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Discussion Starter #1
Hey There,

I have a 1949 JD Model A that I have been restoring. I took it apart this winter so I could repaint it (only the gas tank and grill). Now, almost six months later, I put it back together and for some reason I cant get it to start. The starter motor is getting electricity. The carburetor is getting fuel. So my next problem area would be the spark plugs. I took both of them out and cleaned them and still have the same problem. Can anybody think of anything else?

When it turns over there is white mist that comes out of the pipe. Not sure if that is gas fumes or if it is moister evaporating from the chambers. Its been in a garage, so I don't know why there would be water in it. But its worth throwing it out there.

Thanks
 

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First thing I'd do is pull both plugs and with wires attached, get a good ground to the base of the plugs. Keep the plugs away from the gas that might come out the plug holes while cranking. Get a helper if necessary to stomp the pedal while you check for a good, hot spark each side. If no spark, pull the cap from the mag or distributor and check for moisture. File or clean points to make sure there is no corrosion on them. Check for corrosion where the wires plug into the cap. Try again. If no luck, replace the points and condenser.
If you already know you have spark, pull both plugs again and crank it over a few times to get rid of excess gas as it might be flooded. There are probably petcocks on the bottom of the cylinders that you can open also. This is always a good idea after one has sat for a while. Installing a new set of plugs might be needed also.
Oh yeah, check the crankcase oil in case gas has polluted it.
Let us know!

tommyhawk
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I pulled the cap off the mag and it looked like there was no moister in there. However, the spark plugs aren't firing. Everything under the cap looks pretty good. I think it was replaced a couple years ago. I took the batter out as well, is there a chance a fuse could have popped without me knowing?
 

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Condensers are just capacitors. And yes, they can and will let go. Usually it's from over voltage, time, poor quality, or over-heating. Any combination of these can make them go even quicker.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well this would probably be a good time to mention that I was charging the battery when it was still hooked up to the tractor. So I'm thinking that a condenser blew from charging the battery and starting it from the charging unit. Not the smartest thing I have done.
 

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Naw, I don't think you would hurt a condenser that way. Some questions though. Does it have a magneto or battery ignition distributor? Is it a 12V system or 6V? Is it still hooked up as Positive Ground? Does the tractor still use a generator or has an alternator been added? If it has a mag, does it have a kill switch or key switch to stop the engine?

There are other components for each that can prevent the spark from happening. I would still try a new set of points and condenser in the unit. A tune up is a good way to start. Some have reported getting condensers these days that are no good or fail sooner than expected. Buy from a reliable source. Some things made over seas are just junk.

tommyhawk
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Naw, I don't think you would hurt a condenser that way. Some questions though. Does it have a magneto or battery ignition distributor? Is it a 12V system or 6V? Is it still hooked up as Positive Ground? Does the tractor still use a generator or has an alternator been added? If it has a mag, does it have a kill switch or key switch to stop the engine?

There are other components for each that can prevent the spark from happening. I would still try a new set of points and condenser in the unit. A tune up is a good way to start. Some have reported getting condensers these days that are no good or fail sooner than expected. Buy from a reliable source. Some things made over seas are just junk.

tommyhawk

Im pretty sure it is a distributor. Also pretty sure it is 12V. Yes, Positive Groumd. It doesnt have an alternator or generator. That will probably be the lasting thing I put on there.
 

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No alternator or generator? Hi does it charge the battery?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a car battery charger that I use when I need to charge it. Just until I get a alternator put in.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update

I put a new condenser in and I am know I am getting a spark to spark plug now. When I open the spitcocks on the bottom and turn it over fuel comes out at a pretty good rate. I don't know what that means though.
 

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Sounds like you may be flooding it. Fuel shouldn't be running out the petcocks. Are you choking it? I would try starting it without any choke and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I thought so but its not starting right away. Fuel starts to come out after the first couple times it turns over. Could that mean that there is fuel in the oil. That is where the extra fuel is coming from?
 

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I doubt it. You can check the oil to confirm. More than likely you need to take your carb off and clean it. There's a ton of carb rebuild kits available on the market.

Do you have a service manual you can reference? If you don't, get one. It's a valuable resource to help rebuild your carb and adjust it properly.


Another thing to check is the air filter. Make sure it's not completely blocked off. That would cause the engine to pull a lot more fuel in from the carb.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I doubt it. You can check the oil to confirm. More than likely you need to take your carb off and clean it. There's a ton of carb rebuild kits available on the market.

Do you have a service manual you can reference? If you don't, get one. It's a valuable resource to help rebuild your carb and adjust it properly.


Another thing to check is the air filter. Make sure it's not completely blocked off. That would cause the engine to pull a lot more fuel in from the carb.
IMG_0104.jpg

Something tells me this is not right. This is just the air filter cap. Is there suppose to be sludge in it?
 

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These tractors use an oil bath air filter. In dusty conditions they need to be serviced often. You pull the bottom cover off like you did, clean out the sludge, and pour in fresh motor oil up to the line. Re-install and you're all set. While you in there, check the raw air intake in front of the radiator and make sure it's free and clear.

You could even try starting the tractor with the bottom of the air filter pulled to eliminate any possibilities of problems in the intake system upstream of the carb. Just don't run the tractor long without it.
 

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Good advice from dieselshadow. With the cup still off, you could turn off the fuel at the sediment bowl, crank it over a few times with switch off to blow excess fuel from the cylinders, let it sit for a while, then try starting again on fuel that will still be in the carb. bowl. Does sound like it is flooding, most likely a sticking float or rust/gunk in the carb. Oh yeah a good tip is to wear a pair of leather gloves to reach under and close the petcocks when it fires up. Don't get your face under there to see what you're doing. That firing gas is HOT!

Wish I could have mentioned to you how much mud dobbers love to live build their nests in the air stack, before you got the hood reinstalled. It is tough to clean them out even with the whole air filter system removed. Maybe someone has a good way to clean one out while it's still in place. When you get it running, flooding problem solved, put the oil cup back on, if it stalls out or floods again, you may have a stopped up air stack. I hope not.

tommyhawk
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I cleaned out the carborator and put fresh gas in it. Would a loose battery connection only allow enough current to get to the starter motor and then not enough to the spark plugs?
 

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Does your A have a magneto or distributor ignition? A distributor has a coil nearby that is connected to the cap with a short spark plug wire in the center. If it has a coil, check the voltage to the small terminal coming from the ignition switch when turned "on" and also when starting. What was the voltage?

You can always pull a plug or plug wire and use a spare plug laying on the frame rail to check for spark when starting to see if you have spark. It should be a fat big spark with a nice cracking sound, not a small weak barely visible one.
 
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