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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

As a newbie to both this forum and to tractors, I have an issue with my 8N that puzzles me:

I have been mowing my 5 acre field, in pieces, for the past few days. The weather has been in the mid to low 90's, and I am running a bush hog cutting down tall grass, probabyly about 4 feet high. After mowing for an hour (the field is almost totally flat - old corn field), the tractor starts to sputter, so I stop cutting, let it run for about 5 minutes in the garage to cool off a bit, and then shut it down. Last night, the tractor would not start back up after 1 hour of sitting idle. I tdid not start back up until a full 3 hours later..... It has a brand new battery in it (a few days old), and fuel to and in the carburetor....

When it is mowing, it runs well. Since the grass is so tall I mow in 2nd gear with the throttle 3/4 of the way up....

I am stumped, and uneducated in engines....

I appreciate all your help (in advance).

John
 

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Old 'n Cheap
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Just a WAG, but starters, cables, switches, resistors and even wiring have more resistance when hot. This can cause a bigger load on the battery when starting a hot tractor. This can result in a voltage drop that can make the starting problem worse, but still have enough for the tractor to run normally..

Since you know you have a new battery, I would start checking and/or cleaning all connections. The switches on these old tractors can and will go bad causing hard starting. Check the resistance of the coil and limiting resistors. Check the voltage drop of the battery under load. Some new batteries may not be up to par. Did you charge the new battery before using it?

That's about the limit of my knowledge. Good Luck!
 

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Old Guy With Old Toys
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Welcome to MTF. What year N are we talking about? Front mount dist or side mount? Sounds like a typical front mount coil failure.
Some Ns will not do well with rerouted fuel lines, additional filters, etc.
Be mindful that the N has three fuel filters, in tank, sediment bowl and carb inlet elbow. The tank has a very small vent hole on a dome on top.
So check for fuel flow. Check for spark if and when it quits again.
 

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Is it a front-mount or a side-mount distributor? (1950 was the 'transition' year).

Front-mount distributors have a tendency to overheat the coil... and can cause just such a problem.
 

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When you say it won't start do you mean it won't turn over or it is turning over but not running? If it is turning over and not running then pull a plug wire and check for spark. You want a nice hot snappy blue spark, not yellow and lazy. Check your spark when the engine will start cold for you and check it again when it starts to act up. Also try using a jumper wire on your ignition switch they have been known to heat up and fail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Gents,

If I can answer some of these questions intelligently I will:

1. I think its a front mount distributor because my father in law has a Massey that is a side mount, and I haven't seen anything on either side of mine that looks like a distributor (or its cap). His on his Massey sits right in front of his starter, and I have nothing else on that side of the tractor other than the starter, the gas shotglass, the plug to drain coolant and the oil dipstick.

2. After I ran it for about 1 hour last night (and it was hot outside), it started to chug a bit, so I thought I was low on fuel. I disengage the PTO, drive to the house and let it sit, running, for about 5 minutes to pull air through it to help cool it off. I also at that time cleaned out some of the grill that had the ends of the grass in it, then turned it off. 1 hour later, I go out to start it, and it will crank, but not start - like it did nto ahve fuel. A few times I caught strong odor of gas - maybe its flooded (?). I then checked to make sure I had gas to the carb (fuel line) and then I opened the bolt on the bottom of the carb and had fuel in it. Yet 3 hours later it started up PDQ, so I am thinking its having to do with heat and exertion of cutting really tall grass......

My next question is, if it's a front mount, and it is the coil, how can I change things so that this is not a problem all of the time?

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Steve, Ken and all,

If I flood it, is it best to let it sit for a while? (I assume it's a yes)....

Also if the coil is overheating/overheated, will that stop the tractor from starting? It sat for one hour and wouldn't start, and all I did was hop up on it and push the starter.

John

PS Thanks for the photos....
 

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Steve, Ken and all,

If I flood it, is it best to let it sit for a while? (I assume it's a yes)....

Also if the coil is overheating/overheated, will that stop the tractor from starting? It sat for one hour and wouldn't start, and all I did was hop up on it and push the starter.

John

PS Thanks for the photos....
If you flood it, remove the bottom screw below the carb and sit for awhile.

Yes a heated coil will not let it spark until it really cools down..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow.... Well I am about 2 hours away from being finished, then I can work on this... Am I doing the tractor any damage by using it in 1 hour increments until I am done?

Thank you so much for the advice and information. When I go home I will make sure I am correct about the front-mount.

John
 

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Wow.... Well I am about 2 hours away from being finished, then I can work on this... Am I doing the tractor any damage by using it in 1 hour increments until I am done?

Thank you so much for the advice and information. When I go home I will make sure I am correct about the front-mount.

John
Not that I'm aware of... The coil will most likely get worse... and at some point in time may not recover from overheating, but...

I don't know as it really will cause any issues to the tractor.
 

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The more you use it the less time it will last before shutting down on you, but it's dying anyway so get all you can out of it. Now before do anything be sure to check your spark, there are other things that could the cause of your problem. You need to do some basic trouble shooting before you start changing parts, unless you are well healed money wise.
 

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My 42 9N did something similar, it was the front mount coil. Generally, electric components care a lot more about ambient temp than mechanicals unless we're talking vapor lock.

Before my coil totally barfed, it started sputtering and cutting out under heavy engine load for a while, that might be another clue for you.

Good luck
 

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I have my bear skin
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I would bet you that it is the coil. I would replace the points and condensor while I was working on the ignition system,you don't have to do those too,but it would be a good idea.

JD40
 

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I agree it's dieing any ways get as much use out of it as you can. I ran mine about 3 weeks ago for several hrs @ 102* outside. And yes make sure you clean that grill out as often as you can. Mine plugs up really fast when cutting tall grass.
 

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Yes... for my money, I'd say it's the coil, but... as John said... unless you really just want to buy the parts... you can save some money by testing the switch. That would be the other potentially failing part (the condensor can cause similar symptoms but will typically recover much faster).

I know that I probably wouldn't be too awfully happy if I replaced the coil... just to find out that the switch was bad and I needed to replace it, now. Of course... chances are that the coil is bad anyway (whether the switch is or not)... and as to the points/condensor... I count on replacing those every couple of years or so... They may last longer than that... they may not last quite that long. That's just the ballpark that I kinda count on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
gents,

Thanks again..... Yes it is definitely a front mount, so my knowledge has advanced that much since yesterday! I cut yesterday for about 50 minutes, and was getting ready to call it a day when it died on me. So it is sitting under a tree in my field (just so happens), when I get home I will start it up, cut for about 45 minutes, then put it away for the night....

Thanks again,

John
 
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