Yet another chapter in the odyssey of my 1950 Ford 8N.
I wish I could sit in a diner with some of you and just chat about this, then go attack it all together. Instead, I am all by myself here. I had made a friend about 10 years ago and in the last couple of years he got into 8N's, he was really pretty good about them as he was raised with them and then came back to collecting them later in life. Sadly, he passed away in February and now I have no real assistance - in person. You guys have been really helpful in the past and I thank you and apologize for bothering with this. It's pretty vague.
SO, I purchased my 50 8N from an older gentleman about 7 years ago. It has never liked starting when cold. It is the 6V system. He used to keep a 8 volt battery in it just to give it a perky start and that seemed to work somewhat for a little while. He had upgraded the tractor to an electronic distributor and coil which he said also helped somewhat.
However, I have never been real pleased with its starting or longevity in running, it seems fragile, it cannot run very long before it just acts odd, such as my need to manipulate the choke, etc. I was thinking maybe it was a carb issue so I rebuilt it, no help, same cold start complaints. So, my wife and I purchased a new carb from Steiner. It seemed to resolve the cold start issue for a week or two but introduced a new issue - it doesn't like to run for very long after it comes up to temperature.
We use the tractor somewhat infrequently because of its problems and our lack of financial reserves to throw money at it hand over fist. To be honest, we purchased this tractor because we were told they were super simple to repair and inexpensive to own. Thus far, it seems to be a labyrinth of woes.
I put it away last fall, winterizing the engine (draining fuel, running the carb dry, oiling cylinders) and then tarped it tightly against the incessant Oregon coast rain.
I untarped it a few weeks ago so I could do some front end loader work with it (moving railroad ties) and discovered that it was hard to start. However, she did start after about 20 cranks and then ran fine until up to temperature. Then, she refused to restart, period.
I left it sit overnight, came out the next day and it cranked about 10 times, then fired up. Ran at idle for about 10 minutes, died and refused to restart. I left it sit overnight, went out this morning, started after about 15-20 cranks and I drove it around, actuating the front end loader, drove about 3000 feet out and back and it died about 20 feet away from where it usually sits, it is refusing to start, just cranking away.
In the process of trying to get this all figured out, we have replaced the plug wires, plugs, rebuilt the M-S carb, then replaced it with a Steiner unit, replaced fuel lines twice, and the fuel bowl/shut off valve assembly twice. I have run through at least 10 gallons of gasoline which is always fresh and working fine in our other gasoline equipment.
Last summer my friend began having health problems and so we didn't want to bother him too much. In discussions last fall, my friend told me we were going to get this all figured out this spring and then he passed. Now, we are a bit adrift.
Today, I watched a video on Youtube about what seems to exactly describe our problem. You can see the link below. As a result of the video, I removed the key switch and inspected it - it was terribly dirty. HOWEVER, when the key is on, I can get a nice blue/white arc jumping from the coil power wire attached to the battery - I checked it. I cleaned the switch up thoroughly and reinstalled it, when the key is off I get no spark arc and with the key on I get the arc when I hold it loosely in my hand, a millimeter or so from the battery terminal. But, she will crank and crank without success today. Tomorrow, I am pretty certain she will eventually fire and run - but only until the temperature gauge reads green zone + 5 minutes give or take.
I'm telling you, I am so confused by this and would really love to hear people's thoughts about this. Can anyone give any advice onto how I can get this tractor to at least start and run consistently? It seems like such a simple system and that it cannot be this difficult of a problem to solve.
Thanks for your time, I have always appreciated it guys and hate to annoy you now.