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First Model L

1443 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Bodjick L
I have been looking for a Gravely walk behind tractor for years. Finally found one in my price range. Can you folks help me get it back up and running? I belive it is a 1958 but build plate ois missing. Engine is free, I have changed plug, changed oil. Tank is rusty, but no holes.


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... You will never be able to hand pull one of these over fast enough to start it without the impulse...
Hmmm... that may be the case of WICO magnetos but I have a Fairbanks & Morse magneto that I operated at least 150 hours of run time without that magneto snapping EVER. In fact, with the magneto off, I can freely hand spin the shaft with no resistance yet it continued to run and hand-crank for a year and a half (cranking with normally two pulls). I set the timing when the unit did snap but once that stopped, the unit hand-cranked just like it always had with no further adjustment. Later, I removed this non-snapping magneto to inspect further and reset the timing by aligning the marks and it cranked just as before.

I did seek out a replacement magneto (WICO) and the old non-snapping Fairbanks & Morse has been sitting on my workbench untouched. I know that others have said these units cannot crank without the snap of the magneto but I have an example of one F&M that operates fine without the impulse. I have read here before on numerous occasions that these cannot operate without snapping AND I am NOT trying to argue but I do not totally agree that the machines cannot start without a snapping magneto... at least that is not the case with my Fairbanks & Morse. No arguments from me... just saying that my experience has been different!
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