Farmall A won't start

Farmall Super A, AV, 1939 - 1954

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Farmall A won't start

Postby hpierce » Sat May 23, 2009 5:15 am

I have a 1946 Farmall A with a 6 volt positive ground system. The last few times I mowed I noticed the battery was not holding a charge. I would charge it up and it would start fine. The last time I mowed, the tractor started missing for about 10 mimutes and then stopped. I checked the plugs and points. Plugs were ok but the points looked worn. Also the top of the rotor was stuck to the top of the distributor cap. I put in new points, condensor, rotor, distributor cap, plugs, and battery. I can not get any fire to the points or pluges. Also if I let the tractor set for a couple of hours with the switch off, the battery will go dead. Can there be a short somewhere causing this?
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Re: Farmall A won't start

Postby DanR » Sat May 23, 2009 6:42 am

If a short was causing the battery to go dead in two hours you would smell smoke. Everything else said points to new battery time. Hope a new one cures it all.
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Re: Farmall A won't start

Postby Bigdog » Sat May 23, 2009 7:46 am

Does the system show it's charging when running? It really sounds like the battery has had it. One thing you can try is disconnecting the battery when you shut it down to see if the battery still runs down on it's own.
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Re: Farmall A won't start

Postby Boss Hog » Sat May 23, 2009 9:16 pm

I am betting that it is not charging. next time you have it running at a fast idle take the battery cable off and see if it still runs, if so it is charging
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Re: Farmall A won't start

Postby dbanjo0335 » Tue May 26, 2009 10:04 am

Now, I could be wrong here... I was under the impression that since these tractors had a magneto, no battery was necessary for it to run and that the battery was just there to power the starter. Therefore, the generator is in place simply to charge the battery and power the lights. If I am correct, then removing the battery cable while the tractor is running would have no effect on whether or not the tractor remains running, as the magneto will still be supplying spark to the cylinders as long as the engine is turning and the magneto is not grounded out (kill switch on). Again, I could be wrong here, but this is the impression that I have. Please feel free to correct me!!

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Re: Farmall A won't start

Postby Bigdog » Tue May 26, 2009 10:18 am

dbanjo0335 wrote:Now, I could be wrong here... I was under the impression that since these tractors had a magneto, no battery was necessary for it to run and that the battery was just there to power the starter. Therefore, the generator is in place simply to charge the battery and power the lights. If I am correct, then removing the battery cable while the tractor is running would have no effect on whether or not the tractor remains running, as the magneto will still be supplying spark to the cylinders as long as the engine is turning and the magneto is not grounded out (kill switch on). Again, I could be wrong here, but this is the impression that I have. Please feel free to correct me!!

Del

You are correct. If the magneto is functioning it will produce the spark for the engine, however many magnetos have been either replaced with battery ignition systems or field modified to operate as a battery ignition system over the years. If this is the case, it will need battery voltage / generator output in order to run. Since he mentioned that it sputtered and died and then would not re-start It is a strong possibility that the mag has either been replaced or modified. If the mag is indeed working, the sputtering and dying would be a separate issue.
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Re: Farmall A won't start

Postby Jim Becker » Tue May 26, 2009 1:42 pm

Taking a battery cable off while the engine is running is never a good idea. An assortment of damage can happen if the generator is working. You won't learn anything that can't be found by a better method.
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Re: Farmall A won't start

Postby hpierce » Wed May 27, 2009 7:51 pm

I still can not get any fire to the plugs. I have replaced the on/off switch, plugs, points, condensor, rotor, distributor cap, plug wires, and put in a new battery.
My tractor doesn't have a mag. It uses points. Next I am going to have the coil checked. Any other ideas?
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Re: Farmall A won't start

Postby Bigdog » Wed May 27, 2009 8:08 pm

Harlan - if you have a voltmeter, check the voltage at both sides of the coil primary winding. The one side should have voltage when the switch is on. The other side should read voltage only when the points are open. If you have not already done so, take a good look at the points. It is possible that they are stuck, burned or way out of adjustment.
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Re: Farmall A won't start

Postby hpierce » Fri May 29, 2009 7:44 pm

Great news. My tractor is running like a new one. I checked the coil and it wasn't any good. Put a new coil in and the tractor started on the first crank. Thanks for
all the help!!! This sure is a great forum.
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