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to-20 project

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Joined: 26 Mar 2014
Posts: 28

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:44 pm    Post subject: to-20 project Reply to specific post Reply with quote

hey guys.. started working on the to-20 i picked up for my dad, and have a couple questions. as to what i've done already: new points, condenser, plugs, dist cap, wires, rotor button. rebuilt carb (my first carb.. yay!). it has a rubber hose and in-line filter on it that i'll change, but seems to get enough gas thru it to run ok, and just got the sediment bowl today (didn't have one) and going to convert it to steel line but need to get more parts lol. checked air filter and sprayed brake cleaner down thru it until i can do some proper maintenance on it.
have not changed oil yet, but added a qt of 30 wt non detergent to get it further up the stick until i can get a filter and some oil.
ok all that said i pushed the starter button and it fired up on the first crank! made me feel good (especially since i'd never tore apart a carb or set points before lol). ok time for questions.

1. running it sounds what i'd consider "decent" but is blowing bluish smoke. it is mild at idle and increases with throttle. i assume it's oil of course. is there anything i can do to help with that? doing a rebuild is not financially an option right now but the itch to use the tractor is there lol. would oil/gas additives help? would i be doing any damage running it "as-is"?

2. i appear to be missing the compensator spring. i don't have a shop manual for it yet (need to order one, just haven't done it yet) and don't know what all the spring does but the only thing i've noticed is that the throttle doesn't hold position and i assume that's it's purpose. i see the arm it connects to, but where does the other end of the spring go? can't seem to find any pictures online to show me and don't see anything on the tractor.

3. does the throttle need a return spring? the only thing i can compare to is the 9n that i bought last fall (my first tractor), where as there is a spring on a linkage that when moving the lever to idle makes the rod push the throttle shaft back until the idle screw stops it (hopefully i'm using the right terminology). I don't see where there'd be a spring on the ferguson? it doesn't push all the way back to the screw when the tractor is off, but while running it seems to work (perhaps just the vibration allows it to). am i missing a spring for that?

i know a service manual would probably answer my questions, but 30 bucks makes it a luxury this week and i need to get "moneyed-up" a little bit before i order one (probably in a week or two) and i'd rather spend money on parts i need to get it running this week
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Tractor Guru

Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 5663
Location: Mt. Pleasant , MI.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:10 pm    Post subject: Re: to-20 project Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Might just be a smoker,never know. Might just need a good hard working. Sometimes people overhaul one and then just baby it around a lot and never seat in the rings correctly. Check breather tube from valve cover for plugs from mud dobbers etc. The throttle in under the dash has a cork disc for friction and on the rod in front of the dash has an adjustable tension spring. Probably needs new cork and then spring tightened up again. Yes you do need a manual and the "service manual" does show all this and a lot more. One of the best , most thorough manuals I've seen. Might as well get it before ordering any parts
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Richard L
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Joined: 04 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:44 pm    Post subject: Re: to-20 project Reply to specific post Reply with quote

That compensator spring I think you are referring to should hook into the head of a cotter pin that should be hooked into a hole under the water neck. Water neck is the part that the top radiator hose hooks to and other end of hose hooks to radiator. Confused now?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:21 am    Post subject: Re: to-20 project Reply to specific post Reply with quote

running with a little smoke rebuilt card. how did
you set the carb. screws the big one turns out
about 2 turns the smaller one 3/4 to 1 turn you
don't want to turn the smaller one out more then
one turn making it to lean bad for valves
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:20 am    Post subject: Re: to-20 project Reply to specific post Reply with quote

i've spent many an hour reading thru the archives here to get to this point lol. Trac i set the carb at 1 1/4 and 7/8, and tried adjusting it between in half a turn and out about a full turn.. didn't seem to affect the smoking and it seems to run just fine at the initial setting (will set it when i can put a load on it to try to tune it). it smoked when i picked it up.. just ran it long enough to get it on and off the trailer. I think it was rode hard and put away wet in it's previous life, since it has a FEL on it with several weld repairs, and the plugs i took out of it were blackened over really heavy. the tube to the valve cover appears unobstructed and i get a little puff of white smoke from it while it runs (not anything alarming.. barely noticed it).

i also assume the tractor sat dead a while since it had no battery and no gas in it when i picked it up. I'm going to try the ATF thing with the cylinders and give it an oil change with new filter and see if that helps. i think i know where the spring goes now (thanks Richard!)

sorry for the long winded posts but trying to give as much info as i can to narrow down my problems. the only questions i have left are in reguards to a spring for returning the throttle rod on the carb to the screw? and whether or not i'm doing damage running it while burning some oil. the last thing i want to do is damage the motor further.
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Tractor Expert

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: to-20 project Reply to specific post Reply with quote

ATF is the thing to try before start the engine
with dry cylinder walls. Smoking is the oil coming
up past the rings. Oil past the rings is either
stuck rings or worn out cylinder walls or both. I
bet on both. This site sells engine kits. A few
people here have been through the engine.
The wife's TO-20 showed up needing repairs. I told
her, either pull start to use it, or spend money
and make it turn key. I got the credit card.
Still not done.
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