N Board Forum - Expanded Thread Page

Subject: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor

[Back] [Return to Top of Forum]

Jim Mortensen    Posted 05-16-2017 at 16:05:38 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • I am the proud owner of a 1939 Ford 9N tractor that I have been using to mow my 5 acres for the last 8 years. Problem is that it is in need of repair and I am having difficulty finding a mechanic that will work on these old tractors. I live in Vacaville, Ca. Does anyone have any information on a Mechanic in this vicinity? It runs briefly (20 seconds) and then shuts down. I have replaced the the following: Carburetor, spark plugs and wires, points, condenser, coil, battery cables. I have also cleaned the air filter. After sitting for 20 minutes, I can start it, but then after a few seconds it shuts down again. Would the resistor block or cutout relay have anything to do with the engine shutting down? Any information would be appreciated.

    Jim Motensen    Posted 05-19-2017 at 19:05:37 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • hanks! to all who responded to my request for advice on repairing my old 9N Mutt. After replacing all ignition elements. cleaning all filters,and worrying over my tractor for a week or ten days attempting to start it.I had checked all electrical connections I finally bought a spark plug tester. I checked the plugs this morning and had a healthy spark on all cylinders. Suddenly my attention was drawn to the ground connection for the battery and thought, "That's the only thing we haven't checked." We cleaned that connection up and turned the key on and hit the starter. That old rascal fired right up and was hitting on all cylinders and is in my field right now mowing.
    THANKS FELLAS. GOES TO SHOW THAT A BADGE TOTING OLD MARINE CAN GET LUCKY ONCE IN A WHILE. Jim Mortensen

    carl nny    Posted 05-21-2017 at 17:44:19 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • Did about the same thing on my son's Heston tractor. ended up being the battery ground cable was loose, tightened it up and started on first crank....First thing we should have checked..

    carl nny

    leroy192    Posted 05-17-2017 at 10:50:57 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • Have you opened the Carb. all the way open. It could be that you are down to your reserve and need to open the card all the way open.

    Jim Mortensen    Posted 05-17-2017 at 19:20:12 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • OK still working at trying to figure this out. I have drained the gas tank, cleaned it, cleaned all three filter screens. Checked the fuel from the tank to carb and don't think the fuel is the problem. When attempting to start, it almost starts....but the starter throws the bendix spring out. We are looking at possibly an ignition problem and will be getting a spark tester tomorrow. I want to thank you all again for your suggestions and input, particularly those that recognize that recognize I have a 9N/8N combination tractor more affectionately known as a "MUTT". As a thirty-year law enforcement officer I admire those of you that can recognize those discrepancies from a photograph. I will keep you all posted with my progress.

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 05-17-2017 at 20:37:26 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • " Checked the fuel from the tank to carb and don't think the fuel is the problem."

    That's not how to check fuel flow.

    Will the gas drain out of the carb bowl in a steady stream and fill a pint jar in less than 2 minutes? You need to answer that question before you move on to spark.

    " When attempting to start, it almost starts....but the starter throws the bendix spring out."

    It works like this......the bendix engages the ring gear on the flywheel & turns the engine over. When the engine speed exceeds the design speed of the bendix (because the engine is running) it disengages. (and I can never remember what RPM that is) What is happening in your engine is that 1 or 2 plugs fire, the engine momentarily exceeds the bendix disengage RPM.....and it disengages before you have all 4 firing.

    And that's because of whatever problem you are having that's keeping it from starting. There's nothing wrong with your starter.

    While you are waiting on your spark checker, put your battery on a charger. (see tip # 60)

    You need a strong battery to:

    1. Close the solenoid

    2. Spin the starter

    3. Engage the bendix

    4. Provide voltage to the coil.

    As the battery gets weaker, the first thing to fail is your spark. If the battery is almost totally dead, all you will hear is the solenoid clicking.

    In addition to charging the battery, chances are you need new cables as well (tip # 41). And, don't forget to clean all the grounds, to include the mating area between the starter & the block.

    The more current you use to spin the starter, the less you have for the ignition.

