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Why is my 9n not starting?

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Shmrta
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 11:35 am    Post subject: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I hope someone can help me figure out what is wrong with my 48 Ford 9N. We got this tractor about a month ago, and it was running great when we got it. Then the other day we were using it and it just quit. At first we thought it was just out of gas, but that wasn't the problem. It will not start back now. When we turn the key, it tries to turn over and start, but will not actually fully start. We are kind of greenhorns as far as tractors go, so I don't know any technical terms or anything like that. We had a family member who is very knowledgeable about tractors come up and help us, and in the process of looking at it we discovered that the points are not getting any fire on them. We have so far replaced the coil, points, battery, distributor, and spark plugs. Still no luck. The fuel line is clear and it's getting gas. We don't think it's an electrical problem because we've tried to hot wire it from the battery and it still won't start. For whatever reason, the points are still not getting fire even though we've replaced all the parts I listed. We are at a loss as to what to do. I should add that this tractor has been converted to a 12v system.
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 12:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

That's a lot of part replacement...

Anyway, when I rebuilt my 2N, which has the front mounted distributor that your 9N should have, I put all new ignition parts on it, since I had the entire engine torn apart.

The first time that I cranked it, there was no spark.

After swearing a blue streak, I checked a few things and what I found was that the brand new coil that I installed wasn't making contact with the distributor.

The coil has a little copper spring looking thingy (technical term) on the bottom.

It doesn't always come out of the box with the right bend to touch the screw on the top of the distributor. Mine had to be opened up a little bit.

Once the spring on the bottom of the coil was touching the screw...we had fire...we had spark and the engine has been running like a top ever since.

Could be a million other things... but this is one thing that happened to me in a similar situation.

I also didn't see a ballast resistor in the list of things that were replaced. Check that (before replacing it) Smile

There is a user here named Bruce, he has "75 tips"... many of them are step by step troubleshooting of your exact issue.

Good luck.
 
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oldtanker
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 12:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

First welcome to the world of tractor ownership.

OK the 9N was made in 1939, 1940 and 1941. Started in 39 hence 9N. The 2N (upgraded 9N) started production in 1942. The 8n Upgraded N series started production in 1948. So either you have the year wrong or the model. IF it's a 3 speed the year is off. If it's a 4 speed it's a 8N.

So first are you 100% certain that you have power to the coil? If it's still 6 volt running a wire from the + side of the battery only grounds it as it is a positive ground System. If for certain you have power to the coil then either the coil is bad, the coil is not making electrical contact with the distributor or the points are dirty/corroded/burnt.

Look up Bruce's 75 or so tip, then print em out and keep em with the manual (if you don't have one get an I&T manual for it. 25 bucks about on Amazon or on the site here). Being new to tractors wouldn't hurt to get the operators manual too.

Rick
 
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a1979corvette
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 2:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Just finished working on a no start issue with a 1947 8N with front distributor... first thing I checked is the copper spring thingy under the coil long enough and making contact. Make sure you have power on the wire (usually Brown in color) attached to the top of the coil. In functionality, the coil raises the voltage and sends it to the condenser. The condenser stores the high voltage when the points close. The points do not send an electrical pulse to the spark plugs when they are closed. That happens, in the split second, when they open. If the points lost their gap, due to normal wear, that electrical pulse will be lame. Sometimes you can use fine sandpaper (400 or 600 grit is best, I have plundered my wife s cardboard nail file in a pinch) to clean up the points, and set the gap with a feeler gauge. My case the screw that holds the condenser was stripped out and that condenser was bouncing around everywhere instead of staying put, where it should be.
Hope this helps!
 
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Jim L WA
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

How did you check for fuel flow. Did you remove the plug at the bottom of the carburetor and try to fill a pint jar in a couple of minutes? Of not, then try that first and let us know. Please stop throwing parts at it. It gets expensive and sometimes cause more than the problem you started with, due to defective new parts.
 
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teddy52food
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Did you clean the points?
 
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JMOR
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 4:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

a1979corvette wrote:
(quoted from post at 18:28:51 05/16/19) Just finished working on a no start issue with a 1947 8N with front distributor... first thing I checked is the copper spring thingy under the coil long enough and making contact. Make sure you have power on the wire (usually Brown in color) attached to the top of the coil. In functionality, the coil raises the voltage and sends it to the condenser. The condenser stores the high voltage when the points close. The points do not send an electrical pulse to the spark plugs when they are closed. That happens, in the split second, when they open. If the points lost their gap, due to normal wear, that electrical pulse will be lame. Sometimes you can use fine sandpaper (400 or 600 grit is best, I have plundered my wife s cardboard nail file in a pinch) to clean up the points, and set the gap with a feeler gauge. My case the screw that holds the condenser was stripped out and that condenser was bouncing around everywhere instead of staying put, where it should be.
Hope this helps!
Soo many people & so few really understand how Kettering ignition system works!!
 
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a1979corvette
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CVPost-teddy52food wrote:
(quoted from post at 18:56:21 05/16/19) Did you clean the points?

Dang nab-bit! There I go again... eating the cheese before the crackers are served. Good catch!

The 400-600 grit sandpaper is used to clean the points contacts.
 
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SkyWil
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 9:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You said the points are not getting fire? Also when you say you hot wired it from the
battery what exactly does that mean? I assume for that to work you have to jump the
starter AND provide power to the distributor (simulating the ignition switch is on).
 
