Modern Hydraulics for the Ford N-series TractorOne of the primary shortcomings of the Ford N-series tractor as originally designed is the hydraulic system. While it was a modern innovation at the time the tractor was first introduced the PTO driven hydraulic pump only operates with the PTO running and the clutch engaged and the tractor lacks the "live hydraulics" that quickly became standard on follow-on models. Add to that a puny 2+ GPM flow rate and a lack of external hydraulic connections and operating modern external hydraulic equipment like PTO mounted log splitters and front loaders becomes a real challenge.
Historically this limitation has been addressed by mounting a pump on the front of the tractor and driving it with a shaft connected to the front of the crankshaft. This worked reasonably well for front end loaders where the loader frame was used as hydraulic reservoir and mounting point for the pump. It did not solve the live hydraulic problem however, made the tractor heavy and ungainly, and only worked when the loader was on the tractor. Accordingly we set out in search of an alternative solution with these goals in mind:
- A reliable, flexible, and affordably priced general purpose solution capable of running high performance remotes
as well as live hydraulics
- Leverage existing parts base using off-the-shelf components to the maximum possible
- Low start-up cost - upgradeable as operational needs change.
- Well integrated with the tractor's internal hydraulics
- Maintainable with a minimum installation foot-print
After nearly 5 years studying the problem the result is the Hokie-Hydraulics auxiliary hydraulic pump mounting system. This system is a state-of-the-art synchronous belt drive used to power a hydraulic pump mounted to the left side of the engine block. The belt is driven from the front of the crankshaft and the drive system is capable of delivering full engine HP to the pump. The belt drive system can be used to power a wide range of pumps - 3 to 10+ GPM. It is available as a Basic Pump Mounting Kit (does not include pump or hydraulic components) which can be combined with customer supplied components to build many different custom configurations.
Certainly one of the more popular uses is to augment the internal N-series pump and convert the three point system to "live hydraulics" operation. Accordingly we offer a Basic Fluid Power Conversion Kit. This kit includes the basic pump mounting kit, a 3 GPM pump, and all necessary fittings, adapters, and hoses needed to complete the conversion. All of the components (except for the sump adapter) are stock "off-the-shelf" items packaged together as a simple bolt on conversion. Shown below is the basic kit used on Ford N-series tractors equipped with the distributor on the front of the engine block. A similar kit for use with N-series tractors equipped with a side mount distributor is under developement and will be ready shortly.