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8N starting issues

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PhilWV
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:45 am    Post subject: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hi everyone, I've been lurking on this forum for a few months but haven't had a reason to post until now. I'm new to tractors. Picked up a '48 8N (6V, front dist) back in the spring. I don't run it super often, average once a week. Over the summer it seemed to be getting reluctant to start, but seemed to run fine once it was going. I'm still not sure how much the slow starting was user error on my part (I'm new to antique engines too). Often it would fire up instantaneously. Then a few weeks ago it just quit and wouldn't even start. Usually it will sputter for a second or two and then die. It sounds like one or more of the cylinders might not be firing, but I'm not sure.

I've tried to troubleshoot it using the advice folks have given elsewhere on this forum, but can't for the life of me figure out what's wrong.

Checked for spark using an in-line tester and all four plugs were firing.

Fuel is getting to the carb. I made the mistake a while back of opening up the fuel reserve all the way so I cleaned the gunk out of the filters, took apart the carb, cleaned it and put in new gaskets (referencing Stewart's very helpful carb rebuild tutorial), it had some scale in the bowl but after cleaning it still won't start.

The fuel was about 2 months old by this point, so I drained it and put in new, just in case it had taken on moisture.

Did a dry compression test and got 90-80-75-85, it seemed low so I started using my car's 12V battery to try to jump it, bypassing the solenoid like folks recommend. Same story, just sputters and dies. (FWIW I did the compression test again while cranking from the 12V battery and got 110-100-90-105).

Not sure where to go next to find out what might be wrong. Would appreciate any ideas anyone might have.
 
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Bruce(VA)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:30 am    Post subject: Re: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote

" an in-line tester "

A light?

If so, that was your first mistake.

Throw that piece of junk in the trash and get an adjustable gap plug checker.


You could have a spark issue.


You could have a fuel issue.


Don’t guess. Troubleshoot. See tip # 13 at the link below.


You need to answer 2 questions before you do anything else:


With the bolt in the carb bowl removed and the gas on, will the fuel flow fill a pint jar in less than 2 minutes?


Next, get out your adjustable gap spark checker * , open the gap to 1/4", hook it up, turn the key on and crank the engine. Does the spark jump 1/4"? Post back
with the answers.


And do not buy a new part for the tractor until you can answer this question: how do I know the part on the tractor is defective?

Once you narrow the problem to spark or fuel, post back and tell us what you found (and how you found it) and you will get plenty of help to get your tractor
running.



* Don't own an adjustable gap spark checker? Buy one! Not a test light! Until then, take an old plug, open the gap 1/4" ground it to the head & look for spark.
It’s not the color of the spark that counts; it’s the distance it jumps.

https://www.autozone.com/test-scan-and-specialty-tools/ignition-tester/oemtools-adjustable-ignition-spark-tester/10257_0_0?
cmpid=PLA:US:EN:AD:NL:1000000:TLS:71700000043798748&gclid=Cj0KCQiAovfvBRCRARIsADEmbRKBdAvAmtFfOvYiYXR7T6NYiW57uyv5-
dEKjVT_h2KogQNUUMsRixYaAlU3EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Mad Farmer
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:33 am    Post subject: Re: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Is fuel getting too the carb , or INTO the carb? That is from drain in carb. Stuck float? Give carb a few taps with a wrench.

Are plugs wet or dry? Wet you might have flooded condition (needle valve open). Dry see above.

Might try a new/cleaned set of plugs, after you teat spark as suggested above
 
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PhilWV
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:45 pm    Post subject: Re: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Bingo! No spark when cranked with ignition on, a plug opened to 1/4" and grounded to a paint-free spot on the head. The previous owner said he replaced the whole ignition system - points, coil, distributor, ignition - so I'm surprised. (Fuel flow from the carb drain plug is fine.)

The battery is new and the ammeter is pulsing when I crank the engine. I got out the multimeter, checked ignition and got continuity + full voltage through the switch when it's turned on. There was full voltage to the coil too. I pulled the distributor and checked the points, they were only 0.010" apart when open so I regapped them to 0.015". Checked for any shorts inside the distributor or misaligned contacts between the distributor & coil. Everything seems ok, but no spark yet.
 
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Bruce(VA)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:34 pm    Post subject: Re: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What is " full voltage"?
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truckfarmer49
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:49 pm    Post subject: Re: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Sounds similar to the problem I had recently. It's colder now. Starter fluid seems to have solved my problem and I hope it solves yours too!
 