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oldtanker
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 10:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CVPost-SkyWil wrote:
(quoted from post at 22:53:56 05/16/19) You said the points are not getting fire? Also when you say you hot wired it from the
battery what exactly does that mean? I assume for that to work you have to jump the
starter AND provide power to the distributor (simulating the ignition switch is on).


You can bypass the the ballast resistor and run a wire directly from the battery to the coil. You can still use the normal start switch to crank the engine. Now that is not a long term solution. But it's a quick, cheep and easy way to make sure the wiring and ballast resistor are good. You can do the same thing with a meter. Turn on the switch and and test the voltage at the top of the coil on the front mount. I'd disconnect the wire and test the wire. Closed points and you wont get much of a reading if any.

Me? Personally? I'd pull the wire off and test power to the coil before I ever took that stupid front mount dizzy off to clean the points. Back issues makes bending over to work on it painful and replacement knees means I'm not supposed to kneel. Size XX hands just makes it that much worse. That's the biggest reason I converted to electronic ignition.

Rick
 
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ScottNC
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 4:53 am    Post subject: Re: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


I have one that had a humidity complex. The original distributor coil has been replaced by a can type after three replacement coils crapped out. Quality has gone downhill. Anyway, it had rained and the tractor was in a metal building and of course, wouldn't start. Normally It'd leave the door open a wait a few hours and try again. This time I needed the tractor so pulled the distributor. Usually, I leave the cork cap to distributor gasket setting on the front bumper and the coil and cap attached but this time I took it all with me to the workbench. Filed and set the points and was about to head back to the shed when I placed the gasket on the distributor and found that the gasket just was contacting the conical spring/wire from the coil to the brass screw on the breaker plate. A little trimming of the gasket was all it took. Evidently all that was needed to short the primary side was humid weather. Odd thing was, it had spark at the plugs but wouldn't start when this was going on.

Another time, after a spat of not starting, after pulling the distributor and going through the routine, the condenser wire was found to be all but broken just inside the end on the condenser. Only found it when that last wire strand let loose and the wire fell free. Fought that one for a while. Hard to get decent points and condensers these days.

None of this may help you right now but my tractor has been finding new ways to not start for as long as I've owned it.
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 7:56 am    Post subject: Re: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I cringe when I hear people talking about "filing" points.

The points are plated to avoid corrosion after millions of open/close cycles. The plating also ensures good conductivity, etc.

Points also aren't that expensive. If you have the distributor out so that you can set the points; if they appear so pitted that only a file will clean them, then put in new points.

Points are cheap. Downtime to replace them, downtime due to filing them, and then needing to re-file them...is expensive. My anecdotal experience with people who file points is that... once you start filing them, you'll be doing it very frequently... probably because you've de-plated and roughed up the face of the points.

Quick story. I bought my Ford 3000 off of a fellow who wasn't a farmer or well versed in engines and such. He was a carpenter. When he showed me the tractor, it ran like a top. Then it stalled, and he couldn't start it. Urgent to sell the tractor, he went to his toolbox and grabbed a big old rat-tale file (named after a motherless boy... which I can't say here on YT) that you would file the end of a roof truss with... or something. He took off the distributor cap and put that monster file between the points and sawed on them like he was cutting firewood.

The tractor never started again for him.

I still bought it. But for cheap.

I took it home, replaced all of the ignition parts... coil, cap, points, condenser, all of the "will fit" spark plug cables (Ford 3000 engines need spark plug cables with straight ends that seal their hole in the engine block from crud).

I have never, ever had trouble with this tractor's spark in the three years that I've had it.

That same summer, I did my 2N (this was an in-frame rebuild). Again, all new ignition components. Other than needing to tweak the spring on the bottom of the coil initially, I have never, ever had trouble with this tractor's spark.

Points are a delicate and inexpensive thing. If you can't "clean" them up with something like the linen of a dollar bill... or.. the roughest I would go is something like 800 grit crocus cloth.. then just replace them.

This is especially true in the front distributor models. It's a pain to get at them. Do it right and do it less frequently. Smile
 
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ScottNC
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:26 am    Post subject: Re: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

lastcowboy32 wrote:
(quoted from post at 08:56:45 05/17/19) I cringe when I hear people talking about "filing" points.


Diamond file, a thin steel with diamonds actually. Don't know how old you are, perhaps point filing is a generational thing. Point of reference; I pumped $.15/gallon gas in high school for $1.25/hour. We filed points. Suit yourself.
 
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Tall T
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My point cleaning routine:

POINTS IN
What I do is rotate the dist a little until the points are CLOSED.
Fold some 400 emery double in a slim 2" piece . . . so you have emery on both sides. With a screwdriver or whatever, open the points and slip your double-sided emery in. Put a little pressure on the point arm so that the points squeeze your emery and draw it back and forth in two directions.
Reset your gap.

this way you are improving or preserving the point mating by dressing both points at the same time.
Finally I draw a thin strip of folded 600 through them to polish. rough surfaces corrode more easily because the surface area is increased.

POINTS OUT
lay the appropriate paper on the edge of a true surface and rub the points separately back and forth, trying to keep them square to the surface. Polish with 600 emery again.

T
 
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Tall T
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 10:21 am    Post subject: Re: Why is my 9n not starting? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Scott,

Back when gas was about .50 a gallon I was driving my first car, a 1956 Meteor.

It was a bit of a smoker and one day I pulled in to a gas station and the old boy came out to the pumps. He comes up to my window and with a twinkle in his eye says:

"Sorry, we're out of wood." Laughing
 
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