Spark Problem with a 1951 Farmall M

Farmall M, Super M, 400, 450 & 560 Tractors, 1939-1963

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TEJ07d
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Spark Problem with a 1951 Farmall M

Postby TEJ07d » Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:54 pm

I have a problem with a 1951 Farmall M that I bought a few weeks ago. It started and idled for an hour, then died. It hadn't been run in over a year. I got rid of the points and condenser and put in electronic ignition in the distributor as a replacement. There is no spark coming out of the coil even though the volt meter shows power going to and power in the coil. I know I have a good ground for the system so I would think there are no loose open wires. Has anyone had a problem like this and if so, what did you do to solve it?

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Steve Butram
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Re: Spark Problem with a 1951 Farmall M

Postby Steve Butram » Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:55 am

Electronic ignitions require minimum voltage to operate. IE a minimum of 5.9 Volts on 6 volts and 11.9 on 12 volts. When the voltage drops below the minimum voltage required it will not function. Check the battery voltage with your volt meter at the battery while the engine is cranking. If the battery voltage drops below the minimum voltage the unit will not produce a spark.

You may want to check your wiring for continuity if that isn't the issue.
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Re: Spark Problem with a 1951 Farmall M

Postby Gary Dotson » Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:17 am

Was this a "no start" condition before installing the Pertronix? Ideally, you should correct a "no start" before making such modification. You really need to tell us a little more about what you have, 6 volt, 12 volt, coil type, ballast resister or not, etc. The 6 volt pertronix is particularly sensitive to voltage, as Steve mentioned. I've also seen these wired improperly so double check your hook-up versus the Pertronix instruction sheet.

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Re: Spark Problem with a 1951 Farmall M

Postby Eugene » Sat Mar 27, 2021 11:03 am

Gary Dotson wrote:Was this a "no start" condition before installing the Pertronix? Ideally, you should correct a "no start" before making such modification.
Yup. I suggest reinstalling the points, condenser.
Tractor ran for an hour.
Most likely a simple fix if it was running with the points and condenser.

Disconnect the wire at the coil that leads to the Pertronix. Place the end of the coil wire leading to the distributor cap about 1/4" from engine block. Ignition on, screwdriver touch the disconnected coil terminal to block. Everytime you remove the scewdriver you should get a spark. Spark, coil at least working cold, problem with the Pertronix.
I have an excuse. CRS.


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