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Subject: 2n starting problems

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John S.    Posted 01-15-2019 at 09:40:25 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • 2n starting problems
  • I am new here, and I have a 2N Ford Tractor, six volt, with the front distributor on it. Lately it has been hard starting. A friend of mine suggested I change it over to electronic ignition and then never have to worry about or have starting problems ever again. I was reading about a Pertronix unit using an Ignitor coil. The coil says it is 40,000 volts and they also show a 55,000 volt coil. I know a little about electronics but donít understand why these old Ford tractors need such a high voltage ignition coil. I also donít understand how an electronic ignition would eliminate starting problems altogether. Advice and opinions welcome. I really donít want to change anything if not needed and keep it 6 volt so will probably start with the wiring. Are there any diagrams to go by?

    John S.

    K.LaRue-VA    Posted 01-15-2019 at 14:31:29 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 2n starting problems
  • Hard starting why? Do some basic trouble shooting to find the cause before buying anything. The non-running '51 I bought came with a new distributor, new battery, new coil, and zero compression. Somebody spent a bunch of money trying to get it running with 4 stuck valves and rings that wouldn't make 50 psi, even when the valves did occasionally close. If it's got good compression, does it have good spark? Is it getting fuel? Has anybody pulled the dirt-filled screen out of the air filter housing in the last 48 years? Sorry about that last one, no offense intended, but based on every tractor I've bought, nobody ever looks in there. Most of the things that cause hard starting can be made right again without spending a dime.

    John S.    Posted 01-16-2019 at 06:12:47 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 2n starting problems
  • Ordered the f-04 manual. I bought the tractor 3 years ago, had a recent tune-up done supposedly, but I have not done any work to it. I'll check for fuel and spark as outlined in the 75 tips from Bruce. I am going to get the battery tested and attempt to rebuild the distributor. I read NAPA is a good place to get parts from. Thanks all.

    K.LaRue-VA    Posted 01-16-2019 at 15:49:29 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 2n starting problems
  • If it has been running well for 3 years and you "have not done any work on it", it's about 2.5 years behind on tune-up and other maintenance. The fact that these tractors will go that long without any work is a testimony to just how well made and reliable they are.

    John S.    Posted 01-16-2019 at 16:18:42 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 2n starting problems
  • yes, it only began hard starting back in the summer, not when the weather turned cold so don't believe that has anything to do with it. I could brush hog or mow one day for hours then the next day it took forever to turn over and run. Seemed to be getting gas as I could smell it. Cranked strong so figured the battery was ok. There's one cable going to the starter and no solenoid. Behind the dash is what I think is the cutout and it has two wires to it. Do not think that is bad either but the wiring sure appears to be shabby so may start looking into that first.


    Bruce (VA)    Posted 01-16-2019 at 17:35:57 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2n starting problems
  • " Cranked strong so figured the battery was ok. "

    That's not a good indication of a strong battery.

    Get a multimeter.

    A fully charged battery will show 6.35 volts. At 6.03 volts, it's at 25% capacity. Then, your starter spins just fine.....and you have no current left for a spark.

    Buy a $9 meter and an $8 adjustable gap plug checker. Your life will be much simpler!

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 01-15-2019 at 13:03:07 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2n starting problems
  • " I also donít understand how an electronic ignition would eliminate starting problems altogether."

    It won't. You are wise to be doubtful.

    " Lately it has been hard starting. A friend of mine suggested I change it over to electronic ignition and then never have to worry about or have starting problems ever again. "

    That is the worst reason ever to convert it to EI.

    The key advantage to EI is that you do not need to gap & lube the points every year & replace them every 4 or 5 years or. If you perform annual maintenance on the points & change them every 4 years or so using quality parts, and your distributor is not worn out, you will see no difference whatsoever between a points ignition system & EI on an N.

    The key disadvantages to EI on an N are initial cost, nearly impossible for the average N owner to repair, will not work w/ low battery voltage, & easily damaged beyond repair by polarity reversal & other common mistakes.

    To sum it up:

    --- Putting EI on a N series tractor will replace the points. Any other "advantages" will be miniscule.

    ---- If you have a well running tractor & just don't care to fool w/ points anymore, EI is a perfect alternative.

    ---- If you expect EI to cure any significant ignition problem you may have other than bad points, it won't.

    Bottom lineÖÖÖ.this is the question you need to answer: ďIf tens of thousands of other Nís operate just fine on 6v and points, why canít mine?Ē

    R Geiger    Posted 01-15-2019 at 13:02:23 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 2n starting problems
  • Hard starting can be caused by several factors, Have you checked the spark at the plugs? when was the last time the point and condenser was changed? Do you have good fuel flow THRU the carb? remove plug in the bottom and measure the flow. It should fill a pint jar in two to three minutes. How is the compression? barrow a compression gage and check it. How fast does it crank over with the starter/ How long has it been since the battery cables have been cleaned? Both ends. What condition is the battery in? have it checked at an auto parts store.
    What I am getting at is to do some troubleshooting before you start throwing expensive parts at it and then find out it is still hard starting.

    Farmer Dan    Posted 01-15-2019 at 13:00:23 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2n starting problems
  • EI is a waste of money just like sta-bil. Engine only runs 2,250 rpm with 6-1 compression. EI can not improve anything going that slow. Following this diagram with all connections and ground being clean and tight. "0" gauge battery cables and good quality ignition parts from Napa and your 2N will be happy for many years.

    Bruce(OR)    Posted 01-15-2019 at 11:36:22 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 2n starting problems
  • Electricity is like most people. It will only work enough to get the job done. Having 55,000 volts is nice if your running a 3/8 inch gap, or a multiple spark discharge system. That coil is not going to produce 55,000 volts just to jump a .025 plug gap inside an engine with about a 6:1 compression ratio.
    It will just produce enough current to jump the air gap at the spark plug electrode.
    Petronix can be nice to replace the points set up, but that's $100 and that buys a lot of ignition parts. Mine have only been in the tractor for about 10 years so far,
    maybe longer.
    As for changing the starter system, it would not be cost wise to do so at this time.
    if what you have is working, don't 'fix' it.
    Save that money for wiring repair.

    John in Mich    Posted 01-15-2019 at 11:05:38 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 2n starting problems
  • Check the "How-To's" above and got to the electrical section. At the bottom of that section are 6 drawings. Select the one that is correct for your application.

    Jim    Posted 01-18-2019 at 08:34:13 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2n starting problems
  • I look at the wiring diagrams in detail but still have a question: what is the rationale for how the wiring is done on any of the diagrams. I know we have to get power to the starter and have to get return current to the battery but the resistors, coils, cutouts and the like leave me puzzled. Anyone want to tackle this? Thanks

    Jim    Posted 01-19-2019 at 20:18:19 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2n starting problems
  • Thanks Dave.

    Dave(OK)    Posted 01-18-2019 at 10:19:01 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2n starting problems
  • Power to the coil and through the points gives the spark. The resistor keeps the coil from burning up. The cutout tells the generator how much to charge the battery.

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