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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The tractor itself hasn't made any progress, but I've been thinking about all of the issues it has. 90% of it is electrical. Here's a quick run-down of everything so far.

The starter generator seems good since I've tested one off a running tractor on the same electrical system.
The voltage regulator and starter relay both overheat, they will be replaced.
The battery voltage drops and I entrust this to the old wiring so that will also be replaced with heavier gauge wiring to resist overheats along with some in-line fuses.
I need a new ignition switch too, just to help. Only one I have is a 4-position one with a built in light switch.

The engine might also be harder to turn over than normal for some reason, which is my most expected problem after performing the direct-to-generator crank test with the original generator. Couldn't get the new one to spin using that method. I don't know how stiff the engine is supposed to be so I can't tell good/bad. I'll say its less stiff than an 18hp opposed twin, but more than an 8hp flathead single without easy-spin. (the two closest good engines I have.)

I removed all of the dirt out of the top end when I removed the head. The oil is also a bit low, but I have some oil I just drained from my truck that's in pretty good shape so I might change out the dirty oil for less dirty oil to see if I can free it up any more than it is. No point in using brand new oil in a non-running engine.

Right now I'm looking for some ignition parts (coil, condensor, points, etc) for this since I've finally got around to working on it again. My old thread is cluttered so I thought I'd start a fresh one. Is there any chance that they still make those parts, or that there's a good substitute from a newer engine, or maybe an off-brand part? My coil conversion failed my so I'd like to simply switch back to the old ignition setup. Other than that all I should need is steering gears since mine are almost stripped. I still have hopes for this thing.

Thanks for all your help, guys.
 

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The part numbers for the points and condenser are still good. 298185 and 298060. They are not cheap so you may want to clean up the points with a points file or burnishing tool.

The condenser can be checked with an ohm meter for basic function. Use a mid range on your meter. Short the condenser to remove any remaining charge it may have. Apply leads to the condenser. If the reading starts out low and then raises quickly to very high, it may be fine to use. Set points to .020.

If you have the flywheel cover off, set the magneto to .010 gap using a business card or index card. A little closer will give a stronger spark. Check ohm meter coil readings of 4k to 5k ohms plug wire to ground and 1.3 to 1.5 ohms for the primary coil wire at the points.

The key switch is 7250267 or 9250267. Magneto is 398811.

Hope you get it running. From you other thread, getting the starter working strong will be first business.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the info. All I need now is a magneto. (I called it a coil for some reason.) I've gotten pretty good at fixing points and condenser ignition but I'm thinking my condenser is bad since there's no spark coming from my 12v coil conversion. My original magneto was bad aswell so I ended up cutting the wire to remove it which in hindsight was a poor decision. It was nearly rusted in half and had pieces missing so there's no way it would have worked. I'm always on the hunt for another 990 for parts but haven't found one close enough to be worth going after.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Just missed out on the perfect parts machine, it was a scissors lift 1971-72 White Ranger 16. 25 bucks with a blade deck and complete 3pt and all the linkage, just no engine. Can't cry over spilled milk I'll spend my 25 bucks on a voltage regulator. I also saw that I'm missing a decent amount of my linkage for my scissors lift so I might be in a pickle when it comes to using the deck. If that's the case I'll just remove it all and use the 3 point. Any ideas for my stripped steering gears aside from buying new?
 

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The steering gears or assembly are not available new. Only option is to find a better used unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's mostly what I meant by new is nicer, new-to-me gears. There's always the option of having some machined but it would be expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I'm all the way over in northern VA and unless it's within 200 miles of me it's pretty much out of the question. My old truck doesn't do interstates so I can't travel very far. I can't really afford to get anything major right now either which is why I'm gathering the cheaper parts as time goes by and getting everything I know of ready to use. I'd sure love to have that one, though. Has a nice patina to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Something I should have thought of way back when this started that only just now came to mind.

Could the transmission be what's causing the slow cranking? Maybe putting too much resistance on the engine? I never noticed it until I moved it last time but suddenly the transmission will click when you roll the tractor. Don't know if the clicking is normal or not but I'm thinking the trans could be a large part of my problem. Should it spin fairly free or is there any specific place I need the controls in when starting?
 

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The clicking is normal if it is in high or low gear. In neutral it may click a little but will be free to roll. The transmission does not put a load on the engine until the rpms are up and the motion control lever or lift lever is engaged. The engine is connected to the hydraulic pump and the fluid is free flowing until the transmission uses the flow and builds the pressure it needs to operate.

Parking brake on and motion control lever in neutral for starting.