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Frontline1
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:03 pm    Post subject: Re: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Ah, the classic 6-volt draw-down :lol: Id guess it's a weak starter, failing solenoid, or a bad cable. Basically what's happening is your starter is drawing down the voltage enough the coil isn't able to make spark. That probably explains the splutter, it tries to fire right as you let off the starter, while it's still rolling itll make a spark. Don't know if this is a user tractor or a period correct resto, but I fixed mine by making it 12 volt - starts like a champ.....
 
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Mad Farmer
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:55 am    Post subject: Re: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Frontline1 wrote:
(quoted from post at 22:03:45 11/20/20) Ah, the classic 6-volt draw-down :lol: Id guess it's a weak starter, failing solenoid, or a bad cable. Basically what's happening is your starter is drawing down the voltage enough the coil isn't able to make spark. That probably explains the splutter, it tries to fire right as you let off the starter, while it's still rolling itll make a spark. Don't know if this is a user tractor or a period correct resto, but I fixed mine by making it 12 volt - starts like a champ.....


Mine is OEM 6 volts, starts like a champ, in the winter.
 
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Jim WI
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:57 am    Post subject: Re: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CVPost-PhilWV wrote:
(quoted from post at 16:45:50 11/20/20) Bingo! No spark when cranked with ignition on, a plug opened to 1/4" and grounded to a paint-free spot on the head. The previous owner said he replaced the whole ignition system - points, coil, distributor, ignition - so I'm surprised. (Fuel flow from the carb drain plug is fine.)


Is the battery full charged? Should be nearly 6.4 volts.

What voltage at the coil with the points open? Should be same as the battery.

What voltage at the coil with the points closed? If you measure this when you turn the switch on, it should be around 3.5 volts.

If the voltage at the coil with the points closed is low, it's likely a problem with the wiring or the ballast resistor.
 
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JerryCPP(WA)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:22 am    Post subject: Re: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote

As others have written, you must have good spark and fuel flow. My '50 8N is still 6 volt, and starts first time, every time, as it has since we bought it in 1955. I use only non-ethanol fuel; that is important to keep water out of the gas, and to keep the carburetor from gumming up. In cold weather, turn on the fuel, pull the choke, and turn the engine over 4 times. Only then turn on the ignition. Be ready with the choke, and it will fire up on the first or second turn.
 
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PhilWV
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:17 pm    Post subject: Re: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Sorry, I wasn't clear. I meant battery voltage, which is about 7V (my multimeter is analog, so it's not that precise). Here's what I've found so far:

- Continuity from battery to coil (with ignition on)
- 0.5 ohms resistance through the coil
- I followed your directions in this thread on how to check for electrical problems in the distributor and everything tested OK: https://www.yesterdaystractors.com/cgi-bin/viewit.cgi?bd=nboard&th=880652
- The firing order is correct, 1-2-4-3 counterclockwise when standing in front of the tractor looking at the distributor. There seems to be a continuity problem with one of the plug wires, but that doesn't account for why none of the plugs are firing.

I'm starting to think maybe there was something wrong with the test spark plug I used and that I should go out and get that adjustable gap spark tester...
 
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Jim WI
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:29 pm    Post subject: Re: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What voltage at the coil with the points open? Should be same as the battery.

What voltage at the coil with the points closed? If you measure this when you turn the switch on, it should be around 3.5 volts.
 
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PhilWV
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:44 pm    Post subject: Re: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Jim WI wrote:


Is the battery full charged? Should be nearly 6.4 volts.

What voltage at the coil with the points open? Should be same as the battery.

What voltage at the coil with the points closed? If you measure this when you turn the switch on, it should be around 3.5 volts.

If the voltage at the coil with the points closed is low, it's likely a problem with the wiring or the ballast resistor.


Yes, the battery is charged and reads 6.4 volts. Also reads 6.4 at the coil so I guess the points are open. How do I get them to close so I can take the other measurement? Do I just crank the engine until I can get a different reading?

[quote = Frontline1]

Basically what's happening is your starter is drawing down the voltage enough the coil isn't able to make spark. [/quote]

I would think this has been ruled out since it still won't start when I jump the starter from my 12V car battery.
 
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Bruce(VA)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote

An adjustable gap plug checker would be a great idea.
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Bruce(VA)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:51 pm    Post subject: Re: 8N starting issues Reply to specific post Reply with quote

" How do I get them to close so I can take the other measurement? "

Pull up or push down on the fan belt and turn the fan by hand.
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