Still trying to start my Farmall A tractor

Thu May 09, 2013 1:59 am

I have pretty much checked everything out except to file the points. The Magneto seems to have a weak arc. Is this normal ?

I am not getting any arc from the plugs when I touch them to the block while trying to start the tractor. What is this telling me?

Could this be a carb problem ?

The plugs that are currently in the tractor are Champion D18Y. Are these the correct ones ?

Finally when I turn the engine over I show no oil pressure on the guage. Shouldn't I see a little movement by the needle ?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Donstractor

Re: Still trying to start my Farmall A tractor

Thu May 09, 2013 5:11 am

Don't have an A, but spark starts in the mag. If it clicks when you crank the motor, and doesn't have good spark, could be the coil, points or condenser. Spark is not dependent upon the fuel system, but if you are getting spark at the plugs, then you have to have fuel to ignite and run. Could also be timing. The oil pressure will not show while cranking, should build up withing seconds while running.
So if you are not getting spark at the plugs, stick to the firing system till you get spark. Gotta have a little spark at the plugs. Then when you get that solved, see if you have a fuel problem, get the fuel solved and ready to start, then watch the oil pressure.

Re: Still trying to start my Farmall A tractor

Thu May 09, 2013 1:20 pm

Do not expect oil pressure till it has run (not just crank) about 15 seconds or so. For a mag to fire a tractor it should produce 1/4 inch to 3/8 long spark from the coil lead, then the rotor under the front cap sends it to the appropriate wire for each spark plug. None of this is affected by the carb., it only controls fuel. since it has not run in years, you will most likely need to file the points lightly to get them to make a good contact. since you have a weak spark, they are probably making contact, but it wounds as if your coil may be weak, which frequently happens from drawing moisture from setting a long time.

Re: Still trying to start my Farmall A tractor

Fri May 10, 2013 1:42 am

Hi John,
If this coil has a moisture problem what is the solution ? Can It be dried out or is it toast?
I see one can purchase a new coil but would it be better to get a magneto rebuild kit ?
With no arc at the plugs could I have bad plugs or plug wires?
Thanks for all the help.
Don

Re: Still trying to start my Farmall A tractor

Fri May 10, 2013 10:05 am

If the problem is the coil, you might be able to dry it in a warm location, but it will not last, a replacement is about the only dependable way to go. This spark tester is one of my favorite tools for checking ignition systems.
Image

this picture is from Autozone, but they are available at most auto parts for under $10. You need a known good spark plug wire, and can use it to check the ignition output in stages. The gap is adjustable so you can check the strength of the spark. First connect it to the coil. If you get a strong 1/4 to 3/8 inch long spark there, go to the cap. If you get a good spark there (remember, the spark moves around to different terminals as the rotor turns) then you probably have spark plug wire or spark plug problems.

If you change the coil I would suggest doing points and condenser also.

Re: Still trying to start my Farmall A tractor

Mon May 13, 2013 1:48 pm

Was this tractor running before, or is this a "new" non-running tractor that you purchased?

If you haven't filed the points, file the points... Do this before you start blasting away with the "parts shotgun" trying to guess at what is wrong, digging yourself into a deeper and deeper hole.

When you are cranking the tractor do you hear a snapping noise coming from the magneto? It needs to make the snap at cranking speed or else it won't generate a strong enough spark to start the engine.

Re: Still trying to start my Farmall A tractor

Wed May 15, 2013 9:42 pm

This tractor has not been started for many years.
I have filed the points (will probably do this again).
I have not been listening for a snapping noise. I will do that when I try to start it again. Thanks for everyone's help.

Where can I purchase a muffler with the clamp at the bottom and a flipper lid !! on top.

Re: Still trying to start my Farmall A tractor

Thu May 16, 2013 8:29 am

the muffler, clamp, and flapper are normally purchased separately and can be found most anyplace that sells tractor parts.

Re: Still trying to start my Farmall A tractor

Thu May 16, 2013 12:00 pm

If you have a CaseIH dealer nearby they will have the muffler, clamp, and flapper... probably right on a shelf in the front of the store as you walk in. Every CaseIH dealer I've been in has all that stuff right out on display.

Tractor Supply also has all three pieces. However, the mufflers that they carry are the cheap Stanley brand that are just MSO's, muffler shaped objects. There is no baffling inside the muffler save for a few pieces of metal sticking into the main tube from the punch press. They are no better than straight pipes. Also, their flappers are the wrong style for an IH, IMHO. They carry the flappers with the round counterweights which belong on Massey Fergusons. You want the pointed wing style, which the CaseIH dealers carry.

Re: Still trying to start my Farmall A tractor

Thu May 16, 2013 12:49 pm

Matt, none of the IH mufflers I have seen had baffles either. They just had a center pipe with holes punched in it to allow the noise to dampen and mellow between the center pipe and the outer walls. The manufacturers of farm equipment did not worry much about sound deadening.

Re: Still trying to start my Farmall A tractor

Thu May 16, 2013 2:16 pm

Thanks guys for all the info. I will have to look for a CaseIH dealer in my area. I love this chatting idea. So many people with so much information.
Thanks Again,
Don