51 8N Spittin & Sputterin

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Posted by Steve in MO on July 22, 2018 at 03:42:35 [URL] [DELETE] :

Hi all! I have been lurking for a couple of weeks but this is my first post. I am in a quandary as to what the problem is with my '51 8N.

A little backstory might be nice so here goes. I bought this gem in 2003 to help around the acreage I had just acquired and feel like I got a pretty good deal. It came with a grading blade and a 5' Bush Hog Razorback so it was quite ideal for my needs. The tractor ran great for many years with just minor upkeep, not being needy like some old girls can be. Then came the dark times.

On day I let her slip in a bit of damp earth and slid to close to a wire fence and before I knew it the wire was caught on the back tire and up came a T-post. SLICE! The T-post wing got the sidewall of the tire pretty good and being short on funds at the time I let the tractor sit. And sit. And sit some more. 2-3 years passed. I did have the forethought to drain the fuel tank though. Nothing good ever came from leaving gas in a tank for an extended period.

Good times came but the tire was not salvageable and the wheel needed the valve stem hole welded up to fix the degradation in the area. Check! Welding done and new rubber put on.

Now old girl is a 1951 8N, 12v conversion, side mount distributor. She was always reliable and started right up in the past but this time she was/is being finicky. Before I even turned the key the carb got rebuilt (M-S TSX241B). Full tear down per Don Stewart at Yesterday's Tractors. Soaked in ChemDip carb parts cleaner and all orifices blown out with compressed air. Clean as a whistle and new parts where provided. Idle and power needles set at 1 1/2 turns out from bottom. Float level is questionable (see later in the story). I pulled the sediment bowl and made sure the screens there were clean. The fuel tank got replaced shortly after I bought the tractor and is still good an clean inside - no rust. Fuel flow is good all the way through. 2min 19sec to fill a pint jar with fuel from the carb bowl drain plug. Yes, it is new gas. Check!

Air cleaner has been torn down and all the dead wasps and ladybugs removed from the oil cup. Screen and all parts cleaned in solvent, reassembled and filled to the fill line with SAE 30 oil. Air tube is clean too. Check!

6 quarts of SAE 30 oil and a new filter. Check!

Ignition system mostly all new. New group 35 12v battery, new coil and resistor, new points (gap at .025) and condenser, new cap and rotor, new copper core plug and coil wires, and new Autolite 216 plugs. I have good fat spark from the coil wire to a bolt on the front axle assembly and my spark plug spark tester shows good spark. The distributor shaft seems to be in good shape from casual checking though I have not pulled it out. Check!

What's with all those details you ask? Well I figured I would get them out of the way before you go asking later for them and save us all a little time.

She starts and idles fine though the idle is more around 800rpm not the 400ish it should be. The idle speed adjust is just making contact with the pin and the idle mixture screw really makes no change. But the problem lies when I ramp up the power. I get no real reaction thru the quadrant until I get to the top and then the RPM's come up and it starts spitting and sputtering like the wife got a bug in her mouth! The proof meter is telling me I have the RPM's for the PTO (just barely but nothing more) and the Bush Hog spins up and will cut a bit (nothing heavy) but the tractor just spits and sputters through the field (PTO on OR off) and has the horses looking at me funny.

I have tried adjusting the Power Mixture in the field, a little at a time (in or out) and then running a bit under load to see if there is any change. No change. I have considered fuel starvation and tried adjusting the float level a bit. No change. I changed the Float Needle Valve to an older steel part from the brass with black tip one. No change. I have NOT messed with the governor or throttle rods or even the governor springs yet but I am considering it.

Before the dark times the engine ran good but would intermittently surge the RPM's a little and I could watch the governor arms move a bit during that surge. Now the governor arms move a bit but the thing just spits and sputters in the power range and wont come up to full power. Should I maybe try new governor springs or even a full rebuild on the governor? Could the governor be the root cause of my issue? I have never messed with one before but if I can rebuild a GM 4L60E transmission (and get it right) I think I can do the governor. Maybe.

Carb settings? Governor? Timing? A Colt .45 to the radiator? I am open to ideas and suggestions.


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