1948 Farmall h starting issues

Farmall H, HV & Super H, 300 & 350, 1939-1958

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pokitisme
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1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby pokitisme » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:13 am

Well first off let me say that I am new to the Forum. I am also extremely new to tractors only owned mine for about a month. So here's the deal I have the tractor for about a week and then it rained and it would not start actually before it rained it started that morning and then that evening it wouldn't start and then later on it rains so I blamed it on the rain. I thought maybe there may have been a carburetor issue but I disassembled the carburetor and I cleaned it out I did mess up a few parts in it as per my video but I've had the carburetor on since then and it has started and ran. So it rained again and it wouldn't start again and I thought that was the problem so the last time I took out the spark plugs one at a time and I was checking them for spark. Each plug had spark each wire that connected to the plug head Spark. As I was putting one plug-in after taking one plug out basically I took one plug out cleaned it check for spark and put it back in I got the idea to try and start it during that process well with three plugs in it started so I turned it off I put the 4th plug back in and it started and ran fine. Well the issue has happened again the tractor won't start for 4 days and today I went outside and said okay I'll try taking the spark plugs out again. So I took the spark plugs out one at a time I rubbed all of the mess off of them as good as I could with my finger I took my fingernail and stuck it between the Gap and tried to give a little scrape there for cleaning purposes and I put the plug back in and guess what it started right up again. So here's my question as long-winded as it is because I'm using Speech-to-Text LOL. I do not believe it's moisture getting into the distributor no I have not checked and no I don't exactly know where the distributor is I am not a mechanical genius just good with guns. I do not believe it's a carburetor issue or choking issue I believe it has something specifically to do with the spark plugs maybe the plugs are very old maybe all the oil and gasoline that slaps up on there and turns them dark black is the problem I do not know but I figured since I'm at work and doing nothing I might as well ask lol so that is all over the spark plugs could it be that it builds up to a certain point to where the spark on the plug might actually not work but the spark on The Wire gets to the plug.
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pokitisme
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Tractors Owned: 1948 international Harvester Farmall h
Location: Kansas City Missouri

Re: 1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby pokitisme » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:30 am

Actually I may have figured it out for myself. So it was refusing to start again I took out the spark plugs clean them put them back in individually eventually I took off one spark plug wire from the distributor cap and I rubbed it down a little bit and plugged it back in and it started right up so now I'm thinking it's probably a spark plug wire issue or spark plugs. They wire ends connecting to the plug are very loose and the wires themselves are very old so I will have to experiment around with that and call around and see if some local places have them.
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Urbish
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Re: 1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby Urbish » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:53 am

I would replace the plugs and the wires at the very least. If your H has magneto ignition, make sure you get solid copper core wires. I bought new plugs, wires, points, condenser, and distributor cap for my 1947 H from Steinertractor.com.

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pokitisme
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Re: 1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby pokitisme » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:55 am

yeah I was messing around with it yesterday morning and yesterday afternoon I tried pulling the spark plugs on it like I did before I tried spraying the spark plugs with brake cleaner to clean off all the dirt and gunk. And I tried removing one spark plug wire at a time and unplugging them and cleaning the wires from the distributor cap. But I discovered one issue which either I failed to notice before or it just hasn't happened before as I just recently started screwing around with unplugging the wires from the distributor. None of my spark plug wires had spark I was able to hold on to them and feel nothing. This is just the end of The Wire not attached to the spark plug. In my area there is lots of condensation in the morning I'm thinking water might be getting into the distributor somehow and causing an issue I did pop the cap off the distributor and saw it was completely dry I did not dig any further as I am inexperienced in distributor work. But what's leading me to think things now. Is that I definitely need to replace the spark plugs and the spark plug wires but as with my other post I am confused as to which wires go where on the distributor cap they are all still in the same order that I have left them so perhaps I will try and post a picture of that. Anyway thanks everybody with my novice experience with tractors
Favorite quotes by me. If you want to you can but if you don't you wont... most possibly yes but maybe no.... and as always buy guns keep America free

