Ferguson and Ford N Tractor Wheels

Did the TE/TO 20’s, and 30’s use the same hat style rear, and front wheels as the Ford N tractors?  October 26, 2016.

Yes, the dimensions of the center disc, and the rims for the 28″ rear wheels on Ford, Ferguson and Massey Ferguson tractors are the same.   Actually the 24″ rear wheel discs, and rims are also.

The first Ferguson TE-20’s used a round-center disc, before they were used on the 8N. This round-center disc was used with a loop style 28″ rim, not the top hat style rim used on the 9N, 2N, 8N and NAA. All of the loops on the 28″ rims I have seen have been electrically spot welded to the rim, but there is the possibility some were riveted. The loops on Ferguson, and Massey Ferguson rims are formed in a round shape to be attached with a “Pip” bolt unlike the Ford version of the loop rim which has a square shape, and uses a carriage style bolt to attach it to the center.

Pip bolts are similar to the round head bolts with two flat sides used to attach the “Frog” to the beam on early Ferguson, and Ford plows except they have a raised nubbin on the back side called a “Pip”. Interestingly, these pip bolts are installed with the pip facing to the center on UK produced tractors, and the pip faces the loop of the rim on US produced tractors. On US produced tractors the pip fits in the open space at the bottom of the loop where it is attached to the rim. On UK tractors the wheel center has a small depression where the pip fits so the bottom of the head of the bolt is flat against the center.

The first TO-20’s used the scalloped-center disc but have a different attachment lugs on the rim. These early production rims have attachment lugs that look like inverted “U’s”. The centers are attached with short hex head bolts just long enough to attach one leg of the U. The inverted U’s I have seen on these early production rims were riveted to the rim. Shortly after production began this inverted U design was replaced by the more common round-shaped loop. This style rim was used until US production ended around 1983. This style rim was also used on all UK produced tractors, and on tractors produced in other countries including India, Yugoslavia, and in South American plants.

The length of the pip bolts increased by approximately 1/8″ around the time the 100 series Massey Ferguson tractors were introduced. No flat washer is used on the pip bolts on US produced tractors with the nut against the wheel center. I believe an heavy duty SAE washer is used on the pip bolts on UK built tractors, and those produced elsewhere where the nut is placed on the loop side.

As far as sources for wheel rims, I am not sure where rims were sourced for the TE-20, and other UK built tractors, or those produced elsewhere in the world. Perhaps Sam Neill can provide some information on that. I believe rims for US built tractors were supplied by Motor Wheel Corporation. which I believe was a division of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. I believe Ford rims came from the company affiliated with Firestone Time and Rubber Company which I believe was Kelsey Hayes. As you may recall Firestone refused to sell tires or anything else to Harry Ferguson after the split with Ford given Henry Ford’s long time friendship with Harvey Firestone. Harry Ferguson sourced tires from Goodyear, and Massey Ferguson continued to source tires from Goodyear until US tractor production ended.

As far as the front wheels go, they are interchangeable, but there are some differences. The TE-20 wheels are a solid center, no open spaces like the 8N wheel. The early TO-20 19″ rims are the same as the 8N 19″ rims, but holes for wheel weights were eventually added. The 19″ wheel weights were circular, not the half moon sections like on the 16″ wheels. And, the early 16″ wheels for the TO-20 did not have wheel weight holes either. These appeared a little later but long before TO-30 production began. I believe the wheels for the TO-20 and later Ferguson, and Massey Ferguson tractors also came from Motor Wheel Corporation. Ferguson advertised the wheels on the corn picker, and wagon were the same as the front wheels, and could be used as spares on the tractor.

Motor Wheel also produced the adjustable rear wheels. The City of East Lansing had a bunch of portable signs we used for football traffic that had bases made from Ferguson, and Massey Ferguson adjustable wheel centers that came from Motor Wheel Corporation in Lansing. The centers were scrapped for some unknown reason, and East Lansing’s public works department as well as others purchased them to use as bases for portable signs, welding lengths of pipe or sign posts to the center.

US made wheels, rims and centers are interchangeable with those on UK, and other tractors, but the US made 28″ centers do not have the indentation to allow the pip bolts to be installed with the head on the center side as indicated above. None of the 28″ wheel centers were drilled for rear wheel weights like the Ford centers were.

The 24″ rear rims used on Fergusons, and Massey Fergusons did have holes for attaching wheel weights. There were two styles of 24″ rims, one version had loops on the rims like the 28″ wheels, and  the other version used rims with raised rings molded into them where wedge style fasteners fit to secure the center. I have seen similar 24″ rear wheels on Fords, and other make tractors.