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9n sat for a couple of weeks and now won't start

2884 Views 71 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Vigo
Guys, hi, and thanks in advance for any advice.

So, I am a real noob when it comes to tractors and the internal combustion engine, in general.

I needed something to haul logs from the woods, so a neighbor sold me a 1945ish Ford 9n 6 volt

It ran well enough when I was testing her out. Drove it home. The carb was leaking, I knew this, but was keen to get stuck in and learn a thing or 2. I was busy with house repair, and let the tractor sit for a couple of weeks. Yesterday I took the carb off, gave it a good clean. The float needle seemed a little sticky. I have a new one on order, but reseated it as best I could and so far, the leaking is drastically reduced/addressed

However, when I went to run her, she just wouldn't bite. Starter works, belt drives the shaft, but no spark or explosion, best as I can determine. I put in new 437, and then 216 plugs, for less resistance and a smaller gap. When I hit the ignition with the new plugs, I hear a loud electrical whine the first time, but no crank. It cranks after that first try however.

On 2 occasions, once today and once yesterday it almost coughed into life, very briefly.

I drained the carb, took the plugs out, added some oil to the plug holes, I can feel compressed air coming out of the holes when I turn the ignition on. I even tried warming the plugs with a lighter.

Battery reads at 6.3, so seems fine. It was a new one too, I am told.

So, where do I go from here? What is next on the list of things to try?

I have already looked over one or two threads related to engine flooding and hard starting and tried all I could find from those.

Thanks again guys. Really hoping to get her operational soon. I have many logs to haul!

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The starter bendix is located on the shaft of the starter. Often water or just age and dirt can cause the gear to get stuck on the starter shaft and won't slide out to engage the flywheel ring gear teeth. That's when you get that whine from the starter that is running but not engaged with the flywheel. A good cleaning of the bendix parts and a little lube on the shaft should handle that issue. You can use penetrating oil spray to work any dirt or rust out of the assembly, then a little light lube on the shaft.

Your starter may look a different than this pic but the concept is the same. The gear, using centrifugal force from the starter engagement, slides against its spring to engage with the flywheel teeth and crank the engine. It should move freely and "snap" into engagement as soon as the starter button is pushed.

You might also check for missing teeth in the flywheel ring gear. Either though the starter mounting hole or if it has one, through an inspection plate. You have to rotate the engine and watch the ring gear passing by and note any missing teeth or teeth so worn that the starter can't engage them.

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Just for kicks, can you attach your spark test lamp to one of the plugs so you can see it when you try to start it.

What you are looking for is the lamp to show spark as you crank it, and as it begins to run, then goes out when it quits.

This, just to eliminate the possibility that the ignition system is quitting upon start up or release of the starter.

Oddly, this is exactly what I experienced with an old Dodge whose ignition ballast resistor had failed. It was literally exactly what your video shows. Unsure if anything similar is in the 9N ignition system.
The more I hear your video playing in a loop, it sounds like it is starting on all 4 cylinders and for a second, and running evenly before quitting completely.

A key question here: Does it restart and fail like this when you retry starting it??

If it does the same over and over again, I am leaning heavily on an ignition problem. Double check to see that the spark is present during starting and continues through the stall out. If the spark goes out, then you know something in your ignition isn't right.

May I suggest that you buy new condenser, points, and coil. just to be sure. Also I hope a 9N expert can tell us if there is anything like a ballast resistor in this old ignition system.
On my old Dodge, the mechanic who fixed it for me told me that the starter would drop the ignition voltage (or maybe it was the amps, just don't recall which) momentarily doing what the ballast resistor was supposed to do, allowing the engine to fire for maybe one revolution. But when the starter disengaged, the ignition immediately failed to fire without the working ballast resistor.

I must have tried to start that car 50 times and each time it acted exactly like what your video showed. One right after another. Being a lot younger then, I tossed everything I could afford at it to no avail. In those days the ballast resistor was a minor cost, but the lesson was priceless.

You could try starting fluid through the carb intake. If you can keep it running on that, then it is a fuel issue. If it still fires then immediately dies, it is ignition.
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