Farmall B Starting Woes

Farmall B & BN Tractors, 1939-1947

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T-Mo
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Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby T-Mo » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:43 pm

On my "new" B, when John and I got it to my house, it wouldn't start to unload it off the trailer. John used his vast experience to come up with a way to start it so we can unload it.

What we're thinking is, the original starter switch that was on it had burnt/worn contacts, and even though the starter was relatively new, the lug on it was a bit worn also. We put on the new starter switch that the seller gave me on it, and it still wouldn't start. Our conclusion was two fold, the worn lug on the starter plus the burnt contacts on the original switch and new switch was probably made in China so tolerances are probably off enough to keep the contact on the switch from hitting the worn lug on the starter.

My question is this, does anyone have a good source for a US built switch or one that is of better quality than what is being imported from China?

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Re: Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby Urbish » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:22 pm

I would guess that the only one available is a cheap Chinese item since Delco discontinued p/n 1925781. I'm assuming you have gotten it off the trailer. If you haven't, remove the starter switch and use one lead from some stout jumper cables to go from the battery to the lug on the starter. Or use a crank (but I'm assuming you don't have one). My B doesn't have a starter, so I have to do it the old fashioned way. Fortunately I have it tuned just right so only two easy 'twist-clicks' are necessary.

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Re: Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby T-Mo » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:58 pm

This B has a distributor, and no crank. And yes, we got it off the trailer using something similar to what you suggested.

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John *.?-!.* cub owner
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Re: Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:30 pm

It was not a case of cranking slow, it was a case of the switch not making contact. The seller appeared to be pulling the rod pretty hard with the old switch in place, but it was badly burned on the starter contact side. The seller included a new starter switch, and we installed it, but still would not crank, not making contact at all. I am pretty sure the seller had been having trouble with it, the mounting screws were only finger tight. This starter appears to be brand new with no burn marks, etc. on the stud. I suspect the stud in the starter is either a little lower, maybe due to different insulating spacers, or a slight bit smaller, and that simply elongating the mounting holes to move the switch contact closer to the starter stud will solve the problem
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Re: Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby T-Mo » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:07 am

John, I elongated those holes pretty far, but they're still not making contact. If the plunger goes all the way down, it will make contact, but the only way to do that is to put something between the lever arm and the head of the plunger. I wonder if the travel of the plunger isn't correct and it's not going down and forward enough. I may make a drive down to Pine Valley and pick up another switch.

The old switch is in pretty rough shape with a lot of the contact surface worn away.

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Re: Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby Bob McCarty » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:45 am

I'm not sure what the starter lever looks like, but could you add on to the end (weld?) or make a new one that was longer past the pivot pin?
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Re: Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby coppersmythe » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:46 am

i silver soldered a piece of copper ( the thickness needed ) to the top of the copper stud on the starter ( being careful about too much heat ) , its been working for a couple years . coppersmythe...............................

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Re: Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:20 pm

Bob McCarty wrote:I'm not sure what the starter lever looks like, but could you add on to the end (weld?) or make a new one that was longer past the pivot pin?
It is the same switch as a cub, but the top of the arm above the pivot is very short. The starter rod sticks out to the side at an angle and is not very handy to pull from the seat. When I was over there, I used both hands to pull the rod from the ground, and the rim of the push button was down against the body of the switch and it was not making contact.
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Re: Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby Jim Becker » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:36 pm

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:. . . The starter rod sticks out to the side at an angle and is not very handy to pull from the seat. . . .

Pull with your hand? You are supposed to push it with your foot. If you have to pull it, it has the wrong starter.

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Re: Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby T-Mo » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:03 am

Jim Becker wrote:
John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:. . . The starter rod sticks out to the side at an angle and is not very handy to pull from the seat. . . .

Pull with your hand? You are supposed to push it with your foot. If you have to pull it, it has the wrong starter.


Yep, this one has a lever to pull. I have to do some researching to see what a foot operated one looks like.

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Re: Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby Gary Dotson » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:29 am

Any chance that switch is just installed backward? Maybe you can't do that, I'm not sure, it might not fit backward. Just a thought.

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Re: Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby T-Mo » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:33 am

You probably could install it backwards, but it definitely won't work by pulling the lever then, and the lever would also be pointing towards the engine, and not the operator.

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Re: Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby Jim Becker » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:48 am

I think the relative positions of the contact nub and the holes for the attaching screws keep you from mounting the switch backwards. Maybe somebody drilled a couple extra holes to make it fit backwards.

The phrase "lever would also be pointing towards the engine" makes me wonder what you are dealing with. Mounted either way, the lever should be mostly pointing up.

Picture?

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Re: Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby Urbish » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:59 am

T-Mo wrote:You probably could install it backwards, but it definitely won't work by pulling the lever then, and the lever would also be pointing towards the engine, and not the operator.


EDIT: Looking at photos of B's, looks like most are installed in the 'push' position.

Here is one installed in a 'push' position that you hit with your foot:
Image

And here is one installed in a 'pull' position (on a Super A?):
Image

Are both of these factory implementations of the starter rod?
Jim

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Re: Farmall B Starting Woes

Postby Stanton » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:08 am

I'm wondering if the SA's had the pull rod and the earlier A's and B's had a foot push rod.
Starter Push Rod.jpg


Conversation on Yesterday's Tractors about starter rods for a 1941 A:
https://www.yesterdaystractors.com/cgi-bin/viewit.cgi?bd=farmall&th=215665
Stanton
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