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Discussion Starter #1
For the last couple of months I’ve been trying to get to the root of the problem that my nephew has reported while plowing but that I never experienced while using the brush hog. (I’ve posted about this problem previously and received a number of helpful suggestions and things to try.)

Finally, yesterday I experienced for the symptoms myself while brush hogging and will try to explain them as best I can.

Before I started out, I checked the oil level, coolant level, fan belt tension and cleaned and gaped the spark plugs which were coated with black. Not oily, just black. The plugs were also cleaned last week when the tractor was used by my nephew.

Everything was going well until I noticed that after about a half hour of initial use the temperature gauge was past the middle of the green bar where it usually holds for long periods of use. When the temp. gauge needle was just below the red area five or ten minutes later, I gave the tractor a rest and cool down for a while until the temp gauge needle was below the halfway mark in the green.

I then started her back up and got to the same heat up point in about 15 minutes or so. I let her rest again. On my third try, when she started heating up again, the tractor started wanting to cut out and started bucking, and would die. I would restart her and this would repeat itself until I held the choke all the way closed where she would run poorly but allow me to limp her back to the barn about a hundred yards away.

While she was bucking I took a look at the governor arm which remained stable and wasn’t moving back and forth during this episode.

It’s been two years since the tractor had a tune up with new points, condenser and plugs done by a local shop. They also changed the coolant at that time.

Does any of this new information help in determining what the problem might be?

I plan on hiring someone to come out to perform a tune up and general check-out. While he’s there I’d like to point him the direction of other things to check out. I’m wondering if I should get out there before him and work the tractor to the point of “failure” so he can see for himself what’s going on.

Thanks,

Joe

PS: I also cleaned the radiator with a brush to remove any dirt or debris that may be hindering cooling.
 

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If it smooths out and runs better with the choke closed... it sounds kind of like a fuel delivery problem to me. With it only happening when it gets hot... perhaps your fuel line is too close to the manifold and evaporating the fuel before it gets to the carburetor?

I'd make sure that your fuel line is the original steel line... and that it is properly bent to keep it away from the manifold. I'd also verify that all of the screens are clean... and it wouldn't hurt to make sure that your cap is venting (the next time it starts cutting out... try opening the gas cap and see if it makes a difference).

It'd also behoove you to ensure that your air cleaner is clean.

Your tune-up... really isn't that difficult to do. No real reason you couldn't do it yourself. You can get a point set for it at your local Tractor Supply (or other tractor store... and many places online)... the same set as for a side-mount 8N and/or NAA. Same for plugs and wires (make sure you get solid copper-core wires, not automotive wires). Coil is not hard to come by either... and really isn't typically part of a tune-up... just replaced as needed.
Other than that... check your fluid levels, change the engine oil (and filter) clean the air-cleaner and put fresh oil in it. Check your radiator hoses and fan belt, while you're at it.
 

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The governor should have been making some kind of movement even minor, now since you said the plugs were black that tells me it is running to rich. As for the reason it is running rich I am going to take a WAG here and say your coil is heating up and causing the ignition to start failing. Need to figure out why it is heating up, clogged radiator, possible bad thermostat? What does the coolant look like? Rusty? Maybe the block needs to be flushed.
 

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Old Guy With Old Toys
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Is your radiator clean of debris, weeds, chad, etc? Make sure you can see light through the tubes and fins, especially the lower part.
What rpm are you running the tractor? At least pto recommended rpm?
What gear?
Can you turn the fan and have the belt slip? If the belt is glazed or the pullies worn, tight will not keep it from slipping when you need it most.
Has the timing been checked and is the advance working?
As mentioned, very possibly vapor lock.
Just a few things I would check.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your input and suggestions.

Ray asked:
1)"Is your radiator clean of debris, weeds, chad, etc?"
Yes.

2)"What rpm are you running the tractor?"
I don't have a proof meter, so I don't really know, but it "sounds" ok.

3)"What gear?"
Mostly 2nd, occasionally 3rd, so I can use full throttle and control my speed.

4)"Can you turn the fan and have the belt slip?"
I replaced the belt about a month ago and it is properly tensioned for a 1/2" deflection. I've noticed no slippage when turning it manually.

5)[I"]Has the timing been checked and is the advance working?"[/I]
No and no. (Our farm has no electricity, running water. Just an old barn. No work shop or special tools. I wouldn't know how to use them even if I owned them.:hide:)

John, in response to your post:

You are right, the governor was moving a little bit, but not swinging wildly.

"I am going to take a WAG here and say your coil is heating up and causing the ignition to start failing."

I'm assuming you mean the ignition coil. I'll be sure to have that checked as a possibility. Your WAG might be dead on.

Need to figure out why it is heating up....
Again, you're right.
I'll be sure to have this checked out as well.

Steve, thanks for your suggestions as well. I have recently cleaned the entire oil bath air filter system and changed the engine oil and filter as well, which, by-the-way sometimes seems pointless since I have to add about a quart of oil after using the tractor for the day.

I'll be sure to follow up if and when this all gets resolved.:praying:

Regards,

Joe
 

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check spark when she heats up.. that will tell you about the coil.

also give us a run down on the elec and ign system.

soundguy
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Let's assume for a second that the coil is bad. Could that somehow account for the engine running hot too?

If so, I could maybe kill two birds with one stone.
 

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Old Guy With Old Toys
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Let's assume for a second that the coil is bad. Could that somehow account for the engine running hot too?

If so, I could maybe kill two birds with one stone.
In my unscientific opinion, no. Weak spart, more unburned fuel, rich mixture= sooty plugs and should result in a cooler running engine.

If you let the tractor set at high idle, under no load will the temps return to normal?

Do not pull the radiator cap with the engine hot. If the radiator cap is removed can you see the coolant circulating in the radiator?
Both when cool and when it gets hot?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ray asks:
"If you let the tractor set at high idle, under no load will the temps return to normal?"

I didn't try that while I was at the farm, so I don't know. I will check that out when I go back down there.

Same applies to the circulation of coolant....

Joe
 

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I think you have a couple of problems, 1: ignition, 2: overheating. The way I would approach it, fix one thing then tackle the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yep, it certainly seems like two separate issues considering all the input received. I'll tackle them one at a time and see where that leads.

Joe
 
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