1945 Farmall A Very slow to no cranking

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1945 Farmall A Very slow to no cranking

Postby Telephoneman » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:07 pm

New owner and am having cranking trouble.When I got it the former owner did pull start it and it seems to have run fine.Got it home and found the starter to be bad.I had it rebuilt.I should mention that it is a 12 volt conversion. I've tried another battery,jumping it from my pickup and get the same result,turns over slow for a few revolutions and stops. I've checked cables,grounds and battery connection. If I remove the spark plugs it turns over great.We have turned it over with a crank and it seems free and like I said they pull started it when I picked it up.Compression seems good.I am new to this and hope I can get some direction as what to do next.
Any help would be appreciated.
Gary
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Re: 1945 Farmall A Very slow to no cranking

Postby Boss Hog » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:31 pm

Most likely the starter, I am in Va my Phone # is 434-547-2613 if you need any other questions answered
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Re: 1945 Farmall A Very slow to no cranking

Postby Jim Becker » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:34 pm

Sounds like you still have a connection problem. Go back over the cables and connections. Make sure the starter is well grounded to the bell housing. After cranking, check for hot spots on the cables and connections. It isn't unusual for a cable to look OK but still have a bad spot somewhere under the insulation. How about the starter switch? It can be cleaned up but if the contacts are too badly burned it will need replacing.

Cranking a few revolutions then stopping is usually an indicator of a bad connection. The connection has high resistance causing it to get hot. The hotter it gets, the higher the resistance and the worse it gets until the engine quits turning.

That engine doesn't need to turn fast to start. It should start easily with 6 volts or the crank.
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Re: 1945 Farmall A Very slow to no cranking

Postby Telephoneman » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:15 am

Thanks for the quick answers.I will check all connections this weekend.
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Re: 1945 Farmall A Very slow to no cranking

Postby Telephoneman » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:15 pm

Many thanks to Boss Hog and Jim Becker.After looking more closely I had applied paint on the surfaces of my rebuild starter.one cable to the battery was high resistant and the ignition switch was questionable.Cleaned paint off,replaced battery cable and replaced switch.With that the engine now turns over as it should.Now I have a no spark situation.My next move is to test the coil.I know I'm getting 12 volts through the coil.Any more help or possible tests to get this kid firing? :help:
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Re: 1945 Farmall A Very slow to no cranking

Postby Eugene » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:04 pm

Telephoneman wrote:Now I have a no spark situation.My next move is to test the coil.I know I'm getting 12 volts through the coil. Any more help or possible tests to get this kid firing?
Points. Either glazed over, fried or not fully closing.

Remove distributor cap, rotor and dust cover. Check to see if the points are open. Ignition switch on. Coil ignition wire 1/4" from ground. With flat bladed screwdriver jump/contact both sides of the points. When you remove the screwdriver there should be spark from the coil ignition wire to ground.

If spark and the points look good try passing a sheet of brown paper back and forth between the close points.
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Re: 1945 Farmall A Very slow to no cranking

Postby DanR » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:06 am

Take the end caps off the starter and clean the contact edges. An often overlooked problem.
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Re: 1945 Farmall A Very slow to no cranking

Postby Telephoneman » Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:04 pm

OK,I have the engine now turning over as it should (thanks to this group members).Found no spark at plugs.I started out looking at the points and then another question came up.This is a 12 volt conversion,I have 12 volts at + and - at the coil.Now my question,please explain the route of the 12 volts coming out of the distributor (using magneto).I'm trying to understand what excites the coil for the high voltage.Does it come from the distributor via the wire on the side of the distributor back to the coil?If so shouldn't I be able to connect a spark plug to the output(center) of the coil and see it fire? It seems the more I look and think about this the more confused i get.I hope I explained this correctly :lost:
As always,thank you for your help
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Re: 1945 Farmall A Very slow to no cranking

Postby Bigdog » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:16 pm

Gary - from your description you are using the distributor portion of the magneto with an external coil powered from the battery. You should only read 12 volts at the coil + terminal and on the - terminal only when the points are open. If you are reading 12 volts at the coil minus terminal all the time it indicates that the points are not closing or do not have continuity. The coil primary (minus terminal) grounds through the points to complete the circuit. When the points are closed the coil minus terminal is at ground potential.
Check the condition of the points and also make sure the circuit is complete from the coil to the points.
If the points look good and are not burned or pitted, clean them with a piece of cardboard backing or (like a lot of old mechanics use) a dollar bill. Make sure they are closing when the wiper is off the distributor lobe.
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Re: 1945 Farmall A Very slow to no cranking

Postby Telephoneman » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:38 pm

Really am embarrassed.Not easy but I have to tell the truth here.After several days of trying to figure out why i was getting no spark and following all the info that this great group has supplied I found the problem today.It was all my own fault,I replaced the ignition switch and instead of using the ign connection I had placed it on the acc.How I found this out was by accident.I was checking for spark after cleaning and and rechecking everything.Again no spark,when I turned the key toward off I went to far to the left (acc) and I saw a flash in the tester.To make a long story shorter I investigated further and found I had wired the switch wrong.Once the change was made at the switch all plugs were firing a they should.I only hope all that responded to my post realize how much I appreciate their knowledge and thank them for the help.
Sincerely
Gary
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