Timing Issue...I Think??

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chickenfarmer
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Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby chickenfarmer » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:42 am

Hey guys. I have always been more of a lurker here than a contributor, so first off thanks a million for all of the info and great advice.

So I have a '49 Cub that works for its keep. Plowing snow, hilling potatoes, cultivating 2 acres of mixed veggies and the occasional sickle mowing. She is leaky and squeaky but has always been consistent and reliable. Until Wednesday. I was out plowing snow with her and she quit. Was on a pretty nice hill so I was able to pop start it pretty quickly and keep going. Then she quit again. Tried the same method of starting and she wouldnt fire. Tried starting it with the battery and still no fire. So it towed it back to the shop and did some investigating. Found no spark anywhere, even from the distributor. I had always suspected the timing was off, so figured now was a good time to deal with that. Followed the timing instructions I found on this site and still nothing. Then I found that my wire from the ignition switch to the magneto had gotten pinched and was grounding out. Stupid me, should have found that first. Fixed that and still nothing.

So my question is this, is it possible I fried my points/condenser in the process and that is now my problem? Bad distributor cap? I have read so many posts about timing and tracing down mag issues and diagnosing them, but seem to be a little confused. I have the stuff to do the testing but am not sure where I should begin to look so that nothing is missed. Do you think you good folks could walk my simple mind through the process and get me moving again? Here is a pic of the setup. Thanks guys, as always you are the best. -Josh
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inairam
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Re: Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby inairam » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:30 am

Josh I have a 49 with a mag. It was always very hard to start but when started it ran. So different from your situation. I did a heavy turn up: plugs, wires, points, cap, condensor and I still had a problem with timing and starting. Right or wrong I concluded there was too much play in the mag that it would not time. I got a rebuilt mag, with a much tighter drive and fresh magnet, and now it starts like a champ. If the mag has not been touched since 49 it may be time.
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Mike in Louisiana
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Re: Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby Mike in Louisiana » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:43 am

Since it was running then quit I don't think it's timing issue unless your pinion gears are striped.

Most likely bad coil, or some electrical connection came loose.
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Re: Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:46 am

Have you checked fire coming from the coil (cap on top of magneto). If yes, check rotor and cap, if no, check the points. If they are good, the most likely item is coil. There is a section in the How to on timing the magneto.
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chickenfarmer
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Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:18 pm
Zip Code: 12865
Tractors Owned: 1949 Farmall Cub - "Edna"
*C-22 Sickle Bar
*Snowplow
*Bush Hog tow behind flail
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: Salem, NY

Re: Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby chickenfarmer » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:47 pm

Mike- I saw that suggested in one of the threads I read. I took the cover off and the gears seem to be good. They are aligned according to the marks on them. They have a little play in them, but not enough for me to worry...at least I dont think. Should they be tight with absolutely no play?

John- Thanks for the help. That seems like a good place to start testing. I noticed that the points are tight during the revolution and then they gap enough so that a business card fits snugly between them. I touched them up with a piece of real fine sandpaper to ensure they were clean. Is there any more I can do to maintain them assuming that they are good and they are not the problem? Also, is there someway to test the coil to see if thats the issue?

Thanks for bearing with me guys. -Josh
"Whatever cranks your tractor."

inairam
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Posts: 564
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:24 am
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Tractors Owned: 1948 with international 1000 loader
1949 with kub klipper belly mower.
1957 with c-2 mower & c-54 grader blade
1965 lo-boy with c-3 mower
1975 with homemade mower
Memberships: Rough and Tumble Engineers Historical Association;Chapter 8 IH Collectors; IH Collectors Worldwide
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: Glen Mills PA

Re: Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby inairam » Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:36 pm

In line ignition spark tester. <$10
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Re: Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby muleboss » Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:50 pm

I touched them up with a piece of real fine sandpaper to ensure they were clean. Is there any more I can do to maintain them assuming that they are good and they are not the problem? Also, is there someway to test the coil to see if thats the issue?

Thanks for bearing with me guys. -Josh[/quote]

If you touched them with sand paper, you might want to clean them. run a $20 bill between them to get all gunk off. If you want a really good clean job use a $100. Just kidding , any bill will work.

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Re: Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby Jim Becker » Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:00 pm

muleboss wrote:
chickenfarmer wrote:I touched them up with a piece of real fine sandpaper to ensure they were clean. Is there any more I can do to maintain them assuming that they are good and they are not the problem? Also, is there someway to test the coil to see if thats the issue?

