My Elec-Traks - E8M Tractor "Buttercup"


The E8M - G.E.'s first small-framed tractor

This E8M I picked up in the Chicago area and for being almost 40 years old it was in incredible shape, especially considering the winters in that area of the country. Not a dent and hardly even a scratch in the paint, the machine has even very few rust spots. The previous owner took very good care of it. I dropped three new 12V RV/Marine batteries in it as soon as I got it home and it took right off. The back wheels need repairing as they go flat within 24 hours but considering they are the original Elec-Trak tires I guess they have served their owner well and now deserve just a little attention from the local tire store.

I actually have two other E8M's- they just kept jumping into my truck, honest! One of the other E8M's I have came from Wisconsin and is in "ok" condition but needs some TLC to get it on it's feet again. The other E8M I picked up for $200.00 from a fellow who lives way up north in Traverse City, Michigan, which happens to be my home town! It was sitting in a field with a tarp tied around it and it had so much snow all around it I had to wait 5 months until spring to get close enough to it to load it up and take it home. It is a little rough but not as bad as you might imagine. All the same I am determined to save it from the scrap heap. I'll either sell these to some good homes or restore them for my children after I get the rest of my collection done.

The E8M, E8HM, and E10M models are referred to as G.E.’s “small-framed” tractors. They are noticeably different in shape and are lower-end tractors compared to the E12 and above members of the family. The E8M has a nice tight turning radius with three forward speeds and one reverse speed and a top speed of four miles per hour. The tractor weighed only 495 lbs. without the mower deck. The brake pedal on the small-framed tractors also acted as a clutch. Like the other "M" series machines from G.E. it did not have an electric front lift but rather a manual handle on the right side for raising the mid-mounted mower deck and the snow/dozer blade. It came without a fuel gauge, headlights or an accessory outlet for hand tools but all of these were available as options. Also available was a 42" snow/dozer blade which required the optional implement mounting bracket and a lift bar kit to mount it on. A snow cab, chains, rear weight box and a rear PTO outlet were also available as options.

I've picked up the following accessories to add to my E8M:
  • 36" Mid-mount Mower- E8M (AH36)
  • Implement Mounting Bracket- E8M (AP54)
  • Weight/Tool Box- E8M (AP86)
  • Mower Blades- E8M (AP26) NOS
  • Speed Reduction Kit- E8M (KD38) NOS
  • Headlight Kit- E8M (AP71) NOS
  • Small Accessory Outlet Kit- E8M (AP41) NOS
  • Elec-Trak Tire Chains- 2 Link- E8M (AP63) {Replica}
  • E8M to E8HM Heavy Duty Kit (KT25) NOS
The attachments G.E. made for the E8M that I'm interested in are...
  • 42" Snow/Dozer Blade- E8M (AB42)
  • Snow Cab for the E8M and E10M (AG54)
  • Rear PTO Kit- E8M (KP38)
  • Fuel Gauge Kit- E8M (KF08)
  • Elec-Trak Tire Chains- 2 Link- E8M (AP63)
If you have any of these items you are ready to part with, please me!

Unlike the rest of the small and large framed tractors, the E8M was delivered with (3) twelve volt batteries, all of which were installed under the hood instead of (6) six volt batteries. Although this kept the price down it also drastically reduced the run time and thus the E8M is not known as a very efficient mower. You can probably only mow a little less than an acre on a single charge with the E8M, provided you are on relatively flat land! It is still a great little machine if that's all you need it for, it just wasn't built for much more than that. The E8M to E8HM Heavy Duty Kit (KT25) was introduced later in its life cycle to allow the use of six 12V volt batteries which almost doubled its run time. The three additional batteries added under the seat also added weight to the back of the tractor where it was sorely needed for traction.

Associated Publications:

36" Mid-Mount Mower- E8M (AH36):

The 36" Mid-Mount Mower (AH36) is the standard deck for the small-framed tractors. It consisted of two deck mounted motors with 18" blades on each. This deck was then plugged into the wiring harness underneath the tractor since there was no PTO outlet. It utilized either the (AP23), (AP26), or (AP27) mower blades and was lifted and lowered via the manual lift lever on the right side of the tractor.

