No start '50 SA...Mag???

Farmall Super A, AV, 100, 130, & 140 1939 - 1973

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Dale Finch
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No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby Dale Finch » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:03 am

Went back to the '50 SA that I am trying to make a RUNNER for the widow owner. I had rebuilt and tested the carb, am using a pony bottle with clean gas, and installed the mag (cleaned, filed and gapped .013 the points). I was using a 12v jump box on the 6v SA (so hope I didn't hurt anything!). The starter engaged fine, but no start. I pulled the coil wire, and held near the block while cranking, no spark.

Now, I did hear the click from the mag when I manually turned the engine. Unfortunately I have no handcrank, so I have to turn the fan while holding the fan belt tight to turn the crank pulley...VERY inconvenient!)

So my question to you mag folks, where do I go from here? I know the coil is often the biggest suspect, but do you think the mag is the culprit? If yes, should I start with points, condensor, rotor replacement first? (about $19 and $$ from my own pocket for now)

Anyone near me have a working mag they would be willing to let me TRY, just so I could just see if this thing will run?

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Re: No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby jamesjsilver2000 » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:25 pm

Dale have you tested mag to see if it producing electricity. if memory serves me right it should be ac

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Re: No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby Eugene » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:46 pm

No spark and the tractor were mine, I would disconnect the magneto's coil and condenser. Then install an external coil and an external condenser. Edit. Have to add a 2 pole toggle switch to the list, some wire for wiring up the switch and coil to the magneto.

Just depends on how much your friend wants to spend to get the tractor running.

If tractor rolls, I would trailer it to my shop. Probably a more comfortable space and I wouldn't have to be traveling back and forth.

Nother edit: Actually I would use an external coil and condenser from my stash to get the tractor running. Alligator clip for ignition switch.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby Super A » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:01 pm

I would bet it was the coil. It's not hard to replace. Don't stick an external coil on it, at least not permanently. (That's more aggravating to see than a 12 volt conversion!)

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Re: No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby Rick Spivey » Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:55 am

Dale,

My only H4 magneto is on my H tractor. However, I would try points/condenser, etc. first. The coils are a bit pricey. If buying new, watch out for the kits (or single items) where the condenser is replaced by a shorter version. That doesn't allow the "clamp" to help hold the condenser in place, which allows it to spin, which can loosen the points wire and cause erratic running. This happened on a magneto I rebuilt for Mr. E. I think I bought my last kits from Brillman's and they were the correct parts. Also, the rotor gear drive must be "timed" correctly depending on engine rotation; the last one I bought was marked with white paint on the wrong (for me) mark, and that cost me an hour of head scratching.
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Re: No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby Eugene » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:41 am

Dale Finch wrote:I am trying to make a RUNNER for the widow owner. - - - - - - (about $19 and $$ from my own pocket for now).
I think the issue is how much money the widow wants to put in the tractor to obtain a runner. And what is the widow going to do with it after Dale gets it running.

My opinion. I think I would put another hour on the tractor, conduct compression tests. Show the widow the compression test results as well as any other issues to make the tractor a good runner. Include an estimate for parts, estimated value of the tractor not running and running.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Dale Finch
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Re: No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby Dale Finch » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:05 am

I already did the compression test and results were:
105, 105, 115, 110
The widow (can't even remember her name!) is completely relying on my advice!! :big crying:

She mostly will come out and chat, then says to do whatever I think needs to be done. To be honest, when I started, I probably could have sold it for about $1000 WITH the 3-point, cultivators and blade. However, I looked at it as a challenge to get her the most at sale for the least investment (NOT counting my time, of course! :lol: )

It is SO close to being a runner, which would make it cosiderably more valuable. I am just stubborn, I guess! Unless someone can loan me an H4 Mag to confirm that is my problem, I'll go ahead and order the points and condensor, and see if that does it. Meanwhile I will force myself to learn about mags! Time to learn something new anyway. It's just that I learn so much quicker by watching than reading...the main reason I LOVE cubfests! :D

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Re: No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby Jeff Silvey » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:18 am

Dale, I'm with Rick get Pts, condenser. I think the NAPA close to you should be able to help with getting the right parts.
The last mag I worked on plus other electronics it was the condensers.
Good luck.
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Re: No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby Eugene » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:30 pm

Roll the engine over to #1 cylinder TDC. Pull the magneto. Test the kill switch, Ohms, multimeter.

