Starter not turning engine over

Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:19 pm

Hello all, I am new to this forum and could use a bit of advice. Just picked up a 1948 Farmall Cub. Runs great but needs some serious de-greasing/cleaning up. As I was moving her today she quit on the spot. Now starter won't turn/run at all. It was hooked up to a 12v battery. I'm leaning toward the 12v. battery as the problem, would that have damaged anything or burnt connections/points etc.??. I will be checking ground connection and see if I can pick up a 6v. battery. Any advice on this issue would be very well appreciated. I have read up a few of the post here on starter problems, so that has given me some ideas to check into.

Re: Starter not turning engine over

Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:05 pm

Pete D wrote:Hello all, I am new to this forum and could use a bit of advice.
Welcome.

Has the Cub been converted to a 12 volt ignition and charging system? If not the points are more than likely burnt.

As far as the starter. It works on the 6 volt system as well as the 12 volt system - no changes need. First thing to do is clean up all the connections and then check the battery's condition. Check the battery ground cable for a good ground.

The 6 volt ignition system needs a voltage drop/ballast resistor in series with the coil and points to work with a 12 volt battery/charging system.

Re: Starter not turning engine over

Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:03 am

Thakns Eugene for the reply, I will be looking into this today, going to pick up a 6v battery too. As for the type of system, i'm not too sure, I was told that it was a 6v, looks all original to me. Need to degrease and get her all clened up first. Turned over fine and ran good but when I was moving it is when she died, cut right out and now starter won't work. Missing the hand crank or i'd try that.

Re: Starter not turning engine over

Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:26 pm

I made this same mistake - if you run a 12 volt battery on a 6 volt coil it will burn out in nothing flat.

I went through 2 coils before I figured out what was going on.

But that wont keep the starter from cranking.

If I had to guess - I'd say you have a bad ground wire somewhere.

To test this - use a set of jumper cables & go directly from the battery to the starter.

If she spins its a ground - if she doesn't its the battery.

Your best to replace with a 6 volt anyway - as the 12 will burn up your light bulbs, coil, eventually the starter etc.

Oh - & welcome to the club - the team here can answer any question you have.

Re: Starter not turning engine over

Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:59 pm

If the starter won't turn at all, the first thing I would check is that the starter Bendix hasn't jammed into the ring gear. Put the transmission in third gear and with the switch off, try rocking the tractor forward and back to see if the engine will turn a bit. If it does turn, try the starter again. If you can't get it to turn, unbolt the starter, make sure the Bendix is retracted, reinstall and try the starter again. If this makes no difference, back to checking the battery and connections.

Re: Starter not turning engine over

Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:20 pm

Thanks to all for the advice. I will be trying all of these sugestions tomarrow, tracked down a 6v from my local Interstate shop here in town, so the 12v is out now. I will be trouble-shooting it tomarrow and definatly get back with the news.

Re: Starter not turning engine over

Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:25 pm

Quit, and won't turn over?

One of the main battery cables has a bad connection.

Look for loose connections and corrosion anywhere there's a mechanical connection on the battery cables.

Re: Starter not turning engine over

Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:45 am

INterstae some times has great deals on Blemished batteries. $30 at my local store. You may want to check with them. I agree that it is most likely a ground that is loose or dirty. Sounds like you may find it after you clean it up.

Re: Starter not turning engine over

Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:29 am

Since I plan on de-greasing this weekend, any prefered solutions/products you guys like. Still trying to locate a 6v battery, my local Interstate shop doesn't have on that will fit and NAPA was out of stock, can't get one till late next week. Can I use the jumper cable jump directly to starter with the 12v w/o causing damage??

Re: Starter not turning engine over

Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:32 pm

Pete D wrote:Can I use the jumper cable jump directly to starter with the 12v w/o causing damage??
Yes. Before you purchase a 6 volt battery you need to determine if the ignition system and generator are still 6 volts or have been converted to 12 volt.

Since the previous owner had a 12 volt battery in the battery box, suggest charging it up. And reinstalling it. Even if it's not in very good condition it should be able to carry the ignition system. Volt meter check the charged up battery. If needed jump start with a 12 volt car battery.

Once the tractor starts, again check the voltage across the battery terminals. If the voltage is in 12.5 to 13.5 volt range then the system is 12 volt and working. If the battery voltage remains the same or a bit less then the first reading the charging system is either (1) not working or (2) 6 volts.

I use the car wash for degreasing tractors when they are brought home and still on the trailer. After that I just use the power washer.

Re: Starter not turning engine over

Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:30 pm

Eugene wrote:
Pete D wrote: If the voltage is in 12.5 to 13.5 volt range then the system is 12 volt and working. If the battery voltage remains the same or a bit less then the first reading the charging system is either (1) not working or (2) 6 volts.

This tractor is reported as a '48 which makes it a cut-out system. If it is a cut-out system and is still original, this test may not give the right answer. A 6-volt cut-out system may show more than 12 volts and charge a 12-volt battery. Voltage in these systems was regulated by the battery.

Re: Starter not turning engine over

Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:28 pm

Nother thought. Check the manufacturer's tag on the generator. Black = 6 volt. Red = 12 volt.

Edit: Alternator, more than likely 12 volts. Although there are 6 volt alternators.

Re: Starter not turning engine over

Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:37 pm

Howdy gang, thought I'd check in and up date you on my progress. First of all, yes it is a 6v system, that I'm sure of (I knew the orginal owner). Crank started it and she fired up just fine but, still could not get the electric starter going. Now I did manage to locate the trouble, 99.9%sure. There is a group of wires that runs up and over the back of the block/trans, directly behind the instrament pannel...well one of the main ones was direct contact to the metal. Found it by following the smoke.....so now it looks like I will be ordering parts sooner than I thought in my resoration plan. Any particular thoughts on parts dealers, was looking at "Farmall Cub Forever"...seem to have a good supply of new/oem and USA made replacement parts/wiring. Just can't bring myself to put on parts made "over-sea" on this classic.

Re: Starter not turning engine over

Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:58 am

Try this board's sponsors, all good. I've had good results with T M for new, and Ralph for used.

Re: Starter not turning engine over

Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:58 am

Pete D wrote:Howdy gang, thought I'd check in and up date you on my progress. First of all, yes it is a 6v system, that I'm sure of (I knew the orginal owner). Crank started it and she fired up just fine but, still could not get the electric starter going. Now I did manage to locate the trouble, 99.9%sure. There is a group of wires that runs up and over the back of the block/trans, directly behind the instrament pannel...well one of the main ones was direct contact to the metal. Found it by following the smoke.....so now it looks like I will be ordering parts sooner than I thought in my resoration plan. Any particular thoughts on parts dealers, was looking at "Farmall Cub Forever"...seem to have a good supply of new/oem and USA made replacement parts/wiring. Just can't bring myself to put on parts made "over-sea" on this classic.


Pete - If you are needing a wiring harness check with Porch Electric. Made right here in the USA!