    Post back w/ what the spark looks like.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 05-17-2017 at 16:04:23 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • HiYa Leroy-
    I think you mean to open the Fuel Sediment Bowl Valve all the way. Two full turns open for MAIN and then all the way for the last 1 gallon reserve is correct. Sometimes overlooking the basic obvious items can bite us in the behind later. It does sound like a fuel flow issue, so I would suggest to start there. First check that there is some gas in the tank -don't need a full tank just yet in case you have to remove the sediment bowl assembly. verify good Next, fuel flow to carb either by removing plug on bottom of carb or loosening the fuel line at the brass elbow inlet at carb to check fuel flow when valve is open 2 turns. Should be steady almost pencil thick stream, uninterrupted, and if any hesitation, sputtering, stops and starts, there is a good chance the sediment bowl screens are plugged. Then it's time to drain tank and remove assembly to clean screens good. There are three screens to filter the fuel in the N system -two in the sediment bowl assembly and the third is in the brass fuel line inlet at the carb. Basic, systematic, root cause problem solving will get results.

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Sediment Bowl Assembly & the 3 Screens in Fuel Line System (photo courtesy of Bruce Haynes):

    NOTE: You can buy most pieces to the sediment bowl assembly separately. The large, round, brass fine mesh screen fits on offset square inlet port on top half of assembly, with a cork gasket (recommended). Next is the fine mesh vertical screen soldered (some new ones are simply glued) to the base of the fuel inlet stem on the top half that is hidden up into the gas tank once unit is screwed into tank. The last in-line filter lies horizontally, and is soldered to the brass elbow inlet that screws into the carb. Sometimes it is best to just replace the large round brass screen with a new cork gasket and the brass carb inlet elbow. The assembly screen attached at the top can only be replaced if the whole bowl assembly top is switched, but no need to go out and buy a whole new assembly just yet. I usually check the glass bowl itself to see if it sits flat. Simply take, inspect for any caked on old cork or rubber, remove with an Exacto Blade if so, then gently rotate around on a piece of fine sand paper, Emory Cloth, or Krokus Cloth. If glass bowl seems warped and won't lie flat, get a new one -sold separately too. Final inspection of valve stem too to ensure the rubber seal isn't all chewed up which will prevent a good seal and you'll end up with leaks even when the valve is shut off. Fuel issues are one of the major causes of non-starting an d non-running tractors. You don't ever want to have any leaking gas anywhere in the line -it's just common sense and a SAFETY issue to be aware of. Once the fuel issue is resolved and the engine stopping issue is still there, we'll move on to the electrical system.

    Jock(OR)    Posted 05-16-2017 at 22:15:17 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • If your fuel and spark test check out OK, try unhooking the exhaust pipe from the manifold and see if the engine will run. A plugged exhaust will let back pressure build up to the point that there will be no intake flow into the cylinders. If you let the engine sit overnight, it will start and run for a short time. Now, with the pressure built up in the exhaust, it my fire but not run. If you continue to attempt to start the tractor, it will not even fire.

    HCooke    Posted 05-16-2017 at 18:24:09 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • Most likely you have a fuel flow issue. Follow Bruce's instructions on how to check for fuel flow and report back.

    Jim Mortensen    Posted 05-16-2017 at 20:30:58 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • BlasterStump- Not sure about the gas tank vent, I will have to check on that.
    Bruce- It is a 6 volt system. I will buy a spark checker tomorrow. The gas drains out of the Carb bowl at a steady pace, however, not as fast as it does from the gas line prior to the Carb when disconnected.
    Tim Daley- Again, 6 volt system, ser# 8N401903. Generator and Voltage Regulator are both original. I have printed out the "75 tips" and have a wiring diagram.
    H.Cook- Followed Bruce's check for fuel flow, found debris in glass fuel valve and in the upper screen. Will be checking the fuel screen and elbow of the carburetor.
    To All-I am the 3rd owner of this tractor. The person I bought it from told me the tractor had been restored in upper New York State 20-25 years ago. He told me the chasis was a 8N and the engine was a 9N, in checking the ser#, he may have been wrong. Thanks for your quick response and help.

