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Subject: Ford 8N Starting Problems. Please Help.

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Tim    Posted 06-09-2020 at 09:49:05 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Ford 8N Starting Problems. Please Help.
  • My 8N will start and run for a short period of time and then stall. Sometimes it will run long enough to move about the farm. Other times it will start and run for only a minute. Sometimes it will start and run for a few seconds. Most of the time, it won't start at all.

    Prior to troubleshooting the engine issues, the 8N sat without running for about a year.
    I've changed all the fluids and carefully adjusted all oil levels. Installed a new oil filter. I've drained the gas tank and sediment bulb, cleaned three fuel filter screens; in the bottom of the gas tank, placed a new screen and gasket in the sediment bulb, and cleaned the filter screen in the carburetor steel tube gas line connection. I've removed the plug in the bottom of the carburetor and observed gas draining freely enough to fill a cup within several seconds. When empty, the gas tank appeared clean and without residue. By removing the sediment bulb and removed the filter in the bottom of the tank, I believe the entire tank drains, including the reserve portion.

    I've changed the spark plugs to new 437s. I've thoroughly cleaned the air breather and two screen filters, and replaced the oil in the sump of the breather.
    The choke mechanism is in place and working properly to close the air intake when activated.
    The engine will rarely start with the air breather sump in place and fastened. If I remove the air breather sump pan and the air screen filters it will start up. When I replace the screen filters the engine will lug and stall. The screens are clean and clear from soaking and washing in gasoline, unrolling and drying, and reinstalled.. The air intake door on the side of the engine cover is clear and clean.

    I drained the radiator and removed the upper radiator hose and observed the thermostat opening properly when doused in near boiling water. I've replaced the radiator fluid with a proper mixture and level. I've blown off the debris from the front webbing of the radiator.

    I replaced the key switch with a new County Line switch because the wires were badly corroded. I have not done anything with the distributor. It's located on the front of the engine, not easily accessible.
    I've had the 8N running long enough to run a Woods mower for about 20 minutes and cut short grass.. However, as soon as I placed a strain on the engine by going into taller grass, the engine lagged and stalled, even at high RPMs.

    Then, it would not start again until much later and with removal of the breather system sump and screens.

    Questions: Is it the air/fuel system? Do I need a carburetor rebuild? Why will it sometimes start and purr for 15 minutes at mid-throttle and then suddenly stall out and not restart?
    What else should I be doing?

    I've added a link here to a short video where you can hear me trying to get the engine started. I would appreciate advice on how to get my 8N in proper running condition.
    Thank you.
    Tim Lake
    Upstate New York

    K.LaRue-VA    Posted 06-09-2020 at 14:34:14 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Ford 8N Starting Problems. Please Help.
  • Have you done a compression check? Symptoms lead me to think the engine might just be worn slam out.

    Jack - Iowa    Posted 06-09-2020 at 14:21:18 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Ford 8N Starting Problems. Please Help.
  • Just watched your video.

    That is WAY more choke than is normal on these engines. My thought leans towards a vacuum leak.

    Spray some starting fluid, WD-40, Brake cleaner or such around the intake manifold including the gasket where the carb mounts.

    If you have a helper it's best to do that while a starting attempt is being made. That way you can pretty well pinpoint the leak.

    Good Luck,


    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 06-09-2020 at 10:52:36 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Ford 8N Starting Problems. Please Help.
  • HiYa Tim-
    I have to ask, but do you open the Fuels Sediment Bulb Valve 2 Full Turns Open when you start the tractor? By your video it sounds like it is trying to start but is starved for fuel. Any signs of plugs fouling or gas thru the carb air intake throat where the rubber hose connects? You've done a lot of basic PM work so kudos to you. You don't mention electrical. The front mount distributor is the 2nd most misunderstood item on the Ford N -6V/POS GRN is always the 1st. By your fuel test, I'd say fuel isn't the problem. Your air cleaner is fine as well. I see the generator so are running the OEM 6V electrical system if it is wired correctly for 6V/POS GRN. 90%-95% of all non-starting/non-running issues are due to incorrect wiring whether 6V or 12V.TSC/County Line wouldn't be my choice to buy parts but so be it, but probably not the key switch. Did you ever leave the key switch on when you shut down the tractor? If so you may have damaged the coil. Burning up the points will also occur. The coil tar insulation gets hot and will melt. When engine gets hot, windings short out and tractor stalls out. After all cools, it may work again. You can verify your battery is good -have it charged, don't just put a charger on it. Get your manuals and the wiring pictograms from out HOW-TO's forum and verify the wiring is all correct. I rebuild carbs, distributors, generators, starters, and more if you need more help. EMAIL OPEN

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 06-09-2020 at 10:54:10 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Ford 8N Starting Problems. Please Help.
  • Forgot to ask -why is there no air filter oil bath cup?


    TheOldHokie    Posted 06-09-2020 at 10:33:57 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Ford 8N Starting Problems. Please Help.
  • If it will start with the air filter off but not when it's on then I'd say you have, at a minimum, an air fuel problem. Focus your attention there.


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