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Ford 9N, 2N & 8N Discussion Forum
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Howard yransmission, again...

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520 pipefabricator

06-12-2018 15:56:40




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If I remember correctly, someone on the board was looking I to machining an all new unit minus the weaknesses from the factory. To those that are knowledgable about them, how hard are they to actually fabricate aside from the tolerances of the gear meshes? On top of that, would it be plausible to use modern stock gears to make a reproduction of sorts?




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520 pipefabricator

06-14-2018 03:48:22




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 Re: Howard yransmission, again... in reply to 520 pipefabricator, 06-12-2018 15:56:40  
The real appeal about the n, to me at least, is the size and weight. If the size can be coupled with the slower speed the tractor would be perfect in my eyes



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Ultradog MN

06-14-2018 04:30:30




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 Re: Howard yransmission, again... in reply to 520 pipefabricator, 06-14-2018 03:48:22  

They're not sooo different in size...



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TheOldHokie

06-13-2018 17:21:52




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 Re: Howard yransmission, again... in reply to 520 pipefabricator, 06-12-2018 15:56:40  
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Thank you for your input. The real manufacturing problem here is there is not enough clearance to hob the Howard cluster gears. They have to be shaped. If they could be hobbed I have numerous hobbing sources for way less cost than your estimate and they provide the tooling.
I can buy an older manual Fellows gear shaper for $5K and the needed tooling for another thousand. I would have to pick up and run the machine which is not a problem. After that it is all margin and material costs.

Just FYI the made to order 16 DP x 5" pitch diameter internal gears (shaped) in my picture cost me $80 each and I bought 5 pieces. Quantity prices would have been less. There are alternatives to high dollar/high volume suppliers.

The broaching costs are ubstantial but nowhere near what you seem to think. I could tool a company with a pull broaching machine with the needed broaches for a couple thousand dollars and I would own the broaches.

Even so given the quantities needed it makes no economic sense.

TOH

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520 pipefabricator

06-13-2018 13:45:54




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 Re: Howard yransmission, again... in reply to 520 pipefabricator, 06-12-2018 15:56:40  
That is, without the reduced speed of the PTO. It would be a nice addition for those of us that now or brush hog with our N's



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520 pipefabricator

06-13-2018 13:12:25




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 Re: Howard yransmission, again... in reply to 520 pipefabricator, 06-12-2018 15:56:40  
What if there still was the interest in having a modern day Gear reduction unit for these tractors



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Ultradog MN

06-13-2018 15:13:31




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 Re: Howard yransmission, again... in reply to 520 pipefabricator, 06-13-2018 13:12:25  
Don't get trapped in the Ns. Think outside of the Series.
Buy a different tractor if you want slow gears. A Ford 3000 or 3600 with an 8 speed transmission will cost you about the price of an N plus a Howard. They are slow enough to use a tiller. You'll automatically get 50% more horsepower. Plus you'll get live hydraulics, live PTO, remote hydraulics for things like a hyd top link, differential lock, power steering and you can get them in a diesel which will do more work on less fuel than an N - or a gasser if you prefer.
All on a platform that's not much bigger than an N.

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Jeff Hamilton

06-13-2018 10:19:38




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 Re: Howard yransmission, again... in reply to 520 pipefabricator, 06-12-2018 15:56:40  
Since my company's primary business is making gears, I'll weigh in. Unless you have a gear hobbing machine, you'll have to have someone make your gears, which in low quantities, might cost about $100 a gear and that's after you tool up and buy the hob cutters needed for both the gears and spline shafts. Good hobs cost $1000. If you're interested in making something like 1000 per year, and you prepared detailed prints for all the parts, one might find a third world manufacturer to make the gears in the $20 buck range (and they eat the tooling .. which means they sell your stuff to everybody else too), and then you've probably got some bearings, bushings, forgings to invent..... They would be costly assemblies with a limited market. my 2 cents

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TheOldHokie

06-13-2018 05:30:28




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 Re: Howard yransmission, again... in reply to 520 pipefabricator, 06-12-2018 15:56:40  
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I think that analysis is dead on target Kierk. When I dreamt up this project ten plus years ago there was a lot of interest in a $500/$600 Howard transmission. Now that the price has more than doubled that interest is pretty much dried up. People have come to the realization that they can get this functionality more cost effectively and a better tractor in the process by simply purchasing a more modern tractor with a whole lot of other nice features that the N-series lacks.

I never REALLY figured to get rich off this idea (:roll:) and took it on primarily as an intellectual challenge. That said I am pig headed and would like to see the project to completion just for my own personal satisfaction. I have a pretty substantial investment in the parts for the 5 prototypes so maybe they will eventually find there way way into a few tractors. Who knows - 50 years from now someone may be showing a 125+ year old trailer queen 8N tractor with one of the "very rare and expensive" HokeyPokey transmssions in it and a sign hanging on the front with the caption "Only five of these auxiliary transmissions were ever made." :D
TOH

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TheOldHokie

06-12-2018 18:34:14




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 Re: Howard yransmission, again... in reply to 520 pipefabricator, 06-12-2018 15:56:40  
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My comment on replicating the gears was exactly that. Doable but expensive with a lot of up front cash needed and iffy market at the price needed to make it worth the effort.

I am not and never have been a machinist. I made my living as a software engineer - Have keyboard, Will travel. My focus was IP networking and operating system internals and kernel design. Machine work is a hobby that keeps me out of bars and away from loose women.

TOH

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520 pipefabricator

06-12-2018 18:08:00




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 Re: Howard yransmission, again... in reply to 520 pipefabricator, 06-12-2018 15:56:40  
You may have already touched on this, but what about machining new parts for the old Howard's, being that they are fragile as they are?



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Kirk-NJ

06-13-2018 03:02:00




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 Re: Howard yransmission, again... in reply to 520 pipefabricator, 06-12-2018 18:08:00  
Some people call them fragile but it's probably more the operator fault than anything else. IMO the market for the howard has come and gone. maybe 15/20 years ago you had a list as long as your arm with people wanting to buy them but not as much today. With newer tractors coming down in price with similar options there not much call for them now. sure you'll get some people who love the old N's and would like one but there's not enough interest to justify the cost as Dave, I mean Dan already knows. Probably when Dan started his project there was interest but that has dwindled. You were given the first opportunity To buy the last one I pulled that was in Very good condition and you could have pulled it part and copied the gearing or built a better mouse trap and you passed on it.

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520 pipefabricator

06-12-2018 17:58:36




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 Re: Howard yransmission, again... in reply to 520 pipefabricator, 06-12-2018 15:56:40  
Dave, just wondering, what do you do for a living? If you're not a machinist, I would be VERY surprised! You are very talented



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TheOldHokie

06-12-2018 17:06:49




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 Re: Howard yransmission, again... in reply to 520 pipefabricator, 06-12-2018 15:56:40  
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I suspect that was me you are talking about. I had (and still have) plans to build a planetary reduction gearbox (code name HokiePokey) for the N-series similar to the later model Howards that were used in the NAA/Hundred/Thousand series (see pics below). It is a non-trivial task but hopefully will come to fruition at some point down the line. At this juncture the hard work and major expense has been done and it is more a matter of finding the time than anything else.

There are no OTS components equivalent to what you would need to clone the Howard originally used in the N-series. Gear mesh is not the issue - splined shifter and shafts, a redesigned PTO shifter housing, and special purpose cluster gearing are the components that come most readily to mind. I spent some time trying to find a way to replicate just the reduction gears that are commonly damaged. They are custom widgets and while imminently doable it would be prohibitively expensive - thousands of dollars for a half dozen sets.

TOH





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