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Hi,

I have a 1959 Farmall 460 that I've been working on. The tractor came with the ranch that our family bought, so I didn't know a whole lot about it's service history.....just kinda assumed the worst. Anyway, when I first started working it, I was using the brush hog to clear out some overgrown areas, and after about half an hour it would cough and sputter a couple times and eventually die. If I let it cool down for a while it would start back up and run long enough for me to get it back to the house.

So, initially I thought maybe a carb or bad gas problem, so I re-built the carb and put some Berryman B12 in with the gas. Same problem, but horsepower on the tractor seemed quite a bit better.

After that, I started going through the ignition system. Points and condensor were removed and replaced with an electronic ignition module. Replaced ignition coil with a Pertronix Flamethrower coil with the resistance built in and removed the old ballast resistor. New spark plugs and wires, new distributor cap and rotor, fresh motor oil and filter.

After that, I ran the tractor and noticed a big difference in power. It was mowing through anything I could throw at it, but still the same problem after about a half an hour.....it would start sputtering and want to die and eventually would. I pulled the spark plugs and the first four were very badly oil fouled and the 5th and 6th looked slightly carbon fouled. My question is this: does the oil fouling mean an engine problem? I think I've read that that can mean oil slipping past the rings or valve sleeves. In which case I'm guessing I need to re-build the engine? Looking for some clarification on which way to go from here. Thanks.

CZ
 

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I think a compression check is in order, dry first, then wet. My initial suspect is the valves, could be out of adjustment, could be worn guides. After the engine gets good and hot the marginal cold tolerances open up and next thing you know you've got oil coming into the combustion chamber and fouling plugs.

A service manual would tell you how and what the compression should be. Something near or over 100 would be great, the big thing is that they are very near each other in value within 5-10%. Test each cylnder dry and record the readings then put a few heavy squirts of oil in each cylinder and test 'em again. If the oiled readings are higher, it's in the piston/rings/bore. If the oil makes no huge difference then valves are suspect.

Good luck with it and let us know what you find...
 
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