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Subject: 8N Stopped Firing Up

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AJ Derrick    Posted 08-25-2019 at 08:33:34 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • 8N Stopped Firing Up
  • My 8N started a long, slow death spiral with harder and harder starts. Finally she wouldn't fire. I started with a new carb from Steiner. Hindsight tells me that, perhaps, I should have started with the Distro components.
    So, it still won't turn over. No catch at all.
    I pulled the plugs and noticed they were not damp at all with fuel, even though the carb flooded and was dumping fuel out the breather inlet.
    So now I'm in the process of pulling the front mounted distro assembly and will replace the coil , condenser and points.

    Do you think I need to tear down the new carb also and make sure the floats are properly adjusted? I can't understand why the plugs didn't get wet.

    I popped in some fresh 437 plugs to end the day yesterday.
    Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.


    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 08-25-2019 at 18:50:10 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 8N Stopped Firing Up
  • HiYa Al-
    I'd take your Steiner Chinese junket and return it then grab your OEM M/S TSX 241 carb and rebuild it or have a reliable source rebuild it. All the FORD components were meant to be rebuilt over and over. Aftermarket parts made in Cheena have no quality control so chances are the settings on your new one are all mucked up for one thing. Next, avoid just swapping out old parts with new until you can verify the old ones are bad. Front mount or side mount? Did you do a fuel flow test on the old one first? How about the new one before you tried to start it? Next, is your system OEM 6V/POS GRN or a 12V/NEG GRN switch over job? Either way have you verified the electrical system is all correct? SEE LINK to our HOW-TO's FORUM, under ELECTRICAL,"WIRING PICTOGARMS BY JMOR" to find your set up and then follow it to a 'T' with no shortcuts. I rebuild M/S carbs in my sleep. Farmer Dan rebuilds distributors in his sleep. My email is open if your wish to discuss off line.And stop buying new parts! EXCEPTION: You can start by having the battery checked at a local starter/alternator shop or auto parts store. If it won't sustain a full charge under load, it must meet specific gravity levels, it's bad and needs replacing. Simply charging it won't do any good. OPT for a good brand, not the cheapo Wally World or TSC brands. Invest in a decent brand like INTERSTATE, DEKA, or DURACELL.

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Tom Wenrich    Posted 08-25-2019 at 11:30:22 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 8N Stopped Firing Up
  • My 8N got harder to start over time. The spark was weak but new points did not solve it. Finally I used a volt meter to check voltage and had 6 1/2 volts at the battery but only 5 after the ignition switch. Replacing the ignition switch was the solution. Try to evaluate the problem.

    K.LaRue-VA    Posted 08-25-2019 at 11:08:57 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 8N Stopped Firing Up
  • When we go to the doctor with a cold, do we expect to get a heart transplant? It might not fix anything but maybe we will feel better by replacing something? Hopefully most doctors spend a minute or two checking symptoms before grabbing a knife and cutting.

    My side distributor 8N wouldn't fire when I went to move it yesterday morning. It cranked just fine and I could smell fuel. It was way too warm to need choke so I didn't even pull the lever. Rather than bother to grind the starter a second time, I pulled a plug wire and checked for spark. Nothing. Next step, pulled the distributor cap and rotor off to check the points. There was some white stuff looked like flour on the contact surfaces. Got out my point burnisher and made the points look like new. Checked point gap. It was still as near perfect as anyone can set it. Put rotor and cap back on. This time it started right up.

    The front distributor is easier to work on. Take it off and go someplace with good light and working AC.

    The big message here is for a tractor that has been running recently do not start trying to fix any problem by replacing anything. There are LOTS of things to check before replacing parts.

    Yes, new carbs that cost less than $100 are junk. I would never think of using one without taking it apart and checking everything.

    Anthony    Posted 08-25-2019 at 16:24:27 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 8N Stopped Firing Up
  • Thanks for the help. When you pull a plug wire to check for spark. Will I hook up an old, cleaned up plug to the wire, hold with insulated pliers to block / ground and then crank ignition.

    Also, when using a volt meter, do you test with both leads on the test point? ... or hot on wire and other lead to ground.

    sorry, for the basic nubie questions.

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 08-25-2019 at 09:36:05 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 8N Stopped Firing Up
  • " Finally she wouldn't fire. I started with a new carb"

    So, it wouldn't fire, and you replaced the carb? Not sure I understand the logic in addressing a spark problem by replacing the carb.

    " So, it still won't turn over."

    When you press the starter button, does the engine turn over or not?

    Or, does the engine turn over and not start?

    Big difference.

    6 volt or 12 volt?

    Front or side distributor?

    I donít know why your tractor isnít running. Sure, I can make a reasonable guess. Actually, I can make a lot of guesses. I could toss out guesses like itís the coil, itís the condenser, itís this, itís thatÖÖ..honestly, are 10 random guesses helpful? Do you then list them in alphabetical order and start at the top?

    Donít guess at the cause of the problem; guessing can get expensive. And leave you breathless chasing every guess.......it could be this, it could be that......just troubleshoot the problem and leave the guess work for buying Lottery tickets.

    I might not be able to tell you why your tractor isnít running but I sure can tell you how to figure it out yourself.

    The one way that I found the best results with is to take a systematic, step-by-step approach to solving the problem, working from most likely to least likely. The trick to fixing these tractors (or trouble shooting any piece of equipment) is to be systematic about it. You need to isolate the problem step by step and work from most likely to least likely. Jumping ahead to 'so-and-so said it could be whatever' or just replacing parts usually just wastes your time and your money. I know it did for me. Remember, it takes three things for an engine to run: spark at the right time, compression, & fuel in the right mixture. For the moment, forget about compression & concentrate on narrowing the problem to fuel or spark. If you donít do that, you are going to end up chasing your tail around that tractor & spending a boatload of money to fix what could easily be a loose wire or a dirty fuel screen.

    Check for spark and fuel. (see tip # 13)

    You need to answer 2 questions before you do anything else:

    With the bolt in the carb bowl removed and the gas on, will the fuel flow fill a pint jar in less than 2 minutes?

    Next, get out your adjustable gap spark checker * , open the gap to 1/4", hook it up, turn the key on and crank the engine. Does the spark jump 1/4"? Post back with the answers.

    And do not buy another new part for the tractor until you can answer this question: how do I know the part on the tractor is defective?

    Once you narrow the problem to spark or fuel, post back and tell us what you found (and how you found it) and you will get plenty of help to get your tractor running.

    * Don't own an adjustable gap spark checker? Buy one! Not a test light! Until then, take an old plug, open the gap 1/4" ground it to the head & look for spark. Itís not the color of the spark that counts; itís the distance it jumps.


    Anthony (AJ)    Posted 08-25-2019 at 17:36:22 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 8N Stopped Firing Up
  • My head is about explode trying to figure out what kind of adjustable gap spark checker to get. lol... any brand / model suggestions?

    Anthony    Posted 08-25-2019 at 16:43:21 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 8N Stopped Firing Up
  • the starting slowly got harder over time and it sits up alot. So I did make the mistake of just guessing the carb was clogged up as I had replaced distro components recently.

    I moved on to spark since the new carb didn't work. I will certainly get a spark checker and try to be more wily in the future. I wasn't blessed with the most common sense, certainly.


    Engine cranks, won't start.
    12 Volt conversion
    Front Distro
    Fuel flows well - clean bowl screen and fresh inline filter.

    My next step is to go out and properly check for spark. It may be next weekend. I have a splitter of a headache today.

    Thanks, again for all the help guys. I'll get her running with with your help- no doubt.

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