Magneto at home, on bench in warm area. You can work on it in comfort. To test the magneto, you can drive it with an electric drill and socket. Magneto in vise, spark plug grounded to vise.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Dale Finch
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Re: No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby Dale Finch » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:38 pm

Think I'll do what has been suggested, first pulling it and bringing it home, as Eugene just said. I can check the kill switch, and if OK, test the mag in the vice and if no spark, put in new points & condenser.

Tomorrow...been blowing a million leaves and am pooped! :wink: Have a good Black Friday!

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Dale Finch
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Re: No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby Dale Finch » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:48 pm

Eugene, PM sent...I have it home and have a few questions before even reopening it.

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Dale Finch
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Re: No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby Dale Finch » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:23 pm

Alright...I removed the H4 mag (eng at #1 TDC) , and checked the kill switch with a multimeter. It appears to be fine.

I'm curious, though...thinking I might have a short to ground somewhere, I checked continuity between where the wire from the start ("kill"?) switch attaches on the right side of the mag and the mag housing, and read a dead short. Seems like that's wrong, since, if I understand how it works, pushing the switch IN on the instrument panel puts that wire/terminal to ground. Could someone clarify what that wire on the outside of the mag does and how?

When I got home with the mag, I removed the distributor cap, clamped it in a vice, and attached the coil wire to a plug and held it aganst the vice. Rotating the coupler, I saw a spark each time the coupling clicked. I then put the distributor cap on with wires and plugs connected and grounded on the vice, and the coil wire connected to the center cap tower. Now when the impulse coupling trips I get nothing...shouldn't I get a spark on each plug in the normal firing order?

How can you confirm the rotor is making contact inside with the coil and each tower?

That's it for tonight - dinner time...or maybe a glass of wine first!! :lol:

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Re: No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby Eugene » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:40 pm

PM sent on earlier msg.

Pull the start/kill switch out - out is the engine run position. Test for continuity between the disconnected magneto end of wire and ground. Should show open. If you show continuity, you have a short, either in the wire or the switch.

Since you have spark from the coil to the single spark plug, coil works.

No spark from distributor cap to spark plugs, Start checking the spark distribution portion of the magneto. Rotor, pinion location. Faulty rotor. Faulty distributor cap. Wrong spark plug wires.

Sounds like there is nothing seriously wrong with the magneto.

Piesporter Michelsberg by Jakob Demmer, Mosel Germany is wife's favorite wine.

Edit. There is a small gap between the end of the rotor and the terminals in the distributor gap. Spark jumps the gap.
Last edited by Eugene on Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Dale Finch
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Re: No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby Dale Finch » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:45 pm

Quick question...anyone used this tuneup kit for the H4 Mag?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/H4-Magneto-Tune-up-kit-Farmall-4-Cylinder-Tractor-with-IHC-H4-Magneto-47413DYC-/153028977671

Or his pre-made wire kit:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Farmall-Super-A-Super-C-Tractor-H4-Mag-Tune-up-kit-with-Copper-core-wires/153480834996?hash=item23bc2bafb4:g:nNYAAOSw5k1c0ydS

I've read where some condensors are too short, and have asked if his are guaranteed to be the correct fit. Haven't heard back yet, but thought I would see if anyone has any history with him. Thanks.

EDIT:
"Piesporter Michelsberg by Jakob Demmer, Mosel Germany is wife's favorite wine".
So where is MINE?! :lol:

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Re: No start '50 SA...Mag???

Postby Lt.Mike » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:39 pm

Been quietly watching how this goes as I’m not entirely comfortable with mags either. My’46 A quit running and I suspected the coil because if I let it sit for a couple hours and went to start it it’d be fine. That’d last for about 1/2 hour then quit again. Finally it wouldn’t restart hot or cold so I figured the coil finally went. I swapped in a coil and condenser from my other A but I still couldn’t get it to start. I had the other A running a couple years ago before putting it in the shed so I thought it’s coil was working. Now I’ve trying to decide between rebuilding the mag myself or doing a core trade in with Brillman for their rebuilt unit.
I figure to do it myself it’d be about $130, theirs is $230 for the A (the cubs mag is $20 more).
Got to learn how to time the mag too.
I watched the banter between Berlin and Cecil as they reinstalled one at the NE Cubfest but was too amused at the show to fully pay attention. :)
Dale I wish you luck and appreciate your OCD when it comes to detailing your progress. ;) you say you learn by watching, for me I guess it’s got to be hands on. :roll:
Mike
. "Piesporter Michelsberg by Jakob Demmer, Mosel Germany is wife's favorite wine".
So where is MINE?! :lol:

Oh, you’ll be drinking something by :mrgreen: the time this is done!
Quote by Gary Pickeral I like
"If it can cast a shadow, it can be restored"

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