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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 20 years ago my Dad and I rebuilt an antique Farmall tractor. We spent lots of weekends going to tractor shows and even flew to Michigan to attend the Red Power Conference (No affiliation to the communist party).

Most tractor shows also had small stationary engines at them, so after we were done with the tractor we decided to rebuild an engine. We ended up buying a John Deere Model E and rebuilding it. We had the crank ground, put new bearings in it, new piston rings, and had the magneto rebuilt. We also painted it and made a new frame for the cart.

Overall, it was a fun little project. When we were done we fired it up and ran it a handful of times.

Then it went into the barn where it sat for the last 20 years.

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I decided to get it out clean it up and run it. But for the life of me I can not get it to start. Is anyone familiar with the Model E and have any suggestions?

If this was a normal engine first I would check for spark. But the igniter on this engine is a little different than a typical engine and I am not sure how to check the spark.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Looks awesome !
This caused me to search for a running engine on youtube. Maybe watching him start it up will jog your memory?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I watched a bunch of YouTube videos and came to the conclusion that when we set the bearings, we probably did not shim them correctly. My engine is much harder to turn over than the ones in the video.

I doubt that is my starting problem, but it certainly does not help.

So, I have drained the oil and have pulled the crankcase cover to address the bearing issue. I am having a hard time finding a supplier that has the shims so I may end up making them.

Once I get the bearings shimmed correctly I will get back to trying to start the engine.
 

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So, right after he gets it started he puts the hammer to the wheel for a few hits - what is that all about?
To retract the hand crank
 
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