1975 Ford 7000 All-Purpose
As Ford updated it’s tractor lines in preparation for the swinging ‘70s, they realized the Thousand Series lineup was going to have some gaps. The updated four-cylinder 5000 model had debuted for 1968 and was a great tractor that had sold very well. Thing is… there was a big gap between it and the six cylinder naturally aspirated 8000 and there would be an even bigger gap with the even more powerful turbocharged 9000. The answer was the new Ford 7000, which debuted in September of 1971 for 1972…. but it wasn’t an all-new tractor design.
The latest version of 5000 series was a robust, 256ci four-cylinder tractor in the midsize weight range. It was rated for 67 PTO horsepower in a 1968 Nebraska test. For 1971, Ford added a turbocharger to the platform which delivered a boost to 83 horsepower. They called it the 7000. That wasn’t all. An all new torque-sensing load control device was designed and the Ford 7000 was the first tractor to carry it. It combined upper and lower link sensing so the draft control system worked equally well with mounted or semi-mounted implements.
The Ford 7000 was offered in two basic configurations, All-Purpose and Rowcrop. The All-Purpose had the familiar straddle type driver’s position while the Rowcrop was a platform model with squared off fenders that mounted quad headlines. Both had adjustable width front axles. The row crop had a higher stance (24 inches of clearance under the front axle versus 18 for the All-Purpose) for more crop clearance as well. The Rowcrop also had the option of a tricycle front axle, but it’s seldom seen. ROPS was optional, with or without a fiberglass sun shade. There were aftermarket cabs available in this era but it would be a few years before Ford offered a factory cab in this size range.
Though the tractor was fairly compact, it was robust and could carry a hefty amount of ballast (over 4,000 pounds) to let it fight above it’s actual weight class. Power-adjusted rear wheels were optional as well as duals. With maximum ballast, the 7000 was rated at Nebraska for 8,138 pounds of drawbar pull and a very respectable 71.42 drawbar horsepower. Not bad for an economical four-cylinder tractor. Down the road, some operators reported the 7,000 was a bit too capable. Under a full load in a warm climate, many claimed it ran hotter than it should.
Like it’s little brother the 5000, the 7000 was built in Basildon, England, at a new tractor plant that was one of the focal centers for Ford tractor development. They designed and built some of Ford’s best tractors there and you can find Basildon Thousand Series Fords from this era still working all over the world. The parts situation is great for most of them, so they are a tractor you can keep at work for a very long time.
In the era it reigned, the 7000 was the upper middleweight in a seven tractor lineup, from the 30 horsepower 2000 to the 130 horsepower 9000. The 7000 proved a very popular three-bears-just-right size and it’s successor, the 7600, debuted in the same class and power rating but with a new 16-speed power shift gearbox supplanting the old mechanical 8-speed. The 7000 line, and it’s successors the 7600 and 7700, are almost legendary, both here and worldwide.
1975 Ford 7000 All-Purpose
Engine: 4-cyl, turbo diesel, DI
Displacement: 256 ci
Bore & Stroke: 4.4 x 4.2-in.
*Rated PTO Power: 83.49 @ 2100 rpm
*Rated Drawbar Power: 71.42 hp @ 2105 rpm
Compression Ratio: 16.5:1
Transmission: 8-speed (4×2)
Weight: 5,740 lbs
Wheelbase: 87.5 in
Fuel Capacity: 20 gal.
Tires: Front: 7.50-16
*Fuel Consumption: 5.1 GPH @ full power
*Drawbar Pull: 8,138 lbs @ 1.95% slip
*Top Speed: 16.8 mph
* As Rated by Nebraska Tractor Test 1093