires made it look respectable. So now I was learning about the 401 6 cylinder diesel.
A few years later I found a 9000 with papers that showed that it had just had the TA rebuild and listed other internal parts. In the spring tillage, I found the TA would not pull in low range with a 4 bottom plow. I took the receipt to the dealer who did the work and sought help in making it right. He said the customer never paid the bill, and they probably had mechanic lean rights on the tractor for over $5000. I left in a hurry without leaving my name and number. Then is when I learned to split a big tractor and pulled the TA out of the front of the tranny, and brought the unit to another Ford dealer to have it rebuilt. They did it right.
Having seen how stout the tranny was, I easily accepted a deal on a TW 10, which has been our very best tractor. It has been absolutely trouble free in the 20 years we have owned it. My son's FIL insists that only red tractors will be on his farm. So due to wife pressure, son has bought a few red ones. They may have more row crop tillage HP, but they have been frequently broke down (TA gone out 2X). The cab on the 3688 is built for an octapus with 8 long arms to reach the shift, brake, and hydraulic levers. I hate driving that thing both on the road and in the field.
Other son has a 4600 su, which we did an in frame o'haul on to make up for the work done by a PO who was an idiot. It is now a good tractor.
Many Ford PUs and diesel PUs on this farm + 3 Dodges for comparison.
That's my Ford story. We rent about 250 acres for hay production, but will probably lose 50 -75 acres this coming season to the developers and their dozers.
Paul in MN