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pokitisme
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Re: 1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby pokitisme » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:22 am

well I found out something very interesting apparently I'm getting really good spark from my coil I did not test it what I did was I pulled the coil wire off of the distributor and I held the end of it every time I either pulled or pushed the power on button. Which is the black button not the starter button every time I pulled or pushed that I got a very strong jolt. Now with that wire plug back into the distributor still no spark came to the wires leading to the spark plug. Anyway it's an interesting scenario I was thinking of replacing the coil but I'm going to have to do an ohm test on it I don't think that's going to help since it's not starting properly. And it seems to only be getting worse. Anyway I'm just updating somebody will read this down the line and it might help them
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Re: 1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby Jim Becker » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:05 pm

pokitisme wrote:. . . But I discovered one issue which either I failed to notice before or it just hasn't happened before as I just recently started screwing around with unplugging the wires from the distributor. None of my spark plug wires had spark I was able to hold on to them and feel nothing. This is just the end of The Wire not attached to the spark plug. . . .

Are you saying you unplugged the distributor end of a spark plug wire then didn't get a spark from THAT END of the wire? That is normal. It would be like unplugging a lamp from a wall socket then checking for electricity at the plug on the end of the lamp cord.

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pokitisme
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Re: 1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby pokitisme » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:33 am

Yeah I know my ramblings can be some times incoherent. what I did was this there is a wire leading from the coil to the distributor cap I took the wire off of the distributor cap and held the end of it. Whenever I would push or pull the power on button for the tractor I could feel a spark in the hand that was holding the coil wire and I could also feel an electrical charge from the start and stop button and from the surrounding metal frame of the start-stop button. Also when I did try to press the starter button I could feel the charge from that coil wire as well but none of that charge was getting too the spark plugs. At first I was thinking that meant the coil was good but I am still not getting any spark to the spark plugs when the coil wire is plugged into the distributor. Sometimes the tractor will start sometimes it won't so I am now thinking the coil might be damaged I am going to check it with an ohmmeter later. I took the coil off and we'll check it later. I am also going to put brand new spark plugs on and new spark plug wires as well I may or may not Gap the spark plugs seeing as I don't have a gapper. The tractor has run before just a day or two ago. But of course it rained again and that might have some problem and the spark plug wires are very very old I would even guess maybe they are the original wires. I won't know anything more until I check the ohms on the coil if somebody has the actual ohms that a possibly original coil should be at that would be very handy.
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Re: 1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby Jim Becker » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:03 pm

Check your spark from the coil by seeing if it will throw a blue spark at least 1/4 inch, not be seeing if you can feel a shock. If it is OK, the coil is working, quit messing with it.

If you have spark from the coil but not the plug wires, you have a problem in the distributor. Either clean the electrodes inside the cap and on the rotor or replace them.

Your new plug wires need to be solid copper core, not resistance wire.

For the third time, get some feeler gauges and set the gap on the plugs.

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pokitisme
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Re: 1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby pokitisme » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:09 pm

Well I did do a ohm test on the coil last night so technically if I'm right from positive to negative which is the two screw on sections I got about 1.4. I was very sleepy when doing it so I could be mistaken on that. From the coil Center and either the plus or minus connection I got like 4.3. Now that still does not tell me anything about whether the coil is good or bad. From all of the information I have read. And I will tell you by pulling two separate spark plugs near the rear of the engine block they both are gapped completely differently. I would say one is less than Point 20th and the other one is like double that amount. Those were old spark plugs one was a champion and I'm not sure what the other one was. But I will be taking your advice and getting a gap or here in the next few days if I have any time as I work an awful lot.

What is this part.... I believe both of the coil wires connect to it if I remember correctly I know that the bottom one does definitely connect to the outside visible part of the coil. That is the outside coil screw farthest away from the block . But it is loose it Wiggles up and down.
https://ibb.co/mHEyVm


A sample. Two of the four spark plugs installed in my Farmall that I got when I bought it. I do not know what the other two are at the moment.
https://ibb.co/m43mGR
As I stated I got Autolite 386 as replacements.
Favorite quotes by me. If you want to you can but if you don't you wont... most possibly yes but maybe no.... and as always buy guns keep America free

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pokitisme
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Re: 1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby pokitisme » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:44 pm