Associated Publications:
36 inch Mid-mount Mower Deck

36" Mid-Mount Mower- E8M (AH36)

"NOS" Mower Blades- E8M (AP26):

Not much to say on these except that on a mower deck, mower blades (AP26) are pretty important! I picked up three sets of these "NOS" ones from an ex-dealer in Pennsylvania. Although the mower blade publications below claim these should be black in color all three sets of blades were green in color but are clearly labeled as (AP26)!

Associated Publications:
Small-framed High Discharge Mower Blades (AP26)

"NOS" Small-Framed High Discharge Mower Blades (AP26)

"NOS" Implement Mounting Bracket- E8M (AP54):

The Implement Mounting Bracket (AP54) allowed the 42" snow/dozer blade to attach to the E8M. It attaches easily to the underside of the tractor.

Associated Publications:
Implement Mounting Bracket AP54

Implement Mounting Bracket-E8HM (AP54)

Weight/Tool Box- E8M (AP86):

General Electric had made weight boxes for the large frame tractors but without the stabber ports in the back of the E8M, E8HM, and E10M the same design obviously would not work for the small-framed tractors. Luckily, they were able to simply modify the stabbers slightly so they could be bolted to the frame of smaller tractors. The weight boxes for the small frame tractors are rare but I was able to pick up four of them, two "NOS" from Jim Coate at the Electric Tractor Store.

Associated Publications:
  • GEH-3972 (AP86) WEIGHT BOX
  • OPK-74-3 (AP85) / (AP86) WEIGHT BOX

E8M Weight Box

A rare E8M Weight Box (AP86)

"NOS" Speed Reduction Kit- E8M (KD38):

On the small-framed tractors it is necessary to install a "Speed Reduction Kit" if you are going to be either using the 42" Snow/Dozer Blade or in the case of the E8HM and E10M, a snow thrower. The kit reduces the speed of the tractor by about 30% allowing you to go as slow as 1 mph when performing these tasks. As usual, the Electric Tractor Store came through again and had three "NOS" kits in stock for my collection.

Associated Publications:
Speed Reduction Kit

"NOS" Speed Reduction Kit- E8M (KD38)

"NOS" Headlight Kit- E8M (AP71):

General Electric did not offer headlights as standard equipment on the small-framed tractors. They did however offer an add-on kit which allowed you to add headlights on if you wish. I was able to pick up three of these for my small-framed tractors "NOS" from the Electric Tractor Store. Being a "gentleman" farmer, lights on all the tractors come in really handy as I'm usually out playing after work until the sun goes down.

Associated Publications:
Headlight Kit

"NOS" Headlight Kit- E8M (AP71)

"NOS" Small Accessory Outlet Kit- E8M (AP41):

The E8M series did not come with a small accessory outlet as standard equipment thus you had to purchase this kit separately. It basically allowed for the owner to use Elec-Trak hand tools with the E8M and the E8HM. I was able to pick up a couple of these "NOS" from Kansas Wind Power. They were a pioneer in the alternate energy business and have been in that business now for over 35 years. They have always advocated the use of Elec-Trak tractors and now and then come across parts they put up for sale. The Small Accessory Outlet Kit (AP41) was highlighted on Page 11 of the Elec-Trak Attachments and Accessories brochure.

Associated Publications:
Small Accessory Outlet Kit- E8M (AP41)

"NOS" Small Accessory Outlet Kit- E8M (AP41)

Tire Chains- 2 Link- E8M (AP63):

Finding original rear wheel chains for Elec-Traks has been next to impossible, at least, that has been my experience. I did however recently find a pair for my E10M so there's still hope! I have been able to buy modern chains for all my other tractors and although I now live in Tennessee and no longer have as much snow to contend with as I used to, they still come in really handy on the farm giving us extra traction when we need it.

E8HM Chains

Replica E8M Chains (AP63)

"NOS" E8M to E8HM Heavy Duty Kit (KT25):

Originally my plan was to upgrade an E8M in order to make an E8HM. I had picked up a "NOS" E8M to E8HM Heavy Duty Kit (KT25), from the Electric Tractor Store (it's amazing what Jim has in stock) complete with the new additional decals to add to an E8M to make it into a "HEAVY DUTY" model. Although I no longer need it after finding a "NOS" E8HM I'm keeping it on my shelf for a future restoration project.

Associated Publications:
Heavy Duty Kit

"NOS" E8M to E8HM Heavy Duty Kit (KT25)