Was a rough winter

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Was a rough winter

Postby Chase_Cub22 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:37 pm

Hi I'm new to posting but read all the time. I have a 1961 cub that gave me a little bit of a fit this winter. We got hit with 36" snow this winter in central PA. I use my cub for mowing, grading my stone drive way, and plowing snow. My cub really disappointed me this winter with cold starts. I could not get thing started several times. Just doesn't seem to wanna fire off and then the battery dies before it even tries to fire off. I installed new plugs, plug wires, dist cap, points, voltage regulator, and had the 6 volt generator gone over by a professional. I also did a complete carb rebuild. All of this work was done just within last spring. Any suggestions on what I can do to get this thing to fire better? It runs great after I finally get it started. Hate to do it but I'm kinda thinking converting to 12v. Any input would be great!

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Re: Was a rough winter

Postby Chase_Cub22 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:38 pm

This was my first winter using the tractor for plowing snow

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Re: Was a rough winter

Postby indy61 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:55 pm

New battery and cables.


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Re: Was a rough winter

Postby DickB » Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:44 am

While most of the informed and skilled folks on this forum will tell you that you need a top notch tuning up and then all will be swell, my approach was different. Sure I tried to do the best on a tune up: new points, condenser, plugs. Fresh gas. But in the end my '55 or so Cub now starts up no matter how low the temperature. And with a 6 volt system in place, too. What I did was to put in to the lower inlet pipe of the radiator-to-engine, a heater plug (there's a way to do this that minimizes flow blockage--there must be a thread on the forum, please search). Then I bought an oil pan heater. Then, with an old battery I charged it up. All three electrical circuits were on a timer (going on, say at 5am, so that everything on the tractor will be warm as summer and ready to turn over).

Since then, a new battery was needed and I've dropped off on the charging.

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Re: Was a rough winter

Postby cjpenny89 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:12 am

With all the old tractors I have owned and used on the farm along with about 12 different cubs you will find out that each one will have a mind of its own. Some like the carb choked with no throttle some like it choked with full throttle or half throttle, some will like it rolled over 2 or 3 times with the choke out then choke off to start. Some like no choke at all.
Yes it helps and improves your chances very much with a good tune up but once you learn what your little tractor likes to do on cold start ups it will start up every or almost every time with out fail! Sometimes its a learning experience and what one guy does with one tractor doesn't mean it will work for you! I do know no matter what tractor I have owned if it is sitting in the barn out of the wind and can be kept warmer it will start even easier! The same goes for warm weather starts we have probably 15 letter series tractors we use year around and each one has it quirks and starting procedures even for warm weather. If I shut my cub off when mowing and want to restart it after it is hot I have to choke the heck out of it or it wont start. Now my Super A it doesn't matter warm cold hot engine don't touch the choke or it wont start! Remember what you did when it starts easy and try that first next time.
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Re: Was a rough winter

Postby Winfield Dave » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:39 am

Even my Cubs that start easily sometimes want to "sleep in" when it is very cold.
I then use a technique Gary Dotson told me about when I tried starting Dad's old diesel track loader...
Put a hair dryer blowing into air intake for a few minutes while getting ready to start and leave it running while firing up.
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Re: Was a rough winter

Postby inairam » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:33 am

Like you I have tried to keep my 6 volt systems in tune but still had trouble starting. I did get some help from a friend who collects old Harley motorcycles. I call him the " magneto whisperer". Through this forum I have become much more aware of the issues with fresh fuel especially ethanol fuel. I have stated putting fuel stabilizer in the gas can before I fill it. The only non ethanol fuel near me is at the local airport. I have also stated turning off the fuel and running the carb dry. I think booth of these have helped with starting. Instead of spending money converting to 12 volts, which will not fix starting issues, you may want to invest in the electronic ignition. People on the forum appear to have strong feeling both ways. Read some of the threads and form you own opinion I bought a system but have not installed it yet. I going to give it a try on one of my cubs. I may also try the electric turbocharger AKA hair dryer!
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Re: Was a rough winter

Postby Mike in Louisiana » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:04 am

Also check your timing with a timing light.
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Re: Was a rough winter

Postby Eugene » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:30 am

indy61 wrote:New battery and cables.
Check battery condition and cables for corrosion. Also move the battery ground cable to the transmission case.

If you haven't done so, check the ignition timing with a timing light.
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Re: Was a rough winter

Postby Matt Kirsch » Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:00 pm

The solution could be as simple as learning how to use the choke.

You say the tractor runs great when you finally get it running, which means things are in pretty good shape overall. That leads me to believe its more in your starting technique than anything wrong with the tractor.

Many people don't use the choke at all, and run the battery flat cranking. Or, they set it and forget it, usually flooding the engine with way too much fuel. Each tractor is a little different in what it needs to start in various conditions. You need to learn what your tractor needs and give it what it needs each time you go to start it.

Some tractor need no choke at all in any weather. Others need just a blip. Most need at least a blip, and then some feathering to keep the tractor running until it stabilizes. A few even like "set it and forget it."

Start cranking with no choke, then give it a quick blip, then another blip a couple seconds later if you don't get a sputter. Have your hand on the choke ready to add choke if the engine starts to die from not enough gas, and remove it when the engine starts to sputter from too much gas.

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Re: Was a rough winter

Postby Glen » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:34 pm

I don't think anyone said above, if the spark is not as good as it should be, it won't start good in cold weather. If you have replaced the parts that you said, and the ignition timing is right, using a timing light, then you might need a new condenser and coil. The old original coils with the wires on opposite ends sometimes get weak and don't make as hot a spark as they should. :)

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Re: Was a rough winter

Postby danovercash » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:23 pm

JMHO, electric ignition for 12V, if 6v won't start it get a magneto properly set up. Either way you need a bright blue spark!
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Re: Was a rough winter

Postby Barnyard » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:07 pm

Make sure your battery cables are at least 2 gauge or heavier. Keep your foot off the clutch when starting.
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Re: Was a rough winter

Postby Bill Hudson » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:13 pm

Barnyard wrote:... Keep your foot off the clutch when starting.

AND transmission in neutral.

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Re: Was a rough winter

Postby outdoors4evr » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:30 am

I am certain that a 6V system can work in any weather - if everything is in top notch condition.
With that said, I have never had any starting issues or gimmicks to do with 12v and pertronix ignition regardless of the temperature.
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