Well like I said I am updating this just for other people who may want to read it. I did get it started and it started and stopped at various times. Meaning I turned it on and I turned it off or I turned it on and it died. anyway here's what I did. I took out all four old spark plugs looks like three of them are champions the smallest part of the bottom of the plug on two of those were loose. I checked continuiti on all the old spark plug wires a couple of them didn't have a good connection. I replaced a couple spark plug wires with new spark plug wires. So I did a compression test with a Harbor Freight compression kit on all four Pistons they all ranged between 95 and like 110. So compression is good on all Pistons. And like I said I put in for new spark plugs if I am remembering correctly Autolite 386 I think. I also bought a new liquid-filled 12-volt ignition coil from Napa Auto Parts and a gapper tool. Cost about 40 bucks total.. sorry I'm watching walking dead so I'm rambling here a bit so replace spark plugs replaced some spark plug wires got a new ignition coil after about three attempts at starting it it started up just fine. I did five minute test at high idle or high throttle which was five notches down from the top notch. Then I did it for 7 minutes at low idle which was five nachos from bottom. Then it died. I was able to restart it and everything worked fine from then on. In total it was running about 20 minutes no problems as I could see very much. And for those that don't know and I could be wrong on this but this is what was told to me by the guy at Napa Auto Parts. First off the wire leading from the distributor to the coil is the negative wire the wire leading from the coil to the block is the positive and I believe that the item that I pictured earlier on the Block is a resistor. The guy at Napa Auto Parts told me what the coil does it takes the 12 volt charge and it boost it it sends that boost its signal to the distributor. In the distributor is the condenser what they condenser does is make the charge longer. So the coil boost the signal and the condenser in the distributer makes the signal longer. Anyway I'm rambling too long here and Walking Dead is on so I will try and update things by video as well
Favorite quotes by me. If you want to you can but if you don't you wont... most possibly yes but maybe no.... and as always buy guns keep America free

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Urbish
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Re: 1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby Urbish » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:52 am

You are correct. The red block that is wired inline with the coil is a resistor. I assume that your tractor has been converted to 12V. The resistor is added as part of the conversion to reduce the current that goes through your 6V coil, preventing it from overheating.

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pokitisme
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Re: 1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby pokitisme » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:14 pm

that is some mighty interesting information there my friend. Yes the guy at Napa told me that was the resistor. He sold me an ignition coil without a resistor in it but he said that they do have ignition coils with the resistor. Which is a very interesting setup. Yes it is converted to 12 volt and all of today it started absolutely fine not one problem so I'm thinking now it might be a battery issue as well. I left the battery charged up for 7 hours. Sorry I meant I left it hooked up to a battery charger for 7 hours at 40 amp boost and it did not fully charged. Yesterday I went out and tried to start it a few times and it didn't kick over and the battery was very weak this is a very used battery. But every single time I started it today after I hooked up the charge battery it worked absolutely fine the only issue I had was when it died twice on me going up the hill because there wasn't enough gas in the gas tank LOL came home and threw five gallons into it along with some engine additive and it climbed the hill with no problem.
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Re: 1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby Jim Becker » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:06 pm

pokitisme wrote:. . . I left it hooked up to a battery charger for 7 hours at 40 amp boost . . .

And it didn't explode? 40 amps x 7 hours into a battery with a capacity of maybe 50 AH? You should have boiled out any life that was left in it.

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Re: 1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby Scrivet » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:59 pm

Jim Becker wrote:
pokitisme wrote:. . . I left it hooked up to a battery charger for 7 hours at 40 amp boost . . .

And it didn't explode? 40 amps x 7 hours into a battery with a capacity of maybe 50 AH? You should have boiled out any life that was left in it.

Is the 40 Amp boost continuous? I had a charger with I believe a 50 amp boost setting. It would give you 50 amps for about 10 seconds then revert to 10 Amps until it cooled down for about 50 seconds. Then it would start the cycle over. You could really tell the difference for those 10 seconds when cranking something, which is I think what the boost is for.

I imagine this is why "smart chargers" are so common. You don't have to know the size of the battery, the output of your charger, or how low the battery is discharged, much less do the math to know how long you need to charge your battery. Just hook it up and wait for the green light.

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Re: 1948 Farmall h starting issues

Postby Jim Becker » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:14 pm

OK, 50 amps for 70 minutes, or even 10 amps for 7 hours, same result. I don't even own a booster.


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