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Subject: hard starting

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Doug in Maine    Posted 12-19-2017 at 21:02:46 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • hard starting
  • '48 front mount, 12 volt conversion. Strong spark, plenty of fresh fuel to the carb(newish), won't kick even with starter fluid. When I have been able to get it running it's after trying for a while with my hand acting as a choke. Once running it runs great. I've had this tractor for about 10 years and this is a first. I feel like I'm missing something simple.

    36 coupe    Posted 12-20-2017 at 07:12:22 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • Sounds like gas fouled plugs.If it wont fire on starting fluid I would look at the plugs.Heat range is important.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 12-20-2017 at 06:12:22 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • You first say 'strong spark' then answer Bruces' question about spark gap, "...I didn't try that...". How did you determine the spark was good without testing? Heating the oil isn't the problem unless there is water in it, but then you have other problems if so. You need a good strong fully charged battery to crank the engine over with. You need AMPS to crank the engine over with. How old is your battery? Take it to your local trusty starter/alternator shop and they will bench test it with the proper equipment. You just can't put the battery on a charger and think it is good. The battery must sustain a charge under load. I seriously doubt your flywheel ringgear is 'worn'. Next, how did you check fuel flow? Then, what kind of 12-volt conversion is it? Look at Wiring Pictograms by JMOR in our HOW-TO's forum, subcategory ELECTRICAL. He has created a document that shows every CORRECT way to wires these old N's whether 6 volt or 12 volt. Start with the basics, baby steps, and don't 'guess it must be this' and start replacing parts.

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 12-19-2017 at 21:37:01 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • Does the spark jump 1/4" in open air?

    Doug in Maine    Posted 12-19-2017 at 22:22:37 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • Didn't try that. It did fire twice just now but the starter wouldn't stay engaged. I've had that issue for years. Probably worn ring gear. Full throttle full joke. The plugs are new. I pulled each plug to check the spark. I disassembled and blew out the carb. I should have said the 12 volt conversion was recent.

    K.LaRue-VA    Posted 12-19-2017 at 22:45:13 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • "Full Throttle"?
    I usually start mine at 1/4 to 1/2 throttle, and only pull the choke for a few seconds. They fire almost immediately and I only have to keep holding a little choke if the engine temp is below freezing. Full throttle and no choke will get one going if I get carried away with the choke and flood it.

    Obviously the temps from VA to Maine are way different this time of year. It may take a little more choke where you are. When we finally get into Winter here, I put a 300 watt magnetic sump heater on the oil pan for 30 minutes to an hour before even trying. If it's much below zero, I don't know what works, I don't go out there except to get more wood for the stove.

    Doug in Maine    Posted 12-19-2017 at 22:57:09 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • I've wondered if my starting technique should be different with 12V. I don't usually do full throttle/choke. At times with this tractor I've been able to start it with no choke in warm weather with 6v. Typically I use maybe 2/3 throttle, let it spin a bit, then add choke and it would start right up. Carb is adjusted with manual suggested one full rev out on both jets. Could it be a carb adjustment? Too rich? Could it be a weak charge on the battery? The spark is a nice hot blue/white. It's 38 degrees - this thing should fire right up.

    r geiger    Posted 12-19-2017 at 23:19:08 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • ! turn out on the main jet is not enough, try two. I like to start at 2 1/2 and adjust in from there when running. some say 2 and leave it alone, I like to fine tune mine a bit.

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 12-19-2017 at 23:08:18 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • It's not the color of the spark that matters. It's the distance it jumps. Put your battery on a charger. The number one cause of a weak spark is a weak battery.

    Doug in Maine    Posted 12-19-2017 at 23:24:59 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • It's on the charger now and I'll give it a try tomorrow morning. Bruce- what about the carb adjustments?

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 12-20-2017 at 09:22:22 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • Turning the main jet out 1/2 turn in the winter more than it was in the summer is always a good idea. Cold, dense air needs a richer mixture. But, any more than 2 1/2 turns out usually means a problem in the carb.

    Do one thing at a time; for now, concentrate on spark. If it won't jump 1/4" in open air, you have a problem.

