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Picked up another project, 1939 A

3516 Views 37 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Doubletrouble
My uncle and I picked this up to save her from a trip to the scrap yard. Just 3 miles away from the house.

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Only the right rear is the closed Firestone type. We don't have any attachments for it yet. I'll take off the lift handles and such for now until we need them. When we picked her up the motor was froze up. I got it to break loose a few days ago. Now to clean the carb and change the oil then I'll try to get her to fire up. No electric start, this should be fun. Lol

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I may just do that. Thanks for the advice. According to the PO it ran about 4-5 years ago so once I get the carb cleaned out and fresh oil in it she may start right up. Hard to say. I'll post again when I get in to it more.

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I tried tinkering around with the little A today. I've never messed with a magneto before so I didn't get her to fire yet. She tried once but that was it. I was picturing (in my head) something different when setting the timing. I didn't realize that the entire magneto turned when you move the timing. I thought the rotor would stay put like on a regular disrltributor. Just something I'm not used to, I'll get there though.
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Then help me out here. If you don't move the mag to set timing where are the bolts to move just the cap? I'll have to get a pic and post it because I didn't see anything to move just the cap to change position with the rotor to change the timing. The entire thing seems to move as one assembly.

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I found a YouTube video that explained the process. When I have time I'll give it a try. I think I understand how it works more now.

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Thank you very much. I saved it to my phone so I can refer to it later. I will definitely keep you posted.

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I had a little time to mess with her today. Tried to. Time it but couldn't get it quite right. She huffed a few times but no fire. I couldn't seem to find the timing marks on the flywheel/clutch assembly so I found tdc by the old fashion way, finger in the no 1 while and brought it all the way to the top.

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Mine has no ring gear for the starter. No electric start, hand crank only. I will look again for the marks. I had a small flash light looking through the hand hole (the larger one) but did not see the marks. I will take a brush to it and clean off some of the light surface rust and look again. I'm sure once I get the marks aligned I should be able to get her timed in. The clutch cover has a large pointer on it, is this the mark I use to line things up? It seems to be off to one side a bit. Just curious and thanks for the help. I admit I am new at working on the old farmalls.

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I finally found the timing marks! I have the timing set per the directions. I am getting better results now. I haven't got it to fire just yet. It did pop a few times while cranking though. I think the carb may need some more cleaning. Not sure where to set the mixture screws so I put them at 2 turns out each. I'm gonna try to get some help and attempt to pull start it. My arm is getting tired! Lol

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I got her running! By hand cranking it even! She runs rough and I had a temporary fuel tank hooked up to it but it does run. I cranked her 2-3 times with the choke on then twice with no choke and she fired up. It blew black garbage all over the place at first. Probably from the atf and marvel oil I had in the cylinders to free it up.

Thanks for the carb settings. I had them both at 2 turns out, I will adjust them tomorrow when I play with it some more. I really appreciate the help and advice. Its very rewarding to hear an old machine fire up after being neglected and ignored by others.

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The reason she wouldn't fire before was the plugs fouled due to the oil leftover in the cylinders. I think I may have also flooded it.
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Bad day today. I went to crank up the A to adjust the carb some more. I snapped the end off of the hand crank! It was welded before, it broke at the weld. I guess I'll drill it and use a new pin for now. Bummer!

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One more question, I have the mag turned away from the block as far as it will go. I believe that means its as retarded as I can get it. That's where I got it to start. Should I have more adjustment? Is it normal to have it turned that far? I still need to clean and adjust the points, I'd also like to do a complete tune up. Plugs, wires, cap and rotor. Will this change much as far as the position of the mag?
And one more thing, at the risk of sounding stupid. Is it correct that these A's do not have a water pump?

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Thanks for all the help and pointers DJ54. I really appreciate it. I managed to get my hand crank fixed today. Drilling it and using a expanding pin worked great.
I had her running for awhile, trying to set the carb screws but it wasn't cooperating. I'm not sure the governor is working. I put it in gear (and she goes into gear hard, grinding...not a good sound) when I let the clutch out she didn't pick herself up like my other tractors. With the offset I couldn't see the governor arm to the carb to see if it was moving. It was neat to just take a short ride though. I love these old machines! This one is no. 6
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3
Thought I'd post a couple more pics.


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I believe there is more clutch free play than that. I'll take a closer look at it next time. Is there a way to grease the throw out bearing?

The motor does rev up, maybe to much. Hard to say without a tach. Part of the problem could be the hose from air cleaner to carb. It has a major air leak there, could be causing a lean condition? I think its mostly a matter of some fine tuning. Just don't know my way around them as well as I should yet.

Is there a way to check the governor with out tearing into it to much? Also, is there supposed to be a return spring on the carb?

And no it didn't ride to well with the flat tire. I may borrow the rears off the Massey pony for a bit. I think they'll fit according to my tape.measure. lol

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I did check the oil in the air cleaner. I was full of water, I dumped it, cleaned. And filled to the line with 30wt. Oil.

The carb was removed to clean, I completely disassembled it for cleaning. I will eventually buy a basic rebuild kit just to freshen it up and make sure everything is sealed properly. The govenor linkage was installed the same way I took it off. It may have been on wrong before though. The rod is through the throttle shaft on the side closest to the block, should it go through from the carb side?

As far as the governor, there isn't any resistance on the arm connected to the carb. I assume the return spring inside the governor may be shot. Is the governor serviceable? Are there new springs and bearings available for it?
Thanks again for the help.

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Isn't that always how it goes? Lol
I looked at the throttle linkage again before work. It doesn't seem to touch the block but the throttle shaft itself is a little sticky right off idle. I sprayed both sides of it with some pb blast to see if that will free it up a bit. Once the throttle opens just a bit it is smooth.
I'll be looking in the Steiner catalog and checking dealer prices on the governor parts soon also. I'd like to get most of the bugs worked out before I start body work and paint.

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I have the other rear wheels and tires on now. Had her fired up the other day and went for a putt around the yard. When the engine starts to work a little it tries to stall. Like the governor isn't moving the throttle open to compensate. Any ideas? I don't want to pull the gov. off unless I need to just because I've never been in one. I've looked for pics so I know what to expect and maybe understand how they work. Haven't found much though. Should I just pull it or am I missing other options first? Thanks
( I did adjust the throttle linkage per the service manual, the rod was on backwards also. All good now and no interference with the block but still tries to stall )

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