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8n died

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Joined: 08 Jun 2012
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 3:58 pm    Post subject: 8n died Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Bush hogging with my 51 side mount today. It has been running
like a Singer. Without a sputter it quit. Almost new wires points,
condenser, rotor and cap. No spark. Do not have a tool box full
of tools, but think it may be a coil. Any thoughts would be
welcome. Thanks.
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Ultradog MN
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Joined: 22 Apr 2001
Posts: 22070
Location: Twin Cities

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 4:06 pm    Post subject: Re: 8n died Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We do not operate on hunches here.
We check and verify as we go.
Check your points for correct gap.
What brand of points are in it?
Buy Good Echlen or Blue Streak points.
Nothing else will do.
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Mike Groom
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 4:10 pm    Post subject: Re: 8n died Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You probably have a broken wire or defective ignition switch,most other things would give you a miss or sputter or some indication other than just shutting off like you turned the switch off.I would run a wire from the battery direct to the coil and see if it has fire or starts,also check the wire from the coil to the dist.I had one break a couple of years ago and it shut off like yours. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Posts: 15858
Location: Ionia County Michigan

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject: Re: 8n died Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Got a voltmeter or test light to make sure you have power to the coil?
Should be battery voltage with points open.
A test light will blink when you're rolling it over.
That's easier to see on a 6 volt system as they don't turn as fast.
If you have a working ammeter does it move when rolling it over?
Round can coils do fail, but not very often.
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Bruce (VA)
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
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Location: Old Church VA

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 5:11 am    Post subject: Re: 8n died Reply to specific post Reply with quote

" but think it may be a coil'

I don't think so.

I think you have a troubleshooting problem: you are just replacing parts until you blindly find what's broken or you run out of money.

This is why a coil problem would be very unlikely.........

Coil problems are difficult to diagnose. For starters, round coils are pretty robust & square coils aren’t (because of the difference in insulation used), but neither one will hold up to a poorly done 12v conversion that allows too much current to the coil or leaving the key on (see tip # 3Cool. Too much current creates heat which melts the insulation. Insufficient resistance in a 12v conversion will do the same thing. Rarely do coils just “go bad.”

As others have said, there are a few ways to see if a coil is bad, but it’s not possible to determine if a coil is good w/o some expensive testing equipment. If you detect a dead short or high resistance in the coil w/ an ohm meter, it’s bad. If it’s cracked, it’s bad. If a sidemount coil w/ battery voltage to the primary will not jump a ¼” gap from the secondary wire to the block, it’s bad. But, here is the hard part: even if you do not detect a short, even if it will produce a spark, even if it’s not cracked, that doesn’t mean the coil will work when it’s hot & under a load. So, it’s a process of elimination. If the tractor starts & runs fine for 30 minutes or an hour then cuts off & refuses to re-start, and you checked for spark at the plugs & it had no spark at all, AND you have the correct voltage at the coil that’s a good sign that you have a bad coil. Let it cool off, restart it & if you have a good spark, odds are it’s a bad coil. But, even then, you might end up w/ a spare coil on the shelf!

Bottom line.......coils do go bad, but I'll venture a guess that 75% of new N coils sold today are sold to folks who do not understand how to diagnose a poor spark problem or how a coil works. So, for those who don’t know any better, in a no spark situation the first suspect is usually the coil……and, more often than not, it isn’t the problem.

Or as one regular around here humorously suggested: "Well, it is like this...I don't know or really understand what that black thing does & I am suspicious of the unknown, so I think the problem is the black thing."

Do you have battery voltage across the points when they are open? Verify the gap on the points at .025. Then, dress the points by running a piece of card stock or brown paper bag through them. New points sometimes have an anti-corrosive dielectric coating on them & old points can corrode or pick up grease from a dirty feeler gauge or excessive cam lubricant. (I always spray my feeler guage blade off w/ contact cleaner.) Make sure you have voltage across the points, as in past the insulator on the side of the distributor. That is a very common failure point on sidemounts, along w/ the attached copper strip. It's hard to find a short there because it is usually an intermittent . So 'wiggle' the insulator & the copper strip a bit when you are doing your checking. If you find the short there, the Master Parts catalog lists everything you need on page 154. You can make the strip and you could also make the insulators as well. But, somethings are just easier & in the long run cheaper to buy. Get the strip, 12209, screw 350032-S, 12233 bushing & 12234 insulator & just replace it all. If you just replaced the rotor & lost spark, put the old one back in. Insure that the rotor fits firmly on the shaft & that the little clip is there. Make sure the distributor cap is not cracked & doesn't have carbon tracks. Check continuity on the secondary coil wire. Make sure it is firmly seated in both the cap & the coil. In fact, replace it temporarily w/ a plug wire. Next, remove the secondary coil wire from the center of the distributor cap, turn the key on & crank the engine while holding the end of the wire 1/4" from a rust & paint free spot on the engine. You should see & hear a nice blue/white spark. If not, you have a bad coil or condenser. Just put the old condenser back in to eliminate that as a possibility.

Post back w/ results; I'll be interested in what the problem was.
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