Thanks for bearing with me guys. -Josh


If you touched them with sand paper, you might want to clean them. run a $20 bill between them to get all gunk off. If you want a really good clean job use a $100. Just kidding , any bill will work.

Actually, how that there could be grit from the sandpaper imbedded in the contacts, even a $1,000 bill probably won't get it off. A point file may help. They'll probably work for a while now whether anything more is done to them.

Back to your original question, it is highly unlikely that you damaged the points, condenser, or anything else in the ignition system unless you did something really strange, like hooking a jumper somewhere on the magneto or ignition switch. Spark TIMING and spark ABSENCE are two totally different things. If there is no spark and you adjust the timing, you will either accomplish nothing or turn 1 problem into 2. You have not yet answered (that I can see) if there is spark at the coil but not at the distributor or if there is no spark anywhere. The answer to that question divides your testing into two separate lists. So far, the series of checks your made have been bouncing back and forth between the two lists.

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Re: Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby staninlowerAL » Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:02 pm

If you turn the engine with hand crank or starter with the dist cap removed where you can see the points break you should see the spark when they open and close if they are clean and properly adjusted. Points gap for mag is .013 inch. If not you probably have a dead coil. This is true if the engine is in time or out of time. If it is out it will fire, just not when it is supposed to. Stan

chickenfarmer
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:18 pm
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Tractors Owned: 1949 Farmall Cub - "Edna"
*C-22 Sickle Bar
*Snowplow
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Location: Salem, NY

Re: Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby chickenfarmer » Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:14 pm

Ok here is what I did. Checked for spark like Stan suggested, nothing there. Used a dollar bill to clean the points again, still nothing. There is no spark at the coil or anywhere else for that matter. So now do I get a set of points first or a coil? Thanks again. -Josh
"Whatever cranks your tractor."

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John *.?-!.* cub owner
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Re: Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:56 pm

You can tell if points are bad by looking, if they are badly discolored or burned they need changed. A bad condenser can keep it from firing, and there is not an easy way to be sure they are working. A couple things none of us have mentioned but should have, including me. Disconnect the wire from side of magneto to kill switch to make sure there is not a short someplace. Also when you turn the engine over with crank to you hear the magneto snap twice per round of the crank?
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Re: Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby Rick Spivey » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:09 am

I have to agree with Jim. Before we create problem 3, let's rule out the simple. Your original problem was that your kill switch wire grounded out. But not finding that, you adjusted the timing. I think you should go back to the kill wire and be sure it is fixed, since you now seem to have no spark at all. Then, I am going to suggest that you reset the timing, being very careful. It is so easy to set these cubs at 180 degrees out, don't ask me how I know.

If you check both of the above and still have no spark, then we have yet another problem that showed up at the same time. At that point file and check the points, etc. Let us know what you find.

Given you have no spark, and I am not there to look at it myself, I have to wonder if that original kill wire condition was truly fixed or not.
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staninlowerAL
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Re: Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby staninlowerAL » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:31 am

Excellent "diagnosis advice" from Jim, John and Rick. Always best to address the basics first before compounding the problem. Stan

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Re: Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby Jim Becker » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:30 pm

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:. . . Disconnect the wire from side of magneto to kill switch to make sure there is not a short someplace. . . .

I think this is the most productive thing to follow up on at this point. In your picture, the grounding wire is disconnected from the magneto. If it still is, leave it that way until you get a spark again. Go back inside the points area and make sure that there are no inadvertent grounds on the "hot" side of the points, the condenser lead, and the lead from the coil. Check the insulation on the grounding terminal that sticks through the side of the housing. That insulator is often found to be broken and creating a ground.

chickenfarmer
5+ Years
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Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:18 pm
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Tractors Owned: 1949 Farmall Cub - "Edna"
*C-22 Sickle Bar
*Snowplow
*Bush Hog tow behind flail
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: Salem, NY

Re: Timing Issue...I Think??

Postby chickenfarmer » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:27 pm

Again.....thank you for the help. I am sure that the pinched kill switch wire is fixed. I ran a new wire with new connections and then have been working on it with the wire unhooked since. I see no spark when looking at the points while cranking. Points are clean and not discolored. Should I try a new condenser next? What other tests can I do?

Edit: John- I hear two snaps per rotation of the motor. I was unsure if this is correct or not because in a how to on timing, it said that only one click should be heard, unless I was reading it wrong. I just chalked the two clicks up to me not being spot on with aligning something. For what its worth, there is a click in the middle of the rotation and then a second right at the TDC timing notch.
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