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Subject: '49 8N "No Swimmin" (ignition don't like water; won't start)

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Brad    Posted 07-15-2020 at 22:29:48 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • '49 8N "No Swimmin" (ignition don't like water; won't start)
  • With a dog or cat, an old saying is: "Instant obedience, just add water (with spray bottle)" ... not so much, it would appear, with my Ford 8N tractor! lol :-)

    We've a good bit of rain this morning, & upon arriving home from work (as is my custom), went to start 8N tractor. Alas! No joy. Worked fine yesterday, usually fires right up.

    Methinks rain water's leaked, killing spark, so I've some sleuthing to do.

    What common sources of water infiltration are likely needing sealed against rain's intrusion?

    I'm looking askance at front mount coil, as the "usual suspect", being most exposed to the elements?

    49er swGA    Posted 07-17-2020 at 14:13:21 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: '49 8N "No Swimmin" (ignition don't like water; won't start)
  • I`ve never had rain cause "no start" issues...
    BUT the radiator sometimes "boils over" because I`ve added too much water/coolant and causes her to "shut down" until it dries or I WD-40 Dry It...

    I`m working on getting her head gasket and new head bolts in her...
    I`ve procrastinated TOO LONG,

    tony    Posted 07-16-2020 at 20:22:00 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: '49 8N "No Swimmin" (ignition don't like water; won't start)
  • switches, distributor cap, spark plug wires.
    the rest is wires and starter.
    WD 40 will move water off points at distributor and switches etc.

    Brad    Posted 07-17-2020 at 19:34:44 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: '49 8N "No Swimmin" (ignition don't like water; won't start)
  • Dennis, I know about the procrastination thing ... there's always more to do than there's time to do it in, and what to leave out? Conundrum! :-) lol

    I've gotten my tractor running pretty good, and I've been meaning to check valve clearance, but somehow just haven't gotten around to it, since 8N tractor is doing it's job, but... ought to when there's time :-P lol

    WD-40 and oil for tractor are two things ought to be in everybody's "get out of trouble kit" imho. I'm sure you could get a lively discussion started if you was to ask what should be in such a kit lol :-D Needs and preferences vary with individual's situations.

    Imho, on tractor's start-up list, ought to be "checking oil and gasoline levels". I'm sure you could get a lively debate going about this one too, asking what should be on such a list :-) lol

    Then,some folk can go a bit "over-prepared" ...

    Brad    Posted 07-25-2020 at 08:12:05 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: '49 8N "No Swimmin" (ignition don't like water; won't start)
  • Tony, here's an interesting (although sometimes hotly-debated at online repair forums) solution to the water-"no spark" non-starting issues:

    Some folks hold fast to the notion of using dielectric silicone grease/compound sold at auto supplies (some refer to it as tune-up silicon grease) to exclude water and making removal of spark plug boots easier.

    These people sometimes hold using anything else but dielectric grease (petroleum products/WD-40, etc they won't recommend, claiming such will overtime degrade rubberized parts, causing problems in the long-term.

    Other folks, as a counterpoint, claim they've been using vaseline or WD-40 as a dielectric grease/water dispersant on battery terminals and all sorts of rubberized connectors for years, without any signs of trouble.

    Here's the rub: how do you know who's right? Maybe nobody? Is it one of those "Ford man versus Chevy man" meaningless opinions? Mystery here, perhaps someone can shed some light on ... Might get a hornet's nest of controversy started here lol ;-p

    for myself by Electric Greece is cheap enough and I believe that I'll use that, and WD-40. That way both camps of the debate will be sneering at me! lol :-D

    Bruce (OR)    Posted 07-16-2020 at 10:42:12 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: '49 8N "No Swimmin" (ignition don't like water; won't start)
  • Depends on how water tight you desire to make it.
    Gasket cap seals are nice, so is RTV. Problem with RTV is future removal.
    Might not be advised. I also like silicon for plug wire connections, top and bottom, and usually a wipe around the tops of the boots where they enter the dist cap boots works also. Usually with that done a car wash is no longer an issue or any simple rain fall.

    Brad    Posted 07-16-2020 at 17:00:36 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: '49 8N "No Swimmin" (ignition don't like water; won't start)
  • Bruce, I really admire your idea of using silicon seal around wires, boots and gasket cap seals.

    As far as how waterproof you want to make it? A fair question. There are military vehicles with snorkels that can run under water. That's pretty waterproof, I would imagine crews don't have to worry overmuch about engine overheating lol

    As to a workaround whereas silicon being problematic for later removal, a simple solution using soap on one surface as a "mold release agent" would provide for secure water seal, without creating a permanent-fixed bond.

    I believe I will put your suggestions into practice on my Ford 8N tractor, as that solution is quick, cheap and easy, whereas concept fabricating engine cowling requires more time, energy and effort than presently willing to consider, while providing similar results.

    Bruce    Posted 07-16-2020 at 06:16:06 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: '49 8N "No Swimmin" (ignition don't like water; won't start)
  • remove the cap and dry out the distributor w/ a hair dryer. replace the gaskets to keep it from happening again

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 07-16-2020 at 05:05:59 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: '49 8N "No Swimmin" (ignition don't like water; won't start)
  • Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Simple solutions to avoid getting water in your system is to keep the tractor tarped well or in barn, shed, or garage when idle.

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Brad    Posted 07-18-2020 at 07:31:07 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: '49 8N "No Swimmin" (ignition don't like water; won't start)
  • Tim,

    I'm looking into your idea of creating a tarp for my Ford 8N tractor. You can find them for sale online but they're a bit pricey at around $200.

    Thinking about digging out my old sewing machine and putting one together, that would be about as simple as a sewing project as they get.

    They're posts over on yesterday's tractors forum where they're using tarps and that would be a pretty good material for the sewing project, however, trying to pick a tarp that's going to have some longevity might be an issue?

    I've purchased tarps before to cover outdoor equipment, but tarps didn't even last a year before falling apart in the sunlight. I could alternatively utilize material that will stand up to the weather (and have some longevity), and then waterproof it. Plenty of DIY YouTube video showing that approach lol

    Brad    Posted 07-16-2020 at 07:32:55 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: '49 8N "No Swimmin" (ignition don't like water; won't start)
  • Tim, I have toyed with the idea of building some cowling/side covers for my 8N's engine, similar to what '30's pickups used.

    I'm aware of Orchard-type tractor models using side covers, which appears would work well against rain infiltration.

    A moderate amount of rainfall doesn't seem to affect my tractor starting, howsomever ...when you've persistent, heavy/blowing rainfall like we experienced here yesterday?

    Brad    Posted 07-16-2020 at 07:03:22 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: '49 8N "No Swimmin" (ignition don't like water; won't start)
  • Bruce, I remember something similar happening decades ago (having point-condenser on car, was simpler time lol ;-) when I took my Ford Mustang to a car wash.

    Having thoroughly cleaned the outside of car, used special selection for "tires and engine", removed dirt and grime off engine/tires ... and then my Mustang would not start!

    Luckily, I carried several items in my "get out of trouble kit" and was able to spray the inside of distributor cap with WD-40, which (when wiped clear) dried out things enough to get me home, as my car then started.

    I believe you've made an excellent suggestion, to ensure everything is well sealed against water infiltration. Just because you cannot see any way for water to get in, does not mean it cannot happen.

    I never did figure out how water got into my Mustang, but I was glad I had WD-40 to rescue me lol. In such a scenario, I'm thinking silicone sealer could also be your friend. :-)

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