Your hard turning over through the engine compression stroke is getting back to your previous thread. Weak battery, weak starter or poor current flow in the starter circuit. Or any combination of these.

May help to have the choke off when starting and while it is turning over, pull the choke on.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Even with the plug out it turns a lot slower than it really should. After what videos I've seen of these mine barely makes half the speed with the plug out in summer that others make with the plug in that are being started in winter. We've had 110+ degree weather here all week so I haven't been able to get out and do much. I think it's mainly between current even since the new generator did the same as the old. I still think something is making it harder to turn over than it should be. I undid the trans plug one day just to check it and it puffed out some pressure. Hadn't been cranked in weeks or moved at all.

I hate to have this thread become as cluttered as my old one was with all questions from me and no progress. I'll try to see what I can do between now and this weekend. I might go out tomorrow evening after work hook it up and see what happens. Might try to power it off my truck while it's running so it will have just a little extra voltage. I'll grab some photos of the wiring and how I currently have it set up to see if anything at all is possibly wrong with the way my coil is hooked up and how my wiring is. I know the wiring is ancient and worn out and it probably is a lot of my problem. I also know all of the relays and regulators are well-worn.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Had an issue with it completely locking up on the up stroke previously. When I removed the head it was full of carbon. Cleaned it all out and it doesn't lock but doesn't spin any more free. Might pour some oil down the cylinder and see what that does once it cools off.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Progress! Spent about a half hour with it today. Hooked it to my truck while it was running, and it cranks a bit faster. Truck runs a 59 amp alternator, also found out the tractor had almost no oil in it, so I over filled it just a bit to hopefully force more oil into more places since all the bearings feel rough. Got it cranking fast enough to figure out where neutral was in the trans, because the tractor started moving. Still comes to a dead halt soon as you put the plug in it. I guess what I should do is pull the engine, find a new magneto for it, and get it on a test stand to properly work on it. But I don't have a way to lift the engine or a stand that will hold it right now. Also figured out why my points kept jumping, the spring was, and has been, in the wrong place for some time. Fixed that but didn't clean them because I couldn't find any sand paper. I'll regap and clean the points again when I find more time to play with it.
 

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Lack of oil will certainly make it turn over harder. Good to read you are making a little progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It seemed that the more I cranked it the smoother it all sounded. Less clunking and grinding, much quieter. Still don't know what I should throw at it to make it easier to crank. I noticed the ground to the starter generator got hot to the touch. Maybe I need to take the bracket off the engine, clean it well, and run a longer ground directly to the bracket to make a cleaner circuit. I know current resistance will make things hot, and kill current flow, so maybe that's part of the issue. I have a 6-sided burn mark on my hand from putting it in the wrong place. :sidelaugh
 

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The ground is through the mounting bolts to the bottom bracket and top bracket, through the engine block to the frame. Nothing should be getting hot or even warm. That is a symptom of resistance to the high current draw. All the mounting hardware and surfaces should be cleaned. On my S/G tractor, I installed a separate cable from the frame ground point to the engine mounting bolt to insure a good ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That was going to be my next job, re-routing the ground. I'll probably do that at some point within the week, because I have nothing else to do. My truck just died and I can't rebuild a 4bbl carb in my driveway with my skillset so I guess I have a lot of time to kill. I can't exactly go anywhere without a ride. :p

Also, when did we re-do the forum? It's gonna take some serious getting used to.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Oh I completely forgot to mention! I had a coil off a 15hp OHV engine from a John Deere Sabre I just scrapped. I took it off to see if it'd fit and after cutting off the big plug boot it fits, but I can't get much spark. It fits the flywheel perfectly and all the gaps line up just right. Do I have to get the flywheel re-polarized for this to create spark? The 12v coil trick never has worked yet even when using two batteries so I've given up on that for the time being. I was so glad to see that coil fit right on there, if only I could get it sparking.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
One more post update for today. Took a dremel tool to all the grounds and positives until nothing got hot. Found a short from the key to the relay where I assume some safety switches were bypassed. Working on that as I'm typing this. Going to start cleaning up before it gets dark. What bugs me a lot is that it cranked faster once I cleaned the grounds but cranked even slower after I cleaned all the positive connections. My jumper pack lost some power but it didn't lose enough to cause it to almost completely stop cranking with the plug out. If I have to take the generator apart again and run through it with the dremel tool I will. It was (and still is) as crusty inside as the outside connections. I've basically ruled it out as an issue, though, considering the fact that I've tried other generators and such and had no change.
 
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