Can't get her to fire

Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:38 pm

To All,

Well, I've just reassembled my Cub aftrer tearing her down to replace seals, bearings, 2nd/3rd gear and a genaral clean-up. In doing so I also removed the magneto. Now once again assembled, she won't start....not even a little hit....nothing.

Before the project started, she ran perfectly. And knowing the history of my '49, she's been hand-cranked for about 40 years. And always started on the 2nd or 3rd turn. (This was my wife's grandfathers tractor of which he purchased new. The last 40 years it has belonged to my father-in-law who recently gave it to us). So I'm at a total lose to what the problem is.

How do I tell if she's getting fire???? I'm relatively sure that she's not. (It is getting gas)

Also, I wanted to use the starter. So I purchased a new 6-volt, hooked it up and gave it a try. First it did absolutely nothing. After a few more trys, the starter started whirling and then turned the engine over pretty well. But that was the last time. I cant get it to do anything again.....nothing!.

That's pretty much it. I sure could use some advice from the pros.

Oh I'll admit that I'm no great mechanic. But I've always been able to perform the basics with good success. But that whole magneto adjustment process (as per the manual) is totally greek to me. I mean the manual talks about holding the upper part of the magneto out from the crankcase until it clicks. I just didn't understand that.

BTW, I'm really looking forward to the Cub-Arama and the opportunity to meet some of you.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:44 pm


What the manual is talking about is the coil cap on the mag. When you first put the mag on turn the mag CCW so the coil cap hits the block. Once you have it on turn the engine on rev. to the mark. Then take the mag and rotate it CW until you hear the click.

I assume that when you put the mag in things were timed correctly.

Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:46 pm

Hopefully you lined up the timing marks on the cam, idler, and governor gear when reassembling. To set the time on a mag, loosen the mounting bolts nad move the top of the mag towards the engine. Turn the engine until the #1 cylinder (closest to radiator) is coming up on the compression stroke. Slowly turn the engine until the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley lines up with the pointer. Now move the top of the mag away from the engine until you hear the impulse "snap". Tighten the mounting bolts. This is also assuming you followed the instructions for lining up the rotor.

Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:52 pm

John & Donny,

OK, I'm gonna give it another try in the morning.

I'll keep you posted.................and thanks.

Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:05 pm


If I can just add to what was already said, take one of your spark plugs out and ground the bottom of it against your engine block. While still wired to your distributor cap, crank the engine over. If you don't see a spark, chances are your timing's off as the guys have suggested.

Tue Sep 07, 2004 3:37 pm


Gosh, I'd forgotten about that. I will try it. And that's something that I can watch while hand-cranking it.

I went ahead and took the starter to the shop today. Since it hasn't been used for many years it's probably worth having the pros look it over.

Thanks for your advice. I'll try that this evening.