    BlasterStumps    Posted 05-18-2017 at 22:17:31 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • Just noticed, I'm not sure but it looks like the right front dust/grease cap is missing from the hub.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 05-17-2017 at 06:43:15 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • Yep, it has an 8N block/engine that was swapped out.I see an 8N badge, 8N doglegs, an 8N air cleaner, 3-wire 8N generator, and 16" 8N Front wheels and tires. 39 9N parts: double ribbed fenders, key switch on right side dash, starter button on left side dash, ignition "ON" lamp below ammeter, but it may be a 39 steel hood -hinged battery access door doesn't fit right -snap -in cover was original. Is radiator 9N big square one? Serial number??? ALL N gas tanks had the vented bubble on top. Is your starter button on top of shifter case or on dash?

    Tim Daley(MI)

    BlasterStumps    Posted 05-16-2017 at 22:59:01 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • Looks like you got a good one there. Nice clean tractor.
    Mike

    carl nny    Posted 05-16-2017 at 20:41:46 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • Looks like you got a mut... Other guys can tell you more but I can see a 9n rear-end with an 8n engine and at least the front spindles and wheels.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 05-16-2017 at 18:02:20 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • We'd like to see your '39 -what is the serial number? There are a few members here in your neck of the woods, best to consult an N owner than take it to some shop that has no clue what these old machines are like. They'll end up butchering it up and destroying or replacing rare valuable early 9N parts if yours has any. Hang on to any original parts you have replaced as they are better to rebuild than buying anything new. Now, as Bruce asked, is it the original 6 volt/positive ground system or a 12-volt convulsion project? If 6-volt, you would have a (small)generator and a voltage regulator,if early 9N, or a little later, a round can cutout circuit. A 12 volt system uses an alternator in place of the generator. Running and stopping within a minute or so to me sounds like a fuel issue, but anything is possible at this point. DO NOT start replacing parts until a systematic, root cause method of problem solving is performed. You can download the 75 Tips For N-Owners Bruce compiled, use it for reference. Start here with PM projects in our HOW-TO's forum, under ELECTRICAL and download JMORS Wiring Pictograms to see how your N should be wired CORRECTLY. Baby steps, and if you are mechanically inclined you can do this stuff yourself and save your hard earned $$$...

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 05-16-2017 at 16:28:12 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • 6volt or 12 volt?

    If you can find anyone to work on it, my bet is they will charge you $100 an hour to screw it up.

    These tractors are very simple to fix; you can operate a pc, you can fix the tractor.

    As soon as the tractor stops, (not 5 minutes later) you need to be prepared to find the answer to these questions:

    Does the tractor have a spark that will jump 1/4" in open air?*


    Will the gas drain out of the carb bowl in a steady stream and fill a pint jar in less than 2 minutes?

    See tip # 13 at the link.

    Post back with what you find out.


    *If you don’t own a spark checker w/ an adjustable gap, buy one. In the meantime, an old spark plug w/ the gap opened to at least ¼” will work. Ground it to a rust & paint free spot on the engine turn the key on & look for a spark.

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 05-16-2017 at 16:27:48 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • 6volt or 12 volt?

    If you can find anyone to work on it, my bet is they will charge you $100 to screw it up.

    These tractors are very simple to fix; you can operate a pc, you can fix the tractor.

    As soon as the tractor stops, (not 5 minutes later) you need to be prepared to find the answer to these questions:

    Does the tractor have a spark that will jump 1/4" in open air?*


    Will the gas drain out of the carb bowl in a steady stream and fill a pint jar in less than 2 minutes?

    See tip # 13 at the link.

    Post back with what you find out.


    *If you don’t own a spark checker w/ an adjustable gap, buy one. In the meantime, an old spark plug w/ the gap opened to at least ¼” will work. Ground it to a rust & paint free spot on the engine turn the key on & look for a spark.

    BlasterStumps    Posted 05-16-2017 at 16:10:50 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 1939 Ford 9N Tractor
  • Not sure if the 39 had a vent on top of fuel tank or in the cap but what you are describing could possibly be a fuel starvation issue due to a plugged tank vent or, possibly plugged fuel screen(s).

    [Back] [Return to Top of Forum]


    Top