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Subject: Trouble starting my 8n and not sure if shorted or fried?

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Scott    Posted 09-24-2019 at 15:10:20 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Trouble starting my 8n and not sure if shorted or fried?
  • Background:
    I bought my Ford 8n about 2 years ago. I knew absolutely nothing about tractors but I new Ford 8n were dependable and easy to maintain. I had to replace the starter, solenoid, alternator, battery after I bought it. I had to rewire the switches, lights, alternator etc. because the battery was getting drained. I didn't upgrade the wiring (as in replaced), it was just connected wrong.

    For the last two years it starts on the first try every time, even after sitting. Being totally oblivious to tractors and electrical, I had a sense of accomplishment. I have a small light installed so I can tell when the battery is on and switches to the alternator on starting. So it goes out when it runs independent of the battery. Well,now I have my first major problem... and still being a fairly new owner since I haven't had to work on it much, I'm stuck.

    My Problem:
    I cannot figure out where my electrical issue may be. I think the starter when bad or shorted out the first time. When I connected the battery directly it would not turn over. So I replaced it.

    When I replaced the starter, it still didn't start with the start button. When I pushed the button it popped like the first time and my battery/alternator light would stay off. However, when I touched the battery to the new starter it would turn over but just not start not start. The key was on and the gas.

    The solenoid seems to be OK but that that is always hard for me to tell. I was wondering if there might be a short in the wiring somewhere between the starter button, the solenoid and maybe even the alternator. However, now I have this and two further issues I think ...

    1) I'm not sure if I need to replace these wires, what size I should use for the switch, solenoid and to the alternator as an example? 12 or 16 gauge or some other? Maybe there is a kit?

    2) Admittedly and embarrassingly, when I tested the replacement starter with the battery cable, the starter turned over so I figure the issue my lie somewhere between my solenoid, start button and maybe the alternator. However, while thinking that my cable slipped out of my hand and touched the casing of the starter and sparks flew. So now the starter won't turn over but I'm not sure what else I may need to do now that I bungled that.

    Any suggestions would help. I don't have a problem starting over and replacing the starter, solenoid, battery or switch... but I'm not sure if that is all I need to do or check, aside from possibly replacing the wires for each.

    It's starting to get cold in Ohio and the tractor is out in the middle of my pasture -- no power except driving a vehicle out there. I tried hand cranking and it the tractor tried to turn over once or twice but hasn't since.

    Sorry for the long post... I'm kind of desperate to fix it before it gets really cold.

    Thanks for any thoughts, suggestions or helps you can offer.

    Scott from Ohio

    Scott    Posted 09-25-2019 at 14:35:50 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Trouble starting my 8n and not sure if shorted or fried?
  • R geiger, Farmer Dan, Bruce(OR):

    So here is the update. After I posted, I went out to hand crank and nothing happened. It still wouldn't start via the starter button. I was curious about the starter, so I took my car out in the field and hit the starter directly with the positive and it started right up. After letting it run the amp-meter was looking good.

    So I got to wondering about the battery. But I will tell you, I bought the battery this year in the early spring and it always started right up. I've never had battery drain. But I suppose with old wiring, it could have leakage I'm not aware of. The battery is on the charger at home as I type, but it did show "green" as in nearly or fully charged... not amber. I guess that can probably mean anything.

    My curiosity is that if it is the battery, when I do push the start button, it does make a "pop" noise and my battery/alternator light goes out temporarily? Like when you hit a switch in your house and the overload pops the fuse and you have to reset it. Maybe that is still a battery indicator?

    Yes, it is a 12v conversion and I agree a complete new wiring harness would probably be the way to go. I will check on a new wiring harness and follow up with the battery charging.

    Farmer Dan... I think I did use that wiring diagram - was that a JMOR one? The only difference I see, based on my recall, my alternator has a 3 connections, a resistor block connection, alternator/battery light connection... and then a bridging connection on the alternator itself.

    Thanks for the suggestions!


    Scott    Posted 09-25-2019 at 17:24:43 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Trouble starting my 8n and not sure if shorted or fried?
  • Well, I hooked up the fully charged battery and it started right up. So that begs the question, "What is the real issue?"

    Here is the full story. I was bush hogging. I backed up the tractor with the bush hog raised to trim a mound I couldn't drive up on in the field. Before I could raise it back up, it stalled the tractor. After that it would not start. I put it in high gear and moved the tractor back and forth and everything moved, so nothing was broken or on a bind. I disconnected the bush hog to attempt to start it and it never started.

    Now I'm not kidding, I have never had an issue with this not starting on the first try every time, no matter how long it sat and the battery always hooked up. Only when a battery went bad but being out of warranty.

    So what is the real issue do you all suppose? I believe I should still replace the wiring harness. However, there are quite a few wiring harness options for Ford 8n's so which would someone recommend for a 12v system?


    R geiger    Posted 09-24-2019 at 16:45:24 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Trouble starting my 8n and not sure if shorted or fried?
  • I would buy a wiring harness and replace all the wiring. everything will be the correct size.
    The starter push button provides a ground when you push it, if you have the correct three wire solenoid it energizes the solenoid.

    depending which 8n you have, you could run a wire directly to the side of the distbritor or the top of the coil from the battery, then jump start from your truck with shifter in neutral so you don't run over yourself. If you can get it running, you could get it out of the field and some where you can work on it.
    keep it safe!

    Farmer Dan    Posted 09-24-2019 at 16:40:03 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Trouble starting my 8n and not sure if shorted or fried?
  • First thing you need to do is take the battery back to the barn and get it charged back to full. Iam going to guess that you have a early 8N that has been converted to 12 volt and has an ampmeter. IF that is correct use this diagram to make sure your wiring is correct and we can troubleshoot it from there.

    Bruce(OR)    Posted 09-24-2019 at 16:37:23 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Trouble starting my 8n and not sure if shorted or fried?
  • Sparks flew. . . Chances are you might have arced a connection somewhere.
    Another fella did something similar and found he had to clean up the battery connections again. I believe he arced the neg connection. That might be a good pace to start.
    Alternators don't have anything to do with the starting circuit. That comes into play once it is running and don't go making work for yourself.
    Once you get the battery cleaned up, get that volt meter and start looking for voltage at the switch, starter button and the starter.
    Once it's cranking, then we can find out if it will start.
    I also use ether when in doubt.
    Others will vastly more knowledge will probably chime in shortly.

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