    Doug in Maine    Posted 12-20-2017 at 10:05:42 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • I tried two turns out this morning and it would kick. I'm going back a little later this morning and will try another half turn out. I suspect I've been over choking it because the mixture wasn't rich enough and I'm wetting out the plugs.
    To answer some of the other questions the 12 v conversion was something I did this fall and the battery is virtually brand new. And I could choke it to life when it was warmer. Runs well once started. Although I didn't do the 1/4" gap test I pulled each plug and checked spark (and they were wet), nice bright blue/white sparks.
    Regarding the starter not staying engaged if it's not the ring gear then maybe it's the gear on the starter it's self. Or the gizmo the shoots the starter gear out is weak. The starter is the only bolt on part that I haven't replaced on this tractor.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 12-20-2017 at 16:01:51 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • Hey Doug, just because the battery is new doesn't mean it is good. You need to verify the specific gravity with a hydrometer or have your local starter shop check it out. They can test the battery at the same time. I worked on a Massey tractor this past summer for a friend, and he just bought a new battery lass than a year ago. Well, guess what? It was junk. You can also take your starter to him as well and he will test that too -all usually for free. If battery is weak, starter won't engage or stay engaged. Don't guess as to what the problem is, a systematic, root cause problem solving method is essential. Put carb back to original settings and dry off plugs or install ne w dry ones. Test for spark. You say you did the 12-volt conversion -what all did you do? Consult Wiring Pictograms by JMOR.

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 12-20-2017 at 10:34:33 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • You could have a worn Bendix or ring gear.....or just a tractor in need of a tune up. You can get the newer style bendix or you can do a tune up on the tractor.

    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) All the new style bendix does is allow a higher engine speed before it disengages.

    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.

    If you want to tune it up, just ask; plenty of folks can walk you through that (but see tip # 39 first).

    And, if you want to pull the starter & replace the bendix, just ask about that as well.

    Looking at a spark from a plug gapped at .025 instead of .25 does not tell you anything about the condition of the spark. However, looking at a wet plug tells me that you at over-choking it. While each N has its own starting sequence, none of them will start well by just yanking out the choke rod & holding it out for 5 or 10 seconds while the engine cranks. This is a gravity fuel system on a low compression engine; it is easily flooded by too much choke.

    Try this:

    Key on, gas on 2 full turns, clutch in, 3/4 throttle, press the starter button. Let it crank for at least 3 - 4 seconds before you pull the choke rod. Then, don't hold it out for more than 2 or 3 seconds.

    If you find out it will not start w/o excessive choking, you have problems.

    If you flood it, the plugs are fouled & it will be it next to impossible to start. Replace the plugs. You don't need to toss them; heat the tips for a few seconds w/ a propane torch to burn off the invisible spark-robbing deposits from today's additive filled gasoline........or wash them in brake cleaner.

    Doug in Maine    Posted 12-20-2017 at 15:27:30 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • She runs! A couple of things about that. In all the years I've messed with this tractor, and many hours on this forum, I didn't know about the main jet setting being so open, particularly in winter. That knowledge would have saved me many hours over the years. Two and a half turns out. She actually wanted to start with no choke but in the end it took a little, and several attempts. Your starting procedure outlined above was spot on.
    I found an old plug and opened it up to about 1/4" and got great spark.
    The bendix needs replacement or rebuilding. We have a starter shop right here in town and I'll probably take it to them. They've done a lot of good work for me over the years and they do all the starters, generator, alternaters for the local Ford/New Holland place. That said if it's a simple fix, and you can coach me through it, maybe it would be best if I did it myself. That way I have some control over when and how long the tractor is out of service.
    Bottom line is "Thank You" Bruce, the other guy that answered to my problem that put me on to the solution, and this awesome forum. Merry Christmas.

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 12-20-2017 at 15:55:17 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • You're welcome. Glad to help.

    Re the Bendix, it's easy enough to do yourself, but having a good rebuild shop nearby is a gift. Take them the starter and have them rebuild it and replace the Bendix. That's about $80 around here; you will never have another starter problem. Money well spent.

    36 coupe    Posted 12-20-2017 at 07:05:45 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • Old stale gas is fire proof. Try a different brand of gas.

    R Geiger    Posted 12-20-2017 at 16:16:29 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • My two banger JD runs on old stale gas just fine.

    36 coupe    Posted 12-20-2017 at 20:06:45 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • Your JD was built to run on kerosene when the engine was hot.I have started small engines by dumping out stale gas and putting in fresh fuel.I have worked on engines since the mid 50s.Small engines start better with a rich mixture.

    Doug in Maine    Posted 12-20-2017 at 10:08:53 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • I use a lot of gas around here and it's always fresh. I use Marine Stabil in everything anyway.

    36 coupe    Posted 12-21-2017 at 09:25:26 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: hard starting
  • Stabil contains acetone.Buy it in the paint store.Much lower price.

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