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question for 60's dealer employees SOS

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Author  [Modern View]

11-13-2013 06:52:20

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just being curious

I just picked up a very early 63 Ford 4000 RC NF

I'm going by date codes, most are very late 62.

Reason is it has a 1960 serial numbered 861 5-speed in it.

I know many SOS trannys were swapped out over the years,

and this one has a cover plate on the cowl, where the SOS shifter would be.

reason for the curiosity is:

very professional job, no evidence of cobbing anywhere.

Ford branded 5-speed proofmeter (that works)

It has the dual clutch
PO owned it for 20 years and bought it from the original owner who he knew. he said, "It's always had that trans"
So, my question.

Did you dealer guys ever do this swap when the tractor was near new?

just curious, tractor has no issues at all

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11-16-2013 09:49:44

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 Re: question for 60's dealer employees SOS in reply to sotxbill, 11-13-2013 06:52:20  
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Tony, Do you know Leroy Prinz of page equipment in Luray VA? He worked for a Ford dealer for many years and is still doing a lot with the SOSs. Unfortunately he has no computer.

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11-16-2013 06:34:24

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 Re: question for 60's dealer employees SOS in reply to soundguy, 11-13-2013 06:52:20  
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Thanks Tony

From the info you all have given, I'll agree, swap was done later.

Like I said, very, very nice job.

If you weren't a Ford person, it would pass as how it should be.

PO just mowed with it, and it was always in the barn when not in use. Good, conscientious owner, well maintained.

Not much to do on this one...

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11-15-2013 23:29:41

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 Re: question for 60's dealer employees SOS in reply to NoNewParts, 11-13-2013 06:52:20  
Hello No New Parts , The rear fenders on Soundguy's tractor are correct for all 901's and 4000 row crops up to the end of production in Dec. 1965 . Swapping out SOS's to 5 Speeds did not really start until the 80's when most of the Original SOS Mechanics were either dead or old and retired and did not want to be bothered anymore . During the 80's and 90's I did a lot of SOS work for the local Dealers who did not have SOS mechanics anymore . My first two Mentors(both from local Dealers I bought parts from) on SOS's both died in the late 80's . You have to remember most of the Original SOS mechanics were around 30's or 40's in 1959 not many like Ralph Alexander were only 20 at the time . Thanks Tony

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11-15-2013 04:42:47

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 Re: question for 60's dealer employees SOS in reply to NoNewParts, 11-13-2013 06:52:20  
Thanks for the replies.

Good tractor, makes me realize how BAD the junk is I usually buy to work on :D
as to the fender question,

I haven't got pics of it on my computer yet.

Here is a pic of SouNdguys tractor that has the same fenders I have.

Indented, Ford script, low mounts, 3 holes to the rear on the left where SG's light is.

I'll see if I can find some numbers on them.

(nice tractor SG!)

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11-13-2013 18:40:46

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 Re: question for 60's dealer employees SOS in reply to NoNewParts, 11-13-2013 06:52:20  
I was a Ford Tractor dealer employee from 12-1-57 to 3-10-64. I don"t recall ever changing a new SOS tranny for a 5 speed. In fact we never even changed a used SOS for a 5 speed, and I don"t recall that we ever painted a used red tractor blue and the company paint shop was right next door. But we did rebuild a red 6000 (from stem to stern)as the customer wanted that very tractor, soooo!!! he got a new 6000 and bought the rebuilt one also.

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11-13-2013 16:07:45

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 Re: question for 60's dealer employees SOS in reply to NoNewParts, 11-13-2013 06:52:20  
Yes we did swap out SOS on some units. It was called a field change due to so many SOS failures. How ever most with thru to Regional and Factory 1st. This procedure was much the same as when we Field up graded the 6000 from Red to Blue. The tractors were however noted and control serials numbers were changed when units were field changed. One note you need to be aware of is the fenders they will clue you to it Mfg date. The very early 4000 SOS (971's) were no more than paint, grill, emblem change and a slight HP rating. One of the major things that occurred with the early 4000's was the fact a lot of 861 961 were "cloned into 4000's for a few $100 dollars. This scam was very popular in the early 60's and to this day some times you will find one out there. The old serial # proves the change but it should not be what it is if it was done by a Company Dealership! It has been along time since we closed our store, and yes due to customer wants we even painted the old 56' 900's blue and gray!

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11-13-2013 15:41:09

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 Re: question for 60's dealer employees SOS in reply to NoNewParts, 11-13-2013 06:52:20  
I wasn't a dealer employee in the 60's (or now either) but my guess is that the original dealer that had it in inventory was unable to sell it due to the fact that the SOS problems were widely known at that time even though the SOS in that tractor would have been the updated DDC version. In order to get it off of his lot he swapped the SOS for a 5 speed out of another tractor. I doubt that a 1960 861 was already being scrapped out in 1963 so maybe they swapped the transmissions between the two tractors. The 861 would need the lower dash panel with the square hole for the SOS shifter but maybe they decided it would be easier to cut the hole in the 861's lower dash rather than swap them out. You could cut the hole faster than you could remove all of the fasteners holding the lower dash. They also swapped out the proofmeters.
Possibly the guy that owned the 861 traded it in on the RC 4000 but his deal included the trans swap because he didn't want an SOS.

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